Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen)


Rating: ★★★★★

Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Darwin’s Natural Selections product line includes five raw frozen dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Beef with Organic Vegetables# [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Bison with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Turkey with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables (4.5 stars) [U]

Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Darwin's Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 48% | Fat = 32% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Duck necks, duck wings, duck gizzards, duck livers, duck leg meat, organic sweet potatoes, organic romaine lettuce, organic yellow squash, organic zucchini, organic carrots, organic celery, duck hearts, organic parsley, organic flaxseed oil, sea salt, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D3

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis12%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis48%32%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%56%9%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 56% | Carbs = 9%

The first two ingredients in this dog food includes duck neck and duck wings. Raw duck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.

The third ingredient is duck gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.

The fourth ingredient is duck liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient includes duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1

Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The seventh ingredient is lettuce. This green leafy vegetable is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, lettuce boasts an exceptionally high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 88.

The eighth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With two notable exceptions

First, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Darwin’s Natural Selections looks like an above-average raw product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 48%, a fat level of 32% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 51% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Darwin’s Natural Selections is a meat-based raw frozen dog food using an abundance of named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.

Darwin’s Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

10/02/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  • Diane Becker

    Only problem with Steve’s is the added Fish Oil. Dr. Becker explains how that can be a problem especially when the oil becomes rancid.

  • Iris Desene

    This food is amazing my Stacey loves it everything she can have and nothing she can’t.

  • InkedMarie

    Take a look at Hare Today, Raw Feeding Miami, Reel Raw & My Pet Carnivore. All have grinds that have meat/bone/organs that come iin various sizes. You just weigh and feed.

  • Crazy4cats

    Don’t blame you. Good luck.

  • ph

    We have fed Darwins for several years. However this past spring they quit adding dry ice. I’ve talked with their “customer service manager” several times and she said she would try to have them add it. They have not added any at all even though we’re having record heat. I’m fed up with their customer service. Combined with that and the leaking packages I’m ready to move to a different food.

  • InkedMarie

    Let me recommend Hare-Today dotcom. They have whole meats and grinds. Some are just ground meat, others have meat/bone/organs & some have tripe. They have a great reputation, great customer service (Tracey the owner is wonderful, available by phone, email and FB). They also give you rewards when you order!

    The grinds come in 1lb, 2lb and 5lb packages. In summer months, they only ship two or three days a week; no thawing meats!

    There is also Raw feeeding Miami, My Pet Carnivore and Reel Raw. For me, Hare is about $10 more a month but with rewards, cheaper.

  • nana oas

    I was a happy Darwin customer, since 2014. My dog had no problem digesting the food and did really well on it. Dry food or cooked food gives him gas.

    However, lately the food looks different and shipping has been sloppy.

    I order the Chicken and Turkey formula every month. Every month it comes on time.

    For the last couple of months, when the box arrives the dry ice is almost all melted and some of the packages partially thawed.

    Then this month, July 2017, everyone of the packages were brown tinged with grey. Dry ice completely melted. Top layer partially thawed. The meat looks totally different than what I am used to seeing for the past couple of years. Usually the meat’s color is pinkish red, not brownish grey!

    I took photos of 2 of the patties and sent to Darwin.
    Then I called them. Customer Service was always cordial and responsive but this time, they were immediately on the defensive.
    They said they needed more proof and lot numbers. So I took all the patties out of the freeezer, took photos, along with the lot numbers and sent it to them.

    Their answer: it is the dry ice that is causing the discoloration because it is -109F and that caused the frost bitten look on the patties.
    They tell me it should be fine thawed out, but watch for any bad smells. Really?

    Thanks a lot Darwin.

    I can see if the top layer is discolored since it is closest to the dry ice but for everyone of the patties to have changed color?

    Can anyone with knowledge of dry ice give me an answer/advice?

    Anyhow, sad to say I am looking at other companies for my dog’s food. I really liked Darwins and trusted them but this is the final straw.

  • Susan

    Hi gee in Australian none of our frozen pet foods are sent thru mail or mail couriers, they are sold at certain pet shops or the fresh home made human grade raw (small family businesses) are sold thru certain shops you place a order & just pick it up on certain days from a place that’s closer to our home, I would be worried the food has gone off being delivered thru a mail couriers…..
    You have 1 very smart dog not to eat the Lamb that had thawed out, my boy eats anything & doesn’t learn from eating food that don’t agree with him, my Boxer (now passed) if she ate something that didn’t agree with her she wouldn’t eat it again, a smart dog lol….

  • cajajo

    Thank you for this. I will check it out. I’m so sorry about your dog!

  • Patricia Struble

    There is one supplement that I had given my Shih Tzu when she was diagnosed with a pretty significant heart murmur at the age of 7 and she lived until she was 13! It’s called Cardio Strength from Vetri Science. I got it from Amazon Prime because it was much cheaper. I sprinkled it on her food twice a day and I have to tell you that she did fantastic for all those years and the vet told me she might not live too long after she was diagnosed at the age of 7! Please do the research and you will find so many fantastic reviews on how this supplement has helped so many animals! Good luck to you and your precious bulldog!!

  • Patricia Struble

    I have been feeding my dogs Darwins for about 2 years or so. I too had a Shih Tzu that had a heart murmur and then congestive heart failure and wanted to feed her the best she could have!! Unfortunately she passed away last October but I continue to feed my other Shih Tzu Darwins. They did like it but then I started also having customer service issues. That has seemed to clear up. They now have Lamb in the Natural Selections so I decided to change it up a bit. Unfortunately they decided to “try” to ship the entire order WITHOUT the dry ice!! The Lamb was a little soft and I called them and they told me it was fine! My dog took a couple bites and has not been able to eat it since! I have thrown out all of the Lamb! They are refunding me for that at least! The half of the order was the beef so I continue to feed her that. It was completely frozen so I kept it! I called them and told them if I decide to continue to buy food from them I want the dry ice in my order!!! I’m thinking they are trying to save money but whoever came up with that solution is not very smart!!

  • cajajo

    I used Darwin’s for about a year. I wanted the best for my recently diagnosed (congestive heart failure) American Bulldog. She loved it at first, but some batches started looking a little green and then all the yucky looking things came more and more in each batch and she refused to eat it many times. I hadn’t even thought of them adding salt to their food, but there it is and it isn’t even one of the last ingredients. My dog has to be on a salt-free diet! I could kick myself for feeding her this for months. I hope I haven’t done her irreparable harm.

  • Geri Curtin

    I am relieved to hear of others dissatisfaction with Darwins also…and their customer service rep, Linda. I agree with the others below…the food is not what it used to be…consistency and seems like stringy globs and chips. I had tremendous customer service issues before they adjusted to handle their growth….tried to stay with them and just now I called to inquire of placing an order…but did not place it…to find out they charged my card and shipped it anyway…and then was, again, missing one of the proteins and sent it anyway without consulting me. Linda was rude and the audio proved I did not order and, still, she was condescending! I order quite a bit for my GSD and order the organic and use all protein sources. ..so several hundred dollars per month. A friend recommended Steves Raw now handled by rawpetfood.com Just placed an order…They are very very nice to work with, quality sources and inspection of the facilities and they are less with FREE shipping on orders over $20.00!!! Darwins was charging me $65.00 in shipping on a $280.00 order! Plus Steve is the guy who did the nutritional videos with Dr Karen Becker (Mercola.com) Personally, I am done with Darwins.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Thank you I will definitely check it out have and a little alarmed that most dogs are dying from cancer and it leads to make me believe that it has to be coming from the food source and with cats it’s renal failure again their food source…

  • InkedMarie

    I used to feed Darwins (a little Primal) but it got too expensive. I feed raw but I buy grinds from Hare Today. Cheaper than the premade’s. I didn’t like the looks of Steve’s at all.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Do you like Darwin’s? I know Steve’s got a lot of great review… and then there’s a brand called primer and yada yada what do you feed your dogs

  • InkedMarie

    Look at companies like Hare Today, Reel Raw, Raw Feeding Miami, My Pet Carnivore…..all are raw food companies that have grinds in bags and all ship. All you have to do is weigh and feed.

  • Judy

    Email today of another price increase. Beginning. May 15. I’m not happy already with the added fat, and am looking into a better alternative

  • Annie

    Hi James, Can you confirm that the thyroid tissue is also removed in the duck, chicken and turkey foods? I’ve been feeding my dog duck necks and now I’m concerned. My dog loves them, but I’m even more concerned about thyroid in the food. Duck , chicken and turkey necks are the #1 ingredient.

    The cause of my concern:


    I’ve been feeding my wonderful mutt your food for the past 9 years. He had thyroid issues very young (1 year). He was tested around age 5 and they determined he was healthy and we stopped synthroid. Now I’m wondering, do we need to test again?

    Any information you can give will be greatly appreciated.

  • Daisy Hill

    I purchased through their site. I spent a lot of time researching companies and a lot of time on the phone with them. Everything is great until there is an issue then everyone clears out. My dog has special GI needs, that is why I spent so much time on the phone with them. My dog’s situation was mentioned to the person who formulates the food. He says, the first meat that I should feed my dog is beef. They are the food company and he is someone important in the company so I took his advice. He is the head formulator after all. After eating a pound of the beef my dog had diarrhea so bad it looked like brown water spraying out followed by blood. She needed to go several time throughout the night, always followed by blood. She vomited the food. She was crying in pain all night long. I emailed the company, I was ignored. After a little research I learned that you should not give Beef to a dog with GI issues because of the high fat content. I called the company hoping to work out a solution, Linda the “Customer service manager” from the beginning of the conversation treated me as though I was in the wrong. All I did was follow their advice. Proceed with caution should you choose to buy from this company. Also note, their #1 goal is to look good on social media. If they can take try to get you to take your comments offline they will.

  • Donatella Polston

    Hi Michele. I also have a pup that suffers from seizures and he has been on Farmina dry Lamb formula with no activity for about a year. i was looking into feeding raw (darwin, for recommended) but was concerned with the seizures recurring. Would you be able to advise on the current raw that you make. I would be interested in feeding both my dogs a better diet.

  • InkedMarie

    I used to feed Darwins but stopped because one of mine seems to react to produce in food.

    If you are looking for grinds, there are a number of companies that sell them: Hare today, Reel Raw, Raw feeding Miami, My Pet Carnivore.

    I dont see the big deal with packages leaking…I’m sure if you feed your family meat, the packages leak as well. Just thaw in a Rubbermaid type of container. Pour the blood over the dogs food.

  • Michele

    Proceed with caution. The option to review this food seems to have been removed from their FB page. I was very hopeful that this would be the solution after 18 months of making 26 lbs of homemade food a week for our crew. I was looking for something a little more convenient. One of our dog’s seizure’s returned with in a week of beginning to transition to Darwins. She had been seizure free the entire time on a similar homemade food, but one that was cooked. Often the packages leak while thawing which makes it messy to work with and increased the risk of cross contaminating surfaces. They also have a very narrow minded definition as to what a service dog is for their service dog discount they advertise, specifying guide dogs.

  • AJ

    Hello, I am thinking about starting my dog on a raw diet. It seems like all the dry food I’ve tried are not good and he seems to have some reaction to them. So I was going to start him on a raw food diet so I know what he is eating. But I just wanted to know what model is better to use, the whole pray model or BARF model? For example, should he be eating veggies and fruit or just meat? This darwin pet food looks good as well.

  • Rob

    I’ve been feeding Darwin’s for 5 years, never had any problems ever. The key is to get a complete blood panel every year, period. Your dog won’t die from Darwin’s. Over vaccination, household and yard chemicals maybe but not Darwin’s

  • Rob

    NO way!!!! I’ve been feeding Darwin’s for 5 years and have NEVER seen a piece of wood or a bolt in the food.

    That looks like something your dog threw up, maybe after chewing a stick?

  • Rob

    I have to say something here. What’s up with all the negative about Darwin’s? I have been feeding my 2 dogs Darwin’s Natural Select (I used to do Zoologic but for the little extra money I went to the natural) Anyway, I have a Doberman 5 years old & Golden Doodle 4 years old and they couldn’t be healthier. They have NEVER been to the veterinarian for any health issues ever, the only time we go is once a year for a complete blood panel which is perfect! in every way for 5 years in a row. Also, I have 3 grown kids that have a Poodle, Rottweiler and 2 dachshunds all of them eating Darwin’s and doing Fantastic! I have a brand new baby Boston Terrier coming this weekend to join my pack, and she will grow up happy and healthy eating Darwin’s. So get over the pieces of bone, the romaine lettuce and the change in formula, this is by far the best raw food on the market today. If the price is too high, go get a bag of kibble from Walmart and call it a day, there are more important thing in life other than our dogs. NOT!

    Hey! and the guy who had the picture if the sticks, come on, I’ve never seen sticks in their food ever, never ever, and I look very carefully at what they eat. My Doodle eats sticks all the time and sometimes she throws them up and they looked exactly like the picture you posted.

  • Rebecca

    I use northwest naturals, primal (mixes and grinds) and stella and chewy.

  • sandy

    I use Primal, Stewarts, Tuckers, Stella & Chewy and greentripe.com

  • InkedMarie

    I buy grinds from Hare Today. I use a scale, weigh & feed. Other reputable companies are Raw Feeding Miami, Reel Raw & My Pet Carnivore.

  • Judy

    I am a several year user of Darwins naturals and am unhappy with the change to much more fat in beef and larger bone pieces in the duck, and generally leas lean meat. THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE SWITCHED BRANDS DUE TO SUCH ISSUES, CAN YNPLS B POST WHAT BRAND OF CONVENIENT organc RAW food you are now using and more satisfied with? The costnof Darqina iabso highost, that thesw seeming changes in quality are hard tonkeepnpaying such a high cost for, ( with high UPS charges on top of that fornthe frozen styro packed shipements, ans I really juatvdo not have time to prepare raw neals myself, the Darwins mealsnare so CONVENIENT, but the seeming decrease iin quality ( higher fat, xhunos of fat,bigger hones,bleakier b packaging, etc all at nowba higher price, bothers me enough to look for a better raw product alternatives I have searched ratings and comments here a lot but <t don't have enough h time to go thru all the posts on this website, but know there is so much helpful info available from you knowledgeable dog loving people. I NEED A PRODUCRBTHATBISNAS CONVENIENT AS DARWINs, AS HIGH QUALITY as they used to be…any suggestions? I know Stella and Chews gets good comments, but not sure dehydrated raw via as healthy as raw frozen ? Any advice or info what possibilities to maybe switch to greatly appreciated. My beloved dog isnown9band trying to only use thosw product that are as healthy as possible in. Every way to extend her healthy life, so any advice or infonis

  • sandy

    The comment history question is one for Mike. It’s a disqus or widget related issue. But you can also subscribe to threads to get updates but that depends on how many emails you want to receive!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi sandy,
    This is off topic, but have you noticed that you can’t see all the replies prior to the most recent comment posted? It makes it very difficult to follow a thread. Also, the comment history doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

  • sandy

    My boys are eating Tucker’s with good results and the product has been consistent for two years I’ve been buying it. They also post their batch test results for bacteria on their website.

  • Rebecca

    I used all varieties of natural selections for almost a year. I know the quality went drastically downhill during that time and the labels changed ingredient wise without warning. I know because I double checked the ingredient list from the old to the new. The packaging was torn and unsealed, large fragments of really sharp bones and meat (I use that term loosely here because there was very little you could call meat) that was smelly grey and green in multiple packages. I know I’m not alone. They delete any such comments off of facebook regularly and quickly. Getting a refund is nothing short of pulling teeth. I’m glad your dogs like the food, my dogs liked it at first too, but the last order received was all splintered bone shards and looked and smelled like garbage, which is where it ended up. I switched to northwest naturals and my cats eat primal and stellas. I will be hard pressed to ever trust Darwin’s again.

  • Belinda Williams

    No. I’ve never experienced any bone fragments or anything like that. However, since the bones aren’t cooked, it’s unlikely anything to worry about. It’s cooked bones that are brittle and cause problems. Uncooked bones are softer, and part of the normal ancestral diet of dogs.

  • Belinda Williams

    My Shiloh Shepherd, Galen, is a service dog in training. While I can only afford to give Darwin’s as a supplement, it has been absolutely wonderful for Galen. He loves all of the varieties, and hasn’t had a single sick day or any stool issues the entire time he’s had it added to his diet (7 months now). I’ve seen nothing but quality ingredients in the food. I will admit, though, that the bubble portion of the package is on the thin side, and can sometimes develop tiny leaks when the food is thawed, so you’ll want to put it on a plate or in a container when thawing. As for the ingredient list, I get all varieties of the Natural selections, and have noted zero changes in it. I can only wonder of those who have talked about changes might be getting one of the other Darwin’s lines, and not the Natural Selections. Nothing has changed in what I’ve fed Galen over the entire 7 months he’s been getting it.

  • tristan

    Be carfeull with darwins. I tried a trail a found a piece of wood in my dogs food along with unsealed leaky packages. They deleted it off there facebook but someone recently posted a pic of a metal bolt they found in there food along with plastic. I was drawn to darwins from reading peoples good reviews on this site!!! I canceled my order immediately after finding this.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the information. I will pass on Darwins which I originally fed when my dog was a puppy. I would have gone back if I didn’t get this heads up from you and the posters below.

  • CelebriTea

    Are you no longer using Nutro?

  • Deschka Regen

    I am sorry your pups got sick and hope they are on the mend. My pup has been eating darwins since I brought him home at 8 weeks. He is now 15 months old.I also feed some Earthborn Holistic and occasionally a patty from Natures Variety, mostly because he is a big guy and I can’t afford to feed this food exclusively. The Natures Variety is just easier at times. My guy definitely noticed the switch to more vegetables, but he is very lean and active so always hungry enough to still eat it. My biggest gripe is that this food is very expensive and they claim not to have switched anything when I can clearly look at the ingredients and see the changes. On top of that they are now raising prices. I keep thinking I am paying a lot of money for some beef and romaine lettuce…I am not sure what to do as far as alternatives go, because I live in a fairly small town and as a vegetarian myself am not all that keen on tackling the raw diet myself. And I still want him to get all organic and grass fed, hormone free meat.

  • John

    I have 2 dogs; they have eaten Darwins Raw and a third party dry exclusively since they were pups. My 4 year old has recently had severe digestive problems that may have started about the time that our most recent batch of Darwins arrived. I cannot determine if the new formula has been the root cause of his problem but I am suspect of the new batch of food. The younger dog is also starting to show some signs of diarrhea. FYI – He had a progressive loss of appetite (he usually has a tremendous food drive) until he would not eat at all and was unable to keep anything down even water. The vet did blood work and stool analysis that were all negative. Although xrays showed an inflamed colon with no sign of obstruction. He is on the mend with treatment but I am very suspect of the latest batch of frozen Raw beef from Darwins. I am looking for alternative brands.

  • Deschka Regen

    Anyone else notice and have concerns about the recent formula changes? When questioned about them, they have denied any recent changes to formulations, however I have both the old and new packages for comparison. They have increased the vegetables quite significantly, with romaine lettuce being the third ingredient now, which also has reduced the caloric count per serving. Beef hearts and liver are way down on the list now. I can only speak for the beef formula, but I am very upset and concerned, especially since they have not disclosed this change.

  • james P

    Dear DFA Friends,

    Darwin’s is aware of recent articles discussing the issues of raw pet food and Exogenous Thyrotoxicosis from raw beef pet foods.

    In light of this, we have taken steps to assure our products do not contain residual thyroid tissue, and in fact have reached out to our beef suppliers to certify that that are in compliance with regulations of trimming specifications, as our products contain Grade A trim meat. ( think stew meat you would purchase in the store, only much larger pieces)

    “Trimmings are portions of meat remaining after the preparation of primal cuts from carcass, side, quarter or portion of the carcass. Trimming packs must not include any portion of head meat, internal organs, major tendons or ligaments. Items classed as Fancy Meats (Offal), major tendons or ligaments must not be included.”

    Darwin’s trimmings are made up of primal cuts or portions of primal cuts. The glands and offals are removed before the carcass even hits the fabrication floor, and is consistent with our specifications on trimmings, and our findings from visiting our suppliers’ processing floor.

    Darwin’s is committed to providing you and your pets with the highest quality pet food you are accustomed to feeding. We appreciate the opportunity and trust afforded to us in feeding your pets.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly


    James Pendergast
    Product Manager
    Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

  • Kathy Niskala

    Which raw foods don not have gullet or thyroid tissue in them for sure?? NorthWest Naturals told me that none of their raws have any thyroid tissue in them,because they only use human grade meats…NV told me the same,but what about Primal and the others?? If they use the necks,it can have some of the thyroid on it..according to Dr. Jean Dodds,where I read about all this..and scared me into not using raw every day……

  • theBCnut

    I trust you mean hyperthyroidism. Thanks for posting. This is a real problem that every raw feeder has to be aware of.

  • chiapink

    Heard that this food is not devoid of the gullet and thyroid tissue in the beef and other formulas, hypothyroidism is a definite outcome if feeding this food for any length of time, can cause death, look it up and also call this company and ask them and also ask them to stop this practice.

  • April French Leavitt

    Well, I just ordered the 10 lbs trial. Then read these comments..

  • Crazy4cats

    Glad I could get things rolling for you! Lol! You are an inspiration! Intelligent, patient and hilarious!

    Good luck to you!

  • OliviaYewTu

    You were there on Wednesday…that’s the only day they ship. And, magically, they DID get an order for me on that delivery truck! My dog eats a little less than 4 pounds a week, Darwin sends 11 weeks of food at one time. That means that I will have NOTHING in my freezer, except dog food for the next 6 weeks or so…I sure wish that I lived close to them, as you do, so I could pick it up 10-14 pounds each time, instead of getting 44 pounds dumped on my doorstep every 3 months…(admittedly, THEY pay the shipping costs)

    Darwins is GREAT FOOD, MY DOG LOVES IT, HE IS HEALTHIER!!! If that weren’t the case, I’m sure that many people, who have been ordering and dealing with their computer problem wouldn’t have kept buying from them. Darwin DID hire some GREAT temporary customer service people, who are VERY PROFESSIONAL, and who do their best to soothe the customers frustrations; and their usual staff are just as helpful. I’ve also received the mass mailings from the owner of DARWIN, explaining the situation, and he asked for people to ONLY SEND EMAIL, not to call…but I need not explain how frustrating it is to communicate via voice mail or email, and not talk to a “real person”.

    I, too hope that DARWIN solves these “computer problems”…I DO NOT WANT TO FIND ANOTHER MANUFACTURER for my dogs food needs…and, I cannot say enough great things about their product!! French Bulldogs are notorious for having skin problems, allergy issues, and every other medical problem known to do and man…and my Boo is a notorious “picky eater”…but, on DARWIN, he has NO HEALTH PROBLEMS! He plays like a puppy, his coat is soft and glossy, no ear issues…no problems at all. I have not found any large bones, or any other dangerous thing in the food or had the food hurt my dog in any way…nothing like I have read here…the only issue has been this lingering “computer problem”…

    Way back, when I was a working person…it was ALWAYS recommended that when changing to a new computer system, to run the new system and the old, side by side, concurrently, as the new system was implemented, something Darwin seems not to have done. (In my opinion, a huge gaff) and if I were Darwin, I’d be suing the computer consultants for “lost business” and the expense of having to hire temporary workers to fix the issues caused by the new installation!

    As far as others comments about the quality of the food…Grampa used to say “if everyone liked the same thing, they’d all be chasing gramma!” It is our differences that make life interesting…and we don’t have to like the same thing as our neighbor. Which explains the many brands available. For us, DARWIN works great.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Olivia-
    I actually visited their warehouse yesterday. I don’t feed Darwin’s, but I live in the area and have been reading the complaints on this site and thought I’d check it out. I talked to a lady that blamed a new computer ordering system that went hay wire and that they were about 9,000 emails and phone calls behind, but just about caught up now. I saw people working in the office and in the warehouse loading up a delivery van. What a mess. I hope they get your orders straightened out!

  • OliviaYewTu

    I started Darwin about 3-4 months ago…every month–the same flipping thing–I send an e mail asking them to make a change, or ship right away…and the entire process turns into a giant Chinese fire drill. My do REALLY likes the food (except the beef, which he regurgitates EVERY time…and when I told them I had 6 pounds of food I couldn’t use, would they take it back, I was told to “donate it” to the local shelter…(can you see the steam coming out of my ears?) I asked them to PLEASE MAKE A NOTE: NO BEEF!!!

    5 days ago, I asked them to send my shipment early, said how much I wanted…easy, right? I said “if you have a question, please call”. and gave my phone number. Did they call? No…they sent an email asking how much I wanted…and then outlined an order that included BEEF…

    They haven’t answered my return email…telling them how much I wanted (in POUNDS), a reminder of NO BEEF…and AGAIN, a request to tell me the cost. They ship only ONE DAY PER WEEK. That’s it…

    My dog loves the food…but honestly…buying dog food should not be THIS DIFFICULT!!! I think I’ve ordered my last bit of Darwin…I really don’t need a monthly migraine headache every time I order food…additionally…the order is for ELEVEN WEEKS…omg! I don’t have a EXTRA freezer, Just the refrigerator freezer…so, all I have in my freezer is dog food!!

  • InkedMarie

    if you are on fb, go to their page. Lots of unhappy customers

  • Patty Franklin

    Has Darwin’s gone out of business? My last shipment was 2 days late and I refused delivery (they ship to us in Montana from Seattle). I’ve been trying to contact them for 6 days and there is no response. They don’t answer their phones, return messages or respond to emails. Anyone know what’s going on?

  • bohicasis


  • Rebecca

    I am also requesting a refund. They said they would refund what I had to throw away, but I have yet to see it. I also had packages of beef mangled and torn so bad I had to throw that away as well.

  • Goirishx71

    I am requesting a refund on all the food I have to throw out. Four packages so far in this shipment with bone chips. Poor sick dog and vet bills I did not need!

  • Rebecca

    Yes, exactly. I complained to Darwin’s about bone chunks and splinters I was picking out of the food. I noticed that there was some blood in my dogs stool. On Darwin’s blood in stool, off Darwin’s – using a different raw food – no blood. Now if I could just get them to cancel my account. I’m sorry your dog got sick. I reported this to them almost three weeks ago… they said it was a new grinder… but it appears to be an ongoing issue.

  • el doctor

    Hi Goirishx71

    Welcome to DFA!

    I’m sorry your pup is having problems with Darwin’s. I think going homemade is a great choice.

    Raw is not for everyone, or every dog. There is the increased bacterial load over cooked food and bones worry me.

    People including myself look to the diet that dogs and their ancestors have been eating for hundreds of thousands of years as a good starting point for figuring out what to feed your dog. What worries me about raw and particularly bones is this:

    1) Any individual dog (probably most dogs) could come from a line of dogs that has never eaten raw. What adaptations have they made in the generations of no raw. Has their ability to deal with raw been diminished? It is not a question you can get a conclusive answer to.

    2) When wolves are studied, they find large pieces of bone wrapped in hair in their scat (poop). This hair protects their insides from being damaged by the shards. When dogs are fed bones or fragments of bones, they don’t have the same protection as wolves, who eat the hides of their prey. So I wonder if their insides are being damaged by the unprotected bones.

    Here is a link to a post I made with two recipes which are balanced and complete when you add the supplements I refer to. They are bone free. I lightly cook these recipes, but they can be fed raw.

    I also recommend a book that is pretty user friendly and will help you on your journey to feeding your dogs homemade meals.

    Good Luck and let me know how things are going.


  • Goirishx71

    Could you please give me a recipe suggestion for making my own diet as we are discontinuing all commercially made raw.

  • Goirishx71

    Increase in fat means looser softer stool that does not clear the anal lubricant as does firmer desired density stool that clears the anal gland. This anal build up causes discomfort and can lead to anal infection. Also causes “fish but odor.”

  • Goirishx71

    I posted above problems I am having with Darwin’s and this caught my eye as my Irish Jack Russell just started the anal lubricant leaking and his licking it after starting this second shipment….now I know why. Between both issues I am tossing out $70 worth of food rather do that than watch my little guy in distress and incur another $187 vet bill.

  • Goirishx71

    Yes, I have and my dog has had vomiting and diarrhea with blood after eating them We are discontinuing Darwin’s as our pup is now on antibiotics and anti nausea drugs. Vet says small bone chips may have scraped his insides causing small bleed and opportunity for infection. Because of so many raw food recalls wevare rethinking the whole raw diet…

  • Rebecca

    Darwin’s dog food Natural selections duck, and the others as well, now list the first ingredient as duck necks, duck wings, duck gizzards, thigh meat, hearts, etc. The first ingredient is not meat but mostly ground up bony necks that are not well ground but rather different sizes of bony chunks and bony splinter pieces.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    I used to recommend Darwin’s before they changed their formulas. When they started using meats with a higher fat content I felt they were moving in the wrong direction from the Ancestral Diet, they talk about on their website.

    When you add up the numbers for their Natural Selection line the distribution of calories is on avg;

    Protein 39.2%
    Fat 55.2%
    Carbs 5.7%

    Their Natural Selection line has moved away from the Ancestral Diet with lower protein and higher fat and that is exactly what I thought would happen when they started using meat with a higher fat content.

    So now I encourage people to prepare a homemade diet using pasture raised, grass finished meats (if possible), that is much less expensive AND much closer to a dog’s Ancestral Diet than Darwin’s

  • theBCnut

    Hi Shawna
    Not James, but remember way back when he asked me to call him? Part of our discussion was that they were, at that time, in the process of implementing new procedures to guarantee that the grass fed animals would be fed alfalfa while waiting for processing rather than grain.

  • Shawna

    Hi James,

    I was wondering if you could tell me if the Natural Selections “free range” meat are from grass or grain finished livestock?

    Thanks for any clarification you can provide.