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Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food Review (Raw Frozen)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: May 1, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Rating:
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Which Darwin’s Natural Selections Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food earns The Advisor’s highest star rating of 5 stars.


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

Each recipe below includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Darwin’s Chicken with Organic Vegetables 5 U
Darwin’s Duck with Organic Vegetables 5 U
Darwin’s Turkey with Organic Vegetables 5 U
Darwin’s Beef with Organic Vegetables 5 U
Darwin’s Lamb with Organic Vegetables 5 U

Recipe and Label Analysis

Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Darwin's Natural Selections Duck

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

46.2%

Protein

34.6%

Fat

11.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Duck meat, duck gizzards, duck hearts, duck livers, organic romaine lettuce, organic yellow squash, organic sweet potatoes, organic carrots, organic zucchini, duck necks, organic celery, organic sunflower seed oil, fish oil (source of DHA), organic parsley, sea salt, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D3


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 12% 9% NA
Dry Matter Basis 46% 35% 11%
Calorie Weighted Basis 33% 59% 8%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”. 1. Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken necks (bone in). Raw chicken neck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.

The third ingredient is chicken gizzards, 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 chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle – all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.


The sixth ingredient is organic carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and fiber.

The seventh ingredient is organic lettuce. This green leafy vegetable is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, lettuce boasts an exceptionally high nutrient Completeness Score 2 of 88.

The eighth ingredient is organic 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.

Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating. That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen) looks like an above-average dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 26.9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 0%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49.8% and a mean fat level of 36.7%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 0% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Which means the Darwins’ Natural Selections product line has:

Above-average protein, above-average fat and below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Our Rating of Darwin’s Dog Food

Darwin’s Natural Selections is a quality product for any pet parent looking for a raw diet option.

Highly recommended.

Darwin’s Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Darwin’s through July.


You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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