Darwin’s ZooLogics (Raw Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

The Darwin’s ZooLogics product line includes four 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 ZooLogics Beef and Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s ZooLogics Duck and Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s ZooLogics Turkey and Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s ZooLogics Chicken and Vegetables (4.5 stars) [U]

Darwin’s ZooLogics Turkey and Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Darwin's ZooLogics Turkey and Vegetables

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 52% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Turkey necks, turkey thigh meat, turkey livers, turkey hearts, romaine lettuce, yams, zucchini, turkey gizzards, carrots, yellow squash, flax seed oil, celery, parsley, sea salt, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, choline chloride, vitamin E, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D3

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis13%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis52%28%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis39%52%9%
Protein = 39% | Fat = 52% | Carbs = 9%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey neck. Raw turkey neck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.

The second ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

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

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

The fourth ingredient includes turkey 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 fifth 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 sixth item includes yams. In much of North America, the word yam can be used interchangeably with the term sweet potatoes.

So, assuming this item is indeed sweet potatoes, it can be considered a good source of complex carbohydrates. In addition, yams are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.

The seventh ingredient is zucchini. Zucchini is a type of squash high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is turkey 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.

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 ZooLogics Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Darwin’s ZooLogics looks like an above-average raw dog food.

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 52%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 50% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

Above-average protein. Above-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 ZooLogics is a meat-based raw dog food using a generous amount of named meats and organs 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.

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
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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 and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 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
  • Barbara Brehm

    I am feeding a 24 lb standard poodle puppy. I need to know from others what the appropriate amount of Darwin’s is for this 18 week old puppy who stands 20″ at the shoulder and likes to play fetch across the length of a tennis court for half an hour without stop — I actually stop first. Zack adores Darwin’s natural selection turkey. We switched over from frozen Primal raw, not the freeze dried raw, which isn’t easy to get all varieties at any time from the nearby pet store. Zack was eating 1.25 lbs per day successfully of the frozen Primal raw.

  • Donna Edwards

    There is no way for a vet to determine the direct cause of an animal’s thyrotoxicosis. It could be due to the water the pet drank, flea or pest control given, some environmental chemical or pesticide used around the home, cleaning agents…….. Most vets blame raw food because they’ve learned to believe that it is the best food while in school. Its not true. Most pet food is worse than scraps an animal could get from trash cans.

  • I’ve been feeding one of my dogs Darwin’s and he loves it!! I’ve found ordering from them to be very painless and it’s no problem to skip a month as I’m finding that ordering every second month works best for the amount my pup eats.

  • Theresa Rice Litourneau

    I have been feeding Darwin’s for at least ten years, and have extremely healthy dogs. I have found they alway’s answer emails, (except awhile ago when they were changing over their system ) and have also worked with the packaging, trying to find out from customers what was easier for them to open etc. They deliver to my door once a mont and remind me several days before that it is coming. my two dogs stay at an excellent weight, and also rarely visit a vet except for a wellness exam, and as I do not vaccinate yearly as it has been shown that after initial booster they are not needed, I have a titer test taken every couple years to make sure their immune systems are in order. My dogs love the food, and other than Ziwi Peak, or Honest Kitchen, I would feed nothing else !

  • Redhorse89

    If I could give you a standing ovation, I surely would. Excellent and well-thought-out and expressed response. I’m researching raw foods for my dogs. Darwin’s just got taken off the list. Thank you.

  • Mark M

    Review says you couldn’t find AAFCO ratings. I found them here.

    https://www.darwinspet.com/wp-content/uploads/Nutritional-Analysis-Turkey-Dog-Formula-ZLD-TK02.pdf

  • April French Leavitt

    Hi SCar

    Have you found a better company to work with around the same price range? I was on the website and then decided to come here to Dog Food Advisor and read the comments. Glad I did.

  • bojangles

    Hi SCar,

    Have you thought about feeding your pup a homemade diet?

  • bojangles

    Hi SCar,

    Have you thought about homemade?

  • bojangles

    Hi SCar, Welcome to DFA 🙂

    Darwin’s seemed liked it was going to be one of the good ones when it first came out. Steve Brown, one of my favorite nutrition gurus, helped design the original formulas.

    Darwin’s kind of crashed and burned, with many people like yourself having problems with quality, trust, formula changes, ethical issues, and so on.

    Unfortunately, even when, or if, the ingredients in this review get corrected, this formula will still get a 5 star rating.

    Things like customer complaints don’t affect the ratings a food gets on the dog food advisor 🙁

  • bojangles

    Hi Mike,

    “At the time of our last update of this review, Darwin’s reported the Guaranteed Analysis as “dry matter basis”. Not “as fed” which includes moisture.”

    At the time of your last update of this review on 9-13-2015, Darwins listed the “as fed” as well as the “dry matter” G.A. for the Turkey and Vegetable ZooLogics formula in this review.

    Here is the Sept 10, 2015 snapshot for the Turkey and Vegetable “as fed G.A” taken directly from Darwin’s own website.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150910021615/http://www.darwinspet.com/our-raw-foods/our-raw-dog-food/zoologics-turkey/

    And Darwin’s has consistently provided the “as fed” G.A of the formula in your review since at least 2012.

  • At the time of our last update of this review, Darwin’s reported the Guaranteed Analysis as “dry matter basis”. Not “as fed” which includes moisture. So, in this case, the dry matter GA is indeed the same figure as the dry matter on our table.

    The company has been recently switching its reporting to include both standards for GA. So, once we receive confirmation from Darwin’s that their website has been corrected for these recipes, we will update this review.

  • bojangles

    Hi Mike,

    The Guaranteed Analysis under the Estimated Nutrient Content in your review is also incorrect. It lists the dry matter content instead.

  • Dog food product recipes change all the time. For that is the nature of the industry.

    Like you (and as we state in every review), “we rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.”

    Although it’s our goal to maintain the accuracy of our reviews, it’s impossible for anyone to keep all the information for thousands of products up-to-date on a daily basis.

    Just the same, we do try to revisit and update each article at least once every 18 months — or more frequently whenever we’re alerted by a reader or a company of a product or recipe change.

    If the label of the food you purchase does not agree with a product’s website, please contact the company and advise them. After all, it’s their ethical and legal responsibility to keep their customers properly informed.

    Hope that helps.

  • SCar

    The ingredients on this website are inaccurate for Darwin’s Turkey with vegetable and I’m disheartened by the inaccuracy because it’s misinforming the public.

    Darwin’s is a deceptive company from their billing practices to their ingredients and changes they make to their ingredients but unwilling to admit to changing the recipes. Recently an MORE carrots have been added to their recipe and the company is unwilling to admit the change and unfortunately my dog is unable to digest them efficiently. I’m speaking from experience as a customer for a long, arduous and frustrating year.

    They have not been held accountable for their lack of ethics, poor customer service and denial of any wrong doing. I could write a book. I agree with Cindy Difranco in her frustration level with this company for different reasons but certainly a theme.

    This company needs to be inspected, audited and regulated top to bottom from billing practices to recipe contents. I’m so discouraged because anywhere you look online from Yelp, Facebook, Google and so on you see a pattern of customer distrust and the lack of customer care in response to concerns.

    Please see photos attached to this post. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/167d86d69c3adac184ce71e83a106347ceaba253a36aef236c1d77a26b4f9959.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/921b5d6657252f5a82aa0e0681da9f14985bd56f78e1e3092a656a45a921ab85.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3189d36747311fb5e6636285398c93da006c5e5f93704b3698dab860e461be02.jpg

    I do have high expectations that dogfoodadvisor will reevaluate and take heed to what customers are saying about this product and reduce the 5 star rating it certainly does not deserve.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Is it normal for a vet to have another vet as their dog’s vet? In her first post, she said “my vet said she could go blind” and in her 2nd one she said she was a vet

  • DogFoodie

    Hmm, I must’ve missed something. You referred to Cindy Difranco as Dr. Cindy. I don’t recall her mentioning she was a doctor.

  • aimee

    Hi Dr. Cindy,

    Thanks for posting about this issue. I too was disappointed in how Darwin’s responded to you.

    Did you report this to the FDA? If not I’d encourage you to do so to bring this growing problem to light.

    I didn’t know if raw product could be tested but from your post I see that it can be done. Do you have the authors or link source for the Canadian study you referenced?

    Do you know of any recommendations from the veterinary specialist in regards to if dogs are on raw or dehydrated raw diets that they should have thyroid levels routinely monitored?

    I’m so sorry that you and Rolo went through this.

  • Cindy Difranco

    While I try and appreciate your “too little too late” response to my concerns regarding your pet food, I find it leaves a bitter taste. First of all, to excuse Darwin’s lack of communication with me because of a 3 month long software “nightmare” is absolutely ridiculous and not acceptable. With an issue like this, where dogs’ health and possibly lives are in question, a non response equates to uncaring. This is where my frustration level currently is.

    James, in some of your other posts you claim you are not a veterinarian, but I am, and I can assure you that no matter what your personal “research” uncovered, there are only 3 things in this world that can cause thyroid values to be elevated to the degree that my dog’s thyroid levels were. They are :

    1. over supplementation with exogenous thyroid medication. This is not a viable option for Rolo because she has never been on thyroid supplementation.

    2. Primary thyroid tumor

    3. contamination through food (raw meat)

    To differentiate between 2 and 3 (I did not think Rolo had a primary thyroid tumor as that organ would have been enlarged and easily palpable on her neck and this was not found), at a specialists advice, we took Rolo off the Darwin’s food she had been on for over 6 months (March-Oct ’15). A thyroid level on Rolo from December of 2014, pre-Darwins, was not elevated. I tested Rolo’s thyroid (for another issue) in October of 15 and that test revealed thyroid hormone levels of nearly 4 times the upper limit of normal. I sent Rolo’s serum to the leading authority in the US on autoimmune issues especially concerning the thyroid. She contacted me with Rolo’s test results and suggested taking her off the raw food and rechecking in a month. If Rolo’s elevated thyroid values were from a tumor, her levels would still be very elevated. If they were from food she was eating (she was eating Darwin’s exclusively because of suspected food sensitivities), Rolo’s thyroid values would be normal.

    A 30 day recheck revealed all of Rolo’s thyroid values had returned to normal. This is a classic example of Occam’s Razor, and the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the food somehow, whether Darwin’s was aware of it or not, contained exogenous thyroid hormone. The instances you stated in your “research” will not cause thyroid levels to match Rolo’s .

    There are countless instances of thyrotoxicosis in both animals and people peppered all over the internet. If this can happen in the human food chain, despite rigorous regulations, is it not possible that it also can occur in the pet food chain, which is not nearly as well regulated as the human chain? Veterinary case studies abound that support thyrotoxicoses in dogs from contaminated meat sources and a recent Canadian study actually found that the blood and meat juices from beef carcasses were enough to cause thyrotoxicosis in a dog eating it. So it doesn’t have to be from stray thyroid gland.

    This brings up my next problem with your post James, and that is you state Rolo is the first and only case of this sort you have encountered, so it can’t be the food. Well, I had no idea she was thyrotoxic- 50% of dogs cited in other cases of food-related thyrotoxicosis were asymptomatic, but even with no symptoms, blindness, heart attack and stroke are very real possibilities from having severely elevated thyroid levels. So, dogs eating Darwins CAN be thyrotoxic and even die from this and the owners would never know it was from excessive thyroid if levels weren’t checked. Many of the case studies that revealed food-related thyrotoxicosis were found incidentally on routine bloodwork as the sick dogs were being evaluated for “other” issues- anestrus, aggression, anxiety etc. So your quote: “Darwin’s feeds thousands of dogs, and this is the first instance of this diagnosis.” is a poor excuse to use in defending your position that Darwin’s food could not have possibly caused Rolo’s issues. In fact, I was testing Rolo because I suspected she may have been LOW thyroid, so I was very surprised when her levels came back so high. The Veterinarian who tested Rolo’s serum did say she has seen several cases of dogs with elevated thyroid levels being fed raw food and that by removing the raw food, levels would quickly return to normal if the toxicosis came from the raw food. This is exactly what occurred with Rolo. There simply is no other conclusion to draw.

    James you tell me I can rest assured of Darwin’s food safety because your suppliers “assure” you of compliance and there is no contamination. And your suppliers could very well be getting cuts from their suppliers, and so on and you can clearly see how susceptible the pet food chain is to contamination on multiple levels. I have been to slaughter houses and meat packing plants and seeing how carcasses are handled leaves one with a very real awareness that any sense of “control” is often times academic. I think most people would be surprised to learn how spotty and inconsistent pet food ingredient inspection is, and how prevalent cross contamination is in both human and pet food industries. Just look at the continuous recalls occurring in the human food chain. Instead of abdicating Darwin’s of any responsibility in this case, you might have offered to do testing to prove that in fact Darwin’s meat does NOT contain contamination of thryoid in the slaughter/manufacture process. I think you might be surprised at the results of accurate testing. It seems to me this would be very valuable information for a company to have. If Darwin’s does not personally have independent test results from all of your suppliers, how can you assure me of anything? Simply put, you cannot.

    In summary, my ire with you is fueled by the fact that initially my concerns were ignored, then followed by my feeling like I had to defend my well researched position. I do not make accusations lightly and did so only because I felt I had the evidence needed to do so and wanted to bring a potentially serious issue to your attention so that it could be corrected. Though I did not have to, I consulted with a specialist to make sure I was correct in my position. This, combined with my personal knowledge of the factory farmed animal slaughter paradigm and spotty pet food regulation leaves me feeling that I am justified in my issues with Darwin’s food.

  • Hi aimee

    Someone’s been studying 😉

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Aimee,

    I’m not sure if it’s ABC or 123, but the USDA uses both methods to determine the quality of the beef. The maturity of the beef is affecting the quality and is part of the grading process. The younger the beef, the better the grading:

    “USDA Grades for Meat and Poultry

    Beef
    Beef is graded as whole carcasses in two ways:

    quality grades – for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and

    yield grades – for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. There are eight quality grades for beef. Quality grades are based on the amount of marbling (flecks of fat within the lean), color, and maturity.”

    USDA Link:

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/production-and-inspection/inspection-and-grading-of-meat-and-poultry-what-are-the-differences_/inspection-and-grading-differences/!ut/p/a1/jZFRT4MwEMc_DY9di8yF-UZIzIYOXBYd42Xp4FpIoCVtkcxPb8EHnRm69qV39_tf2__hDKc4E_S94tRUUtB6iLPFkWzJwl2GJEqW7iNZx2_b5CkMib-7t8DhDyD2btRPrID8p49uuOBObcINx1lLTYkqwSROORhEhe5BaZwyKQukKQNzRozmBukSwNhCq2TR5YMVFi6sVLcwhjj9Po8lrmhRCY4kQw1QM-Za2dVGnVFfDgkFyJSAiooxUCBy0MfJLj8gvMfZ5ReJa_c69nbzVRR7JJn_Bq7M4AuYNtm6yGt5Ggd-CMTJ861dCoZHqFmnbLo0ptUPDnFI3_czLiWvYZbLxiHXJKXUBqeXJG6b1_TjOViR6qXZ-zr4BEpuht4!/#3

    Here’s Texas A&M explaining how beef is graded. It’s graded both by quality and age and uses the ABC system:

    http://meat.tamu.edu/beefgrading/

  • aimee

    Goodness where did i ever say nothing goes into a USDA grade of Prime?

    I stand by my statement There is no such thing as “Grade A” beef in the USDA system. There is group A that refers to age, but not grade A which refers to quality.

    So far no one has posted anything that supports a USDA designation of Grade A beef nor a pic of a USDA sheild. There is a Canadian Term Grade A and I already edited my original post to reflect this.

    Here is a visual for understanding the grading process.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEHwm1gIj-w

    Companies discredit themselves as evident here when the company failed to respond in a timely manner to any contact from the OP

  • aquariangt

    Still incorrect, in fact when this was posted yesterday I had my beef file out, which includes usda grading procedures. As storms mom said, it isn’t rocket science, and if you think that there is nothing that goes into getting a prime designation, that’s naive. And I’m not in Canada. Your quest to discredit every non major food company is comical at this point. I do wonder what lot you have thrown in with some of them, but I’m sure you’ll counter that, though, like you, I’m skeptical, and very much so of every motive you have.

    For the record, I don’t feed darwins, don’t like the formulation these days

  • Cindy Difranco

    I agree- instead of looking into the problem, Darwin’s hopped on the defensive and informed me that this condition could NOT have come from their food because their suppliers are impeccable with their commitment to quality! Darwin’s didn’t blame their suppliers, they blamed Rolo! (see post) When if fact, there are only 2 things that can cause elevated thyroid levels to the extent Rolo’s were elevated and by removing Darwin’s food from her diet, her levels immediately returned to normal. Darwins claims there have been no other reports like this and why would there be? I had no idea Rolo was thyrotoxic and in fact was testing her because i suspected LOW thyroid. If she had died (and they can die

    from levels as high as Rolo’s), I would have never known why- I certainly would not have run bloodwork on her post mortem. So it IS possible other dogs are thyrotoxic on raw food but the owners don’t know it. That said, Rolo today is happy and healthy and I am so grateful that nothing bad happened to her when her thyroid levels were so high. Thanks for your reply!

  • aimee

    el doctor,

    Thanks for the additional information.
    The letter designations are for maturity groups which is very different from grade. Group.. Grade two very different things : )

    I watched a video of meat grading and in that the carcass was stamped with 30 months not letter maturity groups.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Actually, A-E grades are used for one of the 2 measures (factors) that go into designating meat as Prime, Choice, etc. The other measure (factor) is “Degree of Marbling”.

  • Storm’s Mom

    http://fyi.uwex.edu/wbic/files/2011/04/Beef-Grading.pdf

    This document (pg 1-2 in particular) shows that James’s statement is factual.

  • Hi aimee

    How’s that for a courteous reply 😉

    Grade A trim is not referring to the quality grade of the underlying meat, i.e;

    Prime
    Choice
    Select

    Standard
    Commercial
    Utility

    It refers to the fatty layer that is trimmed from the carcass so that the cuts of meat we are familiar with (sirloin, porterhouse, filet mignon, etc) can be harvested.

    So basically it’s the stuff that is made into hamburger.

  • aquariangt

    I won’t. Keep looking, you can find it, but its fairly common knowledge in food service.

  • aimee
  • aquariangt

    Actually several portions of the USDA grading process including alpha grading-including A. Prime, Choice, and Select are only what the masses know and expect to hear.

  • aimee

    Hi James,

    I’m not a Darwin’s customer but I saw your response and there are things about it that I find concerning.

    You refer to the beef in your product as Grade A “our Beef products contain Grade A trim meat.” yet there is no such USDA designation. Beef is graded as Prime, Choice, Select etc. This may be a simple error but in the back of my mind I wonder if it is intentional to lead the consumer to believe that they are getting a “top of the line” product.

    The OP said she got confirmation that the problem was food related. I’m not sure how that was done. It may have been that a correlation was found between feeding your product and an elevated thyroid level.

    You put forth other possible causes of finding an elevated thyroid level. The results on a retest would still be high if something like auto immunity or a pituitary problem was in play. In other words there wouldn’t be a correlation with your food.

    In regards to an autoimmune process leading to elevated thyroid test result… the dog’s thyroid level doesn’t elevate only the test result does. The autoantibodies interfere with the assay.

    This is an easily recognized cause of an elevated thyroid test as the auto antibody level will be high as well. The patient has no clinical signs of thyrotoxicosis as the patient’s actual thyroid levels is not elevated. In fact the patient may actually be hypothyroid.

    You wrote ” I can assure
    you, Darwin’s Beef and Organic Vegetables does not contain additional thyroid issue, or “cheaper gullet” meat.”

    Will you elaborate on the phrase “additional thyroid issue (sic)” as you seem to be saying that Darwin’s does recognize that thyroid tissue is in their product.

    Finally how are you verifying that you are getting what you are paying for? What type of testing do you do on your meat? Do you test your meat for thyroid hormone? Can that even be done?

  • Hi Cindy Difranco

    I’m very sorry that your dog developed thyroid issues from eating Darwin’s raw beef formula! How is he doing? I hope he is doing well 😉

    I wish that companies, instead of admitting nothing and/or blaming their suppliers, would take full responsibility for issues like these, because in the end, they’re the ones who sold you the product.

  • james P

    Dear Cindy,

    I’d like to apologize
    formally for your frustrations of trying to contact our customer service department. As others have mentioned here, we were involved in a software upgrade that had gone horribly wrong. I feel we have made great strides in tackling this issue, and you should be experiencing service levels you had come to expect from Darwin’s.

    Having just recently become aware of this post, I needed time to research and understand this issue, of Darwin’s being the cause of Rolo’s Exogenous Thyrotoxicosis from feeding Darwin’s Natural Selections Beef & Organic Vegetable formula.

    I am aware of recent studies implicating raw food diets with excessive thyroid tissue and being attributable to Thyrotoxicosis. In light of this, I have contacted our beef suppliers to certify;
    a) They are in compliance with regulations of trimming specifications, as our Beef products contain Grade A trim meat. b) Our trim meat does not contain
    residual thyroid tissue, gullet or trachea.

    Darwin’s trim meat 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.

    “Trimmings are portions of meat remaining after the preparation of primal cuts from the 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 is committed to providing you, and your pets with the highest quality pet food. I can assure
    you, Darwin’s Beef and Organic Vegetables does not contain additional thyroid issue, or “cheaper gullet” meat.

    Through my research, I have learned there are more than two possible causes for elevated thyroid levels
    than just thyroid tumors or ingesting thyroxin from supplements or food. These include auto-immune diseases, which account for a vast majority of thyroid and other glandular disorders. They may also be triggered by other food ingredients, drugs, vaccinations and anything else that the body is capable of reacting to. There are cases of over
    stimulation of the thyroid by the pituitary gland.

    Cindy, I am sorry that you and Rolo have had this experience. Darwin’s feeds thousands of dogs, and this is the first instance of this diagnosis.

    I’d like to speak with you directly to learn more of this situation, and help isolate Rolo’s reactions o our products.

    Sincerely,

    James Pendergast
    Product Manager
    Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

  • InkedMarie

    thanks for explaining

  • Cindy Difranco

    Dr Dodds did state that she has noticed dogs being thyrotoxic with certain raw foods when the cheaper gullet meat (meat from the neck and throat) is incorporated into the mix. She did not implicate any particular brands of food. The meat itself is not the issue- it’s fine for consumption, it’s when the beef thyroid is not removed and gets ground up into the food that is the issue. The dogs ingest the beef thyroid and their bodies utilize the hormone as it is not destroyed by gastric acid

  • neezerfan
  • InkedMarie

    Did the vet say how the beef caused the disease?

    Regarding Darwins, if you are on FB, go to their page, click on the last few things they have posted, read the comments. Your dogs illness is not the reason they haven’t responded; they aren’t responding to many people, from what I’ve read.

  • Cindy Difranco

    I just received confirmation that my dog’s thyrotoxicosis was caused by feeding her Darwin’s raw beef formula, the one claiming to be “antibiotic and hormone free” with organic veggies. Her thyroid level was so high that my vet said she could have gone blind, had a stroke or died. Attempts to contact Darwins have resulted in frustration as no one has gotten back in touch with me despite multiple calls and e mails. This is reprehensible in my mind. Pets are at risk for death or disability and Darwin’s gives the impression that they don’t care. So I will take it upon myself to spread the word via reviews and other sites to let people know about this company. Since no one has contacted me about why this may have happened, I am left to formulate my own theories and conclude that Darwin’s uses substandard ingredients and their lack of communication conveys uncaring that is not only frustrating but unacceptable.

  • InkedMarie

    I would contact James Pendergast from Darwins at James at DarwinsPet dot com & see if he responds

  • Kristin Lord

    I have been trying to contact them to cancel my trial(my cats hate it) for over a month now no answer. I have sent over 5 emails and left 3 voicemails and guess who got a shipping confirmation email for my 20lbs of pet food this morning? I am calling my bank to put a stop pay on them. This is no way to do business!

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve been following along on FB….sounds like such a mess and alot of unhappy customers

  • DogFoodie
  • beaglemom

    Darwins appears to be having issues with a new computer system upgrade. As a result, email and phone response times have been much longer than normal. I’ve gotten 2-3 emails explaining what’s going on.

  • DogFoodie

    Have you tried contacting James Pendergast directly? His email address is James (at) darwinspet (dot) com.

  • InkedMarie

    Such a shame. I used to order from them & always had good customer service.

  • sjoyce

    as a Darwin Zoologics Raw Beef and Duck customer i can confirm that they have changed their formulas. And, the change has caused issues for my dog, Ginger a 11yr old female goldendoodle, ears and rears (scratching and licking), and burbing which i am told dogs should never do. Should mention that i have made repeted attempts to contact Darwin, but have had no return calls or emails as of yet.

  • Carol

    i switched my two from Natural Selections to Zoological last year. They had no reaction at all to the change.

  • Deb Smith-Utes

    i was very interested in trying this product. However, I saw many complaints on the Natural Selections formula change recently, and dogs not tolerating it well. Have any users of the Zoologics line experienced this also?

  • Edrie Blackwelder

    i did the homemade route for 3 1/2 years for my diabetic sammy – until his death.

    darwins is a better choice because they have the equipment to do the ground bone while i had to do bone meal – i can’t complain about any of their products! and, neither can my 18 month old samoyed!

  • Edrie Blackwelder

    i feed my samoyed darwins with great success. my previous sammy was diabetic so i cooked for him due to the additives in the “prescription” canned foods – i only wish i knew of darwins then – the vitamins, minerals and human grade quality meats in darwins have given me a happy and healthy puppy to dog for about the same cost as premium dry dog foods. i highly recommend this product!

  • Beth Knuth

    So excited to receive news Darwin’s signed the pet food pledge at Susan Thixton’s Truth About Pet Foods. I love Darwin’s even more now, I had asked them to sign that pledge awhile ago.

  • dchassett

    I’ve thought about it for a couple of seconds and realize that I don’t really want to do that, I’m 1. Too lazy, 2. Don’t have the time, 3. Afraid I’ll get it wrong, 4. And, lastly, as Vicky said, by the time you by the proteins, fruits, veggies, supplements, and everything else to make it nutritionally balanced and the time, and rather purchase the good quality commercial raws. All that being said, I have three small dogs that each eat 1/4 twice a day. If I had large dogs I would never be able to afford commercial raw all the time. I’m not always in the best of health (autoimmune illness) so I’d also be afraid of the times I’m not well enough to make and have on hand home made raw. It’s not an illness that you know when your going to be too out of it to function. You can’t plan. My life has to be lived pretty much spontaneous which at one time I would have thought would have been a lovely way to be live, now I realize NOT SO MUCH! Be careful what you wish for is what I say now.

  • dchassett

    Hi Beth. Primal is another really good raw. My dogs really do fabulous on it. Only their chicken is HPP, not any of their other proteins. You might think about adding it to your rotation. Just a thought.

  • dchassett

    I agree with that reasoning also.

  • vicky

    Hi Betsy, I’m glad this helped. If you are feeding duck or turkey you might try the zoologics – I rotate my two boxers meals (50% natural selections beef, 25% zoologics turkey and 25% zoologics duck) and they are fine with the turkey and duck most of the time.

  • vicky

    Hi, I’m glad this helped… I too have considered going the home made route but have not for the very same reasons – fear of feeding an unbalanced diet. After I purchase all of the nutritional additives and spend the time it will take for prep – it just seems easier and lest costly to purchase complete meals.

  • dchassett

    Thanks so much Vicky for your post. I’ve been ordering from Darwins their naturals formula. I’ve never ordered the Zoological formula. Unfortunately, for me, one of my dogs can only eat their Beef or Bison so that’s what I’ve been ordering. They are doing fabulous on this, I was just hoping that everyone else was having success on the Zoological formula because it’s less expensive. I figured there really had to be a difference. For now I’ll stick with their Natural formulas. Thanks so much for your post. It convinced me not to switch to the Zoological formula. My dogs have done the very best on Primal Prontos, I was just hoping to find another good raw commercial with less fat. I’ve got three very small (toy) dogs and always worry about how much fat raw commercial dog foods have. And….no, I don’t want to go the raw home made route myself. Lazy me? I don’t know. It’s a lot or worry making sure that doing it myself at some point I’ll wind up feeding the girls unbalanced meals. Again, thanks for posting to my question.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Vicky,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I use Natural Selections for my occasional raw meals and had thought maybe I could save some money by switching to ZooLogics.

    However, after reading about your experience, I think I’ll continue on as I have.

    I appreciate your insight.

  • vicky

    My two boxers have been on the natural selections beef and zoological turkey and duck for years and love it. recently, darwins shipped zoolicals beef in error and while I noticed a significant difference in the fat content (it was marbled and coated the fork I use to mix the food) it wasn’t until the third feeding that I picked up that something was wrong. both dogs refused to eat the food. I picked up the package to check the expiration date and noticed it was zoologicals not natural selections. both dogs ended up with gastrointestinal upset from the higher fat content. it took a couple of weeks before they would eat beef again and I had to switch them to natures instinct beef. Darwin’s insists that the two options have the exact same formulation. there is definitely something about free range, grain fed vs. conventionally raised (hormone/antibiotic injected) animals that my two boxers noticed. and it is significant enough to upset their tummy’s and cause them to go on a beef strike for weeks. i use the zoologics turkey and duck because the US does not allow use of hormones/drugs in the poultry industry so I am less concerned about exposure to unnecessary substances. if your breed of dog is not sensitive to higher fat content in foods, the zoological may be just fine. my boxers do not tolerate high fat foods.

  • Beth Knuth

    I did not know that, they had just started it not long ago and now they don’t do again? I liked Bravo and it was easy to get and priced well but I did not know they stopped the HPP.

  • Bravo stopped using HPP. I sat in on a presentation from the creator a month or two ago.

  • Beth Knuth

    I have not fed the more expensive Darwin’s, just the Zoologicals. I have tried other raws, we did BARF, from California, Butch stopped liking it. That is when I changed to Darwin’s. We have used Nature’s Variety and Bravo but when I learned they went HPP, I stopped using them, but Butch did like the taste.

  • dchassett

    Thanks. I guess I could have just gone to their site and checked for myself.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Have you thought of making your own?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    They’re the same exact thing except that the Zoologics uses conventionally raised meats and veggies and the Natural Selections uses free-range meats and organic veggies. The ingredients and general analyses are the same.

  • dchassett

    Hi Beth. Are you feeding the Zoologicals or the Natural? If you’ve fed both have you found any difference with them. I’ve been feeding the higher priced one but I’d sure like to switch to Zoologicals for the cost. Also what other brands of raw do you feed if any? Thx, Dori.

  • Beth Knuth

    Butch is doing so well on this! I have went complete Darwin’s and immediately his coat became like silk and he smells like a flower, that just shows you what crap is in even the better kibble! I had to go Darwin’s, he was puke burping and actually vomiting his whole kibble meal at night. This was the grain in brand of NutriSource, but he still puke burped with grain free.

  • theBCnut

    I’m glad to see this review. Thanks Dr. Mike.