Darwin’s Pet, like many other top dog food delivery companies, ships nutrient-rich food personalized for your pup right to your door. But unlike its competitors, Darwin’s Pet’s meals are raw. That’s right: The company serves minimally processed meals comprised of raw meat and vegetables, designed to preserve vital nutrients and fit a dog’s natural, ancestral diet. The formulas are non-GMO and free of hormones and antibiotics, and are formulated under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists.
|Raw meat & vegetable ingredients||Can be expensive|
|Multiple categories and flavors to fit your pet’s tastes & medical issues||Requires refrigerator & freezer space for up to 10 weeks’ worth of food|
|Meals formulated by a veterinarian nutritionist||Meals are not pre-portioned|
|No preservatives or fillers|
|Fortified with oils & vitamins|
|Ships for a nominal fee anywhere in the contiguous 48 states|
|Pause or cancel your subscription anytime|
|First 10 pounds of food is only $14.95|
|Raw food meals made of vegetables & humanely-raised meat|
|Recipes formulated under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists|
|Formulas for pets with medical issues like cancer, kidney problems & more|
|Shipped via UPS directly to your home|
|Pause, change or cancel your subscription anytime|
What is Darwin’s Pet?
Natural pet foods are the fastest-growing products for pets. And when it comes to carnivores like our dogs and cats, it doesn’t get much more natural than raw meat—that’s what Darwin’s Pet delivers. While other purveyors of “natural” and “fresh” meals for pets send food that’s cooked, subscribers to Darwin’s Pet receive boxes of pet meals comprised of raw meat and vegetables that the company says are the healthiest and most nutrient-rich options for the lion—or wolf—in your living room.
These aren’t just packages of ground hamburger, of course. Darwin’s Pet works with veterinary nutritionists to develop raw meals that include muscle and organ meat, seasonal vegetables like carrots, lettuce and squashes for dogs, and nutrient mixes including oils, vitamins and minerals. The company says that eating these foods raw, instead of cooked, can help your pet have more energy, improved skin and coat condition, fewer health issues, and even live a longer life.
Darwin’s Pet makes raw meals for both dogs and cats. There are three categories of dog meals: “Natural Selections,” which is the company’s base meal, “Biologics,” which are a slightly less expensive option, and “Intelligent Design” meals, which are designed for different medical issues, and can be prescribed by a veterinarian.
The Natural Selections dog meals come in five flavors—chicken, turkey, beef, duck and lamb. Each is made of roughly 75 percent of the main meat—from antibiotic-free organ and muscle meat—and 25 percent vegetables. These ingredients are then supplemented with nutrient mixes of oils, vitamins and minerals.
Biologics meals come in chicken, turkey and beef flavors, and are made from roughly the same percentage mixture of meats and veggies. And Intelligent Design meals are available for dogs with any of four different medical issues: There’s Kidney Support formula, Liver Support formula, Cancer Support formula and Joint & Musculoskeletal Support formula.
The cat food varieties offered by Darwin’s Pet skip the vegetables, and are made only of meat, ground bones and a nutrient mix. Cat food is offered in “Natural Selections” and “Intelligent Design” categories.
The Natural Selections for cats are in chicken, turkey and lamb varieties. There’s only one Intelligent Design selection—for kidney support.
All of the ingredients in all of Darwin’s Pet’s formulas and flavors are non-GMO, free of steroids, hormones and antibiotics, and compliant with the nutritional level standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for pet food.
When you order from Darwin’s Pet, there’s a starter offer: The first 10 pounds of food are $14.95. This is a huge discount compared to the regular prices, which can range from just under five dollars per pound to almost nine dollars per pound.
Meals are delivered to your door for a nominal fee—about one dollar—via UPS, with the food packed in dry ice. Inside are packages containing two pounds of food each—these can be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight in the included “thaw tub” before serving. For most pets, the food can be eaten raw.
After your trial 10 pounds, your account is billed and food is delivered every few weeks, depending on how much your pet needs to eat each week. You can change or cancel your subscription at any time.
Fans of Darwin’s Pet say their pets are stronger and more active than before, have fewer skin and medical problems, and generally seem like happier pups and kitties.
Darwin’s Pet makes it easy to feed your pet a raw diet focused on meat. The meals are delivered to your door, easy to store and thaw, and were designed by veterinary nutritionists.
How It Works
Darwin’s Pet delivers packages of raw meals for your dog and cat directly to your door. The meals are available in multiple flavors from multiple categories depending on your budget, as well as your animal’s tastes and medical needs.
When you sign up, you’ll fill in your pet’s name, breed, gender, ideal adult weight and life stage—kitten/puppy, adult or senior. You’ll then be asked whether your pet has any food allergies—specifically to the meats in Darwin’s Pet products—or medical issues, including cancer, kidney disease, liver disease or musculoskeletal issues.
When you’ve finished building your pet’s profile, Darwin’s Pet will show you an introductory offer for your first 10 pounds, and formulate your long-term plan. When we filled in the information for our 10-pound adult tabby, Darwin’s Pet recommended their Natural Selections chicken and turkey flavors, feeding him two pounds per week. His food would then be shipped every 10 weeks, with 20 pounds of food in each shipment at a total cost of $139.20.
For our 40-pound mixed-breed dog, Darwin’s Pet recommended 6.67 pounds of food per week, so the 10-pound trial would only last a little more than a week. Because he’s bigger, Darwin’s Pet would then ship food every three weeks; the company recommended their beef, chicken and turkey flavors from the Natural Selections line, which would cost $132.96 every three weeks. You could instead opt for the less-expensive Biologics line, which contains conventionally-grown vegetables and meats, instead of organic and cage-free ingredients. For our dog, that line would be $36.55 per week, compared to $44.32 per week for Natural Selections.
Your pet’s specific weight, age, breed and life stage determine the amount you’ll feed them in each meal—and, because Darwin’s Pet food is shipped by the pound, the price. Smaller animals, like our cat, need smaller portions—so his bill is smaller.
You can also do a free menu consultation via phone or email with a representative from Darwin’s Pet: They offer advice on choosing the right formulas, as well as how much to feed your dog or cat. Each consultation takes about 10 minutes.
No matter which formula you choose, the 10-pound trial of food is shipped via UPS ground for a nominal fee—it was $1.02 to get our box delivered—and is shipped in a refrigerated box with dry ice to keep the fresh meat cold. When it arrives, most of your Darwin’s Pet meals should be moved to the freezer. A few of the pre-portioned packets can be kept in the refrigerator, and you’ll thaw more every few days.
When it’s feeding time, you’ll measure out the correct portion, and serve it as-is: For most animals, there’s no need to cook the food.
The meals look like what they are: Raw meat. The vegetables are thoroughly mixed into the meat, so the meals have the appearance of raw hamburger. For the Natural Selections and Intelligent Design meals, the meat comes from grass-fed beef and cage-free chickens—and the vegetables are organic. The Biologics line includes conventionally grown ingredients. Darwin’s Pet food is also fortified with healthy fats from oil—like flax seed oil and cod liver oil—and a vitamin and mineral blend.
Recipes and Ingredients
Darwin’s Pet offers raw dog food meals in three different categories, each with different flavors and formulas. Cat food meals are offered in two different categories.
The main category of food for dogs is “Natural Selections.” This line of food is made of about 75 percent raw meat and crushed bone, and 25 percent vegetables. The meat is antibiotic-free and free-range, cage-free or pasture-raised, and the vegetables are organic. There are no grains, no fillers, hormones or chemical preservatives. Natural Selections for dogs comes in chicken, duck, turkey, beef and lamb flavors. In addition to the organ and muscle meat and bone, each contains vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, squash, sweet potato and parsley. In studies, dogs that ate vegetables three times per week or more greatly reduced their risk of cancer.
The Natural Selections recipes also include oils like cod liver oil and flaxseed oil for healthy fats and shiny coats, and a vitamin and mineral mix.
The second category of dog foods from Darwin’s Pet are the “Biologics” line. This category of food is cheaper, as it includes conventionally grown vegetables and meats. It’s offered in chicken, turkey and beef flavors.
For dogs with specific medical issues, Darwin’s Pet offers its “Intelligent Design” line, with different formulas for dogs with kidney issues, cancer, liver disease or joint and musculoskeletal problems. These recipes are also a mix of 75 percent meat and 25 percent vegetables, but the meats may be mixed: In the cancer support formula, for instance, there’s whitefish, beef and turkey, as well as eggs.
For cats, there are also Natural Selections flavors, though the cat food does not contain vegetables. These cat formulas are offered in chicken, turkey and lamb varieties. All three are antibiotic and hormone-free, and are supplemented with fish oils and vitamins and minerals.
Cats with kidney issues are offered the Kidney Support Formula from the “Intelligent Design” line, which chicken and turkey meat, some vegetables, and increased levels of Vitamin B to replace what’s lost in urine.
Darwin’s Pet Food Price
Darwin’s Pet meals come in two-pound packages. Each flavor from each line for dogs and cats has a different price per pack.
In the Natural Selections line for dogs:
|Flavor||Price Per Package|
The Biologics line for dogs contains conventionally-grown vegetables and meat, and is slightly cheaper:
|Flavor||Price Per Package|
The Intelligent Design line for dogs has formulas for different medical conditions:
|Flavor||Price Per Package|
For the cat parents, cat food from Darwin’s Pet comes in two lines—Natural Selections and Intelligent Design. For the Natural Selections, a two-pound package of the chicken flavor is $13.30. Turkey is $14.54 per package, and lamb is $20.16 per package. Intelligent Design for cats is only in one formula—Kidney Support. This option is $16.60 per two-pound package.
No matter which type you choose, Darwin’s Pet offers an introductory offer for 10 pounds of food for $14.95 total.
Different pets will need different amounts of food—based on their weight, breed, age and medical needs. Our 10-pound tabby only needs two pounds of raw food per week, while our 40-pound mixed-breed dog needs 6.67 pounds. As a result, their cost of feeding per week is different, as is their shipping schedule. After our 10-pound trial, our cat’s food was shipped with 10 weeks’ worth in the box, versus just three weeks of food for our dog.
The food is shipped in a box with dry ice, and most of it should be transferred to the freezer immediately. You can then thaw the two-pound packs in the included “thaw tub” at least 24 hours before serving.
You can cancel or change your subscription at any time.
How Does It Compare?
Is raw food right for your pet? Here’s how Darwin’s Pet stacks up against other fresh and raw pet foods:
|Darwin’s Pet Natural Selections™||FreshPet Select||A Pup Above Fresh Pet Food||Only Natural Pet Food||Stella & Chewy’s|
|Cost Per Day||$2 and up||About $2.58||About $9||About $1.50||About $2.50 and up|
|Free-Range, Cage-Free or Pasture-Raised Meats||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Organic Fresh Vegetables||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
About Darwin’s Pet
Gary Tashjian founded Darwin’s Pet after feeding his 10-year old dog, Max, a raw food diet at the suggestion of a holistic veterinarian. Max, who had arthritis, was like “a new dog” after just 30 days—inspiring Tashjian to found Darwin’s Pet. Fifteen years later, the company has delivered more than 25 million raw food meals to pets across the U.S. The company is headquartered near Seattle.
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