Darwin's Natural Pet Food Review- Balanced Raw Pre-Made Food for Dogs & Cats

November 3, 2021

honest, not sponsored, customer review of darwin's natural pet food, natural selections, balanced raw ground dog & cat food
Since bringing my dogs home, I have only ever prepared their balanced raw and cooked meals by hand- aka DIY raw/cooked. I was aware of balanced raw pre-made foods being an option, but I felt more comfortable assembling their meals on my own and I also figured it would be more cost effective to skip the balanced pre-mades.

Recently, I started giving more thought to balanced raw pre-made dog food and even balanced air-dried raw dog food because I wanted to have options to feed to my boys when travelling (incase I am unable to take frozen meal prep containers with me). Enter- this box of Darwin's pre-made Natural Selections balanced recipes for dogs (lol)...

blue merle, black merle australian shepherd, poodle mix (aussiedoole) stares at bowl of ground meat, darwin's premade raw dog food    cute puppy with big blue eyes, blue merle, black merle aussie leaning over bowl of darwin's premade raw dog food
My puppy and adult dog were both able to try Darwin's Natural Selections Beef, Duck, and Lamb Recipes for dogs (below you can find more information on ingredient breakdowns, price etc...). Bo (my puppy) was first up because at the time, I was completely out of prepped meals for him and luckily had Darwin's in the freezer; he ate Darwin's raw pre-made for 2 days before I went back to feeding his regular balanced DIY meals.

On day 1, I fed Bobo the Darwin's Natural Selections Beef Recipe for dogs and he gobbled it up! Their website states the fat percentage in their beef recipe is around 8% (crude minimum on an as fed basis- includes moisture), which would be considered lean, and my dogs currently consume around 10-11% fat within their meals, on average. I was looking forward to seeing what Bo's stool would look like since this was my very first time ever feeding a balanced pre-made raw dog food.

When it came time to release his first poop after having digested his Darwin's, Bobo had a bit of diarrhoea. His stool was very soft and mushy, but this did not persist. He was pooping at his regular times, the consistency was the only thing that was different. Considering this was my first time feeding a pre-made, I actually expected this. Usually, when introducing new foods, it is very common for pet parents to slowly introduce a new recipe or brand by mixing a little in with what their pets currently eat. Then they slowly increase the amount of the new food/brand while reducing the amount of the "old" food/brand, until their dog or cat is eating 100% of the new food/brand. This method tends to reduce digestive upset in the pet and in the event of a food/ingredient intolerance, it would be much easier to spot during this period of slowly transitioning them on to the new food/brand (take a shot every time you read "food/brand").

Throughout the day, Bo's stool started having more shape, so it went from diarrhoea to skinny small soft logs. The next day I fed him the Darwin's Natural Selections Lamb Recipe for dogs, which happens to contain the highest fat percentage out of all the balanced recipes on their website. Darwin's website states the fat percentage in their lamb recipe is around 12% (crude minimum on an as fed basis- includes moisture). Because I do not usually feed 12% fat, I honestly expected some seriously runny stool from my puppy, but to my surprise, his stool looked really good after eating the lamb recipe (I was shook)!

With every poopy potty break, Bo's stool was looking firmer and bulkier (like it normally does). After feeding him Darwin's for 2 days, I was back to feeding my regular balanced DIY meals because I had found the time to meal prep. Fast forward to around 3 weeks later, I wanted to work my way through all the Darwin's packages left in my freezer, in order to make room for an online raw order that was coming in, so I decided to feed both my dogs the remaining balanced recipes!

white/cream dog, cute poodle looking at bowl of darwin's lamb recipe, raw premade dog food    cute cream poodle, australian shepherd mix looking at camera
Nolo, my adult dog, tends to be more sensitive to changes in the fat content within meals or even when feeding him treats. If anyone was going to have a soupy poopy explosion from trying something for the very first time, I was certain it was going to be him!

Since Bobo did so well on the lamb recipe, I started with that one- he and Nolo both ate the same recipes each day. To my utter freaking surprise, Nolo had the most amazing poops right off the bat (y'all I was in awe)! I was so sure the 12% fat was going to trigger the runs for him, but all that fiber in the Darwin's recipe really helped to bulk up his stool and kept it nice and firm- to say I was amazed would be an understatement.

Throughout the week I continued to feed all 3 Darwin's Natural Selections recipes (beef, duck, & lamb) and my boys had some gorgeous firm poops. Because they did so well on them, I would be happy to feed them Darwin's again or purchase some to take with me while travelling within the U.S., my only issue would be the inclusion of carbs.

Both of my dogs seem to have environmental allergies that trigger yeast- mainly Nolo, but their paws can get pretty yeasty. When this happens, I try to eliminate all carbohydrates and sugars (so no more squash, fruits etc), until I get a handle on the situation because I do not want to feed the yeast and exacerbate the issue. Because Darwin's formulas contain things like squash and sweet potatoes, this would not be ideal for me to feed when dealing with yeasty paws. But outside of this, I am actually really happy with their pre-made raw food for dogs!

Darwin's Natural Pet Products
Natural Selections- BEEF RECIPE
$14.40/package (2lbs / 907g)

72.41%: Ground Lean Beef Meat, Beef Hearts, Beef Livers
24.43%: Cabbage, Lettuce, Squash (seasonal), Sweet Potato, Parsley
3.19%: Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Proprietary Vitamin & Mineral Mix

Crude Protein (min.): 14%
Crude Fat (min.): 8%
Crude Fiber (max.): 1%
Moisture (max.): 71%

ME = 1287 kcal/kg
ME = 36 kcal/oz

Darwin's Natural Pet Products
Natural Selections- LAMB RECIPE
$16.90/package (2lbs / 907g)

72.17%: Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver
24.43%: Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Lettuce, Organic Squash (seasonal), Organic Cabbage, Organic Parsley
3.4%: Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Proprietary Vitamin & Mineral Mix

Crude Protein (min.): 13%
Crude Fat (min.): 12%
Crude Fiber (max.): 1%
Moisture (max.): 71%

ME = 1545 kcal/kg
ME = 44 kcal/oz

Darwin's Natural Pet Products
Natural Selections- DUCK RECIPE
$14.40/package (2lbs / 907g)

74.16%: Whole Duck (including bone), Duck Heads (including bone), Duck Necks (including bone), Duck Gizzards, Duck Livers, Duck Hearts
24.64%: Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Squash (seasonal), Carrots, Celery, and Parsley.
1.20%: Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Fish Oil, Proprietary Vitamin & Mineral Mix


Crude Protein (min.): 12%
Crude Fat (min.): 9%
Crude Fiber (max.): 1%
Moisture (max.): 74%

ME = 1232 kcal/kg
ME = 35 kcal/oz


I hope me sharing my experience feeding Darwin's is helpful to some of you!

I am currently not affiliated with Darwin's.
I am not a Darwin's ambassador and I was not paid or offered anything in exchange to share my experience.
I am only sharing my opinions and how my dogs did on their balanced recipes because I always get questions on social media asking what balanced pre-mades I would recommend. Since I have never fed any pre-made raw foods before this, it felt appropriate to share my experience with all of you.

Interested in learning more about other balanced raw premade food for cats and dogs?

Follow me on instagram @nolorlin for more raw feeding content & recipes!


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