Frequently Asked Questions

Feeding


For any healthy adult pet, we don't recommend cooking Darwin's meals. It's best to simply thaw and serve. This is all to preserve the nutrients and to ensure the meals remain species-appropriate. 

If your pet is under 4 months of age, or has a compromised immune system, we recommend lightly sautéing over medium to medium-high heat for 8-12 minutes. 

Yes, for a short period of time. As our dog meals do not contain a sufficient amount of Taurine for your cat, we recommend supplementing with Taurine if you’re planning on feeding your cat Darwin’s dog meals. 

It’s also important to note that as carnivores, cats often dislike the vegetables in our dog meals. As we believe in feeding your pets species-appropriate diets, we recommend feeding your cats our cat food line instead.

We recommend thawing meals in your refrigerator overnight in the thaw tub provided with your order. If it’s unavailable, you may also that your food in any covered, food-safe glass or plastic container. We do not recommend thawing food on the counter or in the microwave.

Both our cat and dog meals are complete and balanced and meet the guidelines of AAFCO for feline and canine nutrition. Supplements are not necessary. 

Dogs should be fed 2-4% of their body weight per day. One Darwin meal patty is equivalent to an 8oz. cup of dry dog food. For weekly and monthly calculation, the following can be used as a guide:

  • A 10Ib dog will eat 2-2 ½Ibs per week or 10Ibs per month
  • A 25Ib dog will eat 8Ibs per week or 32Ibs per month 
  • A 75Ib dog will eat 10-10 ½Ibs per week or 42Ibs per month
  • A 100Ib dog will eat 14Ibs per week or 56Ibs per month

Feeding guidelines may vary based on your dog’s age, size, weight, and activity level. If you are confused about how much to feed your dog, we offer free menu consultation by phone or email. We also recommend monitoring your dog’s weight so you can adjust his diet for weight gain or loss.

We recommend lightly sautéing our food over medium to medium-high heat for 8-12 minutes to minimize any risks associated with feeding raw foods to puppies and kittens. For dogs and cats over 4 months with fully developed immune systems, no cooking is required.

Yes, bone broth is safe and healthy for cats. Cats require higher moisture content in food than dogs so bone broth is a great addition to meals. However, some cats are finicky and may not enjoy bone broth.

Our goal is for the meals to be consumed as close to production as possible, but they are best consumed by 6 months in the freezer.

We recommend and sell lamb femur bones on our website for existing customers. Beef marrow bones are another great option. You can find a recipe for bone broth at www.darwinspet.com/bone-broth-pets/.

Our venison jerky is pliable and can be broken into pieces for use as a training treat.

Yes, our venison jerky is human-grade and cooked through. However, we’re sure your dogs will enjoy eating it more than their owner.


When it comes to feeding your cat, the amount they need depends on their size, weight, and activity level. Adult cats should typically eat 4-6 ounces per day, so one Darwin's pouch will feed your cat for approximately 2 days. Since activity level of a cat can vary depending on their personality, we suggest that you monitor your cat's weight and adjust the amount accordingly. 

Ingredients

We use EPA 18 and DHA 12 from wild-caught sardines and menhaden fish in our cat food. Our Natural Selections dog meals include cod-liver oil from wild-caught Alaskan codfish as a natural source of Vitamin D.

Yes, the fat content in our cat meals is considered moderate. Our cat meals are 68 g per 1,000 kcals. The National Resource Council (NRC) has a safe upper limit established for growth at 82.5 g per 1,000 kcals.

Yes, our lamb meals are beef- and carrot-free. For a complete list of our ingredients, feel free to check out our product information pages.

Our Natural Selections line uses grass-fed beef only. Our BioLogics line also utilizes pasture-raised cows, but some farmers do supplement with grains, including soy, oats, barley, and yes, corn.

The lactic acid wash is not applied with heat, nor does it alter the nutritional benefits of our meals. One of the advantages of using lactic acid is that it is applied to the surface of our raw meals, where pathogenic bacteria tend to be located, without affecting the area below the surface, where most nutrients are located.

Those benefits are why we chose lactic acid over other pathogen control methods (like pasteurization) that affect the entire product, and therefore have a greater negative impact on nutrients.

We use a quality fish oil in our cat food and a cod-liver oil in our dog food as a natural source of Vitamin D and Vitamin A. When formulating our food, we ensure the proper Omega 3 and 6 levels for all of our meals.

Pet Health

Nutritional labeling is designed to help consumers make healthy choices, providing information about ingredients that impact weight control, diabetes, high blood pressure and food sensitivities. Labels typically include total calories, fat, protein, and moisture content.

A safe temperature upon arrival is 37 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

No. Our meals must be kept at a proper temperature to ensure there is no pathogenic growth. If a refrigerator is available, Darwin’s meals can be stored for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator.

You can learn more at www.fda.gov.

We recommend you consult with your veterinarian for treatment options.

Salmonella is a common microorganism that can affect humans, but rarely affects cats or dogs. Puppies, kittens or older animals with another infection or health condition may experience symptoms. If you have a pet with a compromised immune system, you may consider gently cooking your Darwin’s meals on the stovetop to eliminate bacteria including salmonella if this is a concern. We recommend lightly sautéing in a pan for 8-12 minutes.

Please consult your veterinarian when discussing how certain bacteria may affect your pet.

You can find a searchable database of holistic veterinarians at www.ahvma.org/find-a-holistic-veterinarian/.

BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen, which is a normal waste product produced during digestion. When your dog’s kidneys are healthy, BUN is flushed out through urination. If kidneys are not working properly, BUN remains in the bloodstream.

Feline hepatic lipidosis, also known as feline fatty liver syndrome, is one of the most common forms of liver disease in cats. It often occurs when cats (especially overweight cats) go without food for a few days. If left untreated, it can lead to complications and eventually death. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns or suspect your cat may have hepatic lipidosis.

Yes, raw meals are safe for diabetic cats. We recommend consulting your veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat’s diet.

Our meals should be handled with the same caution used with raw human food. Our recommendations include:
  • Wash everything that touches raw food with hot, soapy water including your hands, utensils, and your pet's food bowls.
  • Thaw meals in the refrigerator overnight in the provided thaw tub and not on the counter or in the microwave.
  • Serve and prepare raw meals in an area of the kitchen away from foot traffic.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers within 2 hours and toss unused food after 48 hours.
  • Keep delivered meals frozen if they won't be consumed within 24-48 hours.

Our number one goal is to keep your dog healthy and active for as long as possible. That’s why we’ve worked with leading veterinarians to develop a diet specifically to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with kidney disease.

Our Intelligent Design KS Kidney Support provides your dog with appropriate protein levels, and a restricted phosphorous diet. Intelligent Design meals are available by prescription only, and we invite you to discuss if Intelligent Design is right for your dog with your veterinarian and with our customer support team. 

Products

We have discontinued duck in our BioLogics line for both cats and dogs, as well as our Natural Selections duck line for cats. However, we continue to offer duck in our premium Natural Selections line for dogs.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that has been used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins since the 1960’s. Some research has raised health concerns about BPA’s use in consumer products and food containers.

Darwin’s defrosting containers are all BPA-free.

Darwin’s is committed to food safety and quality control. We ship directly to customers so that we can oversee our food from production to delivery. This process protects cold supply chain, ensures proper temperature during transport, and keeps our pricing affordable.

Shipping directly also ensures freshness. While retail locations may have stock on their shelves for up to six months, our meals typically arrive within a month of preparation.

We don’t currently offer a shelf stable product besides our venison jerky treats.

Service

We add dry ice to customer shipments to protect and keep meals cold while in transit. It will usually be sublimated by the time you receive your package. If it is still cold, please use the following precautions:

  • Never open a container with dry ice in a poorly ventilated area, such as a car or small room.
  • Avoid direct contact with your skin. When handling dry ice, please use gloves.
  • Never dispose of dry ice in closed plumbing systems like sinks, toilets, garbage disposals or sewer lines.
  • Leave dry ice in your shipping container and place in a well-ventilated space, out of reach of children and pets.

We work with UPS and they only deliver to select areas on the weekends. Unfortunately, because of this, we may not deliver to your area on weekends.

When you add another pet to your Darwin’s account, you will not receive another trial offer automatically. However, please contact our customer care team and they will be able to apply a 10 lb trial kit to your account for 50% off.

Manifest simply means your order is being processed. Remember, you can always plan your shipments to suit your schedule. You’ll get reminder emails before every shipment, and you’re welcome to cancel or change your order anytime48 hours or longer before it ships.

For more information, visit My Account.