Darwin’s New Raw Dog Food Formula
What’s Changed With Darwin’s Dog Food?
At Darwin’s, we continually seek ways to improve the quality and nutritional efficacy of our pet meals. Our recent announcement of changes to our formulation raised some questions from readers, which we’d like to address.
The most important change that we made was to increase the fat content of our meals.
Some customers have expressed concerns that we were making them too fatty – the fact is that our meals have always been formulated on the lean side, and that continues to be the case. Our meals were previously formulated using meats that were 90-93% lean, now they will be in the 85-90% range. That still makes them among the leanest raw pet foods available.
We made this change for a number of reasons:
- Recent research has highlighted the importance of fat in dogs’ diets. This is one reason that in 2014, the American Association of Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) increased the minimum recommended amount for total fat in dog food from 0.5% to 8.5% on a dry matter basis. This increase was based on recognition of crude fat as a source of essential fatty acids needed to carry fat-soluble vitamins. (See previous blog posts from Steve Brown for more information on the importance of balanced fats in your pet’s diet.)
- Some customers have expressed concerns about the amount of our meals that they have to feed their pets in order to maintain their weight. One consequence of having a lean formulation is that it’s necessary to feed more to your pet in order for it to obtain the necessary caloric intake for its size and activity level. Our formula changes result in an increase in our meals caloric density by about 10 kilocalories per ounce, which means that you won’t have to feed as much to provide your pet the nutrients that it needs.
We also made some improvements to the vitamin and mineral premix that we add to our meals in order to assure that your pet obtains all the micronutrients that it needs.
While many pet food manufacturers use a single premix for all of their meals (as did we), we have now switched to individual premixes for each type of meat. This enables us to tailor our formulations with greater accuracy to each meat’s particular micronutrient profile.
Frankly, we doubt that you will be able to see a difference in the meals themselves as a result of these changes, nor do we expect you to see a dramatic change in your pet (although you should monitor your pet’s weight to see if you should be reducing the amount that you feed). The one place you might see a change is in the consistency/color of its poop, although that too is unlikely. (Actually, we’d like to hear back from you if you do see any such changes.)