Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen)

(5 / 5)
Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen)

The Darwin’s Natural Selections product line includes five 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 Natural Selections Beef with Organic Vegetables# [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Bison with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Turkey with Organic Vegetables [U]
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables (4.5 stars) [U]

Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein 48

Fat 32

Carbs 12

Ingredients: Duck necks, duck wings, duck gizzards, duck livers, duck leg meat, organic sweet potatoes, organic romaine lettuce, organic yellow squash, organic zucchini, organic carrots, organic celery, duck hearts, organic parsley, organic flaxseed oil, sea salt, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D3

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 12% 8% NA
Dry Matter Basis 48% 32% 12%
Calorie Weighted Basis 35% 56% 9%

The first two ingredients in this dog food includes duck neck and duck wings. Raw duck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.

The third ingredient is duck 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.

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

The fifth ingredient includes duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1

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

The sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

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 Natural Selections Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Darwin’s Natural Selections looks like an above-average raw product.

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 48%, a fat level of 32% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 51% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Above-average protein. Near-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 Natural Selections is a meat-based raw frozen dog food using an abundance of named species 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.

For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.