We're proud to be sourcing high quality, USDA human-grade ingredients from smaller farms. These are the same farms that stock your local Whole Foods & favorite restaurants. We hold our suppliers to the same Viva standard that we practice ourselves, and are proud to be supporting local businesses & farms whenever possible.
We never partner with organizations that give animals hormones and antibiotics, or support overcrowding at farms. Here at Viva, we believe that the quality of life of the animals we use directly impact the quality of the food we create.
Complete Recipes are complete and balanced to AAFCO guidelines for adult dogs. If you're new to raw feeding & have a dog, we highly recommend that you start here! You won't have to worry about toppers and supplementing your pup's meals—just thaw, portion & feed. If you're looking to feed a puppy, you just have to add one or two more things to round out the complete meals; don't hesitate to reach out for recipe recommendations or a recommended nutritionist.
Pure Recipes are nutrient-dense & prey model-based at 80% muscle, 10% secreting organ, 10% bone. These are the perfect base for cats, ferrets, or just pet parents who are looking to build their own meals. Whether your fur baby has sensitivities, a picky palate, or you just enjoy spicing up mealtime in your own way, our Pure Recipes are a trusty go-to!
Both Complete & Pure Recipes are single-protein to ensure they are as allergy-friendly as possible.
Though not organic, our poultry & meat is always humanely raised and without antibiotics or hormones, ever. We only partner with the highest quality suppliers & farms who supply premium human-grade poultry & meats for restaurants or retail stores.
We would love to supply organic meat but have realized that the price point it brings our products to typically doesn’t work for pet parents. Our goal is to make Viva as accessible a product as possible while still supporting the local farming community.
MSM stands for Mechanically Separated Meat. It's produced by machines that squeeze carcasses and frames under extreme pressures to remove any leftover meat and sinew.
Many raw pet food companies use this within their recipes since it is a cheaper option and still allows them to claim their food is raw and human grade. How can you tell? Recipes with MSM typically have an ultra-fine "mushy" texture, are pale in color, and in some cases have such a high calcium content that they create chalky stools.
At Viva, we're committed to the highest quality ingredients. We carry a line of chunky recipes because we want you to see everything that goes into your pet's food. From whole muscle cuts to whole birds, we're only using ingredients we'd put on our own table!
Our Complete Recipes are currently formulated to meet adult maintenance requirements. We chose not to have an 'All Life Stages' Recipe which wouldn't have allowed either puppies or adults to thrive to their fullest (puppies generally have higher nutritional requirements and also need more calcium/phosphorus than adult dogs). We do plan on releasing a puppy recipe in the future!
If you're curious when you will be able to feed your puppy our Complete Recipes, you can follow the below table for when your puppy becomes an adult:
- 10 LBs and less: 8 months old
- 10-25 LBs: 10 months old
- 26-55LBs: 12 months old
- 56-100 LBs: 15 months old
- 101 LBs and up: 18-24 months old
With that being said, your puppy can still thrive on our Complete Recipes, you just have to add one or two more things to round out the complete meals! Don't hesitate to reach out for recipe recommendations or a recommended nutritionist.
If you're new to our food or have a picky eater, then we recommend getting Ground since it will be easier to to mix and portion.
If you're comfortably feeding Viva, then we encourage trying the Chunked! Chunk sizes are 1-2 inches in size and are a great choice if your pet prefers more texture, for hand-feeding, or even if you're just curious what's in your pet's food! We've had cats and even ferrets do great with our chunky blend
While our Complete products for adult dogs are just thaw & feed, our Pure Recipes will require a bit of additional supplementation to ensure they meet all nutritional requirements!
Pure Recipes meet the Prey Model raw feeding ratios of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% secreting organ. Some of our pet parents prefer to use Viva as a base & customize their pet meals with supplements & other natural foods.
For pup owners who prefer to meet AAFCO guidelines, we recommend adding the following whole foods to our products: ground ginger or blue-lipped mussels for manganese, kelp powder for iodine, sardines or other oily fish for vitamin D, and any natural vitamin E oil.
For cat owners, we recommend adding a pre-mix powder like Alnutrin for Meat & Bone. Just make sure you are looking for one that is made for mixing with bone-in meals without added calcium or eggshell powder.
As always, variety is key to achieving natural balance, so we definitely recommend rotating between 3-5 proteins regularly for your pet!
If you're transitioning to raw, we always recommend starting with a single protein and only introducing new proteins once they’ve fully transitioned. The best protein to start with is the one that's in their current food right now (for example, chicken & turkey are popular options)! For more information about transitioning to raw, visit our guide.
After you are fully transitioned, we always recommend rotating as many proteins as your pet tolerates / does well with (3-5 is great!).
Viva never denatures any of our meats because all of our raw materials come from our USDA-inspected suppliers & farms. We also don’t use any unnatural processing on our meats such as HPP. Here at Viva, it’s simple: we receive frozen meat, then our team processes and packages it for you. We never add anything to our meats, such as chemicals, preservatives, or anything else unnatural to your pet’s food.
We totally get it. Feeding real & right is not the cheapest thing in the world. We started Viva because we believe in quality, affordable & accessible feeding for the raw community.
We recommend scrolling below to our shipping FAQs to learn more about how to optimize your shipping rate! Rest assured that we are always looking out for your wallet.
We currently don’t offer any free samples, but understand where you’re coming from (we love Costco too). Our recommendation would be to try our variety pack. Since our meal packs aren’t sized too large, it’s stomach-able as a ‘sample’ for sure.
Yes! This is totally normal.
The size of the chunks vary due to the original form the meat or organ was in before processing. Once mixed, the chunked concoction often turns into more of a sticky mix since we always finely grind the bone content to make our food accessible to pets of all sizes. Due to the natural variation in chunk sizes, we recommend watching your pet the first couple of times to ensure they are taking nicely to the chunked texture.
We ship M-W each week and will send your order out by the following shipping day. We avoid shipping packages later in the week to prevent boxes from being held in carrier warehouses over the weekend.
Order by Tues evening if you're hoping to receive your food the same week! The exception are orders in the 4 & 5 Day (purple) areas which are shipped via 3 Day Express. These orders will only be shipped Mon and Tues.
Please see the map below for transit times. Areas within 4 & 5 day will have a 3 day transit time via Express shipping.
We use both FedEx & UPS, which usually takes 1-3 days to deliver depending on destination. Expect a shipping notification in your email to track your pet’s goodies!
We ship to all of the US! We currently cover the entire of East Coast and most of the Mid-Eastern US via 1-3 day Ground transit. For Western US, we ship via 2 or 3 day-express to ensure everything will arrive to you fresh & frozen.
Please refer to the diagram below to determine your transit time. Yellow, light & dark blue areas are covered with Ground transit and purple areas are serviced with express shipping.
Our minimum order size is 10 LBs. This is to ensure that there is enough frozen product within the box to make sure everything stays fresh until you receive the package.
No, but depending on the temperature & climate where you live, we definitely recommend keeping a tab on when the order is scheduled to be delivered. Plan to unpack & freeze the products within a couple hours after it is delivered. While we do our best to package for the worst case scenarios (I’m looking at you, FL summer heat), it is still advisable to make adjustments to your scheduling if needed!
Our customer's satisfaction is our top priority. However, due to the nature of our product, we will not be able to accept any returns or cancellations for orders that have shipped.
We do, however, offer an awesome guarantee: If your pet doesn't eat every last bit of your first order or if it doesn't arrive in perfect condition, we refund or replace it!
If you encountered an issue with your order or delivery, please email or call and we will be happy to assist you.
For customers we are able to service with ground transit (East & Mid-Eastern US), we are proud to be offering a flat-fee shipping rate depending on zone:
— Zone 1: $15 for orders between 10-80LBs
— Zone 2: $20 for orders between 10-80LBs
— Zone 3: $25 for orders between 10-80LBs
We have a minimum order size of 10LBs for any shipment and a maximum flat-fee order size of 80LBs. You can absolutely order more than 80LBs, just know that another flat-fee rate will be applied for the next 80LB increment when you check out! Ordering in 80LB increments will be always be the most cost efficient.
For customers out West, we offer a 2 or 3-day express option to ensure your order arrives fresh & frozen. The total charge is based on weight & destination and we recommend ordering in 36 LB increments to save. We've worked with our carriers to make this as affordable as possible and are always looking to improve on these rates.
We typically recommend ordering one week before when you plan on receiving our Viva shipment. Packages can definitely arrive sooner than that, but one whole week gives you enough leeway accounting for our processing as well as shipping time.
We ship all of our products frozen in fancy hi-tech & fully biodegradable insulation with dry ice.
If your package arrives and you notice that your products are slightly thawed or just starting to defrost, don’t worry—this is perfectly fine and safe. As long as everything is still below refrigerated temperature, it’s totally safe to just throw it in the freezer (or bowl if your pet convinces you).
Yes! This is totally normal & safe. As long as the product is below refrigerated temperature, you are 100% okay to just throw it in the freezer. It is perfectly safe to thaw & re-freeze our foods!
In the unlikely scenario that your food is spoiled, give us a call at (919) 371-8882 and we’d be happy to help.
starting on raw
We suggest starting by substituting 25% of their current meal with raw and increasing it by 25% every other day until you’re feeding 100% raw on the seventh day. Some pets may take shorter or longer to transition so be sure to closely monitor your pet’s reactions and adjust accordingly.
Your pet typically needs to be fed 2-3% of their body weight daily if they’re over 20 LBs, or a little more if they’re on the smaller side. For more info, check out our Raw Feeding Guide.
Don’t give up! We’ve heard this and have experienced it ourselves before. Often, the key is patience & persistence. Try using a tiny amount (a spoonful or even smaller) of Viva & mix it with your pet’s favorite food. This helps to introduce them to a new aroma, taste, and texture more gradually. As they get more and more accustomed to it, feel free to increase the percent of Viva that you’re feeding until they’re totally down to chow!
If it's still not working, reach out and we'd be happy to assist!
We don't recommend cooking or microwaving Viva, as all of our foods contain bone content. While raw bone is perfectly safe for your pet to consume, cooked bone is more likely to splinter. Furthermore, cooking only degrades the available nutrients that are in our raw recipes.
If you still prefer to warm the food, we'd recommend mixing warm water in instead of cooking directly.
Loose stools are normal during the transition phase. Just like how we can get traveler’s diarrhea, your pet needs time to adapt to processing a new type of food. It can take up to two weeks for some to fully transition. Our pup, Karoo, took 10 very smelly days to make the switch, but we’re glad we stuck with it and haven’t had any issues since. For more info, check out our Raw Feeding Guide.
If this is a more chronic issue or if this is happening after your pet has already transitioned successfully to raw, then please reach out to your holistic veterinarian (or ask us for a recommendation!).
Stored frozen, our products will remain safe for up to a year but we typically recommend that you use within 3-6 months of ordering. Why not try to keep things as fresh as possible if we’re all about feeding ‘fresh’?
We recommend using our product within 2-3 days of thawing in the refrigerator for freshness. It’s a main reason why we pack in smaller sizes!
This is expected! Raw meals have a much higher water content compared to kibble so your pet doesn’t need to drink as much water outside of meals.
Our pets’ stomachs are much stronger than ours and are equipped to handle bacteria just like wolves. Their digestive tracts are shorter & more acidic, and thus the risk for bacterial illnesses is low—salmonella only really survives in higher pH conditions (4-8+) and requires 12 hours to reach incubation. The hydrochloric acid in a carnivore’s (yes, your pet's) stomach is a perfect protective enzyme against these pathogens, as bacteria is killed and passed within 4-6 hours as waste.
Finally, we only source from farms that have stringent (human-grade) standards and testing for pathogen in their food. Viva processes these raw materials frozen in a USDA facility in a refrigerated space. We take food safety & sanitation very seriously, because they're our family.
To be honest, raw feeding is not much different than cooking for yourself & your family in your kitchen. Standard sanitary habits should always be practiced when handling raw meat. Make sure you sanitize your work area thoroughly after prepping, sanitize used food utensils, including your pet’s bowls once they are finished chowing down. Finally, wash hands thoroughly after touching raw meat.
The short answer is no, neither cats or dogs need carbohydrates to survive. Even the AAFCO nutrition profiles have no stated minimum requirements for the inclusion of carbohydrates. This is a common concern raised by pet parents who are used to feeding commercial diets—kibble often includes carbohydrates such as grains, potatoes, vegetables, etc. The reality is that the commercial pet food industry started adding so many carbohydrates into pet food for an economic reason rather than one that necessarily benefited their health; grains will always be cheaper than protein & fats. At Viva, we believe that our fur-family aren’t worth skimping on, and help you make the same decision by offering the best prices possible for a quality diet.
The veterinary community is still very much divided over the topic of raw feeding. As with any philosophical shift, raw feeding will take time to reach widespread acceptance. If you would like to seek the advice of a veterinary professional, searching for holistic vets in your area will help you find someone who is willing to work with you on your raw feeding journey.