We're proud to be sourcing high quality, USDA human-grade ingredients from USA suppliers. We have a variety of suppliers, ranging from larger distributors who would stock your Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, to local North Carolina butcher shops & smaller pasture-raised farms. 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.
Absolutely NOT. Viva Raw is always 100% human-grade.
4D meats refers to meat from animals who were dead, dying, diseased or down. If not already deceased, they are euthanized—these animals are 100% a violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that they should not be included in any food, including pet food. Viva Raw doesn’t condone the usage of 4D meats and never will.
We also never denature any of our meats because all of our products come fresh from our suppliers & farms. We don’t use any unnatural processing on our meats such as HPP. Here at Viva, it’s simple: we receive fresh 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 hold a state license for pet food manufacturing & must comply with AAFCO labeling standards in order to maintain it. We won’t dabble into the heated debate about the motivations of AAFCO & the pet food industry on nutrition standards here, but the main thing to note is that in order to be considered complete, we would have to include additives so that every meal is complete. AAFCO doesn’t address the holistic approach of 1) variety and 2) natural, fresh ingredients. Us humans have rarely ever had a “nutritionally complete” meal (most of us never will), but we know the basics of good nutrition and know to vary our diets enough to include all the things we need. Here at Viva, we believe that this is no less true with our pets' diet & thus have focused on providing holistic variety over artificial additives to meet regulatory standards.
We totally get it. Feeding real & right is not the cheapest thing in the world. We started Viva Raw 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 ensure that the bone is ground so that there is never a choking hazard. Due to the natural variation in chunk sizes, we definitely recommend watching your pet the first couple of times to ensure they are taking nicely to the chunked texture.
Though not organic, our meats are always hormone & antibiotic free. We only partner with suppliers & farms who supply human-grade meat 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 sure Viva is as accessible a brand & product as possible while supporting the local farming community as much as possible.
Viva Raw products meet the Prey Model raw feeding ratios of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ. Some of our pet parents prefer to use Viva as a base & customize their pet meals with supplements & other natural foods.
We are working on a more detailed guide for Prey Model Raw Diet supplementation. In the meantime, for clients who prefer to meet AAFCO / NRC nutrient guidelines, we recommend adding the following whole foods to our products: canned oysters for zinc, nuts/seeds or wheatgrass for magnesium, green tripe & blue-lipped mussels for manganese, kelp for iodine, nuts for vitamin E, sardines and other oily fish for vitamin D.
As always, variety is key to achieving natural balance, so we definitely recommend rotating between 3-5 proteins regularly for your pet!
Our recipes are all Prey Model Raw (80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ). We believe that variety is key & include 3-4 muscles & organs within each of our recipes to ensure that your pet is receiving as balanced a meal as what was meant for them in the wild.
For our chunked recipes, there may be extremely small deviations in the ratios from one bag of Viva to another even though we mix until our arms are sore. This will never be a real issue, as your pup will always be able to achieve balance over time :) If you have no idea what PMR and BARF stand for, head over to our guide!
Yes! This is totally normal and not typically a reason for concern at all. Our food is prepared in small batches with fresh ingredients sourced from a few different suppliers / farms leading to natural variations even in the same production lot. Your food may also change slightly in color depending on how long you’re freezing it. As long as the food does not smell like it’s spoiling (and trust me, you’ll know), it’s totally safe to use!
SHIPPING & DELIVERY
See table below for when we will ship your order (M-W). You will see your zone and weekend delivery eligibility when selecting your shipping option during checkout. For locations that are eligible for weekend or Saturday only delivery, your package may arrive on Saturday or Sunday! As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
We currently do not fulfill same-day orders, so make sure you order by Sunday night if you are hoping to have your package shipped out on Monday. We use FedEx ground, which usually takes 1-4 days to deliver. Expect a shipping notification within your email after we send it out to track your pet’s goodies!
We currently cover the entire of East Coast and most of the Mid-Eastern US! We ship to all 1-3 transit day locations in the below map.
If you'd like to know whether or not we currently ship to your location (or would consider adding it!), just drop us a note by texting (919) 371-8882 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the diagram below to view the exact regions we currently ship to (yellow, light blue, dark blue).
Our minimum order size is 16 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, NC 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 or if your order doesn't arrive in perfect condition, we refund or replace it!
If you encountered an issue with your order or delivery, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at (919) 371-8882 M-F 9-5 pm EST and we will be happy to assist you.
We are offering a flat-fee shipping rate depending on zone:
— Zone 1: $15 for orders between 16-80LBs
— Zone 2: $20 for orders between 16-80LBs
— Zone 3: $25 for orders between 16-80LBs
We have a minimum order size of 16LBs 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!
It’s pretty obvious how you can optimize your shipping rates :) we prioritize affordability for our pet parents & have built that into how we charge you for shipping. Ordering in 80LB increments will absolutely be the most cost efficient.
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 insulation with dry ice. We always ensure there is enough room to fit dry ice in your order to keep it fresh until it arrives! If your package arrives and you notice that your products are partially thawed or starting to defrost, don’t worry—this is perfectly fine and safe. As long as everything is still below refrigeration temperature, it’s totally safe to just throw it in the freezer (or fridge 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’ll 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. Our customers typically order about a month’s worth of food to make shipping costs most economical. 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 Raw & 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!
No! Cooking/microwaving/warming is NOT recommended for Viva Raw 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 and get lodged in your pet’s throat. Furthermore, cooking only degrades the available nutrients that are in our raw recipes.
Loose stools are normal during the transition phase. Just like how you 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.
This is a normal and celebrated effect of raw feeding. Better nutrient absorption = smaller poops. However, if you are finding that your pet is experiencing constipation and their stool is white and crumbly, there may be too much bone in their meal. Try adding some boneless meat to their meals (ie. ground beef, deboned chicken thighs).
We have noticed that some pets require less bone (<10%) while others require more (15%). As always, make sure you observe what your pet needs & adjust accordingly. For more info, check out our Raw Feeding Guide.
Nope! Not raw ones, and definitely not the bones we have ground up into tiny pieces in our recipes. Cooked bones can definitely splinter & get lodged in a pet’s throat. Raw bones, however, are both super pliable and integral to providing your pet the calcium content they need!
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 3-5 days of thawing in the refrigerator for freshness. It’s a main reason why we pack in smaller sizes!
There’s a lot of mixed information out there about this, but look, we aren’t here to judge your situation & your decisions. At Viva, we believe that a diet like this can work, given that you implement it correctly.
We’re willing to admit that at one point, we didn’t have the budget to make full raw work so Karoo was eating half kibble, half raw. In order to ensure you do this in the best way possible, we recommend feeding alternating meals (i.e. raw in the morning, kibble at night) instead of feeding both together. Starch is known to raise the pH of the stomach and thus certain enzymes aren’t able to break down proteins as effectively. Remember, we aren’t vets, so please make sure you do the research to find what’s best for you and your pet.
This is expected as well. 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 pup’s) stomach is a perfect protective enzyme against these pathogens, as bacteria is killed and passed within 4-6 hours as waste.
We’ve put together an introductory Raw Feeding Guide to get you started. However, we are not nutritionists or vets and the information we provide is simply based on our own experiences and helping many of our customers transition. If you wish to seek professional guidance, look for a holistic vet near you.
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 #furfam 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.