Evanger’s Classic Dinners (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Evanger’s Classic Dinners canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top tier rating of 5 stars.

The Evanger’s Classic Dinners product line includes ten canned dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and six that are not disclosed on its web page.

The products marked with an asterisk (**) appear to us to be for supplemental use only and may not be appropriate for long term daily feeding.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Evanger’s Classic Beef**
  • Evanger’s Classic Puppy
  • Evanger’s Classic Liver Snacks**
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef and Bacon**
  • Evanger’s Classic Cooked Chicken**
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef with Chicken**
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef with Chicken and Liver**
  • Evanger’s Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner (4.5 stars)
  • Evanger’s Classic Chicken and Rice Dinner (4.5 stars)
  • Evanger’s Classic Senior and Weight Management (2.5 stars)

Evanger’s Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Evanger's Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Lamb, water sufficient for processing, rice, liver, guar gum, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin C], thiamine mononitrate [source of vitamin B1], calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride [source of vitamin B6], riboflavin supplement [source of vitamin B2], folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, selenium yeast, potassium iodide

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%18%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%38%28%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

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

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fifth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Evanger’s Classic Dinners Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Evanger’s Classic Dinners appears to be an above-average canned dog food.

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 41%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Evanger’s Classic Dinners is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of beef, chicken, lamb and liver as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

However, some of these recipes appear to be 100% meat and (as such) may only be suitable for supplemental feeding.

Since we could not locate an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement for each product posted on the company website, readers are cautioned to check the label to be sure a food is “complete and balanced” before feeding it daily on a long term basis.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Notes and Updates

03/12/2010 Original review
10/12/2010 Review updated
07/07/2012 Review updated
02/15/2014 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition