Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats dog food earns the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats product line includes eight canned dog foods, each apparently intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only.

  • Evanger’s Grain Free Pork
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Beef
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Duck
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Rabbit
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Buffalo
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Salmon
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Chicken
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Pheasant

Evanger’s Grain-Free Duck Canned Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Evanger's Grain-Free Duck

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 46% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Duck, water sufficient for processing, liver, guar gum

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%23%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%44%19%

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 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 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 fourth 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.

Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats Dog Food
The Bottom Line

By design, Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats dog food is unique in its simplicity.

But being 100% meat, the product was never intended to be fed as a complete and balanced canine diet. Because they probably lack some essential nutrients, supplemental dog foods should not be fed continuously as the sole item in a dog’s diet.

We prefer to use a product like this as a special treat. Or as an appetizing topper to be served over a dry kibble.

In any case, its ingredients clearly suggest this dog food to be of very good quality.

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 46%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 21% for the overall product line.

Above-average protein. Near-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.

However, we’re puzzled by the projected 21% carb content. It just seems too high. With 100% meat, we would have anticipated much higher protein and fat numbers and a lower carb estimate.

Bottom line?

Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats is an meat-based canned dog food using a generous amount of named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended — for supplemental feeding only.

What’s more, these products are designed for supplemental use only and may not be suitable for long term daily feeding.

Those looking for a nice kibble to go with this canned product may wish to visit our review of Evanger’s dry dog food.

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, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

03/10/2010 Original review
10/10/2010 Review updated
11/23/2011 Review updated
05/22/2013 Review updated
05/22/2013 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  • swak

    heres the evil

    richarddarlington.com

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I wish the foods I want to feed weren’t made there!! Party Animal, Addiction. Although I fed several cases of Addiction without any issues before I knew who made it!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Hound and Gatos has a cat rabbit canned food and Nature’s Logic has a rabbit kibble, and Instinct has canned and kibbled rabbit if you’re interested in other sources of rabbit.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi jilavine,

    I have to say, I would never feed any Evanger’s products to my dogs. Evanger’s is a very shady company with serious quality control issues.

    http://truthaboutpetfood.com/?s=evanger%27s&submit=

  • jllavine

    bought a case of canned rabbit for my cats. It smells like urine as soon as you open the can. The cats aren’t wanting to eat it.

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  • ngrrsn

    I, too, am looking forward to the Editor’s Choice section! And thanks, ljrhap, I was all set to go buy some as a supplemental food for our kibbles based on the review! Looking for something else, now.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m really looking forward to this list. It will give me a better list of recommended foods to offer to people.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi LJRhap,

    You make a reasonable point. However, the issues you mention in your comment go beyond what is actually reported on the label.

    Our ratings are limited to the data found on the government regulated label only. And nothing else.

    However, our new Editors Choice section scheduled to be available on our website sometime during mid-Fall 2013 will start with the ratings and then also take into account facts about the company itself, ingredient sources, quality control, and many other items too numerous to mention on the label.

    Look for it soon.

  • ljrhap

    This brand has been recalled and shut the plants shut down several times for not following FDA guidelines. They have been known to add ingredients that are not listed on the label. I fed this to my dogs until I opened a can and found BLACK MOLD! When I called the company they had all sorts of excuses and just did not seem to care at all. I have to say I have lost ALL respect for the advice on this site because they rate this dog food so high. This is a horrible company that has had more than one chance/recall and still continues to not to follow guidelines. This should not be rate 5 stars but rather 1 star. The food content on the label might seem good, but the actual content cannot be trusted!

  • http://www.theholisticchatterbox.com/ Toxed2loss

    Unsubscribe from replies from “Dogfood advisor”

    “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” Edmond Burke

    http://www.theholisticchatterbox.com http://aftertoxicinjury.blogspot.com https://www.facebook.com/theholisticchatterbox/

  • Angie Hendrickson

    Much all of life is borrowing information, not truly discovering the ‘facts’ for oneself. All learning is borrowing information. So don’t be so reserved about offering up answers to people’s questions.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    What’s lazy, is actually the ‘teacher’ who is too arrogant to be of help to those around him who are seemingly below him. Encouraging research is good, yes, but on a website as simple as “dogfoodadvisor.com”, come on.. It’s about the dogs here. Some people just don’t know any better and need the help because they aren’t sure where to begin. This isn’t a college class room. More a place for people to HAVE their questions addressed by helpful individuals.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    You know, that’s bullocks. “As a teacher”. As a teacher, one would be comfortable with questions, correct? Why then, are you teaching? I suppose every one should just learn to shut up, not talk, and not ask the teacher questions because it would be ‘wiser’ to go find the answers to their questions on their own. That would be taking initiative, right? Try to consider that not every one on the internet is college educated, or perhaps they never learned the necessary skills to be a good researcher because of the environment they grew up in. Personally, I’m a good researcher, and I have no problem sharing information with others. Being of help to others is a joy. I would think of all people, a teacher would empathize with that. Huh…

  • Angie Hendrickson

    i’m beginning to not either after reading these reviews…

  • Angie Hendrickson

    Oh.. my.. god.
    I’m scared now. I’ve been feeding my puppy Evanger’s Pheasant wet food in small doses as a mixer with is Solid Gold Wolf Cub Dry food. I have been buying it because of the claim that it’s mostly 100% pheasant. Oddly enough, he had intense itching issues soon afer, and so we credited it to the weeds outside.. Maybe it was this food. Scared now!

  • chiapink

    Shouldn’t have to hurt to be sarcastic.

  • chiapink

    any company that would steal electricity from another person/business, really may not be entirely trustworthy, just speculation on my part, but I don’t really trust them anymore.

  • Laney

    NOTE: the liver listed in these foods always matches the protein that it first lists. I’ve spoken to several reps about this. There is no danger of a 10% pork can to have chicken liver.

  • Nobby

    I mix Merrick Grain Free dry (one cup) in with Evanger’s Grain Free wet (one third of a can) 15 second micro waved to melt the broth for my 20lb plus Cavalier King Charles, and eats it all with no stool problems. Highly recommend both brands.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Unfortunately, that is one of the things that Evangers is known for. They were caught in the past putting something in the cans that was not what was supposed to be in there. They were also caught forcing their employees to work unpaid overtime and stealing electricity. Not to mention some gross sanitary violations. You and your dog are better off moving on.

  • Marie

    I fed this to my dog who has allergies to chicken. She had severe itching of the feet, ears, and face immediately after eating. In the meantime, I took her to UC DAVIS to discuss a possible biopsy to rule out other disorders. They asked to see the dog food I was feeding her. The Nutrition Department told me that it had Chicken Liver not Rabbit Liver in the canned Rabbit. She is now off the Evangers and I am going back to UC Davis for a consult on a home prepared meal.

  • Pingback: Evanger's Grain Free Can for Dog or Cat GREAT FOR FOOD ALLERGY - Chihuahua Forum : Chihuahua Breed Dog Forums

  • InkedMarie

    Hey, thanks Betsy! My mac’s hard drive went last month so I had to drive an hour+ to take it to the nearest apple store.  I was in heaven playing with the iPads and I’m not a techy person. Steve will see me sitting in the recliner, waiting for my emails to load while he opens his iPad up & he reads his email. He smirks. Off to look at that link!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Hey Marie, I got my daughter an pad last year for Christmas. Luckily, she’s been using her laptop more recently (which is what I used to use most of the time) so I’ve been getting my turn with the iPad, which I’ve come to realize I like much more than I ever thought I would. I got hers refurbished direct from Apple. Lots of good deals and the same warranty. http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/ipad

  • Toxed2loss

    Sounds like a plan!!!

  • InkedMarie

    I intend to beat it with a hammer, after I get a iPad. My husband has an iPad for work, darn him!

  • Toxed2loss

    LOL!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sledgehammer cures all computer woes.

  • Toxed2loss

    SMH You are a saint! I’d have beat it with a hammer by now for sure!!! GFETE

  • InkedMarie

    I’d take an iPad over this pos Acer any day. Everything comes to my email (FB, this, responses from every forum I’m on) and if I’ve been away from the computer for a few hours, I can easily have 100 emails. On my tablet, it can take up to 20min to have the emails load so I can read. FB? Yeah right. Try to share or like something on FB with it. No dice. 

  • Toxed2loss

    It was good of you to apologize. :-) I have an iPad, and sometimes it can make me pretty frustrated, too.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I thought for a moment there that you were talking about a pill instead of a “computer”.  I have issues with my iDevice.  I so get that.

  • InkedMarie

    I was sarcastic so I apologized. There are times, esp if I’m on my not-so-friendly tablet that I may ask a question on a forum but I try to say, I’m on my tablet and hard to navigate. 
    Glad someone else saw it my way!

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Marie,
    I saw it like you did. People should find their own simple answers. If they’re looking for add ons and opinions, then why don’t they ask that question instead, and provide the document themselves? Then they could be a contributing member of the community.

    As a teacher, I dealt with a lot of students that always took the easy way out, asking someone else. They always had endless justifications, too, for why it should be o.k. for them to do. You do have to learn to ignore those questions, or encourage them to do their own research, so the student isn’t reinforced in that lazy behavior.

  • InkedMarie

    Well, I thought this was a very simple question with one answer. Alot of questions here have answers that are subjective. Anyway, I’m sorry. I should not have been sarcastic. My sincere apologies, I’ll pay more attention the next time I answer a question. 

  • Ms D

     Because it is a question, answer, and discussion forum. And because sometimes people add other comments that may be helpful when answering the original question. Your response is saying that it isn’t OK to ask a question if you can come up with the answer yourself. Most of the questions people post can be self answered with a little thought and searching.

  • InkedMarie

    Sorry about that but I don’t see why people come here with questions that are easily answered by a quick google search.

  • Ms D

     I’m not sure why you feel you need to be so sarcastic.

  • InkedMarie

    http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm255000.htm

    Gee, one google search and in a few seconds, viola, it pops up.

  • Ms D

    Anyone have the link to the FDA letter being mentioned? I’d like to read it….

  • InkedMarie

    look at the ingredients; there are no grains. She can be itching for many reasons: fleas, dry skin from the heat, an allergy….which specific Evangers did you feed her?

  • steph dunn

    I bought this brand because its suppose to be grain free, but my dog itch when she eats it. So I am wondering if it is really grain free since she has a reaction. other brands that is grain free I have given to her and she didn’t have an allergic reaction. I will not buy this product for her again.

  • Carla_steinman

    Thank you Lynn.  I am currently feeding homemade foods based on Dr. Karen Becker’s book, but it is really nice to have another site with recipes.  I bit the bullet and did the salivary test developed by Dr. Dodds, so I no longer need a novel protein – I know which foods to stay away from.  It’s not nearly as hard as I expected, and I can’t even imagine going back to commercial foods.  Best,
    Carla

  • Lynn

    Carla there is a good website for cooked dog food.  http://www.homemadedogfood.com My dogs love the Evangers cooked chicken but I am a bit leary now.  Hope this helps.
    Lynn

  • carla

    Geeze – first time I’ve seen this – an FDA warning letter.  Good example of why we can’t trust manufacturer’s labels.  Saw this as I was looking for a grain-free novel protein food.  Guess I’ll make my own – then I’ll know what’s in it.  Anybody have an really good recipes and ideas on how to find healthy, trusted novel proteins?  I’m in a small town; no Whole Foods Stores where I might find some ostrich or rabbit.  Thanks, Mike for keeping us informed.  I’ve learned a lot through this website!

  • doggonefedup

    May I suggest that if you insist on using evangers canned foods place the can in warm water before opening it. If the can lid bulges even slightly after being in the warm water throw it out. 

  • doggonefedup

      I to was using evangers “hand packed”  hunk of beef, chicken thighs,
    and chicken drumettes for at least the past ten years. I would mix them
    with dry food. I to found that if I placed the cans in warm water before
    opening them it would melt all the fats and mix better with the dry
    food. Like you I began to notice over the past couple of years that some
    of the cans would bulge a little bit and “pop” when I opened them. It
    took me a while until I realized that my dogs would not touch the food
    that came out of those “popped” cans. For a while I was bringing them
    back to the store and exchanging them for other cans. That was until my
    supplier said evangers started to refuse to take those cans back
    insisting there was nothing wrong with the contents. Well there must be
    some thing wrong with those cans if my dogs refuse to eat only the
    contents of the cans that popped. If I replaced the food from a popped
    can with food from a can that didn’t pop they would dig right in. 
    apparently it wasn’t just me having that problem. I’ve stopped using
    evangers since they obviously don’t stand behind their product. There
    are to many reputable manufacturers out there to waste my money on food
    that may not even be safe for my dogs to eat. Needless to say my dogs
    will never taste any evengers food again. I would rate evangers a minus
    five stars.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Layla… You’re right. There has been what appears to be a minor recipe change. I’ll need to revisit this product line as soon as I can. Thanks for the tip. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Jan (mom to cavs)
    I had the same problem with it last year, with two different times. The first one I thought maybe it was the food, the second time I knew. I quit using it then.

    Layla, that’s why I initially liked it too. :-(

  • Marie

    I buy the rabbit for my cats and never had a problem. :-/ Hmmmm.

  • Layla

    Dang I was going to go out and buy some of this till I saw all the bad crap going on with them. I was like, finally a canned food that is just meat and water!

    BUT they made a formula change too I guess. Now when you go to their website the ingredient list on the Game Meats lists Guar Gum and “liver”. None of the flavors list what animal the liver is from it just says Liver. Seems like they’re really downgrading : (

    Here’s the link to their site http://www.evangersdogfood.com/dog/gamemeats.html

    Just click on a formula and you will see it.

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    Meg K, I used to feed Evanger’s canned food, especially the Hunk of Beef and the Chicken Thighs, on top of kibble. I even used it when I read about the owners “problems” because I liked the food so much for my dogs. However, I am done with it. The last can of Hunk of Beef made my dogs sick. They had never gotten sick on this food before. So I decided no more because I felt it was just to “iffy”. Now, as to whether the company’s problems are all gone I can’t say, but they have had problems and it’s really up to you to decide whether you feel you want to still trust that the food will be okay.

  • Meg K

    I just bought a couple of cans of duck to give my dog who had IBD but didn’t realize that there was any issues with this dog food. So now I am concerned a out giving it to her after reading some of these postings. Is everything cleared up with this brand or are there still issues happening?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    This brand certainly has it’s issues. I don’t trust them at all after reading that FDA warning letter. But, Robby, this has nothing to do with star ratings. Mike can only rate a food based on the government regulated ingredients list and apparent meat content. And nothing else. You haven’t been posting here long, so maybe you haven’t read all the pertinent articals Dr. Sagman has writen explaning how he rates dog food. Give these a read, sir.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-reviews-problems/

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dogs-carnivores-omnivores/

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-grain-by-products/

  • Robby

    Here’s a perfect example of a 5 star food not being the right choice for a pet.
    It all depends on your dog, his digestive system, & what he likes. Period.

  • Robby

    Thx 4 the info Beverley. I almost ordered a case of the Pheasant for my Charlie. Not now.

  • Beverley

    My German Shepherd ate less than an oz of Evanger’s canned Pheasant Sept 4th and spent 5 days in ICU for food poisoning. She was sick within hours, vomiting and bloody diarrhea with lots of gas, apparently from an anaerobe (like C. Botulinum).I had never seen the FDA warnings before but I called them and they jumped right in.

    I’ll never encourage anyone to buy their products and I certainly won’t be doing so myself.

  • sandy

    bill,

    Have you looked into Weruva? They have a tuna food. Only tuna, veggies and sunflower oil – Cirque de la Mer. And Addiction foods has some novel proteins as well.

  • bill

    Hello – I am skeptical about the pureness of these meats. And about the company cleaning the machinery between manufacturing. I bought a case of the rabbit – but after the FDA letter… I just can’t bring myself to feed it to my severely suffering allergic dog. It’s really hard to find a PURE novel protein. Even the primal puts sardine oil in their raw patties. My dog’s specialty dermatologist vet said she wish it didn’t have any other animal source other than rabbit. I wish I could trust Evanger’s, but sadly I do not.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi DMJ… Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any FDA updates to its May 5, 2011 warning letter to Evanger’s. As soon as someone finds a new official response, I hope they’ll let all of us know. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • DMJ

    Mike – any updates regarding the FDA warning letter issued in May? Just found out my girls have a number of allergies between them & wanted to feed some of these 100% formulas to supplement the Lamb & Rice I need to feed.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Paulina… Unfortunately, I’m still awaiting an answer to that question from the company myself. Wish I could be more help.

  • paulina

    omg mike, i saw the fda letter!! but it didnt say anything about the game meets being effected? thast the only product from them i have been feeding my two dogs, do you still think is it safe? i am freaking out!!!!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Meagan… Foods can settle a bit after packaging. But it seems unusual to see that much volume loss in a canned dog food. I’d suggest calling Evanger’s Customer Service.

  • Meagan

    I opened the Venison for the dogs meal tonight. There was like 1/4 of the can already gone. Does this happen allot?

  • Meagan

    I went shopping for the pups today, had coupons for three free cans. So I picked Buffalo, Venison, and Pheasant. They love the pheasant I topped on tonight.

  • jaimee

    My very allergic dog has been using rabbit in addition to her dry food for years and I have always been pleased. We recently paired the rabbit with Canine Cavier’s venison and pea and she has been doing great. Its the best combination we have had to date and we have tried them all.

  • Rmarisco

    I buy this all the time. My dogs love them all, but especially the salmon. I really like these products because they are made in America, with American products – I found that producers can label things “made in the USA” as long as it is packed in America, but the food inside could be from anywhere.

  • Sue Hamm

    I have a dog that has a grain allergy. I opened a can of rabbit. There was a kernal of corn in it. I called the company and talked to someone. They said it couldn’t be but maybe they had missed something in cleaning the machines after a special order. They were not very concerned about it.