Evanger’s Grain Free Hand Packed (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Evanger’s Grain Free Hand-Packed canned dog food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Evanger’s Grain Free Hand-Packed product line includes seven canned dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and three for supplemental feeding only.

Those marked with an asterisk (*) appear 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 Hand Packed Wild Salmon*
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Hunk of Beef*
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Catch of the Day
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Braised Beef Chunks
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Whole Chicken Thighs*
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Chunky Chicken Casserole
  • Evanger’s Hand Packed Roasted Chicken Drummet Dinner

Evanger’s Hand-Packed Chunky Chicken Casserole was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Evanger's Hand-Packed Chunky Chicken Casserole Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 25%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, carrots, peas, apples, 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 D2 supplement}, minerals {zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, selenium yeast, potassium iodide}

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%22%25%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%44%21%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

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

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The sixth 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.

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.

Unfortunately, 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.

Evanger’s Grain Free Hand-Packed Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Evanger’s Grain Free Hand-Packed 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 44%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 58% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 14% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 35%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Evanger’s Grain Free Hand-Packed is a meat-based canned dog food using a generous amount of beef, chicken or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

However, it’s important to note that some of the recipes in this product line appear to be all meat in design. And that could make them suitable for supplemental feeding only.

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

03/12/2010 Original review
03/07/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • theBCnut

    That’s probably because this food is likely to have much higher fat content than what is on the label, much higher. That makes it very tasty.

  • Leslie

    I have been lucky. I have received the product, the dogs love it and I have not found any mold or rusty cans. My Shih Tzus are so darn picky and they gobble this stuff up better than most foods.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I give whole, raw sardines sometimes. I bought them at the Mexican supermarket. They don’t have a smell like processed sardines. I bought 20 lbs for $1.19/lb.

  • Elizabeth Lazare Marshall

    I bought a can of Evanger’s Catch of the Day. It is advertised as two whole sardines from head to tail handpacked with gravy. I got 1/4 can of shredded sardines in a can of water (with a couple of peas). Talk about false advertising–this company is AWFUL!!!

  • Pingback: Best Canned Dog Food: A Few Extra Years For Your Dog | Best Dog Treats For Your Happy & Healthy Dog !!

  • InkedMarie

    Dr Mike already explained what is needed; the store owner confirming that isn’t what is needed.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    Well I can get in writing that they will give me my money back for the rusty can. They are not going to state that it is a silent recall even though I know the cans were taken off the shelf. What if I get the owner of the pet store to confirm that the cans were taken off the shelf? I know the time they were taken off. I told you I am like a terrier and I will not give up.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    We don’t need proof your can was rusty. We need verifiable proof of your claims there was a “silent recall”.

    We need to see an official document from the company itself that confirms your accusations. Without proof, your claim is only rumor.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    I did find some things on the different websites. I will check more about the silent recall. I do know my can was rusty. I can send you a photo. The pet store I bought it from did not have them on the shelve for a time. This recall would of been in late September or early October. I will call FDA tomorrow and let them know what happen to our dog and see what they can do.. I have proof. I have the rusty can of dog food. Why are the cans rusty?? . Why did my dog almost died from this dog food?? I hope they can tell me why??

    I am pleased that you are now going to look beyond the label and see where this food comes from and how it is prepared. I have verbal proof from the owner as to how this food was prepared and it is nothing like it is advertised on their website. It is not hand packed the owner told me that I think most dog owners would flip out as to the the way the meat is cooked in the cans 10,000 at a time. The owner blurted that out to me on the phone when she told me how dog owners make things up.

    I will get back to you this week,
    Kathleen McCabe

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    As I explain throughout my website, my ratings absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything but the information found on the government regulated product label.

    However, our new Editor’s Choice section due for release sometime after January 15 will go beyond the label and look directly at the company that actually produces each product — but only for designated Editor’s Choice manufacturers.

    Regarding “silent” recalls — even silent recalls in which only the distributors are notified. I have covered every verifiable dog food product recall since 2008. And I am not aware of any recent recall for Evanger’s. There is a huge difference between a rumor and a true recall.

    If you have verifiable proof of a recall from Evanger’s in the form of a document and not just what you have heard from others, I will be more than happy to look into the event and report it on my website.

    Please provide a link to a reputable website or an official document to confirm your claims.

    Otherwise, it would be irresponsible for me (or anyone else) to report such rumors to the public.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    How do I get this 5 star rating off this website for Evanger’s dog food.? I think this website can do something about this shabby company . They better update their review and I am wondering how they are going to review Evnager’s new dog food.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    Oh thanks for the info Patty. What can I do? I am going after the pet store and maybe they will think twice about putting Evanger’s dog food on their shelves after a recall. This pet store is a franchised . Now, you took some of the stem out it for me. I will let FDA know and The NJ agricultural know. All I know is that Phineas will never her ever eat canned dog food!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    More power to you for going after the dog food company, but you will have a very hard time going after FDA for allowing something that is not in their power to stop. FDA has next to no power to enforce anything. They can not force a company to do a recall. All they can do is take them to court and hope the judge orders a recall. Thankfully, the threat of taking a company to court is usually enough. Not so with Evangers, they are already in the court system for too many different things.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    I am going after the company for pulling a silent recall which I think caused ourn dog to get sick. I am also going after the FDA who allows silent recalls to exist!! I told you am like a terrie and never gives up. I am going to keep barking about this awful dog food company!!

  • Jackie B

    I only bought 1 can, and I threw it out. I definitely was not pleased.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are a very scummy company.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    I hope someone with our dog’s interest at heart checks out Evanger’s new dog food. I really had the owner very nervous. She had to be the owner because she mentioned the dogs. I have to get my vet to call her. She thinks she can convince him that it was not her dog food. he still has the can.

  • Betsy Greer

    Kathleen,

    I just remembered this article from Susan Thixton’s site last month about rusty cans from Evanger’s: http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/evangers-canned-pet-food

  • Betsy Greer

    I know, Nancy Kerns wasn’t able to tour Evanger’s while they were in production mode. Interesting “coincidence,” huh?

    Oh, and Evanger’s has been in a lot of trouble recently for stealing power and trying to pay off witnesses to their prior illegal acts.

  • http://enria.org/ Storm’s Mom

    Yup, they are :-(

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    The journalistl did not get into Evanger’s canning factory while it was functional. My vet thought about all of this for entire week after we came back for an ultra sound. . My vet did not like that nothing was on the label telling the public where the food was made. it could be easily put on the can. He thought they could put the label on after the food was processed somewhere else. The Kosher on the label let to the article that he had read about earlier in the year. He reads 5 newspapers every morning. He told me to make my own dog food. There’s no controls on the dog food. They can get away with anything. i

  • Betsy Greer

    Sounds like Evanger’s… pathetic, aren’t they. smh

    When you say your vet believed they cooked the food in the can, was that because of the condition of the can?

    Here’s an interesting article from October of 2011, about how canned dog food is made along with lots of photos. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/news/How-Canned-Dog-Food-Is-Manufactured-20393-1.html

  • Betsy Greer

    Wow, that’s a scary thought. I might be mistaken about this, but isn’t Evanger’s making the new Wild Calling canned foods?

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    Thanks for sharing. i have a sharp vet and the first thing he said was that they cooked the food in the cans and he mentioned the kosher meat packing company. My vet has the can we did not open. I will keep you posted. The gal at the company accused the dog owners of making trouble. She did not care the dogs were getting sick and almost died!!

  • butchroy

    When our dog got sick this time last year, he was bleeding into his skin all over like a rat poisoning, we had fed him a can of Evanger’s for his supper. I mentioned all this to the vet, but never anything came of it. Then I learned of all Evanger’s transgressions and wondered if a rat killed with rat poison had somehow gotten into that canned food! I stay completely away from Evanger’s now. We do not have any proof of what caused our dog’s illness, so far he is fine now. Scary.

  • Kathleen Nargi McCabe

    Our daughter’s dog almost died from food poisoning after eating Hunk of Beef in our home. WE got him to the Vet’s just in time. The company told me they cook the meat in the cans 10,000 at a time. Where do they get 10,000 pair of hands to cook this food ? Remembered hand cooked!! They did not care that other dogs were sick and they would not tell me where the meat came from. With Kosher on the label, his leads me to believe it could of come from a Kosher meat packing company that was cited for unhealthy meat in the beginning of this year. No where did it say where the rusty cans were made and where the labels were made. What does that say for the Federal protection for our pets??? Stop buying dog food.The companies are getting away with the crap they put in for our dog food. I am very angry that this company can get away with this. . Let’s get the word out. it cost me $970 for the vet bill. it must cost this company about 20 cents a can. Get your passport out. i am sure you would need it to track down where they get their meat, cans and labels.

  • InkedMarie

    Evangers is quite a shady company, I’m glad you’re not buying it any longer!

  • Jackie B

    I bought some of this and it was all bones and fins (the salmon). I will not buy this brand anymore.

  • ccorrine

    for some reason my dog won’t eat the last batch of Evangers I just ordered. I was having to coax her to
    eat for the last couple of weeks. She would eat her food, but like she didn’t really have much of an appetite and then she would finally get thru the bowl, but on a few days she just left it; I had to throw it out when I got home and then I’d give her a can of their other flavor and she would eat that (although not enthusiastically).I was getting really worried. She is healthy so then I got
    worried that the food might be contaminated. So I went to store and got her
    Hill’s new dog food, “Hill’s Ideal Balance “, (chunky kind with gravy),
    since my very picky cat loves their cat food after I’ve tried every expensive cat food at the pet store. My dog loved it. She finally eagerly ate all her food, she was wagging her tail when she was eating. Poor dog, finally got something tasty to eat after weeks of forcing herself to eat Evangers. I don’t know. I read great reviews on that Brand, I thought it was top of the line. But for some reason my dog found it very unappetizing. This morning she actually waited for
    her breakfast this morning, which she hasn’t done in weeks. She was anticipating gettting more of that chunky stuff with the gravy. I didn’t find any
    recalls listed for Evangers, but I now have several cans that I’m going to have to give away. If it’s not contaminated, my dog apparently just doesn’t like the flavor. But I trust my dogs nose and senses. So this morning I put some of th Evangers on the bottom of the bowl, and the Hill’s Ideal balance on top. She spit out a couple of pieces of the Evangers out onto the floor only eating and picking out the Hill’s food. She left all the Evangers in her bowl and walked away after only eating the Hills food. They were very east to tell apart; the Evangers was the loaf stuff, and the Hills was the sliced chicken with gravy. She had no problem with the new dog food, loved it, ate
    it up like it was best meal she’s had in months. So there’s obviously something wrong with the Evangers dog food. She’s eaten loaf type food before; she loved Chicken Soup, so I thought I’d upgrade her and get her a grain free food and tried Evangers. She eats it like I’m trying to poison her. So, I don’t know what’s up with that food, no recalls were listed. But I think I’m just going to have it tossed. If it’s possibly contaminated, I don’t want to risk giving it to a dog rescue shelter either.

  • Jsnaeger

    My dogs love this too, however I have noticed a lot of fat in the food. I put the remaining food in the fridge for the next feeding and when I take it out 2/3 or the can is filled with cold fat. :-?

  • Jsnaeger

    Bovine material food in food? Beef infected with mad cow disease?? No duck or lamb found in cans sold as duck & ?, or lamb & ? Confused because my dogs really love the wild salmon but this concerns me. Has anyone else heard anything more about this? Or please correct me if I misread the FDA letter.

  • 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.

  • Liz

    i have question to ask, is anybody feeding/mixing with evanger’s hand packed brasied beef chunk to poodle puppy, is this too rich for my puppy, and is this safe and is this real pure meat and natural ings??? i heard ppl saying can not trusted this product no more is this true???

  • Rheseyj

    Hunk of beef !!!

  • Nancy Cohen

    This isn’t necessarily a direct answer to your question, but I hope you’re feeding something besides the chicken thighs.  That’s one of the products meant for intermittent or supplemental feeding … it’s not a complete and balanced meal.  If you are feeding it alone … you should switch to the chicken drumettes.  They have whole pieces of chicken with bone, just like the thighs, but it’s also a balanced meal (vegetables, minerals, etc. in there) and you’ll find there’s definitely MORE MEAT in each can (drumettes must be cheaper to buy than thighs?).  I’ve been buying Evanger’s for the last 10 years and there’s always been more meat in the drumettes, plus as I said, you don’t need to mix it with anything.

    Nancy C.

  • dog lover

    I used the “hand packed” evangers for a long time. I was in the habit of setting the cans in hot tap water (unopened) to melt all the fats in the can for easier mixing with dry foods. I’ve noticed that some of the can would bulge when warmed. I couldn’t help but notice that my dogs would not touch the contents of those cans (that bulged). Evangers insists there is nothing wrong with the cans, but, who am I to argue with mys dogs sense of smell and taste? I no long feed Evangers to my dogs. If they ever get there processing corrected I may consider using their foods again, until then I give them a no star rating….

  • sharron

    i have lexee eating orijen chicken and fish formula (just started) and feeding her 1/4 cup per day – can she lose the extra little bit of weight on this food or should i be giving her the NOW weight management.

    thanks

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi VR… I’m not aware of anything about the quality of Evanger’s products. However, you may wish to scan the comments section of all the Evanger’s foods on our website to see if anyone else has made a similar observation.

  • VR

    I’ve been feeding my standard poodle Evanger’s whole chicken thighs grain free canned food and she just loves it. However I have been noticing lately that the can contains increasingly more broth and less meat. I’m starting to get concerned that my dog may not be getting the nutrition promised on the can.
    Have you heard anything about the quality of their products lately?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Lynne… Be sure to check every can or bag of every dog food you serve to be sure it says “complete and balanced” for either “adult maintenance” or “all life stages”. If it says “supplemental or intermittent use only”, then you must supplement the food accurately. Or just use it intermittently with other complete and balanced dog foods.

    By the way, assuming you’re referring to Nature’s Variety Instinct, you should be OK. Hope this helps.

  • Lynne

    My dog, Candy, is a 12 year old cockapoo. She loves Instinct brand of raw rabbit. Should this be supplemented with another food or is it ok to feed all the time. Thanks
    Lynne

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Frank… Many dog food companies make weight management products… but (as you’d expect) all are not equal.

    To narrow your choices, click on the menu tab at the top of our website labeled “Tag Cloud”. On the next page, click on the phrase “Weight Management”. This will give you a list of all brands reviewed on our website that contain at least one weight loss dog food.

    As you click on each one, remember these are only the brands… and not the specific weight loss products made by those companies. Click on each review until you find only the 3, 4, or 5 star brands. Then look for the name of the weight loss product in the list near the top of each review.

    This should give you plenty of choices. Hope this helps.

  • Frank M Rich

    The dog food info provided is grate. Can anyone tell me what or which foods are considered or can be rations as diet food. My dog (small beagle) is 25 lbs and needs to get down to about 15-18 lbs. Any advice would be appreciated.By the way my Vet prescribes Hill’ Prescription Diet R/D Canine.

    v/r frich