EVO Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

EVO Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The EVO product line includes seven dry dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and three for adult maintenance.

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

  • EVO Senior Formula
  • EVO Herring and Salmon Formula
  • EVO Weight Management Formula
  • EVO Red Meat Formula Small Bites
  • EVO Red Meat Formula Large Bites
  • EVO Turkey and Chicken Formula Small Bites
  • EVO Turkey and Chicken Formula Large Bites

EVO Turkey and Chicken Meal Formula Large Bites was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

EVO Turkey and Chicken Formula Large Bites

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 21%

Ingredients: Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, salmon meal, menhaden meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), peas, tapioca starch, natural flavors, apples, eggs, tomatoes, carrots, potassium chloride, salt, cottage cheese, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate), alfalfa sprouts, dried chicory root extract, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, vitamins (betaine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, beta carotene, vitamin B12, supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid), direct fed microbials (dried Enterococcus faecium, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, dried Lactobacillus casei), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis42%22%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%24%21%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%47%17%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Although quality items, raw poultry contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The next two ingredients include salmon meal and menhaden meal, two additonal protein-rich meat concentrates.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The eighth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

After the natural flavors, we find apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find cottage cheese. Compared to other dairy products, cottage cheese is high in protein yet contains 70% less lactose than whole milk.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

EVO Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, EVO Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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 47%, a fat level of 24% and estimated carbohydrates of about 21%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 48% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

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

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

Bottom line?

EVO Dog Food is a grain-free meat-based kibble using a significant amount of chicken, pork or salmon meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

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

Notes and Updates

03/29/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • saf

    I found that when my dogs where put on EVO they all began eating dirt. I researched this on the web and found many many people stating the same. Seems if dogs are eating dirt, they are missing something in their diet. Got them off of EVO and they stopped eating dirt. Now I home make their food and keep Orijen or Timberwolf Organics Platinum in the freezer in the event something comes up and I’m not available to put their meal together. (Husband has backup in freezer.)

  • ash

    I did :)

  • liliUS

    Report it , so other dog owners wont go through the same experience!

  • Dog_Obsessed


  • Semih

    At begening we were feeding them with Nutro and later blue buffalo. But evo is a superior brand in my opinion and observations.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    That’s great! What food were they eating before?

  • Semih

    We have anatolian shepert and a westy. From six weeks old we gave them evo and Innova dry doog food. Result was excellent. Till my wife and my vet. Convinced me to switch food. My dogs are four years old( few months between) and last year I have to get surgery for big dog. Because of knee problem. I have to give him glucosemin supplement every day rest of his life. Recently I switch dog food back to evo and his knee suddenly got better. I also see their coat is better to. Big one walk better. Because of evo.

  • DogFoodie

    The food obviously doesn’t agree with your dog. There are lots of foods I’d like to feed my dogs, but if it doesn’t agree with them, I know I have to move on. What we sometimes think is best, isn’t what’s best for our dog.

    Since yours already has diarrhea, you could make a cold turkey switch to something else right now.

  • theBCnut

    Please understand that even if there is nothing wrong with the food, not ever food works for every dog. You tried, don’t feel like you have to try anymore. Start transitioning to something your poor dog does well on. And if you feel you have to use up the last of the Evo, make it a very small portion of her diet.

  • disappointed customer

    I have a 3 yr old 50lb plott hound mix. I’ve tried to feed EVO three times in the past two and a half years. The first attempt two years ago, she made it 3/4 of the way through a 28lb bag before the diarrhea came on strong, so I thought the problem was bad storage practices on my part and that the food went bad. The second attempt last year coincided with a recall not long after I’d opened the bag, so I didn’t finish feeding. The latest attempt, December 2014 – I don’t usually have problems switching her food, but a week into the bag, my pup is exploding all over the house and yard. I’ll be giving it one more week as I try some other measures to calm her guts, but I won’t be going back to EVO – I just don’t trust it.

  • theBCnut

    When changing foods, always watch stools closely. They tell you so much about how your dog is doing on a new food. I always want to see good solid normal stools for 3 days before increasing the amount of new food on dogs that aren’t used to switching foods. I switch my dogs all the time now, so they are used to it and I never transition anymore and I never have loose stools either.

  • ash

    thx for the info! no, didn’t see loose stools with the 1/3 new, but I wasn’t watching THAT closely since there was no diarrhea as of yet. I will pay closer attn w/ the next thing I try, and will also go by the suggestion of 1/4 at a time….that’s a good one.

  • theBCnut

    The usual symptoms of sensitivities are are gas, itching, red ears, that sort of thing. Some dogs do get loose stools to diarrhea from changes in amount of protein, fat, or fiber. But vomitting is usually a pretty strong reaction.
    When you were doing 1/3 new and 2/3 old food, did you see any signs of loose stool? I would probably only change 1/4 at a time and maybe even less, if your dog isn’t used to switching after every bag.
    This food has quite a bit more fat than Wysong. I would expect that to be the reason for the upset stomach.

  • ash

    PS I just noticed one other thing in the EVO and not in the Wysong – peas & pea protein. So I think this and the alfalfa are on the top of the list of possible offenders. I’ve read a lot of dogs are sensitive to chick peas & other legumes in dog food and I believe peas are similar. Hmmmm.

  • ash

    Must report this food made my dog sicker than I have ever seen her; she is eight. Transitioned her from Wysong Epigen Chicken to EVO GF Weight Mgmt (also a chicken & turkey based food). When I transition I always give a TBS or two plain greek yogurt which does the trick. I fed 2/3 Wyong + 1/3 EVO for a week, then went to 1/3 Wysong + 2/3 EVO. Two to three days into the second week she began to vomit and have diarrhea. Everywhere. Many times a day. For an entire week. Omg…it was hell. Any other time she’s had digestive disturbances, they lasted 2 days MAX. Am so disappointed, I really wanted this to work. Called company to see if any reported issues with the batch I purchased, they were great; I really appreciated their response. She compared the EVO to the Epigen to see if there were any differing ingredients that could be the culprit. There was not fish in the Epigen, although there was fish oil…plus she’s been fine on other salmon foods. Also…and maybe this was it….the alfalfa – never had her on anything with that….and it is the red highlighted ingredient above. Has anyone else experience this on the GF Weight Mgmt, or with a food containing alfalfa? Thanks!

  • Cole Helton

    Considering earthborn contains canola oil, yes. VERY controversial product and I refuse to consume it myself, let alone my dogs.

  • Cole Helton

    And you’re a science diet garbage dog food advocate.

  • patspoms

    I have fed evolution red meat for over five years. Delt with recalls, now they have changed the food. I have many dogs. They no longer dive into the food when it is put out. They wait to see if I am offering something else. I never have. They eat the food but seem to NEED more. They are hungry. This never happened before. Also their water consumption has doubled. Something is wrong!

  • W0lfman

    Actually I did switch to Orijen, in fact I have now switched my adult dog to Orijen as well (Regional Red). The main factor in my decision to change to Orijen is that someone from HealthyDogma.com pointed out to me that the ingredient list on the label for the french, lists the percentage of each ingredient. This sealed the deal here is the translation…

    Angus beef fresh boneless (6% ), fresh boneless boar (5% ), fresh boneless lamb ( 5%), fresh beef liver (5% ), fresh boneless pork ( 5%), fresh pork liver (5%) whole fresh herring ( 5%), fresh lamb liver ( 5%), dried beef ( 4%), dehydrated lamb ( 4%), dehydrated herring ( 4%), dehydrated salmon ( 4%), dehydrated pollock (4%) , fresh beef tripe (3% ), fresh buffalo ( 3%), lamb fat (3%) , fresh whole eggs ( 3%), red lentils , chickpeas , peas, yellow peas , green lentils, herring oil (2%) , pea fiber , yam, sun-cured alfalfa , pumpkin, butternut squash, blueberries (blueberries ) , kelp, licorice root, ďangélique root , fenugreek, marigold flowers , sweet fennel, peppermint leaf , chamomile chamomile, dandelion , summer savory , rosemary.
    ADDITIVES (per kg ) : Nutritional additives : Vitamin A: 15,000 IU Vitamin D3 2000 IU , E1 (iron) :40mg.E2 (iodine ) : 3mg , E4 (copper ) : 13mg , E5 ( manganese) : 14mg , E6 (zinc) : 150mg , E8 (selenium ) : 0.3mg , antioxidants additives: preserved naturally with vitamin E.

  • Through The Woods

    The food is labeled “for all lifestages” according to AFFCO nutrient profiles. However if it would make you feel more comfortable Orijen has a puppy food with a similar protein/fat/carb ratio. You could try this brand until your pup is a year and then switch to EVO if you wanted at that point.

  • Thomas

    Good info. I’m still happy with totw, but we’ll see. I’ve got evo and merrick as my backup choices

  • PUNKem733

    It’s a true statement. Ridiculous it is as well.

  • W0lfman

    I am looking for a puppy food, I don’t see an EVO brand puppy food, does this mean that all of their food is designed for all life stages?

  • Kerry Lee Haas

    I just switched my boxer boys from TOTW Pacific Stream formula to EVO Turkey and Chicken. They absolutely love it. It’s too soon to tell if it will help with my one boys paw licking and seasonal allergies but already their coats have become much softer than when they were on TOTW. I did a switch in about 6 days with minimal bowel issues. So far they are only pooping twice a day (each) now. Before it was 3-4 poos on TOTW. TMI for some, but poo is an indicator of how well they digest the food so I added that info as well. lol Just be sure to follow the feeding guidelines. My boys used to get 3 3/4 c each of TOTW a day, now they get 2 3/8 c of EVO, but it fills them up so they don’t beg between meals. If you overfeed on EVO they will have major bowel issues.

  • aquariangt

    I can tell you that my culinary training taught me more about nutrition than many members of the medical field, who don’t focus on that and turn more towards medicine and procedure to fix things. While that’s all well and good, a solid diet can curb most of that. I have 4 immediate family members in the medical field, and a cousin that is a veterinarian, and I’ve said it before, but her quote on dog food “It’s all the same anyway, so it doesn’t matter what you feed” she of course feeds hill’s because of her kickbacks
    My mom is a long, long time RN and she had very little clinical nutrition training, and it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with lupus and had to figure out what kind of diet she could do that would help curb the pain-most of which was her own research because the doctors just wanted her on medications. While she is on some, she is on less than most lupus patients because of her diet

  • Shawna

    Your comment reminds me of an article I read by a Registered Dietician that made my draw drop wide open…bolded emphasis mine. She writes “During my clinical training as a dietitian, I was not taught holistic nutrition principles. I did not learn the benefits of herbs, or of the importance of whole foods, probiotics, enzymes, or organically grown foods to good health. I did not learn to use vitamin and mineral supplementation to overcome illness or disease. I did not understand that poor nutrition is probably the cause of most disease and poor health conditions in the first place.http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/health-issues/a-dietitians-experience-in-the-nursing-home/

    If the schools aren’t training DIETICIANS in the importance of proper diet I have no hope that vets, veterinary nutritionists, RN’s or anyone else in the medical field (excluding possibly DO’s and CCN’s) are going to be properly educated without unwanted industry influence.. UGHHH

  • Eva Bushman

    Just an FYI … I received an email back from Nutura and their have been some changes made to their EVO weight maintenance formula.

    “To answer your question, we removed white potatoes from the formula. We replaced it with ingredients that provide a better glycemic response, like tapioca starch and peas. Some of the levels of other ingredients changed slightly.”

  • Eva Bushman

    Just an FYI … I received an email back from Nutura and their have been some changes made to their EVO weight maintenance formula.

    “To answer your question, we removed white potatoes from the formula. We replaced it with ingredients
    that provide a better glycemic response, like tapioca starch and peas. Some of
    the levels of other ingredients changed slightly.”

    I was very pleased they answered my question, It wasn’t a auto reply message, and asked for further info. I have always been very happy with EVO’s product. I am just hoping the changes they made aren’t what is causing Blossom’s possible allergy.

  • Betsy Greer

    And…, that she’s has “15+ years in animal medicine, [and is an] expert in dog behavior and behavioral issues..” Who certifies that?

  • aquariangt

    The fact that she keeps saying she “works in animal medicine” but hasn’t said she’s a vet or even a tech raises some suspicion. Vita is a fine job, but certainly no more qualified than the accusations she’s thrown around on here