EVO Dog Food (Dry)

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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 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 Senior Formula

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
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 are 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 is 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 four 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, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

In addition, 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 also 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 named meats and meat 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.

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

06/28/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • 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