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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||47%||24%||21%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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".
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Notes and Updates
06/28/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩