Evolution Diet canned dog food earns the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Evolution Diet product line includes two canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Evolution Diet Gourmet Entree
- Evolution Diet Gourmet Vegetable Stew Entree
Evolution Diet Gourmet Vegetable Stew Entree was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Evolution Diet Gourmet Vegetable Stew Entree
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Filtered water sufficient for processing, peas, potatoes, brown rice, carrots, wheat germ, oat groats, dicalcium phosphate, soybean oil, nutritional yeast, dl-methionine, l-taurine, guar gum, sea kelp, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), vitamin A acetate, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), choline chloride, ferrous sulphate, zinc oxide, manganese oxide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper oxide, manganese sulfate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenate, arachidonic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||21%||38%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||42%||31%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second 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 nutrient content of this dog food.
The third ingredient includes potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth item lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient lists wheat germ. Wheat germ is a nutritious by-product of the wheat milling process and also rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and minerals.
However, since it contains at least 25% plant-based protein and depending upon the amount, this ingredient can boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The eighth ingredient is soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3′s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, the minerals 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.
And lastly, 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.
Evolution Diet Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Evolution Diet Canned Dog Food is — by design — a meatless product.
So, although we do recognize the need for some dog owners to provide (for whatever reason) a completely meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.
For this reason, the highest rating awarded any vegetarian dog food found on this website can never exceed two stars.
That said, and before we determine our final rating, it’s still important to estimate how much plant-based protein might be present.
The two recipes feature an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 21%.
Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
This is clearly the profile of a kibble containing absolutely no meat.
Evolution Diet canned dog food is a plant-based wet product using a notable amount of peas as its main source of protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Those looking for a dry vegan product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Evolution Diet dry dog food.
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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Notes and Updates
04/23/2010 Original review
11/22/2010 Review updated
08/21/2012 Last Update