Evanger’s Classic Dinners (Canned)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Not Currently Recommended
See “Special Alert” Below

Evanger’s Classic Dinners Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Evanger’s Classic Dinners product line includes nine canned dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages, one for adult maintenance and five that appear to be for supplemental feeding only.

The products marked with an asterisk (**) appear to us 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 Classic Beef**
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef and Bacon**
  • Evanger’s Classic Cooked Chicken**
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef with Chicken**
  • Evanger’s Classic Puppy Food (4 stars)
  • Evanger’s Classic Beef with Chicken and Liver**
  • Evanger’s Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner (4.5 stars)
  • Evanger’s Classic Chicken and Rice Dinner (4.5 stars)
  • Evanger’s Classic Senior and Weight Management (3.5 stars)

Evanger’s Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Evanger's Classic Lamb and Rice Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Lamb, water sufficient for processing, rice, liver, 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 D3 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, selenium yeast, potassium iodide)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis9%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%18%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%38%28%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 28%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

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

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fifth 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.

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 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.

And lastly, this dog food contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Evanger’s Classic Dinners Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Evanger’s Classic Dinners appears to be an above-average canned 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 41%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Evanger’s Classic Dinners is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

However, some of these recipes appear to be 100% meat and (as such) may only be suitable for supplemental feeding.

Since we could not locate an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement for each product posted on the company website, readers are cautioned to check the label to be sure a food is “complete and balanced” before feeding it daily on a long term basis.

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

Unfortunately, due to serious and recurring issues associated with this brand, we cannot (in good faith) recommend this product at this time.

Evanger’s Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

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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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

02/07/2017 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Maybe so, BUT, sabotage has not been ruled out.
    Stranger things have happened.

  • Pitlove

    The owners of Evangers themselves have admitted to PENTObarbitol being in the food and that the two original skus recalled contained horse meat.

    Evangers has been an unethical, dishonest company for years. No witch hunt at all, just a family that has no place running a pet food company.

  • Brandi

    This is a full blown FDA witch hunt, complete with bogus consumer reports and fabricated court cases. This happens with every company/farm who won’t cave to their Monsanto’esque bullying tactics. The most recent recall was addressed and independent labs confirmed no traces of phenobarbitol.

  • Rachel M

    Please read the recent report issued by the FDA and remove Evangers products from any “recommended” lists. Guilty of feeding “adulterated meats and unsanitary manufacturing conditions”.
    Thank you!


  • InkedMarie

    Type “how we rate dog food” in the search above. A companies recalls, ethics etc have nothing to do how the ratings are figured out.

  • Lynne

    Some dogs have died. How can Dog Food Advisor keep this food in a 5 star category after this? And they had a similar thing happen in 2008!

  • james456

    For pentobarbital. The FDA thinks that gets into dog food due to the use of euthanized cattle or horses.

  • Cathy Koh

    Today they have recall

  • Jockoliveson1

    Yup, researched other issues prior to contacting v.p…he thot I was an ‘investigator’

  • InkedMarie

    Evangers is not a reputable dog food company; they have had problems (not with food but other things). I would not give them a penny of my money.

  • Jockoliveson1

    Recently bot several cans of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef to try for my dog.She seemed to like it. Kept buying several cans at a time continuing to see if she liked it. She did. I finally bot a case of Hunk of Beef. 2x made my dog very, very sick. Took my dog to vet 2nd time with opened can and food still left. Vet examined food and found thick black inside chunks of beef and said, “not from denaturing, which does not permeate meat, but “rotten beef”. “Not to USE anymore of this company’s products”. I contacted Evangers and spoke with v.p. – He was very rude, trying to bully me and even saying I didn’t even buy any of their product, denying what rep said, “don’t return to pet store where purchased so as not to be resold”, denying that rep said “what is the ‘batch’/lot number to further check” as v.p. replied to me “we don’t have “batch numbers”. Evangers truly needs to be inspected and investigated, again.

  • Jockoliveson1

    Thank you, Cookie – Bot Evanger’s Hunk of Beef for my dog. First cans fine – next 2 cans made my dog very sick. Had to take to vet and took opened can with me. Seeing thick black throughout inside of beef once cut, vet sed ‘rotten’. (not denaturing) Contacted Evangers and v.p. was very rude and yelled trying to “bully” me. No more for me or my dog!!! Thank you for informing customers!

  • Cookie

    I want to add, also, that for as long as I can remember I’ve been stocking cases of all the Evangers at work. Each case I stock is super dirty and dusty and even after handling one case I feel like I need to wash my hands! It’s really gross and makes me curious about where those cases sit in and out of the factory!

  • Cookie

    Yeah, this food LOOKS great on the can…I’ve worked in a couple different locally owned pet store in the last 10 years and the negative review I get from Evanger’s is usually the same: “I don’t know why but this can made my dog sick.”
    I swear it has to do with their can lining or something…Randomly people will come back confused, thinking their dog is now allergic to duck or something but I swear it’s the food itself that’s bad. I randomly took a can of the liver snacks home to my very sturdy dog. It’s just 100% liver, yet it made him throw up all over the house! I was baffled, but a day later I realized “Oh it was Evangers brand!” So, I hate to do it because it’s such a neat line, but I can’t recommend it to my customers anymore!

  • Linda

    My Husband just brought home a new dog food for our Dobie. It is called “Wild Calling”. Ran a search and was immediately taken to a scathing report on Evanger’s.

    Wondering why I furthered my search to find that Evanger’s processes many private labels. Apparently “Wild Calling” is one of them.

    My decision is to avoid this product at all cost.
    Expensive dog food is alright.
    A beloved DEAD PET definitely IS NOT worth the risk.

    I have emailed “Wild Calling” to varify (which like Evanger’s) has a great label chock full of wonderful things (apparently fantasy) a pet owner wants to hear. So far I have no response
    other than a generated “we received your message and will respond asap.”

    Fantasy IS NOT reality!
    With the heart wrenching reports of sick and dead animals on the (above posted website link) about Evanger’s … some that appear to be caused by “botulism” (which means the canning process is a failure) it is most likely there are thousands more who did not connect the dots of their pet problems to the food they ate or are still eating and if they did … did not report it.

    This is buyers beware!

  • CodaWars

    I love Evanger’s. I’ve been feeding Chicken and Rice Classic Dinner for the past couple years to my dog, who has an autoimmune disorder and has difficulty digesting kibble. Evanger’s has been great for us because it is: 1) limited ingredient; 2) contains a high quantity of meat; 3) is affordable; 4) is high calorie, meaning I only need to feed my 65-pound dog a couple cans a day (compared to three or four–or more!– for other varieties. He has done excellently on this food and really enjoys it. He maintains his weight nicely and his coat is amazingly soft and shiny. Has nice, compact, small stools and we’ve never had an issue with quality. The few times we’ve contacted the company with questions, their customer service has been responsive and helpful.

  • Skipper Jones

    I would suggest that anyone considering buying an Evanger’s product do a Google search and read reports on Evanger’s problems with the authorities in California. Then decide for yourself if Evanger’s is a company that you could trust.

  • theBCnut

    Let’s see if I can post all these links:




    There’s more under one of the brands that Evanger’s cans, but I can’t remember which one. I originally was told to google “court cases evangers” and it came up with reports about truckloads of rotting meat dripping on the ground and all kinds of other unsanitary practices, as well as the court cases for them stealing electricity and forcing their employees to work unpaid overtime.
    If you look at the reviews Dr Mike has done on some of their other products, you will also see where he mentions that they seem to be grossly under reporting fat content. You can tell on their formulas that don’t have added carbs because the numbers don’t add up. If they don’t add carbs then they shouldn’t be reporting numbers that suggest that they are 1/3 carb. That suggests that it is actually fat minimums that are grossly under reported. Giving a dog a diet that is much higher in fat than they are used to is one of the cause of pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

  • zip king of rock

    I would be interested to hear what you mean by “shady”…I just bought a case of this stuff based among other things on the star rating ABOVE!

  • theBCnut

    During Passover, Jewish observers can not have certain things in their houses, at all. In fact I think Jewish preperations for Passover is where we got our tradition for spring cleaning. They are required to be extremely thorough and follow exacting guidelines.
    But I would never give this food to my dogs, too many shady dealings at the Evangers cannery.

  • zip king of rock

    Label on can says: 1) Complete Balanced Diet; 2) All Natural; 3) Kosher for Passover (yeah, my dog studies the Talmud); –Evanger’s Classic Recipes Lamb and Rice