Evanger’s Grain Free Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Not Currently Recommended
See “Special Alert” Below

Evanger’s Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Evanger’s Grain Free product line includes 3 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Evanger’s Grain Free Chicken [A]
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Whitefish and Sweet Potato [A]
  • Evanger’s Grain Free Meat Lover’s Medley with Rabbit [A]

Evanger’s Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Evanger's Grain Free Chicken

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 38%

Ingredients: De-boned chicken, sweet potato, chicken meal (a source of glucosamine), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), fish meal, ground flax seed, pumpkin, yeast culture, alfalfa meal, natural chicken flavor, fruits and vegetables (carrots, peas, tomato, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, cranberries, blueberries), potassium chloride, dried egg, kelp meal (Ascophyllum nodosum), New Zealand green mussel, eggshell meal, vitamins and minerals [vitamin E supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate (source of vitamin B5), copper amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), biotin, manganese amino acid chelate, magnesium amino acid chelate, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), lecithin, dried chicory root, cobalt carbonate, hydrolyzed yeast (source of beta-glucans), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus fermentum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product (Lactosacc™ - probiotics), taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine HCL, chondroitin sulfate (natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis33%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%18%38%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%37%33%
Protein = 31% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

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

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The sixth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is yeast culture. Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it can also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.

The ninth ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

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 note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this recipe includes 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 Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Evanger’s Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 36%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, yeast culture and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Evanger’s Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats 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

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.

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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

04/06/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Crazy4cats

    I sure hope you’re right, for the sake of our pets. I, however will never trust their safety practices for their wet or dry food. They have had several serious violations over the years.

  • Joe Morgan

    They dont because it is made in a different facility in a different state using different supplier and machinery.

  • Catherine Gugliardo

    Good point Crazy4Cats, I only use the Whitefish product as the others contain alfalfa. Their beef products were recalled. My dogs love the whitefish but I may have to start looking elsewhere.

  • Crazy4cats

    What if they use the same meat supplier for their dry food as their wet?


  • Catherine Gugliardo

    Evangers kibble is not manufactured at the same place or the same state as the canned food, why would you red flag it?

  • April French Leavitt


  • Crazy4cats

    Ok, then you should feed whatever you are comfortable with and your dog/s do well on.

  • Diane

    I would not buy this food

  • Diane

    Yes thank God I like Wellness food

  • Diane

    Wellness does not use Diamond anymore. All foods are made at Wellpet.

  • Diane

    I am concerned about the buyout since Purina had so many recalls

  • Shea

    I went to a local pet store and received samples of the rabbit, chicken and pheasant with brown rice. Gave her a few pieces of the rabbit kibble and she really liked it. Well, I started researching this food and read bad reviews with a few good reviews. It seems they had trouble in the past. I wanted to know if this company is doing better in 2016. My little dog is on Acana but would like to find something lower in calories to rotate with. And I can buy it at a store close by and won’t have to order it online like I do with Acana. Also, I wanted to know how this compares with the new Wellness Complete Grain Free that has just come out.

  • Carol Young

    I have been feeding our 2 Corgis Evanger’s White Fish and Sweet Potato for nearly 2 years and they love it. Corgis have a tendency to pack on pounds, but I have been able to keep them at a good weight on it. They have never had stomach problem as they had when we tried another (premium grain free) brand, and I like the smaller kibble size. My one Corgi has seizures and the vet wants him to maintain a high protein diet. She said his protein levels test very high so she is also pleased with what we feed them. Yes it is not easy to find. Our one shop that carried it closed, but I how have it shipped regularly (and no shipping charges) from Chewy.com.

  • Barbara Maxwell

    Chewy.com has it. They also have free shipping..

  • June V.P.

    Thank you Crazy4cats

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi June-

    Here is the information on Merrick’s new relationship with Nestle Purina. I feed Merrick’s budget food, Whole Earth Farms grain free regularly with no problems. I’m not that concerned about the new purchase agreement: http://www.merrickpetcare.com/news-center/news-releases/merrick-pet-care-announces-purchase-agreement-by-nestle-purina-petcare-company

    With that being said, I also feed Victor grain free without any issues.

    You could always rotate between the two brands and if any issues come up, you have an easier transition to the other brand. Good luck!

  • June V.P.

    Since my last review a year ago, I have changed my dogs food to Merrick about 7-8 months ago. My dogs started not wanting Evangers, I practically had to force them to eat it. This was not normal at all.
    I changed the bag to see if that was just a bad batch. it was hard to find too. Found out they were switching plants or something like that. My dogs were not wanting any part of it. So we bought Merrick grain free. Now I find out they have been bought by either Purina or Nestle. Which is apparently not good. My dogs are doing good on the food. But it worries me about what people are saying. I’m thinking of trying Victor Grain free.

  • Mechelle

    Thank u! I just have to figure out where to buy it. For some reason the Grain Free Whitefish is no where to be found. Even on Evangers website. Hmmmm

  • Kerry Lee Haas

    I switched my boys off Evangers, but only because the kibble size is so small that they keep choking on it. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad food, it means my dogs eat like piggies, even with a slow feeder bowl. lol

    If you go to chewy dot com and click on sort by ‘newest’ in the comments section, you will see the latest reviews. They source everything locally and my boys were never sick on the food. They thrived on it. Their canned food is high quality too and my boys will stay on that with another larger shaped kibble brand. Good luck! I hope your little one continues to like it.

  • Mechelle

    Hi. So I received some sample packs of the Grain Free Whitefish and sweet potato for my toy poodle. She has a lot of food allergies so I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t even think she would try it because she is so picky but she actually eats this kibble. I’m amazed. But I have searched it up online and no one seems to sell it and all the reviews for Evangers seem to date back to 2013 and before. No really recent feedback. I’m worried about continuing this kibble and where I can get it, but she seems to be happy with it. Any advice out there?

  • Kerry Lee Haas

    I don’t see any recent reviews on Evanger’s so I’ll write one of my own because we just switched. So, I switched my boys from Pinnacle to Evanger’s Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin and they love it! No tummy upset during the transition either so I was able to transition them within a matter of days instead of weeks.

    Pinnacle was great but they never had firm poos on it so it was a bit rich for them. Evanger’s kibble is made for all life stages so the kibble is tiny, but they don’t choke on it and I think it’s easier for them to digest compared to the large kibble pieces that they used to eat. My boxers also have sensitive tummies and one has a pea allergy but peas are so far down on the ingredients list that this formula doesn’t make him itchy. Not like other brands where there are three sources of peas and it’s like the 2nd or 3rd ingredient. Their poos firmed right up after the switch. A good indication that they are digesting it properly. They also have 33lb bags. A huge plus when you have two big dogs to feed. We are very pleased with this brand.

  • June V.P.

    My poodles have been doing really good on Evangers grainfree chicken. I’ve tried others but came back to this.

  • Elaine

    Thank you for the info. I am still on the search for a good dog food and with so many to pick from it looks like it may take a while.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Wellness moved away from Diamond as fast as they could after the last big recall. They make all of their own kibble now and Diamond never did their canned.

  • Elaine

    sorry for the double post. i thought i deleted it but i guess it did not delete. i am new to this

  • Elaine

    Hi everyone; I have researching dry dog foods for months now and i am looking for a food that does not have potato, beet pulb, garlic or vit k in it. I looked into Evangers grain free. It has a 5 star rating and it seems to be what i want but as i see in the comments that most people do not like it. i have 2 rescue dogs a lhasa/maltese mix and a maltese/yorkie mix, they tell me .My last dog was 120 lb malamute that i fed a raw diet. He passed away from cancer at 14 which is great for a large dog. These 2 little guys do not like raw for some reason and when they do eat raw they only eat very little and they get loose stools. It is funny that do not like raw because they love veggies and apples and bananas which i feed them every so often. I have tried Blue Buffalo but the lhasa had a bad itching reaction to it. I also tried Wellness but since i found out it is made by the Diamond company i stopped that one also. They are now eating Nutro Natural and i see all the bad reviews so i am affraid of useing that one even though they are doing good on it. Please let me know why Evangers is not liked by a lot of people. Thanks for your help in finding the best dog food for my little ones.

  • shannoncookie

    It seems like the company has been involved in some fraud and label misrepresentation to the point that the fda had a ban on some of their food for a while… google search evangers and fraud you will come up with some interesting stories ..

    I went into the pet food store a couple months back and bought some of their wet food cus the label seemed good and it was on sale. After bringing it home I did some research and didnt feed it to my dog the company seems smallish and shady..

    Im also too scared to feed my dogs nutro cus they have so many bad reviews. If you look on the consumer affairs website there are a lot of REALLY scary complaints.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi! Cute dog.

  • Guest

    Hi everyone; I have researching dry dog foods for months now and i am looking for a food that does not have potato, beet pulb, garlic or vit k in it. I looked into Evangers grain free. It has a 5 star rating and it seems to be what i want but as i see comments most people do not like it. i have 2 rescue dogs, 1 is a lhasa/maltese mix and the other 1 is a maltese/yorkie mix they tell me. I have tried bb and the lhasa had a bad itching reaction to it. I also tried Wellness but since i found out it is by the Diamond company i stopped that one also They are now eating Nutro Natural and i see all the bad reviews so i am affraid of useing that on also even tho that are going good on it. Please let me know why Evangers is not like by a lot of people. Thanks for your help in finding the best dog food for my little ones..

  • Guest

    Hi eveyon

  • InkedMarie

    Do a google search on Evangers. They are an extremely shady company. It’s the one company I will never, ever, buy food from.

  • ljrhap

    We opened a can of Evangers to find black mold right on top! When I called to report this they were totally flippant and basically told me I must have done something to it or that it was not mold. Yes I did something to it….I opened the can. This company is TOTALLY un-trustable! I will never recommend them and when I find products that are processed in their plant I will not buy them either (FYI watch out as Evangers has their own processing plant and there are quit a few dog foods that are processed there). It definitely makes me think twice about how reputable this Dog food advisor is since they are rating Evangers as a number 5 food. NO WAY!!!!! Just goes to show how hard it really is to determine the best dog foods.

  • I volunteer for a greyhound rescue in Wisconsin and Evanger’s has a program to assist rescues and shelters organizations. It’s a great program for people in need of good food at a discount.

  • grace

    I’ve started my pups on this food, and the crazy thing is, their poop doesn’t smell on this food. It also smells like chocolate, and they love it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Oh I wouldn’t use any of their products either, they’re too sketchy. Just heard about it and wanted to put it out there.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I still won’t be buying it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m hearing that Evanger’s will be launching a new air-dried formula – it sounds ZiwiPeak-esque. Supposedly 85% meat and grain-free.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Thanks, but…..siiiiiiiiiigh…. wish folks like that would just stay awaaaaaay from DFA!!! 🙂

  • InkedMarie

    Same reason I won’t use a Diamond made food. I don’t trust them. It’s not like there’s not other food to choose

  • Pattyvaughn

    I feel the same way actually. I’m glad that those 2 are not our only options 🙂

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Evanger’s makes me cringe. I honestly think I’d rather feed a Diamond made product..

  • Pattyvaughn

    They do look good on paper, that’s why you have to dig a little deeper. Think Diamond.

  • Cyndi

    That’s true, you’re right. I was just going by Dr. Mike’s review of it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Might not be decent at all. I’m with you. I wouldn’t trust them at all.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If they lie about what is in it, how do you know that it is better than Beneful. You know what I mean.

  • InkedMarie

    Might be decent but no way would I give Evangers my business

  • Cyndi

    You were totally right! You should be a private investigator! Lol! Good work!

  • Yes it does. Nature’s Select is made by Mid America Pet Food in TX (who also makes Victor).

  • Carmen, Sarah and Calli…

    Your use of multiple identities as evidenced by your comments posted on this and other articles using the same computer and IP address is a violation of Our Commenting Policy.

    This rule clearly states:

    “…the use of multiple identities or other deceptive tactics designed to mislead readers are strictly forbidden.”

    Because you have violated this policy, all your comments have been removed.

  • Cyndi

    I know what you mean.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Deception, generally, makes me mad 🙁

  • Cyndi

    Well, atleast it’s a decent dog food and it’s not Beneful or some crap like that they’re trying to talk up. I’d be really mad about that!

  • Storm’s Mom

    It is, isn’t it?! ….sigh… 🙁

  • Cyndi

    Hmmmm, that is a bit of a coincedence. (sp?)

  • Storm’s Mom

    two people (“sarah” and “Carmen”), both with dogs named “Lilly” (even with the same spelling!), come on here about 10 minutes of each other (one in this thread, the other on the Evanger’s grain-inclusive review) to give glowing testimonials of Evanger’s …hmmm….

    Wasn’t Evanger’s the company that was proven by the FDA to, in fact, NOT “give you what they tell you”? ..in the form of including different protein than what their packaging said?

    Edit: “Calli”, too, looks like…siiiiiiigh…

  • sarah

    I started with Evanger’s when my dog Lilly got sick 4 years ago. She was itching and scratching and she had to be allergic to something. I tried the Evanger’s whitefish becasue i thought the fish would be a nice change and it was! She stopped itching and scratching. She is now 6 and looks healthy and strong! I give her some of the canned food too because I heard it’s very beneficial and nutritious. I noticed their ingredients and it was so simple. I knew exactly what they were putting in and appreciate that. There arent many companies still doing it. They also have organic! I give her some of the organic cooked chicken, sweet potato and I love the whole chicken thighs and hunk of beef. Her dinner looks better than mine and it should! I am so happy to have found a company that actually gives you what they tell you and is all natural. Evangers has made my experience with Lilly so easy

  • Calli

    I say try the Evanger’s Grain Free Chicken. It’s the most basic and it’s grain free! but my vet told me that canned is much better and has more health benefits. Any of the Evanger’s canned food is good. I have used it all my life on chow and husky and I have never had a problem. Actually, the vetirnarian has to call and remind me for appointments because we never need to go. A little more expensive but saving money on vet bills! and very good quality food. Sometimes my dogs dinner looks better than mine.

  • InkedMarie

    well, sc**w them, not the kind of company I want to deal with. I’ll stick with Darwins and Brothers!

  • Shawna

    In addition to cheating the gas company, they were sued and found guilty of not paying employees for working overtime hours… 

  • InkedMarie

    Wow! The only thing I had heard about Evangers was their canned food that had food in it that was not on the label. 

  • Guest

    We found a very sizeable chunk of mold in the bottom of a bag that had only been open a day. Evanger’s refused to get back to us despite repeated emails, phone calls and facebook posts (which were promptly deleted by an employee) until we got the USDA involved. Very sketchy company, do a google search for them and their warehouse conditions and issues with cheating the gas company. I know this doesn’t speak to the quality of the food, but I like to look at the company as a whole, not just their nutritional value. They promised us a free bag of food to prove they were not all bad. I gave up waiting for that free food over a year ago.

  • guest

    This has an uncanny resemblence to Natures Select Grain Free (except for lamb meal).

  • Jessie


  • Ryoung

    Thank you !

  • Ryoung

    Thank you. I fed him Artemis for a while and my vet switched him to Royal Canine Veterinary GI, but he doesn’t  really like it and I would prefer to keep him on a more natural diet. My other dogs do well on Artemis, but this one threw up often. He does less so with the Royal Canine but he isn’t fond of it. He eats two times a day. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Ryoung –

    Here’s a list of grain-free 4 and 5 star foods with appropriate calcium levels for large/giant breed puppies. Grain-free/chicken free should help a dog with a sensitive stomach.


  • Stephanie

     Ryoung, what do you feed him now? How much and how often? If you think the issue is volume, could you address it by feeding him smaller meals more frequently>

  • Ryoung

    What dog food would you recommend for large breed (Mastiff)
    with sensative stomach ? Has tendency to throw up if food expands too much.
    Would like to stay with the natural/organic food brands. Dry and canned.
    Thank you !