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Evolve Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: July 12, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Evolve Grain Free dry product range is made up of eight recipes with ratings varying from 3 to 5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 4.5 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Evolve Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food 4.5 A
Evolve Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food 4.5 A
Evolve Grain Free Deboned Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Berry Recipe Dog Food 4.5 A
Evolve Grain Free Duck, Sweet Potato and Venison Recipe Dog Food 5 M
Evolve Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Berry Recipe Dry Puppy Food 5 A
Evolve Grain Free Senior Formula Chicken, Sweet Potato & Berry Recip Dog Food 3 M
Evolve Small Batch Baked Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Apple Recipe Dog Food 5 A
Evolve Small Batch Baked Grain Free Turkey, Sweet Potato & Cranberry Recipe Dog Food 4.5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Evolve Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Evolve Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

27.8%

Protein

16.7%

Fat

47.5%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned salmon, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, turkey meal, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tapioca starch, ground flaxseed, dried plain beet pulp, dried apples, natural chicken flavor, salt, menhaden fish oil, dried chicory root, yucca schidigera extract, calcium carbonate, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried carrots, parsley, papaya, spinach, kale powder, potassium chloride, taurine, dl- methionine, minerals (copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate, folic acid), dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 25% 15% NA
Dry Matter Basis 28% 17% 48%
Calorie Weighted Basis 24% 35% 41%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is deboned salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon contains up to 73% 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

The fourth ingredient includes garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.

However, garbanzo beans contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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.

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 Evolve product.

With five notable exceptions

First, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

Next, we find 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.

Next, taurine is an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

This food also contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Evolve Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27.8%, a fat level of 16.7% and estimated carbohydrates of about 47.6%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29.8% and a mean fat level of 16.1%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46.2% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Near-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 garbanzo beans, peas and flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Evolve Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Evolve through July 2024.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Evolve Grain Free Dog Food

Evolve Grain Free is a dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

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Highly Recommended

A Final Word

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