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Dog Food Insiders Rating
You can find detailed information about Natura Pet, manufacturer of EVO dog food, in our main review of EVO Dog Food. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control procedures. Evo dog food is considered to be a “top tier” dog food with higher quality ingredients and has gained quite a bit of popularity among dog nutritionists.
Evo claims their dog food products more closely mimic an “ancient” or “natural” diet than most other dog food brands provide. That means their products are normally much higher in meat based proteins and lack most of the “filler ingredients” used by other dog food brands. Let’s take a closer look at this food by analyzing the specific ingredients used. In addition to looking at the top 5 ingredients, we will also look deeper into the ingredients list to see if there are any ingredients of concern. Finally, we will take a close look at the Guaranteed Analysis.
Ingredients in Evo Turkey and Chicken Dog Food
Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a Natural Source of Vitamin E), Natural Flavors, Eggs, Apples, Tomatoes, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, 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),Cottage Cheese, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate),Alfalfa Sprouts, Dried Chicory Root, Direct-Fed Microbials(Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product).
Despite the 2013 recall of EVO because of concerns about Salmonella at the plant where it’s made, the ingredients in this food are very good and the company says they have not changed the formula or ingredients since it was purchased by Procter & Gamble in 2010. EVO has never previously been involved in any recalls, voluntary or initiated by the FDA. They use named meats, either whole or meals. They do not use any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or artificial preservatives. They do not use ethoxyquin in their fish meals. Their foods are grain free and low carb. And they use chelated minerals which allow the minerals to be more easily absorbed during digestion. This is a very good quality food and I believe that the Salmonella issue is temporary – found because of the FDA’s increased focus on Salmonella testing and not because there are any special problems with the food or the manufacturing process. We will probably continue to see many more pet foods recalled in the coming months as the FDA tests them using more stringent standards. Once EVO dry foods are on shelves again, the problem should be resolved.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first four ingredients in this food are good sources of meat protein: Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Meal, and Chicken Meal. These poultry proteins are easy for most dogs to digest. Turkey is a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus, as well as Selenium. Chicken is a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium. It’s also a good source of omega-6 fatty acid. Whole turkey and whole chicken contain a lot of moisture which, if removed would place these ingredients lower on the list. However, turkey meal and chicken meal have had most of the moisture and fat removed. They are excellent sources of protein in dog food.
While this food is very low in carbs (only around 12 percent NFE – you can read about how to figure nitrogen-free extract (carbohydrate) here:http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2244&aid=2842 ) the next ingredient probably provides most of the carbohydrates in the food. Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
Herring meal is the next ingredient and it is a good source of Vitamin D and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. Since it is a meal, most of the moisture has been removed, making it a concentrated protein source. Along with the turkey meal, chicken meal, and eggs, this helps account for the high protein percentage in the food.
The food has a crude fat percentage of about 22 percent and most of this fat likely comes from the Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a Natural Source of Vitamin E). This is all fat but it also provides some omega-3 fatty acid and a lot of omega-6 fatty acid.
Cottage cheese comes later in the ingredient list. Some owners might worry when seeing this ingredient if their dogs are lactose intolerant but cottage cheese used in dog foods – usually powdered cottage cheese – are low in lactose and safe for dogs. You should note, however, that cottage cheese is about 73 percent protein and like other dairy products it is sometimes added to dog foods to boost the protein percentage a little and make it higher.
The food also contains alfalfa sprouts which may seem odd until you realize that alfalfa sprouts are a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. They provide important trace minerals in the diet.
Direc-fed microbials are ingredients added to the food to aid digestion and provide other health benefits. They have been added to other animal feeds for some time but they are relatively new to dog foods. They seem to help many farm animals and other species grow and thrive but they are species-specific so the kind of bacteria that is beneficial in the stomach of a cow won’t necessarily be good for your dog. It takes research to determine which microbials are beneficial to each species.
The only ingredient that really causes any concern here is ” Natural Flavors.” Natual flavors can be something as harmless as chicken liver broth or it could be made from anything else that the FDA considers “natural” – and that includes a lot of different things. The main problem is that you don’t know what it is. It’s a vague term and it’s always better if you know what’s in your dog’s food.
- Crude Protein (Min) 42.0%
- Crude Fat (Min) 22.0%
- Crude Fiber (Max) 2.5%
- Moisture (Max) 10.0%
- Carbohydrates NFE (Max) 12.0%
- Linoleic Acid (an Omega-6 Fatty Acid) (Min) 4.2%
- Vitamin E (Min) 300.0 IU/kg
- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (Min) 500.0 mg/kg
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) 0.5%
- DHA + EPA (Min) 0.1%
- Total Microorganisms (Min) 90,000,000.0 CFU/lb
Calorie Content: 4243.0 kcal/kg; 537.0 kcal/cup
This food is very high in calories with a high fat percentage and, if you are switching foods, it may be richer than the food you are currently feeding your dog. You should make the change to feeding this food slowly so your dog can get used to it. Otherwise, you can expect some stomach problems and diarrhea.
You’ll probably find that you don’t need to feed your dog as much of this food as you have been feeding with other foods.
Nutritional Statement: Animal feeding tests using AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) procedures substantiate that EVO Turkey & Chicken Formula Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages+.
- Calcium 2.55%
- Phosphorus 1.57%
EVO dog food for adult dogs should NOT be fed to large breed puppies, despite this nutritional statement (read more here). Information from the company states that large breed puppies grow too fast when fed this food, as compared to when they are fed puppy food designed for slower growth. Whether this is because of the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the food which is amplified by the grain free and low carb formula is unclear, but you should not feed EVO adult dog food to large breed puppies.
On a dry matter basis this food has 46.67 protein, 24.4 percent fat, 2.7 percent fiber (rather low), and 13.3 percent carbohydrates – very low. This is a lot of protein in a food and some people report that their dogs don’t do well with such high amounts of protein. I know – theoretically, the more protein you give your dog, the better it’s supposed to be for him. But some people report that their dogs have skin and coat problems when eating dog food such as EVO with very high amounts of protein. Other dogs do very well with this kind of protein percentage and it is similar to the protein and fat percentages in a raw food diet.
Despite the recent recall, EVO Turkey & Chicken Formula Dry Dog Foodlooks like an excellent dog food. Do NOT feed it to large breed puppies. If your dog has any problems with the high percentage of protein, find a different food. Otherwise, most dogs should do well on this high protein/low carb food.
Evo Turkey and Chicken Formula Dry Dog Food has received our 5 paw rating.
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