Evolve Dog Food Ingredients

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Evolve manufactures roughly 34 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Evolve ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Evolve uses roughly 218 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Evolve, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken meal
  3. chicken liver
  4. pea
  5. chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Evolve is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken meal, followed by chicken liver, pea, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols).

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Evolve does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 34 Evolve dog foods contain artificial food dyes.

Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.

In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most dogs consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.

To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.

Animal By-Products

According to our records, Evolve does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Evolve have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 4 anonymous meat ingredients used by Evolve.

Fish meal is defined by AAFCO as "the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cutting, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil." Since the specific type of fish is not mentioned, we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as tuna meal, salmon meal, catfish meal, etc.

The following recipes contain fish meal:

Organ meats like poultry liver are an excellent source of protein, fat, and essential vitamins and minerals. Although organs may not sound appealing, organs are an important component of a carnivorous animal's diet.</p><p>Unfortunately, poultry liver is considered an anonymous meat because the specific type of poultry is not specified.

The following recipes contain poultry liver:

Ocean fish can refer to multiple species of fish, since the particular type of fish is not specified, it's difficult to discuss this ingredient. The nutritional contribution of ocean fish depends on the species included; however, fish generally provides high quality protein and fat.

The following recipes contain ocean fish:

Poultry fat is a by-product of poultry tissue rendering. Poultry fat is a controversial ingredient because the specific protein is not specified. Such ingredients are typically low-quality in comparison to named poultry fats (e.g. chicken fat, turkey fat).

The following recipes contain poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid):

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 9 controversial ingredients inside Evolve products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

Iron oxide is an FDA approved natural food coloring agent. It's commonly found in rusting metal and provides a reddish-brown color.</p><p>We believe food colorants are unnecessary ingredients in dog food. Other than potential harm, food colorants do not provide any nutritional value. These type of ingredients are used only to make the food look appealing to humans.

The following recipes contain iron oxide:

Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.

The following recipes contain powdered cellulose:

Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.

The following recipes contain pea protein:

Garlic powder in very small quantities can be an acceptable addition, however, garlic can also be toxic. Therefore many pet owners choose to completely avoid garlic.

The following recipes contain garlic powder:

Caramel is a widely used natural food colorant. The concentrated form of caramel is typically listed as caramel color and has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

The following recipes contain caramel:

Canola oil is a plant-derived oil from the seeds of canola plants. Although fat is an essential component of any diet, canola oil is controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that canola oil provides a better fat profile in comparison to other plant based oils. However, opponents claim that canola oil is typically produced with genetically modified rapeseed and that rapeseed oil has multiple adverse health affects.

The following recipes contain canola oil:

Beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.</p><p>We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.

The following recipes contain beet pulp:

Durum semolina is made from durum wheat and is typically used to make pasta. Like other wheat ingredients, durum semolina is regarded as an inexpensive low quality filler in pet food.

The following recipes contain durum semolina:

Poultry fat is a by-product of poultry tissue rendering. Poultry fat is a controversial ingredient because the specific protein is not specified. Such ingredients are typically low-quality in comparison to named poultry fats (e.g. chicken fat, turkey fat).

The following recipes contain poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid):

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

During our review, none of the Evolve ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium dog food brand.

Evolve Dog Food Ingredient Lists