Evolve Dog Food Review

Last Updated September 14, 2020

Founded back in 1949, Sunshine Mills – the company behind the Evolve dog food range – is known for its commitment to pet nutrition and quality ingredients. Evolve is its best-selling range, offering corn, wheat and soy free formulas with quality protein as the number one ingredient. Produced at the family-owned company’s own production facilities in the US, Evolve provides tasty, quality wholefood nutrition for dogs, at a surprisingly affordable price. While not as well-known as other leading dog food brands, Evolve has a growing band of loyal followers, impressed by the tasty formulas that are also packed with vitamins and minerals to sustain their pets’ all-round good health.

We give the lowdown on this straightforward dog food brand to help you decide whether to Evolve your own dog’s mealtime routine.

Evolve Dog Food Review


As a straight-up nutritious meal with a delicious taste to satisfy your dog, Evolve’s Classic brand is a premium dry dog food to keep your pooch coming back for more. Made with real chicken alongside chicken meal and vitamin-rich rice, this formula packs a protein punch and with added pre and probiotics but no corn, wheat or soy will keep their digestion moving and happy. As our Evolve dog food review best choice, it is also good value for money and nutrient rich, thanks to the quality natural ingredients. Alongside deboned chicken, you also get eggs for those essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids as well as chicken fat and plenty of tasty veg and carbs, including carrots, beets and blueberries. Slow-baked, the kibble biscuits are a satisfying size for adult dogs and as a dog food to support their everyday health is a good choice for all breeds and sizes of dogs. 

Kilocalories: 355 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 25%          

Minimum crude fat: 15%

Maximum crude fiber: 4%

Maximum moisture: 12%

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids plus pre/probiotics

Quality carbs including rice, carrots, beet pulp, blueberries and cranberries

First five ingredients:  deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, rice flour, chicken fat

  • Brand: Evolve Pet Food
  • Model: 0 73657 00857 6
  • Weight: 4 pounds


For a tasty meaty meal that’s packed with all the nutritional ingredients to keep your dog happy and healthy, Evolve’s Lamb and Rice formula is a good choice for all breeds. 100% free of corn, wheat or soy, it is kind on their stomach but works to keep them fueled and satisfied. The main protein source is quality deboned lamb, boosted with vitamin-rich brown rice to create a dry dog food that is easy to digest. As well as lamb, you also get protein-packed chicken meal plus dried egg for those essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to put a shine on their coat and a spring in their step. The brown rice, along with vegetables such as peas and carrots also ensure your dog gets all the fiber they need for a healthy digestion. The Maintenance range has been produced for adult dogs to provide balanced nutrition without artificial preservative, flavors or dyes. It is a good option for dogs of all ages and the relatively low-calorie levels means it is also good for canine weight management programs.

You may also like our review of the Best Dog Food for Weight Loss

Kilocalories: 347 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 24%          

Minimum crude fat: 12%

Maximum crude fiber: 4%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Dried egg and chicken fat for omega-3 fatty acids

Brown rice and vegetables for fiber; 100% corn, wheat and soy free

First five ingredients:  deboned lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, ground brown rice, barley

  • Brand: Evolve Pet Food
  • Model: 0 73657 00858 3
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds


This skin and coat conditioning formula from the Evolve Grain-free range is a super-tasty choice for your dog, thanks to the delicious salmon and sweet potato recipe. With deboned salmon at the heart of this flavorsome kibble, you also get flaxseed, which together supplies a powerful kick of essential fatty acids needed for your dog’s joint, skin and coat health. And with no grains, Evolve salmon dog food is a good choice for pets who may suffer from skin allergies or food sensitivities, meaning it is also kind on their tum. Their digestive health is also boosted by added pre and probiotics to keep things moving smoothly as well as their immune system on top form. This Grain-free salmon sweet potato recipe is also gentle enough to be used as an Evolve puppy food, although you will need to moisten the kibble at the start as they wean on, but then this nutrient-rich food will support their development into healthy adulthood. 

Kilocalories: 363 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 25%          

Minimum crude fat: 15%

Maximum crude fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Grain-free formula with no corn, wheat, soy or fillers

Complex carbohydrates including sweet potatoes for sustained energy

First five ingredients:  deboned salmon, chicken meal, tapioca starch, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans

  • Brand: Evolve Pet Food
  • Model: 0 73657 39015 2
  • Weight: 12 pounds


Indulge your dog’s palate with this delicious duck and venison formula that is also grain-free for more sensitive or allergy prone pooches. With deboned duck and quality venison, the meaty flavor is undeniable and will keep your dog coming back to lick their bowl clean! Each kibble biscuit is oven-baked for extra crunch and taste and are perfectly sized for most adult dog breeds., although it is too rich for younger pups. Evolve’s grain-free dry dog food is highly digestible too, thanks to complex carbs such as sweet potato and pumpkin which also ensure your dog gets enough fiber. Add in flaxseed, fish oil and chicken fat for those essential fatty acids and you get an excellent everyday dog food to keep your pooch active, happy, healthy and satisfied. Excellent value for a superior quality dog food. You may also want to check out our review of the best high fiber dog food.

Kilocalories: 360 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 35%          

Minimum crude fat: 18%

Maximum crude fiber: 5%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Deboned duck, with venison, sweet potato and pumpkin

Omega fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals; grain free

First five ingredients:  deboned duck, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, turkey meal, peas

  • Brand: Evolve Pet Food
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds


The only Evolve wet dog food formula in our review, this is a super-moist pate-style meal that is bursting with protein and flavor. Formulated for adult dogs, this easy-serve wet food can be fed on its own or mixed with a kibble for added interest. Real, deboned turkey is the main protein, boosted by chicken liver, lamb and ocean fish for a taste that is out of this world for your hungry canine. Slow cooked for maximum flavor, you also get dried egg and cottage cheese, along with rice, peas and oat bran. Brought together, your dog gets a dish full of essential vitamins, minerals, omegas and fiber, all in a delicious wet recipe. This Evolve recipe is higher in calories – around 481 per can – so the portions should be in line with the size and activity level of your dog but for pets that prefer wet food, this Evolve Classic is a winner. 

Kilocalories: 481kcal/can

Minimum protein: 8%          

Minimum crude fat: 6%

Maximum crude fiber: 1%

Maximum moisture: 78%

Quality protein, including turkey, chicken liver, lamb and fish

Added vitamins and minerals; slow-cooked for intense flavor

First five ingredients:  turkey, turkey broth, chicken liver, lamb, carrots

  • Brand: Evolve Pet Food
  • Weight: 13.2 ounces (case of 12)

Evolve Dog Food Review Buying Guide

Company Information

An all-American, family owned business that dates back to 1949, Sunshine Mills – the company behind the Evolve dog food range – began as an animal feed producer in the North Alabama town of Red Bay. From these beginnings, the company moved over to pet food in the 1960s, initially in pellet form before recognizing the potential for high quality, affordable dog and cat food. With Sunshine, Field Trial and Cat Café their first brands to see country-wide success, the company developed the Evolve range we know today.

Retaining the family influence – Alan Bostick, grandson of one of Sunshine Mills’ original founders is currently the company’s CEO – Evolve became the product that gained the company not only US but worldwide success, with it now being shipped to over 30 countries every year. All of Sunshine Mills’ products and brands are still produced in the USA by the company’s own production plants, which gives Evolve the reputation of quality management and control over all the ingredients it uses. All four of the production plants are SQF Level 3 Certified, which is the highest level of food safety certification and the company prides itself on high-quality ingredients.

Sunshine Mills’ Evolve brand of dog food is wheat, corn and soy free and offers ranges including Classic, Maintenance and Grain Free, in both dry and wet formulas. The number one source of protein is real, deboned meat which makes up the first ingredient across the whole of their dog food range.

Today, Evolve is known for its high quality, nutritious formulas at affordable prices and are a popular choice for many pet parents looking for a wholesome diet for their dog, from a company that takes its ingredients and production values seriously.

Why Choose This Brand?

When researching this Evolve Dog Food review, it was clear from the start that quality ingredients and wholesome nutrition are at the heart of the brand. While not the most widely known pet food company, Sunshine Mills and its Evolve range has a loyal band of followers who recognize and appreciate the quality of the product, as well as the affordable price point. Family-owned, the company prides itself on its commitment to quality pet nutrition that works to optimize your dog’s all-round health at all life stages. All of the Evolve range is free of fillers – so that’s no corn, wheat or soy – and there are also no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes.

Evolve also uses whole, real meat as the number one protein source and all of its dry dog food and Evolve dog treats are oven-baked and supplemented with quality carbs and vegetables to ensure your pet has the right balanced diet for its all-round health.

During its 40-year plus history, Evolve has only had one product recall back in 2007 which is pretty impressive for any pet food brand and taken in context is a good measure for the level of production quality control the company strives to achieve. Another reason to consider Evolve for your dog is the price. Despite the high-quality ingredients, the Evolve dog food range is competitively priced, compared to similar quality wholesome dog food brands.

Ingredient Analysis

The Evolve dry dog food range includes two grain-free as well as three grain-inclusive formulas, plus a choice of wet dog food. All are made with real meat as the main ingredient as well as managed carbs, fats and fiber. With all of the range made in the US at Sunshine Mill’s own production plants, the standard of ingredient quality control is high. Here is a summary of the ingredients you can expect to find in the Evolve range, as well as the benefits for your pooch:

Protein: Evolve uses premium meat, including deboned chicken, lamb, venison, beef, duck, turkey and salmon for a quality protein hit. The formulas also include meat meal, which has up to 300% more pure protein than fresh meat to ensure your dog gets all the protein he needs for lean and healthy muscles, as well as all-round good canine health.

Take a look at our High Protein Dog Food Review.

Digestible carbohydrates: Easy to digest carbs are essential for your dog, as they ensure he gets all the fiber, vitamins and minerals he needs without upsetting his digestion. Typical carbs include beet, sweet potato, cranberries and carrots.

Managed grains: All of the Evolve range is soy, wheat and corn free, so a good choice if your dog is sensitive, while there are also grain-free recipes for dogs with allergies. To give your pooch the fiber they need, with Evolve you get highly digestible grains, including brown rice and barley.

You may also like our guides to the Best: Grain Free Dog Food and Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs 

Good fats: Your dog needs fat for energy as well as healthy systems, skin and coat but it needs to be the good fat variety and include plenty of essential omegas and fatty acids. Evolve formulas include eggs and flaxseed as well as quality chicken fat.

Vitamins and minerals: With Evolve, you also get a good balance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B complex, probiotics, taurine, zinc and glucosamine to support heart, eye, muscle, joint and all-round immune system and general good health.

Free from: There are some key ingredients that are missing from Evolve, and your pooch should be all the better for it. Soy, corn, wheat, unnecessary fillers and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives are all omitted from the Evolve dog food recipes.

Pros & Cons

With a reputation for high quality ingredients at an affordable price, Sunshine Mill’s Evolve range for dogs seems like a tasty option for your adult dog and the many Evolve converts can back this up. But it may not be for all dogs, so help you decide whether to move your pooch to this well-made dog food we take a look at some of its pros and cons.

  • Evolve contains high quality ingredients, which are all sourced and processed by Sunshine Mills’ own production plants, so the quality control is impressive.
  • There’s no corn, wheat or soy in any of the Evolve range, so the range is less likely to irritate or upset your dog’s tum or inflame any allergies if they are sensitive to these ingredients.
  • Whole, fresh meat is used as the main protein source, boosted by quality meal to provide your dog with the quality protein they need for energy and to build lean and strong muscles.
  • Considering the quality ingredients and carefully managed production processes, Evolve is not as expensive as other similar, premium wholefood dog food brands.
  • The product range is a little limited for some consumers, compared to its competition and doesn’t have targeted formulas for the various life stages or specific health conditions.
  • As a brand, Evolve is not as widely known as the other global pet food market leaders so may not be as widely available on the high street.
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