Founded by a doctor who was ahead of his time, Evanger’s has been making high quality pet foods for over 75 years.
Premium pet foods might seem a fairly recent innovation, but not when it comes to Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company (www.evangersdogfood.com). Their roots go back to 1935, when Dr. Fred Evanger, a physician and breeder of champion great Danes, started producing quality food for his dogs. “He was a fervent believer that the health of his great Danes depended on complete, meat-based wholesome nutrition,” says the company’s CEO, Holly Sher. “He built a cannery on his family farm. He utilized crops and livestock raised on the farm to make premium dog foods. Dr. Evanger was a man way ahead of his time.”
Evanger’s has been specializing in premium pet foods ever since, never losing sight of its chief goal – to produce the highest quality products possible. “We are dedicated to improving the health, longevity and quality of life of animals,” says Holly. “I am a very health-conscious person, so I will not put anything into our pet foods that I would not eat personally.”
The company offers a variety of premium canned and dry diets, including grain- and gluten-free products and a unique line of hand packed foods, created in 2002. “[The latter] was initially developed for our dog, Yukon, who has a very selective palate,” explains Holly. “Even though the meat was the same, Yukon preferred to eat our dinner steaks instead of his ground steak. So we tried putting a whole, un-ground piece of beef in a can and cooked it. When we served it to Yukon, he loved it, and our number one flavor, Hunk of Beef, was born.” The hand packed line has expanded to also include a selection of whole chicken, salmon and mackerel dinners. “All our dog foods must be approved by Yukon before we bring them to market.”
Evanger’s products are manufactured and packed right at the facility, and 90% of the ingredients are locally sourced and used within 24 hours for optimum freshness. “We have never used any by-products, soy, corn or wheat,” adds Holly. The company is currently working on some new products, including a hand packed canned food made from pulled meat, and new non-extruded dry diets for dogs and cats.
Another of Evanger’s goals is to give back to the community. “We work with the Keshet Vocational Program to hire kids with developmental disabilities to make our sample bags of dry foods,” says Holly. “It gives these kids an opportunity for employment that may not otherwise be available.”
Holly says the company will proudly continue Dr. Evanger’s legacy. “I love helping people when they have a problem. I love telling them about proper nutrition, then they call back crying with joy because we actually helped them. This tells me we are making a big difference in so many lives.”