Monday, December 30, 2013

A letter from Evanger's

We are entering our 79th year as a company, so here's our reflection back on the last decade as a letter from our company founder and dog lover, Holly Sher:

Dear Friends of Evanger’s,
11 years ago our family bought Evanger’s, a small but distinctive company with only 10 employees…and I was one of the 10! We made food in the morning and labeled it in the afternoon. In 2002, Evanger's brand was only 2 - 5% of the business, the rest was private label. I was eager to grow that number and put our name on our top class products. My husband supplied Evanger’s with its meats for 20 years, and I begged him to come on board full time to be my Employee #11.

Back then, we had only a few local distributors, and only one national distributor in California,
Pet Food Wholesale (now Animal Supply Company). We struggled to gain interest from new distributors, but  were determined to distinguish ourselves and grow our brand. Inspired by our extraordinarily picky dog, Yukon, who refused to eat anything but steak, my husband created our first innovation and today's #1 seller, "Hunk of Beef,” part of our famous “Hand Packed” line.

11 years later, we have sales reps across the country, export directors, a nutritionist on staff,
sales in all 50 states and in over 20 countries globally. All 5 of my kids either work here full time or help out in some way. Our original manufacturing plant was Dr. Evanger's original kennels and barn, and we have grown so much that in our 79th year we are moving into a new, green, 6-acre state-of-the-art facility.
One thing hasn‘t changed. We are still dedicated to Dr. Evanger’s principles of offering wholesome, nutritious, Naturally the Best™ foods for the well-being of our beloved pets by using local and trusted USDA certified suppliers. Not only are we inspected and certified by the USDA, but above and beyond that we have certifications for USDA/NOP Organic, European Union, and are endorsed by the cRc as Kosher for Passover.

Your support over the years has meant everything to us. We are a family company and would not be where we are today without our fabulous team of office, production, sales staff and especially you, our loyal customers. As we continue to support independent retailers exclusively, we look forward to sharing a happy and healthy new year with you and YOUR beloved pets.

Warm regards from our family,
Holly Sher


Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year, New You! Managing Your Pets' Weight in the New Year

Cover-girl is Callie Sher, one of the Evanger's Family.  Callie helps keep her dog in perfect shape and health by feeding a healthy Evanger's diet and long runs daily with her dog

2014 is just around the corner, and that means most of you are reevaluating your diet to stay fit and healthy for the new year.  It's also a great time to reevaluate your pets' diet to make sure he or she is on the right track too.  Here are 3 EASY was to manage your pets' weight.  All of these tips are simple, and will keep Fido and Felix satisfied without feeling hungry.  Cheers to a new year and new you!

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Food, New Dog, New Hazer! A great greyhound story

Hazer is a retired racing greyhound, adopted in April 2013.  Since that time Hazer has had bad diarrhea. Hazer was being treated by a Vet, unfortunately with no success.  Eventually, Hazer was led to Evanger's, and here's a little note he typed with his own paws: 

"I always had trouble since I was adopted with an upset tummy. Sometimes I threw up and sometimes I had diarrhea. I couldn't help it that sometimes I made messes. My new family never got mad at me and knew something was wrong. They tried different foods. They tried medicines from the Dr. I took 'em and ate the good foods they bought me, and still I didn't feel good. I didn't want to play much cause my tummy hurt, and if I did much, I made messes. I felt very sad and slept a lot. If I went on walks, I had diarrhea and my tummy hurt.

My mama met a Greyhound Adoption Specialist and he told her about some probiotic food that's real good and some colostrum stuff that would help me. My mama got it for me a new food called Evanger's Pet Food that she found online and ordered. I've been on it for about a month and guess what? MY TUMMY DOESN'T HURT ANYMORE! I take long walks and no diarrhea! I run and jump and play with my pack! Best of all I don't make no messes no more. I felt bad about that. I'm feeling real good now and I want to thank everyone for caring about me. My mama says my IBS is in 'remission' whatever that means."

Thank you Evanger's for making me feel better,

Hazer, a retired racing greyhound, on the IBS road to recovery

Look at this stunning boy!  Hazer has switched to Evanger's, and his diarrhea and upset tummy has gone away!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Taking Your Cat to the Vet

So your family includes a loveable feline, and trips to the vet can be a wild ride. Most cats detest carriers and car rides, and can be extremely vocal about it. Because vet visits can be such a stressful event for both pet and owner alike, often cats don’t receive the preventative care they need. But there are some simple steps to help calm your frantic feline, and help make regular check-ups a painless experience.

FIRST, help your cat become accustomed to being in a carrier. This is one of the biggest hurdles for many cat parents. There’s nothing quite like the strength of a cat determined not to go inside a carrier.
Try leaving the carrier out around the house, giving your cat a chance to smell, investigate, and perhaps even nap inside of it. Try leaving some savory treats inside, such as
Evanger’s Nothing But Natural Freeze Dried Beef Hearts. Seeing and interacting with the carrier on a regular basis will help disassociate it with “scary events”. 

Photo of Oscar and George submitted by Jenn Nourse

SECOND, On the day of the vet visit, give your cat praise and more cat treats after closing the door to the carrier. Placing a familiar toy or shirt with your scent on it will help her relax a bit. Once at the veterinarian office, try to find a quiet corner away from anxious canines.

Your cat needs preventative care every bit as much as a dog (or yourself!). Older cats, especially, are prone to many diseases that can be avoided with regular check-ups. Remember that cats will react to your energy, so remain calm and carry on!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Breed Buzz: Shar Pei

Did You Know: Shar Peis were originally bred as farm and hunting dogs? The Shar Pei is an excellent watchdog, with a strong protective instinct towards its owner.

Loyal and independent, the Shar Pei is best known for its wrinkly skin (which is actually a trait of western-bred stocks and not the original “bone mouth” Chinese stock). The Shar Pei also comes in one of three coat varieties, which can drastically affect the dog’s look: horse, brush and bear. The horse coat is very prickly to the touch, while the brush coat is thicker and softer. The bear coat is the longest of the three and makes the Shar Pei look more like a Chow Chow.  

We've made this comparison for you of the 3 different Shar Pei Coats

Are they right for your family?  The Shar Pei can be suspicious of strangers and early socialization and obedience training is necessary to avoid aggressive tendencies. While generally a silent breed, the Shar Pei will bark continually to alert its owner to any perceived danger, making him an effective watchdog. The Shar Pei is also generally accepting of children and other dogs within the family unit. Above all, the Shar Pei is intensely loyal to its owner, making a wonderful companion dog.

What is important to know?  Shar Peis are prone to skin allergies, often exacerbated by the wrinkly skin folds popular in western-bred stocks. High quality foods rich in protein and vitamins will help keep the coat and skin in good condition. Evanger’s Grain-Free meals make an ideal diet for the Shar Pei. Try Grain-Free Chicken with Sweet Potato and Pumpkin supplemented with Grain Free Wild Salmon for a high quality, protein rich, USA-made diet that supports healthy skin and coat.
High quality foods that support healthy skin and coat are a great food choice for the Shar Pei

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter-time Fun for Pets - Indoor Activities to Keep Active

We manufacture our foods in freezing cold Chicago, and we definitely experience all 4 seasons.  There's been snow on the ground for a couple of weeks already, but what does that mean for your pet?
Freezing temperatures and snow on the ground won’t stop your four-legged friend from wanting to romp and play – it’s essential to his health and keeps him from destroying your house! Despite this instinct, outdoor play is not always possible when the weather outside is frightful! Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor activities to stimulate your pets’ minds and keep them physically active during the winter months.
Puzzle toys filled with nutritious treats and scavenger hunts are wonderful indoor activities that combine food and play (your pet’s two favorite things!). Try using Evanger’s Nothing But Natural Jerky Treats at only 6 calories each. For pure exercise, try a doggy treadmill or a modified version of “fetch” using tennis balls or rope toys. Even the stairs can become a useful exercise tool during the winter – have one person stand at the top and another at the bottom, rewarding your pet when he reaches the top and bottom of the stairs continuously.  But again, it's important to use a low-calorie treat during these exercises.
Winter weather can be a good reason to focus on basics, such as obedience training and grooming – both maintain the bond between pet and owner while keeping your pet calm at the same time. Anything you can do to keep your pet’s mind occupied will go a long way towards ensuring your pet stays healthy and happy during indoor periods.
And if you have a winter breed, the best thing you can do is get outside for a winter hike.  Your dog will LOVE it and probably want to spend more time outside than you will.  If you bring a camera along, we're sure you'll get some memorable shots of your dog enjoying the outdoors.  It might be hard to get moving, but bring the family along and make it a big adventure!
Here's a snapshot of our Evanger's Mascot, Yukon, enjoying his winter hike through the local Forest Preserve.  This is one of his favorite memories, and ours!