Bil-Jac Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Bil-Jac Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Bil-Jac Dog Food product line includes nine dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Bil-Jac Adult Select [A]
  • Bil-Jac Puppy Select [G]
  • Bil-Jac Senior Select [M]
  • Bil-Jac Small Breed Adult [M]
  • Bil-Jac Large Breed Adult [M]
  • Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions [A]
  • Bil-Jac Small Breed Puppy [G]
  • Bil-Jac Large Breed Puppy [G]
  • Bil-Jac Reduced Fat (1.5 stars) [M]

Bil-Jac Adult Select was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Bil-Jac Adult Select

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-products (organs only, source of arginine), corn meal, chicken by-product meal, dried beet pulp, oatmeal, brewers dried yeast, monocalcium phosphate, flaxseed, salt, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, sodium propionate (a preservative), l-lysine, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, vitamin A acetate, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, biotin, sodium selenite, d-calcium pantothenate, inositol, manganese proteinate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), mixed tocopherols, BHA (preservatives), manganous oxide, cobalt proteinate, cobalt carbonate, vitamin D3 supplement, potassium iodide, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%20%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%40%35%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient includes chicken by-products, what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the good cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can include almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything (that is) but skeletal muscle (real meat).

What’s more, raw meat contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products a less expensive, lower quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The fourth ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The seventh ingredient is brewers yeast, which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is monocalcium phosphate, likely used in this recipe as a calcium and/or phosphorus dietary supplement.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

And lastly, this product is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

Bil-Jac Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Bil-Jac Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers dried yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Bil-Jac is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken and chicken by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include BHA in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.

BHA phobics may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for another product.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Bil-Jac Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/25/2016 Last Update

  • anon101

    Chewy dot com has been sold to PetSmart, so things may change……

  • No Name

    “However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.”

    _________________________

    Every dog is different.
    Feed what you feel is best for your pets.
    ‘Gradually switch any food’.
    Watch their stools daily (that will tell you what’s going on).
    Try to be mindful of pesticides which are sprayed on many lawns. I can’t tell you how many times i hear ‘completely safe’ …’wont’ harm pets’ then the next day they are vomiting or have bloody stools.
    Also, tap water makes me sick to my stomach..so I only drink bottled water. So that is something else to consider.
    Best of luck to all.