Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Bil-Jac product line includes one frozen recipe, a product claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food
Frozen Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef tripe, chicken, dried bakery product, chicken by-product meal, beef liver, dried beet pulp, cane molasses, brewers dried yeast, phosphoric acid, egg product, citric acid, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, l-lysine, monohydrochloride, cellulose gum, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese proteinate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, inositol, niacin supplement, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, d-calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, cobalt proteinate, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||14%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||31%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists beef tripe. Tripe usually consists of the first three chambers of a cud-chewing animal’s stomach. As unappetizing as it may seem to us humans, tripe is favored by dogs and sometimes even includes the stomach’s contents, too.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is dried bakery product, an inexpensive manufacturing leftover salvaged from the processed food industry.
Dried bakery product is nothing more than a mixture of bread, cookies, cake, crackers and other baking waste which have been artificially dried and ground into a coarse powder.
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 quality skeletal muscle (conventional meat).
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 beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is molasses. Although it can be rich in minerals, molasses is also a less refined form of sugar with a glycemic index in humans similar to maple syrup.
Like table sugar (and in excessive amounts), molasses has the potential to raise a dog’s blood sugar.
The eighth ingredient is brewers yeast 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.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, this food contains egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
And lastly, this food also 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.
Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food looks like an average frozen 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical frozen dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers dried yeast, this still looks like the profile of a frozen product containing a below-average amount of meat.
Bil-Jac Frozen is a meat-based pasteurized-then-frozen dog food using a below average amount of tripe and chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
04/03/2011 Original review
12/07/2012 Review updated
11/10/2013 Review updated
11/10/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩