Bil-Jac wet dog food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Bil-Jac dog food product line includes two tubbed recipes.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Bil-Jac Hearty Stew with Beef and Barley
- Bil-Jac Chunky Stew with Chicken and Vegetables
Bil-Jac Chunky Stew with Chicken and Vegetables was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Bil-Jac Chunky Stew with Chicken and Vegetables
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, egg product, sweet potatoes, green beans, pea protein, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, dextrose, potato starch, glycine, potassium chloride, salt, thyme, guar gum, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, taurine, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.1%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||17%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||35%||27%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
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 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.
The fourth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fifth ingredient is green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The sixth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The eighth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.
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, dextrose is a crystallized form of glucose — with a flavor significantly sweeter than common table sugar. It is typically used in pet food as a sweetener and as an agent to help develop browning.
Without knowing a healthy reason for its inclusion here, dextrose (like most sugars) can be considered a nutritionally unnecessary addition to this recipe.
And lastly, 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.
Bil-Jac Tubbed Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Bil-Jac tubs looks like an average wet 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Bil-Jac wet dog food is a meat-based tubbed product using a moderate amount of chicken or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
09/04/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩