Bil-Jac Trays Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Bil-Jac Trays product line includes four wet dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Bil-Jac Thanksgiving Feast Grain Free
- Bil-Jac Hearty Stew with Beef and Barley
- Bil-Jac Country Stew with Lamb and Beef
- Bil-Jac Country Stew with Chicken and Vegetables
Bil-Jac Thanksgiving Feast Grain Free was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Bil-Jac Thanksgiving Feast Grain Free
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey broth, turkey, chicken, egg product, sweet potatoes, carrots, pea protein, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, dextrose, potato starch, glycine, potassium chloride, salt, guar gum, sage, 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 turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The second ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Both turkey and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes 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 sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The ninth 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 the crystallized form of glucose — with a flavor significantly sweeter than common table sugar.
Without knowing a healthy reason for its inclusion here, dextrose (like most sugars) should be considered an unwelcome addition to this recipe.
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 Trays Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Bil-Jac Trays dog food looks like an above 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 Trays dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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
02/26/2013 Original review
02/26/2013 Last Update