Kibble Select Complete (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Kibble Select Complete Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Kibble Select Complete product line lists three dry dog foods, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages (Original) and two for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Kibble Select Complete Original
  • Kibble Select Complete All Natural
  • Kibble Select Complete Healthy Weight

Kibble Select Complete Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Kibble Select Complete Original

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 25% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 58%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, high fructose corn syrup, whole wheat, beef meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA), water, corn gluten meal, propylene glycol, beef, chicken, salt, dicalcium phosphate, natural flavor, peas, apple pomace, brewers rice, potassium sorbate (a preservative), calcium carbonate, iron oxide, carboxymethyl cellulose, titanium dioxide, vitamin E supplement, cheese powder, zinc sulfate, artificial color (red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 2), ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), glyceryl monostearate, garlic, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, cobalt sulfate, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis20%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis25%9%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%20%56%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

The second ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 third 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 (real 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 fourth ingredient is high fructose corn syrup (or HFCS). HFCS is a corn-based sugar mixture commonly used to make soft drinks, cookies and candy. Sugar is an empty nutrient — just as unhealthy for dogs as it is for humans.

The fifth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The sixth ingredient is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.

The seventh ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The eighth ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The ninth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — 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 six notable exceptions

First, this dog food contains the controversial food moisturizer, propylene glycol. Propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in making cat food.

But it can still be found in some lower quality dog foods.

Next, brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

In addition, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

Next, this food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Kibble Select Complete Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Kibble Select Complete 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 25%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 23% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 59% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the soybean and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Kibble Select Complete Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

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

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.

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

08/17/2013 Original review
08/17/2013 Last Update

  1. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Sarah Beaupre

    Haven’t heard back, but I did find the food listed on the Dad’s website now (a division of Ainsworth). It seems to be going by Dad’s Kibble Select Complete now.

  • Sarah Beaupre

    The website for this food no longer exists. Maybe it’s off the market now? The link is still on the Ainsworth website, I’m waiting for a reply from the company.

  • Michael Flores

    Reading this makes total sense. The menadione killed my beloved chihuahua, it put my beautiful guy into renal failure! Please God no one use this dog food!!! I’ve only used science diet/Authority/Blue buffalo ever since!

  • Charlie n

    Betsy Greer are you again blogging from work using my tax dollars for the courts? I wonder how your boss feels about this

  • Pattyvaughn

    Don’t tell me, let me guess, marketed to Yorkie and Chihuahua owners.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Just looked at their website again. No cat food but there are fish shaped kibble in the dog food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I bet they use plenty of food dye in it too.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I don’t know what all Ainsworth makes but the Kibble Select Complete has cat food!

  • Pattyvaughn

    What cat foods do they make?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Made by Ainsworth! I wonder which food that little red fish kibble I found in my Back to Basics belonged to??

  • Omar D. Plumey

    Death in a bag.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Only six different food colorings. I think there is room to add a couple more, just leave out the beef meal and water, which are the only ingredients in the top 10 that aren’t red.