This Review Has Been Merged with
Kibbles ‘n Bits (Dry)
Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals dry dog food gets the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.
The Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals product line includes just two dry dog foods.
Since we could not locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these products on the Kibbles ‘n Bits website, we’re unable to report life stage recommendations.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Grilled Chicken Flavor
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Oven-Roasted Beef Flavor
Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Oven-Roasted Beef Flavor was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Kibble 'n Bits Bistro Meals Oven Roasted Beef
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, ground wheat flour, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), wheat middlings, corn syrup, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of roasted flavor), propylene glycol, salt, apple, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, vegetable medley (peas, carrots & green beans), sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), titanium dioxide (color), calcium sulfate, red 40 lake, yellow 5, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), blue 2 lake, yellow 6 lake, blue 1, dl methionine, yellow 6
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||23%||10%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||23%||56%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 second ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal is actually a useful by-product. It’s what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.
Soybean meal contains 48% protein. However, compared to meat, this item is considered an inferior plant-based protein providing a lower biological value.
The third ingredient includes beef and bone meal… a dry rendered product from (beef) tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1
Beef and bone meal has a lower biological value than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2
On the brighter side, beef and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh meat.
In any case, beef and bone meal is not considered a better quality dog food ingredient.
The fourth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another problematic grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The fifth 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 livestock.
What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA… a suspected cancer-causing agent.
We do not consider generic animal fat (especially when preserved in this way) a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient lists wheat middlings… commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.
In reality, middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings.
The seventh ingredient is corn syrup. Corn syrup consists mainly of glucose… a sugar capable of causing an unhealthy rise in a dog’s blood sugar.
The eighth ingredient is water… which (of course) adds nothing but moisture to this food.
The ninth ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed concoction of unspecified body parts… from unspecified animals. This product is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.
The tenth ingredient mentions 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 to this day in lower quality dog foods.
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’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food.
Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you… not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?
Next, we find no mention of probiotics… friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
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.
Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals looks to be a below-average dry dog food.
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 pair, 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.
Below-average protein. Low fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
In addition, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a limited amount of meat.
Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals is a corn-based dry kibble using only a limited amount of beef and bone meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand 1 star.
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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For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
05/21/2011 Original review
05/16/2012 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632 ↩