Bil-Jac frozen dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Bil-Jac product line includes one frozen dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Bil-Jac Dog Food
Refrigerated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, dried bakery product, beef tripe, chicken by-product meal, beef liver, chicken liver, dried beet pulp, cane molasses, menhaden fish meal, brewers dried yeast, phosphoric acid, citric acid, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, cellulose gum, dl-methionine, l-lysine monohydrochloride, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, eggs, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese proteinate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, inositol, niacin supplement, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, d-calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A acetate, biotin, 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 denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||15%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||31%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second 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 third ingredient is 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 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 choice cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.
The next two items are beef liver and chicken liver. These are organ meats sourced from named animals and thus considered beneficial components.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is molasses, which can be rich in minerals. However, it’s 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find brewers yeast, which 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.
Next, cellulose gum is an edible plant extract probably used here as a food stabilizer. Cellulose gum provides no nutritional value to a dog.
In addition, this recipe includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 Frozen Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food looks like an average 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 44%.
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 moderate amount of meat.
Bil-Jac is a grain-inclusive pasteurized-then-frozen dog food using a moderate amount of named meat and named by-product meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
09/21/2019 Last Update