Kibble Select Complete (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product Appears to Have Been Renamed
See the Following Related Review
Dad’s Kibble Select Complete

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 indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis20%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis25%9%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%20%56%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 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.

A Final Word

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

Notes and Updates

02/19/2015 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)
  • Dog_Obsessed


  • Dori

    They appear to both be my Ainsworth.

  • Dori

    Oh My Goodness! Another inappropriate feed (not food) for dogs. One red ingredient after another. I wonder who manufactures these two foods. I’m going to go on google and see if I can find some info on them.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    This food has very, very similar ingredients to Dad’s Kibble Select Complete, which is reviewed here:
    Are they the same thing?

  • aquariangt

    All the brands you listed, while a step up from this, aren’t great. Try out a food with less junk fillers and maybe add a bit of canned to increase the taste and palatability instead of just chicken, which as DF stated, makes it imbalanced. That size of dog wouldn’t be too expensive to get good canned into the kibble, or too expensive to upgrade her kibble. Your comment about most kibbled dry food using “animal by-product” is also a bit misinformed, as it’s just the cheaper foods that use that. There is also a lot of ways around “diseased and tainted” as you said below.

  • DogFoodie

    You’d think, but that’s an awful lot of ifs and speculation. Yesterday, someone posted of having seen footage of a rendering plant accept a load of spoiled, rotting meat clearly labeled “characterized.” It’s anyone’s guess what’s been added to that. In turn, your dog food manufacturer buys the meals from the renderer that they add to your dog’s food. You’re getting what you pay for with this garbage.

  • DogFoodie

    You’re still feeding this even though you believe it caused your dog to have health problems? The addition of the boiled chicken now makes the first you’re feeling your pup pup very unbalanced and seriously making in essential nutrients. You seriously need to reevaluate what you’re feeding and change her first of you want to keep her around.

  • mschmidt48

    I find the article a bit suspect because of their claim;
    “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.”
    since most kibbled dry food have somewhere in the ingredient list “animal by-product” listed, by that reasoning practically all brands of dry food should be avoided. Doing a simple internet search of the USDA sites and the “.gov” sites state that all ingredients used in pet food cannot be diseased or tainted. This cast doubt that road kill or diseased cattle would be used in the manufacture of the product. While pet food manufacturers are not normally inspected, if there were a recall due to Salmonella or some other disease, the USDA would definitely inspect at that point, and if it was found that they used diseased carcasses the end result would be the closure of the plant and a hefty fine.

  • mschmidt48

    My little Yorkie refuses to eat any dry dog food except for the Kibble Select Complete. We probably had to give away over $300 worth of other brands, including Eukanuba, most of the various Purina selections and even Iams among many others, as she has refused to eat more than an initial mouthful of these other products. I believe her preference for the Kibble Select may be linked to the fact her first 1 1/2 years of life she was ill with bouts of Pancreatitis from an intolerance to fat and that this dry food is one of the lowest fat content kibbles. For the last 4 1/2 years her main diet has consisted of 3 oz. of boiled skinless chicken leg quarter meat and free choice on the Kibble (of which she usually eats between 1/4 to 3/4 oz. of kibble per day). Since she’s been on this diet she no longer has had any health issues and maintains a regular average weight of 7 1/2 pounds. I have no intention of changing her diet that has kept her healthy and active.

  • mschmidt48

    It still goes by the label name of “Kibble Select Complete”. I still buy it on a regular basis.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Pattyvaughn

    What cat foods do they make?

  • 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.