The Bil-Jac product line includes one frozen dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, dried bakery product, chicken by-product meal, beef liver, chicken liver, dried beet pulp, cane molasses, beef tripe, brewers dried yeast, phosphoric acid, citric acid, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, cellulose gum, dl-methionine, l-lysine monohydrochloride, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, egg product, 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 items indicate controversial ingredients
|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”.
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 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 feathers.
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 next two ingredients are beef liver and chicken liver. These are organ meats sourced from named animals and thus considered beneficial components.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient includes molasses. Although it can be rich in minerals, molasses is 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.
The eighth 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.
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, this food contains 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, we find cellulose gum, an edible plant extract probably used here as a food stabilizer. Cellulose gum provides no nutritional value to a dog.
And lastly, this food includes 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 The Bottom Line
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.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.
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 meat-based pasteurized-then-frozen product using a moderate amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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.