The Dad’s Kibble Select Complete product line includes 2 dry dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- Dad’s Kibble Select Complete Original [U]
- Dad’s Kibble Select Complete Healthy Weight [U]
Dad’s Kibble Select Complete Original was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, whole wheat, high fructose corn syrup, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), water, propylene glycol, beef meal, natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, salt, apple pomace, peas, brewers rice, calcium carbonate, potassium sorbate (preservative), iron oxide (color), titanium dioxide (color), vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, dried cheese, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, artificial color (red #40, yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1, blue #2), , l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, biotin, garlic powder, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt sulfate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||25%||10%||57%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||23%||54%|
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 lists poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry 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).
We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The fourth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The seventh ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food.
The eighth ingredient is the controversial food moisturizer, propylene glycol. Propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in making cat food.
However, it can still be found in some commercial dog foods.
The ninth ingredient includes beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.
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 seven notable exceptions…
First, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Next, we note the use of brewers rice. 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 food is?
Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
We also find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
In addition, 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.
And lastly, this food 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.
Dad’s Kibble Select Complete Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dad’s 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 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 23% and a mean fat level of 7%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 61% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 33%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal and peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.
Dad’s Kibble Select Complete is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.
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.