Bil-Jac makes several varieties of wet and dry dog food, treats, and supplements. The company promotes its food as super premium dog food that provides the best taste and nutrition. Its main selling point is the use of real chicken and chicken organ meat in the recipes. Bil-Jac uses a balanced level of carbohydrates and proteins in its dog food. There’s no extra fat, and the processing methods make the food hypoallergenic.
Is Bil-Jac dog food all that it claims to be, though? We did an in-depth review of Bil-Jac dog food, including the ingredients, recipes, and recalls, to see what this food really provides for your dog.
At a Glance: The Best Bil-Jac Dog Food Recipes:
|Our Favorite||Bil-Jac Adult Select Chicken Recipe||
|Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Chicken Liver Recipe||
|Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions Skin & Stomach Support||
|Bil-Jac Puppy Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food||
|Bil-Jac Grain-Free Adult Chicken Recipe||
Bil-Jac Dog Food Reviewed
Bil-Jac’s product line includes 10 different dry dog foods to choose from for different life stages and breed sizes. All its recipes meet AAFCO nutrition standards for dog food. There are a few controversial ingredients included, however, and they appear to be missing a few key additives to support your dog’s overall health.
Who Makes Bil-Jac and Where Is It Produced?
Bil-Jac is a family-owned company established in 1947 in Medina, Ohio. The company produced frozen dog food when it first opened, with the goal of providing real, nutritious food for dogs. For 30 years, Bil-Jac produced nothing but frozen food.
Its first dry dog food was developed using a vacuum-drying method to remove moisture from meat without overheating it. This method of dehydrating food preserved its nutritional value and prevented leaching vitamins and minerals from ingredients during processing.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
The first ingredient in Bil-Jac dog food is chicken. While this is a quality ingredient, raw chicken contains approximately 73% water. That moisture content is lost through cooking, and the meat content is reduced to a small fraction of the original weight. Since dry dog food must go through this processing, real chicken accounts for a much smaller percentage of total ingredients than we would like to see.
Chicken by-products and organs make up the next two ingredients. These are the parts of the chicken left over once the choice cuts are removed. This can include beaks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and just about any other part of the chicken other than skeletal muscle. The quality of these ingredients varies significantly depending on the manufacturer.
While it’s not indicated by the ingredient list, Bil-Jac’s website states that it use only organ meats in its food, not other by-products, which is considered acceptable.
Cornmeal is the third ingredient on Bil-Jac’s ingredients list. Corn is a controversial cereal grain with only modest nutritional value. Corn is primarily added to dog food because it is an inexpensive carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are essential to the kibble-making process. While it doesn’t add nutritional value, it does make your dog food less expensive for the manufacturer, and that lower cost translates to the consumer. Still, it’s not a preferred ingredient.
Chicken by-product meal is the fourth ingredient on the list. The quality depends on the manufacturer. Beet pulp follows. This is also considered an inexpensive filler ingredient, but it adds fiber to the food. Some research points to health concerns like stomach swelling, but these studies were conducted on large quantities of beet pulp, like those fed to horses. The amount of beet pulp contained in dog food is highly unlikely to be a cause for concern. The inclusion of beet pulp in small quantities in dog food is entirely acceptable. We only call attention to its inclusion because it is the subject of controversy.
Further down the ingredients list is brewers yeast. This ingredient is rich in minerals, and many believe that it supports the immune system. Critics of yeast believe that it is linked to allergies. There’s no evidence to suggest that yeast causes allergies, so it is only of concern if your dog is indeed allergic to yeast.
The list of ingredients in Bil-Jac dog food goes on to contain several other items. Ingredients this far down the list aren’t likely to affect the food’s overall quality or nutritious value.
There is no indication of probiotics being included in Bil-Jac dog food. These bacteria are typically added to kibble to aid digestion and improve overall gut health.
Also, Bil-Jac dog food uses BHA as a preservative. This ingredient is a suspected cancer-causing agent.
Based on the ingredient list alone, Bil-Jac dog food is a slightly above-average kibble. It has a protein level of 30%, a fat level of 20%, and carbohydrates equaling 42%. This makes the fat-to-protein ratio approximately 64%.
It has above-average protein content, average fat content, and average carbohydrate content for dry dog food. This product has a notable amount of meat and meat ingredients. Without the inclusion of BHA as a preservative, it would have higher overall nutritional value.
A Quick Look at Bil-Jac Dog Food
Bill-Jac dog food was recalled once in 2012. The recall was due to possible mold contamination in one of its dry kibble products, and it was a voluntary recall based on complaints of mold in several packages.
Reviews of the 3 Best Bil-Jac Dog Food Recipes
Let’s look at our three favorite Bil-Jac dog food recipes in more detail.
1. Bil-Jac Adult Select Chicken Recipe
Bil-Jac Adult Select Chicken Recipe is the most popular recipe sold by the company. Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient in this food, and it has a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. This recipe contains added omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to help support your dog’s skin and coat health.
While this seems like nutritious dog food, the ingredients list is loaded with by-products and preservatives that may or may not take away from the overall nutrition value.
2. Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Chicken Liver Recipe
Bil-Jac Picky No More is designed for dogs that are especially picky about their food. It’s made with chicken liver, which is extra appealing to dogs, so you won’t have to fight with your dog to eat it. The overall recipe for this food is the same as Bil-Jac’s Adult Select Chicken Recipe, only it contains chicken liver as the main ingredient rather than chicken.
Like other Bil-Jac products, it contains corn and BHA. However, it’s a reasonably nutritious choice if you are struggling to find food that your dog will eat.
3. Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions Skin & Stomach Support
Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions has prebiotics and omega-fatty acids added to support skin and gut health. This food also has extra fiber to promote healthy digestion. It’s nutritionally appropriate for all life stages and all sizes and breeds of dogs.
This food is promoted as a whitefish recipe for sensitive stomachs, which implies that it contains a novel protein. But chicken and chicken by-products are the first two ingredients, so it’s still mostly chicken. Whitefish is the sixth ingredient on the list, after three different forms of chicken, corn, and beet pulp.
This recipe offers added vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s overall health.
What Other Users Are Saying
Bil-Jac received 4.0 out of 5 stars in our review. Its dog food’s nutritional quality is decent and offers average quality. It could have been rated higher if not for the use of controversial ingredients and several preservatives. Customer reviews do seem to show that people either love or hate Bil-Jac. It has certainly earned significant praise regarding picky dogs that love this food. As with many dog foods, some dogs don’t like it. Overall, Bil-Jac is a slightly above average dog food that meets reasonable expectations for healthy dog kibble.