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Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Kibbles-‘n-Bits-Original-Savory-Beef-Chicken Review

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Kibbles ‘n Bits does a range of dry dog foods and a limited range of wet foods for dogs. The food is low priced and generally well received by owners, but a lot of its ingredients are considered low-quality filler used to keep costs down. Some of the foods also contain controversial items, including one that has been banned in the making of cat food but is still found in some dog food, and unnecessary ingredients like artificial colors. The dry food ingredients also use BHA, which is a chemical preservative that, in some studies, has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.

Although the food is inexpensive, we believe there are healthier and less controversial foods available for a similar price that offers greater nutritional benefit to dogs.

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At a Glance: The Best Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savoury Beef & Chicken Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savoury Beef & Chicken
  • Cheap food
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals
  • Second place
    Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed Mini Bits Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed Mini Bits
  • Small pieces are suitable for small dogs
  • Animal digest makes the food palatable and gives it chicken flavor
  • Third place
    Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor
  • 23 vitamins and minerals included
  • Meaty center may appeal to some dogs
  • Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Beef & Vegetables Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Beef & Vegetables
  • For all life stages
  • 100% complete, balanced nutrition
  • Crunchy kibbles and tender meaty bits
  • Kibbles ‘n Bits Beef & Bacon Variety Pack Wet Food Kibbles ‘n Bits Beef & Bacon Variety Pack Wet Food
  • High-quality protein
  • Made with real meat and poultry
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals
  • Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food Reviewed

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken

    Who Makes Kibbles ‘n Bits and Where Is It Produced?

    The Kibbles ‘n Bits brand has been owned by J.M. Smucker Company since 2015 when they bought the brand’s previous owner Big Heart Pet Brands. The first food was introduced in 1981 and became known for producing food that contained hard kibble combined with softer bits of kibble, therefore creating the Kibble ‘n Bits name. According to the brand’s website, the food is manufactured in the U.S., although the ingredients are sourced globally. The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco.

    Which Type of Dog Is Kibbles ‘n Bits Best Suited For?

    The food is an inexpensive food that is targeted at dogs of all life stages, and they also sell food geared towards small breeds. All the foods are ranked, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as being suitable for maintenance. This means that AAFCO has deemed the nutritional ingredients in all of the food ranges as being best suited to adult maintenance. As such, the food would seem to be well suited to dogs of all types.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    A lot of Kibbles ‘n Bits’ foods have quite low protein content at around 19%, and because a lot of this protein seems to come from sources like corn and peas, the protein is not considered high quality. Therefore, dogs that require high levels of protein, such as young dogs and senior dogs, may be better with foods that have higher protein content and that list quality meat and animal ingredients as their primary ingredients. Also, dogs with specific dietary requirements would be better with a food like Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach.

    Primary Ingredients

    In most Kibbles ‘n Bits food, the first two ingredients listed are corn and soybean meal. Dogs are omnivores, which means that these ingredients are not bad for dogs. However, they are considered inexpensive filler ingredients. They have high protein content, but the protein is not as bioavailable as the protein in meat content. These ingredients inflate the protein ratio of the food, but we would prefer to see a good-quality meat listed as one of the main ingredients.

    The third ingredient is beef and bone meal. While meat meal is considered beneficial because it has a higher protein concentration than fresh meat, some scientists believe that beef and bone meal contains less amino acid content.

    The ingredient list includes animal fat that is preserved with BHA. There is nothing inherently wrong with animal fat and it can be a good source of important nutrients. BHA, however, is believed to be carcinogenic, which means it could be linked to certain cancers.

    Artificial coloring is another ingredient in this food. There is no reason to include coloring in dog food because your dog doesn’t mind what color its food is, which means that this is added to appeal to owners.

    Kibble Texture

    Kibble ‘n Bits became popular as a dog food because it combines hard biscuits with softer pieces of meaty kibble. Some dogs love the combination of textures, but it does mean that if your dog takes a disliking to one or more of the kibble types, they may pick out the bits they like and leave the bits they dislike, therefore not getting a fully balanced diet.

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    Mini Bits for Small Breeds

    One of the company’s recipes, the Small Breed Mini Bits, has smaller kibble pieces. This is beneficial for small breeds because large chunks of biscuit can be difficult to chew and digest. Smaller pieces fit in the mouth more easily and can be chewed without too much trouble.

    Protein Levels

    Protein levels for these foods are approximately 19% by dry matter, with a lot of this protein coming from vegetable and non-meat sources. This percentage is below a desirable level, with the absolute lowest most owners look for being 23%. Many dog owners look for foods with 25% protein ratio or higher. This is especially true of senior dog owners. Senior dogs need more protein to help maintain muscle and good health in their later years.

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    A Quick Look at Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Varied textures of kibble offer variety to dogs
    • Small Bits range has smaller kibble that is suitable for small breeds
    Cons
    • Includes some controversial ingredients and inexpensive fillers
    • Low protein content

    Recall History

    There has been one recall of Kibble ‘n Bits dog food. In 2018, various canned dog foods manufactured by the company between 2016 and 2018 were recalled due to the potential for low levels of pentobarbital—a drug used for euthanasia. However, it is worth noting that the FDA said that the drug was found at low-enough levels that it was unlikely to cause serious harm to pets. However, because this drug is used to euthanize animals when they are too sick to save, it may bring into question the quality of the meat products used in the company’s dog food.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food Recipes

    Below are three of Kibbles ‘n Bits most popular recipes, including details of the ingredients and nutritional values.

    1. Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken recipe has primary ingredients of corn and soybean meal, with the third ingredient in the list being beef and bone meal. Although corn and soybean meal do offer protein, it would be better to see at least one of these ingredients being a good quality meat-based source of protein, even at the low price of this food.

    The food does contain antioxidants, which offer a number of health benefits and are proven to help fight inflammation. The recipe also includes 23 vitamins and minerals to help ensure that the food meets AAFCO nutritional requirements, although the minerals would benefit from being chelated, which gives them greater bioavailability.

    Pros
    • Cheap food
    • Fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals
    • Contains antioxidants
    Cons
    • Would benefit from a good-quality meat protein at the top of the ingredients
    • Minerals are not chelated
    • Includes a number of controversial ingredients, including BHA

    2. Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed Mini Bits

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed Mini Bits

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed Mini Bits is another inexpensive dry food with a mixture of hard kibble and softer bits. The ingredients are virtually identical to those of the Original Savory recipe above, with corn and soybean meal as the first two main ingredients and beef and bone meal as the third. Another ingredient found in these foods is animal digest. Although this may sound unappealing, it is considered a beneficial ingredient because it adds meat flavor to the food to make it more palatable and tastier to dogs and is not harmful.

    Although the food is said to be suitable for dogs of all sizes, the small kibble is specifically designed for small breed dogs. Smaller kibble is beneficial to small breeds because it is easier to pick up, chew, and digest. Smaller dogs are at less risk of choking than they might be with large kibble pieces.

    Pros
    • Cheap food
    • Small pieces are suitable for small dogs
    • Animal digest makes the food palatable and gives it chicken flavor
    Cons
    • Some controversial ingredients, including BHA
    • Good variety of minerals, but they are not chelated
    • Top ingredients are considered low-quality sources of protein

    3. Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor

    Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor is basically the same ingredients as the company’s other dry kibble, but it has yet another texture in the food. The crunchy kibble has a soft, meaty middle.

    Despite this, the two main ingredients in the food are still soybean meal and corn, and the food still has the same low 19% crude protein by dry matter. Ideally, the protein ratio would be higher with at least 23% or 24% protein by dry matter.

    Pros
    • Cheap dog food
    • 23 vitamins and minerals included
    • Meaty center may appeal to some dogs
    Cons
    • 19% protein is on the low side
    • Some controversial ingredients
    • Minerals are not chelated

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    To help you see what others think of Kibbles ‘n Bits food, we have found reviews from other respected websites and dog owners. Although many buyers praise the food for its low cost and its appeal to dogs, the food is criticized for some of its ingredients and its low protein content.

    • DogFoodAdvisor – “Kibbles ‘n’ Bits is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a limited amount of named and unnamed meat meals as its main source of animal protein…”
    • LabradorTrainingHQ – “Picky eaters love the taste of this pet food and pet owners love the price. What gave Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food a less-than-5-star rating was the ingredients list.”
    • Amazon – You can see what other buyers think of Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food by checking out Amazon buyer reviews. See the reviews here.

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    Conclusion

    Kibbles ‘n Bits is a low-cost dog food. Most of its recipes are dry food but they include a combination of crunchy kibble and softer bits, hence the name. Although the food has a lower price than most and dogs seem to appreciate its flavor, there are some questionable ingredients used in the food, and the 19% protein ratio is lower than we would like to see. It would also benefit from having a good quality meat protein as its primary ingredient. There are higher-quality foods available at a similar price point.

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