Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food is made by Del Monte, the fifth largest manufacturing concern in the dog food market. According to Wikipedia, the brand was created in 1981 and at that time was the first “dual-textured” dog food, with both hard, crunchy kibble and softer, chewy bits. TheH.J. Heinz Company bought the brand in 1995 and it was later sold to Del Monte. Their plant in Lawrence, Kansas produces about 1.7 millions pounds per day, and 9.9 million pounds per week. They produce 497 million pounds of Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food per year.
Kibbles n’ Bits is easily found in most grocery stores. As a name brand product it costs more than generic or store brand foods of similar quality but it costs less than many other foods in the grocery store. Like most dog foods, the product comes in different flavor varieties and forms. You can buy both dry and canned Kibbles ‘n Bits.
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Original
- Savory Beef & Chicken Flavor dog food (see full review below)
- For Dogs of All Sizes
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Homestyle Grilled
- Beef Steak & Vegetable Flavor dog food
- Wholesome Home-Cooked Taste
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals
- Oven-Roasted Beef Flavor with Spring
- Vegetable & Baked Apple Flavors dog food
- Bistro-Inspired Taste in Every Bite
- Kibbles ‘n Bits ‘n Beefy Bits dog food
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Small Breed
- Mini Bits Savory Chicken & Beef Flavor dog food
- Specially formulated for small dogs
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Weight Maintenance
- Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Flavor
- Indulgent Taste and 90% Fat Free
- Canned Foods
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Tender Cuts
- With Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy
- Every Bite Tastes Delicious
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Burger Dinner With Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy
- Kibbles ‘n Bits Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce*
The “Flavor” Rule
Before I start the actual review there are a couple of things you should know about product labeling which will help you not just with Kibbles ‘n Bits but with any pet food.
When a food says that it is beef “flavor” dog food (or cat food), that should send up a red flag for you. Per the FDA, “beef for dogs” means the food should be at least 95 percent beef (70 percent after the water has cooked away). That’s great. No problem there. If it says the food is chicken and liver, then it must be 95 percent chicken and liver before the water is counted. No problem. However! And this is a big however… if the food says that it is “Beef Dinner for Dogs,” that means something completely different. That means the food is at least 25 percent beef but less than 95 percent (without the water removed). So you see, that can be a lot less meat. With the water removed, the meat content could be as low as 10 percent of the food. The term “dinner” is often used but you can also see terms like “formula,” “platter,” “nuggets” or other words that would indicate the food is not just meat.
What’s more, the manufacturer can include something in the food that you don’t expect. For example, you could buy Beef Dinner for Dogs expecting to feed your dog beef, and get 25 percent beef and 20 percent chicken. If your dog is allergic to chicken that would be a problem. Be sure to read the ingredients!
But there is another labeling rule you should be aware of that can tip you off about what is or isn’t in a food. If the food is labeled “Dog Food with Beef,” the food only needs to have 3 percent beef. “With” anything indicates that there only has to be 3 percent of that ingredient in the food. If the food says that is has “real beef flavor” the beef flavor can come from any source, including animal digest, but the source must be clearly indicated in the ingredients. There only has to be enough of that ingredient to be detectable. So, dog food descriptions can be murky waters. Eye them with care.
All of these practices are perfectly legal and monitored by the FDA and byAAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Operatives) who oversee pet food labeling. They are no more deceptive than anything else that manufacturers or advertising agencies do, but you should educate yourself and be aware of what the foods actually contain. The same sort of practices go on with regard to human foods, too.
Review Of Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavor Dog Food
Ingredients In Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavor Dog Food
Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, ground wheat, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, water sufficient for processing, wheat middlings, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), titanium dioxide (color), calcium sulfate, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, BHA (used as a preservative), DL-methionine.
Since this is the original formula for the brand, I’ll base my review of the product on it. You should notice from the start that the name of the food says that it is “Savory Beef & Chicken FLAVOR” dog food. Per FDA rules, this means the food doesn’t have to actually contain any beef or chicken. It only has to contain detectable beef and chicken flavors which can come from virtually any source, including animal digest. In fact, animal digest is indicated in the ingredients as the source of the chicken flavor. The food does not actually contain any chicken.
As for beef, the ingredients show that it contains beef and bone meal as the third ingredient. At least this is a meat protein source in the top five ingredients but it is not the most desirable source. Beef and bone meal is the dried and rendered product from bovine tissues. It does not contain horn, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach contents, added blood meal or other by-product. So, it’s not a bad product and it contains quite a bit of calcium from the bone but it’s not as good as a meat would be.
Other ingredients in the top five include corn as the first ingredient, which is usually less desirable; soybean meal, which is relatively high in protein but it’s another source of plant protein, ground wheat which is essentially just flour and doesn’t benefit your dog, and animal fat preserved with the artificial and objectionable preservative BHA which has been linked to cancer. Animal fat is also a generic fat instead of a named fat so you don’t know the source.
The first five ingredients show no good quality meat proteins, a lot of plant protein which is harder for dogs to digest. Corn as the first ingredient is often a sign of a lower quality dog food. Corn by itself is not a “bad” ingredient as some people suppose, but when it is over-used or used instead of meat proteins, it is not the most nutritious food for your dog. Dogs are only able to digest about 54 percent of the protein in corn compared to much higher amounts in meat proteins.
Quality Of Ingredients
The quality of the ingredients shown in the ingredient list does not inspire a lot of confidence. Along with the predominance of corn and plant matter in the first five ingredients, as well as the animal fat preserved with BHA, other ingredients show wheat middlings which can be essentially floor sweepings. They are a common ingredient in cattle feed but not something you want to feed your dog. Animal digest as a source of the chicken flavor is also problematic. Animal digest is “material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.” It doesn’t sound appetizing and there are worse things in some pet foods, but it’s not the best thing for your dog. The worst thing about animal digest is that its source is unknown. It can come from any kind of animal and that does include roadkill or less desirable animals on the farm. All in all, these ingredients are not the best.
Along with the wheat middlings and animal digest, the food contains a number of ingredients which cause special concern. For example, the food listscorn syrup and propylene glycol among its ingredients which are sugars. There is no reason to give your dog sugar unless you are just trying to get him to eat the food which otherwise might not taste very good. The food also hascaramel coloring and a number of dyes which are simply used to make the food look better to consumers. Such colorings are unnecessary and they aren’t good for your dog. Finally, the food contains hydrochloric acid and other acids to help your dog break down the food which shouldn’t be necessary in a better quality food.
- CRUDE PROTEIN ………. 19.0% MINIMUM
- CALCIUM ………. 1.0% MINIMUM
- CRUDE FAT ………. 8.0% MINIMUM
- PHOSPHORUS ………. 0.76% MINIMUM
- CRUDE FAT ………. 12.0% MAXIMUM
- ZINC ………. 125mg/kg MINIMUM
- CRUDE FIBER ………. 4.0% MAXIMUM
- VITAMIN A ………. 5100 IU/kg MINIMUM
- MOISTURE ………. 18.0% MAXIMUM
- VITAMIN D ………. 500 IU/kg MINIMUM
The protein in Kibbles ‘n Bits Savory Beef & Chicken Flavor dog food For Dogs of All Sizes is within the percentage level provided by the government with 19 percent minimum crude protein (18 percent is the recommended minimum for adult dogs). The fat level also falls within the boundaries of the government’s recommendations for adult dogs. Kibbles ‘n Bits says they provide between 8 and 12 percent crude fat and the government recommends a minimum of 9 to 15 percent fat in the diet.
Calorie Content: 328 calories per cup
Company Reputation And Quality Control Issues
Del Monte has a very good manufacturing reputation. The Kibbles ‘n Bits brand has been around for a long time and it is very popular with lots of dog owners. As far as I can determine, Kibbles ‘n Bits has never had a recall, at least since 2007 when people began to closely monitor pet foods. The fact is, many times large pet food manufacturers have superior quality control in their manufacturing facilities compared to some of the smaller brands favored by consumers. Smaller brands often have better quality ingredients but they don’t always have the big facilities and personnel for the best manufacturing practices. It’s definitely something to consider when you are choosing a food for your dog. Do you want to choose a food with the best quality ingredients knowing that at some point there might be a recall? Or do you want to feed a food feeling a little safer that the food won’t be recalled because of Salmonella or mold?
The bottomline with Kibbles ‘n Bits Savory Beef & Chicken Flavor dog food For Dogs of All Sizes is that this food won’t kill your dog. It’s not the best food around and you could feed your dog something worse if you are buying your food in the grocery store. There are some problematic ingredients in the food and you won’t be feeding your dog much meat protein, but the food has been around for a long time and your dog will probably do all right, as long as he doesn’t have an allergy to corn, wheat, or soy.
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