You can find more detailed information aboutDel Monte, manufacturer of Kibbles ‘n Bits, in our main Kibbles n’ Bits Dog Food review. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control measures.
Kibbles n’ Bits Dog Food is widely available in most grocery stores. This company also spends more money on marketing and advertising than most other companies. The readily available access to this food along with its low price and a strong marketing strategy has made Kibbles n’ Bits Dog Food one of the most popular dog food brands in the United States. Unfortunately, we have found that almost every Kibbles n’ Bits Dog Food blend contains ingredients that are significantly below industry average. We are especially upset with ingredients such as food coloring, which may possibly be linked to causing cancer in some dogs. Overall, we see a lot of room for improvement in this dog food.
Ingredients in Kibbles ‘n Bits Homestyle Grilled Beef Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dog Food
Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, ground wheat flour,animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, water sufficient for processing, wheat middlings, animal digest (source of grilled flavor), propylene glycol, salt, soy protein concentrate, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, beef,caramel color, vegetable blend (peas, carrots & green beans), sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), 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), choline chloride, calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide (color), sodium bisulfate,yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), DL-methionine, blue 1.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
Because the name of this food contains the term “flavor,” it indicates that the food falls under the FDA’s flavor rule. Under this rule, the food doesn’t have to actually contain any of the meat or other product described on the label as long as the “flavor” mentioned can be detected. In this case, the flavors seem to refer to beef and vegetable flavors. You can read more about FDA labeling requirements in the longer Kibbles ‘n Bits review.
The first five ingredients in this food are: Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, ground wheat flour, and animal fat (BHA used as preservative). Since ingredients are listed by weight before cooking, corn and soybean meal are the predominant ingredients in the food. These ingredients are good sources or protein but they are also common allergens for many dogs. If you are looking for a grain-free dog food, then this food is inappropriate. It uses grains as protein and not just as carbohydrates. The fourth ingredient – ground wheat flour – is another grain that is often a source of allergies for dogs. In this case, as a flour, it is a filler ingredient.
Beef & bone meal is a single ingredient and it’s another source of protein. The AAFCO definition for this ingredient is: The rendered product from beef tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. No, it’s not very appealing to humans. The biggest benefit of beef & bonemeal is that it’s very high in protein – 45 to 50 percent. If it is processed well, such as steamed form healthy bones from cows fit for human consumption, there is little to worry about (read more here). However, not all beef & bone meal comes from such sources. Lots of beef & bone meal comes from parts of cows that are not fit for human consumption and they are not as careful about what goes into the processing.
The final ingredient in the first five is animal fat preserved with BHA. This is troublesome in two ways. Animal fat here is an unidentified fat source. The fat could be from any kind of animal, including road kill. And it is preserved with an artificial preservative that has been linked to cancer and seizures – BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole). Named fats, such as chicken fat, for example, preserved with natural preservatives like vitamin E, are better for your dog.
Taken all together, these first five ingredients are not good for your dog.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
The rest of the ingredients in this food pose more cause for concern.
The food contains corn syrup which is probably added for taste. Your dog doesn’t need added sugar in his food. The food also contains wheat middlings which are a poor quality filler ingredient. And it contains animal digest. Animal digest is defined by AAFCO as: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. Since it comes from generic “animals,” it could come from any kind of animal, including road kill.
The food also has propylene glycol. There seems to be some concern online about this ingredient but, in this case, the concern is probably misplaced. This ingredient is not unusual in many dog foods. It is a chemical cousin of ethylene glycol which is found in antifreeze. Propylene glycol is now being used in pet-friendly antifreeze. According to the Tufts Veterinary Newsletter, a medium-sized dog would have to ingest about 20 ounces of propylene glycol before getting seriously ill. A dog only has to drink about two ounces of ethylene glycol to get sick. It is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for dogs. It’s slightly sweet and it’s used in dog foods and other animal feeds as a preservative.
The food also features soy protein concentrate. This isn’t a “bad” ingredient but it’s not something you really want to see in dog food. It’s a plant protein so it’s not as easily digested and absorbed by dogs as meat protein. Soy is also an allergen for many dogs. A soy protein concentrate can also be a way to boost the protein percentage in a dog food instead of adding meat protein.
Far down the list of ingredients you also find beef and a vegetable “blend” of peas, carrots & green beans. That is your beef steak and vegetable flavor. These are good things to add to any dog food but they are so far down the list of ingredients that it’s doubtful they provide any real nutrition.
Finally, the food contains a number of artificial colors that should be avoided, as well as more BHA as a preservative.
- CRUDE PROTEIN ………. 19.0% MINIMUM
- MOISTURE ……….18.0% MAXIMUM
- CRUDE FAT ……….8.0% MINIMUM
- CRUDE FAT ……….12.0% MAXIMUM
- CRUDE FIBER ……….4.0% MAXIMUM
- CALCIUM ……….1.0% MINIMUM
- PHOSPHORUS ……….0.75% MINIMUM
330 calories per 8 ounce cup
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Kibbles ‘N Bits Homestyle Grilled Beef Steak & Vegetable Flavor dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.
Dry Matter Basis
On a dry matter basis, this food contains approximately 23.2 percent protein and 14.6 percent fat. This protein percentage is on the low side and it’s a moderate amount of fat. Most of the protein appears to be plant-based from corn and soy so your dog may not digest it as well as meat protein. Fiber makes up about 4.9 percent of the food which is about average for most kibbles. The food contains an estimated 47.6 percent carbohydrates which is on the high side for kibbles.
With artificial colors, artificial preservatives, added sugar, and corn and soy sources of protein, this food cannot be recommended.
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