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 Weight Maintenance Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Flavor Dog Food
Corn, soybean meal, meat & bone meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, corn syrup, wheat middlings, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), water sufficient for processing, chicken,animal digest (source of roasted flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, vegetable blend (peas, carrots & green beans), sorbic acid (used as a preservative),caramel color, 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), calcium sulfate, choline chloride, red 40, titanium dioxide (color), yellow 5, yellow 6, 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. This means that the food doesn’t necessarily contain actual chicken or vegetables. It only has to contain enough of these flavors to be detectable to the FDA when tested. 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, meat & bone meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal. Since ingredients are listed by weight before cooking, corn and soybean meal are the predominant ingredients in the food. These are not “bad” ingredients but they are plant sources of protein. The protein they provide is not as easily absorbed by dogs as meat protein. In terms of bioavailability, dogs are able to absorb less than 60 percent of the protein in these two ingredients. By contrast, they are able to absorb much more of the protein in chicken, fish, and beef, for example. Corn and soybeans are also common allergens for many dogs who have food allergies. They are also the source of food intolerances for some dogs. Ideally a dog food will have a named meat protein as the first or second ingredient in the food, and two or three meat proteins in the first five ingredients. Some people like to avoid grains and soybeans for their dogs. Even if you don’t avoid these ingredients, it’s usually recommended to choose foods that contain moderate amounts of them. This food relies heavily on them.
The third ingredient is meat and bone meal. This is a single ingredient and it’s another source of protein. In fact, it can contain 45 to 50 percent protein which is why it’s often used in dog food. It boosts the protein percentage in the food. It’s also a meat source of protein. However, it’s generally considered a lesser quality ingredient. The definition for this ingredient is: the dried and rendered product from mammal tissues. It does not contain horn, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach contents, added blood meal or poultry by-products, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Meat and bone meal can come from any kind of animal. It’s used in lots of animal feeds but it’s usually considered a lower quality ingredient when it’s used in dog foods.
The fourth ingredient in the food is ground wheat. This is a form of wheat flour in dog food. It’s considered to be a cheaper, filler ingredient when used in dog food. As the fourth ingredient in the food, you can expect this ingredient to make up a lot of the food without providing much nutrition for your dog.
The final ingredient in the first five is chicken by-product meal. Meals are dried forms of proteins that have had most of the moisture removed. That makes them very concentrated so they can contain several times as much protein as the ordinary form of the protein. In this case, the chicken by-product meal has much more protein than ordinary chicken by-products would contain. However, chicken by-products are not the highest quality parts of the chicken. AAFCO defines chicken by-product meal as: consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice. Your dog probably won’t mind eating chicken necks and feet in his food, but these are not the good parts of the chicken.
All together, these first five ingredients are not the best ingredients for your dog. They rely heavily on grains and soybeans. They use chicken by-product meal which is not the best ingredient for dogs. And they use a cheap filler ingredient. This food does look better than other Kibbles n’ Bits formulas however.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
The remainder of the ingredients are similar to other Kibbles ‘n Bits formulas.
The food uses animal fat preserved with BHA. This ingredient is problematic in a couple of ways. Animal fat here is an unidentified source of fat. 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.
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. They can range from floor sweepings to slightly better quality. They provide protein and nutrients to horses and livestock but, even at their best, dogs and cats have problems digesting them.
The food also contains animal digest – identified as the source of the “roasted” flavor in the food. 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. Here it provides the roasted flavor so, presumably, this animal digest contains something roasted, but there is no indication what was roasted.
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 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 – an FDA term) for dogs. It is slightly sweet and it’s used in dog foods and other animal feeds as a preservative.
Finally, the food contains a number of artificial colors that should be avoided, including caramel color and titanium dioxide, as well as more BHA as a preservative. Dogs don’t need artificial colors in their food. Dyes are only added to dog food to appeal to you, the buyer. Your dog doesn’t care what the food looks like. Some of these artificial colors have been linked to cancer and other illnesses. There’s simply no reason to give your dog something that he doesn’t need that could possibly be harmful to his longterm health. Whenever you see a dog food that contains suspiciously bright colors, you should check the label to see if it contains some of these harmful colors and dyes. Likewise, BHA has also been linked to cancer.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butylated_hydroxyanisole
The food also contains “chicken” and “vegetable blend (peas, carrots & green beans)” but these ingredients are found so far down the ingredient list that they contribute little in terms of nutrition.
- CRUDE PROTEIN 25.0% MINIMUM
- MOISTURE 18.0% MAXIMUM
- CRUDE FAT 10.0% MAXIMUM
- CRUDE FAT 7.0% MINIMUM
- CRUDE FIBER 4.0% MAXIMUM
We could not find calorie information for this variety of Kibbles ‘n Bits.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
We have seen this statement posted on several pet food sites online, including sites that sell this food: “Every Kibbles ‘n Bits variety meets strict AAFCOstandards for 100% complete and balanced nutrition.” However, we have not been able to find a specific AAFCO statement for Kibbles ‘n Bits® Weight Maintenance Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Flavor. The Kibbles n’ Bits home site does not post any nutritional adequacy statements for their products, but you can find them on most pet food sites that sell their foods online.
Dry Matter Basis
On a dry matter basis, this food contains approximately 30.5 percent protein and 8.5 percent fat. This is a reasonably high amount of protein for a commercial dog food and a low fat percentage. Most experts recommend that the fat percentage in a food should be approximately half that of the protein percentage. 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 46.3 percent carbohydrates which is on the high side for all kibbles.
This food contains a higher percentage protein and lower fat percentage than other Kibbles n’ Bits formulas, which explains its weight management claim. Otherwise, it is very similar to other Kibbles ‘n Bits foods. It does contain chicken by-product meal which is an improvement on their other varieties. This food is probably a little better than some of their other foods.
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