Bil-Jac dog food was created by brothers Bill and Jack Kelly. Upon returning from World War II, the brothers decided to start their brand of premium-quality dog food.
The idea was to offer a high-quality, slow-cooked pet food that retained most of its nutritional value. In other words, the best dog food nutrition they could offer.
The brothers decided early on that they would not expend their efforts on heavy marketing. Instead, they wanted word of mouth to be the main channel and recommendation.
Did they succeed? The Bil-Jac dog food review looks at the range and tries to answer this question.
About the Bil-Jac Dog Food Brand
Bill and Jack Kelly founded their company in Medina, Ohio, in 1947. The company’s headquarters are still there. They also have a plant in Berlin, Germany.
The brothers initially focused on frozen dog food — which was their first product. In 1951, they received the first US patent for pet cuisine.
It wasn’t until the 1980s and the application of slow cooking that they started producing dry dog food. In fact, Bil-Jac developed a meat dehydration method, NutriLock. The method uses half the standard temperatures in the pet food industry to preserve nutrients better.
Nowadays, the Nutri-Lock meat dehydration method is applied to all their formulas.
The Bil-Jac dog food is made by Kelly Foods Corporation. The range includes dry dog food, wet food, frozen dog food, treats, and a probiotic spray.
Bil-Jac Dog Food Review
Bil-Jac brand is medium-sized, classified as super-premium dog food.
The range offers:
- Complete and balanced nutrition for various breed sizes and life stages
- Special line for picky eaters
- Solutions for specific health concerns
- Grain-free options
- Frozen dog food
- Wet food varieties
One of the company’s main tag lines is “25 lbs of chicken in 30 lbs bag,” by which the brand highlights how much high-quality animal protein is in Bil-Jac formulas.
The products are in the medium-to-high price range, expected for premium dog food.
All the products within the range meet and exceed the AAFCO nutritional profiles for adequate phase.
Bil-Jac Select Dry Dog Food
Bil-Jac Select dog food formulas offer complete and balanced nutrition for all breeds and different life stages.
The recipes are formulated according to different life stages.
All the formulas provide lots of high-quality animal protein. The exact crude protein content depends on the specific life stage.
Naturally, the Puppy formula will have most — your fur baby needs it for growth and development. On the other hand, the Senior formula has the lowest protein content (it still exceeds the recommended AAFCO minimum).
Bil-Jac did a good job tweaking the formulas further and focusing on different ingredients. Recipes for adult dogs have nice Omega-3 fatty acids and support heart health, shiny fur, and healthy skin. Senior formulas are aimed at the hip and joint health, with the help of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (building blocks of cartilage).
The Select formulas are grain-inclusive, so they might not be the best option if your dog has wheat and gluten allergies.
Furthermore, Adult and Puppy foods have a high-fat content — 18%. This may be great for puppies, but not for adult dogs. If they are not very active, fat will cause weight gain.
Overall, the Select formulas provide lots of macronutrients and great taste, thanks to the NutriLock cooking process.
Bil-Jac Large and Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Think of this line as an extension of the Bil-Jac Select formulas, focusing on different breed sizes.
This group features 3 formulas for small breeds and 2 formulas for large breeds.
All the formulas offer complete and balanced nutrition — tailored to different breed sizes and life stages.
Besides high-quality protein, there are plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids and carbs. All the recipes contain nutritious oatmeal. Small breed recipes also include delicious yams.
The recipes in this group further refine and consider the dietary needs of your gentle giant — or mischievous pooch.
So, for example, large-breed recipes contain additional hip and joint support in the form of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Small breed kibble is filled with mini-bites, so your pooch can easily eat them.
Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food
The recipes in this line are formulated to satisfy even the most sophisticated palates of picky eaters and have them gobble up the food.
The line is formulated for adult dogs. It features two recipes.
So what ensures the great taste of these recipes? According to Bil-Jac, it’s the real chicken liver. Dogs get excited about it — for every meal.
But it’s about more than that. Chicken liver is accompanied by fresh chicken as the first ingredient, and chicken by-products and by-product meals. Together, they bring out a rounded aroma and complementary nutrients.
Finally, the nutrients and taste are locked up through a patented Nutri-Lock cooking system.
This food is not just the taste, though — it brings loads of quality macronutrients, healthy grains, as well as the essential Omega-3 fatty acids.
Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions Dry Dog Food
Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions dry food addresses specific health concerns in dogs.
The Sensitive Solutions brand line is made with real chicken, oatmeal, menhaden fish meal, and whitefish. These provide an excellent macronutrient profile, healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and good carbs.
The recipes also feature Bil-Jac’s proprietary Smart Defense System — a blend of vitamins and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system.
Finally, both formulas feature prebiotics and canine probiotics. They soothe upset stomachs and ease digestion.
However, bear in mind that both formulas rely heavily on chicken and corn meal. These are common allergens, so this specific brand line isn’t suitable for every dog.
Furthermore, they contain fructooligosaccharides, which are fruit sugars. In addition to gaining weight, some dogs’ skins may react poorly to increased sugar intake.
Bil-Jac Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Bil-Jac also offers one grain-free option for pet parents whose canines are allergic to wheat or gluten: Bil-Jac Grain-Free Adult Chicken Recipe.
This recipe is formulated for adult dogs and all breed sizes.
The formula offers a lot of protein — crude protein content is 30%, which is quite high. A lot of it comes from real chicken meat and chicken organs, so we’re talking high-quality animal protein.
The grain-free formula also includes pea and pea derivatives as the main carb source, premium menhaden fish for Omega-3 fatty acids, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals.
Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food
Bil-Jac began by producing frozen dog food. After 75 years of making pet food, they still offer one frozen dog food formula: Bil-Jac Frozen Dog Food.
The significant advantage of frozen dog food is that there is no need for preservatives. Freezing preserves both the taste and the quality of ingredients.
Add to that Bil-Jac’s NutriLock slow-cooking process, and this recipe is bound to supply a fresh, tender taste when your dog needs it.
Besides using fresh chicken, the recipe is enriched with probiotics and prebiotics for digestive support. The formula also includes Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart, fur, and skin.
Bil-Jac Wet Dog Food
Bil-Jac’s wet dog food features two different types: pates and stews.
The line of pates, Pâté Platters, includes four formulas. Bil-Jac’s stews also feature four enticing recipes.
Most wet food recipes are grain-free, except for the Hearty Stew formula. The food is formulated for adult dogs, all sizes, and can be served as a complete food, mixed with kibbles, or a topper.
Bil-Jac wet dog food is a mixture of whole meats (chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, duck) and named broths. This combination provides both animal protein and added minerals.
Pâté Platters are more solid, while stews have more moisture. The consistency of pâtés is achieved via sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cheese, and vegetables. Stews, on the other hand, allow for more diverse vegetables, like carrots and green peas — which you can see when you open the lid.
Bil-Jac’s wet and canned food offers a wide variety of options, with great taste.
Bil-Jac Dog Food Ingredients Quality
The biggest advantage of Bil-Jac’s dog food is its own NutriLock Slow Cook system. The method preserves the taste — and the nutrients — in formulas.
However, is this alone enough for the “super-premium” label?
If we look at proteins, most formulas feature loads of fresh chicken. Whole meats are the best option for dog food, and Bil-Jac uses many of them. But, chicken allergy is widespread among dogs. If your dog is allergic to this meat, most Bil-Jac’s formulas are just not for your canine.
Furthermore, many recipes include organ meat, chicken by-products, and by-product meals. Organ meats are good for dogs — they increase the taste and bring in nutrients. A chicken by-product meal can be problematic because it can include gizzards, necks, feet, and other carcass parts.
The main source of carbs in most recipes is corn meal. Most dog foods that are premium and super-premium opt instead for other carbs, like whole grains (brown rice, oats, or whole wheat). Corn is a controversial ingredient — typically not easy for dogs to digest.
Truth be told, formulas also have oatmeal, which is a great, nutritious grain. However, it’s much further down the ingredient list.
Fats in Bil-Jac dog food come from high-quality fat sources, like menhaden fish meal, whitefish, and ground flaxseed. These provide enough energy and supply your dog with complete, essential Omega-3 fatty acids.
Some recipes only use flaxseed, without the fish. Flaxseed is a great plant source of omegas, but it is incomplete. Recipes that include the fish are much better.
Bil-Jac dog food features some controversial preservatives as well. The most notable one is BHA. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a synthetic antioxidant, and there is some evidence it is carcinogenic.
Furthermore, Bil-Jac wet foods, especially pates, include caramel, guar gum, and locust bean gum. These flavors and thickeners can sometimes cause allergic reactions. In addition to that, caramel brings in extra sugar.
Do ingredients in Bil-Jac merit the price and the super-premium label?
It’s hard to tell. The quantity of whole meats and organ meats, along with a few premium ingredients, definitely signals high quality. This impression is boosted by Bil-Jac’s patents, like NutriLock and Smart Defense System.
But on the other hand, several ingredients are very common allergens and potentially harmful. Perhaps better choices could have been made with regards to those.
Bil-Jac Dog Food Recalls
To date, there has been one minor recall of Bil-Jac dog food.
In August 2012, the company issued a voluntary recall of their Adult Select formula. The reason was mold, probably due to high moisture content.
The recalled batch was limited to a single batch of the formula.
Still, the recall history of Bil-Jac is quite good since they haven’t had any additional recalls. For a company that’s been around 75 years, this is a great sign.
Check out the FDA database for more FDA recall alerts on dog food.
Bil-Jac Online Dog Food Reviews
The online dog food reviews of Bil-Jac are mainly positive.
Many dog owners say that their furballs love the taste of the food, even the picky eaters.
“”The super-picky eater now eats almost every meal (that’s about the best I can get out of her).””You can read more Bil-Jac dog food reviews on Chewy.
Additionally, for many pet owners, Bil-Jac helped with the growth of their dogs, especially puppies. This is best illustrated by a dog food review on Bil-Jac Picky No More Medium & Large Breed recipe.
“Charlie is a VERY large puppy ( royal standard poodle), and his breeder suggests this kibble as a supplement to help him through his fast growth stage. He loves this “breakfast” and has doubled his weight since we brought him home!”You can read more Bil-Jac dog food reviews on Chewy.
For some dog owners, though, Bil-Jac just doesn’t cut it in terms of taste and texture. A review on Bil-Jac Small Breed Adult recipe recounts the following:
“Both my little dogs took one smell and walked away. I tried mixing with wet food, and they still “You can read more Bil-Jac dog food reviews on Chewy.
Still, most pet owners seem to be really satisfied with Bil-Jac and recommend it.
Perhaps the most important piece of info about Bil-Jac is that it has been around for 75 years. If your product isn’t good, you don’t survive and thrive that long.
Bil-Jac dog food has lots of good stuff going for it. The way they handle the ingredients, and the innovative approach to cooking, show this company means business.
However, several ingredients are possible allergens, so it’s best to consult with your vet before opting for Bil-Jac dog food.
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