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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Kibbles 'n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food

by Kibbles 'n Bits
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Kibbles 'n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors is a low-priced dog food with overall lower quality. This product has a staggering 14 controversial ingredients which unfortunately also includes artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. The food has a high amount of carbs, compared to the amount of protein and fat, plus a low meat and fat quality. Kibbles 'n Bits has an average number of recalls. Lastly, the company was not very transparent when answering our questions.

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TYPE
Dry Dog Food
PRICE
$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
-
PACKAGE
16, 31, 45, 50 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
JM Smuckers

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Nutrition

Nutrition

The food has high carbs and low protein and fat, making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low and they are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts. However, high amounts of carbs can reduce the much-needed meat-based protein and fat content.

To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 23.17%

Min. Fat 9.76%

Min. Carbs 58.54%

Max. Fiber 4.88%

Max. Ash 8.54%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 19.0%

Min Fat: 8.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 4.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 18.0%

Calories

Calories

377 Calories per Cup

This product has an average amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Average calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.

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FDA Alert

Grain-Free Dog Foods

This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.

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20.7%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
5%
46
Total Ingredients
14
Controversial Ingredients

Corn, Soybean Meal, Beef & Bone Meal, Whole Wheat, Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative), Corn Syrup, Wheat Middlings, Water Sufficient For Processing, Animal Digest (Source Of Chicken Flavor), Propylene Glycol, Salt, Hydrochloric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Peas, Caramel Color, Sorbic Acid (Used as a Preservative), Choline Chloride, Sodium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin a Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin), Dl-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate, Carrots, Green Beans, Wheat Flour, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, BHA (Used as a Preservative), Blue 1.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 14 total controversial ingredients and a surprising 4 of them are found in the first five ingredients. This is very concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product.


Top 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.

  • Corn
    Corn (also known as maize) is a cereal grain that provides carbs, protein, fat, vitamin B and other nutrients. Because corn in dog food is an inexpensive (and often feed-grade quality) ingredient, we do not consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Soybean Meal
    Soybean meal is ground and dried soybeans. While soy provides protein, its nutritional quality (the bioavailability of amino acids) is lower than that of meats. For this reason, we do not consider soybean meal a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Beef & Bone Meal
    Meat and bone meals are created by cooking meat, tissue, bones and slaughterhouse waste products using high heat. In the process, most of the water is removed, resulting in a protein-rich powder. Pure meat meals contain about four times the protein meats do, so generally, they're a good source of nutrients. However, meals that also contain bones can be difficult to digest and have the potential to include rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.

  • Whole Wheat
    Whole grain means that all three edible parts of the kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm) are kept before milling, which means more protein and nutrients are in the final product. Wheat is a grass and cereal grain often used in dog food. It provides protein, dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, B vitamins and minerals. Some dogs may develop wheat allergies, though they are a lot less common than allergies to beef, dairy and soy. The jury is still out on whether wheat is a high-quality dog food ingredient so please consult your vet if you suspect your dog may be allergic or has food sensitivities. Grain-alternatives like potatoes, peas and legumes may be linked to canine heart disease (it's too early to say this conclusively), so keep that in mind when buying foods without wheat and other grains.

  • Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative)
    Animal fat is created through a process called rendering which uses heat to convert animal tissue into more usable materials. Rendering dries the ingredient to separate bones, fat and protein. While fats are nutritious, this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. This ingredient also uses an artificial preservative called BHA which is suspected of causing cancer in dogs. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Corn
  2. Corn is a lower cost ingredient that does provide energy, but dogs can be sensitive to it. As a kernel it is not digestible, so it must be processed, but that processing leads to a higher glycemic index. Corn is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial if it is used in the top five ingredients (which make up about 80% of the food's weight) where a named meat or lean protein would be more nutritious.
  1. Soybean Meal
  2. Soybean meal is ground and dried soybeans. Soy is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial when it is used in the top five ingredients (which make up about 80% of the food's weight) where a named meat or lean protein would be more nutritious.
  1. Whole Wheat
  2. Wheat is not simply good or bad. It's a lower cost ingredient that does provide energy, but some dogs can have a sensitivity to it. Wheat is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial when it is used in the top five ingredients (which make up about 80% of the food's weight) where a named meat or lean protein could be more nutritious.
  1. Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative)
  2. Animal fat is created through a process called rendering which uses heat to convert animal tissue into more usable materials. Rendering dries the ingredient to separate bones, fat and protein. While fats are nutritious, this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. This ingredient also uses an artificial preservative called BHA which is suspected of causing cancer in dogs. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.
  1. Corn Syrup
  2. Corn Syrup (also called corn sugar or glucose syrup) is an added sugar made from corn. It enhances the foods flavor to make it more likely your dog will eat. The health concerns of added sugar are as real for dogs as they are for humans, notably obesity and diabetes.
  1. Animal Digest (Source Of Chicken Flavor)
  2. Animal digest is produced by chemically breaking down animal tissue into a liquid that can be used as an added flavoring, making it more likely your dog will eat the food. This is a controversial ingredient because it is produced with unknown animal sources which are also often of unknown quality. Because this ingredient says “Chicken Flavor” parts of this seem to be made from chicken, but it doesn’t have to be all of the digest.
  1. Propylene Glycol
  2. Used to help retain moisture in food but also used to de-ice aircraft and in automotive antifreeze. it has been shown to contribute to a serious blood disease in cats called Heinz Body Anemia. It has been banned from use in cat food by the FDA, but not in dog food.
  1. Caramel Color
  2. A concentrated form of caramel used in pet food to change the color of the food. It contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), which has been shown to potentially produce cancer in animals.
  1. Titanium Dioxide (Color)
  2. Extracted from titanium and used in many products like paint, cosmetics, sunscreen and more. For pet food it's used for coloring and texture. It has been identified as possibly cancer-causing in humans - and studies of have found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles can cause an inflammatory response and genetic damage in mice. What's most concerning is that this ingredient is completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.
  1. Yellow 5
  2. Tartrazine (also called C.I. 19140, FD&C Yellow 5, Acid Yellow 23, Food Yellow 4 and E102) and is a synthetic lemon yellow dye used to change the color of food, cosmetics and medications. In humans with Tartrazine hypersensitivity potential reactions include headaches, asthma attacks, itching or hives, insomnia, and hyperactivity. What's most concerning is that this ingredient is completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.
  1. Yellow 6
  2. Sunset Yellow FCF (also called Orange Yellow S, C.I. 15985, and E110) is a petroleum-derived orange dye used to change the color of food, cosmetics and medications. With potential links to ADHD and cancer, it has been restricted or banned in some EU countries and has restrictions in the U.S. - based on maximum intake ranges. What's most concerning is that this ingredient is completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color their food.
  1. Red 40
  2. Allura Red AC (also called FD&C Red 40, C. I. 16035 and E129) is a synthetic dye used to change the color of food. it has been shown to significantly reduced reproductive success, parental and offspring weight, brain weight, and survival. What's most concerning is that this ingredient is completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.
  1. BHA
  2. Butylated hydroxyanisole - Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is an artificial preservative that is used to keep foods from going rancid. The US Department of Health says it is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" and it's been found to produce certain types of tumors in animals.
  1. Blue 1
  2. Brilliant Blue FCF (also called Blue 1 and E133) is a synthetic dye used to change the color of food. It has been shown to create allergic reactions in individuals with pre-existing moderate asthma. What's most concerning is that this ingredient is completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.


Country of Origin

This dog food is made in the USA.


Meat & Fat Quality

This food includes Beef & Bone Meal, Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative), and Animal Digest. What all three of these ingredients have in common is that they are very intransparent. Which species is this meat and fat made of? You simply don’t know because all of them use unnamed animal sources.


Artificial Preservatives

This product contains 2 controversial preservatives called BHA and Propylene Glycol. It’s good to know that ‍not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions. Unfortunately, two of them are added in this dog food.


Artificial Colors

We find a whole host of artificial colors here. The food label shows Titanium Dioxide, Blue1, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Caramel Color. All of these are controversial and completely unnecessary in dog food - dogs are happy to eat food of any color. Please see above for a summary of each added artificial color.


Artificial Flavors

Besides artificial preservatives and colors, this food also includes an artificial flavor called Chicken Flavor.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
90%
1
Brand Recalls

Kibbles 'n Bits has an average number of dog food recalls.

Date:
2/12/2018
Recalled Products:
Kibbles 'n Bits brand Dog Food; Chef's Choice Bistro Tender Cuts With Real Beef & Vegetables In Gravy; packaged in metal cans with Net Wt. 13.2 OZ; UPC: 7910052486A on flat case and 7910010375 on cans; Distr. by: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco CA 94111. Kibbles 'n Bits brand Dog Food; Chef's Choice Homestyle Tender Slices With Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy; packaged in metal cans with Net Wt. 13.2 OZ; UPC: 7910052489A on flat case and 7910010380 on cans; Distr. by: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco CA 94111. Kibbles 'n Bits brand Dog Food; Chef's Choice Bistro Tender Cuts With Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables; packages in metal cans with Net Wt. 13.2 OZ; UPC: 7910052488A on flat case and 7910010378 on cans; Distr. by: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco CA 94111. Kibbles 'n Bits 12 Can Variety Pack; containing 6 cans of Chef's Choice American Grill, Burger Dinner With Real Bacon & Cheese Bits In Gravy; and 6 cans of Chef's Choice Bistro, Tender Cuts With Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables In Gravy; packages in metal cans with 12 - 13.2 OZ cans per case; Total Net Wt 9 LB 14 OZ; Variety Pack paper box UPC: 7910027685; Distr By: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco, CA 94111. These packages are not meant for individual can sales and are sold as a 12 can Variety Pack.. Kibbles 'n Bits 12 Can Variety Pack; containing 4 cans of Chef's Choice Bistro, Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables In Gravy; 4 cans of Chef's Choice Homestyle, Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce; and 4 cans of Chef's Choice Bistro, Bistro Tender Cuts With Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy; packaged in metal cans with 12 - 13.2 OZ Cans per case; Total Net Wt 9 LB 14 OZ; Variety Pack paper box UPC: 7910027750; Distr By: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco, CA 94111. These packages are not meant for individual can sales and are sold as a 12 can Variety Pack.. Kibbles 'n Bits 12 Can Variety Pack; Chef's Choice Bistro, containing 4 cans of Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables In Gravy; Chef's Choice Homestyle, 4 cans of Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce; Chef's Choice Bistro, and 4 cans of Bistro Tender Cuts With Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy; packaged in metal cans with 12 - 13.2 OZ Cans per case; Total Net Wt 9 LB 14 OZ; Variety Pack paper box UPC: 7910027750; Distr By: Big Heart Pet Brands, San Francisco, CA 94111. These packages are not meant for individual can sales and are sold as a 12 can Variety Pack.
Cause:
A TV station notified the firm and stated that certain varieties of their canned pet food products may contain Pentobarbital in low levels. The firm performed a safety assessment and concluded that no threat to pet safety was present. The firm agreed to conduct a product withdrawal, but the FDA considered this to be a recall once data indicated that the tallow was contaminated with pentobarbital.
Class:
III
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
10,060 cases total (12 cans per case) and 998,355 packs
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
34%

We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.

How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?

Kibbles 'n Bits is part of the Big Heart Brand, which is owned by JM Smucker. They never responded to our emails. However, when reaching out about the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand, this response was received:


Please be aware that Rachael Ray Nutrish is owned by JM Smucker Company.  This is the same company for the Big Heart Brand.  Please refer to the responses received previously for Big Heart Brand.  Thank you for your interest in our products!


This suggests that all brands should receive the same answers to the following questions. So for the following brands you will find the same responses: Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Nature’s Recipe, and Rachael Ray Nutrish.

Does Kibbles 'n Bits have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

Gravy Train™ [Kibbles 'n Bits] products are manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Company, where a veterinary nutritionist is on staff.

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

At The J.M. Smucker Company, quality products begin with quality ingredients. A dedicated team formulates Gravy Train™ [Kibbles 'n Bits] products to ensure they are nutritionally complete and balanced. Some teams involved include Research and Development, Quality Assurance and Marketing. Our products are produced to be nutritionally complete and balanced, and products are labeled in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, our team works with veterinarians to provide the information they need to make the right dietary choice for the animal in their care.

The specific names of the professionals working on the product were not provided.


Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?

No response was provided.

What country are your products manufactured?

No response was provided.

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

At this time, we do not offer tours of our facilities to the public.

What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?

No response was provided.

Does Kibbles 'n Bits own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

No response was provided.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

We source ingredients from various places. Ingredients are sourced from North America but will also source internationally if the situation demands it, due to the inconsistent availability of ingredients. Regardless of location, all ingredients are inspected to ensure they meet our high-quality standards.

This does not answer the actual question.

Kibbles 'n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food

by Kibbles 'n Bits
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