“There was a big need to come up with something better”Bil-Jac Founder, Bill Kelly
Celebrating 65 Years Of Doing Things Differently
By Bob Kelly
It seems my family has always looked for a better way to do things. My father, Bill, had a passion for animal nutrition on the farm in Ohio where he grew up. He saw how different ingredients, and the way they were put together, could make a meaningful difference in the health of an animal. When he went off to serve in the Army during WWII, this passion didn’t leave him and he was assigned to take care of the bomb-sniffing german shepherds during training camp.
After leaving the service, newly married to my mother Ruth, he took his remaining $38 in army severance pay and started Bil-Jac with his brother, Jack. Hence the company name: Bil-Jac. He knew in his heart there was a way to make dog food better.
Bil-Jac was one of the first dog foods to use meat as the main ingredient, rather than cheaper vegetable proteins. Bil-Jac was so different, in fact, it earned a US patent. What they created back then is still the basis for Bil-Jac’s philosophy of nutrition. There are three key principles they founded:
- Use a HIGH level of fresh (not frozen or dried) meat protein, like beef and chicken. Back then, many foods were primarily made of vegetable proteins that were difficult for dogs to digest and utilize. Through his experience of feeding animals on the farm, Bill saw that dogs had more energy and soft, shiny coats when fed a diet consisting of meat-based proteins.
- Create Bil·Jac Dog Food gently, in small batches, to help preserve the key nutrients. Amino Acids, the building blocks of protein, can be damaged if processed improperly, limiting the amount and quality of protein available for the dog to use. Our truly unique patented process helped protect meat-based proteins, giving dogs access to an abundance of essential amino acids.
- Make it as delicious as can be for dogs. Good nutrition is important, but it won’t benefit your dog if your dog isn’t willing to eat it. An abundance of meat-based proteins, like beef or chicken, brings out the natural flavor that your dog loves, without adding fats and taste enhancers. Dogs loved the fresh meat taste of Bil·Jac and word spread about the brand.
From Ohio to the world
Everything you need to know about Bil-Jac was developed in those early years through the determination of Bill and Jack Kelly to do things a better way. Since 1947, Bil-Jac has fed thousands of champions and famous movie star dogs. It has been the choice of winning breeders and trainers alike, and has won countless taste tests conducted with dogs around the world. These three truths are what make Bil-Jac different and are still our focus today, even in our dry dog food.
- Bil·Jac uses fresh chicken, not frozen or dried, as the main ingredient in our dry dog food. It’s widely accepted today that dogs are best fed as carnivores; their nutritional needs for protein mirror those that are provided in meat. That’s why we use 25 pounds of fresh chicken to make every 30 pound bag of Adult Select dry dog food. We know of no other dry dog food that even comes close to using as much fresh chicken in their formula as we do.
- We’ve developed a very special way to make Bil·Jac Dry Dog Food, where our small-batch, gentle Nutri-Lock™ slow cooking helps preserve key nutrients and essential amino acids. Nearly every other dry dog food on the market is cooked quickly using a high heat, high pressure process called “extrusion.” No one else makes dry dog food like we do.
- With Bil·Jac, outstanding taste and nutrition go hand in hand. Fresh chicken, when slowly cooked, brings out the natural flavor dogs love. Bil·Jac doesn’t use added fats or taste enhancers. If you’ve tried our Two-Bowl Challenge, you know what we’re talking about.
We’ve developed loyal customers (some famous, most not) around the world. We’ve fed millions of beloved family pets, and what makes us most proud is the difference we have made in their lives.
65 years after the first bag of Bil-Jac was sold
Today Bil-Jac remains a family business. Making your dog’s food is our family’s passion … first by my father and uncle … then by my brothers and me … and now by our families. It is a passion we happily share today with millions of dog lovers around the world. We answer only to our high standards and our canine customers, so we can continue to insist on the highest-quality and highest-nutritional values upon which our father and uncle built the business.
But don’t just take our word for it. We encourage you to have your dog experience the 2 bowl taste test challenge – place a bowl of Bil-Jac next to a bowl of your dog’s regular food. We are confident your best friend will pick Bil-Jac. And we’re sure you’ll love the results you’ll see when you feed them Bil-Jac.
Happy Anniversary and here’s to serving you and your family for the next 65 years.
Whenever I tell the Bil-Jac story, it sounds like a story about my father and uncle, and to a large extent that is true. After all, they planted all the seeds we are harvesting today. However, no company as successful as Bil-Jac is really just the story of one or two men. We would not be where we are today without the dedicated efforts of our Bil-Jac Team members and our many retailers, too numerous to mention. Thank you all for your continued support and your passion to help dogs live a healthy life.