The Billy & Margot Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
A popular grain-free dog food, Billy and Margot kibble is very easy to find. Should you consider it for your dog? In today’s dog food review, we cover everything you need to know about this relatively new brand.
To find out what you need to know, we joined forces with veterinarians, canine nutritionists and dog parents to form an independent team of experts. We then spent weeks testing all of the Billy and Margot food varieties alongside our beloved pooches before coming together and agreeing on the contents of this review.
To break it down:
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
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Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
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Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Billy & Margot Dog Food Review
Billy and Margot - 3 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Chicken superfood dry dog food: Chicken, Whole Field Peas, Whole Chickpeas, Red Lentils, Sweet Potato, Chicken Oil, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Honey (Manuka), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Salt, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid), Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Cranberries, Chia Seed, Ginger Root, Turmeric, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Rosemary Extract.
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Dry, wet and frozen.
- Recipe Range: Chicken, kangaroo and salmon dry kibble. Other protein options like fish (barramundi), lamb and beef are available as both canned and frozen food.
- Suitable For: Puppy, adult and senior dogs. Small- and large-breed recipes available.
- Cost: $$$
- Australian Owned: No
If you’ve ever been a fan of Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den, you might have heard of Billy + Margot dog food. The business, created by (human) nutritionist Marie-Helene Sawle, started out by selling ice cream dog treats made out of healthy ingredients. In 2012, she appeared in BBC’s Dragon’s Dens, where Deborah Meaden offered to invest.
Since then, Billy + Margot’s range has expanded. On top of iced treats, the brand now offers grain-free kibble, canned dog food, frozen food and treats (dry and iced). Are you wondering if they’re as good as the packaging looks? Here’s what you should know.
In today’s Billy + Margot dog food review, our team of independent experts will use the chicken grain-free kibble as the main reference. Since this brand does offer other options (notably canned and frozen), we’ll touch upon those briefly as well.
Taste-wise, this food seems to be run-of-the-mill. Although most members of our panel of experts noted their dogs like the flavour, some picky eaters have been more stubborn about it. Considering this is a traditional kibble, this is not a surprise.
Generally speaking, picky eaters tend to be fussier with regular dry food. Kibble, although offering a concentrated version of a balanced diet, can lack yummy flavour and taste. This is especially true if the recipe is low on animal protein (which is the case here).
If you have a picky eater at home, try making kibble more enticing. Add a yummy topper like some shredded chicken or beef, homemade gravy (no added salt) or half a boiled egg. Usually, this is enough to make your dog eat their food.
PRO TIP: Is your dog suddenly a picky eater? If your pup usually has an appetite that suddenly disappears, refusing to eat can be a sign of a medical issue. Take them to the vet ASAP, they will check for dental or digestive issues and then for more serious conditions.
Since fussy eaters resist the taste, we’re taking off 2 stars. It’s normal, but there are tastier options out there!
According to the packaging, Billy + Margot is a “nutritious dry dog food with wholesome and healthy ingredients”. Does it deliver on this promise? Here’s the rundown.
Looking at the ingredient list, we have a good start. The first ingredient in the chicken superfood kibble is actually chicken. However, moving further down the ingredient list things get more confusing: 5 out of the next 6 ingredients are vegetables. After chicken, we have field peas, chickpeas, lentils, sweet potato and finally pea protein. The only misfit in the list is chicken oil, which comes right before pea protein.
What does this list mean?
For starters, the 34% crude protein featured in the guaranteed analysis is largely due to vegetable protein. As we’ve mentioned on other occasions, legumes are rich in protein. Pet food manufacturers use them to create more affordable dog food. The addition of pea protein, an ingredient that only adds protein and no other micronutrients , shows the recipes are formulated to increase the protein percentage without adding more animal products.
Beyond the bulk of the food, these recipes look fine. There’s flaxseed, coconut oil, Manuka honey, alfalfa meal and a mix of fruits and veggies that should round up the micronutrient profile.
Based on the guaranteed analysis, this is a respectable mid-range kibble. It is grain-free, with 34% crude protein, a minimum of 13% crude fat and a max of 6% crude fibre. The total fat content is slightly low but correlates with the slim animal protein in the ingredient list. The fibre also reflects the high percentage of vegetables (mainly legumes) in these recipes.
While not terrible, this kibble’s composition isn’t our favourite. This grain-free kibble is mostly vegetable-based, and we’d prefer to see more meats or animal products in there.
The rest of the range isn’t much different in this regard. Billy + Margot’s frozen food is cooked (not raw), so that’s the first thing to keep in mind. As for the ingredients, chicken and lamb are at the top, followed by potato starch and vinegar. I’m not sure my pup would love a bowl with vinegar so high up the list.
The canned food from this same brand has ingredients that reflect the mid-range price point. We don’t love that water is the third ingredient, as well as having guar gum relatively high on the ingredient list.
Overall, this brand’s ingredients are not terrible. However, they could improve. It would be nice to have more ingredients of animal origin: these recipes are very much vegetable-based. Our panel agreed to give Billy + Margot 3 out of 5 in this category.
Protein content 3/5
All of this brand’s recipes have animal meat as the first ingredient. This is great to see! The overall protein content shown in the guaranteed analysis is also respectable: 34% minimum crude protein. This is well above the bare minimum recommended by the AAFCO (18% crude protein for adults), meaning this kibble complies with official nutritional requirements.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note all recipes have legumes very high up on the list. In fact, in most of them, peas or chickpeas are the second ingredient. While legumes are a healthy addition to a dog’s diet, their prominent position in the ingredient lists shows they are being used to bump up the protein.
Legumes like peas, chickpeas and lentils have lots of vegetable protein. They contain an average of 20 - 25% protein by weight, way more protein than wheat and rice . However, our team of independent experts wish to remind you that these are “incomplete” proteins, meaning they don’t have all nine essential amino acids your dog’s body needs .
This is why a dog needs to have animal protein in their diet: it is more readily absorbed and includes all essential amino acids to nourish their body. Plant protein, while a nice addition, is more difficult to digest and lacks some of the essential amino acids unless paired with rice.
What does this mean when looking at Billy + Margot’s label?
Simply put, a good chunk of the protein in these recipes comes from legumes. This means not all 34% protein will be absorbed by your dog. It is also slightly deceiving since the actual amount of animal protein is unclear.
As a positive, it’s worth it to note that all recipes are single protein, and don’t even add fish oil unless the main component is fish. If you have an allergic dog or are trying to stick to a specific set of proteins for any reason, this is great news!
These recipes are not terrible, but they do fall in line with other mid-range kibbles in that they try to go for cheaper ingredients (legumes) to bump up the protein. We’re giving Billy + Margot 3 out of 5 in this category.
All of Billy + Margot’s recipes advertise their use of a superfood mix. But is this truly the case? The list is long, so we’ve grouped the extra goodies to make the analysis easier:
We would say this is a case of misleading marketing. Although the brand claims superfoods are a key part of the recipes, in reality, they have only added a minimal amount to the kibble. Both canned and frozen options have the same issue.
On a positive note, we love that there are no artificial preservatives or flavours used in these recipes. In a sea of kibble of dubious quality, Billy + Margot sticks to natural preservatives like vitamin E and rosemary extract. A plus for our team!
We’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category. Not bad, but they can do better.
As of the writing of this review, Billy + Margot has 20 adult dog food flavours between their kibble, canned and frozen food options. These are single-protein and are formulated to provide complete nutrition to healthy adult dogs. The wet food options are more varied than the kibble, since they have the additional options of lamb and other fish-based recipes.
The brand also offers 2 different puppy recipes slightly higher in fats to nourish your growing pup.
Treats-wise, Billy + Margot has both regular dry treats and their signature iced treats. Our team liked the composition of the iced treats, so if you’re in the market for those we recommend you check them out.
Overall, there’s enough variety for most dogs. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.
This is a mid-range dog food with a price to match. We appreciate the brand is fairly easy to find and it’s stocked in different stores here in Australia. This means finding bundle discounts will be easier if you have several pups to feed at home.
The price of this kibble is in line with other dog foods of this quality, and we would consider it an affordable option with pretty good ingredients.
For most dog parents, it’s a good option that doesn’t break the bank. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.
Do Not Buy If…
Although this could be a good option for many pups, our panel of independent experts recommend you look elsewhere if you…
Everyone on our team of independent experts would use Billy + Margot’s kibble as a base. While this food is lower in animal protein and fat than more expensive options, it’s fairly affordable and we appreciate the clean ingredient list. If we were to use it, we would add extra meat and innards as a topper: these would round up our dog’s protein intake while keeping the budget low-ish.
If you’d like to give it a try, we’d say go for it!
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- All about dog food. Pea protein in dog food. https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-ingredients/0110/pea-protein
- Harvard School of Public Health. Ask the expert: legumes and resistant starch. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/11/16/ask-the-expert-legumes-and-resistant-starch/
- Cleveland Clinics. Do I need to worry about eating complete proteins? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/do-i-need-to-worry-about-eating-complete-proteins/