Mr. Buck’s Genuinely Good Pet Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Mr. Buck’s Genuinely Good dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Mr. Buck’s product line includes three dry dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Mr. Buck’s No Grain Dog Food
  • Mr. Buck’s Everyday Dog Food (3.5 stars)
  • Mr. Buck’s Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food

Mr. Buck’s Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Mr. Buck's Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), ground grain sorghum, dried beet pulp, oat groats, fish meal, egg product, brewers dried yeast, natural flavor, whole ground flax seed, lecithin, canola oil, chicken cartilage, potassium chloride, salt, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, dl methionine, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, cranberry, l-lysine, Yucca schidigera extract, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), glucosamine HCL, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, mineral oil, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, organic dried kelp, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, selenium, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient lists chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient lists sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient includes beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

The seventh ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The ninth ingredient is brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we find canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.2

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener3 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

In addition, although we can’t be certain, mineral oil is apparently used in this recipe as a stool softener.

However, the inclusion of this additive can be controversial. That’s because the European Food Safety Authority has expressed some concern as to the long term health effects of using mineral oil in human food.4

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Mr. Buck’s Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Mr. Buck’s dog food looks like an above average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Mr. Buck’s dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

03/22/2013 Original review
03/25/2013 Rating edited due to computational error
03/25/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  3. Wikipedia definition
  4. EFSA News Story dated 6/12/2012
  • Mike Swartz

    Going under? They have expanded to new markets! They have also introduced mail order this month.

  • Tommy

    Can you please pay Access America Transport your past due? Maybe then you’ll get to your 5 star level.

  • Tommy

    I would stay away! the do not pay their vendors and are on the verge of going under!

  • robinascots

    Roger Biduk, wrote an excellent post. How could any reviewer give Mr. Buck’s 4 stars and even
    worse give it a “highly recommended” rating. Says lots about this site and the knowledge of the person doing the reviews.

  • Roger Biduk

    Hello Hound Dog Mom,

    You’re right! Rather than rate it in stars I’d rather just say that I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. People need to know the whole story when it comes to ALL the ingredients in a food that’s supposedly rated four stars or in the top 80% and is “highly recommended”.

    Thanks for the heads up…
    Roger Biduk

  • Hound Dog Mom

    1 star? I think that’s a little harsh. While this is by no means a fantastic food, it’s definitely on a different level than the 1 star foods like Beneful, Kibble ‘n Bits, ‘Ol Roy, etc.

  • Roger Biduk

    You’re right wizurley… see my response to Mike.
    Roger Biduk.

  • Roger Biduk

    Wizurley is absolutely correct.
    This food is simply a low-tier
    formula just like hundreds of others out there. There’s only ONE meat
    ingredient and is full of fillers, starch and carbs at 42%. Cats/dogs
    have a ZERO need for carbs and the worst is grains. Kibble needs a
    starch for a binder but good commercial kibble get their starches and
    carbs from vegetables and is around 25%, not from horrible grains.

    I’d give this food one star and not recommend it.

    There’s another five ingredients in this stuff that are to be avoided that weren’t singled out.

    Ground grain sorghum and oat groats are cheap fillers, full of starches that will eventually cause big problems.

    Fish
    meal is an anonymous ingredient meaning Mr. Buck doesn’t even specify
    the fish source because they don’t know what they are! Made from
    unspecified parts of unspecified fish. The origin of the fish are
    definitely suspect, as they aren’t named. If Mr. Buck wanted you to know
    what the sources were, they’d name them.
    According to U.S. law
    (Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security) fish meal MUST be
    preserved with ethoxyquin, a known carcinogen to prevent explosion
    during transport. Pet foods containing quality ingredients never, ever
    use fish meal in any of their products. They will always name a fish
    source such as more expensive herring or salmon meal and guarantee it to
    be ethoxyquin-free.

    Egg product is a waste product, pure junk.
    Cheap source of protein, waste product of egg industry, can contain
    undeveloped and diseased eggs, floor sweepings, etc. Not fit for human
    consumption. Pet foods containing quality ingredients never, ever use
    dried egg product in any of their foods. They only uses fresh, whole
    eggs.

    To add to the comment on beet pulp, it’s a waste product,
    pure junk. Cheap filler/fiber that causes sugar rush/addiction to food,
    hyperactivity, obesity and allergies.
    May cause seizures, skin problems such as itching and excessive shedding, ear and eye infections.
    Dried
    beet pulp is known to be an artificial stool hardener. This is
    dangerous because when the stool remains in the colon too long, it
    exudes toxins into the blood stream, which could lead to a variety of
    short term (E.Coli) or long term health problems.

    Salt is added to this food, and that’s never good.

    You
    will never, ever find the above ingredients in high quality
    commercially available pet foods, nor will you ever find them in healthy
    recipes for homemade pet meals. Where you’ll find them are in very
    affordable, highly processed, very low-quality pet foods. Roger Biduk

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi wizurley, the company also offers a grain free alternative, called Mr. Buck’s No grain.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Wizurley,

    The large majority of kibble recipes are carb-based and dominated by grains, potatoes or legumes. Compared to the typical kibble, this product contains a slightly below average amount of carbohydrate.

    As a matter of fact, if you exclude the 3-star Everyday Dog Food recipe, Mr. Bucks appears to be above-average in meat protein and well-below average in carbs. This product surely deserves its 4-star rating.

  • JellyCat

    This food contains a decent amount of chicken meal. It is however plant based still. At the same time, carbs are at acceptable level in this food.

  • wizurley

    I can’t understand why such a heavy grain food received a rating this high. It makes me doubt the validity of this site, and I depend on it greatly for my Natural Pet Food Store business. Ground grain sorghum (corn), dried beet pulp, oat groats- sounds like a lot of low quality cheap filler ingredients to me. Maybe this review needs to be revisited.

  • Jon Kitto

    Thank you for this fair and informative review of our pet food! You have given us some goals to reach 5 Stars!