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Buckeye Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.
The Buckeye product line includes 10 dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, five for maintenance and three for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Buckeye ProBits
- Buckeye Chunks
- Buckeye Hunters
- Buckeye Gold ‘N Bits
- Buckeye ProKennel Lite
- Buckeye Hi-Performance
- Buckeye ProKennel Puppy
- Buckeye ProKennel Premium
- Buckeye ProKennel Super Bits
- Buckeye ProKennel Chicken and Rice
Buckeye Hi-Performance Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, pork meat meall, ground wheat, wheat middlings, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, citric acid and rosemary extract), corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, brewers rice, potassium chloride, salt, manganous oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||17%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||35%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The second ingredient lists pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The fourth ingredient is wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.
In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.
The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.
Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized livestock.
For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).
We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The eighth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, brewers rice has nothing to do with the process of brewing beer.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Buckeye Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Buckeye looks to be a below-average dry dog food.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
What’s more, it’s difficult to ignore the presence of so many Red Flag items and the notably inferior nature of its ingredients
Buckeye Dog Food is a plant-based dry kibble using a moderate amount of chicken by-product or pork meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
12/19/2014 Last Update