Buckeye Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product May Have Been Discontinued
Unable to Locate Current Information
On the Company’s Website

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.

Buckeye Hi-Performance

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 51%

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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis22%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%17%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%35%44%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

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

Bottom line?

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.

Not recommended.

A Final Word

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

12/19/2014 Last Update

  • Eat Buffalo Blue!

    Well, of course he eats it better than Purina (terrible dog food) And maybe he eats more because he doesn’t get the same amount of nutrition per bowl ( less than Purina I mean)

  • Hi HDM,

    Sorry you’re having trouble. I found both of your comments in the spam filter and released them.

    I’m not sure why this happens. However, you should be OK now. Just let me know if it happens again.

    For quickest response in the future, you may wish to just send me an email.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hey Dr. Mike –

    I know this is off topic – but could you check the spam folder on the forums for me. I’ve posted two responses to Marmaduke on the raw food forum and they keep disappearing.

  • Hi Dana,

    As Hound Dog Mom mentioned in her reply to “Mveniot”, my rating for the Buckeye Pro Kennel recipe has been included in this review.

    In addition, according to the Buckeye website as of this date, Hi Performance continues to be available.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you will read the list above the yellow box, you will see a list of Buckeye dog foods including Prokennel Chicken and Rice.  This review is for the WHOLE list, but Dr. Mike used one particular formula as a specific example.  HDM understands more than you ever will.

  • Dana

    Hound dog mom: you’re wrong. This review is not for the Chicken and rice food. It’s for Hi Performance, which doesn’t even exist anymore. Quick acting like an expert…..you’re clearly NOT! I’ve read your comments on several brands.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Mveniot –

    If you read the product list above this review includes Pro Kennel Chicken & Rice – it’s rated 1 star.

  • Mveniot

    what do you think about pro kennel chicken and rice? any reviews done on this dog food?

  • InkedMarie

    Glad it’s working for your dog but the ingredients are not very good. There are many other higher quality foods out there to help with your dogs digestion issues, not just vet food

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Have you ever actually tried a high quality food? This food and veterinary formulas are both low quality foods. It is what it is, mill floor sweepings and slaughterhouse waste. I would never feed this to any living thing. I’m sure there’s a better food out there your dogs would do well on.

  • Nikkie1133

    I would also have to disagree. I have had all three of my dogs on Pro Kennel for six years. All are healthy energetic. Secondly the vet had me buying very expensive $40 a bag food for my Dobbie’s digestion problem. I put her on this food and it cleared up and have never had another problem.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    You guys are being way to harsh. What dog wouldn’t want corn with a side of wheat middlings? Especially with a name like gold ‘n bits.

  • BryanV21

    Saying this is “marginal” dog food is being way too kind. I would NEVER feed this to my dog.

    Ingredients don’t lie.

  • InkedMarie

    You may disagree with the 1 star rating but it’s rated this for a reason: the ingredients. 

  • Bob K

    Countrygirl21ny  &  Dvldog0911  – Please read the detailed review on this dog food.  Read the ingredient label too.  This is a marginal dog food.  There are other dog foods that provide better nutrition for not much more money.    Some kids seem to thrive on Soda, fries, candy and popcorn too – But that is not healthy eating either.   Sorry to burst your bubble, Perhaps one less Starbucks or lunch out per week and your dog can have a better kibble.

  • melissa

    Based on the ingredient list, I would have to disagree with both of you. Any food that starts with corn is not, imo, a quality food. The reviews are based on ingredients and protein-not how someone’s particular dog seems to do on it, and in that regard, it fails miserably in my book.

  • Countrygirl21ny

    i have used this on my dogs for about about a year now and i have to agree with dvldog0911 my dogs dont eat as much and seem healthier also 

  • Dvldog0911

    My dog has been eating buckeye prokennel dog food for about 4 years now. He eats less then when i use to give him purina dog chow, however, he has twice the energy he used to . His coat is healthier, he has more energy and his body seems to absorb much of the food because he doesnt go “number 2” near as much as he used to. so i would have to disagree with your 1 start rating…