Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Buckley Liberty product line includes 3 freeze-dried dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Buckley Liberty Chicken Recipe [A]
- Buckley Liberty Beef Recipe (2.5 stars) [A]
- Buckley Liberty Lamb Recipe [A]
Buckley Liberty Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Buckley Liberty Chicken Recipe
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart, chicken gizzard, squash, chicken necks, apples, carrots, broccoli, eggs, ground flaxseed, inulin, blueberries, cranberries, apple cider vinegar, dried kelp, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, salmon oil, fish oil, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (a preservative)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||47%||38%||7%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||63%||5%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is dehydrated chicken. Dehydrated chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.
Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.
The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The fourth ingredient includes chicken giblets, the edible by-products of poultry slaughter. They include the gizzard, lungs, kidneys, heart, spleen, liver, ovaries and most other internal organs of the bird.
Although the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these unfamiliar ingredients can be considered a natural part of an authentic canine ancestral diet.
The fifth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is chicken neck. Raw chicken neck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.
The seventh ingredient is dried apple, a dehydrated, nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The eighth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The ninth ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, this recipe contains both fish oil and salmon oil. Each are naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, both fish oil and salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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.
Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Buckley Liberty Dog food looks like an above-average freeze-dried 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 40%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 5% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 84%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical freeze-dried dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a freeze-dried product containing a significant amount of meat.
Yet with 63% of the total calories in this example recipe coming from fat as compared to just 32% from protein, it would be inappropriate to award this product a higher rating.
Buckley Liberty is a meat-based freeze-dried dog food using a significant amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein. Unfortunately, because of its unusually high fat-to-protein ratio, this product may not be suitable for some animals and thus earns only 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Buckley Dog Food
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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
08/04/2018 Last Update