Buckley Liberty (Freeze-Dried)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

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 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

Protein = 47% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 7%

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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis45%36%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%38%7%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%63%5%
Protein = 32% | Fat = 63% | Carbs = 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
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Buckley Liberty looks like an above-average freeze-dried 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 47%, a fat level of 38% and estimated carbohydrates of about 7%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Recommended.

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
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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

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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.

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Notes and Updates

08/04/2018 Last Update

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