Rex Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Rex Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1.5 stars.

The Rex product line includes 7 dry 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.

  • Rex Puppy [A]
  • Rex Premium [A]
  • Rex High Protein [A]
  • Rex Maintenance [A]
  • Rex Plus (2.5 stars) [A]
  • Rex Golden Nugget [A]
  • Rex Golden Chunk (2 stars) [A]

Rex Premium was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Rex Premium

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Cereal food fines, meat meal, chicken by-product meal, animal fat, corn gluten meal, beet pulp, ground flax seed, bentonite, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement, D calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, calcium carbonate and ethoxyquin (a preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis27%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%17%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%35%39%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 39%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes cereal food fines. Cereal food fines are an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

This waste ingredient can possibly contain a measurable amount of sugar left over from the manufacture of breakfast cereals. Food fines are typically associated with lower quality dog foods.

The second ingredient is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The third ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken 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 feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 fifth ingredient is 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 sixth ingredient is bentonite, a naturally occurring clay-like compound rich in many trace minerals. Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The seventh ingredient is 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 eighth ingredient is 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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this dog food contains ethoxyquin, a controversial preservative linked to the accumulation of hemoglobin pigment in the liver and elevated hepatic enzymes in the blood.

Rex Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Rex dog food looks like a below-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 30%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten meal and flaxseed in this recipe, and soybean meal contained in another recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Rex is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed meat and by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars.

Not 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.

Rex 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

11/04/2017 Last Update

  • Pattyvaughn

    Actually the review is for three of their foods. Dr Mike just uses a moderate one as an example, to talk about the ingredients. This does not cover Rex Pro and maybe your dog did so well because of what you added.
    I don’t pay for shipping, BTW. Many places do free shipping if you buy over a certain amount. I don’t have to pay taxes either that way.
    My dogs thoroughly enjoy road kill, but I can guarantee the road kill they get does not have any euthanasia drug in it. And I don’t pay my hard earned money for it.
    BTW, because they once told you where they get ingredients from doesn’t mean they can’t change that as needed at any time. And there are rendering plants in Kentucky too that accept euthanized animals. That’s why where they get ingredients does not have any bearing on the review.
    And you apparently don’t understand the legal definition of libel.

  • InkedMarie

    Look at the ingredients. They are NOT good for dogs. As far as shipping, I don’t pay shipping costs. I order from,, and you only have to spend a nominal amount ($49 +/-) for free shipping. I don’t feed “the best” for my dogs but I do buy it online and when one of the foods is on sale, I stock up, so to speak.

    Again, the reviewer here can only go by the ingredients that are listed above for one of their foods. It’s crap, pure and simple. The reasons are specified. If you’re on a budget, there are foods such as Dr Tims that comes in 40 and 44 pound bags (smaller too) that are very good foods.

  • Mango

    The ingredients are purchased from Kentucky. The food is made in Memphis. It is USA in origin . And cereal food fines is a human grade ingredient. The anaylist is merely speculating about sugar. The analysis makes assumption about the source of ingredients. It is not stating facts. FYI, I feed my pups Blue Wilderness and I switch them to Diamond Extreme Athlete. I feed raw when I can. I’m very well informed. There was a time I lost a dog and overspent on emergency vet treatment and appreciated opportunity to buy a food with USA made ingredients that was local and I could afford. Their entire line shouldn’t be judged by analysis of one of their foods. My dogs did well on Rex Pro and I added extra eggs and milk. As for buying online go for it. If you have the money to throw into shipping, by all means. When some of us are hurting economically, and we don’tdecide to toss our dogs into the pound or on the street or craigslist, we make due with the best. That is my point. Rex is widely fed in its distribution area and doesn’t have dog kill trails. You know when a feral dog pack starts to eat a carcass? NOt when it is fresh but when it is ripe and about to pop. Dogs like excrement and some, like cow excrement is actually good for them. Dogs eat cat excrement when we dont want them to. They go after rotten things in the garbage. Not that we can make a diet out of these things for them but it doesnt kill them. It is great and wonderful to afford the very best for our companions, i do it skimping on my own diet but to publically diss a company one has no experience at all with on the basis of one report that is not even specific to the actual ingredients used – well that is libel.

  • InkedMarie

    You need to read how they rate foods. Obviously you have the Internet so that means that no transportation is no excuse because you can order online. It doesn’t matter what your opinion of the food is, the ingredients and guaranteed analysis tell the story.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Only because no one is using it. You can get bad ingredients everywhere, being from Kentucky doesn’t make this food any better.

  • Mango

    I fed Rex Pro after losing a beloved dog to the Diamond aflatoxin contamination in 06(?). It cost over $2k and I still lost her. I switched over all my dogs to Rex Pro which is local here. Because of transportation costs, it was cheaper than the cheapest supermarket foods. I spoke with the company President and he told me they purchased their ingredients from Kentucky…. all U.S.A. ingredients. Their entire line has better foods and poorer foods; some satisfy the poor rural folks who often feed whole eggs and milk and the meats they hunt as well. My dogs were well suplemented with whole fresh milk and fresh eggs. I can’t find Rex Pro anymore. You who have never heard of the company should be a little more sensitive to information you don’t know. The dog food advisor should also be sensitive to the effects his statements have on the public Rex has killed far less pets than some of the 3 and 4 star foods on here.

  • Patrick

    Why not ad artificial food color and propylene glycol to help make this stuff a negative 5 star food?! Who buys this stuff??? Sad, very sad to think some of our precious pets are eating this junk 🙁

  • KoiraHoitaa

    Oh dear god. I’ve been studying holistic pet nutrition for 6 years and I have 3 cats, 2 dogs, 8 fish, and soon to be 2 chickens. I’ve seen lots of bad pet foods over the years…. and guess which one takes the cake? This one, Rex, that I had never heard of until about five minutes ago when I clicked this article. *headdesk!*

  • Rex “dog food” could be made out of used NASCAR tires and empty buck-shot shells and they’d like it even more. Yeeeahh buddy! Feed that daggum dawg some real dawg food! Oww! Daaaggum!

  • erin c.

    Someone who buys dog food called Rex will not be reading the ingredients. Just the name Rex sounds “manly” (said with a deep voice). 😉

  • Lol, neither did I!

  • Michelle

    Dear GOD! I didn’t think their could be a food that is worse than Ol’Roy! 🙁

  • “Rex Dog Food… We guarantee it “Rex” your dog’s insides!”