Bully Max High Performance Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons
Bully Max was launched in 2008 to provide high-quality, performance-level dog food that meets the nutritional needs throughout all life stages without the use of fillers and artificial ingredients. The brand was founded by Matthew Kinneman, who is also the CEO of the company. The company also makes a variety of supplements for working dogs.
Bully Max advertises their 30 percent protein, 20 percent fat formula that is ideal for working breeds. This is a higher-cost food that does have a strong customer base. So, what makes them stand out? Is this food really worth the hype? We’ve done some digging to provide you an unbiased, well-rounded review.
At a Glance: The Best Bully Max High Performance Dog Food Recipes:
|Bully Max High Protein and Fat Dog Food||
|Bully Max Pro Series Dog Food||
|Bully Max Instant Fresh Dog Food||
Bully Max High Performance Dog Food Reviewed
Who Makes Bully Max High Performance Dog Food and Where Is it Produced?
Bully Max is a family-owned and operated brand and has been since it began in 2008. The company is run by the founder, Matthew Kinneman, a former police dog trainer. All products are made in the United States. Bully Max cuts out the middleman and distributes by shipping their products directly to their customers.
Which Type of Dog Is Bully Max High Performance Best Suited For?
One might assume that Bully Max is geared toward bully breeds only, but that is not entirely true. Bully Max is a high-performance dog food that is designed for any breed but is most compatible with working breeds that expend a lot of energy. The food is designed to meet the nutritional requirements throughout all life stages, starting at 4 weeks of age.
Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?
Since Bully Max High Performance foods are geared toward active, working breed dogs, they are higher in calories, protein, and fat to meet those energy requirements. This food isn’t going to be ideal for dogs that are overweight, obese, or have a low to moderate overall activity level. This food could contribute to weight gain for dogs that don’t expend the energy it is designed to provide.
Dogs that suffer from food allergies because of chicken would also be better suited for a different brand. All of Bully Max’s recipes are derived from chicken, which is one of the most common protein allergens that dogs suffer from. So, for pups that have known chicken allergies Bully Max is not recommended.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
- Chicken Meal: Chicken meal is the first ingredient in both the High Protein and Fat recipe and the Pro Series recipe. Chicken meal is a meat concentrate that is rendered, leaving out the moisture and fat of real meat. It contains nearly 300 percent more protein than fresh chicken by way of processing. Most owners do prefer chicken in its natural form as the first ingredient.
- Chicken: Chicken is the number one ingredient in Bully Max’s Instant Fresh Dog Food recipe. Chicken is one of the most popular protein sources in most dog food varieties. It is lean meat that is packed with protein and still contains its natural moisture and fat. Chicken is a common allergen among dogs that suffer from food allergies, so if your dog does suffer from a chicken allergy, you will want to find another protein source.
- Brown Rice: Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that can be easy to digest once it has been cooked. Complex carbohydrates can provide a natural energy source but overall, rice is only of moderate nutritional value to dogs.
- Chicken Fat: Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered one of the most important fatty acids in a dog’s diet. Chicken fat can be a very nutritious and high-quality ingredient.
- Dried Plain Beet Pulp: Beet pulp is high in fiber but is a controversial ingredient in the dog food community. Some experts view it as an inexpensive filler while others claim it is great for intestinal health and provides blood sugar regulation benefits. Any questions regarding beet pulp as a dog food ingredient should be directed to your veterinarian.
- Ground Grain Sorghum: Sorghum is a starchy cereal grain that is like corn in overall nutrients. It is rich in fiber and antioxidants and is also gluten-free. It is considered an inexpensive alternative to other traditional grain dog food additives.
What Is the Shelf Life of Bully Max Foods?
Both the High Protein and Fat recipe and the Pro Series recipe have a shelf life of one year from the date of purchase. The Bully Max Instant Fresh Dog Food will stay shelf-stable for over 1 year if left unopened. Open bags will stay fresh for several months.
How Does Bully Max High Performance Compare to Other Dog Foods?
Bully Max is high in calories, protein, and fat. It contains up to 600 calories per cup, which means your dogs will not require the same amount of food per feeding. Bully Max does not have a wide selection of dog food varieties and does not offer any canned food options. They also lack special dietary options outside the high-performance needs.
Bully Max only offers chicken as the main protein source in each recipe offered, which isn’t ideal. Chicken meal is the first ingredient in both the dry kibble recipes, while real chicken is the first ingredient in Instant Fresh Dog Food. If you have a dog needing any other main protein source, you’ll have to find another brand of food.
Have There Been Any Concerns Over Bully Max Foods?
Bully Max has only been around for a short time but has not been subject to any recalls. After looking into customer reviews, we did notice some concerns with loose and even bloody stools as well as changes in behavior after switching to the food. While none of these claims can officially narrow down the food as the reason for these concerns, it’s worth discussing with your veterinarian before making the switch.
Another concern is whether the high number of calories, protein, and fat is necessary for any specific dog. A lot of dogs may not require this type of high-performance food, so that needs to be discussed with the veterinarian beforehand. Of course, it is always recommended to talk with a veterinarian before changing any dog’s current diet.
A Quick Look at Bully Max High Performance Dog Food
- Ideal for working dogs with high energy needs
- Promotes healthy muscle mass
- Does not contain any artificial ingredients
- Formulated to meet AAFCO guidelines for all life stages
- Approved for pregnant and nursing dogs
- Made in the United States
- Not ideal for low to moderately active dogs due to the risk of weight gain
- Only offers chicken as the main protein source for all recipes
- Lack of food varieties
- Many reports of loose stools
Bully Max High Performance Dog Food has no history of recalls.
Reviews of the 3 Best Bully Max High Performance Dog Food Recipes
Here we will break down each of Bully Max’s High-Performance dog food recipes one by one. This will help give you a well-rounded view of each so that you can make the most informed decision for your dog.
Bully Max High Protein and Fat Dog Food
|Main ingredients||Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Ground Grain Sorghum|
|Protein content||30% min|
|Fat content||20% min|
|Calories||3930 • kcal/cup 535 • kcal/g 4 (ME – Calculated)|
Bully Max High Protein and Fat was the first recipe brought to the table by the company. This recipe was designed to meet the needs of working dogs that expend a lot of energy. This food is packed full of protein and fat while being dense in calories, so dogs do not require the same quantity of food that they would with other brands.
Chicken meal is the number one ingredient, and while we do like to see real meat as the first ingredient, chicken meal is a great source of protein to help support muscle mass. Since this food is aimed at dogs with high activity levels, it is not recommended for those with low to moderate energy expenditure, as it could lead to weight gain.
This recipe is formulated to meet AAFCO feeding guidelines for all life stages and per the manufacturer can be offered to puppies as young as 4 weeks of age. If your dog suffers from a chicken allergy, you will want to avoid Bully Max recipes since chicken is the main protein source. This recipe does get a lot of praise from many dog owners for being high-quality and just what they were looking for in food. Some owners did report behavioral changes when making the switch, as well as reports of loose stool.
- High fat and protein content for high energy needs
- Calorie dense so you will use less food per feeding
- Crafted to meet the AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages
- May cause loose stool
- Not ideal for low to moderately active dogs
- Not recommended for dogs that suffer from chicken allergy
Bully Max Pro Series Dog Food
|Main ingredients||Chicken meat, chicken fat, rice flour egg product, white fish meal|
|Protein content||31% min|
|Fat content||25% min|
|Calories||600 calories per cup|
The Bully Max Pro Series recipe is their newer variety that also features chicken meal as the number one ingredient. This recipe is slightly higher in protein than their other dry food recipe, has 5 percent more fat content, and contains 600 calories per cup compared to the 535 calories in the High Protein and Fat recipe.
This food is certainly meant for performance and is best suited for dogs that will put out the energy they are putting in at mealtime. Per the manufacturer, you will be feeding up to 60 percent less food to your dog thanks to the caloric density, which is meant to offset the price. Like all recipes, this food is formulated to meet AAFCO’s nutrient guidelines for all life stages.
This food isn’t going to be the most compatible choice for dogs that don’t get a lot of exercise or activity due to the risk of weight gain. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian before offering such high calories food options to ensure it’s necessary for your pup.
Many owners love that the food is high in protein, palatable, and even suitable for nursing dogs. There were several complaints about the bags arriving half full upon delivery, and considering the expense of the food, leaving customers feeling understandably unsatisfied.
- Dogs require less quantity due to dense calories
- Packed full of protein and fat to meet high energy requirements
- Crafted to meet AAFCO’s guidelines for all life stages
- Some reports of bags being half full or less upon delivery
- Not ideal for dogs with lower to moderate activity level
Bully Max Instant Fresh Dog Food
|Main ingredients||Chicken, barley, oats, rice, chicken fat|
|Protein content||26% min|
|Fat content||12% min|
|Calories||ME kcal/kg 3,611 ME kcal/scoop 148|
Bully Max Classic Instant Fresh Dog Food is a dehydrated raw food diet that makes up to 2.5 pounds of fresh food per bag. Like other recipes, it is formulated to meet the AAFCO nutrient standards. It also features real chicken as the first ingredient and is free of artificial chemicals and fillers.
It comes in powder form and is mixed with water. It is best used as a topper to wet kibble as the bag is incredibly small for the price and would quite be expensive to feed exclusively. A lot of owners did rave that their dog loved having it mixed into their food and happily gobbled it down, several claimed they felt it was a waste of money and would not be purchasing again.
This recipe is more friendly to dogs of varying activity levels, as it does not contain the higher protein and fat content as the dry food recipes offered by Bully Max.
- Real chicken is the number one ingredient
- Great for use as a topper
- Meets AAFCO nutrient guidelines
- Better suited for a variety of dogs compared to other recipes
- The bag is very small considering the price
What Other Users Are Saying
Bully Max has a strong customer base, especially among owners of working dogs that have higher energy requirements and those that were needing their dog to put on some weight. There is a lot of praise about dogs taking well to the taste and the need for less quantity per meal thanks to the food’s dense calorie content.
There were some complaints in the reviews that warned of loose and even bloody stools. There were also reports of behavioral changes in some dogs, per their owners. There have been no recalls of the brand and nothing that officially ties the brand to these issues, but we always recommend discussing any concerns with a veterinarian before ever making a switch with your dog’s diet.
Bully Max currently offers three different dog food recipes including two dry kibble varieties and one dehydrated fresh food in powder form. The company also offers a wide variety of supplements and aims for high-performance, working breeds by offering high protein, high fat, and calorie-dense foods. We don’t like that chicken is the only protein source offered by the brand in terms of food.
The brand does get great reviews by owners overall but does severely lack variety and diet options, so they won’t be an ideal choice for everyone. We recommend talking to your veterinarian if you plan to switch your dog’s food and discuss the Bully Max nutrient profile and caloric content with them to ensure it’s appropriate for your dog.