Is Blue Buffalo good for dogs? – Full analysis and review

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In our new series of articles, we’ll be diving deep into the ingredients and nutritional values of popular brands to answer the question, “Is this food really good for my dog?”

In this article, we’ll be looking at fan favorite Blue Buffalo to see if they really live up to the hype. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be doing our evaluation based on the Blue Buffalo Wilderness flavor, as shown above.

Is Blue Buffalo good dog food ?

We can recommend Blue Buffalo as a good dog food. Unlike many dog foods on the market, Blue Buffalo offers high-quality, named animal proteins and shies away from carb loading their foods with jink and empty calorie carbohydrates.

In our example food, the first two ingredients are de-boned chicken and chicken meal. These are acceptable ingredients for your dog. Though, we aren’t really a fan of tapioca starch, which is an unnecessary ingredient, and the peas are a little over represented here.

We’ve taken off a few points for that, but these items are not unhealthy for your pup at all. We’d just have preferred if the fish meal was ingredient #3 instead of the peas for more meat protein.

You can save up to 30% by picking this dog food up at Chewy, or keep reading for the full ingredient list and nutritional analysis.

is blue buffalo good for dogs
The ingredients for Blue Wilderness are very good.

Blue Wilderness Chicken Flavor Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil Of Rosemary.

While the full ingredients list is a bit intimidating, most of it is vitamins and nutrient additives. Though if you have a dog with allergies, then you’ll need to read it carefully, because there are trace elements of several allergy triggers here, namely yeast, and eggs.

There also seems to be a large number of mixed carbohydrates here as well, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. While these aren’t necessarily bad, we’d have preferred a more limited ingredient list.

Limited ingredient diets tend to be easier on your pup’s digestive system, and as a bonus, great for dogs who are sensitive to certain foods. If your dog frequently has issues with itchy skin, diarrhea, or vomiting, then you might want to try a limited ingredient food instead, but Blue Buffalo will be great for most dogs.

However, we find it important to note that not all Blue Buffalo foods are created equal! Unless the food explicitly says it is grain free, it could be loaded with carbohydrates which might be very different from the product that we’ve chosen to review.

So, we’ve hand picked some Blue Buffalo recipes which we think are the best.

We recommend these Blue Buffalo recipes!

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Save up to 30% on Blue Buffalo at Chewy with this link! Not only do you get the best price buying online, but Chewy’s auto-ship program will also save you 5-10% off every future purchase too.

Blue Buffalo nutritional breakdown

Ingredients don’t always tell the whole story, and if you really want to know if a dog food is good for your dog, you need to dive into the nutritional breakdown.

In this section, we’ll take a look at the protein, fat, and carbohydrates to see what your dog will be getting on a daily basis when they eat this food.

Is Blue Buffalo good for dogs nutritionally?

Below you can see a pie chart break down of the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in this food. While the breakdown will be slightly different for each food, most brands stick to a pretty similar nutritional blueprint.

That makes this a pretty good method for determining how healthy a brand is overall. Let’s take a look at Blue Buffalo’s nutritional balance.

blue buffalo nutritional analysis
Is Blue Buffalo good for your dog? Check the nutritional analysis!

The break down here is not bad at all. While the carbohydrates are a little high for us, they are not out of control and certainly not a problem at this level. This food is very well balanced.

Protein and fat ratios are also decent here, and our only gripe is with the source of the protein. With the inclusion of peas so high up the ingredient list, it’s possible that they could be contributing a decent amount to this rather than meat since they’re so high in protein themselves.

Though, All-in-all, this is a great nutritional analysis, and it should be great for most dogs. Notable exceptions would likely be dogs that are overweight or diabetic as they should be eating a food with a very low carbohydrate ratio.

Has Blue Buffalo ever been recalled?

Yes, Blue Buffalo has been recalled several times over the years. This includes recalls for contamination from mold, salmonella, metal fragments, and even 2007’s dreaded melamime contamination.

While recall history is not always an indicator of how a brand will perform in the future, we do feel that Blue Buffalo has had a large number of recalls for a brand so young, which is troubling.

Blue Buffalo Recall History

  • March 2017 – Canned dog foods recalled for elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones
  • March 2017 – Dog food cups recalled for quality issues with the foil seals on the package
  • February 2017 – Canned dog food recalled for potential metal fragment contamination
  • May 2016 – Dry dog foods recalled for mold contamination
  • November 2015 – Dog chews recalled for potential salmonella contamination
  • November 2015 – Cat treats recalled for containing low levels of propylene glyco
  • October 2010 – Dog foods recalled for toxic levels of Vitamin D
  • April 2007 – Multiple dog and cat foods recalled during the melamime recall

Complaints about Blue Buffalo

One of the biggest problems with Blue Buffalo is that they don’t have their own manufacturing facilities. They instead partner with other pet food brands in order to have their foods manufactured in their commercial pet food factories.

While this is likely much cheaper for the company, it also likely leads to many errors, and could be the cause of their rather lengthy recall history. Many people, understandably, don’t like this about the brand, and could cause some quality control concerns.

The company has also traded hands several times over the years, and is now owned by General Mills. While there’s nothing wrong with this, some people are mistaken in thinking that they are buying from a family owned pet food brand, and that’s simply not true.

Blue Buffalo was also in hot water in 2017, when Purina brought a lawsuit against them for false advertisement. Testing revealed that despite promises that they did not use any poultry by-products in their foods that there was a significant amount of them in several of their top selling products.

Blue Buffalo claims that their supplier mislabeled these ingredients, but they were still found guilty by a court of law, and many argue that they should’ve been testing their own products if this was the case.

Some people are skeptical as to whether they really did not know, and others are sympathetic to the fact that they may have also been duped. It’s your call as to which side you’re on, and while the problem has been rectified, it’s important that you know about it.

There have also been a few complaints of dogs who had digestive issues on Blue Buffalo, but for the most part, that is up to the individual. Some dogs have allergic reactions to certain foods, and this can’t really be blamed on the brand itself.

Not to mention that they have a large assortment of recipes, and all of them have their own ingredients. It’s impossible to say exactly what flavors those dogs were eating and what caused their reactions. Dogs can be allergic to nearly any food item.

In closing, for the most part, Blue Buffalo delivers, and while they aren’t the best food out there, they are most certainly an above average offering that gives your dog high-quality ingredients at a decent price.

Recommended Blue Buffalo flavors

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Save up to 30% on Blue Buffalo at Chewy with this link! Not only do you get the best price buying online, but Chewy’s auto-ship program will also save you 5-10% off every future purchase too.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
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