Blue Buffalo Basics canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Basics product line includes three grain-free canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Blue Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato
- Blue Basics Grain Free Salmon and Potato
- Blue Basics Grain Free Large Breed Turkey and Potato
Blue Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, flaxseed, pea protein, fish oil (source of omega 3 fatty acids), pumpkin, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, cassia gum, cranberries, blueberries, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid (vitamin B9)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||27%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||51%||25%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth 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.
The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is fish oil. Fish oil is 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
The seventh ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, this food 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.
Blue Buffalo Basics Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Basics canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 32% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 86%.
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet containing a below-average amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Basics canned dog food is primarily a meat-based wet product using a below-average amount of turkey or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
07/18/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩