Blue Buffalo Basics Canned Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Basics product line includes three 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 Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato
- Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato
- Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Turkey and Potato
Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, pea protein, oatmeal, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), peas, cassia gum, carrageenan, salt, potassium chloride, guar gum, cranberries, blueberries, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), biotin supplement (vitamin B7), folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, choline chloride, sodium selenite, potassium iodide
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||27%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||51%||22%|
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 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is cassia gum. Cassia gum is a plant extract used here as a gelling agent providing no nutritional value to this 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 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 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.
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 37% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the pea protein and peas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a below average amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Basics canned dog food is 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 3.5 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
06/27/2011 Original review
12/29/2012 Review updated
12/29/2012 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 ↩