Blue Buffalo Basics (Dry)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Blue Buffalo Basics dry dog food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Basics product line includes eight kibbles, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (Puppy).

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:

  • Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Turkey and Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Salmon and Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Healthy Weight Turkey and Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Puppy Turkey and Potato (4 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Senior Turkey and Potato (3 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Adult Turkey and Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Adult Turkey and Potato

Blue Basics Small Breed Turkey and Potato Dog Food was selected to represent the product line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Adult Turkey and Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, whole ground brown rice, oatmeal, peas, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural turkey flavor, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), whole carrots, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, dried parsley, alfalfa meal, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, l-lysine, glucosamine hydrochloride, turmeric, oil of rosemary, dried chicory root, beta carotene, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin B7), folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12 supplement, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, choline chloride, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, salt, caramel, potassium chloride, dried yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%14%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%31%45%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (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 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 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 eighth ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

After the natural turkey flavor, we find tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

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 four notable exceptions

First, chicory root is naturally rich in a substance called inulin… a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

In addition, caramel is a coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

Even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.

That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

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 Blue Basics Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Basics looks to be an above-average dry dog food.

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 27%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food is a grain-based dry kibble using a modest amount of turkey or turkey meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


Please note some products have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

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

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.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

05/22/2010 Original review
10/12/2010 Recall alert added
12/22/2010 Review updated
04/25/2011 Recall alert removed
11/09/2012 Last Update

  1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  • Grace Shin

    I just ordered them

    My dog is a 3lbs small maltese she is VERY mellow.
    I hope this works out for her. I used to feed her blue wilderness,
    It gave her bad fishy breath. I also tried wysong but it was too high on protein for her. Since this dosent contain salmon i there will be no more fishy breath!

  • dchassett

    Hi Chris. I was just on the Fromm site and noticed that Fromm’s Pork and Peas has an enormous amount of peas in the ingredients. Is it possible that your dog is simply allergic to the peas? It is a possibility as there are many dogs with pea allergies especially with an over abundance of them in the formula like Fromm’s Port & Peas. I would try to find a grain free food that does not include peas and see if that makes any difference.

  • Alyssa

    I haven’t seen him having any issues with the life bits. If it’s a concern you could just make sure you don’t have too many in the bowl near the end of the bag. If your dog has reactions you may want to try the Turkey, it’s less common in dog food so they usually don’t react. I don’t recommend Salmon, my dog doesn’t handle any salmon foods well.

    Your golden could be allergic to something outside too, like grass or maybe road salt. I knew a dog with grass allergies who got very raw feet and rashes.

  • Chris

    Thanks! I’m deciding now since I have about 3lbs left. She still licks and chews even on grain free. I think I’m going back to the basics. She did really well on Innove until they had the recall. I may just try chicken and grain again and see how that goes. Trying to decide if I should stay on Fromm and use Chicken Ala Veg or try something else like Blue Buffalo or NutriSource. I’ve heard some dogs on Blue Buffalo pick out the life bits which can be an overdose of vitamins. Have you experienced this??

  • Alyssa

    I feed the Blue Basics Grain Free Limited Ingredient Turkey and Potato recipe. I have heard people say it helps allergies. As for my dog, it is the only food we have found that doesn’t cause him to have explosive diarrhea for days. I have also tried Merrick’s(smelly farts), Blue Wilderness(puking), and a few others. My dog seems much happier and healthier on this food and I never plan to switch.

    As a note for anyone having issues or concerned about a dog’s stomach with new food, I found feeding him about a half cup of canned pumpkin with each meal helped greatly. It was the only thing that kept him from getting sick until we found this food.

  • Chris

    Has anyone tried the new Basics GrainFree? I’m currently on Fromm Pork & Pea’s. Any comments would be helpful. My other option is Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. My Mini Goldendoodle is licking and chewing at her feet. Between her toes is red and little bumps.

  • Claire Harmon

    Thanks! It actually smells better, too…

  • theBCnut

    Again, you chose a post from a year ago.

  • theBCnut

    I’m glad that you are so attentive to your dogs health, but do you know how ofter someone comes here and reports that they have been feeding XYZ for years and the last 7 or 8 bags the dog has had diarrhea and vomitting. Some people don’t go to the vet for the same things that you would, obviously.

  • theBCnut

    You know how the regulations for labels require them to print minimums for fat and protein? That means that the exact amount of fats and proteins in the food can change from batch to batch, which has an effect on color.

  • Kip

    you got that right, they hate Blue and this company just keeps getting bigger and offering more and more choices, they are scared (the competitors). I would be too their products are in danger of losing market share.

  • Kip

    if your dog was sick you would have taken to vet the minutes these things occur, those are rigged

  • Claire Harmon

    I feed my Bostons Blue Basics w/salmon. Bought a new bag at Petsmart yesterday and noticed that the color of the kibble was lighter. Is that ok…have they changed the formula.? Anyone know?

  • cvs

    Same here, my dog was doing great on it for the past 9 months but they changed the formula and we got the new formula bag last week. Suddenly he is itching his ears, biting at the backs of his legs, etc. I can’t figure out what ingredient is causing it. They added fish oil and pumpkin now, but I don’t think that could be it. Whatever it is, we have to switch now.

  • Geopugs

    I would Not Recommend BB! I gave our 4 pugs and one pointer BB for 3 months , had nothing but ear problems, itchy skin and diarrhea, being more server with our pointer. We switched back to Nutrisca, even though its expensive We don’t have the medical issues.

  • Jemma White

    Hello Patty, noticed your post in my e-mail, are you asking how I discovered VitaHound? My husband read a comment on Facebook, A dog named Maverick recovered from severe allergies that caused problems with his skin. Their dog seemed to have same issues as ours, so I tried it. Because the supplement work so well I have been trying to match a dog food with it. Qudos to DFA dog lovers, the interaction here is the type info I have been looking for.

  • Shawna

    Hi Jemma,

    It is true that flax is a good source of the ALA fatty acid, I will give you that. BUT, adult dogs are not efficient at converting the ALA in flax to the much more needed DHA/EPA which is required by the brain, eyes and heart.

    If you feed a food and a supplement that use ALA instead of DHA/EPA you may have no room to add a fish based product without unbalancing the omega 6 to 3 ratio.

    Ditch the flax and give the form best utilized by the adult dogs body — DHA/EPA,

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is by no means aimed at you specifically, but there has never been any mention of VitaHound on here before, and in the last 3 days 4 different names have suddenly popped up posting about it. Is this some kind of internet thing this week? Hey everybody, post on DFA about VitaHound!!

  • Jemma White

    I have found Canine Cattle Company a great brand to feed with the VitaHound Supplement. I know VitaHound is a complex formulation, however their #1 ingredient is flax. Therefor our dog responded even better when we added a dog food high in this fatty acid rich substance.

  • Suzan Phelps

    I get VitaHound from my vet, I was able to discontinue the prescription dog food after 3 months of Vitahound. I buy the 360 scoop size and that size is the best price but is not available on Amazon

  • Khloe Trust

    I purchased it on their website and my sister buys it on Amazon.

  • Stevie Knowlely

    I have read good stuff about VitaHound, does anyone know the best place to buy the supplement.

  • Khloe Trust

    I found Blue Buffalo to be highly compatible with the VitaHound dog supplement. Our vet recommended adding VitaHound to our dog’s food to treat her itching and shedding and I wanted a dog food that did not reverse the improvements we gained from VitaHound.

  • InkedMarie

    Oh. I must’ve missed the Basics lid.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    They’re probably talking about the Basics line.

  • InkedMarie

    Can you please put a link to the exact food you feed? I admit that I looked quick but I don’t see a limited ingredient food on the Blue website.

  • MonsterPug

    My 2 pugs (9 and 11 yrs old) have eaten BB limited ingredient turkey and potato for the last several years. They did extremely well on it until the most recent bag I opened. They both have severe diarrhea. My older pug got up 5 times to potty last night. I stopped feeding them BB and have switched them to Orijen Senior. I’m not sure if BB switched the formula or if a pending recall is imminent…either way is disappointing.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Not that I’m a fan of BB, I’m not, but it sounds like you failed to slowly transition her over to a new food, which would cause diarrhea for many dogs, and does not say much of anything about the quality of the food.

  • Havanese lover

    Gave my 9 months puppy the BB puppy dry food. She got a horrible diarrea, and was drinking so much water (Her cup was empty half an hour after I filled it in when it usually takes her the entire day to empty it! I stopped BB and the diarrea stopped shortly after. No way I am using any more of that crap!

  • Pattyvaughn

    She may have a food intolerance. Bring the ingredient list with you to the dog boutique or pet supply store and try to find a food that is very different from what you are feeding now, a different protein and carb source both.

  • Elsie Natal

    Been given my Schanauzer Blue Basics Salmon and Potato and her dermatitis is getting worse, please help with info

  • abby

    I’ve heard they changed the formula for Blue; does anyone have any info on that? We’re halfway through a bag of chicken flavor, which our dog already doesn’t love, and he’s flat out refused to eat it the last few days, unless I mix it with a little chicken broth.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi there, where did you get this info? Do you have a link? There is no agency here in Canada called the CFDA, at least not as it relates to the FDA in the US, so I’m a bit confused by your post. There is the CFIA – Canadian Food Inspection Agency – but there’s no info there about this:

    That page also says “If there is a confirmed link between human illness and a pet food product, the provincial or territorial health authority or the Public Health Agency of Canada may issue a health alert.” …and if you go to that site:

    ..there’s nothing there.

    There’s also no info to be found by doing a Google search, nor have I seen any Canadian news reports on this (I watched the major and local news casts over the last couple of days, and would’ve remembered to report on this on DFA had I heard about it because it would be pretty major news).

    I don’t feed BB, never have (and likely never will given their previous recall history) …just trying to find out where you got this info, as I couldn’t find anything of the sort.

  • Olie

    DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG THIS FOOD! Across Canada there have been several deaths related to this food. Packaging is suspected. but also the CFDA has traced it back to a supplier of the feed supplements in China with unusual particles in it! Our Beagle is suffering with a fever, shakes, not eating, vomiting! Taking a long time to recover. POISON!

  • Brandon

    If you are still looking try bb grain free with duck. Its easy to digest, and good for skin and coat. I have personal experience with bad dog allergies. I tried evrry BB food, and the duck worked the best, however I was told to try natural balance grain free with duck and sweet potato and that has worked awesome. Hope ths help.

  • JeMoo

    Having worked in a pet feed store and seeing several dogs loose coat and get sick on Blue Buffalo, I don’t know that I would ever try feeding this to my dog. They had a recall very early on, maybe that was the issue and maybe things are all worked out now but the company spends more on advertising and pandering than they do on research or ingredients and to me that just isn’t acceptable. I’d rather feed my dog a food that is not advertised but has their own formulas and research to back it up rather than a food where the company is shady on answer questions and not open about their actual processes. I’m just waiting for their next recall. It is only a matter of time with the lack of quality control they have.

  • peterhoran

    Interesting, I wonder if my pup would like that. I bought him some grain free snacks, but they’re unimpressive, small and expensive, so I’ve been trying to figure out something better to give him as snacks.

  • Colby Ruffner

    My friend had to take her dog to a few vets and all he can eat is the Wilderness Salmon. She gives him frozen green beans as treats

  • peterhoran

    Thanks, yeah I did exactly that, BB Wilderness Salmon, and it has greatly improved my pooch’s allergic reactions

  • Lara

    I’d stick to the BB Wilderness line, probably try the salmon first. You could also try Orijen’s Regional Red or Orijen Six Fish – both are awesome quality foods.

  • Marcia

    This is a warning to dog owners feeding any and all Blue Products.
    I have tried several varieties of Blue. The Life Source Bits are packed with vitamins etc. Blue states that every bite of food that your dog eats is “perfectly balanced” in nutrients.
    I’ve also read on this website that several dogs have become “toxic” while eating Blue.
    Has it occured to anyone that the Blue “Bits” are the problem? They settle to the bottom of the bag or container that you are using. By the time you are in the last third of the bag, your dog’s dosage of “Blue Bits” has doubled or tripled which leads to overdosing and toxicity. While some nutrients can be “peed” out…most build up and can lead to kidney/liver failure.
    Blue may have a good quality dog food but the vitamin/nutrients should not be separated from the kibble portion of the food.(Also explains why many dogs refuse to eat the “bits”. Pure vitamins taste terrible!!).

  • peterhoran


  • Pattyvaughn

    Natures Variety Instinct Rabbit, Brothers Complete Turkey. Oh, you wanted a BB formula…All I can tell you is read labels. You want one that is grain free, white potato free, and chicken free, maybe even beef free. I would start with the BB Wilderness line. Good luck.

  • peterhoran

    Can anyone suggest which Blue Buffalo food is best for my bulldog who has an unidentified skin allergy, assuming his allergy may be food based? Thanks!

  • Andrew

    Hey I have a great dane as well and I had a very hard time with the exact same problem unfortunetely mine took me about 8 or 9 months before I found the right food. It seemed I’d find a good one and about 3 weeks into it he would get diarrhea back well I started feeding him blue buffalo wilderness duck and he’s been perfect since. He’s a little over 2 years old now and I’ve kept him on it since. Hope that helps.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Dog Lover 1,

    I was thinking about probiotics and digestive enzymes reading your post. That was an excellent suggestion your vet made. I use Mercola ( and would highly recommend them.

    I have a friend at work whose Cocker has lost a lot of fur as a result of, what I believe, is systemic candida. My friend refused to change the poor pups diet, but was willing at least to add a spoonful of Greek yogurt (probiotics) to the dog’s diet and saw improvement with that alone.

  • Dog Lover 1

    Could you please tell me how your dog is doing now & if you have had to change anything in your dogs diet since your above post?Just wanting some hope that our dog’s fur will grow back ok,etc! Thank you!
    -Dog Lover 1

  • Dog Lover 1

    I am so glad I looked on this forum!We recently adopted a rescue dog who was having diarrhea so we put him on this particular type of BB food. His diarrhea stopped but he started losing MASS amounts of hair!In just one week his tail has gone to looking like a “rat” tail but with slightly more fur & he has lost hair up his back on flanks of hindquarters!We took him to the vet fearing the worst & she consulted with a pet dermatologist(& several different tests with his blood were run) they concluded it was the grain(prob oatmeal) that was causing his hair loss.We have started him on the new BB Wilderness Rocky Mtn Recipe-Bison which is grain free.We shall have to see how he does.We have also added The Missing Link skin & Coat powder to his food to help with hair growth.The vet suggested using pre & probiotics as well & that has helped firm his stools.Keeping fingers crossed that his hair ggrows back!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Hi…..about a year or so ago, not really sure how long, I used BB Basics Turkey grainfree for my dogs. Stella (rip) and Laverne were having some stomach issues and I was looking for a limited ingredient kibble. Note: I do top their kibble with canned food. Anyway, the dogs liked it fine and did well on it, however, the kibble size was a little large for Stella so I ended up switching them to Natural Balance Pot. & Duck limited ingredient kibble because it came in small kibble size. They seemed to like the NB a little better, as well. Bottom line is I had no problem with it and the only problem the dogs had was Stella’s preference for a smaller size kibble.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    This is the review for that product – you’ll see it listed above. It’s rated 3.5 stars.

  • mrsegm

    OOppss! I meant to say Fairly New Product…

  • mrsegm

    Does anyone have reviews of the Blue Buffalo “Grain Free” Basics Sensitive Soultion Formula in the Turkey and Potato Receipe…. I believe this is a airly new product and I can not find any reviews on it so far.

  • Lynsie

    My great dane has been struggling with diarrhea for two months now. We got him at 8 weeks. He was infested with worms and still is. We have been deworming him (by the vet) and as of right now we think we got it but we need to have another stool sample completed.. At FIRST we thought that the worms was causing the diarrhea but every time we put him on the Hill Prescription ID GI canned wet food his diarrhea would clear up. So since for the past two months the worms still have never been cleared up and the canned food is the only way to get relief from diarrhea is the ID food he thinks he has a food allergy. I just started using the GRAIN FREE BLUE BUFFALO BASICS TURKEY AND POTATO & so far so good. Stool is still solid and my puppy (4 months old now) seems so happy. Im still crossing my fingers though bc we have been haunted by diarrhea I am afraid it is going to come back.

    I want to switch him to the adult large breed basics but this has grain in it. Can anyone tell me how often a food allergy occurs with grains?? I need help with figuring all this out.

  • Christine Casavant

    Same with my GSD! It has been a miracle food- finally!

  • Shawna

    Why would a dog need grains specifically?

  • Cate

    I’ve known people that won’t eat red meat & on a rare occasion will eat some & feel sick.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Have you seen the latest post on BB Life Protection? Remains to be seen if it is a troll or not.

  • Cate

    If your dog needs grain & gluten free BB makes Freedom.

  • Shawna

    Barley is a gluten grain though. People and pets who have issues with wheat gluten also need to avoid barley.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That depends on the dog. Flaxseed is not a grain, it’s a seed, but it is an estrogen analogue, which means it can mess with a dogs hormones, basically all secreting glands can be affected by it. Also, hormone affected cancers can recur and grow faster because of it. Brown rice and barley are both grains that if your dog is intolerant to them, like mine, then they are definitely a problem. But I’m glad you found something that works for your dog, that’s the important thing. And that you’re able to switch between different flavors and some other brands is VERY good.

  • Cate

    I switch from chicken, lamb & fish. They like the variety. Brown Rice, flaxseed & barley are not bad.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hmm, the review here for Life Protection has almost every flavor with brown rice, a couple have oatmeal, only the fish and sweet potato doesn’t have a grain in it’s name. Am I missing something?

  • Cate

    I use Life Protection with a variety of canned BB. I know many people that use Basics after trying several other brands & their dogs liked it & improved greatly. I have also used Fromm, Evo etc but had to add raw meat to get them to eat. I do prefer to try different foods & my dogs have no trouble & I don’t need to transition as long as the food is good quality. I can’t do high protein since one dog had pancreatitis a few yrs ago.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Oh, so your not talking about the BB that this thread is for, OK. Which one do you call the regular one; Life Protection, Freedom, or Wilderness? When you add in their canned food they have so many I can’t keep track of them all.

  • Cate

    I have never used Basics as my dogs got well on the regular BB. There is no corn, wheat, rice hulls, soybean hulls, by-products, glutens, stomach digest, polyglycol etc. The first ingredient is meat. Flaxseed is an omega,

  • Pattyvaughn

    Pets have problems now because we believed the lie that the big pet food companies fed us that we should pick a food and stick with it for life. What one food would you eat day in and day out? And if you did, what would your guts do when you finally ate something else? We are making our dogs sick by allowing the probiotics in the gut to get out of balance by not feeding a variety of foods. That leads to intolerances and other illnesses that feeding correctly would cure.

  • Cate

    Patty, some is OK as long as they know what the ingredients are. I let my dogs have some meat,eggs & other things but not biscuits & gravy, corn, etc.
    I remember years ago when most dogs ate table scraps & showed no ill effects. Don’t know why so many pets have such problems now. Probably we dote on our pets more so the first little thing & we rush to the vets.

  • Pattyvaughn

    BB Basics is a grain based food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    There is nothing wrong with giving a dog appropriate people food. What do you think everyone was giving their dogs before the recent invention of kibble?

  • Cate

    When I started feeding Blue my dogs lost weight which was a good thing. Plus they got back lean muscle. Getting off the grain based junk food has been wonderful. No more allergy shots or predniosne either.

  • Cate

    You fed “people food” duh

  • JellyCat

    Never add cranberry supplement if you don’t know the type of stones. Cranberry can result in formation of more stones.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They still leave a drained bladder with something in it and may leave shadows, of course size matters when determining the presence of radiolucent stones. It’s been a long time, I don’t remember what shows up microscopically in a urine sample with those either.

  • abdpac

    If I remember correctly, uric acid and cystine are radiolucent.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    So you don’t know if your dog has stones or not? He just has UTI’s?

  • Pattyvaughn

    What kind of stones don’t x-ray?

  • Lauren

    Hi Hound Dog -
    It’s sort of trial and error. If the reason my pup is getting UTIs is because of stones, they won’t know unless they do surgery. I, of course, want to avoid that at all cost. I thought I’d try to tweak his food to see if that prevented the UTIs. Maybe I can keep the food the same, but add in a cranberry supplement? I need to do some research to make sure this is safe for my little guy. Thanks for the help.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I personally wouldn’t ever go below 30% protein unless there was a medical reason to do so (my dogs eat 45% – 55% protein at each meal). Unless your dog has a urate stone (which would require a reduction in purines and, consequently, a reduction in protein as the majority of high protein foods are also high purine foods)…I really don’t see why you’d want to reduce protein levels? Why not just feed your dog a quality food and supplement with appropriate supplements based on the stone type, monitor urine pH and increase moisture levels in the diet? You can certainly mix Wellness Core Reduced Fat with Blue Basics – I just don’t see why you’d want to mix in a lower quality food if it wasn’t necessary.

  • Lauren

    Hi Everyone -
    I posted this reply earlier and when I looked for replies this afternoon, the post wasn’t here :(.
    What do you think about mixing 2 different foods together? I was just
    thinking, since I would like something with a little bit less protein
    but maybe not as low at the BB Grain Free Basics… Could I mix the
    Wellness Core Reduced Fat (33% protein) with the BB Grain Free (22%
    protein)? That would give a nice percentage of protein, not too high,
    with still a lower fat percentage, which he needs for his stomach.
    Thoughts? Thanks so much.

  • Shawna

    I agree with Hound Dog Mom.

    I’ve been researching carbohydrate requirements of canines most of the morning and interestinglin, in my opinion at least, just came across this data specific to small breed dogs (not sure what breed your guy is but I imagine the same data holds true for larger dogs?).

    “Physiological Nutritional Needs of Cats and Dogs, Excerpts from the white paper Natural

    Preston Buff, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAN

    Urinary Tract Health

    Small breeds are more prone to canine lower urinary tract disease (CLUTD) compared to large breeds because they urinate less often, have higher urine pH, lower urine volume and higher urinary calcium concentration. Nutritional solutions for reducing the risk of CLUTD include wet food to increase water intake. WALTHAM ® research recommends feeding small dogs at least 25% of daily calories as wet food to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate or urinary stone formation.”

    So keep the protein and lose the dry food – or at least a portion of it :)..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Lauren –

    What type of bladder stone does your dog have? There are several categories of stones and treatment/prevention strategies are different for each. Generally, protein restriction isn’t necessary and if you don’t have to reduce-protein for a medical reason I’d strongly advise against doing so.

    Struvite Stones
    “While a low-protein diet is not required to dissolve struvite stones, it can speed their dissolution (when accompanied by appropriate antibiotic treatment). Protein provides urea, which bacteria convert or “hydrolyze”into ammonia, one of the struvite building blocks. However, this approach is not a long-term solution and will not prevent the formation of infection-induced stones. Feeding a low-protein diet to an adult dog to help dissolve stones is acceptable for short periods. Because they are not nutritionally complete, however, low-protein foods are harmful to adult dogs if used for more than a few months, and they should never be fed to puppies…preventive measures include giving your dog cranberry capsules, probiotics, and vitamin C.”

    Calcium Oxalate Stones
    “In the past, diets restricted in both protein and phosphorus were thought to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate formation. Studies found, however, that dietary phosphorus restriction increased calcium absorption and the risk of calcium oxalate formation, while higher levels of dietary protein reduced the risk of uroliths. Current recommendations for dogs prone to forming CaOx stones say that diets should not be restricted in protein, calcium, or phosphorus.”

    Urate Stones
    “The key to keeping urate-forming dogs healthy is to feed them a low-purine diet. Without the purines that trigger urate stone formation, even susceptible dogs can lead normal lives…Because urate stones develop in acidic urine, an added prevention strategy is to feed foods that have an alkalizing effect. In general, meat is an acidifying food while most fruits and vegetables have an alkalizing effect.”

    Cystine Stones
    “Cystine, like all amino acids, is one of the building blocks of protein. That’s why most veterinarians (including many kidney specialists) prescribe a low-protein diet, speculating that reducing the cystine supply will reduce the formation of cystine stones. Another common recommendation is to alkalize the dog’s urine because cystine stones form in acid urine. Unfortunately, these strategies are ineffective…In addition, feeding ultra-low-protein diets can be dangerous, especially to giant breeds and breeds prone to cardiomyopathy.”

    Xanthine Stones
    “Xanthine stones are associated not with diet but with the use of allopurinol…In some cases, discontinuing allopurinol while feeding a low-purine diet
    has dissolved xanthine uroliths, but in general, treatment consists of surgical removal.”

    Calcium Phosphate Stones
    “Unless the patient has a metabolic condition that contributes to calcium phosphate stones, the strategies used for prevention are similar to those used for calcium oxalate stones, although it’s important to avoid excessive alkalization of the urine.”

    Silica Stones
    The formation of silica stones is associated with diets high in cereal
    grains, particularly corn gluten and soy bean hulls, both of which are high in silicates…Other foods that are high in silica, and which should be avoided,
    include the hulls of wheat, oats, and rice (hulls are found in whole
    grains); sugar beets; sugar cane pulp; seafood; potatoes and other root vegetables; onions (which shouldn’t be fed to dogs, anyway); bell
    peppers; asparagus; cabbage; carrots; apples; oranges; cherries; nuts
    and seeds; grains; soybeans; and the herbs alfalfa, horsetail, comfrey,
    dandelion, and nettles. Bentonite clay, a mineral supplement, is also
    high in silicates.”




  • Lauren

    My guy does so well on the Wellness Core Reduced Fat formula, I hate to switch him. He hasn’t a tummy issue since I switched him a few years ago. But now with the stones and reading that a lower protein food can help with them, I’m looking to switch to something that is still grain free and low fat with lower protein. Hoping to kill 2 birds with one stone!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Wait a sec, is this the one you are thinking of feeding?

    It’s not grain has rice, oatmeal, “barley grass”. It’s also got VERY little meat protein, as the peas would be a SIGNIFICANT portion of the total protein in the food. That’s the only “turkey and potato” one I can find on their site, at any rate (and you’re posting in the BB Basics thread)… so if it’s not the right one, apologies, please point me in the right direction.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Right, sorry, missed the part about the BB being grain-free. I don’t have experience with bladder stones, so that really should wait for someone else who has. It might factor into things. It just seems to me it’s the “sensitive tummy” condition you would want to address rather than catering the food to the condition, which means feeding the most species-appropriate food that you can (high protein, moderate fat, low carbs), and supplementing with probiotics and enzymes to help create a healthy gut. When I got my guy, he had such a sensitive tummy that the 1st time I transitioned him to a different food was an awful experience, but with a better diet, supplemented with probiotics and enzymes, now I can give him whatever food I want without a transition period at all.

  • Lauren

    Thank you for the reply, Storm’s Mom. I appreciate the input. I was looking at the Blue Buffalo Grain Free Turkey and Potato for a few reasons. First, the food I give him has to be grain free – I simply will not budge on that. Second, I was looking for a lower-protein food because I’ve heard that lower protein is better for dogs who are prone to developing bladder stones. This grain-free BB turkey and potato has a lower protein. Lastly, he needs lower fat because of his stomach issues/possible pancreatitis flares. If this flavor is higher in carbs, do you think it would make his stomach issues worse considering it is grain-free? All opinions are welcome :) Thanks so much.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If you have/want lower protein and lower fat, that means, by definition, you’ll get sky high carb numbers. Higher carbs has (basically) the same ill effects on a dog as it does on a human. Seems to me that carbs would make his stomach issues worse, not better, particularly if those carbs are in the form of grains, which are one of the most inflammatory ingredients out there for dogs. I would stick with a grain-free high protein, moderate fat, and low carb diet. Giving him probiotics and enzymes would help quite a bit, too.

  • Lauren

    Hi –

    I am thinking of switching my dog with a sensitive tummy over to BB Grain Free Turkey and Potato formula. He’s had 2 urinary tract infections in the last year and I want to avoid him forming bladder stones. I’ve read that a lower protein food can possibly help with that. He’s been on Wellness Core Reduced Fat for the last 2 years. He needs a lower fat food because of stomach issues. He’s done wonderfully, but I want lower protein. I am trying to find the exact carb amount in the BB grain free turkey and potato formula. Does anyone know that number? Does a higher carb number have any ill effect on dogs? Thank you for your input.

  • Lexy

    Thanks! Good to know :O)

  • Lexy

    I hope your babies are doing better. My furkids suffer the same. They both get eyes & ear infections constantly, chew their paws and itch a lot. I have them on Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato. I do what you’re doing to help them but nothing’s working either. I think it’s the diet too.

  • Lexy

    I cringe every time I hear people saying “consult with the vet about your baby’s diet.” I went to Cornell University Animal Hospital for help with my furkids’ diet and I knew more than they did (and I know nothing!)

  • Lexy

    Wow! This could be the problem with my girl’s allergies :O(

  • Brad OSullivan

    Chicken was the problem with my girl as well. Took me two vets and tons of food products to figure this out.

  • losul

    sisu, I saw your post here last night. I had never really paid very much attention to what was supposedly going on with Blue-buffalo and hadn’t read the consumeraffairs site. All I knew was there were numerous “complaints” on DFA site.

    Well your post got me interested, being the sleuth I am, and because I had recently replied to at least a couple of blue “complainers” on DFA. so I went to C.A. and read several pages. I found everything you said to be true. The grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.etc. I don’t think I even noticed more than 1 word misspelled out of all i read.. It’s just too uncanny to be coincidental. Something definitely smells fishy and it’s not the salmon meal. Also It seems all or most blue products are being accused including dog and cat kibbles,canned foods, and treats.

    Sadly and unfairly,, out of any list of internet complaints I think you can expect a number of 1)completely bogus complaints 2)exaggerated complaints 3)wrongly laying a finger of blame. In this case though, it seems that a vast majority of these seem completely bogus..

    I also find it strange, that so many complaintants on this site even, make their complaint once, others ask questions, and/or try to help/offer sympathy, and the accuser never shows back up.

    Good sleuthing Sisu.

  • sisu

    Looking through the first two pages of complaints at makes me wonder about their validity. Notice the correct punctuation especially commas, spelling, grammar, flowing content, easy to understand details, and the use of an exclamation point at the end of the last sentence. Now, compare that to the posts on DFA or any public forum. Either Blue Buffalo has a customer base of English majors and copywriters or something is amiss.

    Notice the number of complaints that were posted on the same dates. March 8th (Friday) and 4th (Monday), both work days, were especially busy.

    None of the messages urged others to file a proper complaint with the U.S Food and Drug Administration where if enough complaints are received an investigation will be initiated. Perhaps they do not want to go so far as to involve the federal government.

  • Marie

    That’s about the 26th time I’ve seen that link here. There’s reason to believe a lot of those complaints are being posted by competitors.

  • Chris

    I have my 6 month old king charles cavalier on BB Chicken & rice and i’ve noticed a few things have been changing with him. Loose stool / vomiting / lethargic etc. I was talking to a friend of mine who is well educated and he found this link online to consumer affairs and a lot of people have been having issues with BB.

  • NancySen

    I had been feeding my Airedale blue buffalo chicken and brown rice for about a year with homemade chicken and sweet potatoes for a little topping when he suddenly developed diarrhea. My vet said to stop the kibble and just feed him the home cooked food with some rice and then he was fine. As soon as I tried to reintroduce the kibble ( just a tablespoonful) he developed the the same problem. Just today I went onto the Consumer Affairs sight and found many people have had the same problem in the past few months and quite a few of their dogs have died. I find it curious that it is very difficult to find out where exactly dog foods are made and where exactly their ingredients come from. I do know that the cute picture and address on the bag have nothing to do with where the food is made.

  • tlh

    I have a boxer with the itchy ears and switched to the Blue Basics grain free, and over time his ears have slowly cleared up

  • RachelandsometimesCollin Zenor

    Same here, we tried blue basics because our dog was constantly itching and licking. We were being patient hoping things would get bettter but it seemed to be getting worse! We think its because this food helps yeast feed..
    We switched to innova grain free chicken and turkey bought a medicated shampoo, and cut out people food and gave him Benadryl and all his fur has grown back and looks better than ever! Blue buffalo has been wonderful for our cats tho!

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  • Karen V. Stefanini

    I agree 100% – they are clueless generally when it comes to nutrition

  • Pattyvaughn

    For an IBS or IBD dog getting daily probiotics and digestive enzymes are really important.  Mercola has the best probiotic that I’ve found so far.

  • Amyjrn

    My 14 yr old Doxie has bad IBS, and only the Grain free BB has kept the diarrhea under control.  All my doggies love it, and they are 2.5 yrs to my eldest @ 14.  It also has a lower calorie count then the weight control BB.  3 of 4 of them need their weight watched, so calorie count is important.

  • Jenni McCallum

    Cut down the amount your feeding. The feeding suggestions on bb bags are very off. I talked to a bb rep about this causing dogs to become overweight and they agreed the feeding suggestions were way too high. Also dont allow your pup to free feed … if you do.

  • Jenni McCallum

    Try a grain free dog food.

  • Micbruce

    Fed my dog this food and his hair started falling out in clumps. No matter the food or the season his hair has never fallen out in clumps before or since switching to something else. I will never use this brand of dog foos again.

  • Jasper’s mom

    My dog has a super super sensitive stomach. He has not liked ANY of the sensitive diet brands, at all. I have had to add meat, etc always to it to even get him to eat it and he still would only eat it when he was totally hungry. I was feeding him Dave’s Sensitive Stomach diet (good for the tummy, and he sort of liked it) and I ran out on vacation, so I found this Blue Buffalo at Petco. My dog LOVES this, eats it ALL and his poops have never been harder! I 100% recommend this for dogs who are finicky and have a tough digestive system!

  • sisu

    Lisa -

    As dogs age their digestive system is not as efficient. Therefore, they need more protein,not less. My 7, 10 and 14 year old dogs eat Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon with no difficulty. The kibble size is small which is very suitable for smaller dogs. Transition very slowly by adding a few pieces of kibble to the previous food at each meal. Increase the amount every 3-4 days. At any time there is digestive upset go back to less of the new kibble. Begin again when things are back to normal.

  • BryanV21

    You could always just pick a high rated food and then add something like Evanger’s Sweet Potato to it for added fiber. 

    BTW, the size of the dog means very little. Big dogs, little dogs, medium sized dogs… they all should be on a higher protein (that being animal-based, NOT plant-based, protein) diet, with low carbs. There may be a medical condition that requires lower protein, but don’t let the size of your dog deter you from some foods.

  • Lisa

    I foster Pomeranian’s for a rescue, one of which needs extra fiber in his diet because he had surgery for a perineal hernia. Currently I am feeding Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Sensitive Formula because its the only food besides the BB Wilderness that has higher fiber. I’d like to know what food on your 5 star list I could use since these dogs are small and between 5-10 yrs old. It seems all of the 5 star foods are very high in protein, all are over 30%. I donsee where you have reviewed the Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato, is there a chance you could do that? Thank you!

  • Pattyvaughn

    The rating is based on what they say their ingredients are.  All the complaints are precisely the reason that it is so important that people read what actual users of the product have to say.  Dr. Mike can’t possibly use all however many thousand different foods that are rated on this site, but he gave us a place to share our own experiences.

  • OceanSkye

    I have problems with the good rating on this dog food based on this review:

    70% of the 160 complaints gave this food a 1 star rating due mainly to gastro-intestinal upsets…

  • Geneseo1998

    I had my dog on Acana for 2 years, but it seems like the food didn’t agree with her. She was slow to eat it, or she wouldn’t eat at all. She would vomit too… I switched her to this food and she is loving it. Not sure what it was about the Acana that didn’t agree with her, but she seems happy now. 

  • Pattyvaughn

    She may need a grain free, low carb diet to get over her issues.  Skin issues and ear infections are often associated with a diet high in grains or other carbs.  Some dogs just can’t handle it.

  • Cina Cruz

    hello ruhound my 11 month old puppies have red eyes itchy skin ear infections i feed them blue sweet potato. allergy still there. i dont have dust mites i got a hippa filter in my home i switched the fabric dog bed to a leather one. i vacuum and mop 2 times daily. and to we have organic dog treats duck and organic hypoallergenic bath wash. i dont know if it was basics dog food the bag just says regular sweet potatoes . my doc said it has to be the diet i think its because i live next to the woods and have a fenced in acre witch is meticulously cut. dont know what else to do this is killing me to see them this way .

  • Tackerman6

     I just switched my dogs to this because one of them has food allergies.  It’s only been a couple of weeks so I’m still mixing it with their old food.  I haven’t seen any improvement yet but no new problems either.  Fingers crossed!  Good luck.

  • Lgronvall

    I’m shocked they put caramel in here. It’s in a small amount  but still… 

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have two super active Border Collies and they eat at the bottom of the range of whatever food they have been on.  My more sedentary ten year old Jack Russell Terrier eats way less than the minimum.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Chunky Monkey – definitely more exercise would be the way to go, but if that’s not possible for whatever reason, try reducing the amount of food you give her.  I’ve rarely fed the MINIMUMS in the recommended range – usually, if it says to feed 1.5 cups, for example, I’ll feed a little over a cup with no topper, or a cup with topper (I have a half-cup measuring thingy) .  My guy has maintained the exact same healthy weight for months (he’s 2) and never shows signs of hunger …and he is basically fed a new food after every bag.  

  • Chunky Monkey

    My english bulldog loves BB basics turkey and potato, but she has become seriously overweight.  Needs to lose 15 lbs, vet says bag feeding instructions provide far too many calories, even when using lower scale of choices. Is there a better food that will also control her skin allergies, or do I just need to force more exercise?

  • Reberle

    I have two cockers, both 3 years old.  I switched to BB (switch took 3 weeks) and they started to have loose stools, it got worse and worse, to the point we had to take both dogs to the vet.  The dogs were checked out (blood work, etc) and they checked out fine.  When I told the Vet we feed our dogs BB, he said “STOP”.  The Vet told us he has numerous persons bringing their dogs in for loose stool and all of them have been using BB.  We switched back to our old dog food and everything is great now.

  • Eapatounas

    We have 3 dogs and we had switched our 3 year old king Charles cavalier to BB turkey and potato which was purchased at a local petco (I threw out the bag after opening.) A month into switching his food he was very lethargic and had diarrhea and vomited once. The next day he was bleeding from his rear we took him to a pet emergency room. They did a blood test and found he was very dehydrated and his liver was failing. They admitted him and he was in the hospital for 3 days. He was improving enough to go home with home care and oral medication. He was not being feed BB in the hospital. We got him home and started feeding him BB again. When he went for his next check up he started doing worse and the only thing he had done all day was sleep and eat BB. Finally the vet had said she has seen a lot of issues with BB food lately and to stop feeding him the food and she thinks that might have been causing his liver failure. Well we stopped BB food and he is improving. I have been looking online and I have noticed a lot of other people with the same story as me in the last 2 months. I know they do not have any current recalls but I think they should seriously consider recalling some of your food. The cost of recalling the item is all they care about. we have spent over $2,500 to save our perfectly healthy 3 year old dog. The local pet ER and our vet have both said that BB has caused several other animals major health issues. Here is a link to several other people with the same issue that we have had

  • Jill

    About how long after the transition to the new food should allergy symptoms start to subside? My Aussie has started to now lick her paws and joints. I switched about 3 dys ago. Runny eye and ear drainage have subsided. She never had an issue until I switched to Iams about 5 weeks ago from Rachel Ray. She leant eat RR anymore. Also she is bout 8 lbs overweight. I’m nervous bout why I’m reading about BB and weight gain. HELP!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try a grain-free food with at least 30% protein.  Provided your dog isn’t a puppy, you can feed any of the ones listed on the Best Grain Free Dry Food list that can be found by clicking on the Best Dog Foods link at the top left of this screen. 

  • Nadjagorman

    I have a large mix bread dog with allergies which seem to be getting worse.  I brought him to the vet who thinks it might be enviromental allergies.  He perscribed a vet hypoalergetic food.  I couldnt aford to keep him on it so I switched to Nutro Natural choice sensitive skin and stomach.   He is scratching his ears his face and shoulders.  he licks his paws alot.  Anybody have any recomondations it be greatly appreciated. 


  • Isamar2214

    Try Merrick

  • Sue

    My  German Shepherd suffered for years with itchy paws and ears.  I have had her on the Basics Salmon and Potato for about 2 years now, and it is WONDERFUL!

  • Seabeelady58

    chicken was a problem for my doberman.  The Salmon and Sweet Potato has been wonderful.

  • Mallon0420

    My english bulldog has allergies an he’s doing great on bb basics turkey & potato grain free that’s the only one so far I wish the salmon was to.

  • Viper32811

    My boss’ dog had watery poop forever the vet gave it this new vax thats in the testing phaze n the poop is now normal. It was like giardia or one of those.

  • Kip

    I agree there is always a possibility of allergies to something in the food.  Dogs are no different than us with our food allergies and sensitivities.

  • Kip

    We have a lighter version of this food, or try portion downsizing and see if this helps.

  • Lynn

    Blue Buffalo now has their Basics line in a grain free.  Just picked up a bag today.  Has anyone had good results with feeding this food?  My dog has tummy problems so the Vet suggested BB.

  • Metelyk Earth7

    Hi Ruhound –  Thank you for posting this.  I rescue animals.  The black lab we just rescued and have had with us for 1.5 mths was a mess when we got him…giardia, bladder infection, food and environmental allergies.  The vet has advised z/d hypoallergenic food, but it costs a fortune ($107.00 for a 20lb bag) and I don’t see a real difference in his allergies (he was on steriods and antibiotics, better on those).  I am going to take your advice and try this for Raven.  Thank you for taking the time to post your experience.  I am so glad that your GSH puppy is growing into a wonderful boy and his problems have disappeared.  You’re a great parent.  Thank you again for your experience and advice.  In kindness, Alison

  • Kip

    Stephanie which BB diet were you feeding.  Some pets have problems with the Wilderness, just too rich for their systems.  Try Longevity, this is a great easy to digest food.  Just a suggestion.

  • BryanV21

    Proof that expensive is not always better.

    Orijen is a great food, but it doesn’t work for everybody. Orijen does make a “6 Fish” formula that may have worked, as I’m guessing you were using their puppy formula (chicken-based). I’m not saying go back, just pointing out something about Orijen so that you don’t think they’re not good or something.

    What probably helped, but didn’t solve, the issue is that Orijen is grain free. It was just the matter of getting away from chicken, which is a high allergen with dogs anyway. 

    I hope things go well from here on out. Good luck.

  • Ruhound

    My 8 week old German Shepherd puppy was having a terrible time with diarrhia and being itchy from the day we got him.  The breeder was feeding him Orijen which is a 5 star rated food.  Over a period of 4 months and lots of money in blood work to rule out pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, and any worms or parasites, our Vet came to the conclusion that it was food allergies.  We eliminated foods with meat and went to fish only, this helped minimally but he still had issues.  We then decided to elimate all grains.  No wheat, no corn, no soy and no meat products, except for fish.  We started feeding him Blue Buffalo Salmon and Sweet Potato BASICS.  I’m so happy to report that my boy is now 17 months old, has no diarrhia or loose stools and his coat is beautiful.  No dry skin, no itching.  It is absolutely amazing the difference in his physical health. 

  • Anniearies

    my dog is doing good on it. the potato and turkey formula, but she becomes overweight, we only gave her little though.

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  • Kip

    feed fish, stay away from foul.  many dogs are allergic to any foul.

  • Kip

    I have to say recommending you talk to your veterinarian about food in my opinion is ridiculous.  First let me say I worked with veterinarians for 20 years and they have little or no training in nutrition when they are in vet school.  Secondly they tend to recommend whatever brand they sell, just is the way it is and always will be.  Pet nutrition is best investigated by you the pet owner and the decisions you make for your babies should be based on the facts about these pet foods.  No dog or cat food is perfect, but there are many brands that will help prolong the life of your pet, while others will cut their lives short.  Do your research and feed the best product you can afford!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    You are right about that, but I say go further…..not lots of fruits/berries, not lots of different carbs like peas, oats, rice, potatoes etc.  Pick one carb source and use that.  To me this means limited ingredient diet.  I’m not saying Blue Basics isn’t a good food, it is!  However, it might not work for all dogs with sensitivities due to what I mentioned above.  Sometimes dogs can react to other ingredients like flaxseed or alfalfa meal, as well…..just another opinion. 

  • Acarebear4u

    blue basics makes a new grain free out as well as the freedom and wildress line =) my dogs have been on it without any probs very happy with it =)

  • Acarebear4u

    blue buffalo makes two grain free plus grain free basics, wilderness and freedom  both awesomes foods

  • Acarebear4u

    limted ingridents means no wheat, dairy,eggs, corn, soy in the food no by products, or artificial stuff either

  • Acarebear4u

    hi Blue basics now makes a healthy weight dog food

  • Colette

    Hi There,

    I have had problems with our Golden ever since we got him at 12 weeks. We have narrowed it down to the protein and fat content of some foods throwing him off (too rich). Perhaps that is something you can look into. L-Carnitine can help with fat digestion – so look for that on your labels. Inulin fiber is a great help too. (its fiber and probiotics help alot). Be careful with the protein rich foods – some dogs just don’t handle it well. Best of luck.


  • Anniearies

    my dog is doing great after we switching to bb basic turkey and potato. The thing is, she is getting overweight after 2 months. my dog is around 5.3 kg,we feed her 60 g in total/day, which is a lot less than what is recommend.Her weight isn’t changing much, but the vet and all others said “she is overweight” , and recommend her lossing some weight in case her feet feel uncomfortable.The thing ,she is all well , a lot better in all respect except the shape of the body. we really want to continuing feeding her this, as she seemed to loss energy when we feed her other brand lossing weight formula.confused and not yet sure what is best for her now.we know bb got other formula, but it’s not for small breed.~~~my comment is, potato and turkey formula is great for our home kid, but probably not suitable for doggie who want to have a slim body.

  • Sharon Ours

    Check for whip worms.  I had my dog tested 4 times and on the 4th test they found one egg.  Treated her and she was fine.  If I ever had this trouble again and nothing could be found I would treat her for Whip worms.

  • Sharon Ours

    If you would like to try a sample of the food I sell I would send you a sample to try.  I have had dogs with those kind of problems do great with it.  If you would like to try it just email me your address and any questions you might have.

  • Vicky Jo Floyd

    I have seen alot of negative reviews about BB Basic.  I am trying both of my adult dogs on the Turkey/Potato dry food now.  So far I haven’t noticed any problems.  I have trouble with my 13 yr old Min Pin eating the Iams Natural that I have been feeding her for quiet a while so I am mixing the 2 and so far she is eating all her food at both feeding times of 6:00am and 6:00pm which is how I have always fed both of my babies.  The one thing I noticed is that the BB Basics food has alot of fiber and protein in it AND it also says to feed this particular food by the dog’s weight only the amount listed 2 times a day.  This may be the reason that alot of people I have found posting comments about the loose stool.  I also noticed on the the other BB dry foods that it says to feed only once a day.  If you are feeding this high fiber and high protein food to the dog more that is recommended, that could be the reason for some of the issues he or she is having.

  • sandy

    I forgot to mention, the Nature’s Select in my area gives a discount for fostering.

  • sandy

    Jennifer Arthur,

    If you have a Nature’s Select distributor in your area look then up.  They have some recipes with just brown rice and millet, no oatmeal, barley, rye, wheat or corn.  The Chicken, Lamb & Rice; Salmon & Sweet Potato, Lamb & Rice, and Hi-Protein (green bag). 50 lb bags for under $60.

    There’s also Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus with only rice and more protein than other LID foods. Don’t know about the price.

  • Acla1010

    Your gonna think i’m nuts but the Vet just reccomended Dads little bites chicken and rice for our 5 month old Pom due to food allergies. At first I thought no way but then I read the ingredients and compared them …..No barley at all in Dads ….

  • Shawna

    Hi Jennifer Arthur!! :)

    First, others here have a better concept of the different foods available.  Thankfully cause I won’t be much help there..

    But, I wanted to commend you and give you a GREAT BIG hug for taking in that poor little girl!!!  Bullies are my all time favorite dogs and it just breaks my heart to see what humans have done to so many of them!!!  Thank you for what you do for them!!!

    Have you considered supplementing the dogs’ diets with whole foods?  Eggs, gizzards, liver (organic only), heart, tongue (cheap but high in fat – use sparingly) etc could all be added to the kibble to up the nutrient content of the diet — which should lessen the overall food consumption.  You can safely add healthy protein based human foods to a kibble diet if you don’t exceed about 20 % of the diet as extras.  Any more can create an imbalance.

    For you scared little foster girl — spirulina, eggs and chicken thighs are all good sources of an amino acid called tryptophan.  The body uses tryptophan to make a hormone called seratonin.  Seratonin is the “feel good” hormone.  Eating foods high in tryptophan won’t stop her fear issues but it should help to naturally decrease them.  As a rescuer I’m guessing you know all the other little tricks like DAP collar, thundershirt, Bach Rescue Remedy etc.

    Best of luck to you with all your pups!!!!!

  • jennifer arthur

    Hi all! We have a 5 y-o rescue beagle who is doing well on 4Health, a 1 y-o rescue pit bull who seemed to have a sensitive tummy at an early age, so we ended up on Blue Buffalo Basics, which seemed to do he trick, and we began fostering a 2 y-o rescued bait pittie 2.5 weeks ago. The rescue org sent her with Purina (ack!) and we transitioned her over to 4Health over the course of a week, but noted that she has lots of rancid gas. I added a bit of yogurt to her food, as she’d been on antibx for a suspected bladder infection, to no avail. At the same time, we also decided to try transitioning our own pittie over to 4Health, hoping he’d outgrown his own food allergies. While he no longer vomits or itches constantly while on the new food, he does exhibit constipation.

    So, here is our dilemma. The beagle is no problem. However, we are faced with putting both of the pits back on BBB. That, unfortunately, costs—literally—an arm and a leg. The male 1 y-o eats 4 cups per day and the female eats 2.5 per day. We simply cannot afford that (although, of course, we will find a way if given no other choice). Does anyone have ideas for less expensive alternatives? I picked up a bag of Wellness LI to compare, but it didn’t seem to be any less expensive. The foster dog was a bait dog in a dog fighting ring that was busted right before Xmas and is a neurotic mess, so we have our hands full. I hate to think of her having tummy aches on top of everything else, not to mention stress levels overall are pretty high in the household as it is. If we can figure out a way to help the pitties’ potty issues w/out automatically just going back to spending $100 on food a month, it would be one less thing we have to worry about. I would love any sage advice from members here!!!!

    Oh, if it matters, both 4Health and BBB are 4-star foods according to this site, if I recall correctly.

  • J413

    Hi, Larisa 
    My greyhound has been on Blue basics turkey & potato. He also has diarrhea. I am having many problems with food and my pet. He had the same reaction with Acana, Fromm, Costco nature’s domain and now this. When anyone figures it out, I would love to know: “is there any safe dog food out there?” Canidade was the only food he had solid BM”s with, but he pooped 6-7 times a day. Totally confused. Next step I am going to try is allergy testing to dog foods,etc.

  • C. Kinsey

    Try Basics, my boston was very gassy (not throwing up tho).  Basics has solved my problem.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Larisa,

    Like with humans, not every food product agrees with every dog. So, if you’re fairly certain your dog isn’t suffering from some other undiagnosed condition, then you may wish to try another product altogether.

    And if you do, be absolutely sure to ease into the new food only gradually over a week to 10 days.

    Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be misleading for me to provide customized product recommendations for each reader. For more help, you may wish to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

    Hope this helps.

  • Bob K

    Larisa, Have you taken your dog to the vet?  Did you vet recommend a full parasite evaluation including fecal test for all parasites including:  Giardia, Coccidia and Crypto?    If this has not been done – Do it.  What else is your dog eating?  treats, puddles,  lake and river water, human food?  Any herbicides or pesticides that might be affecting him perhaps on the neighbors lawn or park?  ?  There are lots of things that cause loose stools.   

  • Larisa


    I’m new to your site and hope to get an advise. I adopted a 5 years old cocker spaniel 2 month ago. I don’t know what food he had before. We give him Blue Basics for 2 month; he has horrible gas and loose stool (he’s squaiting 5-6 times). I don’t know – should I try to change to Salmon Blue or try something else? Any recommendation?
    Appreciate any advice!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Geesh, one more thing.  If you love Blue Buffalo they do have a food called Basics that has a Salmon and Potato formula.  Imo, though, it still has quite a few ingredients in it even though they advertise it as a food for sensitive stomachs.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I would look for a food with similar (or as close as you can get) ingredients (salmon and potato, for instance) to the SD presc. food to start with.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Bob K is right, a lot of factors go into determining why a dog is reacting a certain way to its food, environment, etc.  I’d venture to say that an ingredient in the food was the cause and your dog had an intolerance to something in the food and that particular ingredient is not in the Science Diet food.  It is usually difficult to determine what that ingredient(s) might be.  It looks like since your dog is doing well on the SD presc. food (I think it is a sensitive stomach/hypo-allergenic food) and, if you want to switch her to something else, you should look for a hypo-allergenic food to try next.  On this site there is a list of suggestions.  It may take going through a few brands to find one that works.  Remember you always need to transition slowly.  I have senstive stomach dogs and I always use prebiotics/probiotics and or enzymes with their food.

  • Bladesasha

    Try a probiotic powder added to her food. I got it at my vet. Helps a lot but not perfect.

  • Bob K

    Stefanie – You slowly transition to a new dog food, not just swap foods and hope in a few weeks all is well and your dog will adjust.  Is your dog is still vomiting?  Why?    How often?  Loose Stools?  What did you feed your dog before Blue Buffalo?  How did your dog do on the older food?  Why did you change to blue Buffalo?  Of course there are lots of dog foods you can try.

    How old is your dog?  How is your dogs bloodwork?  Have you ever had your dog tested for parasites including Giradia, Coccidia and Crypto?      What else is your dog eating?  Treats?  People food?   Lake water?  River Water?  grass, dirt, other animals feces?    Any pesticides or herbicides in use by you or any neighbors?   Are you sure?  How is your dogs coat, teeth, eyes, ears, breath? 

  • Stefanie

    My dog was eating Blue Buffalo (as the lady at the pet store recommended) and she had horrible gas and throwing up.  I gave her lots of time to adjust to the food and still was throwing everything up.  Took her to the vet and he put her on Hill’s prescription diet salmon and potato recipe and she’s been doing great ever since – no gas, much less vomiting…but I really don’t like that it has only 2.5 stars.  I want to feed her a good quality dog food but I’m so afraid because of her digestive issues, and she’s been doing so well on the Hill’s prescription diet food.  Any recommendations?

  • Rob K.

    The Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato has been a lifesaver. My 3 year old Lab/Hound rescue suffered from loose stool and bad gas from the time we got him in July. We tried high fiber/low fiber, no grain, chicken and rice etc and nothing seemed to help. 2 months ago we found that the one thing everything had in common was chicken. We tried the Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato and all his problems went away in a matter of days. He has had no stool or gas issues since we made the change.

  • Dawn Leder


  • Richard Darlington


    Sandy is right I think. If I were you I would try a grain free and potato free kibble. We have seen many dogs that react to potato as well as the grain. you will know very quickly if that is the problem as the symptoms will usually subside within a few days to two weeks.

    I found at least 6 grain and potato free kibbles, in alphabetical order, by looking down Mike S’s list of dog foods by name. I’ve probably missed a few but the ones I found are:

Brothers Complete

    Canine Caviar

    Dogswell Nutrisca
Earthborn Great Plains Feast
Natures Variety Instinct

  • sandy


    What was he eating before BilJac Sensitive Stomach? BB Basics is just a food with a single protein source – turkey. It still has grains (rice and oatmeal) and veggies (peas, potato, carrot, etc…) and is NOT a limited ingredient diet. So for a sensitive stomach, it may not have been a good choice. Don’t let the advertising on the package fool you. You must read the ingredients. It has more ingredients in it than the BilJac.

    BilJac Sensitive: Chicken, Chicken By-Products (organs only, source of arginine), Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oatmeal, Whitefish, Dried Beet Pulp, Brewers Dried Yeast, Oatmeal, Flaxseed. Their site doesn’t even list all the ingredients?? Only “key ingredients”. Sounds a little fishy.

    Anyhow, going from BilJac Sensitive to BB Basics probably didn’t help matters since BB Basics has more various ingredients to digest including grains which are hard to digest.

    Look into Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets (LID), California Natural Grain Free. These 2 are limited ingredients and potato free. Some dogs have issues with potato.

    Natural Balance Grain Free LID, Wellness Simple Solutions, Nutro Natural Choice grain free LID. These are limited ingredients but made with potato.

    Another choice is to look for a food that is grain free and with a single source protein – just chicken or just fish, etc. But I would start with a LID until his tummy settles down. Some probiotics/digestive enzymes, and maybe a tablespoon or two of some canned pure pumpkin may help and no treats.


    Blue Basics, Turkey and Potato recipe made my dog severely ill. This is no ordinary reaction either….you can actually hear his stomach churning, he has constant diarrhea…that looks like well, butterscotch pudding! The smell is foul and he is itching/scratching himself to death. I gave him a benadryl.
    I’m taking the food back to Pet smart to get a refund.
    It was $20 for 4 pounds! BUT, more importantly its making Buddy very ill. I’m putting him back on chicken and rice (home made people food). I’m at a total loss on what to feed him. All the pet stores and vets recommend very expensive food that is endorsed by the major Dog Food Manufacturers. I’ve also been looking up all the nutritional breakdowns of each food. We always try to get the best for Buddy no matter the cost. I did some research and found out, after of course purchasing the Blue Buffalo, they had an FDA recall back in Oct 2010, and outsource their company. You can imagine from this there are all kinds of debates as to what really is in this food! BIG SIGH…My question ….Now what ?
    I don’t think he can live on Chicken and rice alone
    AND all of this is after having to switch from Bil-Jac Sensitive Stomachs which also made him sick but not NEARLY as sick as the Blue Basics!

  • Selena

    Karen, you may be over feeding, the dog may be eating it too fast, or it may be too rich for the dog’s tummy. Try getting a higher bowl, or one that has the hill in the middle so your dog cant scarf it down so easily.

  • sandy

    I switched my dogs to potato free kibble and the gas has dropped dramatically. I might catch wind of one once or twice a week.

  • karen

    I have been feeding my greyhound Wilderness, chicken or duck, both give her bad gas, any solutions. I know this is a high quality food, I thought I was doing good????

  • Gregb


    I did want to thank you for your taking the time to reply to my post! I appreciate it very much.


  • Greg B

    Hi ShamelessRaw,

    I actually went to the store and picked up a bag of Steves Raw Food. I had not given any to my puppy yet before talking to my “Vet”. She gave me the third degree, saying raw food was very dangerous and not sufficient for a dogs needs. She went on, and on of how bad it was………back to the drawing board for me. Maybe canned mixed with dry???

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Greg – After !SIX VETS!, I’d feed raw and only raw (instead of trying yet another kibble). Probably best to start with a 5* commercial raw that has a single protein source. Raw organic is preferable.

    My belief is that Nutrition Isn’t Rocket Science and Real Food Rules.
    There is a lot of raw dog food information on the internet.

    You could also consult with a canine nutrition consultant. Here is one who has posted on this DFA website and she has some good tips on her website:

    Watch this video by Vet Karen Becker about the 13 best and worst types of dog food:
    #1 BEST is a homemade balanced raw diet
    #2 BEST is a commercial balanced raw diet
    #3 BEST is a homemade balanced cooked diet
    #7 BEST is a super premium dry food

  • Greg B

    My apology,

    I hit “submit” twice on my question. Sorry for any confusion on that!

  • Greg B

    Hello Mike and Admin,

    We have an eight month old Goldendoodle puppy we have had since he was eight weeks old. The problem is, all during the time we have had him he has had problems with diarrhea and/or loose stool. He has been to six [yes, six] Vets and none of them seem to know the problem. His bloodwork has come back fine (organ function and pancreas testing). He has no parasites in his stool. So, my natural inclination is to try another food-Again. We have switched his food 5 times now (currently he is on Wilderness puppy), and he has made improvements, but still not normal, even taking Tylan powder. So, my question to you who are learned on the subject? Is it too soon to switch food again being that we just switched him only a month ago? I am thiking of trying Blue Buffalo basic. As you can imagine we are coming close to our “wits-end” on this and feel we are “out on our own” because none of the Vets seem toknow the underlying cause to his problem. Thank you in advance for any help.
    Regards, Greg

  • Greg B

    Hello Mike and Admin,

    We have an eight month old Goldendoodle puppy we have had since he was eight weeks old. The problem is, all during the time we have had him he has had problems with diarrhea and/or loose stool. He has been to six [yes, six] Vets and none of them seem to know the problem. His bloodwork has come back fine (organ function and pancreas testing). He has no parasites in his stool. So, my natural inclination is to try another food-Again. We have switched his food 5 times now (currently he is on Wilderness puppy), and he has made improvements, but still not normal, even taking Tylan powder. So, my question to you who are learned on the subject? Is it too soon to switch food again being that we just switched him only a month ago? I am thiking of trying Blue Buffalo basic. As you can imagine we are coming close to our “wits-end” on this and feel we are “out on our own” because none of the Vets seem to know the underlying cause to his problem. Thank you in advance for any help.
    Regards, Greg

  • Tom Dalton

    I am confused about the rating of this food…how can it be rated “four stars” and “Advisor’s MID-TIER rating of 4 stars”. Isn’t a mid-tier rating always “Three stars” ? One of the Blue Buffalo is rated 5 stars and the rest are rated 4 stars (assuming B B Basics is not a three star.) HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS THE QUALITY BETWEEN A FOUR AND FIVE STAR RATING? Is a four star an “A” and a five star rating an “A+” ?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Sam… I’m happy to see you’re thinking about improving your dog’s diet. And Blue Buffalo can be a good candidate. However, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be impossible to know with any degree of certainity is this product is right for your dog.

    In any case, please check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Sam

    Hi. I have a boxer dog at home that is 6 years old. She has been eating Purina Healthy Morsels for the whole time, and for the past year or so she has been throwing up more than often. I have been considering having a different food for her, and somebody mentioned Blue Buffalo for my dog. Is this food right for my dog?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Julie… Because they ignore weight and density, stool size and frequency can be difficult to accurately quantify. Much of the visible characteristics of feces can be related to the fiber content of the food. However, I have no personal experience with this food. So, it’s impossible for me to give you any guidance. You may wish to look for responses form other readers here. Or contact Blue Buffalo. Wish I could be more help.

  • Julie

    I have tried Blue Buffalo twice. The last time I tried Wilderness Duck variety and my dog had practically four times the amount of stool she normally has – going 4 times a day! I haven’t heard anything on the site about increased stool production from changes in foods, and I think it’s something worth considering. What are your thoughts on the extra stool, Mike?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Lauren… Working on that one as I write. Look for my report on the dry version of Simply Nourish on Friday. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Lauren

    Could you please rate PetSmart’s new brand “Simply Nourish?” The puppy and adult chicken formulas seem as if they’d be within your four star range (I think) and significantly cheaper than Blue, Innova, and other brands, but I was just wanting to make sure there wasn’t something that I was missing and you’re a bit more thorough than I am at analyzing the ingredients. I work at PetSmart so I am constantly reading labels to customers all day long. I have an English Mastiff, an APBT, and a husky mix and I’m a college student so I need to keep the budget as low as possible (without sacrificing too much on quality). Please help!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Meagan… Both Blue Buffalo Basics and BB Family Favorites are awaiting review on my list. But keeping uip with all the new recipe changes and launching our new retail directory (July 5) has slowed me down considerably. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Meagan

    Mike-Blue Buffalo Basics now has some canned formulas!

  • Erick Sanchez

    HI Mike i have two dogs a pomeranian and a shih tzu i have them on science diet but i heard it wasn’t the best. i want a 4 star dry dog food that would be good for both of their coats thank you very much.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Julie… Often (but not always), the difference between foods designed for different breeds is nothing more than the size of the kibble. And that can be more important for smaller size dogs. Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, I cannot provide customized product comparisons for each reader. For more help, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Julie

    Sorry if this was answered previously – my question is what is the difference between BB Basics Turkey and Potato versions listed above? Is it just the size of the kibble? My dog is medium-sized but he seems to prefer small shaped kibble if I can get him to eat it. Thanks!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Gary… Sure. This review is inclusive for the whole Blue Buffalo product line. Yes, 4-stars.

  • Gary

    Would the new Blue Buffalo Basics Puppy also be awarded 4 stars? Not sure if you are aware that they recently came out with the puppy formula. Thanks for any information you can give. My now 6 month old catahoula/lab puppy is doing great on it. She’s been on the basics for puppy for about a month and her stool is finally normal. I started off on Blue Buffalo Longevity for puppy, the Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy, then when I was going to buy a different brand I found the Basics for Puppy. I didn’t ween her into this food because honestly, her stool couldn’t get any softer. The next day she had normal poop!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Patti… From the information provided, its’ impossible to judge the nutritional content of a homemade dog food. Wish I could be more help.

  • Patti

    I have been cooking my dog food for quite a while now and it seems to work well for one of my dogs. She has a lot of GI things and I cook chicken liver, hamburger, ground turkey, brown rice, carrots, green beans and hard boiled egg. We do use Blue Buffalo chicken and brown rice for the other dogs. I’m thinking my girl just has an attitude and is manipulating me, but hey, if it works she’s worth it!! Do you think she is getting enough nutrition with the mixture?

  • Mary

    I have a customer that owns a precious little female poodle. No matter what kind of dog food she tried the dog was extremely thin and sick to her stomach all the time. She tried different brands of dry and canned. The dog would not even try raw food. So I told her she had to do something because each time she brought her to me she was thinner than the time before. I am not a vet and need food nutritional help for my pets as well. But I did tell her to cook for her pet. I told her no seasonings, boil the boneless meat with brown rice and veggies and see how that goes. She was totally surprised how well her girl was doing. She no longer got sick after eating and began to gain weight. By her next visit to me she was a couple of pounds heavier and she was looking great. I am considering doing the same for my pets since it’s so hard to find a good dog food that agrees with all of them. The one I did find that they all could eat and it didn’t bother them I just found out isn’t that good for them in the long run. So it’s back to the drawing board.

  • Debbie

    Hi Mike, Thanks so much for the quick timing, you are great !Your site is always so helpful and my first stop when looking at dog foods. Thanks again !

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Debbie… OK. I’ve now revisited the new (and improved) Blue Buffalo Basics and added the new products. It’s moved from 3 to 4 stars. Thanks again for the tip.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Debbie… Thanks for the tip. I’ll get on this change as soon as I can.

  • Debbie

    Hi, I see Blue has a new basics line out for small breeds and they have changed the ingredient listing, it now has deboned turkey and turkey meal as the top ingredients. I would be interested in reading a review of this new line out when you have the time.

    Thanks !

  • melissa


    Whenever we take in a rescue with these types of issues, we go back to basics and that means bland. We will feed them either boiled chicken/rice or something like the Purina En(not the best food, but does work wonderfully to settle down the stomachs) Once under control, you can start adding in something that is better quality and watch her for response. DO NOT jump straight to a high protein high fat food(been there, done it, cleaned up the messes) Currently, we have one with similar issues that loves and does well on the Nutro Venison grainfree. Again, not a 5 star food, but a decent enough food that controls his allergies as well as his stomach problems. Switching him to other brands has caused relapse so he is sticking with that.

    A second rescue we have taken in has stomach issues and it has been a long haul finding something that works for her-not just one food does, so she eats 1c Pro Pac, 1c Canidae and 1 c Of the Nutro grainfree. She is young, so the ProPac & Canidae provide the calories etc that she needs, while the Nutro seems to keep her stomach on par.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Geigh – Has a vet ruled out any health problems that could be unrelated to food? Is your dog exposed to house chemicals or lawn chemicals?
    Certainly try raw, gradually transitioning from your current kibble. Here are some 5-star raw dog foods that Mike has reviewed:
    If you don’t see relief for your dog within a couple of months of feeding only raw, another option would be for you to contact a Canine Nutrition Consultant, similar to one who has recently posted on this website. This is Cat Lane’s website:

  • Jonathan

    You can try Basics, but it’s not even as limited as NB LID that you already tried. Mike P may be right… raw could help.

  • Mike P

    Maybe raw is the way to go ?? You have tried many good foods so this is a tough call …

  • Geigh

    I have tried so many dog foods, I’m reluctant to try another one. Before I adopted my dog, she was fed poor quality dog food and too many treats as substitutes for meals, so her stomach is really messed up. I’ve tried Taste of the Wild–made her sick. Natural Balance Duck and Potato seems to be a little better, but she still scratches her ears and mouth and is constantly gagging. The doctor says she has alot of gas, but I’m not sure is switching again is gonna help. Can anyone recommend something. Do you think Blue Basics will help? I just want her to be healthy.

  • Jonathan

    Well, I got the “thank you for your suggestions! We will pass this along to blah blah blah…” answer to the detailed and lengthy letter I wrote Blue. Oh well, maybe I’ll get a further responce, but I, for some reason, doubt it.

  • Meagan

    Ok great! Maybe I should to that way the more people that bring it to their recognition the more they may think to change it.

  • Jonathan

    LOL wow I forgot all about that. I may still do that. I did speak with some Blue representatives about those very issues and they seemed interested and even took notes, but who knows if anyone else actual heard what I had to say. So I still plan on making this letter.

  • Meagan

    Jonathan- Did you compose a letter?
    November 26, 2010
    “I am going to compose a letter to Blue Buffalo suggesting to them that they should change this formula to use the turkey meal as the first or second ingredient to improve the amount of protein in it.”
    Just wondering if you recieveda response?

  • Cathy

    Tmiz – You “decided to go completely grain free and get the Blue Basics Salmon and Potato mix.”
    FYI, Blue Basics is NOT grain-free.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Tmiz… If your dog is doing well with his current Blue Buffalo product, I’d be reluctant to switch. For more information, please visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Dog Food Protein”. Hope this helps.

  • Tmiz

    My dog (Giant schnauzer standard poodle mix) has bad allergies. When I first got him he was so ill the vet thought he had parvo, but after a few tests we narrowed it down to a food allergy. I switched him to Nutro, and he got SIGNIFICANTLY better, but he still had various stomach upsets and fur loss. Then I switched to Blue. He became a lot more active. I could tell a real difference in his overall health when I switched. He still had fur loss on his belly, and his skin would be red. I THEN decided to go completely grain free and get the Blue Basics Salmon and Potato mix. His fur and skin have never looked better. I’m a little worried about the protein though. He is 2.5 years old, fairly active, and quite trim, but very muscular (75 lbs, but when he stands on his hind legs, his front paws touch my shoulders, and I’m 5’7″.) Do you think he needs more protein? I’m also worried about hip displaysia.

  • Jenna


  • Lindsey Ritenour

    My Shih-Poo was constantly licking, eating at his paws, eating at his skin, and itching like crazy. My husband is in the Air Force and we live in a small town with a decent vet, but not a vet who could give us a whole lot of answers. We put him on the Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Sweet Potato, and after a month he doesn’t do any of the eating of the skin and itching! He very rarely licks his paws. This has been a wonderful healthy food and has solved our problems, we even feed it to our Border Collie. I highly recommend it!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Cindy… As long as your dog is still growing (and large breeds like yours can grow until sometimes 15 months or more), I’d recommend staying with foods that meet AAFCO profiles for growth or all life stages. It is far healthier to feed a puppy food to an adult than feed an adult food to a puppy. And please keep in mind overfeeding has now been shown to be the leading cause of hip dysplasia in large breeds. Hope this helps.

  • Cindy

    Hi, I have a very active lean 10 month old Golden retriever. She has ended up on Blue basics turkey(due to soft stools on the Blue life protection fish and oatmeal) but I am trying to decide if she is getting enough protein, vitamins etc. Should she be on a puppy formula? Her stools have been fine on this new formula but recently I caught her eating deer dropping and now fear she is deficient in something. Thanks

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Katherine… Unfortunately, at this time we do not review or rate dog treats. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Katherine

    What about Blue Buffalo Treats? My dog gets treats after coming in from outside. Since she gets a few a day, I would like to make sure that the quality of treats that I give her would be good. Is there a website that you know of that rates the quality of treats?

  • Jonathan

    Suzanne, Blue Buffalo makes a very good product. The recall they conducted was voluntary. It was because one of their supplement suppliers added a little extra vitamin D, and while it only negatively affected a hand full of dogs country wide that have a vitamin D sensitivity, and the amount of vitamin D was still within AAFCO acceptable levels, Blue, as a company, still decided to voluntarily recall the three different foods affected which cost them a lot of money and time. This actually strengthened my faith in Blue Buffalo as a dog-and-cat-first company that’s willing to loss money they didn’t have to just to make sure their product is healthful for every pet.

  • Jonathan

    I am going to compose a letter to Blue Buffalo suggesting to them that they should change this formula to use the turkey meal as the first or second ingredient to improve the amount of protein in it. There is no reason a limited ingredient formula needs to be low in protein. Plus, this is an expensive food. It costs as much as the Wilderness formula, but it has less protein then even their regular (and much less expensive) line. Not to mention that the ingredients are hardly limited! The main thing that this line has going for it is the unique proteins and being egg and dairy free. Their regular line is already corn, wheat, and soy free. I will post my letter and Blue’s responce if I get one.

  • Marie P.

    Thank you Mike!
    I appreciate you answering my previous comment. I will be looking forward to your list of dog foods for specific conditions, especially moderate protein and low fat. There are so many dogs out there that have a need for low fat, just because of their age. I bet it is one of the primary problems as our dogs age, just like us humans! Please hurry with your lists. We dog owners really need your suggestions, sooner than later. You have an outstanding website. Thank you for it! Marie P.

  • Suzanne

    I am surprised and kind of disappointed that you are still even listing the Blue foods on your site, not to mention giving them a half decent rating. Did you not know that their dry food has been RECALLED? They’ve found it to contain too high a dose of Vitamin D. I love your site, and respect your ratings, but I think this time you slipped…. Hope you remove or at least warn others about this recall.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Sherry… So far, no 5-star foods for sensitive stomachs. There are a few but they’re 3 and 4-star products (still very good foods). Click on the Tag Cloud tab at the top of our website. Then choose the “Digestive” link. This should return a short list of product lines that contain at least one food that’s designed (according to the manufacturer) for sensitive stomachs.

    Later this Fall and early next year, we’re planning to introduce our recommended “Best of…” and “Recommended for…” lists. So, stay tuned.

  • Sherry Childress

    Can you recommend a 5 Star food for 11 year old Airedale Terriers with sensitive stomachs? I have been feeding Blue Basics but stools do not seem to be firm.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Marie… That’s a tough question to answer. After all, how much fat and how much protein is the right amount? Our database suggests average dry matter fat to be about 15-16% for kibble and 29% for protein. I’d think 12% or lower for fat (kibble) and over 25% for protein might be a good goal to shoot for. Unfortunately, fat and protein usually go hand-in-hand. High protein (high meat) usually (but not always) means high fat, too.

    We’ll be posting some lists of suggested dog foods for certain goals sometime in the fall of 2010. Hope this helps.

  • Marie Pickard

    I am looking for a low fat dog food of high quality. My dogs, 11 and 12 years old, have a high lipase blood level, which denotes a pancreatic problem. Both dogs have been run twice daily all their lives and are amazingly healthy for old dogs. My Vet says the lower the fat, the better, but they won’t eat that dog food. They also need protein to keep their muscle mass. Would this still be a good dog food for them??? Thank you for your help.