Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews product line includes six canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

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

  • Blue Buffalo Red, White and Blue Stew
  • Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Hunter’s Stew
  • Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Hearty Beef Stew
  • Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Tasty Turkey Stew
  • Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Country Chicken Stew
  • Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Irish Lamb Stew (4 stars)

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Hearty Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Blue's Stews Hearty Beef Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 20%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, water, peas, egg, potato starch, carrots, guar gum, whole potatoes, natural flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, 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, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, choline chloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%28%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%51%15%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fourth ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The seventh ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The ninth 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.

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 one notable exceptions

Blue’s Stews 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’s Stews Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Dog Foods looks like an above-average wet product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of various named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Those looking for a nice kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food.

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, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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

07/11/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • cheyanne

    My 6month old mini dachshund quit eating. It wasn’t the food my other dogs are eating it and have no issue at all. I tried topping it with wet she wouldn’t touch it.I took her to the vet he couldn’t figuire it out. She has always been small, so just losing a pound or two made a big difference. I tried all types of can and dry. She even turned down a scambled eggs,chicken,ground beef even a piece of steak I was getting desperate. I thought she was on her way out until I opened a can of Blue’s Stew she LOVED IT. She ate a whole can in one day!(she kept begging for more) She is ganing back the weight she lost and is back to her spastic self. I don’t understand it,but all I care about is that she’s eating.

  • ngrrsn

    What is “natural flavor” on the ingredient list? I was told by a vet technician it is often either lard or chicken source. I want to know what the ingredients are, not some generic disguising term! (My dog is chicken intolerant, so I have to watch the foods consumed closely).

  • Pattyvaughn

    Adding something to the kibble, like canned or fresh food, is using a topper or topping.

  • diana

    What is toppers or topping?

  • diana

    I agree with you plus it may cost a lil more now but it’s a good investment so you don’t have to pay a lot more in future should your dog get any disorders or diseases by eating the wrong food all these years.

  • Lovemydog

    If you want human grade, then feed your dog what you eat. However, a dogs digestive system is much different than human. Different digestive enzymes and stomach acids, etc., so why look for human grade when we are completely different stomach wise. Dogs can eat things I would never eat and it doesn’t bother them. I can eat things that would kill my dog, so why do you even consider “human grade?” It doesn’t make sense.

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    Actually, there is a difference.

    The FDA and USDA are responsible for regulating human foods and determining ‘edible’ status. In order to be allowed to produce human foods, a manufacturing facility undergoes far more frequent and detailed inspections by these and other agencies, compared with the inspection that a pet food plant undergoes.

    Other terms like “Human Quality” or “Table Grade” are not legal definitions for human food or pet food. A number of manufacturers use these terms to imply that their manufacturing and finished products are better than they really are.

    Only a facility that actually produces human foods, undergoes the inspections and approval necessary to have genuine human grade status and therefore, a pet food must be made in such a plant in order to be called ‘human grade’. Human food plants to not make kibble, the dry nuggets of food fed to many pets in the US.

  • InkedMarie

    There are two foods that are allowed to say human grade: The Honest Kitchen and Weurva (if I spelled it correctly, I believe that is the other one)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Are you sure about that? What about THK? Scroll down to “The Bottom Line” on Dr. Mike’s review.

  • Sabrina Morris

    Actually there is no such thing as “Human Grade”. The term is used as a marketing tactic that obviously is working. Most brands actually employ humans to taste the products before they are packaged and sold. According to the AAFCO “Business of Pet Food” website, the terms “human grade” and “human quality” have no legal definition — meaning AAFCO has no requirements regarding them. The organization does warn against false and misleading claims and, on the Labeling and Label Requirements page of the site, spells out how that might apply specifically to human grade or human quality claims (scroll to the bottom of the page). But such claims on petfood labels definitely do not mean the products have met requirements related to those claims.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FFTE5BYQQ53IWWDGAVG4G7GWD4 Theresa

    Actually SOME dog foods are made with “human grade” ingredients, which makes for a much healthier food. I believe having that label not only means the food itself is better but the processing is as well. I always shoot for “human grade” for my dog food. Kibble is crap as far as I’m concerned, no matter who makes it.

  • Isabella

    My dog has been on Blue brand foods (both dry and wet) for a good year. He loved them, but I won’t buy Blue again. I usually would buy a dozen cans at once and a large bag of dry…he loved the salmon. A month ago, he had the Hunter’s Stew for the first time. Within an hour he was vomiting. I waited and hoped it would cease which if he does vomit it will stop,but this time it didn’t. I took him to a local ER hospital. They just gave him a shot to stop the vomiting and to put him to sleep. He awakened vomiting again through the night. I called his vet that Sunday morning who met me at his clinic…low blood pressure and very low pulse. He was put on IV’s immediately. Five days later new xrays shows it had turned into bacterial pneumonia due asphixiation (vomiting) His white blood count was very low. After over 3,000 dollars in vet bills and meds and almost loosing my baby boy, I returned all his Blue food to Petsmart and will never use Blue brands again. Currently he’s on Prescription id which can only be purchased from a vet. I don’t trust any commercial prepared dog food anymore.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IY2AWHX4JMTL77N374V6HBTXMU withheld

    It is pricey, but I prefer not to feed my dog total crap, so…  And it could have given your co-workers dog a sick tummy if she did not incorporate it slowly.  You can’t just change the food overnight.  Not saying she did, but sounds like a possibility.
    I feed my yorkies blue buffalo dry, but had to change to the canned for one of them due to  horrible dental problems.  She loves it, no tummy troubles.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Hi Cutler767,
        The Blue Stews, I believe, are grain free as well.  The main difference, Imho, maybe besides different flavors, is that the Stews are more chunky where the Family Favorites are slices.  And, of course, the Wilderness is a pate.

  • Cutler767

    Mike,

    I notice the Blue Wilderness & the blue family lines are both listed as grain free… what about the Blue “Stews”… is this line grain free as well?

    Thank you.

  • Robby

    This was $2.59 a can at Petsmart.
    When I go there I usually pick up 12 to 15 cans of canned Dog Food among various other things.
    Buying this stuff like that will put a dent in the wallet for sure.
    A girl I work with said this food gave her Dog terrible Diarrhea anyway.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Kristy – I never heard of VeRUS canned so I looked it up and here is an example their product, the VéRUS Duck and Potato Formula Canned Dog Food – which doesn’t contain any duck meat, but does have duck liver:
    Duck Broth, Duck Liver, Oats, Potatoes, Canola Oil, Flaxseed Flour, Fish Oil, Alfalfa Sprouts, Dried Kelp . . .
    http://www.veruspetfoods.com/products/for-dogs/canine-cans/verus-duck-and-potato-formula-canned-dog-food.html

  • Kristy

    I am using Taste of the Wild kibble and Verus canned as a topper. It works great for my 2 Mini Aussies and they lo!ve the combination

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Re Debbie’s comment from Blue Buffalo: “the food was made in a pet food factory so if a human ate it they would get sick” and “They also warned me not to show the email to anyone.”

    Many companies have a ‘warning’ at the end of their emails. In *most* cases, it is not legally binding. The purpose of the ‘warning’ is to create fear in the recipient and to protect company image. Exceptions could be, for example, confidential government information, or private ‘protected’ information, like copyright material, taxpayer ID #’s, etc. But … anyone in free society is ‘free’ to share general information, even if you were ‘warned’ not to do so. Of course, my comments are not legal advice, so for all who fear many things (Real Food, Free Speech), be sure to pay for an ‘expert’ opinion on the topic.

  • sandy

    Or you could just strain the juice out.

  • sandy

    Dawn,

    I’m wondering if the Weruva was put in the frig before serving, then maybe the fat could just solidify a bit and be spooned off prior to serving?

  • Gordon

    Dawn – I would think that Debbie should heed that warning and not display it publicly like on here. Emails in general are for the intended recipient, but can be publicly aired as a quote and if the writer hasn’t specifically stated that you may not display such quoted email content elsewhere. Otherwise, such practices are legally OK IMO and experience. This is my thoughts as requested, Dawn.

    Debbie – IDK your budget, but if you want to feed your dog what a human can eat, kibble is not your answer. You’ll need to specifically buy quality raw meats from a quality butcher and feed same raw to your dog, while you cook your share for yourself. That accompanied with well mashed up veggies and fruits of about a 20% portion to an 80% portion of raw meat and bone also grinded if you are able to, for your dog.

  • DAWN LEDER

    SANDY
    WERUVA WAS ..THE…ONLY..CANNED FOOD I WOULD USE BUT ITS SOOOO GREASY VERY GREASY AND MY GIRLS HAD TERRIBLE SMELLY LOOSE STOOLS MY ONE JUST ALWAYS KEPT FEELING SHE HAD TO HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT :o*( SO I STOPPED GIVING….

  • DAWN LEDER

    DEBBIE
    THEY…WARNED..YOU…NOT…TO SHOW THE EMAIL? WHAT DID THEY SAY? IF YOU SHOW THIS WE’RE GOING TO SUE YOU? IM VERY CURIOUS AND IM SURE EVERYONE HERE THAT FEEDS THIS TO THEIR DARLINS WHAT YOUR CONSEQUENCE WOULD BE IF YOU SHOWED THEIR EMAIL?
    MIKE HAVE YOU EVER SPOKEN TO BLUE? DID THEY WARN YOU ALSO? I WAS PLANNING TO USE BLUE WHEN I DIDNT DEFROST THEIR RAW OR RAN OUT OF RAW ETC……I WOULD LIKE MIKES GORDANS AND JORDANS REACTION TO DEBBIES POST? THANKS :o)

  • Mike P

    I use human grade canned food , But I wouldn’t eat it … She loves Fromms , Wilderness , Wellness 95% and Before Grain canned …I also throw in some Wellness Core … These are the ones I buy , But I also get some brands via coupons …They are all used as toppers …Topping is the best advice Dr Mike ever gave me …

  • sandy

    I just started using Weruva as a topper. It’s awesome! It’s looks so good. It even has a warning on the can – for pets only!

  • Meagan

    Type human-grade in the search box. Helped narrow it down for me. :)

  • Debbie

    I wrote to Blue Buffalo asking them if their food were eaten by a human would the person get sick, I basically wanted to know if the food were human grade and they replied to me that the food was made in a pet food factory so if a human ate it they would get sick. They also warned me not to show the email to anyone. I saved though. I want a food that has human grade ingredients including the meat. Can someone aim me in the right direction? I have used California Natural, Evo an Innova but since Natura was bought by Proctor & Gamble I do not use it anymore.

    Thanks,
    Debbie

  • Decontee

    Hi I’m going to be a first time dog owner finally I’m so happy I know for a fact its going to be a small breed do u know of any puppy wet and dry natural or organic foods that aren’t two pricey

  • Janie

    Thanks so much Mike and Jonathan. I am feeding the blue buffalo stews and also the wilderness canned along with wilderness dry but the store I am having to buy from (Petsense) is not carrying very much of the stews but they do carry the family favorites recipe but was not sure of the rating. Thanks again and Mike I know you are busy but will be checking back later ..

  • Jonathan

    Janie, they do appear to be grain-free. The dry matter GA looks good, too.

    Protein 44%
    Fat 27%
    Carbs 22% (5% fiber)

    That’s about the same as the above food, so I’d speculate that Mike will give the Family Favorites 4 1/2 to 5-stars. I wouldn’t hesitate to feed this to my Sadie… in fact, she has eaten it before and loved it!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Janie… Blue Buffalo Family Favorites is currently awaiting review. Planning to get to it very soon. But keeping up with the current spate of recipe changes and the launch of our new pet food retail store directory has slowed me down a lot. Hope to get to this one in the near future. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Janie

    Mike I was wondering if you have a rating on the Blue Buffalo Family favorites recipe wet food and if it is grain free ? I can find a rating on the other products but not that one. It is Mom’s chicken pie, backyard bbq, turkey day feast, turducken, and a new one shepherd’s pie.
    Thank you for your great work.

  • Janie

    Thanks Mike it could have been just the salmon that upset them since they never had eaten it before. I know I will not try that flavor again just incase that is what upset their stomach. I use blue wilderness dry and the beef and chicken stews and they do really great..Thanks for your great site .

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Janie… Just checked it out and updated the review to include the new product. Pretty much a carbon copy of the line’s design. Same rating. Thanks for the tip.

  • Janie

    Mike was wondering if you have heard anything about the new stew that Blue has out called Hunter stew ? I fed it the other day to my shih poo and my 2 shih tzu’s ..a few hours later my shih poo was vomiting and continued that night. By the next morning she wasn’t vomiting but just laid around for a couple of days and wouldn’t eat but did drink water. The two Shih Tzu’s had loose stools but no vomiting. I then noticed salmon in the new Hunter stew and they had never had salmon before. All three of my babies are fine now but it was a scary few days.
    Was wondering if anyone else had the problem with the new stew..All three of mine eat the other stews with no problem except my 3 year old Shih Tzu name Jack vomits if he eats the Lamb so none of them get that either..

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Peggy… With Bailey, we change different recipes of the same kibble brand. Then after rotating through all the flavors in that brand a couple of times, we’ll try another brand. For more information, please visit our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Diet Rotation for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Peggy

    Mike, love the site. Just wondering, on a rotation diet, as the kibble is changed should it be same brand diff protein source, diff brand same protein source OR diff brand diff protein source? I change protein source of her wet food as the can runs out but am sort of at a loss with kibble. I stick with Wellness 95% & BB Stews for the wet. No known food allergies for my 1yr old Amer. Bulldog mix. She’s on BB Wilderness Salmon now. Any thoughts?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Erin… There’s no way anyone could know the answer to your question. You’ll have to give it a try. Just introduce the beef slowly.

  • erin

    If our dog has been eating everything but beef and she is 13 years old, might she have a problem with an introduction of beef at this point?

  • Clyde Newell

    I am overjoyed with this website. Thank you for providing the information to people and giving us the knowledge to make the right choice for our pets. They are our family and I will do whatever it takes to protect our Jessie. We have had her for 1 month and thought Natures Recipie was a good food, apparently not. Thank You.