Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe product line includes 11 canned dog foods, ten claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one recipe for growth (Puppy Chicken Dinner).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Blue Homestyle Beef Dinner (4 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Lamb Dinner (4 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Chicken Dinner (4 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Toy Breed Chicken Dinner
- Blue Homestyle Puppy Chicken Dinner (5 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Turkey Meatloaf Dinner (4 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Senior Chicken Dinner (3.5 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Small Breed Lamb Dinner (5 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Large Breed Chicken Dinner (5 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Small Breed Chicken Dinner (5 stars)
- Blue Homestyle Fish and Sweet Potato Dinner (4 stars)
Blue Homestyle Recipe Toy Breed Chicken Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Homestyle Recipe Toy Breed Chicken Dinner
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, peas, carrots, whole ground barley, whole ground brown rice, oatmeal, ground flaxseed (source of omega 3 fatty acids), guar gum, cassia gum, potassium chloride, carrageenan, glucosamine hydrochloride, cranberries, blueberries, salt, 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, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide, choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||51%||18%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
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 meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The tenth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Dog Food looks like an above average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
11/27/2009 Original review
02/15/2012 Updated (discontinued 2 recipes, added 3 new ones)
08/22/2013 Review updated
08/22/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩