Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipes (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★½

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

Protein = 41% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 24%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%27%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating 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, 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

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

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • KC

    We got a 4 month old puppy (black lab / basset hound mix) about a month ago from the shelter and decided to put her on the Blue Buffalo puppy wet food only given what we read on canned food v dry food. She had a case of giardia which was cleared up pretty quickly with some medicine. Unfortunately, even afterwards she was still having issues with loose stool. The vet mentioned it was likely a result of the Blue Buffalo puppy food being so high in protein and she recommended Science Diet (after separately reading up on Science Diet I think we will get another vet…). Regardless, based on the comments below, it looks like a lot of posters use this canned food as a topper, as opposed to a primary food source. Could the protein content or something else about the Blue Buffalo puppy food be causing the issue? Other than the loose stool issue she is energetic and doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable or exhibit any signs of being sick. Any suggestions about this issue or other advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Puppy Chicken

  • Jvbcb

    Can I use any of these for a puppy?

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi John!
    You’re right! Selenium is part of the glutathione metabolic cycle. In fact, my vet measures selenium to check glutathione levels. That’s the marker. Low selenium means low glutathione. Since modern farming practice doesn’t return trace minerals to the soil, and without them plants don’t produce enough nutrients, they had to start boosting food stuffs with synthesized vitamins & minerals.

    Deformed hooves, or laminitis, also occurs when their isn’t enough selenium, or the toxins are so high that it’s used up in vivo.

    Our area is selenium deficient, so every new born critter gets a selenium injection within minutes of hitting the ground. With out it their muscle tissue turns to slime. :-( its important, but it must be the right amount.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Toxed….

    I take selenium. In micrograms. I have thought/understood selenium to boost the vitamin E activity. Soil when over farmed can lose selenium,so some veggies and fruits contain less than what they had previously, soil in some areas was once so rich in selenium that farmers noticed the hoofs would begin to fall off their horses.(It was in the water plus hay)  That can happen to humans as well. But with the proper dose it can help to prevent  cataracts, Slow aging, and I’ve read its useful in HIV. To much of a good thing is never good, just like my mama said, lol.

  • Toxed2loss

    Selenium in any form is toxic if given TOO MUCH. It’s like vitamin A. Not enough, you can’t survive. Too much it’s toxic. Generally, it’s so low on the ingredient list, it’s not a concern (barring accidents, of course.) Too much selenium yeast is also toxic, just that there’s a little more leeway on the amount of selenium yeast. It is, however, grown on aspergillis yeast, a mold. If your dog has allergy, yeast or mold issues, you can’t use it.

  • Mrsegm

    I see on the ingredients list that this Blue Buffalo Homestlye Beef Dinner has “Sodium Selenite” as an ingredient…I thought this ingredient was very dangerous  to dogs???

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Karen… That’s because we mathematically remove 100% of the water from every product reviewed on this website. Please be sure to click on the link in each article that describes dry matter basis.

    Hope this helps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-V-Stefanini/1645476518 Karen V. Stefanini

    Blue Buffalo Chicken Dinner has 8.5 protein and 1.3 fiber – above it states it is much higher in these canned food dinners for dogs.  Why the difference?  Why is it so low usually in canned for fiber and protein? I am confused and concerned.

  • Mike P

    Erin , I use 1/3 can as a topper with 2 1/2 cups kibble for my dogs dinner . I split the other 2 /3 rds in seperate small containers for her next 2 dinners . I use what ever cans of 4 or 5 star wet that I get coupons from the company . I have over 30 cans of food , all from coupons . I’ve spent about 20 bucks to get the 30 cans . She loves the variety of the diff toppers .

  • erin c.

    Tracey

    see previous entry about can dog food & containers

    I pay $1.99 right now for the BB pate. I don’t feel it is cheap. I’m sure it will go up soon. I try to buy stews when there is a sale.

    I did see something somewhere about how long pet food should be stored in the frig. They recommended taking the food out of the can before storing it.

    I don’t think 4 days is too long to store the can dog food, but take it out of the can to store.

  • erin c.

    Megan

    I have read that you should NOT leave the dog food in the can. I transfer can dog food and can cat food into Ziploc very small round plastic see-thru containers with lids.

    I feed the dog food over 3 days. I divide it between the first serving on a plate and the subsequent 2 more servings in 2 separate containers. That way I just pull one out, invert into a bowl, micro for about 16 seconds–just to take the chill off, stir and scoop onto a plate.

    I mark each container with a 1×2″ sticky. It works very well because I serve it first thing in the morning and don’t have to be totally awake to get it done. :)

  • erin c.

    Our dog is rejecting her can food now. It’s difficult to choose a can food that isn’t too expensive. I am trying to keep it at $2 a can. I feed her 1/3 of a can of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner every morning. She won’t eat it mixed with dry (we did that for a while until she would go hungry rather than eat it).

    She really likes stews better than pate, but they are more expensive. I have tried different cans of similar quality/priced foods. Now I stick an EVO treat into the top of her can food to get her started–she eats the treat, tastes the can food and then finishes the can food. I hope she continues to eat it until she gets thru all these cans–2 left.

    She was ok with the Turkey Meatloaf for a while–alternated with the Chicken Dinner. I try to buy stews when they are on sale.

    I have been keeping a journal of what she eats and what she walks away from.

    I don’t know what’s next. I think I spend more time scoping out dog foods in the store and online than I do ALL other grocery shopping.

  • Meagan

    To keep it fresh and it seems to always work just right. The cans I buy are either 12.5 or 13 oz. My suggestion is to buy the smallest cans hopefully that will help.

  • Meagan

    Tracey- I have a 25 pound dog and a 60 pound dog. I give my littller one one tablespoon and my big boy gets two in a half tablespoons only on the pm feeding. My cans last four days many ppl do not go over as the food will go bad. I use a plastic lid

  • Tracey

    Meagan – how much do you usually use as a topper for your pup? Also, does anyone know how long an opened can of food lasts? I’m sure this question has been asked before – I just can’t seem to find it. I see that the stores sell those plastic “can toppers”. I thought that it might be safer to transfer the food to another container if saving? I am only using about a teaspoon as a topper mixed in w/ my puppies kibble – and at that rate a can can last a long time. But does it stay good for that long refrigerated? Or only good for a couple of days?? Thanks!

  • Meagan

    Sale going on at Petsmart. Homestyle recipe is $1.89 a can marked down from $2.09.

  • Meagan

    Actually BB is expensive and they will be getting switched to Diamond Naturals, but thats how things go. They will still get a good food and yummy “topper”.

  • Meagan

    I have been “topping” this on my pups dry food (BB lamb and rice) for the last two evenings. I am only giving it to them on their p.m. feeding, so they still eat their dry and don’t become picky. They LOVE it. I have fed them wet food before, but was worried they’d gain weight. Well that was before I found this site and duh if I measure correctly and see what works to their body condition then obviously they won’t. I feel much better about them getting food closer to what they’d have if wild. Even though I know I could do better. This is what I can afford.

  • sharon

    Really help info here. If you could, please rate the lamb dinner, chicken dinner, fish and sweet potato dinner.. looking for the lower fat and carb value, and average or above average protein. thank you much