Blue Buffalo Longevity Dog Food gets the Advisor’s above-average rating of 4 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Longevity brand lists 3 dry dog foods, 2 claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth and maintenance (Puppy).
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Longevity Adult
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Longevity Puppy
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Longevity Mature
Blue Buffalo Longevity Adult Dog Food was selected to represent all three in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Longevity Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned whitefish, menhaden fish meal (natural source of omega 3 fatty acids), whole ground brown rice, whole ground barley, oatmeal, potatoes, peas, eggs, rice bran, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural fish flavor, oat bran, carrots, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes (natural source of lycopene), apples, blueberries, cranberries, glucosamine hydrochloride, flaxseed (natural source of omega 3 fatty acids), barley grass, turmeric, dried kelp, yucca schidigera extract, alfalfa, parsley, garlic, salt, sunflower oil (natural source of omega 6 fatty acids), herring oil (natural source of omega 3 fatty acids), l-carnitine, l-lysine, taurine, beta-carotene, calcium 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 complex (source of chelated iron), zinc amino acid complex (source of chelated zinc), manganese amino acid complex (source of chelated manganese), copper amino acid complex (source of chelated copper), cobalt proteinate (source of chelated cobalt), calcium carbonate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, dried chicory root, black malted barley, choline chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||12%||53%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||27%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Although it is a quality item, raw fish 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.
In any case, fish meat is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is menhaden fish meal. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Menhaden fish meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh fish.
Due to assurances made by the company on its website (and unlike many other fish meals), this item appears to be ethoxyquin-free.
The third item 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 barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The sixth 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 seventh item mentions 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 eighth ingredient lists eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The tenth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other healthy items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to have much of an effect on the overall quality of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, the company 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.
And lastly, this dog food contains chelated minerals… minerals that have been chemically attached to amino acids. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are generally found in better dog foods.
Blue Buffalo Longevity Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Longevity 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Longevity is a grain-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of menhaden fish meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Those looking for a higher-grade kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness.
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
11/28/2009 Original review
05/24/2010 Review updated
04/22/2012 Last Update
- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩