Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness product line includes nine canned dog foods, eight claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (puppies).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Blue Wilderness Beef and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Trout and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Senior Turkey and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Duck and Chicken Grill (3.5 stars)
- Blue Wilderness Salmon and Chicken Grill (5 stars)
- Blue Wilderness Turkey and Chicken Grill (3.5 stars)
- Blue Wilderness Small Breed Turkey and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Puppy Turkey and Chicken Grill (4 stars)
- Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight Turkey and Chicken Grill (5 stars)
Blue Wilderness Beef and Chicken Grill was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Wilderness Beef and Chicken Grill
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, potatoes, ground flaxseed (source of omega 3 fatty acids), guar gum, carrageenan, cassia gum, salt, 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, 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 indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||36%||10%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||61%||7%|
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
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Both beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth 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 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh 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 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 Wilderness Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned 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 44% and a mean fat level of 35%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 13% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.
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 flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 61% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 32% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a grain-free meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of poultry, fish or beef 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Pet owners looking for a good kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry dog food.
A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
02/15/2015 Last Update