Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness 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 Wilderness Beef and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Duck and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Trout and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Turkey and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Salmon and Chicken Grill
- Blue Wilderness Small Breed Turkey and Chicken Grill
Blue Wilderness Turkey and Chicken Grill was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey and Chicken Grill
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, chicken, chicken broth, potato flour, cassia gum, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), salt, carrageenan, guar gum, 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) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||41%||6%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||66%||4%|
The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Turkey and chicken are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of poultry”.1
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 potato flour. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is made from the whole potato (even the skins). This item is considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates with only modest nutritional value.
The fifth ingredient is cassia gum. Cassia gum is a plant extract likely used here as a gelling agent and providing no nutritional value to this food.
The sixth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.
However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.
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 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 46% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 80%.
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.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a significant amount of poultry, fish or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Due to the significantly higher fat content of this product, those seeking lower fat diets should look elsewhere for another dog food.
Pet owners looking for a good kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry dog food.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
A Final Word
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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".
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Notes and Updates
11/29/2009 Original review
05/23/2010 Review updated
12/23/2010 Review updated
02/17/2012 Review updated
08/20/2013 Review updated
08/20/2013 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩