Review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness product line includes the 18 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine), peas, pea protein, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), dried tomato pomace, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed (source of omega 6 fatty acids), pea starch, natural flavor, dried egg product, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dl-methionine, potatoes, dried chicory root, pea fiber, alfalfa nutrient concentrate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, salt, potassium chloride, sweet potatoes, carrots, preserved with mixed tocopherols, zinc amino acid chelate, zinc sulfate, vegetable juice for color, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, parsley, turmeric, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), l-carnitine, copper sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), l-lysine, biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, taurine, manganese amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, dried yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, folic acid (vitamin B9), sodium selenite, oil of rosemary
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||17%||38%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||35%||32%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes 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 fourth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The sixth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The seventh ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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.
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 pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 Blue Buffalo product.
With 7 notable exceptions…
First, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, we note the use of pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
In addition, alfalfa nutrient concentrate is a vitamin and mineral-rich extract made from alfalfa.
Even though it contains over 50% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Next, we find dried yeast, which can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this recipe uses sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.
Which means this Blue Buffalo product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed, alfalfa products and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
More Top Picks
Blue Buffalo Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Blue Buffalo.
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall Event Number 2 of March 2017 (3/18/2017)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall of March 2017 (3/3/2017)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall of February 2017 (2/14/2017)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall of May 2016 (5/31/2016)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Chews Recall of November 2015 (11/25/2015)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall (10/8/2010)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Blue Buffalo Brand Reviews
The following Blue Buffalo dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Carnivora Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Divine Delights Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipes Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food Review (Dry)
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
02/21/2022 Last Update