Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry dog food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness product line includes eight dry dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (Puppy).
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned duck, chicken meal, potato starch, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid), potatoes, tomato pomace (natural source of lycopene), natural chicken flavor, flaxseed (natural source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), alfalfa meal, whole carrots, whole sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, dried parsley, dried kelp, taurine, yucca shidigera extract, l-carnitine, l-lysine, turmeric, oil of rosemary, beta carotene, 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 chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, choline chloride, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, salt, caramel, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.2%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||17%||38%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||35%||32%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 occupy a lower position on the list.
The second and fourth items are chicken meal and turkey meal. Since both are considered meat concentrates, they contain almost 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The third ingredient lists potato starch. Potato starch is a quality gluten-free carbohydrate… both digestible and hypoallergenic.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
The sixth ingredient includes 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.
The seventh ingredient includes potato. Assuming they’re whole, potatoes are a good source of digestible carbohydrates and other healthy nutrients.
Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient… a by-product left 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.
After the chicken flavor, we find 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.
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, the manufacturer 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, We also note 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 Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
The ingredients used to make Blue Buffalo Wilderness look a lot like what you’d expect for a quality kibble.
But it’s still important to estimate the amount of meat here before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.
High protein. Average fat. And below-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical dry dog food.
With no plant-based protein-boosters and no vital Red Flag items, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a generous amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food is a grain-free kibble using an abundance of poultry or salmon as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand five stars.
Those looking for a wet food made by the same company may wish to visit our review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Canned Dog Food.
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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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
11/28/2009 Original review publication date
03/21/2010 Review updated (new recipe)
08/19/2010 Review updated (flax meal)
10/12/2010 Recall Alert Added
10/21/2010 Review updated
04/25/2011 Recall alert removed
05/08/2011 Review updated (added 4 new recipes)
02/11/2012 Review updated (added Senior Chicken)
02/11/2012 Last Update