Blue Buffalo Family Favorites canned dog food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Family Favorites product line includes six canned dog foods. Since we could not locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these products on the Blue Buffalo website, we’re unable to report life stage recommendations.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Sunday Chicken Dinner
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Mom’s Chicken Pie
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Turkey Day Feast
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Shepherd’s Pie
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Backyard BBQ
- Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Turducken
Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Turkey Day Feast was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Family Favorites Turkey Day Feast
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, water, egg, peas, potato starch, carrots, green beans, guar gum, sweet potatoes, cranberries, natural flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxie 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) = 5.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||28%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||51%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient lists turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is water, which (of course) adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient 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 sixth ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The seventh item lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary 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, we note the inclusion of 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.
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 Family Favorites Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Family Favorites looks to be an above-average canned 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 44% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Family Favorites is a grain-free canned dog food using a notable amount of beef or poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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
09/12/2011 Original review
02/12/2012 Review updated (added new Sunday Chicken Dinner product)
02/12/2012 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 ↩