Blue Seal Classics formula dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Blue Seal Dog Food Classics product line lists two kibbles, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Blue Seal Krunchies Dog Food
- Blue Seal Natural 26 Active Dog Food
Blue Seal Natural 26 Active Dog Food was selected to represent both products for this review.
Blue Seal Natural 26 Active Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork meal, ground corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (mixed tocopherols preservative), beet pulp, natural flavor, yeast culture, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, taurine, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, selenium yeast, sodium selenite, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||14%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||30%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.
The second item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
For this reason, we do not consider corn or wheat preferred components in any dog food.
The fourth item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is 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 sixth ingredient lists beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
After the natural flavor, we find yeast culture . Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it may also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.
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, this dog 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 also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Blue Seal Classic Formula Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Seal Classic Formula dog food appears to be an average kibble.
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.
Together, the pair features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. These figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
In addition, when you consider the plant-based protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
What’s worse, the low-protein Krunchies product uses a low quality poultry by-product meal as its main source of meat.
Blue Seal Classic is a a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of pork or poultry by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Those looking for a wet food made by the same company may wish to visit our review of Blue Seal Dinner Classics 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
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Notes and Updates
04/15/2010 Original review
11/15/2010 Review updated
08/15/2012 Last Update