Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Formula canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Formula product line includes the 8 moist dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
The recipes with (*) are available in small cups.
Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Blue Buffalo Basics Duck and Potato [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Senior Turkey and Potato [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb and Potato (2.5 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato (2.5 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Turkey and Potato [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Turkey and Potato* (4 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Lamb and Potato* (2.5 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Basics Whitefish and Potato (3.5 stars) [M]
Blue Buffalo Basics Whitefish and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Basics Whitefish and Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Whitefish, fish broth, potatoes, pea flour, peas, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), potato protein, fish oil, pumpkin, carrageenan, cassia gum, guar gum, salt, potassium chloride, cranberries, blueberries, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid (vitamin B9), preserved with mixed tocopherols
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||16%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||34%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The second ingredient is fish broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth 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 sixth 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 next item is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
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 can’t be ignored when judging the actual meat content of this Blue Buffalo recipe.
The eighth ingredient is fish oil, which is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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 2 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 does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, 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 Basics Limited Ingredient
Grain Free Formula Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Basics canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 86%.
Which means this Blue Buffalo product line contains…
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed and potato protein, this looks like the profile of a wet containing a moderate amount of meat.
Blue Buffalo Basics is a grain-free canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Blue Buffalo Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Blue Buffalo. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- 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)
A Final Word
The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.
However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.
For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
05/30/2020 Last Update