Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Canned Dog Food Review
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 AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
The recipes with (*) are available in small cups.
|Blue Buffalo Basics Duck and Potato||3||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Senior Turkey and Potato||3||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb and Potato||2.5||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato||2.5||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Turkey and Potato||3||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Turkey and Potato*||3.5||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Small Breed Lamb and Potato*||2.5||M|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Whitefish and Potato||3||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato 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 Basics Turkey and Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), pea protein, fish oil, pumpkin, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, cassia gum, cranberries, blueberries, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, 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%||32%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||56%||21%|
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 is turkey 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 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient is fish oil. Fish oil 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.
The next item is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene 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 Blue Buffalo product.
With 3 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 appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.
Next, this recipe contains 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.
And lastly, this food includes 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free 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 85%.
Which means this Blue Buffalo product line contains…
Near-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 flaxseed and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a wet containing just a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free is a 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 Recall History
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 (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Dog Food Review (Canned)
- 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 Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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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.
- 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 ↩
11/03/2021 Last Update