Review of Blue Buffalo Basics Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Basics product line includes the 7 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Salmon 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 Adult Salmon and Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned salmon, oatmeal, brown rice, salmon meal (source of glucosamine), peas, potatoes, pea fiber, canola oil (source of omega 6 fatty acids), natural flavor, pea protein, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, fish oil (source of omega 3 fatty acids), potassium chloride, pumpkin, dried chicory root, dehydrated alfalfa meal, flaxseed, alfalfa nutrient concentrate, salt, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, dl-methionine, preserved with mixed tocopherols, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc amino acid chelate, zinc sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, vegetable juice for color, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, parsley, turmeric, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), copper sulfate, biotin (vitamin B7), l-lysine, vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, dried yeast, manganese sulfate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, taurine, manganese amino acid chelate, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, folic acid (vitamin B9), sodium selenite, oil of rosemary
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||22%||13%||57%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||20%||29%||51%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon contains up to 73% 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 account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The fifth item 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 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 fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value for a canine.
The eighth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
After the natural flavor, we find 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 can’t be ignored when judging the meat content of this product.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other ingredients.
But realistically, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Blue Buffalo product.
With 8 notable exceptions…
First, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
We also note the inclusion of alfalfa nutrient concentrate, a vitamin and mineral-rich extract made from alfalfa.
Even though it contains over 50% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, something to consider when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
Next, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
We also note the presence of 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 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 23% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Which means this Blue Buffalo product line contains…
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, alfalfa products and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Basics is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 3 stars.
Has Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food Been Recalled?
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 Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blue Buffalo 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)
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
08/22/2021 Last Update