Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews product line includes 5 grain-free, canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Hearty Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Blue's Stews Hearty Beef Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, water, beef liver, dried egg product, chicken, peas, carrots, potatoes, potato starch, guar gum, calcium carbonate, salt, sodium phosphate, caramel color, potassium chloride, natural flavor, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), 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), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid (vitamin B9)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%19%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%39%24%
Protein = 37% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 24%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef 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 water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fourth ingredient includes beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient lists dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The seventh 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 eighth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The ninth 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.

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, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.3

In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.

That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

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 Blue’s Stews Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Dog Foods looks like an above-average wet product.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet 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 significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews is a wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Those looking for a nice kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Dog Food Coupons
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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.

Notes and Updates

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Consumer Reports February 2014

11/24/2018 Last Update