Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials (Tubs)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials moist dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials product line includes 3 wet 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials Pacific Feast [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials Harvest Table [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials Mountaintop Medley [M]

Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials Pacific Feast was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Earth's Essentials Pacific Feast

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water, chicken liver, dried egg, salmon, lentil flour, potato starch, carrots, peas, guar gum, sodium phosphate, sea salt, potassium chloride, flaxseed, chia seed, cranberries, sweet potatoes, coconut oil, choline chloride, xanthan gum, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin E supplement, 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), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid (vitamin B9)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%17%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis41%35%24%
Protein = 41% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 24%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is chicken 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 is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is dried egg, 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 salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

The seventh ingredient is lentil flour, a powder made from roasted peas or lentils. Lentil flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, this recipe contains chia seed, an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the use of coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2

Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

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 Earth’s Essentials Moist Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials 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 47%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentil flour, peas, flax and chia seeds, this looks like the profile of a wet product still containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Earth’s Essentials is a meat-based 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.

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.

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A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

09/05/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  3. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.