Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Blue Buffalo Freedom product line includes 6 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.
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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Puppy Chicken [G]
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken [M]
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Senior (3 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Beef (3.5 stars) [M]
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Small Breed Chicken [M]
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Lamb (1.5 stars) [M]
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken recipe was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, guar gum, flaxseed, potassium chloride, blueberries, cranberries, salt, carrageenan, cassia gum, fish oil, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, choline chloride, 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), preserved with mixed tocopherols
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||27%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||51%||22%|
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 chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient lists 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 sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The seventh ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
The eighth 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.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, this food contains carrageenan, 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of 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.
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 Freedom Grain Free
Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Freedom Grain Free canned dog food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 79%.
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a canned food containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Blue Buffalo Freedom is a grain-free canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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
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
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
06/29/2019 Last Update