Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food Review (Dry)

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food Review

Rating:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe product line includes 9 grain-free dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Puppy with Red Meat 4.5 G
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult with Bison 4.5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult with Rabbit 4.5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult with Red Meat 5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult Healthy Weight with Red Meat 4.5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult Small Breed with Red Meat 4.5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult Large Breed with Bison 5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult Large Breed with Red Meat 5 M
Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Senior with Red Meat 5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult with Red Meat 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 Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult with Red Meat

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Deboned beef, fish meal, peas, pea starch, tapioca starch, pea protein, beef meal, dried egg product, dried tomato pomace, canola oil (source of omega 3 fatty acids), flaxseed (source of omega 6 fatty acids), natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa meal, deboned lamb, deboned venison, dl-methionine, potatoes, dried chicory root, pea fiber, alfalfa nutrient concentrate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, salt, preserved with mixed tocopherols, sweet potatoes, carrots, zinc amino acid chelate, zinc sulfate, vegetable juice for color, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, iron amino, acid chelate, potassium chloride, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, parsley, turmeric, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin (vitamin B3), glucosamine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), l-carnitine, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), l-lysine, copper sulfate, biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, taurine, manganese amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, dried yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, folic acid (vitamin B9), sodium selenite, oil of rosemary

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%17%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%35%36%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 36%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 fish 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

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The next ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is beef meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The next ingredient is 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 ninth ingredient is tomato pomace, which is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The tenth 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.

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 7 notable exceptions

First, 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, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe includes alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Additionally, we find an item called 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.

And 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of chicory root, which 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.

We also note the use of dried yeast, which 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.

We also find taurine in this recipe. Taurine is 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.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

And lastly, this product 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Which means this Blue Buffalo product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein, flaxseed, alfalfa products and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Rocky Mountain Recipe

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

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References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

12/04/2020 Last Update