Finding a high-quality dog food is very important. You want to take care of your dog and make sure that they are getting the appropriate nutrition. Whether you use wet dog food or dry dog food, it’s important to take the time to learn about your options and identify the best choices out there. There are several great choices and if you know what to look for this can be helpful.
Reading dog food reviews can also be helpful to learn more about different dog food brands. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with Blue Buffalo dog food reviews. We will check out the brand as a whole. look at the overall quality, and share with you some of their most popular options.
Overall, Blue Buffalo dog food is an acceptable brand of food. Some options might be better than others and the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line is great for food sensitivities and grain free options. Blue Buffalo food is highly-rated and they have a variety of choices. Keep reading to learn more.
About Blue Buffalo Dog Food
If you’re familiar at all with the General Mills company, that is the same place that Blue Buffalo dog food comes from. The brand has been around since 2003 and is probably most-known for their Blue Buffalo Life Protection bits in the formula. You will find that the Blue Buffalo products don’t contain things like soy, wheat, or corn and they never contain artificial colors or preservatives either.
Their dry dog food is known to be suitable for senior dogs, puppies, and everything in between. This is one pet food brand that used their story to truly make a difference in the dog food industry.
You will see more of these details as we go through the Blue Buffalo dog food review. What really stands out about the brand is their commitment to natural and healthy ingredients. They’ve sought out the best high quality ingredients to give your pet a healthy food with natural flavor.
Blue Buffalo Brand History
Blue Buffalo dog food has a unique story. The brand began when the family’s own dog, Blue, was found to have cancer. They immediately went on the search for quality dog food and decided to just create their own. They worked with veterinarians as well as specialized nutritionists to take a scientific approach that pet owners can rely on.
Blue has since passed away but the company remains devoted to your pet’s diet and has run strongly against other brands. They have had a longstanding competition with Purina as well as other dry dog foods as they take a stance for dog health. The problem is that other dog food brands feel challenged and then they try to strike back.
While this brand was started by an individual family for their dog’s health, it has since been purchased by General Mills. That took place in 2018. It is the only pet food that General Mills owns at this time.
Blue Buffalo products have been listed as the #1 wholesome natural pet food. We don’t know the exact number of customers but the brand has done very well and returned more than $1 billion in net sales each year.
Where is Blue Buffalo Dog Food Made?
The Blue Buffalo brand falls under the General Mills umbrella. The food is all made at various plants throughout the United States. None of the dog food is outsourced to other countries. The company does share that they partner with a plan in Ireland for one variety of dog treats but all other food and treats are in the United States.
They do have multiple plants throughout the United States so the manufacturing is spread out among these different facilities.
Blue Buffalo Dog Food Cost
Blue Buffalo has more than one type of food in their dog food lines. They have wet dog food, dry dog food, and they have the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line. Their dry dog food lines are known for the Blue Buffalo Life Protection bits that are said to contain additional nutrition that is necessary for your pet.
The prices will certainly differ depending on which formula you choose as well as the size of bag that you go with. Prices can range anywhere from about $15 to $65 with these variables in mind.
If you compare Blue Buffalo to other similar quality dog foods, you will find that the prices are similar and actually might be lower than some of the brands out there. We compared to Diamond Naturals and it was slightly higher in cost per pound. However, compared to Wellness, it is slightly lower per pound so they really fall somewhere in the middle.
Blue Buffalo dog food is an average price for the quality of food that you might have.
Blue Buffalo Dog Food Ingredient Quality
When searching for a quality dog food, what you really want to know is if the ingredients are good for your pet. So many other brands will have formulas that are really designed to give adult dogs the protein and nutrition that they need to thrive. You don’t necessarily have to use a grain free recipe, although Blue Buffalo dog food has those options if that is your preference.
Ultimately, you want to know that your dog food covers a well balanced diet and that it’s not heavy in foods that tend to provoke food sensitivities and reactions. For adult dogs, chicken meal is actually a high protein sensitivity but the things that really tend to be the worst are things like corn, wheat, soy, and then any type of artificial ingredient.
We prefer to see valuable nutrition over fillers and artificial things. Even a grain free recipe needs to display a balance in nutrition and they need to be able to provide the nutrition that a wholesome grain like brown rice provides, with something other than grain. Sweet potatoes are pretty common in this regard.
So where does Blue Buffalo stand on the list of quality ingredients>
For the purpose of not trying to review 100 different options for ingredients, we’re going to break down the ingredients in the most popular formula, which is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown rice recipe.
- Deboned Chicken
- Wholesome whole grains
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Life Source bits
The very first ingredient here is real chicken, not chicken meal. While there is also some chicken meal, we appreciate that the first ingredient is actual chicken so the primary protein source is excellent. They do have some grain free choices but here Blue Buffalo uses quality grains like brown rice, barley, and oatmeal for the fillers in the dog food.
From there, Blue Buffalo food fills in with a variety of fruits and vegetables. This includes sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. This is true even in their wet food options.
Of course, to top it off, Blue Buffalo has Life Source bits. These little bits are in their wet food, Blue Buffalo life protection, and Blue Buffalo wilderness formulas. The life source bits contain additional antioxidants that are valuable to immune health, life stage needs, and a healthy balance. They are suitable for adult dogs, senior dogs, and puppies.
When you look at the lineup of ingredients for Blue Buffalo dog foods, we find that there is very little processing that occurs. Some of the varieties provide a grain free diet supplemented with pea protein and others use high animal protein. The grain free dog food is great but the other provides a healthy balance with grains that are wholesome. What you won’t find are troublesome fillers that have zero nutritional value.
You’ve got some of the finest natural ingredients and real meat.
Top 5 Product Lines for Blue Buffalo
When it comes to Blue Buffalo recipes, you will find that there are several different choices. You can check out grain free foods, their popular chicken recipe, the life protection formula, the Blue Wilderness trail trays formulas, and more. You could quickly become overwhelmed with all of these if you don’t know where to narrow it down.
We’ve picked out the top 5 Blue Buffalo options with a bit of information for you here.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
The first line and their most popular is the Blue Life Protection formula from Blue Buffalo. They have several different flavor options, including a chicken recipe, beef recipe, fish recipe, lamb recipe, and even a weight management recipe. The Life Protection line has brown rice in most of the titles for for example chicken and brown rice is a common choice. Just put the animal protein of choice with brown rice and you’ll likely find it here.
The chicken option uses deboned chicken and all of the other meats are also directly from the source. If you need a chicken free recipe, you have those options too. Regardless of the recipe, you have no artificial flavors and all of the Blue basics as far as quality ingredients.
This Blue Buffalo product line is a fan favorite thanks to the focus of a single animal protein source in all of the flavors.
If you’re looking for a grain free food, you might like the Freedom Blue Buffalo recipe. It’s packed with tons of garden vegetables, essential amino acids, and is an anti oxidant packed food that won’t steer you wrong.
The formula is designed to prevent heart disease, support healthy skin and a healthy immune system. It can help to maintain a healthy weight because of the natural ingredients. Like the Life Protection formula, you’ve got all natural ingredients and protein that comes from the real meat source itself. The only difference is this formula uses pea fiber, pea protein, and other healthy additions to replace nutritious grains.
It comes as a dry dog food. The grain free also contains life source bits that are relative to the formula and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Because this is grain free you might also find things like chicken fat or fish oil to help replace the grain free design in this recipe.
Blue Basics Limited Ingredients
The Blue Basics line is great for any pet that maybe has high sensitivities to ingredients. It uses a minimal amount of ingredients but carefully chooses everything to maintain a healthy weight and give your pet the nutrition that they need. The Blue Buffalo basics dog food is made to accommodate those common issue ingredients. Interestingly enough, chicken is a top allergen for most dogs that struggle.
The intention behind the Blue Buffalo basics is to just go back to the basics. They took that quite literally and narrowed down the ingredients to be as minimal as possible in the dog food. This is not grain free but doesn’t have common triggers and is made with salmon rather than other meats.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog food is all about feeding your dog as though they thrived in the wild. Blue Buffalo again takes you back to the basics and uses only things that are found in the wild. Blue Buffalo made this dog food high in protein and grain free. The dog food is rich in fat and protein, because it’s designed for survival and yet will also work for weight management needs.
If you check out the ingredients, you won’t find chicken meal or similar meat alternatives. You find real meat with Blue Buffalo additions like roots, tubers, and starchy legumes. Of course, it also has fruits and vegetables. They do have several flavor options in this Blue Buffalo line.
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Blue Buffalo True Solutions Dry Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo true solutions line is designed to target specific needs. Basically you choose your formula for dry dog food or wet food based on your dog’s needs. The primary options include weight management, digestive needs, healthy coats, and joint health.
This is not to be confused with the Blue Natural Veterinary Diet which is also designed to target specific needs. That line is a prescription diet while this one is just as readily available as the Life protection formula.
This formula from Blue Buffalo has a wet food or dry food option in all categories. It’s not a grain free choice, although some of the recipes might have reduced or minimal grains.
Alternatives to Blue Buffalo
Whether you’re interesting in Blue Buffalo puppy food or a traditional Blue Buffalo chicken formula, you can find suitable alternatives out there if you want to try something similar but different.
Related: 13 Best Puppy Foods for Labs in 2022
Maybe you feel like the price is too high or Blue Buffalo simply didn’t work for your pet. Check out some of these alternatives that you can try.
Diamond Naturals is a great choice as an alternative. Their food is generally slightly less expensive per pound when compared to Blue Buffalo. They take a similar approach with their recipes and use meat for the first ingredient on every option. They also pack their formula with other known super foods and use natural solutions.
This food is designed to be versatile to all life stages so if your dog needs something targeted, you might need to dig a little bit deeper.
Taste of the Wild
If you like the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line, you might want to check out Taste of the Wild. It’s also slightly more affordable overall so that could be a perk for you. What you will find is while they use a natural “wild” approach, they do also add meat meal to their recipes. It’s not the first ingredient but it’s something to be aware of.
These food options are high in protein and rich in healthy fats as well.
Related: Top 10 Cheap Dog Foods in 2022
Nutrish is a somewhat new formula designed by Rachel Ray. It’s a good brand with thoughtful insight on the placement of ingredients. You will find meat as the first ingredient and then several nutritional benefits. You will also find that they use some things like brewer’s rice, corn, and soybean meal. These are low on the list so used in small portions but it still isn’t great.
However, because of the differences in ingredients, you get a mostly healthy food with a far lower cost. While this has some of the fillers, it’s not their primary makeup so we give them credit for that.
Where to Buy Blue Buffalo Food
Whether you’re looking for a brown rice recipe or something totally different, you can find Blue Buffalo foods just about anywhere that sells dog food. It’s available at many retailers, including farm stores and pet stores.
You can also find Blue Buffalo at many of these.
These are just a few locations you can find this dog food but there are many more. They do have a store locator option on their website if you need some direction.
Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recalls
One of the most important elements of this Blue Buffalo dog food review is to understand the recalls. Knowing when recalls occurred and how they were handled tells you a lot about the company itself.
This brand has been part of some recalls but you also see them being very proactive to try to handle them as necessary. In fact, the majority of those recalls were announced by the company because they discovered a potential issue and took action.
The recalls that were due to findings elsewhere include 2010 when some formulas were discovered to possibly have too much Vitamin D in them. This only affected a select few products and was handled quickly. The other big one that was discovered outside of the plant was in 2016. The company had a recall on the life protection fish and sweet potato formula for a possible mold contamination.
The biggest recall they had that might be concerning is one that occurred in 2015. This actually only happened on the Wild Chew bones but there was concern of a salmonella contamination. Thankfully, it was just the one product and that is the only time the company had this type of recall issue.
Here is a quick overview of the company chosen recalls.
- 2007 – possible formula tampering and Melanine contamination to Blue canned dog food and treats
- 2017 – healthy weight chicken dinner formula withdrawn for potential aluminum contamination
- 2017 – Divine Delights and Trail trays withdrawn for a quality issue with the foil seal
- 2017 – Rocky Mountain Recipe withdrawn for possible beef thyroid levels being too high.
Notice that the majority of the company selected recalls all happened within the span of about 30 days. However, no recalls have occurred since that time so they must have got things handled appropriately.
While they had a few contamination and quality struggles over the years, they have been recall free for more than 5 years now. You should also note that over half of their total recalls were driven by the company itself rather than a forced recall. We feel like this positively reflects their efforts to be proactive about these things.
In closing, Blue Buffalo looks to be a quality dog food. While it might be more expensive than some brands out there, you see a clear dedication to quality. The quality extends across all of their lines and isn’t specific to just their most popular choices. From the life protection to the puppy line and everything in between, you see a focus towards quality and well-chosen ingredients.
If you’re looking for reliable quality that stands out in the market, Blue Buffalo delivers in this capacity. It’s not perfect but no dog food ever is. We appreciate the use of meat as their first ingredient with every single formula. We also appreciate that total nutrition is considered in every single formula selection as well.
You can find a variety of options to meet whatever the nutritional needs for your pet might be here. And they even have cat food if you have cats to consider too!
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first...
- FOR ADULT DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula adult dog food contains...
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins...
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first...
- SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for small breed dogs, BLUE Life...
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins...
- PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: Made to feed your feline's wild side, this high...
- GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free adult cat food is made with...
- WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive LifeSource...