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Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Grain-Free Recipes Sunday Chicken Dinner is a mid-priced wet dog food with overall average quality. This product has one controversial ingredient, an artificial color. Favorably, the food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs and excellent meat and fat quality. However, Blue Buffalo has an above-average number of dog food recalls and the company was not completely open when answering our quality and transparency questions.Read the Full Review Below
This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 44.44%
Min. Fat 22.22%
Min. Carbs 22.22%
Max. Fiber 5.56%
Max. Ash 11.11%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 8.0%
Min Fat: 5.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 1.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 82.0%
318 Calories per Can
This product has a below average amount of calories for wet food. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg, Carrots, Potatoes, Green Beans, Potato Starch, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, 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).
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product does have an artificial color called Caramel Color, which is controversial. More on that below.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Blue Buffalo products are made in the United States.
Meat & Fat Quality
This product uses three clearly named sources of protein - Chicken, Chicken Liver, and Dried Egg. This is a good thing because it tells us exactly which animal and which part of the animal the ingredient comes from. Beyond the meat, there are also Chicken Fat and Chicken Broth which are named sources of fat, moisture, and other nutrients. It’s a good sign of quality to see all the Meat and Fat sources coming from named species and sources.
This product does not have any controversial preservatives. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.
This recipe includes Caramel Coloring. In addition to the potential health risks and the zero nutritional value, it's simply not something that your dog cares about.
No artificial flavors are used in this product either, that’s what we like to see.
This brand has had a far above the average number of recalls. More details below.
We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?
Blue Buffalo who is owned by General Mills did not respond to the first contact form submission or the second contact form submission that was sent a week later. A call was placed in the third week that did receive answers to the following questions below. Since the call was not recorded, the following responses are paraphrased and not exact statements from the company.
Does Blue Buffalo have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
We do, but the name cannot be shared.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
A full team of vets, various Phd that work with a research and development team.
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
Do not do the feeding trials, but do palatability and stool testing.
What country are your products manufactured?
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
Visits to our manufacturing facilities are not open to the public
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
A complete answer was provided including measures that included meeting FDA guidelines, QA teams at the facilities, ingredient and final product testing.
Does Blue Buffalo own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
We own the facility in MO, and a second one in IN. Beyond that we use the following co-packers: Hampshire Pet, ANI, ProPets, Simmons, and Daysix.
Do any parts of your product come from China?
No primary sources of protein, fruits, veggies but while we don’t source from China, we can’t guarantee that vitamins and minerals don’t come from there.
Often companies as large as Blue are depending on suppliers that may source raw materials from China.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.