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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Grain-Free Recipes Sunday Chicken Dinner

by Blue
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

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.

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TYPE
Wet Dog Food
PRICE
$$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
No Corn Wheat or Soy, Grain-Free
PACKAGE
12.5 oz
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
General Mills, Inc.

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Nutrition

Nutrition

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

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 44.44%

Min. Fat 22.22%

Min. Carbs 22.22%

Max. Fiber 5.56%

Max. Ash 11.11%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 8.0%

Min Fat: 5.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 82.0%

Calories

Calories

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.

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FDA Alert

FDA Alert

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.

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77.5%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
88%
35
Total Ingredients
1
Controversial Ingredients

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.


  • Chicken
    Chicken is a nutritious meat which provides protein, fat and other nutrients to dogs. Raw meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product's weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein). However, chicken is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Dried Egg
    Dried eggs are a powder made by drying shell-free eggs. Eggs are a high-quality protein source that offers excellent amino acid availability to dogs. They also provide healthy nutrients like vitamin A, calcium and iron. We consider this a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Liver
    Chicken liver is an organ that contains healthy nutrients like calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. Specifically, it's rich in iron, copper, vitamin A and B. We consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Water
    Water doesn't add nutrients to the food but is routinely used in dog food manufacturing (especially for canned foods). It's a standard dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Broth
    Chicken broth is often used as a healthy natural flavor or instead of water when making dog food. It makes dogs more likely to eat the food and adds moisture but doesn't provide a lot of nutritional value. Chicken Broth is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Caramel Color
  2. A more concentrated form of caramel used in pet food to change the color of the food. It contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), which has been shown to potentially produce cancer in animals.


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.  


Artificial Preservatives

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.


Artificial Colors

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.  


Artificial Flavors

No artificial flavors are used in this product either, that’s what we like to see.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
20%
7
Brand Recalls

This brand has had a far above the average number of recalls. More details below.

Date:
3/17/2017
Recalled Products:
BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs 12.5 oz can UPC# 840243101153
Cause:
Product may contain elevated levels of thyroid hormones.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
8887 cases (12 per case) total 106,644 cans
Source
Date:
2/28/2017
Recalled Products:
Divine Delights Filet Mignon Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312035, Divine Delights New York Strip Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312037, Divine Delights Prime Rib Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312039, Divine Delights Rotisserie Chicken Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312041, Divine Delights Pate Filet Mignon Flavor, UPC #84024312043, Divine Delights Pate Porterhouse Flavor, UPC #84024312045, Divine Delights Pate Grilled Chicken Flavor, UPC #84024312047, Divine Delights Pate Top Sirloin Flavor, UPC #84024312049, Divine Delights Pate Angus Beef Flavor, UPC #84024312051, Divine Delights Pate Roasted Turkey Flavor, UPC #84024312053, Divine Delights Pate With Bacon, Egg & Cheese, UPC #84024312057, Divine Delights Pate Sausage, Egg & Cheese Flavor, UPC #84024312059, Divine Delights Pate Steak & Egg Flavor, UPC #84024312061, Wilderness Trail Trays Duck Grill, UPC #84024312071, Wilderness Trail Trays Beef Grill, UPC #84024312073, Wilderness Trail Trays Chicken Grill, UPC #84024312075, Wilderness Trail Trays Turkey Grill, UPC #84024312077
Cause:
Packaging quality.
Class:
III
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
2/1/2017
Recalled Products:
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetable , Net Wt. 12.5 oz. Distributed by Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd 11 River Rd. Wilson, CT 06897 UPC 8-40243-10017-0. Blue Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables; 12.5 oz. Can, UPC Code: 840243100170
Cause:
This recall has been initiated due to receiving a notification of a consumer complaint regarding foreign material in Doctors Fosters and Smith Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food.
Class:
II
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
2,535 cases
Source
Date:
5/26/2016
Recalled Products:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe for Dogs, 30 lb bag. UPC Code: 859610000326
Cause:
Product is contaminated with mold
Class:
II
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
11/25/2015
Recalled Products:
Blue Wilderness Wild Chews - Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones, UPC: 840243110087
Cause:
Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
1440 bones were shipped to two PetSmart distribution centers, 240 bones were shipped to PetSmart stores. 11 bones were sold to customers
Source
Date:
10/8/2010
Recalled Products:
Certain packages of Blue Wilderness Chicken Flavor dry dog food, Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Salmon and Potato Recipe dry dog food, and Blue Life Protection Formula Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Large Breed Adult dog food.
Cause:
Potentially too much Vitamin D.
Class:
II
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
4/27/2007
Recalled Products:
All cans of Blue Buffalo BLUE dog food, all cans of Blue Buffalo BLUE Spa Select cat food, all Blue Buffalo BLUE dog treats, and Blue Buffalo Spa Select Kitten dry food.
Cause:
Melamine.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
85%

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?

United States

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.

Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Grain-Free Recipes Sunday Chicken Dinner

by Blue
CHECK PRICE NOW
Other Products From This Brand

Other Food From This Brand

Educational Resources

Educational Resources

Sources

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