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Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner is a mid-priced wet dog food with overall average quality. This product has one controversial ingredient but (very positively) includes no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. The food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs and also excellent meat and fat quality. However, Blue Buffalo has an above-average number of dog food recalls. The company was also 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 34.09%
Min. Fat 20.45%
Min. Carbs 36.36%
Max. Fiber 9.09%
Max. Ash 9.09%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 7.5%
Min Fat: 4.5%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 2.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 78.0%
396 Calories per Can
This product has an above 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, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt, Flaxseed, Cranberries, Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, 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 Carrageenan which is a controversial ingredient. You can read more about it 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 manufactures their dog food in the United States.
Meat & Fat Quality
This product uses the clearly named meats - Chicken and Chicken Liver. This is excellent because it shows us exactly which animal sources these ingredients come from. Beyond these two main meat ingredients there is also Chicken Broth and Flaxseed which are named sources for fat. Just like with the meat sources its a sign of quality to see specifically named sources like in this Blue Buffalo product.
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.
No artificial colors are used in this product.
No artificial flavors are used in this product either. Not using artificial preservatives, color or flavors is a reliable indicator of quality.
This brand has had far above the average number of recalls. We’ve summarized recent dog food recalls 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.