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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 Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Adult Grain-Free

by Blue
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat is a mid-priced dry dog food with overall good quality. Positively, this product has no controversial ingredients. It includes no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. The food has a somewhat high amount of carbs, but 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.

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TYPE
Dry Dog Food
PRICE
$$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn Wheat or Soy
PACKAGE
10, 22 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
General Mills, Inc.

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Nutrition

Nutrition

This food has a fair amount of protein fat but is somewhat high in carbs, which is lowering the fat content slightly and making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low. They are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts, however, high amounts of carbs can reduce the much-needed meat-based protein and fat content.

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 33.33%

Min. Fat 16.67%

Min. Carbs 42.22%

Max. Fiber 6.67%

Max. Ash 7.78%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 30.0%

Min Fat: 15.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 6.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 10.0%

Calories

Calories

392 Calories per Cup

This product has a somewhat high amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Slightly higher calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.

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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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85.0%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
98%
66
Total Ingredients
0
Controversial Ingredients

Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Deboned Lamb, Deboned Venison, Dicalcium Phosphate, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Salt, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, 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, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), 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

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. Good to see that Blue Buffalo has not included any controversial ingredients in this product.


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.


  • Deboned Beef
    Beef is generally a healthy dog food ingredient that provides nutrients like protein, fat, iron, zinc and B vitamins. 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). De-boned simply means that the bones have been removed.
  • Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    Meat meals are the result of cooking. Water is removed from meats to create a protein-rich meal powder. Meat meals contain about four times the protein meats do, so generally, they're a good source of nutrients. Chicken meal is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Glucosamine is a combination of glutamine (an amino acid) and glucose (a sugar) that's present in chicken.
  • Peas
    Peas are a good source of carbs, fiber and protein. Peas are starchy but high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. We consider this a healthy dog food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that there is a potential link between peas and canine heart disease. It is still too early to draw conclusions so we cannot yet say if peas are a generally high-quality dog food ingredient or should be avoided.

  • Pea Protein
    Pea protein is an extract of the pea plant. Peas are a good source of carbs, fiber and protein. Peas are starchy but high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. We consider this a healthy dog food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that there is a potential link between peas and canine heart disease. It is still too early to draw conclusions so we cannot yet say if peas are a generally high-quality dog food ingredient or should be avoided.

  • Tapioca Starch
    Tapioca is a gluten-free starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant. Because it mostly consists of carbohydrates and is low in fiber, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, we do not consider this a high-quality dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

Blue Buffalo does not use any controversial ingredients in this recipe.


Country of Origin

This product is manufactured in the United States.


Meat & Fat Quality

This product includes Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, and Menhaden Fish Meal. Further down on the list of ingredients is Deboned Lamb and Deboned Venison. All of these meats have named sources, which is awesome. The meat ingredients are providing much of the fat content, but additional fat is coming from Chicken Fat and Flaxseed. Quality foods will often only include named meat and fat sources like this Blue Buffalo product.


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

No artificial colors are used in this product.


Artificial Flavors

No artificial flavors are used in this product either - excellent overall on the artificial ingredients.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
20%
7
Brand Recalls

Blue Buffalo has had far above the average number of recalls.

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 Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Adult Grain-Free

by Blue
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