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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach

Written by

Mary Nielsen

Reviewed by

Updated on:

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Blue Buffalo

Meet Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Blue Buffalo is a premium dog food brand that prides themselves on using only all-natural ingredients and real meats in everything they serve.

The company positions themselves as a food producer that creates dog food that closely mimics what your dog would eat if they were out in the wild.


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The company has five different lines of food that spans across your dog's entire life from puppy to senior, and they serve dry, wet food, and treats.

Something we found to be unique and interesting is when you first go to their website you complete a form answering questions like:

  • What size is your dog?
  • How old are they?
  • Are grains okay in their food?
  • Does your dog need to lose weight?

Depending on how you answer these questions, they recommend a formula unique to your pups needs. We love this and found it to be incredibly thoughtful for pet owners who are unsure of what type of food their dog should eat.

For an in-depth look about the brand, read our Blue Buffalo dog food reviews below.

Brand Quick Look

  • Parent Company: Blue Pet Products, Inc. – a subsidiary of General Mills, Inc.Blue Buffalo Dog Food
  • Founded in: 2002
  • Made in: Wilton, Connecticut
  • Made by: A variety of manufacturers, CJ Foods, Ainsworth, ProPet, Triple T, and more.
  • Available at: Chewy, Amazon, Petsmart, Target
  • Types of Food: Dry, wet, treats
  • Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
  • Recalled in Past? : Yes

Behind the Brand

With Blue Buffalo their story started with their own dog Blue; the Bishop Family pet struggled with cancer and prompted the family to dig deep and understand more about the ingredients they put into their pet’s food.

Upon realizing how bad many of the ingredients were the family was on a mission to create premium pet food with only the best starting with chicken, lamb, or fish as the first ingredient.

Going forward the Bishop Family set out working with holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists from all over the country, and they developed their main food brand, BLUE Life Protection Formula.

Fast forward to today, Blue Buffalo is the leading pet food company in terms of sales in the United States.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 1
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and chelated minerals
  • Whole garden veggies, grains and fruits
  • Deboned chicken is top ingredient
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 2
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
  • Grain-free formula
  • Contains healthy fats for better skin health
  • Formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 3
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed
  • With glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Zero wheat, soy, corn or poultry by-products
  • Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for better bones and teeth
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 4
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
  • Premium protein and L-Carnitine
  • Reduced calories from fats to maintain healthy weight
  • Rich in Omegas for healthy skin and coat
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 5
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
  • Packed with the delicious real salmon
  • Crafted with proprietary LifeSource Bits
  • Made from real, natural ingredients
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
  3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
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What Types of Dog Food Does Blue Buffalo Offer?

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Blue Buffalo offers five different product lines with each having their unique food geared towards your dog's stage of life and health.

In addition to their dry food lines, they also have an array of pates and healthy dog treats that help with dental health.

Every single product in the Blue Buffalo line contains real meat as the first ingredient, and they also have grain-free options as well. None of their food contains artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and they don’t use byproducts in any of their foods.

Much of their food also contains something they call “LifeSource Bits” which is a special BLUE kibble that helps promote immune system health and fulfill unique life stage requirements depending on where your pup is currently.

We’ve found that through research, BLUE has put more thought into what type of food they give each dog than any other company in the market. They have the exact food that your dog needs at a certain age, size, and point in their life.

Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 6

Blue’s Life Protection Formula is dry foods that contain the best ingredients with vitamins and minerals. All the food always features real meat as the first ingredient with added vegetables and fruits.

This food contains Blue’s Life Source Bits which help support their immune system and overall health. Every food in this line contains no by-products, corn, wheat, or soy, and absolutely nothing artificial.

Within the line, the Life Protection Formula offers unique food brands for your dog at each stage of their life.

BLUE Life Protection Dog Food and Snack Options:

  • Life Protection Formula DryBlue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 7
  • BLUE Homestyle Recipes
  • Divine Delights
  • Blue’s Stews
  • BLUE Beef Dinners
  • BLUE Country Chicken Dinners
  • Family Favorite Recipes
  • Grain-Free Options
  • Mini Bars
  • Bacon Sizzlers
  • Be Mine Yogurt Bars
  • Health Bars
  • BLUE Bits
  • BLUE Stix

BLUE Freedom

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 8

Blue Freedom got created with grain sensitive pups in mind. The company understands that not every dog can have grains, so they wanted to make sure they provided food for every single dog in the world.

When they took out the grains, they left room for protein-rich meats, vegetables, and fresh fruits. This food line contains no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors.

The Blue Freedom line supports joint health, muscle development, bones, and teeth, as well as a healthy heart. All the ingredients in Blue Freedom are reliably sourced and included with your pup's health in mind.

blue buffalo dog food reviews

BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Foods:

  • Freedom Puppy
  • Freedom Adult
  • Freedom Senior
  • Large Breed Options
  • Toy Options
  • Small Breed Options
  • Freedom Grillers

BLUE Basics

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 9

This fantastic line from Blue focuses on those pups that may have sensitivities to a lot of regular food ingredients. For these dogs, less is more so Blue developed a food line that limits the number of components included, so the chances of your canine having a bad reaction get minimized.

BLUE basics contain no corn, wheat, dairy, soy, and comes in a variety of different grain-free formulas as well.

If your pups suffer from any food allergies or sensitivities; give any one of these delicious and healthy foods a try.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 10

BLUE Basics Limited-Ingredient Food and Snacks:

  • Basics Standard Line
  • Healthy Weight for Adults
  • Grain-Free Options
  • Large Breed
  • Small Breed
  • Grain-Free Wet Foods
  • Basics Biscuit Treats

BLUE Wilderness

blue buffalo

Wolves inspire this product line with their desire for protein-rich foods that contain all real meats and no grains. Blue considers a diet like this to be necessary for real omnivores and dogs that live and endurance lifestyle.

If your dog is highly active, they recommend feeding them more meats and vegetables and less gluten to help them maintain their active lifestyle.

Blue offers a section on its website where you can take a test to see if your dog needs more protein in their diet. They compare their foods up against some popular brands like Purina and Pedigree.

When compared side by side, the other manufacturers are no match because all their foods contain corn, by-products, and wheat in the first five ingredients.

Blue Wilderness Food and Snack Options:

  • Blue Wilderness Puppy Food
  • Rocky Mountain RecipeBlue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 11
  • Wilderness Bayou Blend
  • Denali Dinner
  • Snake River Grill
  • Flatland Feast
  • Wolf Creek Stew
  • Wilderness Trail Trays
  • Senior Options
  • Wilderness Wild Cuts Treats
  • Snake River Stix
  • Wilderness Chicken Jerky
  • Wilderness Wild Bones

Natural Veterinary Diet – RX

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews: The Healthy, Holistic Approach 12

This product line from BLUE focuses on your pet’s unique needs and dietary habits. They created this brand because they understand that not every dog can handle the same types of ingredients and each family member may have special needs.

Blues Natural Vet Diet has added vitamins and minerals and focuses on certain dietary issues like gastrointestinal support, food intolerance, weight management, urinary tract health, kidney support, and mobility.

During the development of this food line, BLUE works alongside veterinarians and animal nutritionists to create food that acts as a prescription for pups with these types of issues. You can also get this food mailed directly to your home regularly like you would a prescription.

For Gastrointestinal Support:

  • GI Support Dry Food
  • GI Support Wet Food

For Food Intolerance:

  • Hydrolyzed Salmon Dry
  • Hydrolyzed Salmon Wet
blue buffalo dog food reviews

For Weight Management:

  • Healthy Weight High Fiber Chicken Dry
  • Healthy Weight High Fiber Chicken Wet

For Kidney Support:

  • Controlled Protein and Minerals Chicken and Potatoes Dry
  • Controlled Protein and Minerals Chicken and Potatoes Wet

Blue Buffalo Recall History List:

Since Blue Buffalos founding in 2002, there have been many recalls. Here they are in reverse chronological order.

  • 2017 – Blue Buffalo recalls specific Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe wet dog food due to excessive levels of beef thyroid hormone. The same year they recalled their Homestyle Recipe because of possible aluminum contamination.
  • 2016 – Concerns of excess moisture and possible mold forces Blue Buffalo to recall their fish and sweet potato flavored dog food brands.
  • 2015 – Blue Buffalo recalls some of their chew bones because they were at risk for salmonella contamination. In the same year, they also recalled a brand of cat treats for containing propylene glycol which is a violation of FDA guidelines.
  • 2010 – The company recalls Blue Wilderness Chicken flavored dry foods, Blue Basics Salmon and Potato, and Blue Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice for containing too much Vitamin D.
  • 2007 – Blue Buffalo pulls their manufacturing from American Nutrition Inc. due to possible melamine presence in rice protein concentrate. Since then they have not continued working with this manufacturer.
blue buffalo

Blue Buffalo Customer Reputation

The best way to decide whether or not food will work for your pup is to buy and try it, but you can get a feel for a company by checking out their reviews and reputation online.

Overall, Blue Buffalo has an excellent reputation with one of their most popular products; the Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice having 1671 reviews and 97% of reviewers recommending the product to other owners.

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For Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato, their reputation is the same; they have over 500 reviews with 97% of pet owners recommending the product.

With this type of sales volume and the great majority of customers saying the food is excellent, you should have no concerns with trying Blue Buffalo out for yourself.

Positive reviewers say that this food helps with their dogs coat, helps them stop itching, it’s great for sensitive stomachs, and they have a wide variety of options to meet your pups needs.

Many of the critical reviews say the same thing; that their dog will not eat the LifeSource bits which appear to be a significant issue with this food. If your dog is picky, they may have a hard time getting the most out of Blue Buffalo.

Customers also fear that the formula has changed over time and does not contain the same great ingredients that it used to. There is no real proof of this, but recent reviews show a lot of concern about changes to the ingredients.

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Positive Reviews

Blue Buffalo is great.

  • Our female dog, Scout, is almost 2 1/2 yrs old. I started her out on Blue Buffalo, then switched to another highly recommended brand….but several months ago I switched her back to Blue Buffalo Basics. Seems like she prefers Blue Buffalo & I'm noticing her coat is getting softer & shinier. She absolutely loves the turkey flavor. I give her just a little Blue Buffalo canned food as well, rotating lots of flavors. I think her system prefers the Blue Buffalo. – Chewy Customer

My Husky Loves this food!

  • My Husky was fasting (because huskies do that at times). When I brought home Blue Buffalo Denali Dinner with Wild Salmon, she decided not to miss another meal. I have been feeding Blue Buffalo to all my dogs for over ten years. I wouldn't feed them anything else. I have German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies. – Chewy Customer
blue buffalo

Negative Reviews


  • My dog never had GI problems until I started feeding her this food. This dog food made her vomit and gave her diarrhea frequently in the months she was eating it. I only wish I had figured it out sooner. She is very old, and it put her through hell. I tossed almost a full bag. It's been months since I quit feeding her Blue Buffalo and she has not had any problems with her new food. – Amazon Customer

Dog refuses to eat life source bits and drops them everywhere!

  • Our dog at first ate this dog food, but then later refused to eat ANY of the life source bits (where the nutrients are) and dropped the brown pellets everywhere. We spent every day picking them up/stepping on them-not fun at all. Blue Buffalo needs to blend nutrients into one morsel. Dogs are smart! Switched to Merrick and our dog eats all of it and doing very well. – Chewy Customer


  • Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Ingredients: 4 out of 5
  • Flavor and Desirability: 4 out of 5
  • Product Offerings: 5 out of 5
  • Company Reputation: 4 out of 5

Blue Buffalo does a great job of telling their story and showing their passion for providing consumers with healthy food options in a world full of by-products and false promises.

They may not have everything right, but as far as we’re concerned, they’re leading the way for other pet food manufacturers to follow hopefully.

Many people have switched to this food and never looked back, so if you’re struggling to find a brand that’s both healthy and delicious, give Blue Buffalo a try.

blue buffalo

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