Best Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Updated October 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
5 Models Tested
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
175 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

The FDA recently announced 16 brands that have been linked to canine heart disease. We are working to remove these from our review pages as quickly as possible.

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Buying guide for best Blue Buffalo dog food

Last Updated October 2020

For many of us, our furry, four-legged friends are indispensable parts of our lives. As loving and beloved members of the family, it’s important our dogs get the best chance to live long, healthy, and happy lives. That’s why choosing the right dog food is so important.

Since the company’s founding in 2003, Blue Buffalo has been a trusted name in pet nutrition, offering a wide range of products designed to cater to the specific dietary needs of dogs and cats. They make premium dog food with real meat and natural ingredients while incorporating crucial vitamins and minerals. Blue Buffalo makes dry and wet dog food for all sizes and ages of pups. 

Finding the right dog food can take time, energy, and patience. What’s more, many dogs will need to change food over the course of their lives as their needs change. Our buying guide details the many options that Blue Buffalo offers. You’ll find our picks for the brand’s best dog food in the matrix above.

Even changing from one Blue Buffalo dog food to another should be done over time. Slowly transition the food across two to three weeks.

Key considerations

Formula

Blue Buffalo offers various lines of dog food. Within these product lines are specific formulas based on size and age. Puppy, adult, and senior are the age options, while the size options are toy, small, and large. Blue Buffalo never uses artificial flavors, preservatives, corn, soy, wheat, or poultry by-product meal in any of their dog food.

  • Life Protection: This line features meat-first recipes combined with brown rice for a particular emphasis on health and wellbeing. Some ingredients focus on healthy teeth, muscle development, and enhancing the immune system. This formula comes in wet and dry versions, with options for dogs of all ages and sizes. These are not grain-free recipes.

  • Wilderness: This line features a high-protein, meat-rich, grain-free diet for dogs of all ages and sizes. Blue Buffalo uses high-quality protein, including chicken, salmon, and duck. This formula comes in wet and dry varieties that are geared toward all ages and sizes.

  • Basics: Blue Buffalo’s Basics line features limited ingredients for those dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. These are simple protein and potato recipes, featuring duck, lamb, turkey, or salmon. This formula does not include chicken, which is a common insensitivity. It also does not include other common allergens, such as beef, dairy, or eggs.

  • Freedom: This popular line of dog food from Blue Buffalo is grain-free. It features lamb and chicken recipes for dogs of all ages. This line is available as dry or wet food, but while the dry options are available to dogs of all sizes, the wet food is only recommended for toy breeds and smaller dogs. Wet options also include turkey.

  • True Solutions: This line from Blue Buffalo caters to specific ailments or health issues your dog may have. There are a few options available that focus on adult and senior dogs. There are also formulas focused on skincare, mobility, weight loss, and digestive care. True Solutions is available in both dry and wet varieties.

Size

An important consideration when buying dog food is the amount. With dry food, the price per pound will be less if you buy the largest bag possible. But if you are transitioning your dog to a new Blue Buffalo dog food, you may not want to opt for the largest possible bag as your dog may not enjoy it. (However, Blue Buffalo does offer returns on food that your dog doesn’t like.)

Most Blue Buffalo dry dog food comes in small, medium, and large sizes. Small bags are usually around five pounds, while medium bags are between 10 and 15 pounds. Large bags weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. The specific size depends on the line.

Most Blue Buffalo wet food is available in 12.5-ounce cans. There are some smaller single-serve options available as well. Unopened canned food has an exceptionally long shelf life, so buying in bulk may be a wise choice if your dog enjoys the food.

Treats

Buffalo Blue offers a wide range of dog treats, featuring popular flavors like pumpkin, apple, banana, and bacon. Treats may be crunchy, chewy, or soft. Some treats focus on dental health or aid in training. It’s important to buy appropriately sized treats. Larger treats can be dangerous for smaller dogs. Treats are not meant to be the center of a nutritious meal and do not replace dry or wet food recipes.

EXPERT TIP

You may opt to add a bit of warm water to your dog’s dry food. This can help soften the food on delicate teeth but also can enhance the aroma and taste, making the food more appealing.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Feasts and dinners

While most Blue Buffalo dog foods have one primary ingredient, some options are “feasts” or “dinners,” which include multiple main ingredients. For example, one popular dinner from the brand boasts salmon, venison, and halibut. These more elaborate meals offer more flavor and tastes for your dog while still providing a wide range of nutrients. Similarly, some canned wet foods are advertised as “stews” and combine healthy meats and vegetables for a tasty meal.

LifeSource Bits

Some dry food recipes include Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are cold-formed in order to preserve the health benefits over a long period of time. LifeSource Bits are included in most of the brand’s dry foods but not in their wet options. As they have a particular texture and smell, some dogs may take longer to embrace LifeSource Bits. If this is the case, you can try to mix the food with some wet ingredients or add some water to disguise the texture.

EXPERT TIP

Mealtime for your dog is also a good chance to refresh the water bowl. Make sure your dog has a full bowl of clean, cold water available at all times.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Dog bowls: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl
Your dog will need his or her own bowl to enjoy each meal of the day. This option from Outward Hound is inexpensive, colorful, and helps slow down a hungry dog.

Dog treats: Pawstruck Dog Jerky Treats
While Blue Buffalo does offer dog treats, you may still want to look elsewhere for more variety and new tastes. Dogs love this tasty natural jerky from Pawstruck.

Dog travel bowls: Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Dog Water Bottle and Bowl
Make sure you can easily and efficiently feed your dog when taking a trip or going for a hike. This option from Highwave is compact and simple to use.

Elevated dog bowls: Pawfect Pets Elevated Dog Diner
Larger dogs and senior dogs may have difficulty bending over to eat. Opt for an elevated dog bowl, like this attractive selection from Pawfect Pets, to make eating and drinking more comfortable.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dog food that says “no-chicken meal” is not the same as the formula having no chicken. While this is clearly identified on Blue Buffalo bags, it can still be a common mistake.

Blue Buffalo dog food prices

For under $20, you’ll find Blue Buffalo wet food and select 10- to 15-pound bags of dry food. Smaller bags of grain-free formulas are also available in this price range.

Most Blue Buffalo dry dog food costs $20 to $50. However, grain-free options cost more. Large bags of grain-free Blue Buffalo dry dog food cost over $50.

Tips

  • Consult your vet. It’s always worthwhile to consult your vet before selecting a new dog food, especially if your dog has any unique circumstances or quirks when it comes to health and diet. Your vet can guide you on the best ingredients for your pet.

  • Monitor results. Some dogs may take time to adapt to a new food, while others may not like it at all. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and “business” for a few weeks after changing food.

  • Transition slowly. When changing to Blue Buffalo dog food, don’t just swap out meals completely. Over the course of two weeks, slowly incorporate Blue Buffalo into the previous dog food to help ease your dog’s digestive tract.

  • Research at home. The Blue Buffalo website offers detailed ingredient lists for all of their formulas to help you make the right choice.

Blue Buffalo offers a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like the food. You can return the unused portion for a full refund. Just be sure to save the receipt.

FAQ

Q. How much food should I give my dog?
A. This question is best answered by your veterinarian. Every dog – based on age, weight, breed, activity level, medical history, and lifestyle – will require a slightly different amount (and type) of food. Whether your dog is growing or trying to lose weight may be among the factors. What’s more, the amount your dog should eat each day will likely change over the years. 

That said, young puppies usually require three meals a day, while adult dogs usually only need two servings.
 

Q. How do I know if my dog is allergic to an ingredient?
A. There are several signs that your dog is reacting poorly to a new dog food. Excessive licking, shedding, scratching, and itching are common indicators, along with vomiting and diarrhea. Changing your dog’s food or diet may help, although it’s important to consult your vet if unhealthy behavior or problematic symptoms continue.
 

Q. How long does dog food last?
A. Generally, wet dog food will only last a few days once opened. Be sure to seal it and store it in the fridge after opening. However, some wet foods come in single-serve options. And a few of Blue Buffalo’s stew options require the whole can of food to be used across a day. Dry dog food can last for months, provided it is properly sealed and stored in a dry, cool environment.

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine Morris
    Katherine Morris
    Editor
  • Melissa Nott
    Melissa Nott
    Senior Editor
  • Michelle Ullman
    Michelle Ullman
    Writer
  • Steph Coelho
    Steph Coelho
    Web Producer

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