Written by: Dr. Joanna Hardy | April 22, 2019 |

Blue Buffalo Basics Formula Review

We take an in-depth look at the Basics Formula recipes from Blue Buffalo. We chose and analyzed one product to serve as the representative for this line as a whole.

Overall Customer Rating:

Let's get started . . .

Blue Buffalo’s Basics Formula is specifically made with limited ingredients for dogs with food allergies.

They wanted to create a healthy and holistic food, with limited but natural ingredients, to minimize the chances of food-based allergies, but maintain the maximum nutritional value of the food [2].

Evaluating the main ingredients of their recipes will provide an indication on their claim to a high-quality food. Dog food which is formulated for allergies should have a high-quality protein, from an unusual source, in a high percentage, and minimal starch-based fillers.

Does the Basic LID formula cover that ground? Let’s find out!

Quick overview:

Comprises of 13 dry dog foods and 9 canned dog foods.

Offers 6 grain-free recipe options.

Focuses on a Limited Ingredient Diet, with carefully selected ingredients.

Starts with real meat from a single animal protein source.

No corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs; also no chicken or beef.

So: Do Blue Buffalo Basics Formulas really offer a well-balanced diet which may prove helpful to dogs with food sensitivities? Let’s find out!

Featured Product

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Turkey & Potato adult formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Formula

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe

The LifeSource Bits in the formula are an essential source of multivitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These maintain a healthy oxidative balance and an effective immune system. To maximize the potency and avoid losing any nutrients through heat, they are cold-formed in the manufacturing process.

Staying on the L.I.D. track this formula contains a precise blend of veggies and also oatmeal, potatoes, and brown rice, three sources of carbs which are easily-digestible.

The basics recipe has been formulated to promote a strong immune system, optimal skin and coat health, strong bones and teeth, excellently functioning joints, and well-built strong muscles.

Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato recipe is an above-average dog food, earning 4.5 out of 5 paws on its nutritional analysis and ingredient list.

Single animal protein source.

Easy to digest carbs.

No corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs.

Gentle on the gut with peas and pumpkin.

Omega 3 and 6 for improved health of skin and joints.

No chicken or chicken by-products.

Next we'll look at some of the notable ingredients that make this recipe worthy.

Where to purchase:

List of all available recipes:

The Blue Buffalo Basics Formula range comprises of 13 dry dog foods and 9 canned dog foods, with 6 of these options being grain free.

Each listed formula specifies which AAFCO nutrient profile it is produced for: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified [1].

  • Blue Buffalo Basics Healthy Weight Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [G] [Dry] [Puppy]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry] [Adult]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon & Potato [M] [Dry] [Adult]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry] [Senior]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry] [Small Breed]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry] [Large Breed]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Duck & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free] [Large Breed]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb & Potato [M] [Dry] [Grain Free] [Small Breed]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Duck & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Senior Turkey & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Lamb & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Large Breed Turkey & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Small Breed Turkey & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Small Breed Salmon & Potato [M] [Canned]
  • Blue Basics Small Breed Lamb & Potato [M] [Canned]

Ingredient Analysis

Quick Peek of What's Inside

  • Quality

    Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Flaxseed

  • Questionable

    Brown Rice, Alfalfa Meal, Oatmeal

  • Potential Allergens

    Deboned Turkey, Yeast, Fish Oil

DOG FOOD LABELING

In the United States, the guidelines for pet food ingredient labels are established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and individual state regulations.

The AAFCO requires that ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight (including water weight). This means that ingredients that appear at the top of the ingredient list — typically the main proteins, carbs, and fat sources — are present in higher amounts by weight in the food than items at the bottom.(2)

Although it is difficult to determine how much of an ingredient is actually in the food (due to high water content in meats and vegetables), you can assume that the first few ingredients are in the highest amounts. Therefore, the first few ingredients of a dog food can tell you a lot about the quality of the product.

FIRST FIVE INGREDIENTS

Since ingredients on dog food labels must be listed in descending order by weight, analyzing the first five ingredients has become a popular way of sifting the good from the bad at a glance. Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Adult Formula includes the following ingredients. 

Deboned Turkey & Turkey Meal

Deboned turkey and turkey meal are protein-rich meat sources which provide amino-acids, minerals and vitamins which are vital for muscle development, energy and organ health. Turkey meal is also a source of glucosamine which helps keep cartilage in good health and aids in improving the joints of old and arthritic dogs.

Brown Rice, Oatmeal & Peas

Brown rice and oatmeal are wholegrains which are full of fiber and B vitamins. These can be sources of dietary insensitivity, however for dogs who are not sensitive, they keep the colon to digest food successfully. They are, however, carbohydrates which bulk up the recipe when added in large quantities like this.

Peas are packed full of potassium, vitamin A and fiber to promote a good functioning gut. Potassium also helps the nerves to conduct signals to the brain more effectively and keeps the heart beating regularly.

Peas contain 25% protein, and so when judging how much protein is attributed to a meat protein source, this needs to be taken into account.

Other Ingredients

Potatoes also contribute largely to the carbohydrate content of this recipe. They keep the immune system healthy with plenty of vitamins B and C.

Canola oil is very high in omega 3 and omega 6 which aid in keeping the joints moving smoothly, and the coat and skin in optimal health.

They are natural anti-inflammatories and have proven effective in reducing joint and skin inflammation [3].

However, canola oil is sometimes derived from genetically modified crops, and Blue Buffalo does not state their source.

Fish oil, like canola oil, is an excellent source of omega 3 and 6, however it can provide small amounts of fish proteins, despite this recipe marketing itself as a single meat protein source recipe.

Pumpkin helps promote healthy digestion through being packed with fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Commonly found in horse feeds, alfalfa meal is in this recipe. It is high in fiber (18%) and protein (25%) and plays a similar role to the peas.

Ground flaxseed also has a high concentration of omega-3 and omega-6 which are vital for brain function, skin health and help keep the coat shiny.

Blueberries have been added, which are full of anti-oxidants that help maintain a perfect oxidative balance and can reduce the chances of cancers.

The inulin in chicory root is a natural prebiotic, and dried enterococcus, lactobacillus, aspergillus, trichoderma and bacillus are all probiotics which help maintain a healthy gut environment and fight off bad bacteria.

Yucca extract reduces intestinal wind build up, which reduces flatulence of our animal friends.

Kelp is packed full of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants for optimal health, including iodine, which is needed to keep the thyroid functioning to optimize metabolism.

Dried yeast contains almost 45% protein, and some people believe, without scientific proof, that it reduces bloat, improves the immune system and repels flies.

Unfortunately, some dogs are allergic to yeast.

Excellent digestive health minerals and vitamins have been added to aid easy digestion and a balanced diet.

Listed ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Flaxseed, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Lysine, 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.

Nutrition Analysis

ⓘ All the product information on this page is based on data collected from the manufacturer's product website on April 2nd 2019. If something changed, please let us know.

Fatty Acids

0.5% (min) Omega-3 & 2.25% (min) Omega-6

Major sources of energy. The Dog Food Project’s Sabine Contreras states: “Independent researcher Dr. Doug Bibus (formerly University of Minnesota) completed a fatty acid study with dogs and recommends a ratio between 2:1 and 4:1. Personally, I believe that a quality food should contain a ratio of at least 7:1, the lower the better, especially if skin and/or coat problems are present. When my dog suffered from severe flea allergy dermatitis I switched to a food with a ratio of 2.5:1 and had great results within just a few weeks.”

Metabolizable Energy

3,495 (ME in Kcal/kg)

ME is defined as the amount of energy available from pet food once the energy from feces, urine, and combustible gases has been subtracted. Essentially, ME is the energy left for your pet's body to use once all digestion is complete.

Note: That some nutritional percentages reported are only estimated values, and are indicated as such as (est). Each dog food manufacturer is required by law to publish a Guaranteed Analysis, which defines each product’s maximum values of fiber, moisture and ash in addition to the minimum values of protein and fat contained within. Exact nutritional percentages are not available and hence all calculated values (including carbohydrate percentages and calorie amounts) are determined using these minimum and maximum published values and therefore may differ from actual values.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

ⓘ Nutritional information as published by the dog food manufacturer.

 

PROTEIN

0%

(minimum)
FAT

0%

(minimum)
FIBER

0%

(maximum)
CARBS

0%

N/A
ASH

0%

N/A
MOISTURE

0%

(maximum)

DRY MATTER ANALYSIS

ⓘ The manufacturer's published guaranteed analysis values normalized for moisture content.

PROTEIN

0%

(minimum)
FAT

0%

(minimum)
FIBER

0%

(maximum)
CARBS

0%

N/A
ASH

0%

N/A
CALORIES

0/100g

(apprx.)

CALORIE BREAKDOWN

Using the calculations provided by the AAFCO, Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Dry Adult has approximately 349.5 calories per 100g (99.1 calories/ounce) or 364 kcals/cup. The percentages of proteins, carbohydrates and fats are not disclosed by Blue Buffalo.

VITAMINS, MINERALS & OTHERS

This Blue Basics Turkey & Potato Recipe has a large variety of added vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are vital for animals to maintain healthy immune systems and internal equilibrium. The following displays whether the nutrients are present (Y) or not (N) in the recipe.

Vitamins & Others

Biotin

Choline

Folic Acid

Niacin

Pantothenic Acid

Pyridoxine

Riboflavin

Taurine

Thiamine

Vitamin A

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Micro-Minerals

Calcium

Chloride

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Sodium

Macro-Minerals

Chromium

Cobalt

Fluorine

Copper

Iodine

Iron

Manganese

Molybdenum

Selenium

Silicon

Zinc

Sulfur

Customer Sentiment

What do the customers say about Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Dry Adult Formula?

This particular formula is generally very popular amongst the reviews with review websites receiving between 78%-92% 5-star reviews.

Most reviews which have rated it highly mention how when changing to this diet, their dogs’ stomach issues have completely disappeared.

Many people praise the tasty and wholesome ingredients in it, stating their dogs enjoy their food immensely.

A couple of worrying low reviews have cited that this product contains traces of lead, at a level that is toxic to dogs. This lawsuit was however dismissed by the courts on March 22, 2018.

How do you rate this product line?

Overall Quality
1
Nutritional Content
1
Recipe Selection
1
Availability
1
Price
1
Average
  yasr-loader

Final Verdict on Blue Buffalo Basics Formula

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe

After taking a closer look at the Basics Limited Ingredient Formula line from Blue Buffalo and the Turkey & Potato for adult dogs recipe specifically, we do recommend this product line for owners looking to switch to or begin a food sensitive diet for their furry friends.

Meal frequency: 1 meal per day for small breeds, 2 meals per day for medium and larger breeds.

How to transition your dog to this formula: Mix 25% of Blue Basics with the old dog food; then gradually increase the amount of Blue Basics over the course of 2 weeks.

Preparation options: Serve straight from the bag as pure dry -or- add some warm water and fully release the aroma and flavors.

As per the company's mission statement with this formula, and as attested to by thousands of happy costumers, the Blue Basics recipes limit food sensitivities while maximizing nutritional value.

Where to purchase:

Citations

  1. Dzanis, D.A., 1994. The Association of American Feed Control Officials dog and cat food nutrient profiles: Substantiation of nutritional adequacy of complete and balanced pet foods in the United States. The Journal of nutrition, 124(suppl_12), pp.2535S-2539S.
  2. Blue Buffalo Basics Formula - https://bluebuffalo.com/for-dogs/product-lines/basics-dog-food/
  3. Roush, J.K., Dodd, C.E., Fritsch, D.A., Allen, T.A., Jewell, D.E., Schoenherr, W.D., Richardson, D.C., Leventhal, P.S. and Hahn, K.A., 2010. Multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 236(1), pp.59-66.

Stock Photo from Veronika / Shutterstock

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About the Author

Dr. Joanna Hardy

Dr. Joanna Hardy

Dr. Joanna de Klerk, BVetMed (hons) MScTAH MRCVS or simply, Jo. Graduated from the prestigious Royal Veterinary College in London and works as a veterinarian for dogs, cats and horses. She has a particular interest in nutrition, pain management, neurological disorders and welfare. She has written two books 'Tales from a Young Vet' and 'Tales from a Wild Vet', and enjoys volunteering as a vet for various charities, from which tales are recounted in the books. She has two dogs, a nutty Springer Spaniel, and a shy little Yorkshire Terrier, and in her spare time enjoys walking, horseback riding and music.

Read More Posts By: Dr. Joanna Hardy

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