Here are the Best Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: January 27, 2023
© Chendongshan/Shutterstock.com

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Key points

  • The #1 Best Overall Blue Buffalo dog food is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe.
  • There are many different types of dog food and Blue Buffalo has many recipes, including for allergies, weight loss, seniors, and sensitive stomachs.
  • It’s important to carefully consider the needs of your dog when selecting dog food. These include the life stage and breed size, as well as whether they need a grain-free diet or food for weight loss or weight gain etc. You also need to consider whether you want to purchase wet or dry food.

Blue Buffalo is one of the leading providers of dog food. They are well known for providing quality food in a variety of different recipes to suit the needs of dogs — whether they need a grain-free diet or something suitable for a sensitive stomach. Blue Buffalo also provides dog food for different life stages, whether that be a puppy, an adult, or a senior.

Finding the healthiest dog food for your dog is probably on your highest to-do list, but even once you’ve decided to purchase Blue Buffalo food searching through all their available recipes can be daunting. But don’t worry, as that’s where we come in. We’ve reviewed a selection of the very best Blue Buffalo dog food to make your search easier. We’ve also provided a detailed buyer’s guide to help you make that perfect choice for your pooch.

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice
  2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice
    • No animal by-products
    • Contain natural ingredients
    • No artificial flavors or preservatives
    • Contains LifeSource Bits
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. BLUE BUFFALO Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult
  4. BLUE BUFFALO Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult
    • Small kibble designed for smaller dogs
    • Chelated minerals and antioxidants added
    • Added glucosamine and omega fatty acids
    • No wheat, corn, or soy
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • A high-protein recipe crafted with real deboned chicken first to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
    • Features glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA to support your dog’s joint function and overall mobility.
    • Contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
    • LifeSource Bits provide a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements and healthy oxidative balance.
    • Made with natural ingredients and 100% free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
    • Contains real salmon and chicken as the main ingredients.
    • Is free from chicken by-product, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy.
    • Is formulated with vitamins and minerals to promote all-round good health.
    Check Chewy
  9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  10. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

    •Formulated for senior dogs

    •Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health

    •Antioxidants for immune support

    •Natural, wholesome ingredients

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food
  12. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Formulated for dogs that are less active and/or simply have trouble maintaining a healthy weight
    • The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal
    • Whole grains, including brown rice and barley, provide extra fiber so your dog will feel full longer
    • Added calcium and phosphorus improve your dog's overall health, especially as they age
    • All minerals are chelated for easier absorption
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  13. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Alligator Grain-Free Dog Food
  14. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Alligator Grain-Free Dog Food
    • Requires a veterinarian's prescription
    • Features protein-rich alligator, a novel protein that is rarely associated with food allergies or intolerance in dogs
    • Enriched with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
    • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and flaxseeds support skin and coat health
    • Free from chicken and other poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  15. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food
  16. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food
    • The ideal choice for aging dogs
    • Real turkey is the single animal protein
    • Contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
    • Developed with the help of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Top Picks for Blue Buffalo Dog Food

#1 Best Overall: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Our selection as the best overall is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe.

For most dogs out there, this adult formula is a great option. It features deboned chicken and chicken meal, which is high in protein. Brown rice, barley, and oatmeal are also included. Glucosamine has been added for joint health. Plus, all the minerals are chelated, which improves absorption. It also contains calcium and phosphorus to promote strong teeth and bones, while antioxidants also provide protection from oxidative damage. Also, although this food is not grain-free it doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy.

The only drawback to this product is that the kibble pieces are different shapes and sizes, resulting in some dogs being picky about which pieces they prefer.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

ProsCons
It contains deboned chicken as the first ingredient.The kibble pieces are different shapes and sizes, resulting in some dogs being picky about which they eat.
It features added glucosamine to promote healthy joints.
It contains calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones.
This food is free from corn, wheat, and soy.
Bet Overall
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice
  • No animal by-products
  • Contain natural ingredients
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains LifeSource Bits
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Small Breeds: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dog Food

For smaller breeds we have selected the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dog Food.

This food is specifically designed for smaller breeds. The kibble size is smaller, which makes it easier for these smaller dogs to eat. Like most Blue Buffalo formulas, this formula includes glucosamine and omega fatty acids. These substances includes plenty of extra benefits to your dog. Glucosamine provides extra joint protection, while omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids encourage a healthy coat and skin. It also contain a unique blend of vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system.

Although this food has a lot going for it, some customers have reported that their dogs don’t like it, even ones that are not usually fussy eaters.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dog Food

ProsCons
This food is specially designed for smaller breeds.Not all dogs like this food.
It has unique kibble that is specially suited for smaller mouths.
It contains glucosamine for joint health.
It has a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support the immune system.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are added to promote a healthy coat and skin.
Best for Small Breeds
BLUE BUFFALO Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult
  • Small kibble designed for smaller dogs
  • Chelated minerals and antioxidants added
  • Added glucosamine and omega fatty acids
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Grain-Free Formula: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If your dog is sensitive to grains, we recommend taking a look at the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

This food is a high-protein recipe which contains deboned chicken as the first ingredient to help build and maintain lean muscle mass. It features glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA to support your dog’s joint function and overall mobility, while omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support a healthy skin and a lustrous coat.

This food also contains LifeSource Bits which provide a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected to support immune system health, life stage requirements and a healthy oxidative balance. It is made with natural ingredients and is 100% free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.

Although there is a lot to like about this food it is important to remember that a grain-free diet may not be suitable for all dogs. The only other drawback to this food that we could find is that some pup parents have reported that their dogs do not like the LifeSource bits.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains deboned chicken as the first ingredient as a source of high-quality protein. A grain-free diet may not be suitable for every dog.
It features glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA to promote healthy joints.Not all dogs like the LifeSource bits.
It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support a healthy skin and coat.
It contains LifeSource bits which are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
It is 100% free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.
Best Grain-Free Formula
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • A high-protein recipe crafted with real deboned chicken first to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Features glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA to support your dog’s joint function and overall mobility.
  • Contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
  • LifeSource Bits provide a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements and healthy oxidative balance.
  • Made with natural ingredients and 100% free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.


Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Wet Food: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Most dogs love wet food, which is why we recommend the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon and Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food.

This food contains real salmon and chicken as the main ingredients to provide a healthy source of high-quality protein and promote the development of healthy muscles. It also features a specialized blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support the immune system and promote all-round good health. Plus, it is free from chicken by-products, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. Not only that, but it’s all in a tasty stew that is appetizing for even the fussiest of eaters.

The only complaint that customers have about this product is that the cans sometimes lack consistency, with the gravy being more runny in some than in others.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains real salmon and chicken as the main ingredients.The gravy is more runny in some cans than in others.
It is formulated with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
It is free from chicken by-products, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy.
Best Wet Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • Contains real salmon and chicken as the main ingredients.
  • Is free from chicken by-product, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy.
  • Is formulated with vitamins and minerals to promote all-round good health.
Check Chewy

5. Best for Senior Dogs: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

We know that seniors sometimes need a little extra help to keep them in the very best of health, which is why we recommend the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe.

If your canine is prone to certain health problems, then the extra nutrients found in senior formulas may be extra helpful. This Blue Buffalo recipe contains very similar ingredients to the formulas we’ve mentioned thus far. However, they designed it specifically for senior dogs.

This formula includes high-quality protein as the first ingredient. Both chicken and chicken meal show up in the first ingredients in this recipe. After that, whole grains like brown rice take center stage.

This food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health, while omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote a heathy skin and coat. It also features L-carnitine to promote healthy muscles, and vitamins, chelated, minerals, and antioxidants to support the immune system. It is also completely free from corn, wheat, and soy.

Unfortunately, this food is a little more expensive than some of the other options on the list. Also, once again, some owners found that their dogs did not like this food.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

ProsCons
This food is specially formulated for senior dogs.It is more expensive than some of the other options
It contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.Not all dogs like this food.
It features omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
The L-carnitine in this food promotes healthy muscles.
It features vitamins, chelated, minerals, and antioxidants to support the immune system.
Best for Seniors
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

•Formulated for senior dogs

•Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health

•Antioxidants for immune support

•Natural, wholesome ingredients

Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best for Weight Loss: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

In today’s world, many dogs are overweight or obese. In these situations, we recommend switching your canine to a weight-control dog food such as the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food.

As well as overweight dogs, this recipe may also be useful for canines that are less active and simply have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.

The first two ingredients in this dog food are chicken and chicken meal. This formula does contain whole grains, including brown rice and barley. These whole grains provide extra fiber, which help your dog stay full longer.

Plus, this formula includes many extra ingredients, including calcium and phosphorus. These help to promote strong teeth and bones. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s joints. Plus, a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help to keep the immune system in full working order. All minerals included are chelated and this process helps make them easier for your canine to absorb.

However, customers have reported that the kibble pieces are quite small which is not suitable for all dogs, especially larger breeds as they eat it too quickly.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains whole grains to help dogs feel fuller for longer.The kibble pieces are small.
It contains calcium and phosphorus to support teeth and bone health.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to promote healthy joints.
It features vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support the immune system.
Best for Weight Loss
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for dogs that are less active and/or simply have trouble maintaining a healthy weight
  • The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal
  • Whole grains, including brown rice and barley, provide extra fiber so your dog will feel full longer
  • Added calcium and phosphorus improve your dog's overall health, especially as they age
  • All minerals are chelated for easier absorption
Check Chewy Check Amazon

7. Best for Allergies: Blue Buffalo Natural NP Diet

Sadly, food allergies in dogs are extremely common. If your canine is afflicted with food allergies then we suggest the Blue Buffalo Natural NP Diet.

This food contains protein-rich alligator as the first ingredient. Most dogs are not allergic to alligators, which makes this dog food suitable for allergies.

On top of a novel protein, this formula includes fish oil and flaxseed. These two ingredients add extra omega fatty acids into the food, improving your dog’s skin and coat health. Plus, extra vitamins and minerals help ensure that your canine gets everything they need from this diet.

Also, there are no grains included. While many dogs do great on grains, they are a point of contention for some dogs with allergies. Without them, dogs with allergies can enjoy this food even if they are sensitive to grains.

However, this food is a veterinary-exclusive diet so it requires a prescription. It is also more expensive than may other formulas.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Alligator Grain-Free Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains alligator as a novel protein source.It is veterinary-exclusive and requires a prescription.
It contains fish oil and flaxseed as a source of omega fatty acid.It is more expensive than other options.
This food is grain-free.
It contains extra vitamins and minerals.
Best for Allergies
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Alligator Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Requires a veterinarian's prescription
  • Features protein-rich alligator, a novel protein that is rarely associated with food allergies or intolerance in dogs
  • Enriched with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and flaxseeds support skin and coat health
  • Free from chicken and other poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives
Check Chewy Check Amazon

8. Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food

Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and if your dog is one of them then we recommend the Blue Buffalo Basics Skin and Stomach Care Dry Dog Food.

This food includes turkey as the primary protein which is a lean protein with very little fat. Without excessive fat, this formula is a bit gentler on the stomach than other options on the market. Plus, with only one animal source, your dog likely will not have a reaction. This formula even has fewer calories, which make help your dog maintain a healthy weight. It also includes a healthy blend of antioxidants and minerals, ensuring your dog remains as healthy as possible. This recipe contains no corn, wheat, or soy, either.

Unfortunately, some dogs can be a bit fussy about eating some of the kibble pieces.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains turkey as the primary source of protein.Some dogs can be fussy with some of the kibble pieces.
It has fewer calories to help dogs maintain a healthy weight.
It features a blend of antioxidants and minerals.
It does not contain any corn, wheat, or soy.
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food
  • The ideal choice for aging dogs
  • Real turkey is the single animal protein
  • Contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Developed with the help of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Choosing the best Blue Buffalo dog food may seem easy at first. (After all, you have already narrowed it down to a single brand.) However, Blue Buffalo produces so many dog foods that the task can easily get overwhelming.

Luckily, there are a few factors to keep in mind that will help you make a decision. Protein quality, nutrition, grain inclusion, life stage, and price are all essential elements to keep in mind.

Protein Quality

Dogs need quite a bit of protein in their diet. While dogs may not be obligate carnivores, they do eat plenty of meat. Therefore, meat-based dog food is often the best option.

Plant protein is fine for dogs as well. A dog’s body doesn’t know where the protein came from. However, plant proteins need to be given in the correct formulations or they may not provide all the amino acids your canine needs.

Nutrition

Dogs also need a range of vitamins and minerals to thrive. There are countless vitamins and minerals that are “required” for dog food. If a dog food has an AAFCO seal, then the dog food contains these vitamins in the necessary amounts.

However, there are optional vitamins that many dogs still find helpful, even if they aren’t required. Omega fatty acids and glucosamine fit in this category. Not all dog food includes these.

Grain Inclusion

The grain-inclusion debate is controversial and complicated. However, the science is pretty clear that dogs have evolved to eat grain. Plus, some health problems may be associated with grain-free foods.

For these reasons, we recommend that most dogs eat a grain-inclusive formula. Most of those we included in our reviews contain grains for this reason. However, if your dog is sensitive to grain (which is quite rare), then you may want a grain-free formula.

Life Stage

Dogs do not need the same nutrition throughout their life. Puppies are growing, and therefore, they need different nutrition than adult dogs. For this reason, it is vital that you choose the correct life stage option for your canine.

With that said, dogs don’t always need a senior dog food. There are many occasions where dogs may be perfectly fine on a quality adult food. However, if yoru canine develops age-related problems, a senior formula may be helpful.

Price

The price of dog food is vital to consider. While we would all like to throw price out the window, this is not practical for most purposes. Generally, you’ll have a budget and need to stick to that budget.

Blue Buffalo is commonly considered a premium dog food brand. For this reason, you’ll likely pay more for it.

The Different Types of Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Pros and Cons Compared

There are three main types of Blue Buffalo dog food: wet, dry, and veterinary. Each of these options has its own pros and cons, which we will compare below.

  • Dry dog food: Often known as kibble, this food is extremally shelf-stable and completely dry. For this reason, it is usually considered more convenient.
  • Wet dog food: For dogs that need extra moisture, you may want to consider wet dog food. With more water and broth added, canned dog food usually tastes better, too.
  • Veterinary dog food: Because this dog food is designed for specific health conditions, it often needs a prescription. However, some dog foods in this category can be purchased over-the-counter.

Up Next….

Here are the Best Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can I mix a combination of dry and wet dog food together?

Yes, wet and dry dog food can be mixed together. Many owners mix a little wet food in with dry food to make the food more appealing and tastier for their dogs. However, keep in mind that when mixing foods, it is important to make sure both the wet and dry foods are designed to match the dietary needs of your dog. For example, this means that you should avoid mixing dry puppy food with wet adult food.

Is wet food better for dogs?

Many pet owners prefer to feed their dogs wet food since it is typically made using higher-quality protein and does not contain as many carbs or fat as dry dog food does. By nature, wet food is also more moist than dry food, which can help make sure a dog stays hydrated. Additionally, in most cases, the ingredients found in wet food are in a more natural form than what you’d find in dry food.

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