The Best Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Dog Food

Written by Susan Olayode
Updated: January 30, 2023
© Iryna Dobrovynska/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall Blue Buffalo grain-free dog food is Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
  • When you’re shopping for a grain-free dog food, keep the following criterion in mind: nutrients, breed and size, life stage, and allergies.
  • If your dog also suffers from an undiagnosed allergy to common animal proteins, such as chicken or beef, a grain-free dog food won’t deliver the health improvement that you expected. An allergy teas and/or a limited-ingredient, grain-free recipe may help you narrow down which ingredients your dog is allergic to.

If you’re shopping for a new dog food, you may wonder whether grain-free is the way to go. If your dog is allergic to grains, then a grain-free diet is the logical choice. But how do you know if your dog is allergic to grain?

Grain allergy symptoms often manifest as skin irritation, including red, itchy skin, hair loss from scratching and chewing irritated areas, and licking paws obsessively. Other symptoms include ear infections and digestive issues such as vomiting and chronic diarrhea.

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian to determine if grain is truly to blame. Grain-free diets usually replace grains with peas (in various forms, including pea protein and pea powder), lentils, other legumes, and potatoes. And diets high in these ingredients have been linked with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a serious and often fatal heart disease. That’s why many vets recommend not feeding dogs a grain-free diet unless they are allergic to grain.

If your dog is allergic to grain, Blue Buffalo grain-free foods could be just what your canine friend needs. The company is renowned for producing some of the best dog food available, including excellent grain-free diets that may resolve your dog’s grain allergy symptoms.

Of course, being grain-free isn’t enough. You need to consider your dog’s life stage (puppy, adult, or senior), activity level, size, weight, and more. For example, a puppy’s dietary needs differ dramatically from a senior’s. Our review of the best grain-free Blue Buffalo recipes will help you choose the one that’s right for your dog.

  1. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Grain-free and gluten-free
    • Contains protein-rich, organically grown chicken
    • Fortified with omega-fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
    • Supplemented with vitamins and minerals to help your dog's body function at its best
    • Added antioxidants support your dog's immune system
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Contains lean protein
    • Helps your dog convert bad HDL cholesterol to healthy LDL
    • Helps dogs maintain their optimal weight
    • Includes fruits and veggies, which are rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for overall body processes
    • Fortified with antioxidants and omega-fatty acids
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large breeds
    • Grain-free and gluten-free
    • Contains chondroitin and glucosamine for bone and joint health and mobility
    • Enriched with vitamins and minerals to support your dog's bodily functions
    • Rich in protein from real chicken to promote muscle growth
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Formulated for the special dietary needs of senior dogs
    • Contains lysine, which converts to carnitine. This, in turn, converts fatty acids into energy to lower cholesterol
    • High-quality chicken is the first ingredient, so it's rich in the protein your dog needs for healthy muscle growth
    • Fortified with antioxidants for immune health
    • Includes vitamins and minerals to support your dog's natural body processes
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Ideal for dogs that are allergic to chicken as well as grains
    • Rich in high-quality protein from deboned turkey
    • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
    • Fortified with antioxidants for your dog's healthy immune system
    • This formula also contains DHA for cognition
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken
    • Contains real chicken
    • Added fatty acids DHA and ARA for better growth
    • Contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
    • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks for the Best Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Dog Food: Ranked and Rated

1. Best Overall: Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Our choice for the #1 Best Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Dog food is Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Adult Chicken Recipe. This grain-free formula is made from the highest-quality ingredients, starting with deboned chicken. It also includes chicken meal and turkey meal to provide your dog with the protein it needs to build and maintain strong muscles. Other wholesome ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.

This food is also rich in omega-fatty acids, which to soothe and nourish your dog’s skin and coat. It also contains BLUE’s LifeSource Bits, a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals developed by animal nutritionists and veterinarians to support your dog’s immune system, meet their life stage requirements, and encourage a healthy oxidative balance.

The vast majority of reviews for this product were positive, but some reviewers indicated that their dogs didn’t like it. A few said that it was too expensive.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This grain-free recipe starts with deboned chicken and also includes chicken meal and turkey meal to provide your dog with the protein it needs to build and maintain strong muscles.Some reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food.
It also includes sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.A few said that this food was too expensive.
This recipe includes BLUE’s LifeSource Bits, a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s immune system, life stage requirements, and healthy oxidative balance.
Best Overall
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Contains protein-rich, organically grown chicken
  • Fortified with omega-fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Supplemented with vitamins and minerals to help your dog's body function at its best
  • Added antioxidants support your dog's immune system
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Weight Management: Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If your dog requires a grain-free diet and they need to lose a few pounds, Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is the food you’ve been searching for. This high-protein, grain-free recipe features real chicken as the first ingredient to help your dog build and maintain lean muscles. It’s formulated with a precise blend of calories and fat to help dogs attain and maintain their ideal body weight. Plus, it contains glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA to bolster joint function and mobility.

The Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken also contains a blend of healthy fruits and vegetables and BLUE’s proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids (including including omega-3 and omega-6) so you can rest assured that your dog is getting the complete nutrition it needs.

Like all BLUE recipes, this one is free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

A few reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Chicken is the first ingredient to help your dog build and maintain lean muscles.A few reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food.
It contains a precise blend of calories and fat to help your dog reach and maintain its ideal weight.
Glucosamine, chondroitin and EPA support joint function and mobility.
This recipe contains fruits and vegetables, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids for complete nutrition.
It is free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Best for Weight Management
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Contains lean protein
  • Helps your dog convert bad HDL cholesterol to healthy LDL
  • Helps dogs maintain their optimal weight
  • Includes fruits and veggies, which are rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for overall body processes
  • Fortified with antioxidants and omega-fatty acids
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Grain-Free for Large Breeds: Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large breed dogs. For example, large dogs require more joint and muscle support, so this recipe is enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine, which are essential for strong bones and joint mobility.

The first ingredient is real chicken, for protein that promotes healthy muscle development in adult dogs. It also contains fruits and veggies, such as blueberries, cranberries, and carrots, and sweet potatoes and peas for the healthy complex carbohydrates that your dog needs for energy. And, like all BLUE dry food recipes, this one includes LifeSource Bits for the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance.

Just as important is what it doesn’t include. This recipe contains no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Some reviewers said that this food was too expensive. A few reported that their dogs didn’t like it.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This grain-free recipe is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of large breed dogs.Some reviewers said that this food was too expensive.
It’s enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine, which are essential for strong bones and joint mobility.A few reported that their dogs didn’t like it.
The first ingredient is real chicken, for protein that promotes healthy muscle development in adult dogs.
It also contains fruits and veggies, such as blueberries, cranberries, and carrots.
Sweet potatoes and peas provide complex carbs for the energy your dog requires.
LifeSource Bits include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance.
It’s free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
Best Grain-Free for Large Breeds
Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large breeds
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Contains chondroitin and glucosamine for bone and joint health and mobility
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals to support your dog's bodily functions
  • Rich in protein from real chicken to promote muscle growth
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Grain-Free for Seniors: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo created Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food just for senior dogs, which are prone to lethargy, weight gain, and joint pain. This grain-free recipe was formulated with ingredients that support joint health and help senior dogs maintain a healthy weight.

The Blue Wilderness Senior Recipe also contains high-quality chicken as the first ingredient for muscle maintenance in aging dogs. Protein, like that found in chicken, also serves as a source of energy.

This food also contains a healthy mix of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for your senior dog’s immune system health. You’ll also appreciate the vitamin and mineral-rich content of this food which helps regulate your dog’s natural body processes. It’s enhanced with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote hip and joint health in older dogs. And omega-3 and omega-6 ensure that your dog’s skin is healthy and its coat is shiny.

This recipe is free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

A couple of reviewers said that their dogs were allergic to this food.

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

ProsCons
This grain-free recipe was created for senior dogs, which are prone to weight gain, joint pain, and lethargy.A couple of reviewers said that their dogs were allergic to this food.
Chicken is the first ingredient to help your aging dog maintain muscles. Protein, such as that found in chicken, also provides energy.
It includes a mix of antioxidants for immune system health.
It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s body processes.
Glucosamine and chondroitin promote hip and joint health.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are included for skin and coat health.
It’s free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Best Grain-Free for Seniors
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for the special dietary needs of senior dogs
  • Contains lysine, which converts to carnitine. This, in turn, converts fatty acids into energy to lower cholesterol
  • High-quality chicken is the first ingredient, so it's rich in the protein your dog needs for healthy muscle growth
  • Fortified with antioxidants for immune health
  • Includes vitamins and minerals to support your dog's natural body processes
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Grain-Free for Sensitive Dogs: Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

If your dog is allergic to chicken in addition to grains, Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food will address both issues — deliciously. This limited-ingredient dog food is rich in high-quality protein from deboned turkey, the first ingredient and the single animal protein source, to help your pup maintain healthy muscles. It also includes potatoes, peas, and pumpkin for gentle digestive support, which makes it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This recipe is also a rich source of antioxidants that enhance your dog’s immune system, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your dog’s healthy skin and luxurious coat, and DHA to give your dog a cognitive boost. It also contains vitamins and minerals, which help your dog maintain its proper body functions. 

Some reviewers said that their dogs got sick from eating this food. Some reported gastrointestinal issues, such as gas, diarrhea and vomiting. Others said that their dogs experienced more serious health issues. We recommend that you read the reviews for this (and any other) product so you can make an educated decision.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Deboned turkey is the first ingredient and the sole animal protein in this limited-ingredient dog food.Some reviewers reported that their dogs experienced gastrointestinal issues.
It also includes potatoes, peas, and pumpkin for digestive support.Other reviewers said that their dogs experienced more serious health issues.
It’s fortified with antioxidants for immune system support, omega-3 and omega-6 for skin and coat health, and DHA for cognitive health.
Vitamins and minerals are also included to support proper body functions.
Best Grain-Free for Sensitive Dogs
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Ideal for dogs that are allergic to chicken as well as grains
  • Rich in high-quality protein from deboned turkey
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Fortified with antioxidants for your dog's healthy immune system
  • This formula also contains DHA for cognition
Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best Grain-Free Puppy Meal: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe entices even the pickiest puppies. The first ingredient is high-protein, deboned chicken, which puppies adore. The protein in chicken is also essential for your puppy’s muscle and bone formation and maintenance.

This recipe also contains DHA which supports your puppy’s brain, eye, and cognitive development. It also has lots of vegetables, which contain vitamins and minerals your puppy needs to carry out its normal body functions. 

This formula also features a rich blend of fiber that makes it easily digestible. Add that to the high antioxidant content, which enhances your puppy’s immune system, and you can see why we recommend this food so highly.

Some reviewers said that their puppies got sick after eating this food (diarrhea or vomiting). A few others reported that their dogs wouldn’t eat it.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken

ProsCons
Deboned chicken, a protein which contributes to muscle and bone development and maintenance, is the first ingredient.Some reviewers said that their puppies got sick after eating this food (diarrhea or vomiting).
DHA supports brain, eye, and cognitive development.A few others reported that their dogs wouldn’t eat it.
A rich blend of fiber makes this recipe easily digestible and vitamins and minerals help your puppy’s body carry out its normal bodily functions.
It has a high antioxidant content to support your puppy’s immune system.
Best Grain-Free Puppy Meal
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken
  • Contains real chicken
  • Added fatty acids DHA and ARA for better growth
  • Contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Grain-Free Dog Food: What to Look For

When you’re shopping for a grain-free dog food, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind: nutrients, breed and size, life stage, and allergies.

Nutrients 

Proteins are the most important class of food for dogs. They are essential for tissue growth and repair. Dogs can obtain proteins from both plant and animal sources. However, high-quality animal proteins provide all of the amino acids that dogs need while plant protein may be deficient in some key amino acids

Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 carry specific fat-soluble vitamins responsible for a beautiful, dazzling coat. Vitamins are also essential to a dog’s diet, and it’s vital that their food contain precisely the right amount. For example, too much vitamin D  may be toxic to a canine, but too little may induce lethargy and cause brittle bones.

Breed and Size

Your dog’s breed and size play a major role in determining their nutritional requirements. Small dogs require more fats than large dogs because they have a higher metabolic rate. Similarly, large breeds appreciate diets high in minerals that support bone and joint health, like chondroitin and glucosamine.

Life Stage

Puppies, adult, and senior dogs all have very different nutritional requirements. Puppies need more protein, essential amino acids, and fat because their bodies are growing and developing.

Adult dogs need the basic nutrients — carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins — in the proper amount for their breed, size, and activity level in order for their bodies to function properly while maintaining a healthy body weight.

And, in general, senior dogs require significantly less calories (20% – 30%) than they did when they were younger because they’re less active. They also require more protein to maintain muscle mass and specific nutrients, such as those that support eye, bone, and joint health.

Allergies

Grain-free dog food minimizes the possibility of an allergic reaction in dogs with grain allergies, but you still need to pay close attention to the other non-grain ingredients. For example, your dog may be suffering from allergies to chicken or beef proteins. If this is the case, a grain-free dog food made with chicken will not give you the results you expect. Your best bet, in this case, would be a grain-free lamb, salmon, or turkey recipe. Blue Buffalo offers a limited ingredient diet that can help you narrow down which ingredients may be causing your pet’s allergic reactions.

Up Next

The Best Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Dog Food FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do you know if your dog has a sensitive stomach?

The first signs of an upset stomach are flatulence, loose stools, and intermittent diarrhea.

Can dogs eat raw sweet potatoes?

No. raw potatoes are difficult to chew and they are even harder to digest. The potato lumps may cause intestinal blockage. If you must feed your dog a sweet potato, boil it without salt or spices and let it cool first.

Is it safe to feed my dog carrots?

Yes, dogs are classified as omnivores and can digest vegetables. They can be served raw or cooked, or even used as a playtime treat. Be sure to feed them in moderation, without spices, salt, or fats (like butter). Human food should comprise no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. The other 90% should be high-quality dog food.

We wrote a comprehensive list of which human foods are safe — or dangerous — to dogs. We recommend that you bookmark this article and refer to it any time you want to feed your dog something off your plate.

 

 

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