Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Blue Buffalo Basics dog food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Blue Buffalo came to fruition after the Bishop family wanted to find natural nutrition for their dog, Blue. The Airedale Terrier was diagnosed with cancer, which prompted the family to incorporate a nutritious diet into his life. While their mission was initially personal, it soon became widespread.

Blue Buffalo is now one of the most popular premium dog foods on the market today. They cater to many different dietary needs specialized for the health of your dog. If you have a sensitive pup, you’ll want to know about Blue Basics, a limited-ingredient formula.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3


At a Glance: The Best Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Blue Basics Limited Ingredient
  • One meat source
  • Poultry
  • Good flavor
  • Second place
    Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Blue Basics Limited Ingredient
  • One protein source
  • Great for immunity and muscle
  • Third place
    Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Healthy Weight Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Healthy Weight
  • For overweight dogs
  • Adequate nutrition
  • Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Small Breed Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Small Breed
  • Contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • All-natural kibble
  • Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Large Breed Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Large Breed
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health
  • Real lamb is the first ingredient
  • Free from chicken
  • beef
  • corn
  • wheat
  • soy
  • dairy and eggs
  • Blue Basics Dog Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Blue Basics and Where Is It Produced?

    Blue Buffalo has its headquarters in Wilton, Connecticut. Blue Buffalo’s parent company is Blue Pet Products, Inc. They have many facilities in the United States that produce their food. However, they obtain ingredients from trusted sources, both locally and globally.

    Which Types of Dogs Is Blue Basics Best Suited For?

    There are many ingredients in commercial dog foods that have no benefit to a dog. Often, the results can be harmful or cause serious issues later in life.

    The Basics Limited Ingredient formula was created to help aid in gastrointestinal and allergy issues. Many dogs have various allergens and irritants in common foods due to fillers or harsh additives. Common proteins that trigger adverse reactions are beef, fish, chicken, and lamb. Other irritants are eggs, dairy, corn, wheat, or soy. Blue Basics is free of all these potentially upsetting ingredients.

    They use one singular meat protein source in these foods to help the dog digest the meal.

    Dog Watcher
    Chewy logo

    35% OFF at Chewy.com

    + FREE Shipping on Pet Food and Supplies

    How to redeem this offer

    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    For dogs with diseases or health issues, limited-ingredient diets can benefit. However, they may require more specialization. If your dog has a more severe condition, work with your veterinarian to decide what is best for your dog. There are other options to help your dog break down and digest food, such as novel or hydrolyzed recipes.

    Blue Buffalo also has a line of prescription food called Natural Veterinary Diet. You can find their selection here.

    divider 9

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients

    The important part of Blue Basics was to create food with as few ingredients as possible while still being balanced and healthy. Common meat proteins such as beef, chicken, and fish act as severe allergens and irritants to dogs. Many foods on the market may not advertise these meats but still have byproducts or meals in the recipe that create adverse reactions.

    Blue Basics has one base meat and healthy grains that are one or more of the following:

    • Meat: Turkey, salmon, lamb, and duck
    • Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, brown rice, and peas
    • Fatty Acids: Canola Oil, fish oil, and flaxseed

    What Exactly Does “Limited Ingredient” Mean?

    A limited-ingredient diet can mean many things to various companies. Essentially, you have to be careful when purchasing dog food with this title, as the regulations are a little loose here. With one type of food, it could translate to as few ingredients as possible. However, with some dog food, it could merely mean fewer components than their regular recipes.

    With Blue Basics, they aimed to use a single protein source because this is where many pets have an issue. Multiple protein sources can prove hard to break down in their systems.

    How Does It Rank Among Others of Its Kind?

    When it comes to other limited-ingredient diets, Blue Basics ranks decently high on the list. However, they do have quality ingredients, making it a terrific candidate for dogs with moderate sensitivities.

    As far as price is concerned, it’s a bit expensive no matter where you buy it. However, if you take a look at their traceable ingredients, it is a premium food and the cost reflects that.

    A Quick Look at Blue Basics Dog Food

    • Single protein source
    • No beef or chicken
    • No wheat, soy, or corn
    • Added pumpkin for easy digestion
    • Some dogs are sensitive to peas
    • Some dogs may need an even more specialized diet

    Ingredients Analysis

    In each of the Blue Basics recipes, these are the common first few ingredients you will see.

    Turkey, salmon, duck, or lamb: These are easy-to-digest proteins that don’t often cause adverse reactions.

    Potatoes: Potatoes are highly digestible starches. They are full of B and C vitamins, as well as potassium.

    Pea starch: Pea starch is typically used for texture to preserve kibble shape.

    Peas: Peas act as another healthy, easily digestible carbohydrate.

    Meat meal: The added meat is also used in meal form as glucosamine.

    Pea protein: Pea protein is full of fiber, protein, and vitamins.

    Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch is from the root of the cassava plant and is full of minerals like calcium.

    Recall History

    Blue Basics has had one recall since its production. Only one of the recipes was affected. The recall occurred in October of 2010, along with a few other Blue Buffalo products.

    Product recalled for: High levels of Vitamin D

    Product recalled: Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Formula (Salmon & Potato)

    Divider 4

    Reviews of the 3 Best Blue Basics Dog Food Recipes

    We reviewed a few of Blue Basics dog foods, and these were our three notable selections.

    1. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient (Turkey & Potato)

    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care

    This Blue Basics Limited Ingredient dog food with turkey and potato is an excellent choice for dogs who enjoy the taste of poultry but can’t have chicken. Rather than having any grain or multiple proteins, turkey is the single protein source.

    There are 347 calories per cup and a total of 20.0% crude protein. Deboned turkey is the first ingredient, followed by oatmeal, brown rice, turkey meal, and potatoes. This combination provides adequate protein, carbohydrates, and overall nutrition.

    While this food is ideal for pets who need limited ingredients in their diets, looking over the label is crucial. There could still be small measurements of ingredients that could serve as irritants for sensitive dogs.

    • One meat source
    • Poultry
    • Good flavor
    • Inspect label to avoid potential irritants

    2. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient (Salmon & Potato)

    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Salmon

    With the Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Formula, salmon is used as the single protein source. There are no animal byproducts, but salmon meal is used as a source of glucosamine. The first several ingredients are deboned salmon, oatmeal, brown rice, salmon meal, peas, and potatoes.

    This combination of ingredients provides a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein for immunity and muscle. It has 20.0% crude protein and 362 calories per cup.

    Some dogs do not handle fish that well. So, while it is a limited-ingredient diet, they may still show a sensitivity to the type of protein used. Similarly, some dogs have a problem with other carbohydrate additives, so be sure to check with your vet before introducing this to your pet’s diet.

    • One protein source
    • Great for immunity and muscle
    • Some dogs are sensitive to fish

    3. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Healthy Weight (Turkey & Potato)

    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Healthy Weight

    If you have a dog who is overweight or even obese, you may be looking for a healthy way to control their diet. If your dog needs a limited food with low calorie and carb content, Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Healthy Weight diet may be worth checking out.

    It has just as much crude protein as other Basics foods at 20.0%. There are 229 calories per cup. This cuts the caloric content down quite a bit if you compare it to the value of other Basics foods. It provides many of the same nutritious ingredients with optimal weight control.

    This recipe should only be given to dogs with a weight issue. Cutting out needed calories in a diet can cause more significant problems, as they won’t be getting adequate nutrition.

    • For overweight dogs
    • Adequate nutrition
    • Only for dogs who need weight control

    What Other Users Are Saying

    There are no better opinions to consider other than those of the people who are actively using Blue Basics. If you want another firsthand account from pet owners, check out these reviews on Amazon by clicking here.

    Dog Watcher
    Chewy logo

    35% OFF at Chewy.com

    + FREE Shipping on Pet Food and Supplies

    How to redeem this offer

    Divider 5


    Blue Buffalo Basics dog food is an excellent choice for dogs who need limited-ingredient diets. They may not be suitable for every dog, and it may come with a higher price tag, which keeps it from a five-star rating. However, it is made with well-researched nutritional content that will prevent adverse reactions in most dogs. If your dog seems like the right candidate for this brand, we encourage you to give it a try.

    See also:

    Featured image credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

    Related Articles

    Further Reading

    Vet Articles

    Latest Vet Answers

    The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database