From the name of this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, it is easy to ascertain that it is a product of the Blue Buffalo brand.
Blue Buffalo is a pet brand that specifically sees to creation of foods for both dogs and cats. These foods come in categories that differ according to the kind (canned or dry), the life stage of the dog and even special diets.
We should also mention that Blue Buffalo foods are mid-range affordable. The reason we mentioned this is that it isn’t uncommon to find some affordable ‘kinda questionable’ ingredients in foods that are not from premium brands.
The ingredients, questionable or otherwise, are the focus of this article. We’ll be pointing out those ingredients that were used more than others judging by how high up they appear on the ingredients list. You also get to find out what purpose these ingredients serve in the meal.
But before we go into all that, let’s look at who this food was formulated for.
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Who Is The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food For?
The name of the product already tells us that it is specially formulated for seniors. However, if your dog isn’t a senior yet, you don’t want to leave just yet. Towards the end of this article, we give suggestions for dogs in other life stages and you might be interested in one.
Furthermore, the wilderness line of Blue Buffalo foods is high-protein and this specific one is grain-free in addition to that. So, if you have any issues with either of those, you might want to visit your dog’s veterinarian and discuss their (your dog’s) food choices and preferences.
Ingredients Of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Deboned beef is regular raw beef, howbeit, with its bones removed. And because bones tend to lose their nutrients when they undergo the heating process that all ingredients in a dry food must, dog food manufacturers tend to skip out on the bones.
That said, aside the bone thing, deboned beef is the same as regular beef. Which means that it has as high a water content and as decent a protein content as regular beef.
As a result, the amount of deboned beef used will not equal the amount of protein that can be derived from it. So, there has to be a number of other animal based protein sources if your dog will not be protein deficient eating this. Let’s see if this meal performs.
Chicken meal is basically rendered chicken. And rendering is a cooking process that rids meat of a high portion of its water content.
So, while chicken has a higher water content than protein, chicken meal has a higher protein content than water. This is why chicken meal is used to boost the protein count of this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Dog Food.
We have to mention that the fact that it was specified what kind of meal was used; that is, chicken instead of just meat, is really encouraging. Ambiguity with the name of an ingredient is usually a sign that the brand has something to hide.
Despite what we might have been led to believe, this meal actually has a heavy reliance on plant-based protein sources. Aside the two animal sources we’ve already seen, there is only one other which doesn’t even appear high up.
Now, plant based protein sources are not terrible. However, they do not contain all the amino acids that a dog needs. Which is why animal protein is better for dogs.
That said, peas are pretty impressive as far as protein content is concerned. They are also rich in carbohydrates, vitamin and even dietary fiber.
Tapioca starch was added to this meal because of its starch content, primarily. Additionally, tapioca starch serves the purpose of a binder for all the other ingredients.
That said, one will have to be careful with the amount of tapioca starch that one’s dog ingests.
This is because tapioca starch has been known to significantly increase blood sugar levels for both humans and animals. It is particularly important to take note of if you are feeding your dog a homemade diet.
Just like tapioca starch, pea starch is added because of its starch content and its ability to be used as a thickener.
However, we really do have to mention that we are not comfortable with having two thickeners that only bring the starch appear this high up on the list. These top spots should have been occupied by other ingredients with more important nutrients.
It is pretty common to find pea protein in mid-range affordable dog foods like this Blue Buffalo meal. The reason is that peas are pretty affordable and extracting their protein content also is.
That said, while pea protein is pretty high in the amino acids it contains, we cannot forget the fact that plant protein sources do not contain a comprehensive amino acid content. And this is the reason they shouldn’t be the anchor protein source of any dog food.
If you’ve been following through from the beginning of the ingredients list, you’d have noticed that ‘pea’ has appeared quite often, either as an actual ingredient or as a derivative. And this isn’t awesome news.
There is a little trick that some dog food manufacturers employ which is called ‘ingredient splitting’. Ingredient splitting is basically about using/writing different derivatives of a single ingredient so that they appear as different ingredients.
But in actuality, it’s the same ingredient. And if you add all those derivatives together, you’ll find out that too much of that one ingredient was used in the meal.
So, while the fiber that could be gotten from pea fiber could be important for proper digestion and bowel movement, we really can’t get past the amount of peas that have gone into this.
Natural flavor is added to make this meal even more delicious for the eater. Making meals more delicious becomes even more important the older a dog gets because it isn’t uncommon to find that dogs lose their appetite the older they get.
The slight issue we have with natural flavor is that dog food manufacturers are not mandated to say what kind of natural flavor they use, provided it is natural.
So, while it could be from a legit safe source, it could be from a source that your dog isn’t comfortable with. We’ll never know. However, this isn’t a Blue Buffalo thing, so we cannot exactly blame them.
Just a small helping of flaxseeds packs a decent amount of protein which is why it was added here to boost the protein content.
Flaxseeds also contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, both of which your dog needs because they cannot produce either on their own. And both fatty acids are important for a healthy fur and skin.
Menhaden Fish Meal
Menhaden fish is a kind of oily fish that, in addition to being rich in protein, contains a healthy amount of Omega 3 fatty acids. And because it is rendered, it offers more of those nutrients than just water.
However, because it appears pretty low on the list, we are not sure if it makes much of an impact on the entire meal.
Finally, we look at potatoes. Potatoes are the affordable alternatives to grains in that they bring the carbohydrate content.
It is a good thing that the potatoes appear quite low on the list because dogs do not need too many potatoes. Potatoes are not easily digested by dogs so, a little at a time is required.
That said, potatoes contain a decent amount of potassium which is necessary for maintaining a proper blood pressure and even helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Pros Of The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
i. That the first two ingredients we see are animal-based is sure a good thing. At least, it is not a total plant-based protein parade.
ii. We also like that there weren’t any artificial ingredients used in this meal.
Like this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe?
Cons Of The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
i. First off, there could have been more animal based protein sources used. The first two are alright but the last animal protein we see appears so low on the list, it probably doesn’t have much of an impact on the general outcome.
ii. Also, that sneaky ingredient splitting is not encourage. If one added all the pea derivatives to the actual pas used in this, one would probably come to the conclusion that there are more peas than any other ingredient. And if that was true, that would be sad.
iii. Finally, a bit of specificity with the natural flavor would have been very much appreciated.
Alternative Options To The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Is Something You Could Try If Your Dog Is A Puppy
This puppy dog variant contains a bit more animal protein than our featured product. We’ve actually done a review on this food that you could check here if you are interested.
On The Other Hand, If Your Dog Is Already An Adult, You Could Try The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Adult Dry Dog Food
The adult recipe actually contains more animal protein than both the senior and the puppy recipes. And of course, we have done a review on this one that you can check here.
Finally, You Could Try The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Canned Dog Food
Are you looking for canned food instead? This could be it. Generally, canned food contains more animal-based protein sources than dry food.
However, you’ll have to factor in the fact that meats have a high water content. Find out more about this senior canned dog food here.
Quick Comparison Table
|Puppy Food Option
|Adult Food Option
|Canned Food Option
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Puppy Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Canned Dog Food
|Deboned beef, chicken meal, peas, tapioca starch, pea starch, pea protein, pea fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, potatoes.
|Deboned beef, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal, pea starch, dried egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, natural flavor.
|Deboned beef, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca starch, pea starch menhaden fish meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, pea fiber, natural flavor.
|Beef, beef broth, turkey, lamb, potatoes, pea protein, pea fiber, carrageenan, flaxseed, cassia gum, guar gum.
|Kibble / Canned
|4 pound bag and 22 pound bag.
|4 pound bag and 22 pound bag.
|10 pound bag and 22 pound bag.
|12.5 ounces, case of 12.
|All kinds of senior dog breeds.
|All kinds of puppy dog breeds.
|All kinds of adult dog breeds.
|All kinds of senior dog breeds.
What Customers Are Saying About The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
A good number of the dog parents that had a thing or two to say about this food referred to their dogs as picky eaters. And apparently, their dogs were able to eat this without any qualms. One customer did say that they liked that this is a beef based meal and not chicken based.
However, a few customers said that the meal did not make a difference to their picky eaters as they still were not interested.
We are really unimpressed with this meal. In our opinion, dog foods should be heavily reliant on meat and not plants. And this is born out of our knowledge of the fact that plants offer some complex nutrients that dogs have not been adapted to properly digest.
This particular Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe could have done with more meat (quantity and variety). However, if you want to go ahead with this, be sure that you’ve gotten approval from your dog’s vet. They (the vet) are in the right position to say what your dog can or cannot eat.