In this review, we take a real good look into the ingredient content of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. So, if you are the parent of a senior dog, you’ll really want to pay attention to this one.
Even if your dog isn’t yet a senior, you might still want to pay attention. Not only because your dog will one day be one of the seniors but because we actually suggest alternatives for dogs in other life stages. However, that will be towards the end of the article.
Now, just so you know, every wilderness Blue Buffalo dry dog food was formulated to closely imitate a wolf’s regular diet. As a result, it generally has a high protein concentration.
What we’ll be doing in this article is to go into specifics. It isn’t enough to know that it has a high protein concentration; one has to know what kind of protein (and other ingredients) was used and this is the aim of this article.
If you’re ready, let’s do this now!
Table of Contents
Who Is The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food For?
Primarily, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is for senior dogs as it says in its name.
Ingredients Of The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
We already mentioned that the concept of Blue Buffalo wilderness is a high-protein concentration. Hence, we are not surprised that what could be considered as the primary ingredient is deboned chicken. Deboned chicken is basically chicken that has had its bones removed.
Now, ingredients in a dog food are usually listed in order of the quantity; from the most used to the least used. This is why we mentioned that we could consider deboned chicken a primary ingredient.
That said, it is worthy of mention that chicken, like basically every other animal, is composed of a lot of water.
So, a lot of chicken (or basically any other meat or fish) might not always equal a lot of protein or amino-acid. This is why dog foods usually contain other sources of protein aside chicken or meat or fish.
Now, while some dog brands augment the chicken with plant protein, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for senior dogs uses even more animal protein. This is a really laudable thing because animal protein is a better protein source for your dog than plants; both in quantity and quality.
That said, chicken meal is chicken that has been rendered. And rendering is a cooking process that extracts a large portion of the water content of meat.
Now, it is possible to get more protein from chicken meal than from raw chicken (depending on the amount of chicken and chicken meal in question, of course). And this is because with the water content reduced to 10%, the protein content has an opportunity to shine forth.
Here is the first plant-based protein that we are introduced to in this Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog food. And while animal-protein is a better protein source for your dog, it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of plant protein thrown in there.
In addition to providing protein, peas also contain a good amount of starch. This is why a good number of grain-free foods use it as a substitute for grains. Furthermore, peas contain a reasonable amount of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for healthy bones which your senior dog will certainly appreciate.
This one is more specific than just peas. It is basically a derivative of peas you get from ridding the peas of their starch content. Pea protein still contains a lot of the vitamins and minerals that actual peas contain.
Yet another pea derivative back-to-back and we are beginning to feel like there is a lot of peas going on. Pea starch is gotten by extracting the protein content from peas.
Now, if we have pea starch on one hand, pea protein on the other and both of them are added to the same mix, doesn’t it equal more peas? It looks to us that Blue Buffalo, in looking for ways to pad up the protein quantity with peas, decided to split them up
Anyway, pea starch is usually added to dry dog food as a form of adhesive or food binder. Basically something that holds all the components together so that they stay biscuit-like.
Yet another starchy content. Now, we are not saying having starch in your dog’s food is a bad thing. What we are actually more wary of is the fact that these carbs appear high up on the ingredient list. And we do not think senior dogs need so much carbs since they are not as active as they used to be.
However, they do need to move around and do some other stuff which requires energy. So, they will need a little bit of starch here and there to keep going. And in addition to being a starch source, tapioca starch, like pea starch, is also used as a sort of food adhesive or binder.
That said, some people are wary of tapioca starch because all it has to offer is starch. And this is probably why it has been known to increase insulin levels in both humans and animals. So, you want to be careful if your dog is either overweight or diabetic.
Menhaden Fish Meal
Thankfully, here is another animal-based protein source. We would have preferred for it to have come higher up on the list but we’ll take what we can get. What more, like the chicken meal earlier mentioned, we are actually told what kind of fish is used.
You want to be wary of those foods that don’t specify exactly what was used and just say ‘poultry meal’ or ‘fish meal’. One cannot be sure of what exactly was used which is especially suspicious because the manufacturers of those foods refused to specify.
That said, in addition to being a protein source, the menhaden fish contains a significant amount of omega 3 fatty acid.
To put things into perspective, you need to know that dogs cannot self-produce the omega 3 fatty acid, yet it is an important nutrient needed to help your dog maintain a healthy skin and coat.
So, you’ll agree with us when we say that the menhaden fish is a significant addition to this food. And just to be clear, menhaden fish goes through the same process as chicken to become a ‘meal’.
Honestly, pea fiber doesn’t have much of a nutritional value. Yes, it might help with digestion and also help your dog go to toilet easier. But that is about it. Also, we are not really excited about this particular ingredient because we’ve seen enough pea-derivatives in this one meal.
Apparently, natural flavor is used to make dog food more palatable for them. Natural flavor doesn’t have any nutritional value which is why we are comfortable with it not appearing that high up.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding the use of natural flavor in dog food. And this is due to the fact that manufacturers are not mandated to state where their natural flavor was got provided it isn’t man-made.
So, this natural flavor could be from any natural source that might or might not be safe. The only remedy for this is to find a brand you trust and stick to them.
Flaxseed is another plant-based protein that was used in the production of this Blue Buffalo Senior dog food. We don’t have anything against flaxseed, we are just kinda wary of the many plant-based protein we’ve seen in this one.
Anyway, in addition to being a source of protein, flaxseed is also a source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids; both of which are essential for healthy skin and coat. Flaxseed also contains enough fiber to help with bowel movement.
Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Finally, we look at chicken fat. Fat basically does in dogs what it does in humans; could be used for regulating body temperature and also serve as a back-up energy source. And chicken is as good a source of fat as any.
Now, the reason it is preserved with mixed tocopherols is because animal fat doesn’t have a very long shelf life and will get rancid real quick. In order to take care of that so that the fat doesn’t reduce the shelf life of the entire food, the fat is preserved.
Pros Of The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
i. First off, we like that this food is actually a high-protein meal.
Cons Of The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
i. First off, we are not comfortable with the amount of plant-protein used in this food. While there is a heavy reliance on protein sources in general, there isn’t so much of a reliance on the animal kind, especially when you compare this food to other Blue Buffalo Wilderness meals.
ii. Also, for a senior dog food, we would have expected to see fewer starch and carbs variety. Or at least, they could have come lower down the list.
Alternatives To The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Red Meat Option
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Red Meat Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
If your dog is one of those that won’t come near a meal if it isn’t red meat, this particular one could be it for them.
The red meat recipe contains the same ingredients as our featured product; the only difference being the chicken and the red meat.
Canned Food Option
Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
If your issue is not with the primary ingredient but with the kind of food it is, you could try out this one. It is wet food and, being freedom not wilderness, doesn’t have as high a protein content as our featured product. Still interested?
Adult Dog Option
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This one has the same content as our featured product. However, we actually like this one better; not necessarily because it is designed for adult dogs but because there is a heavy reliance on animal-based protein with this one. Interested?
Quick Comparison Table
|Featured||Different First Ingredient||Canned Variety||Adult Variety|
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe With Red Meat Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey And Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Ingredients||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, pea starch, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal, pea fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)||Deboned beef, chicken meal, peas, tapioca starch, peas starch, pea protein, pea fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed, menhaden fish meal.||Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, peas, pea flour, pea fiber, guar gum, flaxseed, potassium chloride.||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal, dried tomato pomace, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flax seed, pea starch.|
|Kibble / Canned||Kibble||Kibble||Canned||Kibble|
|Sizes Available||4.5 pound bag, 11 pound bag and 24 pound bag.||4 pound bag and 22 pound bag.||12.5 ounces, case of 12.||4.5 pound bag, 11 pound bag and 24 pound bag.|
|Best For||Small, medium and large breed seniors.||Small, medium and large breed seniors.||Small, medium and large breed seniors.||Small, medium and large breed adult dogs.|
What Customers Are Saying About The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
A good number of the customers that gave any form of feedback on this product switched to this when their dogs stopped eating what they used to. And apparently, their dogs loved this one because they easily transitioned to eating this Blue Buffalo Senior Dog food.
Also, while some have said that their dogs have gained weight since they started eating this food, a few others have said that their dogs have dropped the pounds. However, in both cases, the outcomes were positive.
While there are a number of things that Blue Buffalo got right with the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, we are not as impressed with it as we have been with the meals for other life stages.
The reason is we think there is just a little too much peas in this food. But then again, that’s up for debate. Just be sure that your veterinarian is onboard whatever you decide to feed your dog.
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