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Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs Review

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3 1/2 Paws

3 1/2 PAWS

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Blue Buffalo Salmon and Potato Recipe

You can find detailed information about theBlue Buffalo company which manufactures Blue Buffalo dog foods in our main review of Blue Buffalo Dog Food. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control. These mini reviews are designed to cover other foods produced by the same company using the same philosophy. Mini reviews provide some information about the main ingredients and any ingredients that stand out, the guaranteed analysis, and any special concerns about each food.

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Ingredients in Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs

Deboned Salmon, Peas, Potatoes, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Natural Fish Flavor, Oatmeal, Whole Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Oil of Rosemary, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Carbonate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.


Blue Buffalo dog food makes several formulas of their Basics food for adult dogs: Basics Adult Salmon and Potato Recipe; Basics Adult Turkey and Potato Recipe; Basics Adult Grain Free Turkey and Potato; and Basics Healthy Weight Turkey Formula. Blue Buffalo says these foods are made for dogs that show signs of being sensitive to some of the ingredients used in traditional pet foods and that these foods are “limited-ingredient” diets formulated to minimize food sensitivities. The grain free food is free of typical grains; and the healthy weight food has reduced fat and somewhat reduced calories. I’ve chosen theBlue Basics Adult Salmon and Potato Recipe because it’s a popular food and because it’s good to look at some fish-based foods. We review a lot of foods that are meat-based and poultry-based. Fish sometimes gets overlooked.

If you have ever had a dog who had a food sensitivity/intolerance or food allergy then you likely know what a real “limited ingredient” dog food is, especially if you have worked with a veterinarian on weeks or months of food trials or, in the old days, had to make your dog’s food because dog food companies didn’t make specialty dog foods yet. Blue Buffalo’s Basics line of foods are not real limited ingredient foods by any means. They contain lots of ingredients and are not much different from their other dog foods. The only way they really seem to be different is that they only contain one kind of meat protein. Unfortunately, that doesn’t meet anyone’s definition of a limited ingredient diet. True limited ingredient diets typically have one meat protein and one kind of carb, and very little else. The idea is to use as few ingredients as possible to avoid triggering a reaction from your dog. If you are trying to identify what your dog is sensitive to, you will then introduce an ingredient to see how your dog reacts.

Blue Basics isn’t the only limited ingredient food that has lots of ingredients. Many of the so-called limited ingredient foods contain lots of ingredients and your dog could be sensitive to any of them. Your dog can be sensitive to a preservative, a food coloring, or anything in the food. It doesn’t have to be a poor quality food or ingredient either. That’s why a food with fewer ingredients is better for dogs with sensitivities.

One of the foods that really does seem to try to limit the number of ingredients in their limited ingredient foods is Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets. Many people who have dogs with an intolerance or food sensitivity report success with their foods. If your dog does have a food sensitivity be sure to look at the ingredient list and see how many ingredients it has and if you recognize any of them that might upset your dog.

That doesn’t mean you can’t feed Blue Basics Adult Salmon and Potato Recipe, especially if you know that your dog isn’t sensitive to the ingredients in the food.

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First 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first ingredient listed is deboned salmon. Although we usually think of cats loving fish, it’s a rare dog that doesn’t go nuts for fish, especially salmon. Deboned salmon means that the fish still contains all of the moisture content and fat but that the bones have been removed. And salmon is a fatty fish. About half the calories in salmon come from fat. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. But keep in mind that if the moisture were removed from the deboned salmon, this ingredient would be found much lower in the ingredient list.

The next three ingredients are carbs, and there are other carbs in the food, which is one reason why I say this isn’t a true limited ingredient dog food. The next three ingredients are Peas, Potatoes, and Whole Ground Brown Rice. Peascan be problematic for some dogs and they can have problems digesting them. Many dog food makers are using peas today as a substitute for corn. Peas provide protein, vitamin A, Niacin, vitamin B6, and Folate. Along with providing carbs they also provide fiber.

Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber. Whole ground brown rice is usually considered more nutritious than white rice but it is also a little harder to digest. It’s a good source of Selenium and Manganese. Carbs like these help dogs feel full and satisfied after they eat and provide energy but these are low glycemic foods and they won’t cause spikes in your dog’s blood sugar levels.

The fifth ingredient is salmon meal and it has the same kind of nutrition as the deboned salmon except that most of the water and fat have been removed, leaving a protein concentrate. It contains several times as much protein as the deboned salmon. This is a good ingredient in a dog food but it is the fifth ingredient. Usually good dog foods will list something like “deboned chicken, chicken meal” as the first and second ingredients in a food, so there is less salmon meal in this food that we might wish.

Additional Ingredients of Interest

Flaxseed is listed as the sixth ingredient. Flaxseed is a great plant source of omega-6 fatty acid. It’s not as good as a source of omega-3 fatty acid as some of the fish and animal sources, but it’s still good. Flaxseed has many benefits and it’s a good source of fiber. However dog breeders should be careful feeding any food that contains flaxseeds since it also contains phytoestrogens which can interfere with conception and carrying puppies to term.

Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E) is listed as the next ingredient. Canola oil is made from the canola seed/rapeseed specifically for use as an oil for humans and livestock. It’s also used as a biodiesel fuel. It’s related to plants like the turnip, rutabaga, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. It’s considered a relatively healthy oil in animal feeds. It contains lots of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K.

The food also contains natural fish flavor. As with other natural flavors added to dog foods, this is a somewhat vague description and you don’t know the kind of fish or what it entails. It might be a stew from fish innards. Who knows?

The food also contains oatmeal and while this ingredient is rather far down the ingredient list, it’s yet another carbohydrate in a food that is called “limited ingredient.” Oatmeal is a good source of dietary fiber, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Manganese, but if you’re trying to limit the ingredients in your dog’s diet so he won’t eat something that might disagree with him, it’s odd that this food would have so many different carbohydrates.

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The food also contains turmeric which is an herb/spice used in curries. While this ingredient supposedly has some health benefits for humans, some humans who take it also report stomach problems. If your dog has food sensitivities or an intolerance I’m not sure it’s a good idea to feed him a food that contains this ingredient. My opinion: this is a gimmicky ingredient that’s been added because it’s becoming popular in human health circles that dogs don’t really need.

This food also contains caramel, either as a food coloring and/or sweetener. Okay, tell me why a “limited ingredient” food is adding a coloring or sweetener? Your dog doesn’t need caramel in his food at all and it’s possible he could be sensitive to something unnecessary like this ingredient.

The food has several dried probiotic fermentation products. They might be trendy, may or may not be necessary, but there is some research that shows dried probiotics are effective, at least somewhat, and help an animal’s digestion.

Finally, the food contains the usual vitamins and chelated minerals that are found in better dog foods. Chelated minerals are minerals that are bonded to amino acids so they are better digested and absorbed.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 22.0% min
  • Crude Fat 12.0% min
  • Crude Fiber 5.0% max
  • Moisture 10.0% max
  • Calcium 1.0% min
  • Phosphorus 0.9% min
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids* 0.9% min
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids* 2.0% min

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Nutrition Statement

Blue Basics Salmon & Potato Recipe Adult Food for Dogs is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

Calorie Content (ME Calculated, as fed): 3,553 Kcals/kg, 377 Kcals/cup

On a dry matter basis this food contains about 43 percent carbohydrates. The crude protein comes out to 24.4 percent. The fat comes out to 13.3 percent. And the fiber makes up 5.56 percent of the food. All of these percentages are within AAFCO and the National Research Council’s (NRC) guidelines in Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats(2006). However, the fiber content is a little high and some dogs might experience some loose stools with this food. The protein figure is somewhat low compared to other premium dog foods.


Blue Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs is definitely not a real limited ingredient dog food. Although it only contains one kind of meat protein (in this case salmon protein), it contains multiple kinds of carbs and many other ingredients, including some gimmicky ingredients and some ingredients that might be hard for any dog to digest, especially a dog with a food sensitivity. While most of the ingredients are probably of good quality, you should be careful about feeding this food to a dog with a food sensitivity. The ingredients are not much different from some of Blue Buffalo’s other foods and it would probably be fine to feed it to dogs that didn’t have any kind of food issues.

Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs has received our 3.5 paw rating.


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