The Blue Buffalo Company is an American pet food business based in Wilton, Connecticut and was founded on the principle of caring for family pets in the best possible way by providing healthier edible options.
Bill and his two sons developed pet food that would help their poor Blue overcome health issues. Blue Buffalo’s philosophy is one of ensuring pets live happy and healthy lives. Blue Buffalo Company was officially founded in 2002.
So what makes Blue Buffalo pet food stand out from the other products on the supermarket shelf? Well, Blue Buffalo have stated that their pet food does not contain chicken or poultry by-product meals, artificial preservatives, flavours and colours.
This statement, specifically concerning zero poultry by-products, has stirred controversy in the media recently where Purina accused Blue Buffalo of false advertising. Blue Buffalo in turn have accused their rival of defamation.
Back to the food. Blue Buffalo do not implement corn, wheat and soy in their pet food recipes because they are also aware of potential allergy issues like coeliac disease that can cause serious health problems for dogs.
Aside from using real chicken, lamb or fish in their recipes—as they understand the nutritional value of a strong protein source—Blue Buffalo pet food contains LifeSource Bits, which is a fancy blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants intended to fortify a pet’s immune system.
These cold-formed LifeSource Bits in the kibble should retain more of the vitamins and nutrients than say other processed foods that may lose their potency due to the manufacturing process of extreme cooking temperatures.
Blue Life Protection Formula (dry puppy food) comes in four different recipes: chicken & brown rice, Lamb & oatmeal, (large breed puppy) chicken & brown rice and (small breed puppy) chicken & oatmeal. Our review of Blue Buffalo’s Blue Life Protection Formula will focus on the chicken & brown rice mix which contains the following main ingredients:
- de-boned chicken,
- chicken meal,
- whole ground brown rice,
- whole ground barley,
- menhaden fish meal,
- chicken fat,
- flax seed
- and a long list of fruits and vegetables
As de-boned chicken implies, it is the meat minus the bones but still retains the moisture. Chicken meal, however, is the meat with the water content removed and is arguably more concentrated with protein. True to Blue Buffalo’s pet nutrition philosophy there are natural meat protein sources at the top of the ingredient list.
The fillers in this recipe are all natural and of high quality with the exception of the brown rice, which we will explain. Notice how the brown rice is listed as ‘whole ground’; at a glance you could mistake that for ‘whole grain’.
Scientific America uploaded an article entitled ‘Whole-grain Foods not always Healthful’ that explains that:
‘ … some processing techniques have been shown to degrade natural antioxidants and reduce fiber content …’
To cover the losses from the refined brown rice, though, we have oatmeal, and to a lesser extent whole ground barley, which is generally higher in protein and fibre—excellent for the digestive system—and lower on the carbohydrate calories. Sure, the recipe does not have corn but it does have some grain. Oatmeal is the recommended form of grain to appear on a pet food recipe.
Menhaden fish meal is a great ingredient to see in the mix because it is not only another protein source but it is also nutrient-rich.
Chicken fat and flax seed satisfy the balance where essential oils are required for the healthy skin and shiny coat. Instead of seeing a list of nasty grains and other by-products to pad out the remainder of the recipe Blue Buffalo rely on natural ingredients, which is fantastic.
Amazon product reviews typically reflect negative stories about dogs with frequent and smelly bowel movements when they sample pet food with an abundance of natural ingredients. Adam says his ‘… Siberian Husky did not agree with this food at all’ while AB would agree: ‘The only thing that would warrant a second purchase would be a free gas mask in the bag’.
Despite the negative feedback there are a lot of happy customers out there. Lorraine says she: ‘… got a small bag of Blue Buffalo at the store to try her on it, and she loves it. Plus, no more sick puppy’.
Jeannette Mortimer shares her opinion: ‘My Great Dane has issues keeping weight on and her stomach gets upset very easily. This has been a life saver for her. We tried three higher end foods with her. This is the only one that she loves to eat and actually gains/maintains weight with’.