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Thu May 14, 2015, 12:24 PM

Blue Buffalo foods not necessarily what the ingredient list claims. Testing reveals byproducts.

First, the link to the independent testing report.

Apparently there's been a lawsuit ongoing between Purina and Blue Buffalo for quite a while now, and things are coming to a head.

Blue Buffalo, with over a billion in sales last year, has been the fastest growing company in the pet food market, in large part based upon high prices justified (supposedly) by premium ingredients that avoid things like 'chicken byproduct' (ground up beaks, feet, intestines, feathers, etc) and filler grains (corn, wheat) more prevalent in other dog and cat foods. Somebody smelled a rat, though, and Purina got Windsor Labs to do analyses to find out just what's going into a bunch of the Blue Buffalo branded products.

The results were not pleasant. Some products contained up to 22% poultry byproduct, despite claims that no such byproduct was in the product. Small amounts of corn or rice also showed up in products labeled as having 'no grain' as well. Of the products tested, only the 'Adult Basics - Turkey & Potato' for dogs actually tested without any poultry byproduct or grains. Of course, once you got farther down in the report, it turned out that the ingredients actually found in it included 48% chicken, 22% chicken meal - not turkey. For people trying to avoid foreign grown or processed poultry (No turkeys in China) this means that even though you managed to avoid 'byproduct' and 'grain', you still have no idea where the chicken in the product came from, when you were supposedly paying for turkey.

The Poisoned Pets blog post goes into more detail about the lawsuit and how the chairman of the company is a former ad man.

Bishop realized that getting into the pet food market by starting small with contract manufacturers making the product was a no-brainer and that all one had to do was, “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” He already knew it would be a cinch to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes, because, as he said, “There were already a lot of smoke and mirrors in how pet food was advertised, and that was the sort of stuff we were good at.”


Some folks might have seen me mention in comments how my male beagle died this January from kidney failure. He also had damage to his liver and pancreas. While I have no specific reason to believe his death was related to a diet of Blue Buffalo, before we switched to BB, he had been overweight, but as soon as we switched to it, he started losing weight, which at first we thought was a 'good thing'. But he never stopped losing weight, and was down to 20 lbs by the time he died, around 2/3 or what a healthy beagle probably weighs. So after reading these articles, I just have a nagging feeling that his diet might have played a role in his early death.

We've adopted another beagle, and after reading how analyses are showing that we're not getting what we've been paying for from Blue Buffalo, I can say for certain that we won't be buying it again in future.

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Reply Blue Buffalo foods not necessarily what the ingredient list claims. Testing reveals byproducts. (Original post)
Erich Bloodaxe BSN May 2015 OP
dixiegrrrrl May 2015 #1
mopinko May 2015 #2
Warpy May 2015 #7
mopinko May 2015 #8
fizzgig May 2015 #3
Phentex May 2015 #4
phylny May 2015 #5
Warpy May 2015 #6

Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 12:28 PM

1. We stopped using Blue Buffalo a few years back

when there was a recall for something or the other in it.
Now we use another food that is rated well.
Guess I better check it, tho.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 12:35 PM

2. i have a deep distrust of most premium brands, especially the "green" ones.

i am not the least bit surprised.

i have discussed this w my vet, and we both actually have a lot of respect for purina. i fed it for many years, and had dogs that got very old in very good shape.
he says they do a lot of research, and that it is first rate stuff.

right now i am mostly feeding a small brand because i have a dog w a lot of food allergies. but i feed them sensitive stomach purina in a pinch.
i feed purina to my chickens. i used to buy organic, but nobody seems to make a pelleted organic. so the part with the additional vitamins, etc, is sort of a dust that settles to the bottom of the bag, and is often not eaten by the girls.
the worst part was that that dust really attracts rodents.

so, layena it is.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #2)

Sun May 17, 2015, 02:24 AM

7. Don't knock Purina

Their cheap food kept my cat going for 20 of her 21 years.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Sun May 17, 2015, 09:12 AM

8. the shelter i got my ferals from

feeds purina. said it was fine.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 12:38 PM

3. thanks for posting this

we switched to blue buffalo early this year and i was going to pick up a bag tomorrow. looks like it's time to investigate new foods.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2015, 08:05 AM

4. That's disappointing...

I had not used that brand but I had looked into it at one point.

We want the best for our pets and it really hurts to think we might be harming them instead.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Sat May 16, 2015, 07:42 PM

5. I now cook for my dogs, once a month, and freeze portions.

10 pounds ground turkey, cooked
10 cups cooked white rice
18 eggs, hardboiled and ground with shells

My dogs (16 & 14 lbs.) get 1/4 cup in the morning with two cubes of pureed veggies*, 1 scoop of Dinovite, and two squirts of Lick-o-chops. Dinner is everything but the Dinovite and Lick-o-chops.

*steam big bags of frozen peas, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and green beans, then puree, put in ice cube trays and freeze

My dogs have the most gorgeous coats now, they're excited to eat, and my formerly chubby Jack is a svelte, muscled, gorgeous boy. Chloe's coat has nearly doubled. Recent blood work on both of them was perfect.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2015, 02:22 AM

6. HRH preferred kibble for most of her life and had a great preference for the cheap stuff

The only reason I swapped over to wet food was her renal disease late in life and it was necessary to get as much fluid into her as possible. Since she was very old, it was kitty hospice instead of kitty life extension, so she got her favorite Fancy Feast tuna with gravy until her very last day, when she managed a nibble before her last trip to the vet.

On that cheap food, she never needed any dental work and lived until the ripe old age of 21, only failing during her last 2 1/2 months, probably from the big C since her kidneys were stable.

Cats with special needs can need special diets and those special needs can be allergies or shunts or a dozen other feline problems. Other than those, anything made specifically for cats with adequate taurine added back in will keep them healthy.

It certainly worked that way with HRH.

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