Blue Buffalo Life Protection (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line includes 21 dry dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth (Puppy) and 17 for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Blue Buffalo Lamb and Oatmeal Puppy
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Adult
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bite
  • Blue Buffalo Lamb and Brown Rice Adult (3.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Fish and Sweet Potato Adult (3.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Senior (2 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Small Breed Adult
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Large Breed Adult
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Sm Bite Senior (2 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Natural Lamb and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult
  • Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken and Brown Rice (3 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Fish and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Oatmeal Small Breed Puppy (5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Toy Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Lg Breed Adult (3.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Sm Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Natural Fish & Oatmeal Lg Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Lg Breed Senior (3.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Lg Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Sm Breed Senior (3.5 stars)

Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bite was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bite

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, whole ground brown rice, whole ground barley, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peas, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), natural chicken flavor, whole potatoes, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), alfalfa meal, whole carrots, whole sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, apples, blackberries, pomegranate, spinach, pumpkin, barley grass, dried parsley, garlic, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, l-lysine, glucosamine hydrochloride, turmeric, sunflower oil (source of omega 6 fatty acids), fish oil (source of omega 3 fatty acids), dried chicory root, oil of rosemary, 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, dicalcium phosphate, dried yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

After the natural chicken flavor, we find potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With six notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

In addition, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

We also note the inclusion of, caramel, a coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

Even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.

That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food looks like an above average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the peas, flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest to moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Life Protection is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest to moderate amount of named meats or chicken meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

11/27/2009 Original review
04/14/2010 Review updated
10/12/2010 Recall alert added
11/14/2010 Review updated
04/25/2011 Recall alert removed
04/09/2012 Review updated
10/06/2013 Review updated
10/06/2013 Last Update

  1. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • JennyLynn

    Switching dog food can cause diarrhea…how did your switch your dogs food? The Vet usually recommends to slowly mix the two and then gradually take out the old food. There is also medicine the Vet can give your dog for lose bm’s.

  • http://local.yahoo.com/info-45030904-pool-pump-repair-guy-motorwiz-longwood POOL PUMPREAPAIR guy longwood

    BB small bread senior life bits, My dog will no longer eat the small life bits, there all over the floor, he used to eat them, but it seams the last 2 bags he wants nothing to do with them. I’m over it, at 20$ for a small bag and most of it left on the floor, it seems like a giant waist of money.
    why couldn’t they just have it all in one nugget ? OR did they change the formula ???

  • Crazy4cats

    Chelsea-
    My dogs also had a bout of giardia and coccidia when I got them. Unfortunately, it took about 5 rounds of medication and other natural remedies to get rid of it. Have you had your pup retested to make sure he is parasite free? It often takes more than one round of meds to totally get rid of it. Since then, my dogs have had sensitive stomachs with inconsistent stools. They are getting better all the time, though! Are you feeding the pup some boiled chicken or burger with rice still? I would continue with small meals of that and gradually add in kibble when the stool starts to get firmer. Also, digestive enzymes, plain canned pumpkin and probiotics are very helpful. Especially if you were giving him antibiotics while treating the “bugs” he had. Please let us know how it is going.

  • Chelsea

    I only fed it to him for a day. He was previously on nutro because I figured after the worms and giauardia that it would be best to take it easy but its been months… He has no problem eating rice… It doesn’t completely digest but it doesn’t give him issues either…. I don’t think grains are the issue really because I just started the food. He has been eating on rice and chicken for the past few days. I just don’t know when to switch him back to dog food. His stool is getting better. Hopefully when I get home from work it will be solid. But I’ve been reading this…. http://themodernbark.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-to-feed-your-dog-after-he-has-had.html

    If he doesn’t have issues with rice could he still have issues with oatmeal? And if I only fed it to him for a day and 1/2 would that be enough time to tell? He honestly didn’t even take that long to get the diarrhea… It happened so fast.

    Even the nutro had grains in it… Brown rice…

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try adding some probiotics and digestive enzymes to his food..that should help quite a bit. Then, I would get him off of Blue Buffalo as soon as you can (slowly/gradually, as Crazy4cats said). I wouldn’t switch him back to the Nutro you were feeding, though. I would suggest something grain-free, as he may not be tolerating the oatmeal well (it’s hard to say without more info, but it does seem to be a common ingredient in what you’ve fed so far). Something like NutriSource Grain Free is a good “starter” grain-free food..my guy does great on it when he’s on it (I rotate every bag ..but my guy was in the exact situation as yours when I got him), it seems to be one that a lot of dogs do well on when first switching to grain-free.. and it’s not too bad on the pocketbook.

  • Chelsea Craft

    Thank you so much! Yeah if anyone else wants to chime in I appreciate it!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Chelsea-
    I have had some of the same issues as you, however, I don’t have a lot of time right now to give a full response. However, whatever you do, do it slowly! I am going to give you a link that has a lot of information for your situation and will try to get back to you later with some of my experiences. I’m sure others will chime in also. Good luck and here is the link: http://www.dogaware.com/health/digestive.html

  • Chelsea Craft

    I just made the huge mistake( as a new first time puppy owner :( ) of switching from nutro sensitive stomach to Blue Buffalo Lamb and Oatmeal Puppy… My puppy is a 7 month old collie hound mix… he is a rescue… And when I got him at about 2-3 months old he had multiple strains of worms, mites, and giardia. Ever since he has been over that he has had really soft stool. The sensitive stomach helped a little but he still would have really soft stool fairly often… So I asked my friend about food recommendations because she has had dogs her whole life and she recommended Blue Buffalo Lamb and Oatmeal… I switched too soon and now poor Copper has diarrhea… Well I’ve been feeding him rice, trying to get him to drink plenty of water, a little bit of plain cooked chicken, and pedialite ( which he isn’t too fond of). I ran out of the old food so I didn’t mix the foods… He has a thick mucus in his stool now and its really watery but ever since I started feeding him only chicken and rice it has thickened up over the past 48 hours… its no longer water.. more like a pudding consistency…. he really liked the food… when is it okay for me to switch back? Is it normal for him to have mucus in his stool like this? He isn’t really going that often any more either does the rice back him up?

  • Bobby dog

    Hey, I contribute when I can!

  • Dori

    Sorry BC for all your aunt and your family are going through. It can’t be easy. Bless you for all you’re doing for her. We should all be as kind and caring for our loved ones as you have been. I hope things get better or easier for you and yours.

    You’ve been missed. It’s nice to see your posts pop up even if just occasionally.

  • Crazy4cats

    Someone has to keep things exciting while you are MIA! Welcome back!

  • theBCnut

    I’m not sure how here I am, but I did actually have some free time this evening. I sure have missed everyone here!

  • Betsy Greer

    Yay!! You’re here! Gosh I’ve missed you.

  • theBCnut

    I have missed some amazing conversations while I’ve been dealing with my aunt. I think that there are several people here who would enter that contest!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Yeah, that wouldn’t last very long with my two. I have never seen anything like it.

  • aimee

    It looks like they are attached by an elastic (???) cord to the tail.

  • Crazy4cats

    LOL! I think these are a great idea! My previous dog had a long hairy tail, so I didn’t have the issue I do now. My labs have short hair and their tails are always up and wagging, exposing themselves. How do you s’pose those things are stuck on? ; D

  • Betsy Greer

    LOL! I couldn’t open this yesterday, but can now. Hahahha! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a photo of a dog and wished their owner had one of these. I guess this is one reason why I like dogs with long tails. ; )

  • losul

    OMG, just when I thought I’d seen it all, LOL!

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m in! Lol!

  • Bobby dog

    hmmmmmm…probably wouldn’t need too many prizes. I am not sure how many DFAr’s would participate in such a contest! ;)

  • aimee

    Are we going to have prizes?

  • Bobby dog

    Maybe in honor of your and Losul’s THK posts I will create the bisquits to replicate Bobby’s output. When I post pics I will mix them with real Bobby turds and everyone can guess which is real and which are bisquits.

  • aimee

    Be sure to post pictures of your creations!

  • Bobby dog

    That is fabulous! I am thinking instead of rolling out my dog bisquit dough and cutting out cute little bone shapes, I am going to make cat turds from now on. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Eeeeeeeewww!

  • aimee

    Maybe! Sadly this idea has already been “scooped up” too http://www.catlogsfordogs.com/

  • dani

    Secrets To Dog Training: Stop Your Dog’s Behavior Problems! ——————–

    http://ab1d142qkwhq2x4nleydox3q20.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=BLOG

  • aquariangt

    That’s fantastic

    Also, I’m pugmomsandy this morning, I wonder if that means I can start deleting people’s posts…

  • Bobby dog

    Damn…but I don’t see the nuclear symbol being used! Maybe that image is my way to big money from the unsuspecting public.

  • aquariangt

    There is a lot I consider decent foods so that’s a hard question to answer. I feed a wide variety, and I switch almost every bag. Fromm and Earthborn are two solid foods from good,honest companies. But there are many, many more, and more that I have used. I would encourage you to join the Editor’s Choice portion of this site (a great deal for a year subscription) and they delve much deeper into the actual companies as well as the food on that part. I would also encourage you to visit the forums, where people can share more experiences with certain brands. There is a bit more to it than just the ingredients, but it is a good start. I’m glad you aren’t on the bottom of the barrel foods, but your post earlier was definitely defending something you weren’t totally up to date on

  • aquariangt

    exactly

  • Betsy Greer

    Funny thing is, when you go to Blue Buffalo’s site, it will allow only you to compare their food to a bunch of other crappy foods; mostly Purina products, but also Bil-Jac, Iams, Science Diet, etc.

    They evidently aren’t making any claims to be a premium foods since you can only compare their products to lesser quality foods. Oh, but wait, I guess only the price is what you can compare to premium foods.

  • aimee

    If you were thinking of this… it is already covered : )

    http://www.reargearstore.com/#!__pictures

  • cas

    Well what would you consider decent food then? And I wouldn’t say I was uninformed about dog foods as I did a ton of research about ingredients but maybe about the company itself a little uninformed. However, I wonder if the other dog foods
    that make the same claims as Blue would have the same if their foods were tested? I do agree that beneful and science diet are crap though. I am surprised how many people think science diet is good though. And I just had a friends vet recommend Pedigree for their dogs over Iams (mostly because one of their dogs rejected Iams basically) and I don’t think I would feed that to mine.

  • aquariangt

    Blue is still not a great company. They are shady with both their sourcing and their manufacturing process. Yes, Purina sued them and maybe part of it was jealousy, but it’s the same tactic Blue has been using for years. There is also more than just a bit of by-product in their food in my opinion, as too many dogs have issues on it where on paper, they shouldn’t. Definitely not worth the money, and they are essentially the same as every other commercialized food in my book-except their main tactic is to attack everyone else (for the record, the companies they attack I don’t feed either). Go to their website, as they love toting the “Compare your food to blue” campaign. What foods are they compared to? Anything decent? No. I have no ounce of respect for this company. I guess I’m glad they are out there for the uninformed getting off baneful and science diet, but it certainly isn’t a top notch food

  • Bobby dog

    Alright, what I learned this morning is that I need to pay closer attention and have greater focus in my marketing and communication classes…you never know when you will find the next big thing to sell the world!

  • aimee

    I just read it! Really eye opening! Especially the owners explanation as to why he entered the pet food business: ““…they decided to investigate the commercial potential of healthy dog
    food. Bishop saw parallels to sweetened beverages: high margins and low
    barriers to entry. “You can get into the market small with contract manufacturers making
    the stuff,” he says, displaying an easy candor. “Slap on a good label,
    come up with a slogan, and off you go,” he says. “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.”

    It is well worth the read! http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-24/blue-buffalo-vs-dot-purina-in-dog-food-fight-over-nutrition-claims#p2

  • cas

    Why all that article says is that Purina is jealous and that there might be a bit of by product in the food which is actually a source of protein, and perfectly healthy. Other than that no corn or other crap fillers is way better than most dog foods.

  • Raffi Anton
  • Raffi Anton

    you don’t have to feed as much of the higher quality foods, as david said. i feed based on regularly eyeballing my dogs’ figures from above, not based on package instructions.

  • Sheryle t

    Same exact thing happened just now to my Buddy, a rescue beagle-lab mix, had fed him Blue since I got him nearly a year ago because after researching felt it was the best, ordered 2 big bags from natural pet on sale and since I opened up the first bag terrible throwing up, diarrhea, fever, listlessness, I thought I would lose him!! :( finally he got better after day and a half of no food just home-made electrolyte water with raw honey and a tiny bit of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt every half hour or so in small amounts hand feeding him all night whenever he woke up to prevent dehydration. Was so much better in the morning after he slept for several hours, then made organic white rice and organic grass fed beef to reintroduce food, he did well with that was pretty much 100% again, I was so happy! Then gave him the Blue small amount again, after 2nd feeding diarrhea all over again :( There must be an issue with food safety here people, what can we do? called the company but was after hours, I’m concerned!! Feeding him small amounts of

    plain kefir to try to get the good bacteria in to fight this thing, very scary!! :(

  • erich82

    The more posts I read from you, the more nonsense I read. A dog is not a wild animal and it is certainly not 100% carnivore. Even dry dog food has alot of veggies. Their diet should usually consist of about 30% veggies actually. Second, if you want to feed your dog good meat, feed it raw…. Why would you cook it? Please stop throwing your misguided information around like it’s candy

  • erich82

    Oh boy. Someone else who thinks he knows everything and feels the need to be condescending because someone else doesn’t feed their dogs as you do. If his dog is healthy, not overweight and is not a piggy eater, why not leave the bowl out? Having his bowl out all day will also teach the dog that food is not just served at one time and to eat it whether hungry or not. Alot of dogs fed this way tend to eat their meal really fast, and may be at a higher risk for bloat, especially with larger breeds. Who are you to judge someone else based on how they feed their dog?

  • David Teer

    Most of these review websites are based on ingredients on the label. The allegation between Purina and Blue are the labels are falsified.

  • David Teer

    They were overweight because they receive more nutrition from Blue. Lower quality foods like Pedigree and Pruina contain wheat and corn which is a filler. Dogs receive very little nutrition from wheat or corn.

  • Shawna

    Not even mushrooms?? What is wrong with them!!!! :)

    Mine must be a bit weird I guess… They will even dance for green beans and brussel sprouts. Well, except Tumbleweed. He will take them but acts indifferent about it most times. :)

  • Betsy Greer

    LOL!! Not mine! They wouldn’t eat a grilled mushroom tonight either.

  • theBCnut

    No links, no references, no sources, except this website. I’ve been reading here for over 2 years and I was refering to the complaints here. Every blue thread went from next to no complaints to monthly complaints to weekly complaints to multiple complaints each week over the last year. The last few months have not had nearly the number of complaints, but there have still been some.

  • Shawna

    Bromelain also helps prevent cancer from forming by helping the rogue cell commit suicide. I’m not exactly sure how it helps but there has been research on it..

    When fed with the meal it is used to digest the food eaten. If given away from meals it is able to be used as a metabolic enzyme on a cellular level..

    I’m lucky in that mine will eat just about anything I put in front of them… And if I really want them to eat it I drop it on the floor and there is a mad dash for whatever it is I dropped. Then the others will take it simply because, I’m guessing, the first got one.. :)

  • Betsy Greer

    I offered the dogs some fresh pineapple last night and neither of the little buggers would eat it.

    I read an article in WDJ that bromelain has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for dog’s with arthritis. The WDJ article said that it’s best when given an hour before or two hours after a meal.

  • Shawna

    Pineapple, in small amounts, actually can be healthful for multiple reasons. For one, fresh pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain that helps digest proteins. Pineapple is also a food that helps prevent and kill cancer by stopping the blood vessels that carry nutrients to the tumor. This is called antiangiogenosis.

    My dogs are raw fed but I do include 5 to 10 percent fruit in the diet for the healthy benefits attributed to fruits.

  • Ida Delucia

    Why are people trying to feed a dog pineapple or as mentioned in other posts fish? A dog is a carnivore. If you’re really concerned for your dog start buying meat, trim off the fat, and boil it. That has got to be healthier than pineapple! In nature a dog doesn’t eat pineapple, not if he has meat!
    And Alpo is crummy. It gave my two dogs diarrhea. Another thing reviews are based on labels, not tests. Try a food and go with what works. If you’re concerned about food cost or food waste then maybe a dog is not for you.

  • Ida Delucia

    Your answer is well written. I was wondering if these are opinions or do you have references, sources, ect…
    What are the percentage of complaints this month compared to last month or last year?

  • Ida Delucia

    Food dishes shouldn’t be left out through out the day. That seems lazy. It is properly weighing out dry versus wet food, putting down the dish, and picking up the dish to show a feeding schedule. I guess your dog is not trained. Do you take it for walks? If so you dog has scarfed it’s food before.

  • Ida Delucia

    Chewing on feet could also be anxiety. I would take the dog to the vet! If natural fish was in the food… that is strange.

  • Ida Delucia

    I used Blue for both my American Staffordshire Terriers. At a vet check up one was 18 pounds over weight and the other was 24 pounds over weight. We were prescribed Hills Prescription r/d which we combined each of their dry food servings with half a 5 oz. can of pedigree wet food. They lost their weight and no more snorting while they breathed. We soon went to pedigree dry and wet. They loved the pedigree, unlike with Blue they would hold out in hopes we’d give them our food. In the end they scarfed down the Blue. I guess a dog likes what a dog likes. I just know my two dogs prefer Pedigree.

  • Katherine

    I absolutely LOVE BB for my golden retriever. I adopted him 5 years ago and he’s always been on BB. He has thrived. He is 8 yrs old and looks and acts like he’s 3 yrs. I’m not sure if it’s just the food or great genetics too (probably a combo, but I ain’t complaining!) but he does so well. He has very few white hairs on his face (at his age he should be white). I feed him 2 cups a day and he’s 85 lbs. It sustains him with his activity level. He’s VERY healthy. No health concerns whatsoever. I just wish I could afford it! I need to switch to something relatively comparable yet less pricey. I do get $5 off coupons but that’s not very helpful. I used to get $10 off coupons and that helped a ton!

  • jamie

    When I very first switched my dogs to this food they did have the poops but you have to slowly ease them into this food to get them used to it keep mixing there old food with the new one then the poops does stop vet told me a can of pumpkin mixed in there food helps with the poops

  • Alberto

    Hi.
    I just made the change from Royal Canin to BB LP… Large Breed Puppy.
    Ok first with Royal Canin I had these problems:
    1. Yellow stool
    2. Soft Stool
    3. Gases
    and my Lab started to have some skin problems here and there… so, let’s try BB I said…
    At Petco the complain is that it has too much protein… at petSmart is that I should try also their brand… so let’s put business out, I’ll be giving you my reviews about this food for real…
    I have a tumblr page for my dog in spanish ( http://kokoyal.tumblr.com/ ) but I’ll write the reviews in english for these food… We just started with BB on Monday night… Good luck everyone!

  • Christine Smith

    Blue Life Protection gave my puppy the runs and he ended up sick and dehydrated. $1200.00 emergency vet bill! I even gave it another shot once his tummy was settled and immediately he started getting the runs again. From what the vet says, some puppies can’t handle all the “wild” ingredients. He’s doing great on Iams which has the same star rating.

  • Osux

    If your dog will eat it- mine wouldn’t touch it.

  • Osux

    Yeah…after a 500 dollar vet bill- I stopped this food. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

  • Osux

    Funny, my pup had the same issue with BB as yours did with the Purina. I’m glad it works for your dog.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    No dog foods are tested by an independent third party. There are over 800 reviews representing some 3,500 recipes on this website alone.

    And testing multiple batches from each recipe on an ongoing basis is too expensive and too time consuming for any website — or even the US government itself.

    Although there are many ways to rate a dog food, we’ve settled on using the only reliable information we feel we can consistently trust.

    We read and interpret government-regulated pet food labels. Nothing more. And we do this in two simple ways:

    1. We study the ingredients list

    2. We evaluate the meat content

    And we tend to ignore virtually everything else.

    As reviewers, we don’t test dog food. We don’t taste it. And we rarely trust marketing hype, manufacturer’s claims, the fancy artwork on the package or legal matters.

    However, in our members-only Editor’s Choice section, we do go beyond the label for a select group of dog foods we feel are among some of the very best brands available to the North American market.

    You can learn more about how we rate dog food by visiting the following two pages on our website:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-reviews-problems/

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/rate-dog-food/

    Based upon the label information only, Blue Buffalo still rates the same. Unless the label itself has changed, there’s no need to change this review. As I explain throughout this website, lawsuits, recalls, marketing, etc. have never had anything to do with any of our 800+ ratings.

    However, companies with these kinds of histories will be (for the time being) ineligible for our Editor’s Choice designation. Over time (and if their record improves), they could eventually become eligible once again.

    Hope this helps.

  • theBCnut

    No. The reviews are not a guarantee of quality. They are an analysis of the government regulated label.

  • Brad Williams

    So if the allegations by Purina about Blue Buffalo are true, does that not potentially negate every review because there is no testing of any products?

  • MacDarby

    I recently switched from BB Chicken and Brown Rice because my 13.5-year-old cattle dog had horrible gas to Natural Fish & Oatmeal. Now one of my two shepherds is scratching her mouth and chewing her feet. Allergy?

  • SP
  • Nathan Jones

    The only caution with Merrick Senior is it has high levels of phosphorus..1.33% (I had to email them) which could be a killer on an older dogs kidneys.

  • Mary B

    I feed my two little ones Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken for small breeds. They do wonderfully on this food. I can’t get it locally and when the weather got really bad and I was unable to go get their BB I got them Purina One Smart Balance. What a nightmare, they began shedding horribly, lost the shine to their coats, they didn’t have their usual energy and it took more food to keep them at their proper weight. From now on I will make sure to have plenty of their BB in stock when the weather decides to keep me homebound.

  • Karen Leedom

    I have been a long time loyal BB customer and was a BB rep.from their early years. I am disappointed in the changes they have made in the food. My current bag of small breed chicken and rice list barley as the third ingredient then brown rice ,with tomatoe pomace being the 6th, followed by chicken flavor, potatoes, peas then fish, Reading this review has reinforced my thoughts of changing foods as I feel they are “flling” with cheaper ingredients

  • Matt Turner

    Have been feeding my Apt blue for about a year and he does great and loves this food. Now i had switched him over to blue from purina healthy morsels and what a difference. Feeding purina it would take 6 cup’s of food a day to fill him compared to the 4 cups a day of blue. Ya gotta remember the better quality food is gonna take a less amount to fiil our best friends than poor quality food will. Luckily my boy max just doesnt scarf his down in one sitting n eats his food through out the day so it was easy to figure out his need without him getting upset. Now if you best pal just houses the food down n your feeding them more than what they need then there’s a really good possibilty that overfeeding could be causing the symptoms in some of the comments ive read on here. Just a thought

  • Jemma White

    Replying to Bob, you are in the right place (DFA is proving to be a great resource for our family dogs) and BB is probably the right brand, I would start with the Basic BB food, and if your dog’s digestive system accepts it without a problem then add a digestive aid. VitaHound is a rather strong probiotic, Missing Link provides a few different formulations and is the stuff I started our dogs on when I first realized our dogs health was being affected by their food. Although our dog’s systems settled down with BB basic and they seemed happy and healthy one dog’s allergies remained a problem, we now feed Canine Cattle Company and the VitaHound supplement. The flax seed is the ingredient that I believe provides a ton of anti inflammatory in both food and supplement, but BB was a definite upgrade to other brands I have tried.

  • theBCnut

    There are probably thousands of dogs being fed this food with no problem what so ever, but there have been quite a number of people reporting that their dog got sick, in many instances it was after they had been on the food for quite a while. Keep receipts, keep the food in the original bag, and watch your dog for digestive issues. They may be having quality control issues. There have been far less negative reports in the last month than there were for months before that, so maybe whatever was going on has been resolved. You may want to consider that this might be a great time to start a rotational diet.

  • Mariah Lynn Baker

    I haven’t had a problem on BB with my siberian husky at all. In the beggining when I switched her from Science Diet she had a little diarrhea but that only lasted for a week, if that long. Now what my concern is is that everyone in the beginning was praising BB and now their warding it off. Is it really that bad? I don’t want my girl getting sick later on down the road.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Personally, I give about even weight to the review and the comments. The review is an excellent starting place. It covers the government regulated label and educates you on what some of those terms mean. The comments let you know what kinds of experiences people are having with specific products.
    I use the review to whittle down my choices, then the comments to whittle them down a little more, then I pick foods to try.
    Since you were using Alpo, I would keep in mind that going from a 1 star food to a 5 star food would be a huge change in every possible way, so you might want to try a food that is slightly better for a couple months, then another for a month, and so on until you have your dog eating a healthy food.
    I personally recommend NutriSource as a good mid quality food at a good price that is usually easy to transition to. Good Luck.

  • Bob Kimball

    Ok people I thought Blue Buffalo or as I now see I should refer by using BB would help our dog’s digestive issues, however the comments suggest otherwise. Another brand of BB the people mention the VitaHound dog supplement, here I see pineapple may help for getting digestive help into my dog’s system. I’m currently feeding an Alpo dry food, don’t remember the specific type. Im dealing with loose poop or diarrhea, and our lab seems to feel horrible. I did not realize there was this many dog food brands to research, because our dog seems to get worse when transitioning between foods I want to get this right. Not through trial and error. What aspects of the rating should I give the most weight too?

  • Betsy Greer

    I think I’d shoot for the higher end of your protein range.

    Have you looked at the best dog foods lists? Start there and just start reading reviews looking for ingredients you like or dislike to eliminate or select certain products. There are grain free and grain inclusive lists ~ I use both because even my grain sensitive dog has no problem with gluten free pseudo grains.

    I’ve had to modify my personal favorites, because one of mine can’t have fish or fish oils. Oh, and anything made by Diamond is a personal deal breaker for me. So, those are some of my criteria.

    All that aside, some quality, budget friendly (mostly) foods that I feel are made by manufacturers I trust are Victor, Earthborn Holistics, NutriSource, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Horizon, Dr. Tim’s, Orijen, Acana, Brother’s Complete, Fromm, Mulligan Stew, Wellness, Canine Caviar and Nature’s Logic.

  • Sharon

    Hi Jeremy12095
    I don’t know how expensive BB is but i am a Dist for FRR and it doesn’t take nearly as much of this food as it does most foods. I had a sheperd that had no hair and a really bad skin condition and after trying the food from the Vet and all kinds of meds she gave my food a try and he got his hair back and was out running with the guys when they went 4 Wheelin and horse back riding.

  • Sharon

    Hi
    My sheperd had this problem. Took stool sample in and said it was ok. Next week it was worse. After 4 tries under the microscope found one whip worm egg. Treated her and she was fine. Pale yellow and was really stinky

  • codyor448

    Recommended by the vet. so that’s the level i have been targeting.

  • Betsy Greer

    We can definitely help you with suggestions!

    I do have a couple of questions for you…, are you limited to buying locally or are you willing to buy online? And, is there a particular reason for the protein you specify? 22% is very low and some would argue 28% is still too low. Does your dog have a particular nutritional need that particular protein level?

  • codyor448

    Yes, right now just white rice and pumpkin until friday…Need to find a good reasonably priced grain free dog food, with 22-28% protein… Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi codyor448,

    I’m so sorry to hear about all your pup has been through. I agree with the breeders on this. It amazes me how often someone posts a story similar to yours about their experience with these products.

    I presume you’ve switched your pup off of the Blue Buffalo?

  • codyor448

    I have been fighting severe diahrrea in my lab for almost a month now, from feeding her this dog food. Started her on blue buffalo puppy food until 1 year old, with no problems. Switched her at 14 months to this variety, and it has been a nightmare. Numerous trips to the vet, treating various antibiotics, and dog is on a diet of white rice, pumpkin, and a smidge of life protection. Vet has finally ruled out giardia, salmonella, and various other bacterial issues, and has determined it is this dog food.
    I am so sorry we ever tried blue buffalo… thankfully we have not lost our dog due to this inferior product. Now if they would only pay the vet bills. I have been advised by many breeders not to feed any blue buffalo product.

  • Nicole

    I put my 12 week old Golden Retriever puppy on the large breed puppy food. He ended up with horrible direaha and an extreme case of dry flakey skin. My poor baby. I switched him to an all stage grain free food and his stool became better within days. Now we are just waiting for his skin to clear up. All I can say is be careful of this food. I should have read more comments before switching him.

  • Fran

    Hate both the product and the people who respond to customer concerns. Dog had constant stomach problem, when I wrote to them they wrote back defending their product and calling me by someone else’s name. Never again. (My favorite independent dog store won’t carry it.)

  • Silver g

    Hey Patty you are not an expert and you are so rude and arrogant. Cease and desist

  • Pattyvaughn

    First of all, it has to be fresh pineapple to work, if it will work. Fresh pineapple contains a digestive enzyme that after going through the digestive system should 1)help make the dog digest the food more thoroughlyso there is nothing appetizing in the poop and 2) make the poop itself taste unappetizing. It won’t stop them from eating another animals poop and it doesn’t work on all dogs.
    Canned pineapple is heat processed and that destroys the enzymes.

  • dchassett

    I’ve tried pineapple, meat tenderizer, every commercial product, have followed everyone’s advice on the poo eating. We got her at 9 weeks, she’s now 4 years old and nothing other than always being in the yard when the three dogs go out and picking up has stopped her from eating poo. ARGH! So frustrating. OH!. If you try the meat tenderizer make sure there is NO MSG in it. Very important. No MSG. Good luck.

  • Chris

    Lil, what does the pineapple do to make them not eat their poo?? My 12 week old lab easts her poo and I don’t know how to get her to stop. BTW, we also feed her BB chick and rice and she has terrible gas as well.

  • JJT75

    We have been feeding our 4 year old Malshi Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken & Rice adult formula her whole life. The only time she wasn’t on it was when we got her as a an 8 month old puppy. We made the switch to the BB puppy formula almost immediately (mixing what the breeder gave us with BB) and then the adult formula when the time came. She’s never had a problem with the food. When they changed up the formula for the nutribits in it she picked them out at first but that didn’t last long.

    It’s a great dog food and have recommended it to many friends with small breed dogs. Those who have switched to it have never had a problem.

    That being said, just because a particular dog food gives your dog the runs or makes your dog throw up doesn’t mean it’s a bad dog food. It just means it’s not the right food for your dog. Sometimes you have to try a few different brands to find one that works for your breed.

  • NIcho

    Cleo Lenora Wolf: Just so you know your comment sparked my interest as to why they would advertise “chicken and rice” as grain free. However, they do not market meat&rice as grain free. If you go to Blue Buffalo’s website and check the “grain free” option box you’ll see that none of their suggestions contain rice.

  • Betsy Greer

    So, the only reason you don’t recommend Blue Buffalo is because of the fiber content?

  • Rachael-Chesapeake VA

    I work at a veterinary clinic and we do not recommend Blue Buffalo to our clients. People read the ingredient claims about berries etc and feel that they are giving their dog the best. Blue Buffalo is very high in fiber and many dogs, especially large breed dogs do not tolerate it. The over abundance of fiber causes intestinal issues like bloating, gas ad diarrhea.

  • Husky mom

    For over 20 years I feed my dogs Science Diet. We’ve had health issues as you do with any pets. This year we adopted 2 new puppies, our female from the beginning experience digestive issues. I switched her from the puppy formula to the sensitive puppy formula, but the problems continued. She would throw up most of her food after meals. My vet thought maybe she had chewed up something that was causing the issue, so we had her x-rayed & a sonogram, nothing was found. My vet also thought she was eating to fast, so I bought the “slow down” bowl, that didn’t work either. 1 month ago I switched to Blue Chicken- brown rice for large breed puppies, she has not thrown up once ! They love the food. I’ve also switched our 11 year old to the senior formula.

  • Doglover

    I feed my dog Earthborn Holistic and she gets all the nutrients that she needs. She is a perfect weight. I recommend Earthborn holistic to everyone with a dog.

  • Chris

    I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. The same thing happened to me with Pedigree Dog Food last year. I also purchased it at Petsmart. I opened a new bag and the contents were moving with bugs and worms. Totally disgusting. Petsmart doesn’t seem to rotate their products. When they are out, they reorder. No Matter how long it sat on their shelves.I now shop at an independent pet store

  • jeremy12095

    I have been feeding my GSD Blue Buffalo LB Adult for 1 year now. My gsd had skin issues when I gave her purina at first. She got hot spots and would naw her self raw so I switched to Blue and it worked out great. I also switched my chi to Blue small breed adult and he loves it. The only complaint I have is its way too expensive and adds up after a while. I am trying to find a cheaper alternate that is close in quality to blue.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would also recommend Hound Dog Mom’s list. Here’s the newest one.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk&pid=explorer&efh=false&a=v

    You may have to register to view google docs.

  • InkedMarie

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

    I believe the list of appropriate foods is on page 15

  • Rebecca Leigh Feinman

    It won’t let me open the link! Is there another site I can try??

  • Rebecca Leigh Feinman

    Had no idea! What do you recommend?

  • Guest

    Had no idea! What do you recommend??

  • carc169

    When I feed my dog BB, it’s a Corgi. When I switch dog food it becomes a Chihuahua. I am sticking with BB.

  • Cleo Lenora Wolf

    ha ha, I agree!!! But I think it’s still better than that Purina crap which contains Corn & wheat. Thanks hon!! peace:)

  • Cleo Lenora Wolf

    Thanks to JAN_M2C! I did read some about it, and found out that Brown Rice is not as bad as the Corn & wheat. But Grain-free should be just that!!!! I’ll do more research, thanks again!! peace:)

  • Cleo Lenora Wolf

    Thanks, Ollie! I love my babies & I want to feed them something safe & healthy!! peace…:)

  • Ollie

    If you want to try merrick grain free. My dogs love it and it is made in the US with food from the US also. About the same price as bb.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If she asked for a grain-free food and this employee suggested BB Lamb & Brown rice, I would place this employee firmly in the “pet store employees aren’t knowledgeable” category. *sigh*

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    First off, Blue Lamb & Brown Rice does have rice, which is a grain. I’m not sure if Blue has ingredients from China, though, so you might want to investigate that further and not simply take the word for a Petsmart employee…..I’m not saying that he isn’t right or that pet store employees aren’t knowledgeable, just that you should always research on your own to make sure.

  • Cleo Lenora Wolf

    Yesterday I experienced something HORRIBLE!! I opened the Purina One bag to find “Live Maggots”!! It’s not the only time, either!
    So I went back to PetsMart & asked the guy to recommend the Best Grain-free food with the Ingredients being 100% from the U.S.A., and he told me to get BLUE Lamb & Brown Rice. I haven’t tried it yet, but I”ll know tonight if they like it or not! It cost me twice as Purina, but I’m now scared to buy Purina after all these Years and I just found out that some ingredients come from China! They don’t regulate their Food as we do in America!! We’ll see tonight! peace….:)

  • InkedMarie

    I used their Senior Care years ago and the dog did great on it. My only issue is that it’s not grain free. Lots of senior dogs have arthritis & grains can be inflammatory.

  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as your dog doesn’t have an issue with any of the ingredients, it looks like a pretty decent food. It is a bit low in protein for my tastes, but my dogs have issues.

  • Kahlua

    Thanks again for your information and support. Really good to know about the protein levels. Any thoughts about Holistic Select?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Look into Amicus Senior/Merrick Senior/Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Senior, Core Reduced Fat.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Senior dogs start to lose their ability to utilize the protein in their diet, but their need for protein does not deminish at all. Senior dogs can need up to 50% more high quality protein just to get the same amount out of their food, so there is not reason to decrease a healthy seniors protein level just because of age. The Merrick Senior that Sandy suggested is one of the best.

  • Kahlua

    Sandy – Thanks for the insight. Since our dog is 10 years old, I’m more interested in the senior recipes at this stage, but it needs to be a quality one.

  • InkedMarie

    Yep I have three dogs who all eat differently. I definitely have to plan!

  • InkedMarie

    What Patty said below….its so important to feed large breed puppies what is appropriate, not whats convenient.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Further to what Pattyvaughn said, you should really be feeding him a food on this spreadsheet of foods appropriate for a growing large breed puppy (they have specific nutritional needs most foods, including the ones you have been feeding him, do not fulfill):

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1