Blue Buffalo Wilderness (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Blue Wilderness product line includes nine dry dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two recipes for growth (puppies).

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

  • Blue Wilderness Senior
  • Blue Wilderness Duck Adult
  • Blue Wilderness Salmon Adult
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken Adult
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken Puppy
  • Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken
  • Blue Wilderness Small Breed Chicken Adult
  • Blue Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Adult
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken Large Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Wilderness Large Breed Chicken

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 38%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, tapioca starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), tomato pomace (source of lycopene), natural chicken flavor, dried egg, potatoes, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), alfalfa meal, potato starch, whole carrots, whole sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, dried parsley, dried kelp, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, l-lysine, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, turmeric, 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), 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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis36%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%14%38%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%31%33%

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 includes turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

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 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 dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The tenth ingredient is 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.

The next ingredient is flaxseed, 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.

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 four notable exceptions

First, alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.1

In any case, 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?

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, this food also 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 Wilderness Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Wilderness 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 40%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

High protein. Near-average fat. And below-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 significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Blue Wilderness Dog Food is a grain-free kibble using a significant amount of poultry, salmon and poultry meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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

11/28/2009 Original review publication date
03/21/2010 Review updated (new recipe)
08/19/2010 Review updated (flax meal)
10/12/2010 Recall Alert Added
10/21/2010 Review updated
04/25/2011 Recall alert removed
05/08/2011 Review updated (added 4 new recipes)
02/11/2012 Review updated (added Senior Chicken)
06/03/2013 Review updated
06/03/2013 Last Update

  • aimee

    My comment was in regards to how the term “meat” as often commonly thought of and as defined by AAFCO: muscle tissue. Feeding muscle tissue alone would result in nutritional deficiencies.

  • nik1954 .

    Look up the nutritional values of raw meat, blood, bone and organs. High natural vitamins, minerals antioxidants and amino acids…high values until cooked.

  • Guest

    The name calling is for children, I look at these post as people just giving their opinions and thoughts. How we accept them is up to us.

  • jbopinion

    Thanks for your comment — I’m looking to upgrade from Pro Plan and was interested in the Blue Buffalo brand. It seems no matter which dog food is selected on this site, there are comments from people saying they would never feed their dog the stuff.

  • Yonez Balonez

    This is an incredibly thoughtful post thank you, HOWEVER…. I still have to say WTF to one thing here. You go on and on about what’s wrong and only give us “The Prey Model Diet”? WHAT EXACTLY do you feed your dogs? Be specific please. Vague solutions to very specific problems help absolutely no one. What specific brands/types of food do you recommend and/or use?

  • Dori

    I agree with Jenn that deep yellow normally that he’s not drinking enough water. But I once had this happen with a dog (since passed away) that had deep yellow urine with no infection, etc. What they finally figured out was that she had vaginitis. They put her on a round of antibiotics and she was fine after that. Of course your guy is not going to have vaginitis but they should be checking for some other reason if all they are looking for in his urine is an infection. Do make sure that he is drinking enough water because more than likely that is the problem. Have you checked his gums, etc. to make sure he’s not dehydrated?

    As far as food goes, I have three toy dogs and I feed them commercial raw foods. I rotate brands and proteins. They have never been healthier or happier then they have been on a raw diet. All sorts of issues that they all had went away. No more gas, tear stains, gurgling stomachs, yeasty ears, huge poops, shedding. All a thing of the past. Even when they are in serious need of a bath they don’t have any doggy smells. I just know they need baths because I know when I last bathed them. If you don’t want to feed raw then the next thing I would suggest is a dehydrated food. You rehydrate the food with water so he would be getting more moisture that way. Next on my list would be to feed him canned foods. I would not feed any kibble whatsoever to him. For some reason a lot of small dogs (in my experience) don’t drink a lot of water. Hope any of this helped.

  • Doug V

    Yes, this sounds like a discussion about capable versus productive. Feeder lots fatten cattle on grains often too. But that doesn’t mean that is what is best for them. That is why grass fed beef is showing up in the stores. Likewise, flavor a dogs food with meat and you can make their dog food with just about anything. But you will never see a dog food label that says, “Made with meat, but flavored with celery to please the dog”. The dog would reject that… but give them barley and flavor it with chicken… and they like that. But that is because they are being tricked. Not because they would normally eat barley.

  • Jenn

    People digest chemicals in packaged foods all the time. That doesn’t mean we are supposed to. It does mean the digestive system can adapt. But why buy dog food with grains in it so your dog can adapt. Canines are carnivores. All of them.

  • Jenn

    Deep yellow normally means not enough water. Make sure they have free access to water.

  • Cali

    Hahaha I love your comment!!! You’re cool!!!

  • Praewa Mickey

    Hi, I have 6 years old Chihuahua. I feed him with Blue. But I don’t know it is the best for him or not. Could you please suggest me what is the best for him? I don’t mind about price. I just want him has longest life. He always has deep yellow pee and I took him to the vet and they said he is good. I don’t know it is about food or not.

  • Dori

    Hi Jennifer. So sorry to hear about your dogs issues with Blue. When looking for your next food to feed, please look at the 4 and 5 star foods but don’t just go by the stars. Please read as many posts as you can on each individual food. You’ll get a better feel on how your dogs might do by reading experiences from people that have fed those foods. There have been numerous posts on BB alone with very similar issues as you had with a couple of your dogs. Good Luck.

  • Candyd

    I’m not surprised at all. Pea protein has a very low biological value, and peas contain a lot of protein. Personally, I would never want to use any food with a significant quantity of legume protein. Legume protein can be very harmful for dogs’ kidneys on long term. Peas are definitely just as bad as a large quantity of grains, I would even say peas are worse than grains for the same % in food.

  • Jennifer Dawn Graham

    This is not meant to be a negative bashing session on Blue, but simply a cautionary tale. I have 4 dogs (yellow lab, weimaraner, Italian greyhound, greyhound) and began feeding them Blue Wilderness about 6 months ago. I switched because I wanted to feed my dogs the best food, and had heard good things about Blue. However, at that time my vet warned me to be careful with Blue because it can cause UTIs and kidney problems. I disregarded his comments because Blue is a 5 star food and I figured he just wanted me to buy the food that he sold. Well, I brought my Italian greyhound and greyhound in for their 6 month check-up and annual blood work this past weekend and my greyhound’s blood work came back with significant abnormalities that indicated early signs of kidney failure. Needless to say, I was devastated (these dogs are my children). The vet assured me that, at this point, I shouldn’t be overly concerned but I should consider switching my dog food now, and come back in four months to test her blood again. He reiterated his earlier warning that he has had multiple dogs come in with significant health problems as a result of eating Blue. My other dogs seem fine with Blue Wilderness, so I would just caution pet owners to monitor their pets’ health. I still believe Blue is a great brand and my other dogs have never looked so lean and healthy… but some dogs apparently can’t handle Blue.

  • Jonathan Ruck

    I haven’t added my two cents at all yet, but I’ve always fed my Dutch Shepherd and American Pit Bull Terrier high quality dog foods and it does make a difference. They’ve been eating Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon forever now and they eat enthusiastically and every last kibble they are given daily. They are both 80lbs dogs and very powerful animals, although extremely agile and gracefully light on their feet. They have the perfect physical build and are extremely bright. I believe this all owes to their rich diet to an extent as well as the amount of exercise they receive. High quality dog food does make a difference in my opinion. Nice dog by the way, what does he eat as his main source of animal protein?

  • claudiagirl

    Diet has everything to do with it. The way you say it is that domesticated dogs are unable to digest grains or anything other food other than meat. You also imply by saying that, that any creature under the same species is basically unable to digest it what so ever.

    Being a carnivore has nothing to do at all with the classification of carnivores.

    Like I said before, domesticated dogs are omnivores. I’m a BioChemistry Major at Columbia, I have taken so many zoology and biology classes that have taught me and can prove you wrong.

  • Jenn

    Good try. But the fact that grains are added has nothing to do with the actual digestive system of the dog. They are carnivores.

  • claudiagirl

    Domesticated dogs are omnivores actually. In your owns; try again.

    In the wild, “dogs” which I’m assuming you mean feral dogs or any type of member from the Canis genus are completely dependant on meat as their source of protein and food. However, when we domesticated what we call a dog today approximately 35,000 years ago, the subspecies of Canis Lupus Familiaris emerged from the species Canis Lupus.

    In C. Lupus species we were able to slowly domestic our dog’s ancestor from a timber wolf, creating this subspecies known as the domesticated dog.

    What this all means in simple words for your arrogant mind; domesticating an animal meant training these subspecies for our daily lives which included: hunting, gathering, training, teaching and rehabilitating. Along side, meat was scarce before mass distribution, so if people had a hard time getting meat as a daily intake in their diets 35,000 years ago to 3,000 years ago, what makes you think they would be so generous with their meat to their animal that acts as a fetcher over themselves? This animal had to learn to adapt to being trained against most of it’s instincts by not slaughtering everyone it was by, or running off to find a prey and feast. This animal was DOMESTICATED meaning it was produced to be dependant on humans, so they would lose their ability to live in the wild. That being said, if this animal was given food: grains, vegetables, fruits or some sort of meat, this animal would eat it regardless.

    In short, domesticated dog’s will eat anything given to them INCLUDING GRAINS. Thier diet isn’t limited to meat like their Canidae family. Our dogs, which brings us to this site, are omnivores.

  • Dori

    Marissa. This is a dog food review group. DFA does not manufacture any dog food whatsoever. Never has. They just review different dog foods here.

  • Marissa

    O yea I did contact them but I’m also sharing my experience with them

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi Marissa,

    This site, Dogfoodadvisor.com, isn’t affiliated in any way with Blue Buffalo. If you have concerns with that brands products, you should make a report of it directly to the manufacturer.

  • Mike S.

    Oh wow. My dogs were eating it but then were vomitting it all up an hour later. I switched back to Wellness Core Original formula and they love it, no problems whatsoever.

  • Marissa

    I bought 3 bags of your dog food 2 adult and 1 puppy I’m extremely unsatisfied I had used your brand before and it almost killed my dog made him so sick he stopped eating and kept vomiting. I changed his food and he got better. My bf and I adopted 3dogs at seperate times kept using the same dog food but last time my bf went without me someone advised him to try yours I gave the benefit of the doubt and said I’ll try one more time. Dogs liked it at first then starting getting digestional problem I’ve had to take my dogs 6 times in the last 3 weeks to the vet. I looked up info I see now your dog food is not good for dogs it’s the same as other but I now changed there food and guess what there all getting better and eating…

  • Cara Conrad

    My dog has a SEVERE allergy to the Bison. Lost all of his hair on his chest and stomach over the course of a week. Did a skin scrape and a fecal test, both came neg for anything. Determined it was food. Switched back to the Blue Wilderness Rabbit flavor and he’s fine. Same with the Chicken flavor.

    Beware, though: the “Red Meat” flavor ALSO has Bison, so I can’t give Spooky (Chi/mutt mix) anything with their Red Meat.

  • Nancy Calloway

    First , sorry you felt attacked. That was not my purpose. Yes, for sure, every dog is unique. It is interesting that there are varied opinions/ experiences here with BB. So we each must discover what works for our animals. Your enthusiasm led me to wonder if you work for BB or own stock. I am glad you have found a food that suits you and your furry so well. That’s great!

  • Adam

    I’m not an employee of any pet food company. This is common knowledge for pet owners who have ever switched food brands – I am not attacking anyone here so I ask that you please don’t attack me. If you would like to inquire about what I’ve said please ask your veterinarian.

    I have a relative who switched their dog to Purina Pro Plan after bringing it home when the breeder had been using a different food. The dog had mucous and blood in her stool, which was severe diarrhea, for about a week and a half during the transition. At one point they took her to the veterinary emergency hospital and they found nothing wrong with her and cncluded it was due to the rapid change in diet.

    I am in no way trying to push this food on anyone, I was merely trying to help the commenter understand what was happening.

  • Nancy Calloway

    You must WORK FOR BLUE BUFFALO. About 8 months ago I bought some because a PET STORE employee told me it was good. I got home and took a look at the ingredients and while at a different PET STORE a few days later I asked the owner about BB. He TOLD ME he could not BELIEVE PEOPLE WOULD GIVE THIS TO THEIR PETS! But this is a Franchise store so he has to sell it. He told me to NEVER BUY THAT FOOD. I was embarrassed to tell him I already had. I took the bag back to the first pet store and THAT (different) EMPLOYEE said to me: “SMART MOVE,” when I gave the reason for the return, that I had changed my mind.

  • Adam

    This is common when transitioning to any new dog food, particularly if the change is done rapidly (not very slowly introduced). When changing to any kind of new dog food, it should be done over a period of at LEAST two weeks, starting with just a spoonful of the new food for the first few days and VERY slowly increasing it until the old food is completely phased out.

    Failing to very slowly introduce a new dog food to this can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and bloody diarrhea. That is not exclusive to any one brand of dog food, including Blue Buffalo.

    Cheers

  • Adam

    To each their own, I suppose. I was just giving my own experience with the product vs. Pro Plan. I find that when it comes to dog food, or anything in life for that matter, one person can swear by it as the best thing ever and another will swear never to touch it with a 100 yard pole.

    It all comes down to a matter of preference as well as what is right for your dog and what works for them. This product works for my puppy and she is a perfectly healthy dog and healthy weight with regular veterinary checkups that confirm this. When using ProPlan my previous dogs had been underweight so for me I prefer this product for my dog and recommend it to others based on my own success with it.

    If you have had a bad experience with this product, you are welcome to advise against it and you are perfectly entitled to. But like I said, I am basing my recommendation on my own positive experiences with this product in previous and current dogs.

    Cheers

  • 4FootedFoodie

    I would never use a Blue Buffalo product for either of my dogs for a variety of reasons, and would never recommend it to anyone, especially the owner of a large breed puppy. Blue Buffalo refuses to identify their co-packers or state their as fed Calcium levels, which could very well be too high for a large breed puppy. Their QC is all over the place.

    I hope your pup is very lean, because excess weight will stress growing joints and excess Calcium could contribute to skeletal disorders.

  • Adam

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness is by far the best dog food I’ve ever given to any of my dogs. We currently have a Golden Retriever puppy and she is five months old – she LOVES the Blue Wilderness Puppy dry food. It is absolutely the best, she is a healthy weight and size, and eats up her meals when we put them down within five minutes.

    We have had many dogs over the years and have found this to be the best food for healthy weight and growth, as well as a food that the dog loves to eat. We’ve had Golden Retrievers and Australian Shepherds, and we used to use Purina Pro Plan. Our dogs often grew up UNDERWEIGHT, perhaps due to all of the grain content and lack of good meat, and the dogs often didn’t seem to want to eat it – particularly while puppies, we would have to sit there and encourage/force feed them the kibble (which, if you know Goldens, is absolutely unbelievable). After switching our last Golden to Blue Wilderness we noticed a tremendous difference. And now with our new puppy, she is a nice size, healthy weight, and growing properly. And she LOVES her food and can’t wait for mealtimes.

    I whole heartedly recommend Blue Buffalo’s Blue Wilderness line of dog food to anyone looking to raise a happy and healthy dog who also cares about their pet. I personally can’t recommend either way for other breeds, but for Golden Retrievers this is absolutely GOLD.

    It is probably the most expensive dog food out there, and you do pay a premium for it, but you get what you pay for.

    Cheers!

  • msniemi

    They use to be on Wilderness Core but I wanted to try something new. They have been on BBW since Feb 2014… and with that came gas, bloated stomach, soft stool, diarrhea here and there (I wish I paid more attention to which brand cause the diarrhea – since I would buy them Chicken, Salmon, Duck, and Bison), and lots of water drinking. Today, I brought my dog to the vet for other reasons and decided to look more into this dog food… turns out i’m not the only person with this problem. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/blue_buffalo.html

    So, tonight – I need to buy new dog food but I don’t know what I should get =-[

  • Jason

    My husky puppy loves it a lot, but sometimes she may have gas it was never happening before and the we linked the gas to the food but other then that we are super happy with the food.

  • CG

    My dog does not like BB’s life source bits :( He moves the food to the floor, picks out the big pieces but leaves the life source bits for us to step on. It’s a shame, but unfortunately I will be switching brands as ALL of their food contain these little round pieces.

  • Jenn

    It is 1.20% calcium as fed

  • Melissaandcrew

    A myth? LMAO. Kibble is manmade and always has the potential to be lacking or over in certain nutritional departments. Rotation of brands helos to eliminate/lower that risk. Feel free to feed your dog the same old same old day in and out, but the majority of informed humans realize that no one food is optimal.

  • Betsy Greer

    Do you know what the as fed Calcium is of the food you’re feeding?

  • Betsy Greer

    .

  • LabsRawesome

    Stop trolling.

  • Jenn

    Being an arrogant brat doesn’t somehow make you knowledgeable. There is no research to backup any of that. But by all means, if you have “done your own research” then post it.

  • Jenn

    Rotating food for a dog is myth. It is just people trying to superimpose human food patterns on dogs. A well balanced dog food has no need to be rotated.

  • Jenn

    Purina/Nestle is well known for suing competitors just because the have lawyers on retainer and believe they can beat the competitor down. Now BB is countersuing for damages. Should be very interesting to see how it all turns out.

  • Jenn

    I have reviewed a lot of dog food over the years. BB Wilderness has been the best by far. Just got a new puppy and she is on BB Wilderness large breed puppy.

  • Jenn

    Dogs and wolves are both CARNIVORES and don’t eat grain in the wild. Try again.

  • Jenn

    A lot of dogs have bad reactions to grain. It makes sense. They don’t eat grain in the wild. I feed my puppy BB Wilderness grain-free as well.

  • Rebecca Cohn

    I didn’t see this message until now! Funny, I went from Natural Balance to Blue. Maybe I’ll go back…

  • MaineSusan

    Though it could read like an argument too, I take from it a debate or discussion of opinions and ideas and experiences we have all had… a valuable resource when there IS so much opposing info out there. Wolf vs Fido, are we really still considering Fido a wolf? or not? even that is a debate. None of us care about advertising per se but what’s on the label is important to research and one has to start somewhere.
    As suggested, each dog may be or is slightly different… I too am questioning what is best for my 7 mo lab… so hard to figure out.
    I used to feed my dogs whatever and have gradually come to believe the best diet would be the best… as in us people… but even that is VERY debatable and changes all the time… sighs.
    Anyway, I can always take some information from any read… thanks to all for an interesting discussion and ‘food’ for thought… :D

  • Erika Watts

    I choose to go grain free due to the awful GMO’s. My dogs get their grains from table scraps. My lab is 14 years old. Lived on Kibbles n Bits and table scraps for most of his life. We switched dog foods so that our puppy would get a good headstart since he probably wont be as hardy as my lab (my lab would eat socks whole and pass them every time lol!)

  • Richard Baines

    a bunch of idiots arguing about dog food. let’s sue coca-cola for not putting coke in their cola anymore, false advertisement… in all due respect who gives a sh** about advertising. Do the research and feed your pet what you want to feed them, and if they eat it then they obviously like it. It’s like some humans won’t eat some foods because of their diet or likes and dislikes. pets are like family just remember that.
    lets argue about elephant food next.

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you. That is one beautiful and lucky dog! Does he ever get any canned or fresh foods with his kibble?

  • Guest

    Ive been feeding my German Shepherd low content Wolfdog, named Jaeger, blue wilderness large breed puppy formula since he was 7 weeks old, and now transitioning him to wilderness adult formula. i am so amazed how he has grown now that he a year old he weighs about 100lbs and is happy and healthy. i would recommend this product to anyone that has a active large breed puppy or adult dog. heres a picture of jaeger when he was about 9 and a half months old :)

  • Jessica

    Wilderness is an amazing formula but it’s only designed for a narrow window of dogs and cats. Unless you dog is severally underweight or running in the Iditarod I don’t recommend it. If you say you got a super active dog and you want a high protein grain free diet for him and go on to tell me it’s your chihuahua I’m gonna redirect you to freedom. I also recommend you switch to it gradually. Just because you have an Italian Mastiff doesn’t mean he isn’t sensitive despite how large and muscular he is. I would first recommend if you new to blue to start slowly transitioning to a formula like Freedom and once there slowly start transitioning to Wilderness. Especially if your telling me your currently feeding a commercial grade grocery store brand of dog food. These products are just so different. Please don’t let you first impression of the product deter you from an amazing brand. I love blue and strongly belive in what it has to offer. Just because you talked to a representative or associate at the pet store it doesn’t always mean they made the best call of judgement and gave you the best recommendation. There is also so many different methods for transitioning dog food. When in doubt slow is always best.

  • aimee

    You’re welcome.

  • swak

    interesding

    richarddarlington.com

  • losul

    Interesting stuff, Aimee, thnx.

  • Michelle Regnier Reifschneider

    This food gave my two dogs and a cat bloody, mucous diarrhea. My dog was on Flagyl twice before we realized it was the food. My cat also had to take Flagyl because of this food. The clerk at the pet store said they get this food returned quite a bit due to gastrointestinal issues. If you google “Blue Buffalo diarrhea”, many pages will come up with people having similar experiences. I will stick with Wellness Core from now on!

  • aimee

    I did read your comment and I started to look for information regarding the ratio and its importance. Knowing AAFCO is modeled after NRC I started there and have come up pretty empty handed. In the mineral section I do not see a section that outlines the importance of a particular ratio. The NRC tables do not list a ratio. It is a bit of a puzzle.

    So far the only text I have that discusses the ratio is Small Animal Clinical Nutrition in which the “ideal” ratio is questioned.

  • bisket

    This will be my last post seeing as how there is nothing anyone will ever say to change my mind, much like those that post regularly on this site, and instead of wasting my time on lengthy posts making points that only cause more of a pissing contest than anything else. To each their own, but I am now going to take my 3 healthy Science Diet dogs down to the lake for a swim while I catch a fish or two and have a beer…
    instead of taking time away from those in front of me to search the web for selfish articles that would support my points just as well. Like I said before, as long as they are happy members of your family, I see nothing wrong with everyone’s personal choices in pet nutrition.
    Not gonna argue, just gonna enjoy my pets :)

  • Shawna

    Apparently that is their hopes per veterinary nutritionist Meg Smart (taught clinical nutrition for over 30 years). In an article entitled “Pet Food Industry and
    Nutrition: A Necessary Review For Veterinarians by M.E. Smart , J.A.
    Mills and C. Haggart First Published on the Veterinary Information
    Network 2007 updated Mar 13, 2011″ the authors write
    “Industry Tactics

    …In 1976, Colgate-Palmolive acquired a then-small
    pet food producer named Hill’s Pet Products. Based on its experience
    with using dentists to promote its toothpastes (and similar successes in
    the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries), the company decided to have
    veterinarians endorse its Science Diet pet food line. Hill’s Science
    Diet obtained these endorsements by providing free pet food to vet
    students, hundreds of thousands of dollars of research funding at each
    of the 27 U.S. veterinary colleges, and funding nutrition professorships
    at many veterinary schools. “The bulk of our expenditure goes to the
    veterinary community,” said a former Colgate’s senior vice president of
    global marketing and sales (8).” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/03/pet-food-industry-and-nutrition.html

  • bisket

    Well, everyone has their preference. I love SD and all I have seen it do for my dogs and those I pet sit for. Fell in love with the product and the company in pre-vet school and have never had any adverse reactions in any of my pets and extended family pets. Each to their own, as long as you love your animals like fam!

  • Shawna

    I think they are definitely moving in the right direction but they still have a ways to go. I googled “science diet corn wheat free dog food” and Ideal Balance popped up. Says on the page “corn, wheat and soy free” BUT they have barley in the food. Those that react to the gluten in wheat (called gliadin) will also react to the gluten in barley (called hordein).

    Also, there is very likely more protein from the barley and the pea protein concentrate then from chicken. http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-canine-adult-slim-and-healthy-chicken-barley-dry.html

    The grain free option has less protein than the grain inclusive and still has the protein boosters. http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-canine-adult-grain-free-salmon-and-potato-dry.html

  • losul

    “I know there is so much interplay with minerals yet the only ratios I’ve seen are ca/p. I’m now reading some information about that ratio that calls into question that what I thought to be true.”

    Aimee, it seems really odd to me, especially in light of all your recent heavy criticism of certain companies, but somehow I get the feeling you are now about to do a 180 and begin downplaying the significance of a proper Ca/P ratio., the 2 largest macrominerals of importance in a dog’s diet.

    So I feel compelled to ask if you been in contact with Davis Veterinary Medical Consulting, Inc./BalanceIt and/or UCDavis about what I reported the other night on the off topic thread. Do you have some kind of new and enlightening revelation to reveal that will flip the dog food world on end over what was thought to be highly important and proper ratios?

    Glad to have BCnut back too!

  • theBCnut

    I think the reason we only see the ca/p ratio mentioned is because it is more studied and better understood, not because it is the only one that matters. There isn’t a standard for the other minerals at all other than fitting within a certain range, after all. I know that medical problems arising from an imbalance are not common, or not commonly reported, but since this area isn’t really studied that much, there isn’t a good understanding of what the longterm affects would be if minerals stay out of balance

  • bisket

    Just FYI, the reviews from that post are outdated. Science Diet changed their formula about two years ago and no longer contains byproducts and corn is either eliminated or much further down the list. They now also have corn, wheat, and soy free formulas, as well as grain-free.

  • aimee

    Glad to see you back! I know there is so much interplay with minerals yet the only ratios I’ve seen are ca/p. I’m now reading some information about that ratio that calls into question that what I thought to be true.

  • theBCnut

    Hi aimee
    Sorry it took so long to get back. Life has been difficult just lately. My comment on the minerals was originally from a lecture, so I have no links. My anatomy/physiology prof was always going off on tangents and when the semester rolled around to cell function and he started lecturing on sodium/potassium balance and cell function, he went on to also mention calcium/magnesium/zinc and something/manganese. He said there were others that due to imbalance affected different systems, but since we weren’t formulating food and he had strayed long enough, and he went back to the original topic. I have read in many different places about different consequences for having minerals out of balance and even have a little personal experience with it myself, but since I’m still not formulating any longterm diets, I still have not done any thorough research in this area. I just keep rotating foods. Sorry I can’t be more help.
    And as far as the Es are concerned, I have always read that they are damaged by heat and oxygen, so always assumed that the natural Es in a heavily processed and warehouse stored food would be useless or next to it, but you know what they say about assuming.
    I refuse to believe that big dog food companies(or little ones for that matter) actually know everything that there is to know about what is actually best for dogs, nutritionally. That’s just too much to take on faith for me. Do I think I know more, or better? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! But I think by rotating foods, I’m much more likely to accidently get all my bases covered, than by sticking with just one food. We can all only do what we think is best.

  • Danielle Hahn

    I know everyone else has their opinions on what works best or what is best for their own dogs as it should be, but I love the blue buffalo brand. The longevity brand made my cancer dog the healthiest he has ever been and when my other Shiba Inu had trouble keeping weight on and started to look very unhealthy this wilderness was the only (I tried many) food that brought her back up to weight. Her hair coat is beautiful, shiny, healthy and her weight is just perfect.

  • yorgo

    you peole have nothing better to do other than talk dog food. bet you all voted blahbama too.

  • yorgo

    so bet you feed the family al natural stuff. lead and arsenic are natural too. eat dat stuff from whole foods and au natural.

  • yorgo

    bet ya own a dyson and iphone and ipad and a mac don ya? you do… you are a lapper!.

  • yorgo

    you love to see urself in print don’t ya NIK?!?!

  • yorgo

    they don’t like Purina here cause dey da man!

  • yorgo

    dats right da dog food man keepin ya down. bet you ain’t in great shape.

  • Shawna

    No, I really don’t think I shot myself in the foot at all. My point was that senior dogs need more protein not that the food doesn’t taste good. Those customer reviews are from the companies own website as well. Reviews from a few of the independent websites aren’t so favorable. Read the customer reviews on this site http://petfoodtalk.com/dogfoodreviews/science-diet/

    The research demonstrating high protein causes kidney disease was done on rats not dogs. When they tested dogs they found not only did protein not harm the kidneys but protein actually helps the kidneys. This research has been out for over 20 years. Some vets simply don’t know what to do with kidney disease, or they still believe the myth, so they recommend kd. My dog, the one in my avatar, has had kidney disease since birth. Symptoms were noticed at six weeks of age. She will be 8 years old next month and has eaten HIGH protein raw since coming to me at nine weeks. ANY type of KIBBLE however makes her ill. The quality of the ingredients matter VERY much, especially if you have a dog with a chronic disease.

    By the way, I recently decided to try mixing the canned KD in her diet (to lower the phosphorus not the protein). Four hours after eating she threw up her food. There was still LARGE chunks of the canned KD but the raw had turned to chyme and moved on. Edit — going back to completely raw and figuring other ways to lower her phosphorus (like adding high protein lightly cooked egg whites).

    Kidney disease isn’t due to a “less active” lifestyle. It is caused by inflammation. I don’t think tests have been done on dogs but in humans gluten (in grains like wheat) has been linked to a type of kidney disease. Research done on mice shows that a toxin called domoic acid in seafood (including fish) is a cause of kidney disease. They don’t know yet, to my knowledge, if this is relevant to humans and dogs/cats.

  • bisket

    Well you kinda shot yourself in the foot if you read the reviews on those links you posted. 4.99 out of 5 stars prove that is not necessarily the ingredients but HOW THEY WORK that makes the real difference. And in actuality too much protein will accelerate any preexisting kidney issues which many senior dogs run the risk off due to their less active lifestyle.

  • Shawna

    I don’t feed or support Blue Buffalo but the idea that dogs “need” grains in the diet is a myth. Dogs have no nutritional “need” for carbs at all, let alone grains. I’m not saying carbs, especially certain vegetables and fruits, can’t contribute valuable nutrients but it is proven that they are not needed.

    Purina Research is one example “Dietary carbohydrates are not required by normal, healthy cats and dogs with two possible exceptions. Reproducing bitches may need some carbohydrate in order to produce and nurse healthy puppies, although even this is in question.1-3 Hardworking dogs, such as hunting dogs and sled dogs, may benefit from carbohydrates after exercise to help restore muscle glycogen” http://www.purinavets.eu/PDFs/ResearchReport_vol8-issue2.pdf

    The AAFCO has a minimum requirement for protein and fat but no such minimum for carbs. A diet can have zero added carbs and still be complete and balanced (many canned foods are this way). http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=662

    The “Waltham Pocket Book of Essential Nutrition for Cats and Dogs” states on page 28 “Cats and dogs can sythesise their own blood glucose from amino acids. Carbohydrate, therefore is not an essential macronutrient. However, if provided in their diet, cats and dogs can utilise carbohydrates and they are used in pet foods as sources of energy and dietary fibre.” http://www.waltham.com/dyn/_assets/_pdfs/waltham-booklets/Essentialcatanddognutritionbookletelectronicversion.pdf

  • bisket

    Right on! BB put more money into marketing than actual research and concern for our furry family members!

  • Guest

    Do your research. Dogs are OMNIVORES which means they need both meat AND gains in their diets. Cats are truly carnivores. Watch a wolf in the wild and the first thing they go for its the intestines of their prey which contain what? GRAINS. A grain free diet has to get its carbs from some other source, usually throwing off other key nutritional factors. How does this get 5 stars with all the negative comments of a lot of the ingredients? This product was made by a marketing mogule and not by vets or animal nutritionalists. Kudos to those below that see through the smoke and mirrors. Check out consumer reviews. Com and ask your vet how they feel about this food now

  • disqus_NsXk2VlHov

    +1000 to this ^^^^.The only ‘pro’ of feeding this Buffalo crap is convenience. Prey Model is SO cheap if you locate the right sources, but admittedly takes an extra 10mins to prepare. When it comes to my dogs, I choose their long-term health over convenience. It’s not rocket science that in general, processed food is NOT healthy. It may be ok as a treat but EVERYDAY FOR A LIFETIME is not acceptable for my pets.

    Science, evolution and basic physiology is what we should base our pets diet on, rather than advertising and mere sustenance alone.

  • aimee

    Sure rotating kibbles is a type of variety. It just isn’t the type of variety I’m looking for.

  • USA Dog Treats

    You said:

    “I don’t necessarily see value in rotating kibbles from a nutrient standpoint”

    And then in the same post you said:

    ” However, I can see value in variety. So I add a variety of fresh foods/colored veggies/fruit to my dog’s diet to provide a variety of nutrients that they otherwise wouldn’t get in a commercial food.”

    Question – How would someone achieve “variety” if they ONLY fed commercial kibble?

    Answer – They would ROTATE kibbles!

  • Nik96

    In the ongoing question of what is the best food for your dog is relatively simple. It is just a question of biology. Research suggests dogs are carnivores. Scavengers too. Which accounts for most biological matter passing through dogs or about any other mammal.
    But left to their own devices dog will search out meat, they are carnivores. Left in a room with meat, carbohydrates and vegetables a dog will eat everything depending on its starvation level. But in the wild a dog will only search for meat. A stray dog of coarse will eat anything found on city streets, again, the starvation level. Through history as we domesticated dogs we began to compromise their diet. Feeding meat scrapes was the general diet as was our diet. As we learned to farm the land and eventually process our food for mass distribution and consumption so went our offerings to dogs. It is called convenience. And along with this convenience came along the commercial pet food companies. Also following this convenience followed the decline of human and dog health. Studies show along with the general decline of human health our pets have followed. Dogs and cats now share all of the poor health issues and disease we have brought to the dinner table. Our processed foods incomplete nutrition is well known for many years. Our pets too are suffering form the same ‘Grab a snack’ convenience as we are. A bag of kibble able to sitting on a shelf for two years full of processed ingredients is the catalyst for poor health. Our dogs are always hungry because they are “starved’ for good nutrition. Commercials dog food companies add fillers to keep their costs down and enzymes (dried fermentation products) to keep dog feces a consistency so as not to warn us of its potential ill effects. By products and dried fermentation products are in the bag for two reasons, By products are inexpensive ingredients which if researched you would not feed your dog. Dried fermentation products are there to help keep a dogs feces firm and as odorless as possible. Without the dried fermentation products the by products and undigested carbohydrate and vegetable matter would cause the dog unending diarrhea. That is why they are there. The synthetic vitamins and minerals are there to ease our conscience. We feel better seeing these on the package believing we are attempting to feed out dogs good food. Synthetics are of far less value than natural vitamins and minerals.

    If a little thought is done on the commercial pets food companies profit and loss statement who is the expendable factor. Our dogs. Maintaining a large company, product expense, advertising, packaging, shipping and other expenses cause the product to become less and less an important factor to maintain a healthy bottom line. After all isn’t good quality meat one of the most expensive items on your grocery list. Do you really believe it is the largest ingredient in your dog food? Maybe if you are paying 15 dollars and up a pound. Otherwise, you are fooling yourself. Sure the first ingredient reads ‘meat’ or ‘meat meal’. Its a trick. 5% meat meal or meat by product calculates to a small amount of ‘meat’ compared to the 95% fillers. Corn, potatoes, beets, peas, rice are all much less expensive then good quality fresh meat. These ingredients are added to keep the product cost down. They need the dried fermentation products to help these fillers pass through the short digestive tract of the dog. You are not paying for meat at the register.
    So, whats the answer? Also simple. Feed your dog like you care. You car about your car, your cell phone and your bottled water. If you truly love your dog feed it the diet it was meant to have. Meat. Meat organs and bone. There is a tremendous amount of information on the internet. Prey model and paleo diets are a place good start. Remember, convenience has brought us and our dogs many diseases. We are what we eat is true for us and out dogs.

  • aimee

    Antonio,
    I do have an extensive background in the sciences. My husband is a PhD and teaches in the biology dept of a univeristy known for excellence in science. As his wife I can take classes for free and I’ve taken advantage of that opportunity. I have taken gobs of classes including many in the science dept: gen bio, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, organic chem, biochem, and yes.. nutrition but I’m primarily self taught in this area. I’ve invested in a small library. : )

  • Antonio Fisher

    Aimee your posts are in line with a lot of what I practice and believe in canine nutrition. I have to ask is your background in nutrition or some form of biology? Your seem to understand the science of nutrition very well.

  • aimee

    A diet based on meat would not be balanced. I think dogs are quite flexible and can do well on a variety of feeding strategies as long as their nutrient needs are met.

  • aimee

    If I think about diet and consider what wolves eat I question if this is the ideal diet. In nature animals eat what is available and the diet only needs to sustain them long enough to reproduce.

    Commercial foods exist for cost and convenience and are a very different food form. They are based on nutritional research as to what nutrients and in what levels should be incorporated into a “complete and balanced” diet.

    But I think it is egotistical to think “man” has this all figured out and many commercial foods are likely deficient in omega 3’s as AAFCO hasn’t yet adopted a min requirement.

    Is diet “rotation” the answer? Rotation likely means different things to different people: rotating brands, rotating components, rotating forms and differ in frequency.

    Is rotating from one kibble to another beneficial from a nutrient standpoint? I don’t know that it is. There is no guarantee that the food I rotate to will be replete with the nutrient that the other diet lacks. I’d rather choose diets from companies that have good quality control to ensure the diet meets the established nutrient profile.

    Will rotating prevent a toxin exposure? Again I don’t know that it will. You gave the example of Vit D. Yet even a short exposure to excessive Vit D will cause a problem. The other example you gave was melamine. In that situation so many brands were affected you could easily rotate from one brand containing melamine to another.

    Is there value in rotating protein sources? Some think rotating can prevent the development of a adverse food reaction in those individuals genetically inclined to do so. It really is unknown if it will or will not. Should you rotate every 4 weeks or 4 months? Will rotating prevent a reaction or result in the development of multiple reactions? I discussed this issue with Lil’Jack’s internist. It seems six of one, half dozen of the other. I elected to stay with one protein source when I found what worked for him and I’ll continue it until if and when he has a problem.

    Is it a benefit to change protein sources to change the AA profile ? I don’t see that it is. Dogs synthesize the non essential AA they need. The key is to meet the essential AA needs.

    I don’t necessarily see value in rotating kibbles from a nutrient standpoint provided the company I choose has nutritionists on staff ( a well formulated base) and extensive quality control procedures in place. However, I can see value in variety. So I add a variety of fresh foods/colored veggies/fruit to my dog’s diet to provide a variety of nutrients that they otherwise wouldn’t get in a commercial food.

  • Antonio Fisher

    thanks for the links. I believe Leerburg is the only one that I’m familiar with currently in fact I’ve ordered equipment from them in the past. Weather you work your dogs or not wouldn’t be a reason not to learn information, heck I imagine of the formal education I received on canine nutrition was given by individuals that are not integral in the dog sport community. So in short yes, I’m still open to exchanging information via email, I respect your educational experience in the field and hopefully you can respect my hands on experience with canines. Thanks

  • Danni

    At least, Purina puts the crap on their label- I’ll give them that. LOL

  • Danni

    Price can compete. LOL Pro plan at Petco was about the same price as BB. Sad but true. People are now over paying for this crap because it’s in a new fancy bag.

  • Shawna

    Hi Antonio,

    I wanted to mention the topic of humans eating complete and balanced replacement meals discussed elsewhere just briefly first. There are probably no studies because no person in their right mind would agree to (and follow through with) eating a single diet their whole life (or likely even a year without some serious financial incentive). Compliance would be very low I am sure as people have free will.

    I do not “work” any of my dogs. I do give advice to those with working dogs such as my friend. And I was a bit wrong. Her Newf is training for water rescue versus “water training” as I stated before. Because I’m not active in training I’m not sure you would consider my word valid so I wanted to post a few you might consider.

    Gerianne Darnell is an obedience trainer in Council Bluffs Iowa that a work acquaintance I have counseled takes his Dobermans to. Here’s some data that can be verified on Mrs. Darnell (her husband is a vet I am told). Pics and certs etc for two of her dogs are on the page along with an endorsement for (low carb) raw diets. http://www.auntjeni.com/tasteimonials/rudy.html

    Some additional info about Gerianne “Gerianne Darnell and Barbara Cecil have a combined 40 years of experience in the sport of dogs. Between them they have earned over 100 High-in-Trial awards and 127 titles on 18 different dogs in obedience, tracking, agility, and conformation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ahQmxewgZA

    Leerburg is probably one that most are familiar with http://leerburg.com/diet.htm

    I believe Lew Olson’s PhD is in Natural Nutrition. “We currently own about 17 Rottweilers…. I am an AKC approved judge, and Jeff is an AKC Tracking judge. I have been showing dogs since 1974 in both conformation and performance events.

    None of our dogs live in kennels. They have several large grassy yards with huge shade trees, and all the dogs sleep in the house at night. All of the dogs are fed a raw diet, and we believe nutrition is an integral part of a healthy, athletic dog. In May, of 2010, a book will be published that I wrote on Canine nutrition, with recipes for both raw and home cooked diets. http://www.blackwoodrottweilers.com/about

    Dr. Amy Nesselrodt DVM did a year long feeding trial with her agility dogs. She doesn’t discuss performance on a raw diet that I could find but I’m guessing that if there were issues she would have dropped the raw diet. However after the year long trial was over she wrote an article in favor of species appropriate raw food diets for Dogs Naturally Magazine. Dr. Nesselrodts trial blog http://dramyrawdogfoodresearch.com/RawDogFoodResearch/Welcome_1.html And ariticle for Dogs Naturally http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/author/amynesselrodt/

    Behaviorist Dr. Patricia McConnell has real “working” dogs (on a sheep ranch). Dr. McConnell wrote “The Other End of the Leash” a FANTASTIC book. She defends raw on her site but says this about feeding it. “Raw diets? Oh my, could we talk about the Palestinians and the Israels please ? That would be less controversial. But for what it’s worth, I’ll tell you what I do. I don’t feed a ‘raw diet’ to my dogs. There are several reasons for that, but there are two primary ones. 1) I honestly don’t have the time. I know a lot of people who started and then quit cuz they just couldn’t keep it up. I have enough to feel guilty about,
    so I didn’t start…

    Here’s what I do do: I feel a small amount of high quality kibble and a
    larger amount of high quality canned food. I supplement liberally with cooked vegetables and cooked meat. Who gets what depends on their health…. What I think is important is that dogs get REAL WHOLE FOOD, not food that has been processed.” Capitalization emphasis is Dr. McConnell’s. (This is copied from the Q&A after the blog article. https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/playing-with-dogs-in-fall

    If you would still like, I am more than happy to email you directly but I first wanted you to know that I personally do not show or have working dogs.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Shawna,

    Do you give nutritional info for working dogs? That’s something I may find useful and could benefit from. Can you send me some of your work to my email address please? [email protected], do you have any certs or titles on your dogs currently or in the past? Also do you feel working dogs should eat one meal per day or multiple feedings per day would be appropriate? And yes I’m being serious in asking that you email me some of your work, I do like to learn from those who presumably know more than myself on the issue as I’m def not the expert.

  • Antonio Fisher

    I don’t know if there’s a study out there that’s been done on a human drinking Ensure from birth until death, but there are plenty of studies done on canines and other small animals eating a specific diet from birth to death

  • Antonio Fisher

    Of course there’s financial gain for the manufacturer by having Fido eat his/her brand of dog food. But there is zero gain if Fido is sick, dead, and dying eating brand “x”. Without a dog to eat those brands go out of business. So no manufacturer is out to make a deficient product on purpose.

  • Antonio Fisher

    While I realize you did state that rotation diets can “potentially” avoid issues and the example given was that of the vitamin D issue w/ BB a couple years back. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rotating a dog’s diet, but there’s nothing wrong not rotating the diet either. To avoid a “potential” issue that does not exist is kind of human in creating a fear of a monster that in reality may not exist. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but my opinion sides with that of the manufacturers in that it’s not more beneficial towards their health doing so, UNLESS there is a present reason for doing so.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Well since I’ve never read the work of Dr. Smart, I can’t give an educated response to his/her opinion on the matter. But from experience if a dog continuously develop yeast infections on a particular diet, after eliminating as many environmental factors as possible, my common sense will tell me that the particular dog has a genetics intolerance that’s been over exposed to ingredient(s) “x”, and it’s probable cause to look at feeding something different. Again, I can’t speak from the opinion of dr. Smart as I’ve never read his/her work. This is purely my opinion from personal experience with a previous dog.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Shawna, I hope it’s not your desire to look for debate and argument when I make a post as that’s not the reason I give my input on this site. But too answer your question please read the last sentence of what I posted to the OP “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, continue doing what works for
    your dogs and I’ll continue to feed mine the carb laden complete and
    balanced diets they’ve eaten thus far”

    As I continue to state, what you feed fido is YOUR choice, and what you feel is healthy is a matter of your opinion as to what healthy is for YOUR dogs. It’s akin to me making a generalized statement that peanuts are healthy, while that statement is true for the average healthy individual, I’m sure someone with a compromised disposition to peanuts “peanut allergy” would beg too differ. Grains may be a problem in the diet of your dogs, I have no clue as I’ve never laid eyes on your dogs, but grain inclusive diets haven’t proven to be a problem to my dogs so in my general opinion of healthy dogs they are a healthy part of the diet to balance it. I hope you get what I’m trying to say, my desire isn’t to debate, argue, or otherwise, but to give a litle insight on what I use for my desired results in canine health.

  • Shawna

    You could though.. There are complete and balanced meal replacement foods.

    Ask the independent nutritionist over the manufacturer and you’ll find a very different answer. There is a financial incentive for a pet food manufacturer to not want you to rotate.

  • Shawna

    “when the environment of fido versus that of white fang calls for completely different levels of nutrient requirements”

    How so? How is my feeding my dogs diets with nutritional profiles similar to the wolf’s damaging my dogs? I know what the high carb diets can do — like potentially higher tryglycerides as just one example.

  • Shawna

    I wanted to give an example of what I’m talking about below (with the varied amino acids etc). Both foods are made by Primal raw (one beef and one chicken). Both are complete and balanced. Look at the different amino acid profile.

    Beef
    Arginine 0.77 (%)
    Cystine 0.17 (%)
    Histidine 0.39 (%)
    Isoleucine 0.43 (%)
    Leucine 0.88 (%)
    Lysine 0.88 (%)
    Methionine 0.31 (%)
    Phenylalanine 0.48 (%)
    Threonine 0.51 (%)
    Tryptophan 0.14 (%)
    Tyrosine 0.36 (%)
    Valine 0.63 (%) http://www.primalpetfoods.com/product/detail/c/7/id/2

    Chicken
    Arginine .86 (%)
    Cystine 0.20 (%)
    Histidine 0.38 (%)
    Isoleucine 0.42 (%)
    Leucine 0.78 (%)
    Lysine 0.93 (%)
    Methionine 0.34 (%)
    Phenylalanine 0.46 (%)
    Threonine 0.49 (%)
    Tryptophan 0.15 (%)
    Tyrosine 0.37 (%)
    Valine 0.51 (%) http://www.primalpetfoods.com/product/detail/c/7/id/3

    And that’s just the essential amino acids.

    The beef has significantly more omega 6 and 3 compared to the chicken too. Some of the vitamin and mineral variations are quite different as well.

    The bioavailability of chicken and beef proteins are different too. Aimee once linked to a paper that showed lamb as having the poorest digestibility of meats tested.

    Different foods/ingredients bring different nutrition to the table.

  • Shawna

    How about variety of amino acids and antioxidants. Or, those that rotate often could potentially avoid feeding their pup/s a contaminated food over and over again (potentially being the operative word). Those dogs that became ill from the excess vitamin D in Blue Buffalo or from the melamine in the foods made by Menu Foods as examples.

    The AAFCO allows for a WIDE range of nutrient profiles in foods. In one food you might be getting d-alpha tocopherol only while another might add “mixed” tocopherols. Beef has a different amino acid profile then chicken and as long as the minimums are met the AAFCO doesn’t regulate how much of which are in the food.

    OH, JUST today my girlfriend was telling me over lunch that she’s noticed when she adds raw food to her Newfie’s kibble (versus high protein canned) that her girl has “significantly more stamina”. Friend is doing cart and water training with her girl and spends lots of time at the dog park. They’ve gone to a week long dog camp in October the last two years, walk in the St Patricks Day Parade with a Newfie breed group in Kansas etc. VERY active dog and owner. When Newf was younger she was a bit too hyper. I suggested a higher protein diet and although she was still, uhmm, energetic, she was/is calmer and easier to keep on course. I met this friend at one of the nutrition classes I gave several years back. She’s been coming to my classes ever since.

  • Shawna

    Interesting, the “dermatology registered veterinary technician”, that was the reason for this conversation, suggests that allergies is a reason NOT to rotate foods. :)

    Independent nutritionists, that I’m aware of at least, would completely disagree with you. Dr. Smart, who taught veterinary clinical nutrition for 30 years says, variety is the key. Do you think you would be healthy having an Ensure every day, every meal for life? It’s complete and balanced for humans so…

  • Antonio Fisher

    Seriously I stopped using rotation diets with my dogs. Currently I use multi protein typically chicken main protein source and fish meal is the secondary protein source. But when you look at pet food the vitamins and minerals are almost identical across the board the protein source will generally vary in diff products. You know I actually laughed because my coworkers tease me for the simple fact I eat the same protein source at lunch daily which is chicken.

  • LabsRawesome

    LOL You must be joking.

  • Antonio Fisher

    The diff of my meals and that of my dogs is that I typically don’t eat one meal that’s formulated as complete and balanced. Otherwise I’d be able to cut my eating expenses significantly. Ask any manufacturer if there is a real benefit to rotation diets, the honest ones will tell you no and remember I have done rotation diets in the past as am sure there’s an older post here that will show that, but now I typically don’t rotate unless there is a reason too.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah Antonio, there’s no real benefit for you eating a variety of foods every day either.Give me a break.

  • Antonio Fisher

    I should have read the question better. Theres no real real benefit to rotating but it does make you as the owner feel better about doing so. I feed diff brands typically for diff reasons.

  • Antonio Fisher

    That’s a double edge question the answer is yes and no. For the average healthy dog the answer is no, but if an animal is genetically prone to allergens then rotation can be beneficial at minimizing the affects of the allergens.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Not to entertain your post too much but since you included me by name I will oblige. Wolves eat more than meat ” watch any nature show or visit a zoo” they scavenge and survive on anything available to them. Wolves also rarely eat consistent daily meals like fido does that relax on your couch daily. Wolves also run for miles in sum cases just to find a meal but fido rarely leaves the couch except to go out back and relieve himself. Wolves eat a diet that may or may not be considered complete and balance like fido does. Fido on average lives about twice as long as his wild cousin. Many people will compare thei house dogs dietary needs to that of a wild wolf when the environment of fido versus that of white fang calls for completely different levels of nutrient requirements. Paleo diets work great but so does exercise and eating moderately. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, continue doing what works for your dogs and I’ll continue to feed mine the carb laden complete and balanced diets they’ve eaten thus far.

  • Shawna

    Patiently waiting ;)

  • akimber

    Barbara, Antonio Fisher, and aimee: I made a whole new comment because I figured that thread was already too long to begin with. But in all reality, if we wanted to feed out dogs whats best for them, wouldn’t buying a cow, slaughtering it in the backyard, and feeding our dogs the meat be best? Basically, a dog “paleo diet.” If you don’t know what the Paleo diet is I suggest you look that up. Anyways, wolves didn’t eat vegetables, rice, or grains back before domestication. So why do we feed them that stuff now? Might as well buy a steak from the local market and give it to them for dinner. Last I saw, a healthy wolf was lean and muscular and all they really eat is uncooked, raw, freshly killed meat.

    Bam. Canine Paleo Diet.

  • aimee

    Oh you’re not going to like this answer…maybe/maybe not.

    I’ll explain further but it will be a long post and I’m not up for it tonight.

  • Crazy4cats

    Ok, thanks. That is helpful. Good luck with the new trial!

  • aimee

    Her stool is usually brown and firm. but the stool from preference is very green so it is obvious which stool is from which feeding. In this case she pooped green 24 hours after eating the Preference. I’ll go back to her normal diet for a few days and then do another trial. The first trial I did was with a Zeal sample and it was 36 hours after feeding. I saw the orange pieces in this as well but couldn’t r/o that she had been given any carrots which we sometimes use as treats. So this time Hubby knew not to feed anything other that her kibble for a few days before this trial.

  • LabsRawesome

    LOL :) Hope your ankle feels better soon. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    OMG, I’d prob have casts and braces on all my body parts if I tried that! I promise I won’t!

  • Crazy4cats

    This may be a strange question, but here it goes. How long after you feed that food, will you look for the results? When my dogs’ have loose stools, I never know which meal may have caused it. The most recent or the one before. Thanks!

  • aimee

    Thanks C4C, I’ll post the results of future experiments.

  • aimee

    I agree!

    The reason I mix up my dog’s diet a bit has nothing to do with what is seen in nature.

    If we look at the following statements I wouldn’t agree with them.

    “You should rotate protein sources because in nature an animal doesn’t eat the same animal every day.”

    or “Animals in the wild don’t develop adverse food reactions because the source animals they eat constantly changes.

    Besides In nature the diet is successful as long as it allows the animal to reproduce and pass on its genetic material.

  • LabsRawesome

    Stop doing cartwheels, and you’ll be fine. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    I sprained my ankle badly on Wednesday. I haven’t been able to get out and about to look at them. But, I will let you know if I get them.

  • LabsRawesome

    EEEWWW GROSS!!! Hey, if you get the Easy Walk Harnesses, let me know how it goes. I LOVE mine. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    BTW, Aimee, I think your “experiment” was awesome. My hats off to you. I often root through my dogs’ output. But, never have I sorted it. Yikes!

  • Crazy4cats

    Again, I just don’t understand how you can compare our pets to the wild ones in nature. Their digestive systems may be the same, but not their available food chain. I don’t have elk, deer, rabbits and so on at their disposal. I have kibble, canned, and dehydrated! All man made. LOL!

  • Shawna

    Okay, how about rotation for the uncomplicated average healthy dog eating any kibbled diet from any manufacturer? Is there a benefit or no benefit.

  • aimee

    I don’t think there is an answer applicable to all situations. I see it as a complicated issue.

    There may be basis for rotating but perhaps not justified on what we see in nature.

  • Shawna

    “Contextual” is not an answer in my opinion. It is a clever way to avoid a direct answer.

    I think many of us here “infer conclusions” including both you and I. I inferred the same conclusion as USA however I know you rotate foods and add toppers so I’m left confused as to why you defend the notion that any one kibble is appropriate for potential lifelong feeding?

  • Shawna

    Very good post USA.

  • aimee

    I’m well aware of what I said. You are inferring a conclusion that I did not draw. Where in any of my posts did I say these examples were proof that “Dogs do not need to rotate their diet and eating the same kibble for years and years is alright.”

    When Shawna directly asked me

    “Which do you feel is most appropriate for the best health possible?”

    I answered “It is contextual.”

  • USA Dog Treats

    You said

    “The Yellowstone wolves were not rotating protein source between sheep and pronghorn and beaver and rabbit and raccoon and whatever. They primarily ate one protein source.”

    “Is variety important to the koala? Is variety important to the Polar Bear who dines almost exclusively on seal?”

    “Yet in nature there are animals that do eat essentially the same thing every day for their entire lives. For example Pandas eat bamboo, koala eat eucalyptus…”
    —————————————

    You believe that Dogs do not need to rotate their diet and eating the same kibble for years and years is alright.

    As proof you referred to the Panda and the Koala, the Polar Bear and of course the Wolf.

    For the wolf you posted a link to the Swedish study of Wolf scat. which showed that Swedish Wolves eat predominantly Moose year round.

    I showed that even if a Wolf were to eat only Moose for their protein source there is a nutritional difference between the summer Moose and the winter Moose of Sweden.

    There is also a nutritional difference between the Moose calf, yearling, adult and senior.

    There is a nutritional difference between the different parts of the Moose, such as the:

    Hair
    Blood
    Stomach
    Intestines
    Leg muscle meat
    Rump muscle meat
    Neck muscle meat
    Rib muscle meat
    Shoulder muscle meat
    Liver
    Heart
    Kidney
    Lungs
    Hair
    Hide
    Bone
    and so on.

    The Wolf will consume different parts of the Moose and in differing percentages based on his age: pup, young adult, adult and senior.

    Based on his or her position in the pack: alpha, breeding male, breeding female…

    There is an almost infinite set of nutritional variables that a Wolf could consume from the one protein source called the Moose.

    Kibble on the other hand is a homogenous food. Every piece of kibble in a bag is the same as every other piece of kibble in the bag, It doesn’t matter what the ingredients are, each piece of kibble in every bag is nutritionally the same.

    There is also the fact that the plant matter a wolf eats is nutritionally different season to season and year to year.

    And Wolfs do not eat the same protein source exclusively day after day and year after year.

    I believe that your posting of the link to the Swedish study was in line with your Idea that Dogs do NOT need to rotate their diet.

    I showed that this line of logic is flawed.

  • aimee

    If you are referring to me as “when people….” I posted the information in response to this comment: “They may have deer for three meals in a row,….. They might not get deer again for a month.” to show that deer/elk is consumed consistently and a month gap wouldn’t be likely.

  • Shawna

    Great info USA!! I hadn’t even thought about let alone considered the varying diet of the prey animal from season to season but makes PERFECT sense!!!

    Edit — and to add to your comment, not only does the nutrient composition vary but it is all 100% natural.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Shawna,

    Regarding the diversity of the wolf’s diet in this study and as a matter of fact ALL studies I had some questions.

    Was the nutrient composition of everything that the wolf ate whether it was a moose or a deer or a plant or ?, the same year round?

    The answer, No it was not!

    In the Swedish study it was shown that moose was the predominant prey eaten year round by the wolf.

    http://www1.nina.no/RovviltPub/pdf/Sabrina-thesis_vargen1.pdf

    If you are looking at that study to determine if the wolf is eating the exact same diet with the exact same nutrient composition year after year as is a dog who is eating the same kibble year after year then the answer is, of course not!!

    The Swedish study says:

    “We observed a relatively high occurrence of plant material, in particular grams, in the analysed scats both in summer and winter.”

    “…Both grams and berries were
    consumed more frequently in summer than in winter due to the higher availability of plants during the summer months.”

    Wouldn’t the nutrient composition of the plant material eaten vary depending on season and type of plant?

    And in this study of the actual moose that the wolves in Sweden consumed year round they showed that the nutrient composition of the moose themselves varied from summer to winter:

    “SEASONAL VARIATION OF PHENOLS, NITROGEN, FIBER, AND IN VITRO DIGESTIBILITY IN SWEDISH MOOSE”

    http://alcesjournal.org/index.php/alces/article/download/83/131

    “Based on the mean N concentrations throughout the digestive tract, 2 distinct groups
    of moose were evident; a summer group with high N concentration (x = 4.55, SD = 1.55, n = 3) and a winter group with low N concentration (x = 2.65, SD = 2.3, n = 3) (student t-test, P = 0.038, df = 19).”

    So I find it very misleading to use these studies and the data they provide as proof that dogs can eat the same kibble year after year without ill effects because the wolf does,

    The facts are that the nutrient composition of the wild wolf diet varies throughout the year while the nutrient composition of the dog eating the same kibble throughout the year does not!

  • Shawna

    It would make sense that moose or elk or deer would be the prey of choice for a pack of wolves. More food for the effort.

  • aimee

    I used the reference you provided in your post to me. Wolf diet has been analyzed both by kill sites and by scat analysis. From what I’ve read in summer smaller animals are taken more frequently but in terms of biomass consumed the large ungulates still reign. In this study the authors report moose by kill rate was 53.7% summer and 68.5% winter but biomass 88.9% summer and 95.7% winter.

    http://www1.nina.no/RovviltPub/pdf/Sabrina-thesis_vargen1.pdf

  • Shawna

    You didn’t enter a link for the entire report and I didn’t google it so….

    The “project staff detected wolf kills”. Can you explain how they could identify rabbits, mice, squirrels, fledgling birds, quail eggs, prairie dog (sorry Ellie Mae) etc as wolf kills after the fact? When my little Papillon Mimi eats a mouse, vole or baby rabbit there is absolutely nothing left to identify.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I know. But, in my opinion the whole basis of this discussion is that she believes it is ok to pick a kibble for your pup and stick with it day after day, year after year without rotating except for life stages. I don’t know how we can compare that to wild animals. They are eating perfectly natural wholesome foods not commercially unperfect kibble. I think it is like comparing apples to oranges. Our dogs are domesticated and are at our mercy to feed them properly. No commercially prepared food is perfect like natural prey and therefore, again, in my opinion important to switch up a bit.

  • aimee

    I posted that information support of Patty Zehna’s statement that in the wild diet there may not be a lot of variety. It depends on the animal and what is available.

  • aimee

    Thanks you for clarifying what you mean by variety. I didn’t realize you’d consider a dog on pork and potato diet varied as long as you changed between breeds of pork and variety of potato: Duroc and Idaho, then Hampshire and Russet, then Yorkshire and Yukon Gold etc.

  • aimee

    That isn’t what I got from her post. hopefully she will come back to comment. “but every other mineral in there is only added….
    rather than actually balanced with the other minerals… if you stick with one food for life, you are sticling
    (sic) with an unbalanced mineral profile for life.”

    Do you have any data as to what extent trocotrienol is damaged by extrusion? Is all of it damaged.. 15% damaged or ???

    Admittedly I don’t know but pulled up this source ” the high content of tocopehrols and tocotrienols of 530 ppm even after >1900 hours” The 1900 hours refers to continuous use of the oil for frying. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16326649

    but also found this “Drum drying of steamed rolled oats resulted in an almost complete loss of tocopherols and tocotrienols” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11902929

    Two different processes and base sources and two completely different outcomes. Any info on extrusion?

  • aimee

    If you are genetically intolerant of a food ie lactose intolerant the symptoms develop concurrent with exposure.

  • aimee

    I’m only providing information that the information USA Dog treats is asking for doesn’t exist to my knowledge.

  • aimee

    As you can see the report for 1997 was for the entire year of 1997 not just the winter. So yes in that year elk was year round.

  • aimee

    Is variety important to the koala? Is variety important to the Polar Bear who dines almost exclusively on seal?

    It is contextual.

  • Shawna

    Elk “in the winter”. How I read your post was year round elk. My guess is they don’t find elk tastier in the winter months while preferring deer in the summer. Obviously it’s a sourcing issue. Are elk more plentiful and easier to take down in snow maybe.? Or maybe it’s due to a possible higher fat content in elk providing more calories?

  • aimee

    Yes that was my point.. the wolves eat primarily elk.

    In the year report I read some time back it was by weight the main protein source. I don’t remember which year or which pack it was that in that year I recalled by weight elk was over 95% of the diet.

    I piked a report at random “During 1997,p roject staff detected 257 known and probable wolf kills.
    Of these, 234 (91%) were elk. Other prey included 8moose, 6 mule deer, 2 bison, 1 beaver, and 6 unidentified animals”

    The Yellowstone wolves were not rotating protein source between sheep and pronghorn and beaver and rabbit and raccoon and whatever. They primarily ate one protein source.

  • Shawna

    I assume the National Park Service is a reliable source of information. They state

    “Prey primarily on hoofed animals. In Yellowstone, 90% of their
    winter diet is elk; more deer in summer; also eat a variety of smaller
    mammals like beavers” http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wolves.htm

  • Shawna

    Lazy little critters aren’t they :)…

    “A giant panda’s diet is 99% bamboo, 13 kg (30 lb) or more a day – that is an estimated 3,500 bamboo stalks a day!

    The giant panda has the digestive system of a carnivore, but has chosen to live almost exclusively like a vegetarian. Bamboo doesn’t provide much energy, so giant pandas have to keep eating for up to 12 hours a day.

    Giant pandas also sometimes eat small amounts of fish, honey, eggs, leaves, fruit and root vegetables. They eat small mammals and birds if they can catch them!” http://www.chinahighlights.com/giant-panda/diet.htm

    I took special notice of the “if available” and the “different types of bamboo” statements. I would assume that these different types have different nutrient profiles?
    “Ninety-nine per cent of a Giant panda’s diet consists of different types
    of bamboo. Pandas will also eat eggs, meat, grasses and vegetables if
    these are available.”
    http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/animals-attractions/animals/giant-panda/

    “Koalas have a very specific diet of eucalyptus leaves. There are over
    800 species of eucalypts but koalas will only eat about 50 different
    varieties. They have strong individual preferences for certain types of eucalypts.” http://www.koala.net/koala-diet.html

    So, those animals have “variety” in their diet as well.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, but I think there is a huge difference between eating elk every meal than eating commercial over processed kibble with the vitamins added back in every day. To me, that is why it’s important to offer a little variety.

  • Shawna

    I think what BC is getting at is that nutrients in foods work synergistically (D and calcium).

    Vitamin E, in all forms, is damaged by heat as well and air.

    Edit — Afterthought… Omega 3 is still not “required” in a complete and balanced food. Do you think that is because the scientists etc feel Omega 3 is not necessary? If it is necessary, then why wouldn’t it be a requirement? :)

  • Shawna

    Actually, I think one does have to be right and one does have to be wrong. Either variety is important or it is not. Kind of an all or nothing thing. Which do you feel is most appropriate for the best health possible?

  • LabsRawesome

    It’s common sense. I don’t need a peer reviewed study to tell me that varying the diet is good for me & my dogs. :)

  • Shawna

    Of course a single diet doesn’t increase the likelihood of developing a food intolerance. However if one is already genetically intolerant to a food, eating that same food day in and day out will lead to symptoms once the body is not able to generate adequate mucin, IgA etc.

    And if the reaction is in the large intestines and there is an increase in zonulin then the potential for allergies to develop does increase.

    Also, some feel that the toll on the immune system leads to an increased risk of developing environmental allergies.

  • aimee

    I don’t think that there are any peer reviewed studies that support a diet doesn’t need to be rotated just as there are no peer reviewed studies to support that the diet needs to be rotated or that feeding a single diet increases the likelihood of food intolerance.

  • aimee

    As I recall the wolves in Yellowstone eat primarily elk . I think the article said by volume it was over 95% of their diet for the year studied

  • aimee

    And…. many would agree with her : ) Doesn’t make one right or wrong…

  • aimee

    Yet in nature there are animals that do eat essentially the same thing every day for their entire lives. For example Pandas eat bamboo, koala eat eucalyptus…

  • aimee

    I admit I haven’t looked into this but what are the other mineral pairs and ratios that I should be looking for in a diet. I’d like to compare those requirements to some of the diets I use.

    In regards to the tocotrienols … if the diet includes the plants that are sources of these wouldn’t they be in the diet?

  • Shawna

    I need an herbivore like Ellie Mae in my life!!! :( I will have to live vicariously through you!!

  • Shawna

    Hill’s can’t even get the senior diets right?

    Their adult food has 22% protein while a food formulated specifically for seniors only has 19% protein. Recent research has demonstrated senior dogs need more protein not less.

    http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-canine-adult-chicken-and-rice-dry.html

    http://www.hillspet.com/products/sd-canine-mature-adult-active-longevity-dry.html

    To add insult to injury, the senior food has “whole grain wheat” as the second ingredient. Senior dogs are more likely to be arthritic than adult dogs and the gliadin protein in wheat (as well as the hordein protein in barley) binds up glucosamine, both in the digestive tract and potentially at the joint itself, and makes it unavailable. Not good for an arthritic dog….

  • Shawna

    Yet Hills can’t get the basic kidney disease diet right. Another on this site defends Hills and suggests it is the vet’s fault for prescribing the diet inappropriately but others tell me that Hills reps suggest vets begin a kd diet at the first sign of kidney disease, or worse, before signs..???

  • Shawna

    I get everything you are saying but they have evolved to eat a wide variety of foods due to various reasons such as climate. Wild hare provides a different fatty acid and amino acid profile then deer, a nest of baby mice or pheasant eggs.

    I would agree that deer, for most, is likely the most nutritious and natural source of food for a canine. But how many of us feed deer in it’s natural (wild) form? Kibble is certainly as far from “natural” as one could get.

  • Shawna

    Dr. Meg Smart DVM and MANY others would disagree with you. Dr. Smart writes
    “Variety is the Key (My conclusions after over 30 years of teaching veterinary clinical nutrition)

    Do not be afraid to add variety to your pet’s diet. Variety in the diet can include healthy table scraps (not leftovers often laden with salt and fat), homemade diets, kibble, canned, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html

    Food allergies (an immunoglobulin E reaction) are quite rare actually. Food intolerances and sensitivities are far more common. And a protein referred to as a “lectin” is a common cause of food intolerances/sensitivities (an immunoglobulin A reaction). About 30% of our foods have lectins — foods such as wheat, potato, barley, oats, garbonzo beans, kidney beans, dairy, chicken, eggs and more.

    Edit — didn’t realize you were a vet tech when I posted this. Sorry if the IgE/IgA explanations are unnecessary…

  • Patty Zehna

    You obviously either missed my entire point or don’t understand what I’m talking about. We will agree to disagree- I can’t debate someone who is so defensive- LOL back at you.

  • Betsy Greer

    My dog’s problem ingredients are fish and fish oils, neither of which have ever been the first ingredient in the foods that I’ve fed him, but often appear well down the list of ingredients as a fish meal or fish oil; and garlic.

  • Patty Zehna

    OK, one last comment- I take this seriously and I will do some research today- I may be able to talk to the nutrition service at UCD where we consult. Later, have a good day :)

  • Melissaandcrew

    Lol. Oh, but they do. Wild animals have taste preference the same as domestic and human. While they will eat what they can to survive, I have no doubt that when presented with plentiful prey/sources they will eat their preference first. Some of my dogs will consume the beef heart first, then chicken, others flip the order. All eat their fish first. My birds pick out their fav seed before consuming the other types and my prairie dog knows that hay is her main natural source of food, and yet goes for the sweet potato and vegetarian dog food first. She relishes and enjoys them : ) When I did wild life rehab many years ago, I found the same thing-being wild did not deter food preference when sources where in good supply.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Since there are only two categories-puppy/growth/repro and adult main, there really is not much movement through life. I just can’t buy in that one food from the age of 1yr to death is going to be sufficient for their needs.

  • Patty Zehna

    I fali to believe that a wild animals “relish” different food sources, I honestly don’t believe that they think that way.
    As for the rest of it- it is very complex, and the jury is out on food allergies in both humans and animals barring severe anaphylactic reactions.
    I’m off to work, will write more later…

  • Patty Zehna

    Sorry if I misunderstood your post and of course I’m open to learning that is why I made the career choice that I did.
    If this conversation continues in a combative manner, I will not participate. I appreciate debate and exchange of ideas, if I have something to add in my not so spare time (and same for the rest of you) than we all benefit from each others knowledge/experience.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Different protein sources could be a problem if the dog has allergies or sensitivities. However, that is the minority of canines out there. Anything can cause in issue in any species if that individual is sensitive.
    Sure, the menu for wild animals is more limited to what they can find in their range/habitat, based on what other prey are common, but that doesn’t mean they don’t relish the occasional stray chicken : ) I fail to see how a dry kibble product of the same formulation day in and day out could be considered optimal..for that matter, even the same raw diet components day in and day out is bound to cause shortages and lead to an unhealthy animal.

  • Patty Zehna

    To survive not because they don’t want the other food- they hunt what is there.

  • theBCnut

    But they aren’t eating deer every meal for life either. They may have deer for three meals in a row, but the next meal might be rabbit or field mouse. They might not get deer again for a month, or they might get it the following week.

  • theBCnut

    Where did I claim to be an expert? I can hardly believe you are open to new info with an attitude like you have displayed so far. I know I’m not an expert, which is why I keep reading, studying, and adding to what I know.

  • Patty Zehna

    As a matter of survival wild animals eat what is available to them, the will not pass up prey because they just had deer three nights in a row and now they’re in the mood for something else.

  • Cyndi

    Really? Wild animals don’t eat a variety of different prey? Wolves may eat maybe deer on a regular basis, but I’m pretty sure they would also take down other animals when they could. & I’m pretty sure they would eat rabbits and other small animals as well.

  • Patty Zehna

    Hmm, actually different protein sources can be a huge problem depending upon the dog or cat. It’s the main ingredient that causes food allergy if one is present.
    I believe the notion that animals must have variety is anthropomorphic. It certainly has no basis if you extrapolate to wild animals.

  • Patty Zehna

    Wow! Strange comment since you don’t know me. I’m completely open to new information unlike many posters on this site.
    I can assure you I have done plenty of research and actually work with diets every day as a dermatology RVT and understand them very well.
    It’s pretty popular to knock big food companies right now but these are on the cutting edge of research. I’ve been to the Hill’s facility and it’s quite impressive and it was interesting to see first hand what actually goes into the manufacture of pet foods.
    I’m glad that you have made yourself an expert, I will still look for research done by people who might be a bit more qualified.

  • Cyndi

    Why would anything, animal or human, want to eat the same thing every day for their whole entire life. That makes no sense at all. A rotational diet ensures that they are getting everything they need over time. DIfferent protein sources rotated is certainly beneficial.

  • theBCnut

    They said common sense was dead, so according to nutritionists who aren’t bought by dog food companies.
    Most dog foods balance calcium to phosphorus, but every other mineral in there is only added within a certain level rather than actually balanced with the other minerals it is used with in the body. So if you stick with one food for life, you are sticling with an unbalanced mineral profile for life.
    As best as I can tell, no dog food adds back in all of the different vitamin Es, in fact the ones they all completely fail to add back are the ones known for being most effective cancer fighters. There are 8 different Es and the very best foods only add back 4, at most.
    I was a Vet Tech, but I quit to raise my kids. I know what line Hill’s, Purina, Royal Canin, etc. feed you. Try doing some of your own research into nutrition and you might learn something.

  • Patty Zehna

    Yeah, OK, as I said when I have more time I will reply. I don’t always have research at my fingertips. It does appear to me that you are asking for scientific evidence to support my opinion, which is based on experience and what I have learned from other veterinary professionals.
    I hesitated to reply since companion animal diet seems to be such a hot button topic but now that I have I would be happy to delve into this a bit further.
    Meanwhile off to bed for tonight!

  • USA Dog Treats

    I am making no claims that I need to provide scientific evidence for. You are the one who made the claim that a dog’s diet does not need to be rotated!

    I asked you to provide the scientific proof that supports YOUR claim.

    I also asked you your thoughts on the opinions of other veterinary professionals such as DVM’s who disagree with you.

    Have a good night!

  • Patty Zehna

    I’m sure I can find references- I have to be at work very early so pardon me if I don’t answer until tomorrow.
    None of the links that you have posted are “scientific evidence”, I will look for studies, hopefully with a decent sample size.
    Respectfully,
    Patty

  • USA Dog Treats

    Can you provide any scientific evidence such as peer reviewed studies that support your opinion that dog foods don’t need to be rotated?

    And what are your thoughts on the below opinions promoting a rotational diet for dogs?
    ——————————————–

    How is Rotation Feeding Beneficial?

    Proponents of rotation feeding boast about the many health and behavioral benefits, but here are four particular benefits that may interest you:

    1. A more complete approach to nutrient intake

    Many pet foods on the market are designed to be complete and balanced. However, food ingredients each have a unique nutritional profile. Components such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids can be found in different quantities, depending on the type of food. By combining specific complete diets, rotation feeding allows your pet to experience the benefits of two or more foods.

    2. Creates excitement during mealtime

    Some dogs and cats become uninterested in their food once they are accustomed to certain textures, flavors and even brands. With rotation feedings, it’s like a new tasty adventure is waiting for your pet every time they go to their food bowl.

    http://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_rotation_feeding_for_dogs
    ———————————————

    Why should I consider diet rotation for my dog?

    Since there’s no such thing as a perfect dog food, it’s reasonable to assume every product is deficient or excessive in some way.

    Too much of one nutrient… or too little of another. Plus many foods can contain traces of dangerous toxins.

    So, built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed continuously… day-in and day-out… for a lifetime.

    By periodically switching dog foods, the unhealthy consequences of serving the same imperfect products can be minimized.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/

    —————————————–

    Single formula diets promote nutritional inadequacy.

    Single formula diets set the stage for a sub-par digestive system.

    Single formula diets can increase the likelihood of food intolerance.

    Eating one food combination all the time is just plain boring!

    Food rotation: the secret to optimum nutrition and gut health

    http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/53858347318/pet-food-transitioning#.U3L_PvldV8E

    ——————————————-

  • Patty Zehna

    Other than changing foods to age appropriate food as dogs move through life or for medical reasons I don’t think that foods need to be rotated. That is my opinion based on experience and study of 22 years.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Patty,

    Being that you are a Veterinary Technician, what are your thoughts on rotating the foods in a dog’s diet?

  • Patty Zehna

    According to whom?

  • Mike S.

    Anyone know about the Bison adult blend? They don’t seem to like it. I just switched from Wellness Core, might switch back.

  • blazeaglory

    Lol.. So true

  • blazeaglory

    I agree. If the lawsuit is even proven true

  • LabsRawesome

    Purina is just ridiculous. They make the lowest grade foods. But they claim to “Put animals first and raise the standard for pet nutrition”. Maybe someone should sue Purina for false advertising, as well.

  • Akari_32

    I can’t reply to the first post for some stupid reason (Discus is all screwed up and it ticks me off– it’s bad enough I have to navigate on my phone, and even worse when I’m on my onine and the site is skitzing out and sending me to the top of the page every time I try to do anything.). And just stops letting my type…

    Anyways, to anyone who does not get Purina emails, here is a letter they sent out when all this started. Makes me laugh!

    http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx294/Akari53/86177550-4712-4B69-82B7-9C6A7FEB1B5A_zpsg85fci0i.png

    http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx294/Akari53/1845A50D-444D-4A2D-A9C9-CA20F45694B1_zpsuqkxchbb.png

    http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx294/Akari53/3C481903-2D84-4B04-B4FA-3A3291685CC1_zpsw2ca5ysh.png

  • Shar24

    Maybe Purina wants to buy BB. Who really knows. I looked up the Just Right you were talking about…. I think its really really interesting, but I don’t think thats really going to be in competition with Blue Buffalo per se…. I think it caters to a really specific and select market.

  • Shar24

    “If anything, BB packing plant has messed up without BB’s knowledge.”

    My money is on this

  • DAY8293A

    I may have misunderstood you, I thought you meant kiss my arse,,,,, Sorry if I don’t know all the short texting short terms….

  • LabsRawesome

    :

  • DAY8293A

    Your fat wide nose is in the way….

  • LabsRawesome

    LMAO.

  • DAY8293A

    The public at large is ignorant. That is how we got an illegal alien muslim as president. People think “Gee, BB is so expensive it has to be good”… Sat nite live did a skit one time… “with a name like smuckers, it has to be good”.. inserting names they had to whisper to each other, and the worse it was, the better the jam just had to taste. So goes ‘the more it cost, it just has to be good!” fits here. When the dog food costs more, the company will add more ‘crap’ to it, to make the shelf life longer, so they won’t lose money on the short shelf life of the ”real meat” ingredients. You don’t think there are more preservatives in their more ‘natural food’ items (which will have a short shelf life)? If your dog is sensitive to those extra preservative ingredients added ‘before it gets to BB, who claims they don’t add anything, it will make them sick. You just can’t keep a piece of meat sitting in a bag without adding some preservative. And that is what they claim they have, ”real meat”. not by products.

  • DAY8293A

    Sorry, but I was an expert at troubleshooting electronics in the military and an instructor. I know how to eliminate and locate a problem. My dog was seizure free for several years, and we tried Blue Buffalo. That same week he started having seizures. I went back to Alpo, and the seizures stopped immediately. Nothing else changed in his diet/habits/.. nothing. Only the Blue Buffalo. There is no easier way to prove it. If you had a brain, you could easily see the facts. If your dog has a seizure after eating BB, and the seizures stop after eliminating BB, there is nothing else to do. I won’t give him BB again just to let him have a seizure again just because you are too ignorant to add 2 and 2 and get 4. You are probably an ignorant libtard that has to put both hands on a hot stove and burn both your hands before you believe the stove is really on. I pity any poor animal that lives in your house where you have to experiment on them over and over to figure out something is not good for them.

  • theBCnut

    How can anything Purina makes actually compete with BB?