In the last few weeks or so, I’ve been hearing commercials for Blue Buffalo pet food. The commercials peaked my interest, but I didn’t take it any further. Then on Saturday, I was catching up with another guide dog handler and she mentioned that she had just switched from Science Diet to Blue Buffalo. She mentioned that her dog had had some itchy ears, and after the switch, the itching stopped. Her coat also changed dramatically.
Upon hearing this, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities. Jayden seems to have itchy ears, something I’ve been watching very closely. They never have a bad smell and I clean them weekly, but there are times right in the middle of playing, that he has to stop and scratch an ear. I’ll begin rubbing it and he just leans into me. He also tends to scratch his haunches, sometimes more than others. After he eats, he sometimes rubs his head on the carpet, or the side of the bed, and almost ever time I take him out after feeding, he sneezes once.
I had decided long before I even met Jayden, that I would not do a food switch unless there was something to indicate it might be wise. I figured if GDB uses it, and he’s been eating it his whole life, I won’t fix what isn’t broken.
I have to admit though, that all the trash talking about Science Diet kept me thinking. I debated whether to even post this, because the food debate is one I didn’t want on this blog. However, I’m so impressed so far with my research of Blue Buffalo that I couldn’t keep silent about it.
I spent some time on the website this morning, just reading about why they say it’s better. They have a food comparison tool, but it wasn’t accessible with Voiceover so I couldn’t try it. I wanted to get all the information I could before calling. They have a pretty good FAQ’s section and quite a lot of information.
I called the 800 number and left a message, and someone got back to me in about an hour. I told her I had a guide dog and was considering switching. She asked me his breed and weight. She asked me what food he was on. She said she would recommend the fish and oatmeal blend. They have a lamb formula, but not in large breed, and she said that for a dog like Jayden, she would recommend more protein. The fish formula has 26% protein, where the lamb has 22%. The food also has less fats and carbs. So the formula is good for energy because of the protein, if I understood her correctly. Also, the extra fish oils are great for the coat. She said basically you want more protein and less fat and carbs.
She said for his weight, to start at 2 cups a day so it’s less food. Right now he’s eating a cup and two thirds twice a day. She said they like you to start on the low end to prevent obesity, so he’d start with two cups a day and I’d increase if necessary. She said you need even less of the Blue Buffalo then other high quality foods, so while it’s a bit more pricey than the SD, it’ll even out. She said the amount of waste goes down even more.
She gave me the recommendations for switching the food. She said to start with 1/4 Blue mixed with current food and gradually increase depending on stool. She said there will be some soft stool at first while things get cleaned out. So as the stool firms again, to increase the Blue gradually. This will take about 2 weeks, depending on stool.
I was really impressed with how helpful she was. She just spoke with a guide dog handler last week. He had called asking about delivery as he was going to school and would have a hard time getting his Blue Buffalo for his dog. She was happy to tell him, and now me, about Blue Buffalo’s new online shop, shop.bluebuffalo.com. You can order food and treats for delivery. I haven’t checked it out yet, so I don’t know about accessibility yet. Blue Buffalo products are also available at Petsmart and Petco, in stores and online. I didn’t think to ask her about a service dog discount at their new shop. Maybe that’s something I’ll suggest if I make the switch and like it.
I asked how long they’ve been around, because it doesn’t say on the site, and they’ve been around since 2003. I really liked when I read on the website that everything is made here in the USA.
When you check out the website, you’ll see that the first ingredient listed on all the food is meat. Also, they don’t use byproducts or “meal”. I asked her what that was, and she was explaining it in a way that reminded me of a hotdog; you don’t really know what’s in it. She laughed and said that’s a great analogy. So everything they use is natural and real. That all appeals to me.
What I’m most impressed with however, are the LifeSource Bits. I’ve copied the information to paste here, because I really like what they’ve done there. So after I wrap up, I’ll paste that.
I asked her about what the kibble looks like, since I use it for food reward. She said there are triangular pieces of kibble, and then the LifeSource bits. She said people have said they look kind of like rabbit pellets haha. She has spoken with others who use the kibble as food reward, so it sounds like that would be fine. They also have a whole line of dog treats, even some called training treats, I think I read. So there’s your high value for recalls and such. 😉
So, I think I am going to try this. I just bought a big bag of SD so it’s gonna be awhile. I’ll probably order a bag of Blue Buffalo towards the end of this supply of SD so I can slowly introduce it.
I decided to post this to see if anyone else has switched to Blue Buffalo. I am open to both positive and negatives, as I continue to marinate on this. I like to do a lot of fact finding before I make any major decisions. Since this concerns Jayden, this is one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make since deciding to apply for a guide dog. I want the absolute best for him, and I want him to feel good and be happy and healthy for as long as possible. Blue Buffalo started developing this food after a dog family member got cancer. One of the biggest aims of this company is to prevent cancer in our pet kids. I like that, I like it a lot.
If I like what it does for Jayden, assuming I do this, and it’s looking like I will, perhaps I can persuade B to switch the cats to it as well. I’ve asked on FB and have gotten positive responses, from both dog and cat parents.
Ok, so as promised, here’s the info on the LifeSource Bits from the website:
LifeSource Bits are the small, dark kibbles mixed in with our BLUE dog and cat dry foods. They contain a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists. To ensure that dogs and cats get the full benefit of these vital nutrients, LifeSource Bits are “cold-formed” to help preserve their potency.
Think about some of the hazardous chemicals that are in many of the household and lawn and garden products we use every day. Now consider the fact that our dogs and cats walk, sleep and have direct contact with carpets, floors and grass virtually 100% of the time.
When your dog or cat is exposed to hazardous chemicals and other environmental toxins, free radicals formed from the oxidation of these potentially hazardous chemicals can attack their body’s cells.
Free radicals are extremely reactive and highly unstable, and the cell damage they cause can lead to major health problems. In a healthy dog or cat, the body’s antioxidant defense system routinely neutralizes these free radicals to help prevent cellular damage.
But a dog or cat’s antioxidant defense system can become stressed in any number of ways—from an overload of bacteria, viruses, allergies, or to an overexposure to chemical toxins. When this happens, the number of free radicals in their body can go up tremendously, and eventually exceed the ability of his antioxidant defense system to neutralize them. At this point, a dog or cat can become especially vulnerable to diseases, including some cancers.
More and more veterinarians are recognizing the importance of antioxidants in the diets of dogs and cats to replenish their antioxidant defense system and help counteract the damaging effects of oxidation. Antioxidants are found in certain nutrients and minerals—many of which our nutritionists have selected for inclusion in BLUE LifeSource Bits:
Kelp, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, Selenium, blueberries, Barley Grass
LifeSource Bits contain ingredients that have been shown to help strengthen a pet’s immune system:
Alfalfa, Flax seed, Parsley, Vitamin C, Cranberries
LifeSource Bits also contain ingredients that are known to help protect a pet’s changing needs from youth through his mature years. These include:
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin and coat, Yucca Schidigera Extract for joint health, Taurine for healthy eyes and heart, L-Lysine for growth and development, Vitamin D for healthy bones and tissue, Vitamin B 12 for growth, L-Carnitine for endurance and fat metabolism
Recognized as a breakthrough in canine and feline health because of the multiple benefits they provide, LifeSource Bits are also a manufacturing breakthrough because they are “cold-formed” to preserve nutritional potency of the ingredients. BLUE is the ONLY brand of pet food to use this “cold-formed” process.
, you will see that this “cold-formed” process is an important difference between BLUE and other brands that add antioxidants and vitamins. Other manufacturers process their foods with heat as high as 350°. High heat can destroy the potency of many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and important enzymes. It’s the same concept as when you cook vegetables at high heat—the longer you do, the more heat-sensitive nutrients are lost.
This way, your pet can gain as many benefits as possible from these valuable nutrients.
Water-soluble vitamins are the most sensitive to heat. Nutritionists estimate that these vitamins can lose a minimum of 30% of their potency when exposed to high temperatures, while some, like vitamin C, can lose up to 75% of their potency.
BLUE LifeSource Bits contain eight water-soluble vitamins which benefit most from the “cold-formed” process:
Vitamin B1, (Thiamin) Vitamin B 2, (Riboflavin), Vitamin B 12,, Vitamin C, Folic, Acid, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid