Friday, June 8, 2012

Dog Food Review: Blue Buffalo Wilderness

This is the sixth of the dog food review series I'm doing. I managed to take no pictures during this trial, but you can see images of the bag and its contents over at the webpage for this food. Anyway, here's a picture of Ebon's laser-beam eyes to fill in the gap.

Charging lasers in 3...2...1...

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe
Dog Food Advisor rating: ★★★★★
This food is AAFCO approved for all life stages.

Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Potato Starch, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Potatoes, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Alfalfa Meal, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Yucca Shidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, 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), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium.

Items in italics will be discussed later. 

Bag's recommended daily feeding instructions for a dog 81-100 lbs:  3 3/4 – 4 1/2 cups
Crude Protein: minimum of 34.0%
Crude Fat: minimum of 15.0%
Crude Fiber: maximum of 6.5%
Moisture: maximum of 10.0%
Calorie content: 410 kcal/cup, 3,488 kcal/kg
Calculated amount to maintain Ebon's ideal weight (82.5 lbs): 4.07 cups or 0.47 kg (1.056 lbs)
Price per pound when buying the largest bag (24 lbs at $54.99): $2.29125
Estimated cost of feeding Ebon per year on this food: $883.14 (16.06 of the 24 lb bags)
Ebon receives slightly less than the calculated feeding amount to allow for his daily treats
Ebon's overall health on this food: Very good. Shiny coat with less smell, poop small and consistent, energy level moderate to high.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks thanks to a visit from my brother's significant other and a complete clean and work-over of the condo. Plus, I've been doing more training with Ebon after finally getting some inspiration for new tricks. Because of that, I forgot to mark the beginning and end dates for this trial (along with the pictures). However, since I bought an eleven pound bag, it lasted about eleven days, or nine days on this food alone and approximately an additional three days on each end for transitioning on and off.

The kibble itself is moderately sized, triangular in shape and smells rather meaty. This is likely due to the prominant meat ingredients. Some nice things to see in this food: chelated minerals and probiotics. Chelated minerals are believed to be more easily absorbed and used by the body than non-chelated minerals, and probiotics/microorganisms help maintain good gut flora to provide for better digestion.

Ebon did really well on this food, which was a great relief after the frustrations of his bad reaction to Merrick. His stool was quite compact and rather small.He had no loose stools, but he also wasn't stressed while eating it, which is when he will frequently have some looseness. His coat was also very shiny and soft and he had less dandruff than he has had on many of the other foods. He tends to have an odd combination of lots of oil (as you would expect from a Labrador) and dandruff. Usually, the dandruff only becomes really noticeable after a bath, but he has a small, but noticeable, amount of flaking that occurs if you give him a really good scratch. Also, unlike the Merrick, he wasn't scratching himself really at all on this food. I like to look at any changes in these traits as they say, to me, the most about his overall condition.

So far, it seems like he's been doing best on the foods with the highest protein content, which really isn't that surprising considering the fact that dogs are pretty much like all other carnivores.The next food I'll be reviewing will have the highest protein content of any kibble that Ebon has ever eaten.

Will I change foods? We'll see. Next up: Evo.


  1. It's good to hear that Ebon did good on Blue Buffalo. I've heard mixed reviews on this food, and question trying it out on Conker, but I probably will in a couple months or so to see how he does.

    1. I've heard some mixed reviews as well, including my dad's greyhound having digestive problems on this exact food (turns out he has issues with protein levels over thirty). However, from Ebon's past experience with the brand I didn't really have any qualms with trying it out.

  2. I've had my Lab/GSHP on Blue Buffalo for approximately 3 years. We originally started on the Salmon and Potato Wilderness recipe since he was allergic to something and was getting horrible rashes so we put him on the irregular protein and starch as part of the food trial. Initially I would say the Salmon and Potato was good for him since it seemed to quell some of his itching and rash, but he lost interest in the food rather quickly. We would at times have to add non-fat plain yogurt to his kibble just to keep him interested. We just transitioned to the Duck recipe and he is excited to eat his kibble like never before. I've also noticed that his breath smells better (probably because it isn't fish) and he has way more energy. Lastly, his coat is shiny and he has almost no dandruff. Have to say this is the best Blue Buffalo product I've bought so far to date.