Blue Buffalo Freedom Dog Food
Blue Buffalo is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut. The company was founded in 2002 and currently has about a 5 percent share of the pet food market. They market their pet food products as “healthy” and “natural.” Their foods are sold as premium pet food by specialty pet food retailers and online.
Blue Buffalo has four product lines for dogs: Wilderness, Life Protection, Freedom, and Basics. They produce kibble and canned foods, as well as treats, and make pet food for both dogs and cats. The company does not manufacture their own foods but uses co-packers.
Blue Buffalo is currently involved in a lawsuit with Purina over false advertising. Purina alleges that Blue Buffalo has misled customers about the ingredients they use in their foods. Blue Buffalo has counter-sued. You can read more details about the lawsuit here. The company is also being sued by consumers on the same grounds of false advertising. The plaintiffs are seeking class action status.
Blue Buffalo has been sued by other pet food companies (Hills, Merrick) or cited by the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) multiple times prior to their current lawsuit with Purina. The objections have not been about the quality of Blue’s food but about about misleading advertising.
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Blue Freedom Dog Food Coupons 2017
Blue Freedom Recalls 2017
Blue Buffalo had a recall in October 2010 because of excess levels of Vitamin D in their foods. Levels were potentially toxic. Foods affected were Blue Wilderness Chicken, Blue Basics Salmon, and Blue Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken. A line of Blue Buffalo’s cat food was also affected by the 2007 pet food recalls. We did not find an instance of the Blue Freedom product being recalled.
Blue Freedom Reviews
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BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Beef Recipe for Adult Dogs Review
Blue Buffalo states that the Blue Freedom line of foods is grain-free and that it has no glutens or artificial preservatives. According to Blue Buffalo, their foods contain no chicken or poultry by-product meal. (Although Purina alleges that Blue Buffalo has used by-product meals in their foods without stating it on the label according to their testing.) The food has no corn, wheat, or soy.
The first five ingredients in the food, which usually make up most of the food in terms of weight before cooking, are Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, and Potato Starch. Beef is a good ingredient for dogs. It’s about 74 percent protein and 26 percent fat. It is also a good source of Riboflavin, Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium. It also provides omega-6 fatty acid.
Chicken meal is also a good ingredient for dog food. As a meal, most of the moisture has been removed so it’s a concentrated form of protein. Chicken is 80 percent protein and 20 percent fat, so chicken meal provides about three times as much protein as whole chicken. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium and omega-6 fatty acid.
The first five ingredients also show peas, potatoes, and potato starch. Peas are used in many dog foods today for multiple reasons. They do provide some protein – they are about 22 percent protein. And they are a good source of Folate, Iron and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Thiamin. They are about 74 percent carbohydrates. But they can be problematic for some dogs and cause digestive problems. Their use in pet foods has not been studied extensively. They have been used in farm feeds for much longer and there is evidence that they can interfere with the digestion of vitamins and minerals and stunt growth if their use is not carefully monitored. The food also contains pea fiber. Pea fiber, which can be used to make cellulose in dog food, can be very hard for dogs to digest.
Potatoes are 92 percent carbs, 7 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. They are easy for your dog to digest. Potato starch is almost entirely carbohydrates. It is used as a thickener in some pet foods instead of wheat. It has little other nutritional value although it does provide some energy because it’s a carb.
Other noteworthy ingredients include turkey meal which is similar to chicken meal but with a little less fat. The food uses chicken fat which is a good fat for dogs – high in omega-3 fatty acid and extremely high in omega-6 fatty acid.
Some people disparage tomato pomace as a filler ingredient because it’s a by-product from tomato manufacturing but we like it because of the lycopene, linoleic acid (50 percent), and soluble fibers it contains. It’s also about 20 percent protein. When it’s added to pet food, tomato pomace usually makes up between 3 and 7 percent of the food.
We also note several amino acids: taurine, L-lysine, and L-carnitine. Taurine is added to many dog foods these days because it’s thought that it can help prevent some heart problems such as dilated cardiomyelopathy. It also aids in the digestion of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins which is another reason it may be added to dog foods. L-carnitine is often found in weight control dog foods because it helps convert fat to energy and muscle mass and helps keep the dog’s body lean. L-lysine is a building block for proteins and to boost the immune system.
The food also contains flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids). Flaxseed is a good source of fatty acids, but not as good as cold water ocean sources. It can also be problematic for dogs used for breeding since it is a phytoestrogen and can mimic estrogen in the body. Feeding dogs pet food with flaxseed can cause some hormonal problems, even with spayed dogs.
The food also has a number of antioxidants and natural preservatives such as blueberries, cranberries, and oil of rosemary. Chicory is a good prebiotic. It also has added vitamins and chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are often thought to be a better source of minerals because they are a form of mineral which has been bonded to a protein so they are easier for the animal to digest. The dog is believed to get more use from the mineral. Chelated minerals are more expensive for the company to purchase. However, chelated minerals are normally more important in foods where there are ingredients, such as grains and phyto-estrogens, which would interfere with a dog’s normal absorption of minerals. It’s possible that the peas in this dog food could interfere with the normal absorption of minerals, making chelated minerals a necessity. Otherwise a dog might be getting a overdose of minerals.
Finally, the food has several fermentation products added to help with digestion. These products are sometimes added if the food contains a lot of fiber in order to help break it down and aid in digestion. Dogs don’t normally need a lot of additional help when digesting simple meats and fats. Fermentaion products have been used for a long time with farm animals but they are relatively new for pet foods.
The food contains 394 calories per cup which is a good amount for most moderately active dogs.
BLUE Freedom Beef Adult Food for Dogs is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
|Crude Protein||24.0% min|
|Crude Fat||14.0% min|
|Crude Fiber||7.0% max|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids*||0.25% min|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids*||2.5% min|
|Glucosamine*||400 mg/kg min|
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 26.7 percent protein; 15.6 percent fat; 7.8 percent fiber; 41.1 percent carbohydrates.
The food contains moderate protein for maintenance and a moderate fat content. The fiber percentage is quite high. The carbohydrate percentage is also quite high for a grain-free food.
Most of the ingredients for this food look very good though we are concerned that some dogs will have problems digesting the peas and pea fiber. The carbohydrate percentage and fiber percentage are quite high for a grain-free food. Your dog might do well on this food but if he has any problems it will probably be due to the peas and pea fiber. If he has problems, look for a different food without the peas and high fiber content.