Our dogs love this food and do very well on it. The ingredients list has a lot to like, for both taste and nutrition, and there have been no bad side effects. They’re healthy, have good energy, and don’t leave the “Life Source Bits” in the bowl. [Added: Some months later, one of our dogs started separating out the life source bits from the rest of the kibble. His technique involved moving a mouthful of kibble to the floor, then picking out only the regular food. Our other dog eats the bits along with the kibble.]
We’ve tried several premium dog foods and this one is definitely a winner. Science Diet Senior Small Bites also kept them healthy for years, but it’s obvious that they really prefer Blue Buffalo for their regular diet. The main ingredients are deboned chicken, brown rice, oatmeal and barley, along with other grains and vegetables, plus l-carnitine, glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins, and probiotics.
The kibble is small, so it’s fine for dogs of all sizes. The deboned chicken accounts for most of the 18% protein content. It also contains chicken meal, but no chicken or poultry by-product meals, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy. The Blue Buffalo site describes the benefits of their other ingredients like this:
- L-Carnitine – Lean Muscle Maintenance
- Glucosamine – Healthy Joints
- Green Tea, Fruits & Veggies – Free Radical Fighters
- Vitamins & Chelated Minerals – Immune Strength
- Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids – Healthy Skin & Shiny Coat
The vitamin supplements are in small “LifeSource® Bits” distributed throughout the kibble. According to BlueBuffalo, these bits are ‘cold-formed’ separately from the rest of the kibble to help preserve ingredient potency that other brands degrade when they process antioxidants, vitamins and minerals together at high temperatures.
Blue Buffalo is expensive, $47-$51 for a 30-pound bag, available at PetSmart, PetCo and Amazon, but we think it’s worth it. It smells good, the dogs are enthusiastic about it, and they thrive on it. Our dog, Max, has sensitive skin, but he has had no hot spots since switching to Blue Buffalo, and his coat looks great. BlueBuffalo contains a fair amount of fiber, so when switching from another food, it would be prudent to do so gradually. Our dogs are not having any digestive problems with this food, although one of them was not doing well on another “premium” dog food before we switched to Blue Buffalo.
Complete list of ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Barley, Chicken Meal, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Rye, Rice Bran, Chicken Fat(naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Potatoes, Peas, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Flaxseed(natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Garlic, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Turmeric, Sunflower Oil (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Fish Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Chicory Root, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dialcium Phosphate, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium.