Complaints About Blue Buffalo Pet Foods

October 24, 2013

It has recently come to my attention that there could be a problem with the currently very popular Blue Buffalo® pet foods.  The Consumer Affairs website shows many pages of complaints about both dog and cat food from this company.

Some consumers complained about personality changes in their dogs, including increased aggression.  Switching to another brand of food reversed the problem.

Others wrote that Blue Buffalo® causes gas and digestive problems.  Many animals vomited after eating and lost weight.  Diarrhea was a recurring theme, along with dogs that passed blood in their stools.

A few consumers mentioned the recent change in appearance of some of the company’s pet foods.  One specifically wrote that Blue Buffalo’s® Freedom Grain-Free dog food had changed color of its kibble and believed this food was making their pets ill.

Several complainants on the Consumer Affairs site wrote that their calls or emails to the company were dismissed as unfounded.  One person from California wrote:

“Blue Buffalo is clearly unresponsive on this food safety issue.”

Report after report followed on this and other websites with stories like two Boston/Pug mixed breeds that were switched from another pet food brand to Blue Basic Turkey & Potato Dry Formula and for two years, did well.  Then the owners began noticing behavior problems and digestive changes.  The diarrhea turned bloody, but tests showed nothing wrong.  One of the dogs developed a bad rash.  The owners attributed all these changes to the Blue Buffalo® food.

Another story was about two kittens that were started on Blue Buffalo® Kitten Food.  They immediately developed bloody diarrhea and became lethargic.  The veterinarian found nothing wrong but treated the diarrhea.  It didn’t help.

After finding the complaints posted on the Consumer Affairs site, the owner took the kittens off the Blue Buffalo® food and within hours, they began improving.

Many other stories showed similar improvements after the animal stopped eating the Blue Buffalo® food.

I am neither a scientist nor a nutritionist but years of studying pet food and how diet affects dogs and cats tell me that if a dog or cat develops a health problem for which no diagnosis can be found, it’s time to look at the animal’s diet and/or environment.

Time will tell if there really is something wrong with the heavily-advertised Blue Buffalo® pet foods.  In the meantime, exercise caution with your pets.  If your pet reacts badly after eating any brand of food, switch food and see if there is improvement.  Conduct your own food trial this way to determine if a problem exists.  Document all reactions, dates, and amounts fed.  Then talk to your veterinarian, in case he or she wants to get involved.  Contact the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for advice on submitting a complaint.  Write your local Better Business Bureau.  Check the Consumer Affairs website and leave a comment about your pet’s experience, and certainly contact the manufacturer of the offensive food and tell them the story.  Reputable pet food manufacturers should want to know if customers are experiencing bad reactions to their products.  The more documentation involved, the better the chances of an investigation being successful.

Just because the ingredients look right, it doesn’t mean that other problems can’t exist.  The folks at Monsanto are busily informing the public that genetically-modified foods are perfectly safe for us to eat.  If that is so, why are so many countries other than the United States banning these GMO foods?  Don’t place blind trust in any company.  Do your homework and research pet food just as you would your own food.  Then you will be able to make an educated decision.

Below are a few websites where I read about these problems with the Blue Buffalo® pet foods:

www.consumeraffairs.com/blue_buffalo.html

http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/tag/blue-buffalo-pet-food

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/blue-buffalo-dog-food-recall/attachment/blue-buffalo-logo/

http://www.lab-retriever.net/board/diet-nutrition/7394050-beware-blue-buffalo-dog-food-problems.html

 

 

Leave a Comment

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Susanne Haley December 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Keep me informed please . My frenchies are doing better on another food. Less allergies and less shedding

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Jennica Figueroa February 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I feed my dog Blue Buffalo everyday and she has no problem with it, only when it comes to Beneful. I even fed it to my dog around the time this was posted and she showed no concerning symptoms. I honestly think that if your dogs are having concerning symptoms and are eating Blue Buffalo I don’t think it’s Blue Buffalo, so you should have your dog checked out by your vet. Otherwise, this Blue Buffalo thing is clearly a fake rumor.

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Jennica Figueroa February 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Yeah if it isn’t a fake rumor then probably just allergies but ya know anything can be fake…

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Carol North February 4, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Jennica, of course anyone whose pet displays symptoms of illness that don’t go away quickly should have the animal seen by their veterinarian. But every dog is different and you cannot assume that just because your pet thrives while eating a certain food that others will do the same. I don’t deal in fake rumors and judging from the large numbers of complaints to Consumer Affairs regarding Blue Buffalo pet foods, I would be suspicious. I’m glad your dog does well eating this food and I wish you the best.

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Kat Arnold March 23, 2014 at 3:11 am

I started my Blue Russian cat on Blue Buffalo about 2 months ago! He was 5 yrs old! He was a healthy energetic cat. He went from that too unable to eat and losing drastic weight 3 wks ago! Drinking tons of water! I started reading about the problems other cat owners were having with the Blue Buffalo! But it was too late he died in my arms last night 21 March ! I had made a vet appt for him this coming Monday! Instead of taking him to a vet appt I’m taking him in to be cremated Monday! I completely blame the Blue BuffaloFood! My two Dobermans have been eating the Lamb and Brown Rice but I’m taking them off of that right now and going to Call of the Wild! I will not recommend Blue Buffalo to anyone! My Heart is broken losing my beautiful fun cat Bobbit!

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Carol North March 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Kat, I am so sorry for the loss of your kitty. I wish we could determine what is causing these problems in pets eating Blue Buffalo.

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Kat Arnold March 24, 2014 at 12:38 am

Thank-You Carroll ! I hope something can be identified with this problem! I don’t want a another family to have to g0 thru what Bobbitt and I have gone thru! It was a very painful episode.

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David May 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I can attribute directly the vomitting issues my beagle began developing when eating to Blue Buffalo Freedom. She first had to be coaxed to even eat the food after initially enjoying it when first switched from the freedom puppy to adult food. It soon got to a point where eating even a few bites led to vomiting. Changing her food immediately stopped the problem. This was not an issue early on in her switch from Puppy to Adult Blue Buffalo, but became a define issue about a month ago. There was either a delayed reaction, a change in formula or recipe or a bad lot of food. She and we are happy to have changed brands simply for her benefit, I have no ill will toward Blue Buffalo, but the fact that changing one variable, her food, and the vomiting directly after eating has now stopped, there is little doubt what was the cause.

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Carol North May 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I’m glad you figured out the problem so easily. I have read that the company did change their formula in 2013 but I don’t have facts to back that up. I hope you will add your story to the Consumer Reports website on this subject. I believe it is under Complaints about Blue Buffalo Pet Food.

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Garth May 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

I was in a pinch when I went to Petco and no Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato canned dog food was available. So I ordered some online but had to buy some food in the interim. I chose the Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato and after the first can I fed to my pug, he threw it all up this morning. I guess I’m going to have to return these cans and drive around town to find the Wellness Simple!!!!

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Carol North May 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I guess your dog was trying to “tell” you something, Garth. I’m glad all is well.

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Lori June 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I have to wonder if people are weening their animals the appropriate way when changing food. Start off 70 to 30, 50/50, and then 30/70. Each fraction needs a couple of days to a week or so to monitor changes in the animal and allow time for the body to adjust to the change in food. If you are not doing this then stomach problems occur for long periods of time. Who wouldn’t get GROUCHY with a 24/7 upset stomach (grouchy I mean behavior such as snipping or biting). Also, if you pay any attention to BB it has different kinds such as life source( my fav because the antioxidant kibble), grain free or freedom, food sensitivity or basic, and others to choose from. DUE YOUR HOMEWORK

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Carol North June 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Lori, you raise a valid point. But let’s not assume that people don’t change foods properly. Every animal is different and not all react in the same way to various pet foods. There are plenty of happy customers of Blue Buffalo out there. I am not judging this brand of pet food, just reporting what Consumer Affairs has shared. That makes me cautious!

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snicklebone November 12, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I used to feed my old cat a fried egg every morning when I made myself breakfast. and a chunk of whatever meat i ate for dinner. all the talk about what an unbalanced diet can do to a cat and she lived into her mid 20’s. go figure! haha. my new year old cat gets blue buffalo kibble and natures instinct / wellness core wet, and ive never seen a pet with more problems. X_x ugh!

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Carol North November 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Maybe in your shoes I would try switching my cat to something other than Blue Buffalo and see if her health improves.

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Thomas Bizzell June 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I am not sure these are fake rumors. I have two yorkies. I tried switching to BB. I tried the weaning approach. 1 dog did great. Another older dog did not do so well. He started losing significant weight, had diarrhea issues, etc. He is a muscular yorky. He was eating, but the effects were noticeable. I switched the dogs back to the original food and supplemented the diet with some chicken breast and boil in bag rice.

He is doing much better. The vet told me to avoid BB. They cannot back up their marketing with science. They cannot reliably produce the same nutrient qualities from batch to batch and prove it or even in the same batch.

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Carol North June 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for your comments, Thomas Bizzell. Everyone has to decide for themselves if the Blue Buffalo food will work for their pet. I talked to someone today whose cat does very well on the food but there have been so many complaints on that consumers website, that it pays to observant.

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TJ July 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Very interesting post. I have a 1 year old Bengal who I’ve been feeding Blue Buffalo since late 2013. I paid the premium because I read that it had higher quality protein and was healthier.

He was fine up until a 2-3 months ago when he developed diarrhea that has been constant since then. The vet could not find any issues and he acts normal.

I will definitely try changing food to see if this has an effect.

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Carol North July 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Be careful about the food you switch him to. If he is used to a dry cat food, don’t expect him to change quickly to a canned food. Cats are far too finicky for that. Consider ordering the new Salmon Grain-Free cat food from Petbrosia.com. There is nothing in it that could harm him. There are others on the market you can purchase in better pet stores. I like the Fromm’s Family products. Some Wellness cat foods might work.

If he has been eating only canned – or wet food – again, Fromm’s makes good food, as does Wellness.

Please let us know the results and if changing his food helps. I don’t know a lot about Bengals but I do know that one particular Bengal Rescue group only feeds a raw diet to their Bengals, Abyssinians and Savannah cats. You’ll need a holistic pet store that carries those.

Good luck and we’ll look forward to hearing if the current food was a problem.

Carol North

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snicklebone November 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

A lot of bengals, esp in the US, have trich f. bacteria. Its expensive to diagnose and expensive to then treat, and on top of that your cat can have long periods of being fine all the while the bacteria is in there doing damage (years on and off, or months, or days…its different for every cat)

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Nicole F July 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I had to comment on this, because I my 4 year old cat has started to have a problem and I can’t figure out what. I took her to the vet to get tested for parasites and she didn’t have anything wrong with her. We’ve been feeding her Blue Buffalo for about 4 months and within that time she started to obsessively lick her hair off. Her lower stomach is mostly bald, the back of her tale, the back of one arm, and her inner legs. Then I remembered this issue started when I switched her form Purina One to Blue Buffalo, because she has a sensitive stomach and I thought this would help. Her vomiting did decrease, but she’s not balding and has been vomiting up hairballs, which she has never had an issue with before. I’m switching her to Simply Nourish Duck recipe. I hope this helps if anyone else had the same issue. If so, please share – I’m wondering if my cats the only one whose suffered from hairloss (however, I’ve noticed a lot of dogs have had the same issue with BB).

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Carol North July 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Nicole, thanks for sharing the problem with your kitty. I’m glad you are trying her on a new food. You did not ask but decided to check out the Simply Nourish Cat Food because I wasn’t familiar with it. The ingredients list looks good. This is a private label food manufactured for Pet Smart. I spoke to a customer service rep for Pet Smart and was told that the dry food is manufactured in a facility in Utah. The ingredients in it are all sourced in the U.S. That’s good news.

Their canned food, however, is processed in Thailand with U. S. and Australian ingredients. Personally, I would want to know more about that before feeding it to my cats.

If this food does not take care of your pet’s problems, I suggest you look at a grain-free food with fish or duck – any novel protein that she hasn’t been eating. It is possible that the chicken in her food may be a problem for her. Hopefully, not.

Best of luck,

Carol North

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Nicole F. August 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Carol,
Thanks for replying to me… I’m just now seeing it. She appears to be doing a lot better on Simply Nourish and her hair is growing back in a few places… However, it’ll take a few months for her bald patches to completely grow in.

I did a lot if research on simply nourish and with food allergies. I figured the chicken and fish and onion in BB is what caused the allergies. luckily, simply nourish has both duck and venison proteins would be a good change. I feed them dry food and treat them to canned food about once a month. Both my cats love it!

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Carol North August 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Sounds like you are on the right track. Best of luck!

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Amy July 24, 2014 at 7:03 am

I am hoping that I am wrong but this weekend my cat got violently ill. Vomiting more that 10 times. We took him to the vet TWICE and $1000.00 later, they had no explanation. His white blood cells were very low, so I got antibiotics and was told to feed him chicken and rice. Yesterday, I tried to change back to his regular food (BB Wilderness Duck Recipe) and he has vomited 4 more times and has diarrhea. Now I am convinced that it was the food that made him sick. I am back to chicken now until I talk about a plan with his vet. Does anyone have any advice? Should I have waited more that 4 days before feeding him cat food?

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Carol North July 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

Amy, give him a few days to settle his stomach and then try a different cat food. Read the article on this site about complaints about Blue Buffalo foods. That may or may not be the issue for your cat. The only way to be sure is to see if he can return to normal with another high-quality food. There are many good brands on the market. Be sure it doesn’t contain corn in any form; no by-products; no artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives. You may have to begin slowly mixing the new food in with the chicken rice mixture and increasing it. Four days should have been long enough for his tummy to settle, so try something else and see if it works. If the problem continues, your vet should test him for Salmonella, if he hasn’t done so. Best of luck! Carol

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Natalie August 26, 2014 at 8:13 am

I started feeding my cat a grain free brand called 4health that is sold through tractor supply and has similar ingredients to BB. He did ok at first but then developed blood tinged diarrhea. I have been go ogling trying to find if other cats on grain free foods have had issues and found this site.

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Carol North August 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

If anyone else has problems with any of the 4Health products, I would like to know. Natalie, I’m glad you figured out your cat’s problem and took her off of the food. I recently wrote a review of the 4Health Grain Free Dog Food on this site but haven’t received any comments on it. I agree that the ingredients of their pet foods mimic more high end brands and I was really hoping this would be a good alternative for those who cannot afford to pay top prices. Let’s hope yours was an unusual case. In the meantime, if anyone has experienced problems with any of the 4Health products, please share.

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Janette August 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I switched my cat from Science Diet to Blue Buffalo two weeks ago. He has had diarrhea ever since. He seems to really like it, but the diarrhea just won’t go away. Now he has started pooping around the house…not in his litter box. What’s going on?

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Carol North August 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Janette. First of all, it’s good that you decided to change your cat from Science Diet. Not my idea of a healthy pet food. I am not a veterinarian and wouldn’t attempt to diagnose the problem. However, if I were in your shoes, I would not continue feeding the Blue to your cat. Go to a better pet store and ask what they would suggest. You need to run a test to see if the diarrhea goes away when your cat is off the Blue Buffalo for several days. But the problem is that you usually cannot switch a cat abruptly to a new food. That in itself can cause digestive issues. But you have a definite problem with diarrhea continuing. Consider trying a grain-free cat food with a different meat than you have been feeding. Petbrosia makes a grain-free salmon. You can order this online – http://www.petbrosia.com. Fill out a profile for your pet and when you place an order, enter the code AUGT09 for a 50% discount on your first purchase. This is an excellent food and a great deal for trying it. Locally, buy a small bag of a good grain-free cat food with a different meat that the cat has been eating. Try it and see if she will eat it. If so, make the switch as quickly as she will allow. When you have time, Google “complaints about Blue Buffalo” and click on the one for consumer affairs. Read those and see if you find similarities.

Those are all the suggestions I have at the moment. Best of luck and do keep us updated. Carol North

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Brian December 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Everything in this article is accurate. My last bag of Blue Buffalo made my dog very ill. He was vomitting, lethargic, didnt want water and looked almost life less. Took him to the vet and they couldnt find anything wrong. Took him off food for a day and gave him the wet food the following day. This was the first day we didnt have any vomitting and his spirits picked up some. Slowly transitioning from the wet food the vet provided by incorporating small amounts off dry food caused the dog to wake me up early in the following morning about ready to vomit all over again. Someting about the blue buffalo, which looks different than all other bags purchased the past 2 years, seems almost like it has a toxic affect on the dog.

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Carol North December 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

I hope you have successfully changed your dog’s diet and that he is doing well on the new food. Best of luck.

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Virginia Baker March 3, 2015 at 11:03 am

My cats have been vomiting every damned day on this stuff. They didn’t used to–we’ve used it for nearly a year. But suddenly, every morning, every day, I’m cleaning up vomit. I’m changing brands, immediately!

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Carol North March 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Virginia, let us know how they do with the change in diet. Tell us which food you switched them to. Good luck.

Carol

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Nancy March 24, 2015 at 6:19 pm

I have been purchasing Blue Buffalo for my dog since 11/14 however it has made him very ill. He has been throwing up . It was causing kidney and liver blood work to be way off . We have had an to go to the vet varies times .And had bills way beyond our expenses.

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Carol North March 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

So sorry to hear that, Nancy. As you know from reading this site, you are not alone.

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Robert March 27, 2015 at 1:11 am

Two of my cats who were perfectly healthy were poisoned by Blue Buffalo cat food. Within a week of each other they suffered renal failure and neurological damage from this cat food.

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Carol North March 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm

That’s terrible, Robert. Did your veterinarian report it to the FDA? I suggest that anytime a pet owner suspects a commercial food of causing illness or death to an animal, that the vet report his or her findings. It’s the only way that the FDA will ever follow up and test the product.

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Nancy April 1, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I am still waiting for the form to fill out about the Vet cost’s due to the Blue Buffalo I had purchased for my pet. Thank the Lord we took him in ontime to find out the cause of his illness. It was hurting his liver and kidneys . He had to be keep and watched at the Vet

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Carol North April 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Keep us posted, Nancy. We all want to know how the company behaves with this.

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Robert April 2, 2015 at 12:32 am

I stopped feeding my cats BB a month ago when two of them within a week of each other had symptoms of poisoning, watery diarhea, throwing up, neurological problem is that the back legs were wobbly, lethargy and then acute kidney failure. When the first cat become ill I suspected something wrong with the food as they were not eating it, the other cats wouldn’t touch it and the two who become ill were throwing it up. I took up all the food bowls and dumped what was in the them. I have a half bag left and I sealed it and put it away from the cats. No worry anyway as they were smarter that I in that they wouldn’t eat it. The other day I had some of the kibbles and soaked them in warm water. It took hours for the dark rock hard ones to dissolve, one they did I found a piece of plastic neatly cut on the edges during the forming of the kibble. Or cut somehow but anyway it came from a kibble. The plastic didn’t poison my cat kids though, it was one of the mystery ingredients sourced from China.

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Carol North April 2, 2015 at 12:51 am

Robert, what makes you think there are mystery ingredients sourced in China in that Blue Buffalo cat food? I’m not doubting you – just looking for more information.

Carol

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Robert April 2, 2015 at 12:54 am

carol, I do not have any direct evidence of out sourcing ingredients, only what I read and then when I ask BB they denied that the food was out sourced but would not answer when I ask about the ingredients.

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Carol North April 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

I think I need to conduct a bit of research myself on this food. In their defense, virtually all companies source their vitamins and spices from the Orient, be it China or another country. However, the company spokespeople should be willing to identify the source of meats and other main ingredients in the product.

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leann May 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

I have always tried to feed my cats the best food available because they’re my babies and I want the best for them. I am so angry with these companies who falsely advertise their product and mislead consumers. We pay for quality food but aren’t getting it and it’s impossible to determine which food is the best for our pets. I have two cats that require prescription food, so in that I have no other alternative, but my newer kitten who elected to feed blue buffalo has been very gassy as well as having diarrhea. I knew that it had to be what I was feeding her! I read so much about cats so I can be the best cat mommy I can be, and that’s how I knew her symptoms were caused by the expensive misleading food. There needs to be stricter regulations for companies and the product they produce. After this I have found it difficult to trust anything I read on labels. Once I finish the food I have I’m switching brands and refuse to ever support blue buffalo!

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Carol North May 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Hi Leann, thanks for your comments. I do understand how difficult it is to feel safe about any food you choose for your pets these days. With any pet food company, you are forced to deal with a level of trust and it isn’t easy. I will tell you that a smaller company that produces natural, organic type food is likely to be safer. They aren’t as likely to buy the pre-mixes from those dealers that the big manufacturers buy from. In choosing a new food, feel free to call the manufacturer’s number on the package and ask questions. Personally, for dry food, I like Petbrosia for cats (order from their website and mention my name, please) and I like Wellness Duos for wet food. I’ve never had a problem with either. But you have to decide for yourself what works best for your fur babies. If your kitty is still eating the Blue Buffalo and still suffering from diarrhea, take her off at once. Diarrhea robs her body of much-needed electrolytes and causes dehydration. Best of luck! Carol

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Nancy May 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

The Blue Buffalo made my buddy Buster so ill ,I now have to give him prescription food and monitor his blood count . It cause this liver to have problems

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Colette Waggoner December 24, 2015 at 12:51 am

To whom it may concern;
I had a lot of people telling me to try you’re Blue Buffalo, now I’m having vet bills I can’t afford. Your food has caused my little chihuahua to cry out in pain, and have problems going to the bathroom.
My veterinarian couldn’t find anything wrong with my little girl, after reading this article I understand why. I hope your company is VERY happy for hurting my baby!!!

Colette

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Carol North December 26, 2015 at 11:58 am

Colette, if you have problems with a particular food, you need to send your email to the company. This website is NOT Blue Buffalo. I’m so sorry your dog is ill and I hope she is doing better.

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Nancy December 26, 2015 at 9:13 pm

I sent my vet bill to Blue Buffalo after their food almost killed my Buster .And he now has permanent kidney problems . We don’t know how long we will have him with us . They responded they ate not responsible. They have numerous animals dying because of their food and they could care less.

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Carol North December 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your story. I don’t know if or when that company will take responsibility for problems caused by their products. I can’t even be certain they are to blame. But consumer complaint after consumer complaint says something isn’t right.

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Carlene November 7, 2016 at 11:39 pm

Both my girls died after eating blue buffalo. Blue buffalo dry Dog food killed my dogs. In the morning my girls were playing and I fed them breakfast and within 2 hours they were sick and at the doctors.
They both died.
What a horrible thing they went through. April was bright and talented. Minnie was so sweet and my service Dog.
This should be considered a criminal act.

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Carol North November 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Carlene, I’m so sorry for your loss. Be sure to watch the Consumer Affairs website to stay up-to-date on anything related to BB.

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