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Understanding DCM

 

Our Promise to Pet Parents

 

Blue Buffalo was founded by pet parents, for pet parents. We think of our dogs and cats as family members, so we believe their food should be natural and healthy.

Blue Buffalo is taking the issue of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) very seriously. Our story began with Blue, our large and lovable Airedale — a true family member in every way possible. Blue’s struggle with cancer prompted us to take a serious interest in a wide range of pet health issues and inspired us to make a super-premium pet food using the finest natural ingredients, starting with real meat. We are proud to offer a wide variety of healthy foods and treats to address the needs of dogs, cats and pet parents just like us.

At Blue Buffalo, we have worked hard to build a brand you can trust. From the ingredients we chose, to formulation by our top-notch scientists, animal nutritionists and veterinarians, to our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and processes, we want pet parents to feel confident that they are getting the best product possible for their beloved four-legged family members. Know that we will continue to uphold these high standards for every bag that we make, because we believe that when you love your pets like family, you feed them like family.

We are proud to offer a broad range of diets to give pet parents a choice in the best nutrition for your pet. Our True Blue Promise is that all of our recipes start with protein-rich meat as the first ingredient, and none of our recipes contain chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives. Our grain recipes, such as our most popular BLUE Life Protection Formula, are made with wholesome whole grains like brown rice, barley and oatmeal. And for pet parents who chose to avoid grains, our grain-free recipes contain the delicious meat pets love without grains and glutens.

We know that many pet parents have questions about the FDA’s recent investigation into DCM and what it means for the health of your furry family members and the safety of their food. We are providing the following information to help pet parents better understand DCM and what Blue Buffalo is doing around this important issue.

 

What We Know

 
What is DCM?

DCM is a disease that occurs in dogs and cats where the heart becomes enlarged and is not able to pump blood effectively. Symptoms of DCM in dogs include exercise intolerance, pale gums, coughing, difficulty breathing, intermittent weakness or even sudden death. Certain breeds are predisposed to DCM, including golden retrievers, doberman pinschers, great danes, boxers and cocker spaniels, though any breed can be affected. Diagnosis of DCM can only be made by echocardiography, as this diagnostic is able to measure the heart chambers and pump functionality of the heart.

 

Why is the FDA Investigating DCM?

In July 2018, the FDA issued an alert that they were investigating DCM in breeds of dogs that are not typically disposed to DCM and that have normal levels of taurine (taurine is an amino acid whose deficiency has been known to contribute to DCM in some breeds). The FDA noted that these dogs predominately ate grain-free pet foods containing legumes like peas or lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), or potatoes as main ingredients. As a result, the FDA is investigating whether there is a possible diet component to these cases of DCM, but it has not identified any causative links or drawn any conclusions.

 
What has the FDA said about Blue Buffalo?

In June 2019, the FDA released case information for reports of DCM that it had received from pet parents across the country. While even one case is too many, there are 89 million dogs in the US and the FDA release included 524 reported cases of canine DCM over a range of different brands and formulas. Blue Buffalo diets were named in 31 of the cases. While it has not been determined how many of those cases resulted from a confirmed diagnosis of DCM, Blue Buffalo is working hard alongside the FDA and the rest of the pet food industry to research issues that affect pet health and nutrition, including DCM.

 

What Blue Buffalo is Doing?

 
How are Blue Buffalo Products Formulated and Made?

All Blue Buffalo products undergo a robust formulation, manufacturing and testing process to ensure their safety, efficacy and compliance with all nutrient requirements. All Blue Buffalo formulas undergo feeding studies, including digestibility and nutrient analyses, to help ensure their safety and efficacy. Blue Buffalo formulates and manufactures all of its products to meet the criteria of evaluating commercial pet foods as outlined by the Global Nutrition Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), an organization that represents 105 member associations of more than 200,000 individual veterinarians.

 
What about Taurine?

Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid that is important in the body for fat digestion and heart function. Taurine deficiency is a known cause of DCM, though not all pets diagnosed with DCM have low taurine levels. All Blue Buffalo formulas contain natural sources of taurine like protein-rich meat, which is an excellent source of taurine and the first ingredient in all Blue Buffalo formulas, and we supplement all our grain-free dry dog food with methionine, which can be converted to taurine in a dog’s body. All our large breed and senior grain-free dry dog foods also are supplemented with additional taurine.

 
Our Products

At Blue Buffalo, we work every day to ensure that our food is safe and healthy. Blue Buffalo is proud to offer a variety of formulations across its portfolio, both grain and grain-free. In fact, the majority of Blue Buffalo dog food sales to pet parents contain grain. We will continue to offer a variety of formulations to meet the needs of dogs and cats across all life stages, breeds and activity levels.

Our team is working hard to better understand DCM and to collaborate with experts across the industry to determine what, if any, role diet plays in DCM. Even though the number of DCM cases remains small, we know that pet parents consider a variety of factors when choosing the best food for your furry family member. That’s why we are proud to offer a broad range of diets to meet a variety of nutritional needs for your dogs and cats, and to support you in choosing a healthy and holistic food for your pet.

For more information about Blue Buffalo and the variety of diets that we offer, please visit bluebuffalo.com. If you still have any concerns or would like a recommendation on a grain-containing alternative, contact us at: (800) 919-2833.