Written by: Dr. Joanna Hardy | April 24, 2019 |

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Review

We take an in-depth look at the Natural Veterinary Diet formulas from Blue Buffalo. We chose and analyzed one product to serve as the representative for this line as a whole.

Overall Customer Rating:

Let's get started . . .

Blue Buffalo’s Natural Veterinary Diet range is specifically formulated to be sold by veterinarians. It is a range of therapeutic diets, claiming to have natural, wholesome ingredients [2].

This formula markets that it's enhanced with minerals and vitamins, and only comprises of the best quality natural ingredients, to give dogs a healthy diet for an active lifestyle.

Now, by analyzing the ingredients, a lot can be told about the quality of the food and therefore the benefit to the dog. A high-quality meat should be the main protein source, and in relation to each other, there should be more proteins than carbohydrates.

Is the Natural Veterinary Diet formula really deserving of such an official sounding title?

Let’s find out!

Quick overview:

Comprises of 4 dry and 3 canned dog foods.

Ideal levels of fat and calories.

Increased fiber helps your dog feel fuller for longer.

Helps supports urinary health by controlling key mineral levels.

Prescription diet made with wholesome and natural ingredients culminating in a palatable dog food.

So: Does the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet really help you properly manage your dogs weight and support their urinary health? Let's further examine it below, shall we?

Featured Product

Blue Buffalo W+U (Weight Management + Urinary Care) was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo W+U (Weight Management + Urinary Care)

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Weight Management and Urinary Care

In this product, Blue Buffalo has created a recipe which promotes weight loss, curbs hunger and supports urinary health, when advised by veterinarians.

LifeSource bits, which are packed full for multivitamins, minerals and antioxidants, have been added to help improve the immune system and create a healthy oxidative balance. They are cold-formed in the manufacturing process to ensure no heat destroys the nutrients in them.

But that's all secondary to the main reason of this formula, weight loss and urinary health. By restricting the levels of fat and calories while increasing fiber, this recipe makes your dog feel fuller for a longer period of time and thus the otherwise extra calories and fat avoid being consumed.

On top of that, formulated into the product are controlled mineral levels of minerals like magnesium and sodium to support your dogs urinary health.

Blue Buffalo's Natural Veterinary Diet W+U is by all standards a quality dog food, earning 4.5 out of 5 paws on its nutritional analysis and ingredient list.

Controlled levels of fat and calories to aid weight loss.

High in fiber to keep dogs feeling fuller for longer.

Added LifeSource bits for a healthy immune system.

Controlled mineral levels to support urinary health.

Made without any grain, which some pet parents choose to avoid.

No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Below we will look at some of the main ingredients which contribute to these properties.

Where to purchase:

List of all available recipes:

The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet range comprises of 4 dry and 3 canned dog foods.

Each listed formula specifies which AAFCO nutrient profile it is produced for: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified [1].

  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support [U] [Dry]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet HS Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance [U] [Dry]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support [U] [Dry]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet WU Weight Management & Urinary Care [U] [Dry]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support [U] [Canned]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support [U] [Canned]
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet WU Weight Management & Urinary Care [U] [Canned]

Ingredient Analysis

Quick Peek of What's Inside

  • Quality

    Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Flaxseed

  • Questionable

    Dried Tomato Pomace, Garlic, Alfalfa

  • Potential Allergens

    Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal

DOG FOOD LABELING

In the United States, the guidelines for pet food ingredient labels are established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and individual state regulations.

The AAFCO requires that ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight (including water weight). This means that ingredients that appear at the top of the ingredient list — typically the main proteins, carbs, and fat sources — are present in higher amounts by weight in the food than items at the bottom.(2)

Although it is difficult to determine how much of an ingredient is actually in the food (due to high water content in meats and vegetables), you can assume that the first few ingredients are in the highest amounts. Therefore, the first few ingredients of a dog food can tell you a lot about the quality of the product.

FIRST FIVE INGREDIENTS

Since ingredients on dog food labels must be listed in descending order by weight, analyzing the first five ingredients has become a popular way of sifting the good from the bad at a glance. The Blue Buffalo W+U (Weight Management + Urinary Care) includes the following ingredients. 

Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal

Chicken, chicken meal and (also turkey meal) are all the meat-based protein ingredients in this diet. All three are very easy to digest and excellent for sensitive stomachs. It is worth considering that dehydrated, ground meat, in the form of meals, contain approximately 300% more protein per gram that their original fresh protein, and therefore the meals in this recipe probably will contribute the most protein to the recipe.

Pea Starch, Peas, & Pea Protein

Peas, pea starch, pea protein (and also pea fiber) have been added to provide minerals, vitamins and most importantly fiber. Fiber helps regulate the water content in the guts to keep the stools as regular as possible. They are also an excellent source of protein, with a content of about 25%, so when judging the protein content from the meat ingredients, this should be considered.

Other Ingredients

Flaxseed has a high concentration of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. When they omegas are in a ratio of 3:1, they have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which is excellent for dogs with arthritic joints or itchy, allergic skin [3].

Cranberries and blueberries are sources of antioxidants, which help improve the immune system by fighting free radicals which might damage cells.

Cranberries also play a role in bladder health through acidifying the urine and stopping bacteria from being able to adhere to the bladder [4].

A natural prebiotic is chicory root. This means it enhances the effectiveness of the probiotics in the gut, which help fight off any bad bacteria which may enter.

Potatoes are a carbohydrate which are packed full of vitamins B and C to boost the immune system.

Carrots and sweet potato are both carbohydrates which are high in vitamin A; an excellent source for healthy skin, coat, eyes, nerve and muscle function.

A member of the Allium family, garlic, has been included in the recipe, as garlic is an effective anti-oxidant. It helps prevent cancer and improves the immune system, however in large doses it can be toxic and cause Heinz body anaemia and stomach sensitivities [5].

Also, to aid joints, turmeric reduces inflammation for dogs suffering from arthritis. It also increases lipase enzymes to aid in digestion of food [6].

To help keep the thyroid functioning well, kelp is an excellent source of iodine. It also contains plenty of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, which improve the immune system.

Lactobacillus and enterococcus are probiotics, which are good bacteria which naturally occur in the guts and aid digestion. They also compete with, and fight off the bad bacteria which may enter with certain foods.

Yucca extract helps reduce wind build up and gassiness in the guts. This helps keep the dog comfortable, and the house smelling fresher!

Finally, the recipe has added vitamins and minerals to balance the meal and make it ideal for weight management and urinary health.

Listed ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Starch, Peas, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Turkey Meal, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Cranberries, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Potatoes, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Calcium Chloride, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Garlic, Salt, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite.

Nutrition Analysis

ⓘ All the product information on this page is based on data collected from the manufacturer's product website on April 2nd 2019. If something changed, please let us know.

Fatty Acids

0.5% (min) Omega-3 & 2.0% (min) Omega-6

Major sources of energy. The Dog Food Project’s Sabine Contreras states: “Independent researcher Dr. Doug Bibus (formerly University of Minnesota) completed a fatty acid study with dogs and recommends a ratio between 2:1 and 4:1. Personally, I believe that a quality food should contain a ratio of at least 7:1, the lower the better, especially if skin and/or coat problems are present. When my dog suffered from severe flea allergy dermatitis I switched to a food with a ratio of 2.5:1 and had great results within just a few weeks.”

Metabolizable Energy

3,074 (ME in Kcal/kg)

ME is defined as the amount of energy available from pet food once the energy from feces, urine, and combustible gases has been subtracted. Essentially, ME is the energy left for your pet's body to use once all digestion is complete.

Note: That some nutritional percentages reported are only estimated values, and are indicated as such as (est). Each dog food manufacturer is required by law to publish a Guaranteed Analysis, which defines each product’s maximum values of fiber, moisture and ash in addition to the minimum values of protein and fat contained within. Exact nutritional percentages are not available and hence all calculated values (including carbohydrate percentages and calorie amounts) are determined using these minimum and maximum published values and therefore may differ from actual values.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

ⓘ Nutritional information as published by the dog food manufacturer.

 

PROTEIN

0%

(minimum)
FAT

0%

(minimum)
FIBER

0%

(maximum)
CARBS

0%

N/A
ASH

0%

N/A
MOISTURE

0%

(maximum)

DRY MATTER ANALYSIS

ⓘ The manufacturer's published guaranteed analysis values normalized for moisture content.

PROTEIN

0%

(minimum)
FAT

0%

(minimum)
FIBER

0%

(maximum)
CARBS

0%

N/A
ASH

0%

N/A
CALORIES

0/kcal

(per kg dry matter)

CALORIE BREAKDOWN

Using the calculations provided by the AAFCO, Blue Buffalo WU Weight Management + Urinary Care Dry has approximately 307.4 calories per 100g (87.1 calories/ounce) or 309 kcals/cup. The percentages of proteins, carbohydrates and fats are not disclosed by Blue Buffalo.

VITAMINS, MINERALS & OTHERS

To ensure the diet is balanced, healthy and optimal to promote a healthy immune system, vitamins and minerals are carefully added in perfect concentrations. The following displays whether the nutrients are present (Y) or not (N) in the recipe.

Vitamins & Others

Biotin

Choline

Folic Acid

Niacin

Pantothenic Acid

Pyridoxine

Riboflavin

Taurine

Thiamine

Vitamin A

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Micro-Minerals

Calcium

Chloride

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Sodium

Macro-Minerals

Chromium

Cobalt

Fluorine

Copper

Iodine

Iron

Manganese

Molybdenum

Selenium

Silicon

Zinc

Sulfur

Customer Sentiment

What do the customers say about Blue Buffalo WU Weight Management + Urinary Care Dry Formula?

Customers praise this food, with Chewy reviews giving it 4.9/5.0; 90% 5-star and 10% 4-star reviews.

Many customers have bought this food because of their dogs having an abnormal pH of their urine, or recurrent urinary tract infections. They have all found that the food made a massive difference to their dogs’ urinary health’s and were extremely happy with the product.

Some customers also bought it for weight management; some because their dogs were overweight, and some because their dogs were sedentary because of injury. The food was very successful in weight loss and keeping weight down.

Many customers also commented that they were pleased with the quality of the ingredients and how much their dogs enjoyed the food.

What about you? Do you have experience with this brand, let us know below.

How do you rate this product line?

Overall Quality
1
Nutritional Content
1
Recipe Selection
1
Availability
1
Price
1
Average
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Final Verdict on Blue Buffalo's Natural Veterinary Diet

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Weight Management and Urinary Care

This prescription only food stands up to the test as many consumers report positive experiences. It's a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and of course ones that are looking to lose weight in the process.

As we saw in the nutritional analysis above, it has relatively low fat content of 4.5% and 20.5% on a dry matter basis. The protein comes in at 34.1% and the fiber at a whopping 9.1% on a dry matter basis. All in all a nutrition packed product judging by it's ingredients lineup as well.

After taking a closer look at the Natural Veterinary Diet from Blue Buffalo and the Weight Management + Urinary Care dry dog food recipe specifically, we highly recommend this product line for owners looking to support their pal's urinary health as well as those looking to shed off a few undesired pounds.

Veterinary Authorization: This product requires a veterinary authorization. Ask your vet for a slip or provide your retailer with their contact info for verification (if they accept this method that is).

Feeding instructions: Feed 1/2 - 2/3 can for every 10 pounds of body weight daily. Refrigerate unused portion.

Science based efficacy:BLUE Buffalo employs a team of PhD animal nutritionists, food scientists and veterinarians to make sure each Natural Veterinary Diet performs exactly as it should.

Now you can offer your doggo a therapeutic dog food with ingredients you'll feed good about feeding for the cause at hand; just remember, all things in moderation, too much of a good thing can hurt too.

Where to purchase:

Citations

  1. Dzanis, D.A., 1994. The Association of American Feed Control Officials dog and cat food nutrient profiles: Substantiation of nutritional adequacy of complete and balanced pet foods in the United States. The Journal of nutrition, 124(suppl_12), pp.2535S-2539S.
  2. Blue Buffalo WU Weight Management + Urinary Care Dry - https://bluebuffalo.com/natural-dog-food/blue-natural-veterinary-diet/wu-dry-food-for-dogs/
  3. Roush, J.K., Dodd, C.E., Fritsch, D.A., Allen, T.A., Jewell, D.E., Schoenherr, W.D., Richardson, D.C., Leventhal, P.S. and Hahn, K.A., 2010. Multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 236(1), pp.59-66.
  4. Howell, A.B., 2002. Cranberry proanthocyanidins and the maintenance of urinary tract health. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 42(S3), pp.273-278.
  5. Yamato, O., Kasai, E., Katsura, T., Takahashi, S., Shiota, T., Tajima, M., Yamasaki, M. and Maede, Y., 2005. Heinz body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 41(1), pp.68-73.
  6. Dog, T.L., 2006. A reason to season: the therapeutic benefits of spices and culinary herbs. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 2(5), pp.446-449.

Stock Photo from Dima Sidelnikov / Shutterstock

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About the Author

Dr. Joanna Hardy

Dr. Joanna Hardy

Dr. Joanna de Klerk, BVetMed (hons) MScTAH MRCVS or simply, Jo. Graduated from the prestigious Royal Veterinary College in London and works as a veterinarian for dogs, cats and horses. She has a particular interest in nutrition, pain management, neurological disorders and welfare. She has written two books 'Tales from a Young Vet' and 'Tales from a Wild Vet', and enjoys volunteering as a vet for various charities, from which tales are recounted in the books. She has two dogs, a nutty Springer Spaniel, and a shy little Yorkshire Terrier, and in her spare time enjoys walking, horseback riding and music.

Read More Posts By: Dr. Joanna Hardy

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