A dog owner filed a class action lawsuit claiming that consumption of Blue Buffalo dog food caused her pet’s obesity. In legal documents, Shannon Walton’s lawyers claimed her seven-year-old Labrador-Beagle mix, Tucker, “gained significant weight and now requires medical attention for canine obesity.” Veterinarians also diagnosed the dog with diabetes, which Walton pays to treat. Tucker ate BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe (Red Meat flavor) and BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe (Bison flavor).
The packages of both variety feature a wolf, as Walton’s lawyers noted. They based their argument on Blue Buffalo’s marketing and labeling of its dog foods as healthy and inspired by grey wolves’ natural diets. They listed marketing terms, “[i]nspired by the diet of wolves,” “ancestors in the wild” and “Nature’s Evolutionary Diet.” Lawyers filed their complaint with the U.S. District Court in New York.
“Wild wolves consume little or no dietary carbohydrate and they do not experience high rates of chronic diseases such as obesity and cancer. In fact, these diseases are essentially non-existent in wolf populations,…” wrote the lawyers. Blue Buffalo’s “claims are deceptive because their Blue Wilderness products all contain high levels of dietary carbohydrates, which are neither healthy for dogs nor a meaningful part of the diet of grey wolves.”
The lawyers claimed that a small bowl of Blue Wilderness chicken recipe contains more carbohydrates than a wild grey wolf is likely to consume in a lifetime. Since the marketing implies that the dog food is similar to a wolf’s natural diet, the lawyers argued that consumers may assume it was likewise low in carbohydrates.
Articles on pets' digestion of carbohydrates:
Dogs and wolves have different digestive biology. Dogs and their gut microbiomes can digest carbohydrates more easily than a wolf.
During their evolution, dogs took advantage of a rich new food source, human garbage, including cooked meat and plant matter, said one scientist.
Scientists compile the results of research on how cats’ digest carbs, along with what this means for cat food manufacturers.
Food meant for medium-size breed dogs six months and older should be made with more potato, oat and wheat flours rather than other sources, said scientists.
A preference for meat may not be instinctual in puppies.
Many recent pet food trends play on the belief that a dog is not different from a wolf and should be fed like one. Is this concept supported by science?
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as senior reporter for WATT Global Media. His work has appeared in Live Science, Discovery News, Scientific American, Honduras Weekly, Global Journalist and other outlets. He holds a journalism master's degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a bachelor's degree in biology.
Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007, where he coordinated with the town government of Moroceli to organize a municipal trash collection system, taught environmental science, translated for medical brigades and facilitated sustainable agriculture, along with other projects.
Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
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