This is my detailed comparison of Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness dog food brands in 2021.
As a responsible dog parent, you probably want the best for your dog too. Health is based on proper nutrition, so you need to choose the most appropriate dog food.
As you do your research, you are sure to come across two brand names: Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness. But which of the two is better?
You need to know to understand the answer: Blue Buffalo is a pet food brand whose product line is Blue Wilderness. Therefore, the correct question would be whether Blue Wilderness is better than other Blue Buffalo product lines.
I am looking for the answer to this in my article, and I will include a lot of useful information.
More about Blue Buffalo
This brand, headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, dates back to 2003. Bill Bishop founded the company.
The Bishop family’s dog (whose name was Blue) suffered from cancer. As a result, the family began studying commercially available dog food. They found that a lot of recipes contain specifically harmful ingredients.
From then on, their goal was to create a pet food that contained not only nutritious but natural and healthy ingredients. The result of this effort was Blue Buffalo, whose formulas were created with the help of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
The company considers it very important to avoid wheat, corn, soy, unnamed by-products, and various artificial preservatives, dyes, and chemicals.
Today, Blue Buffalo is owned by General Mills, Inc. It is an American multinational food manufacturer. The Blue brand is one of the best-known options in America when it comes to pet food.
Blue Buffalo product lines
Below I list all the main lines offered by Blue Buffalo. This will make it easier to compare them to Blue Wilderness later on.
It is true for all lines that they contain only natural ingredients and a lot of meat.
This is perhaps the company’s best-known line. The primary ingredient in the products here is some meat. You will find dry food, wet food, treats, sticks, and toppings among the offers.
The ingredients are of good quality, natural. There are grain-free and grain-inclusive products.
You can also find the right food for breeds of different sizes and life stages by examining the Life Protection product line.
A special blend called Lifesource Bits can be found in each recipe. It is a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that maximizes the immune system of dogs.
I consider it important for every brand to have a product that has few ingredients in it. This is because there are many dogs with sensitive stomachs for whom it is critical to avoid potential allergens.
Blue Basics recipes provide exactly what their name suggests. Just the basics, nothing more. Among the ingredients, we find a single source of protein, usually in the first place.
The number of other ingredients is also limited, reducing the chance of possible sensitivities and allergies.
These products also contain LifeSource Bits, which, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, also boosts dogs’ immune systems.
This is also a trendy Blue product line. In my article, I will also compare these products with the products in the other lines.
Blue Wilderness diets are grain-free and high in protein and fat. The manufacturer with these products aimed to imitate the ancient diet of dogs. Hence the name Wilderness.
The main sources of carbohydrates are various legumes, tubers, and roots. As we have become accustomed to from Blue, a blend called LifeSource Bits also supports dogs’ immune systems in these products.
Check out my detailed Blue Wilderness Dog Food Review.
This product line is similar to Basics in that the number of ingredients is limited here as well. This diet will therefore be useful for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
All recipes are grain and gluten-free. The main source of protein is usually single animal meat. The added omega fatty acids and LifeSource Bits do their job perfectly in contributing to your dog’s health.
The purpose of these recipes is to meet certain nutritional needs in dogs. They are neither prescription nor therapeutic, but many experts recommend them to improve various conditions.
These recipes have a good effect on digestive problems, maintaining skin and coat health, joint health, and weight control.
As their name suggests, these diets are made for real carnivores. Of course, there is a lot of debate about whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores, but these products are definitely worth mentioning.
They are grain-free, have a very high protein content and a low carbohydrate content. These recipes don’t include the usual LifeSource Bits. Still, because of the variety of animal organs and added vitamins and minerals, you don’t have to worry about not having the right nutrients.
Due to its high protein and fat content, Blue Buffalo Carnivora diets are suitable for working dogs or dogs recovering from sickness. Suitable for dogs of any size and stage of life.
The Homestyle product line’s appeal, which contains exclusively wet food, lies in the fact that all recipes are professionally prepared in a standard homemade style. You may want to consider these products.
It is very positive for me that Blue Buffalo also has a prescription product line. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet products offer solutions to many health problems.
These include allergies, tenderness, kidney, and urinary problems, weight management, joint problems, and gastrointestinal diseases.
These recipes do not contain harmful or questionable ingredients, fillers, grains, or by-products.
Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness Dog food comparisons
As I mentioned at the beginning of my article, Blue Wilderness is one of the Blue Buffalo brand’s product lines.
However, that doesn’t stop me from asking the question. Which one is better? Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness?
In this section, I contrast Blue Buffalo’s most popular lineups with Wilderness. That is, I review the most popular recipes from Life Protection, Basics, and Freedom product lines.
Next to each, I also look for a Wilderness recipe, and at the end, I use a comparison table to decide which one will be better. Let’s get started!
Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness Reviews
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Nature’s Evolutionary Diet
- Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe
This product is the most popular in the Life Protection product line. If your dog likes the taste of chicken, consider this recipe. Let’s see the ingredients.
Seeing the first five ingredients, we can see that we are dealing with an excellent quality grain-inclusive dog food. The primary sources of protein are chicken and chicken meal. These are very well digestible whole animal meats that provide all the necessary amino acids.
Don’t worry about a chicken meal not inferior in quality to real chicken. It is a minced version of the same meat without moisture.
There’s even pea protein in the product, but that’s few, as it ranks 12th on the list of ingredients. The total protein content is 24%. This is just ideal for average dogs.
Carbohydrates are given by healthy and wholesome grains like Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal. They are easily digestible, do not cause sensitivity, and also contain an adequate amount of fiber. Fibers are essential for healthy intestinal function.
The main source of fat is Chicken Fat, which is preserved with Mixed Tocopherols. It is an excellent source of essential fat that is healthy and makes dog food tasty.
Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat.
The benefits of the product are not over here. This is because it contains a lot of added vitamins, minerals, fruits, and vegetables. Together, they guarantee the development of your dog’s immune system.
Although this is not Wilderness’s most popular product, I did choose it because it has a very similar composition to Life Protection’s product.
The impressive 34% protein content is provided by Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Dried Chicken. The latter two are quite concentrated sources of protein, so it’s no wonder there are so many of these important nutrient in this recipe.
If your dog has a high protein requirement, this product is a perfect choice. By the way, Chicken Meal is also an excellent source of glucosamine, which is a mineral that supports joints.
Oatmeal and Barley are great sources of carbohydrates, high in nutrients and fiber. Fibers, however, play a significant role in digestive processes. Tomato Pomace also adds to the total fiber content, thus reaching 6%.
Chicken Fat and Flaxseed give the product a 15% fat content. It’s just ideal for dogs, plus they contain great proportions of essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. So you don’t have to worry about the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
The product contains Blue Buffalo LifeSource Bits. It is a special blend full of useful vitamins and minerals. Your dog’s immune system will be maximally supported thanks to this. Fresh vegetables and fruits added to the vitamin and mineral content also help.
|Brand:||Blue Buffalo Life Protection||Blue Wilderness|
|First 5 ingredients:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Dried Chicken|
|Main Protein Sources:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Dried Chicken|
|Main Carb sources:||Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal||Oatmeal, Barley|
|Other ingredients:||Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Tomato Pomace, Added fruits, vegetables, LifeSource Bits||Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, LifeSource Bits|
Observing the table, you will see the differences that can be used to decide which brand is better.
Wilderness has a much higher protein content. Of course, this is not necessarily positive; as for the average dog, 34% can be quite high. The same is true for dogs with kidney disease or bladder stones.
Not to mention that a higher protein content also means a higher price. The Life Protection Formula is cheaper than Wilderness.
Another important difference is the Omega fatty acid content. There are more of these useful ingredients in the Life Protection formula. The Blue Buffalo Life protection formula won this round against the Blue Wilderness.
Limited-ingredient products guarantee that dogs get their protein intake from one type of meat. This will reduce the potential for sensitivity or allergies.
The main protein sources of this product are Turkey and Turkey Meal. Not only are they well digestible and delicious, but they help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Turkey Meal, however, is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two minerals have a good effect on joint health.
The product does not contain grains. Instead, it includes carbohydrate sources like Pea Starch, Peas, Tapioca Starch, and Potato Starch. So if your dog is sensitive to gluten or grains, there will be no problem with these ingredients.
Canola Oil and Fish Oil are great sources of fat. They contain adequate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fat sources. These fat sources have been shown to be effective in promoting the brain, skin, and coat.
Also, the product contains plenty of added vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. Together, they make sure your dog’s immune system is working properly.
It is difficult to compare this recipe with the previous one as it is not a product with limited ingredients. Because of this, there will be more protein sources in it. Thus, it is no wonder that the total protein content is the usual 34% from Wilderness.
It includes meats like Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Menhaden Fish. These are very well digestible nutrient-rich ingredients. Besides, Chicken Meal is an excellent glucosamine source, which is the “vitamin” of the joints.
And fish is a source of omega fatty acids, which have a good effect mainly on the skin and coat. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of omega fatty acids. Other sources of protein are Pea Protein and Dried Egg Product.
Chicken fat gives the recipe a mouth-watering taste and a higher fat content of 15%.
Grain-free carbohydrate sources are also included in the product. Examples include Peas, Tapioca Starch, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes.
As we’re used to from Blue Buffalo, this recipe also has many added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. These components are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
|Brand:||Blue Buffalo Basics||Blue Wilderness|
|First 5 ingredients:||Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal, Pea Starch, Peas||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch|
|Main Protein Sources:||Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Pea Starch, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch||Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch|
|Other ingredients:||Canola Oil, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Added fruits, vegetables, LifeSource Bits||Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, LifeSource Bits|
Since the two recipes have different purposes, I can neither consider it an advantage nor a disadvantage that there are more protein sources and protein content in Wilderness.
However, I wouldn’t say I like that the Wilderness diet reaches 34% as the third protein source is Pea Protein. It is not considered complete and can cause digestive problems in some dogs.
In terms of fat sources, however, I find Wilderness to be better. Chicken Fat is a finer and more nutritious ingredient than Canola Oil. However, when it comes to Omega Fatty Acids, the Basics recipe is better.
Since both products cost almost the same, overall, I think Blue Buffalo Basics is better.
Blue Buffalo Freedom products also have limited ingredients. So let’s see the protein sources.
If your dog loves the taste of chicken, be sure to consider this product. Because Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal taste very good and provide all the necessary amino acids for your adult dog to grow.
Chicken Meal is an excellent source of glucosamine, so joint health is also ensured. The product also contains some Turkey Meal, but the amount is negligible.
The main carbohydrate sources are Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca Starch, and Pea Starch. That is, this recipe is gluten-free and grain-free. Excellent for sensitive dogs.
The main sources of fat are Chicken Fat and Flaxseed. Both contain plenty of essential fatty acids. Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega 3 fats that have an anti-inflammatory effect and support dogs’ skin and coat health.
The product also contains a fiber source such as Dried Tomato Pomace.
A standard super blend called LifeSource Bits can’t be left out of this recipe either. It contains carefully selected vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support dogs’ immune systems’ health.
If your dog is overweight or obese, be sure to consider this diet. Its fiber content is high due to the feeling of saturation. And its fat content is low for less calorie intake.
This product also has a much higher protein content than its competitor. No wonder it contains protein sources like Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, and Menhaden Fish Meal.
Chicken Meal provides glucosamine and chondroitin, which is very good for the joints. And Menhaden Fish Meal is a natural source of omega 3 fatty acids that have an excellent effect on dogs’ skin and coat.
Peas, Tapioca Starch, and Pea Starch are well-digestible and fibrous carbohydrate sources. Not to mention that this product can also be consumed by dogs sensitive to gluten and grain.
Another source of omega fatty acids is flaxseed.
The added Fruits, Vegetables, Vitamins, and Minerals further enhance the product’s positive health effects.
|Brand:||Blue Buffalo Freedom||Blue Wilderness|
|First 5 ingredients:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch|
|Main Protein Sources:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch||Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch|
|Other ingredients:||Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed, Added fruits, vegetables, LifeSource Bits||Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace, Added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, LifeSource Bits|
This round is fairly balanced; it’s not easy to announce the winner.
Interestingly, although Wilderness’s product contains more omega fatty acid-containing ingredients than Freedom, the latter still contains more fatty acids.
Wilderness is a little better in price, but that’s not necessarily enough to win.
My opinion is that if weight management is the goal, then, in that case, Wilderness is better than Blue Buffalo Freedom.
Wilderness and Blue Buffalo Overall Comparison
In this section, I will try to summarize what has been described so far. Of course, there are still plenty of products for both Wilderness and other Blue products. But as a starting point, I think that will be appropriate as well.
I guess it’s no surprise when I say that the other Blue Lines have more products in total than the Wilderness.
I’d rather look at it in terms of whether you can find a recipe for all sorts of problems at Wilderness. Looking at the products and offers, we see that this line meets this expectation.
You can find the right product for dogs of all sizes, life stages, and dietary needs. The only thing missing is a limited ingredient diet.
That is, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, then Wilderness may not be the right choice. In all other cases, I consider it a perfect option.
Meat and protein content
Meat is the most important ingredient in virtually any dog
Anyway, a meat meal is not bad; you don’t have to be afraid of it. This is usually a concentrated and minced version of real meat.
All Blue Buffalo products contain real meat and meat meals.
Wilderness is a product line with very high protein content. Besides, in most cases, these products do not contain more than one source of protein. Of course, this is only positive in some cases.
If your dog needs a sensitive stomach or a low protein diet, Wilderness will not be the right option.
However, if your dog needs a lot of muscle mass or you have a working dog, go for the Wilderness line.
Carbs and Fats
Each Blue Buffalo product line contains similar carbohydrate and fat sources. For this reason, qualitatively, there can be no complaint about any of them.
Both Wilderness and the other Blue Buffalo lines offer grain-free and grain-containing recipes.
The amount of fat is important for calories. However, my experience is that you can find lower and higher fat products at Wilderness and other lines.
In terms of omega fatty acids, Wilderness performs on average. Generally, all products contain adequate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. But as you can see in the more detailed comparisons, other lines have products that contain more of these fatty acids.
Wilderness recipes are high in meat and protein. This, in turn, is reflected in their prices. That is, on average, Blue Wilderness products are more expensive than other Blue Buffalo line products.
In recent years, Blue Buffalo has had several recalls. I list these below. Next to the dates and the causes, I write which product lines were tested during the recalls.
- April 2007 – Melamine – Blue Buffalo Spa Select Kitten
- April 2007 – Melamine – Blue Buffalo Blue canned dog food, Blue Buffalo Blue dog treats, Blue Buffalo Blue Spa Select canned cat food
- October 2010 – Potentially too much Vitamin D – Blue Wilderness, Blue Basics, Blue Life Protection Formula
- November 2015 – Propylene glycol – Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe
- November 2015 – Potential for salmonella – Wilderness Wild Chews Bones
- May 2016 – Possible mold – Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- February 2017 – Possible aluminum contamination – Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe
- February 2017 – Packaging quality – Blue Divine Delights, Blue Wilderness Trail Trays
As you can see, the product line mentioned in many of my articles has already been recalled. For this reason, I do not consider any of them to be better or worse in this respect.
Real customer reviews
When I compare two brands, I always look at customer reviews available online. This gives me a real picture of what others think of those products. In this section, I have collected positive and negative reviews for you about the most popular products from Blue Life Protection and Blue Wilderness. All come from Chewy’s website.
Dogs LOVE this food!
- I decided to buy this food to try out for our very finicky German Shepherd since I had heard good things and wanted to give him a more nutritious food that he would actually eat. He absolutely loves it! My little Rat Terrier and Chihuahua also really love it so I plan to change them to it once their other food is gone.
It Works for Us
- We just switched to this brand after a family member recommended trying it for our dog’s skin/fur problems. He’s 10 and his allergies seem to have gotten so much worse in the last year. Now he finally stopped licking his fur off. We’re still treating the last ear infection, but hoping those stop recurring as well. Loving Blue Buffalo.
Good Quality but…
- I like the quality of the dog food and my dog likes it. The only issue for Blue Buffalo, compared with Science Hills, is that its bag is not self sealable.
Dogs like it
- It’s a little stinky, but the dogs like it, and they’re less gassy.
- After the year with the Blue Buffalo grain-free puppy food, we changed our Lab to the Blue Buffalo grain-free adult dog food and he loves it just as much as the puppy food. We have had no issues with the change and all seems to be going to plan.
- I have never had a problem having Cody eat Blue Buffalo. He loves it and looks forward to getting it each morning Love your Company. Keep up the good job you are doing!!
Good food, healthy dog
- Excellent nutrition for my dog and she loves it. The only ding is that the packaging could be a little more environmentally friendly. It’s pretty, but not recyclable
My pup is trying this out
- I decided to order this as a healthier choice in food for my pup. I realized what I was giving her previously had a lot of additives. She is loving it minus one thing, she picks out the smaller pieces of kibble and leaves them all over the place. Although I am happy with the brand, I will try a different type of dry food next time around.
As the Wilderness product receives a higher percentage of 5-star ratings, it will definitely win this round.
My final verdict about Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness
As I mentioned, Blue Wilderness also belongs to the Blue Buffalo brand. Therefore, in this article, I have contrasted different products from Wilderness with products from other Blue product lines.
My experience is that Blue Wilderness is an excellent product line and holds its place in many competitions.
Its protein content is very high. Because of this, if you are looking for something similar to your dog’s ancient diet, these products are good options.
However, it would help if you also looked at other Blue Buffalo products. For example, Blue Basics is a limited-ingredient diet designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The point is to find a recipe that meets the needs of your dog in every way.