Blue Buffalo Vs Science Diet Dog Food Comparison

Written by: Peter Laskay
Reviewed by: Amber LaRock
Last updated on:
blue buffalo vs science diet

This is my detailed and updated comparison of Blue Buffalo vs Science Diet dog food in 2022. You will be able to find out which is better, and what’s the difference.

Both Blue Buffalo and the Hill’s Science Diet have been developed by experts to provide the best possible nutrition for our dogs. 

Using my few years of pet nutrition experience, I researched the two brands to discover the differences and figure out which one is better. 

I have found that Blue Buffalo contains better sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat and adds more valuable micronutrients to its diets than the Science Diet. In addition, its price is more affordable, and the product range is also more comprehensive.

Let’s get started with the comparison and reviews!

Blue Buffalo Vs Science Diet Comparison:

Blue Buffalo
The Winner
Blue Buffalo
9.3
  • Selection: Wide selection
  • Protein Quality: Real Meat or Meat Meals
  • Protein Content: 22-27% on average
  • Omega content: More Omega-3
  • Carb sources: Grains, Legumes
  • Breed Specific Diets: Non-Available
  • Price Range: $$$$
Purina Pro Plan
Runner Up
Purina Pro Plan
8.7
  • Selection: A lower selection
  • Protein Quality: Real Meat, Meat Meals and Corn Gluten
  • Protein Content: 20-25% on average
  • Omega Content: Less Omega-3
  • Carb sources: Rice, Corn, Wheat, Barley, etc.
  • Breed Specific Diets: Non-Available
  • Price Range: $$$

And how did I decide to choose Blue Buffalo over Hill’s Science Diet? I compared the following similar recipes:

Dog FoodName And BenefitsPet Worshiper RatingWhere To Buy?
Blue Buffalo for Large Dogs
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Formula
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Formula
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
  • Promotes muscle development
  • Added minerals are good for bones
  • Features essential vitamins
9.4
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Science Diet For Large Breeds
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Contains prebiotic fibers
  • Supports the digestive system
  • Contains vitamins, and minerals
  • Recommended by veterinarians
9.2
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Blue Buffalo for Medium Breeds
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  • Quality proteins for muscle growth
  • Contains calcium and phosphorus
  • Features glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
  • Added vitamins and minerals
9.4
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Science Diet For Medium Breeds
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley
  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Helps maintain strong, lean muscles
9
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Blue Buffalo for Small Dogs
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Recipe
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Recipe
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Formulated for small breeds
  • Contains joint promoting nutrients
  • Added vitamins and minerals
9.5
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Science Diet For Small Breeds
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Contains prebiotic fibers
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Optimal balance of nutrients
  • Contains added vitamins, and minerals
8.9
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Blue Buffalo for Puppies
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy
  • Contains muscle and bone promoting ingredients
  • Features omega fatty acids
  • Promotes the immune system
  • Free of wheat, corn, soy, and artificial ingredients
9.4
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Science Diet For Puppies
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Recipe
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Recipe
  • Promotes skin, coat, and brain health
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Features added vitamins and minerals
9
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Blue Buffalo for Seniors
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Formula
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Formula
  • High-quality protein sources for muscle maintenance
  • High-quality protein sources for muscle maintenance
  • Omega fatty acids promote skin and coat
  • Added vitamins and minerals
9.2
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Science Diet for Seniors
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dog Food
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Optimal balance of nutrients
  • Perfect for aging dogs
9.1
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How I Did The Blue Buffalo Vs Science Diet

I see brand comparisons in many cases in which differences are described based on a few data by selecting random products.

Well, I don’t think that’s satisfactory. We need to compare more products of the two brands for the same purposes and we need to look at as much data as possible.

These recipes need to be purchased and tested, which I think is very important. It is also worth relying on the opinions of other customers and dog owners.

So here is my comparison method:

  • Available products on the market: I searched for and examined all the products of the two brands that may be eligible. It was lengthy process, but that’s the only way to assure my visitors that I am the most trusted source.
  • Formulas with same purposes: I chose foods for comparison that have been developed for dogs with similar dietary needs. These are large breed, medium breed, small breed, puppy, and senior recipes in most cases. But sometimes I also compare weight management and different health condition formulas.
  • Looking at the ingredients: After purchase, I analyzed the selected formulas based on their ingredients. Protein quantity, quality, carbohydrates, omega fatty acids, additives, controversial ingredients, etc. I examined each letter on the packaging!
  • Tables and correlations: I organized the data into tables and went through the rows one by one. I looked at which product contained how much protein and from what sources. Then I did the same with carbs, fats, fiber, etc. I also compared the prices of the products, as I know this is also an essential detail for a dog parent.
  • Recalls: The safety of a product can be nicely demonstrated by recalls. For both brands, I looked at current and past recalls.
  • Real Customer Reviews: There are tons of online reviews of products in the online world today. My own experience is very important during content production. But in many cases, we may realize the shortcomings of a recipe based on other customers’ experiences. I searched for these reviews and compared them to make an honest judgment about the two brands.

If you are curious about the detailed comparison, be sure to read on!

History of the two brands

Before making a detailed comparison, I would like to write about the history of the two brands. Blue and Hill’s are also highly regarded companies. However, the founding of the Hill’s Science Diet brand dates back a few decades.

Blue Buffalo History

Blue Buffalo dog food‘s history started with the Bishop family in 2003. The Bishops had a dog (an Airedale Terrier) who became cancerous. 

Bill Bishop and his two sons (Billy and Chris) began studying the commercial dog food brands available in the market. 

They realized soon that there is a strong link between dogs’ health and diet. 

From there, their primary goal is to create dog food that is healthy and nutritious. They also enlisted the help of veterinarians and animal nutritionists. 

The name of the company became Blue Buffalo, commemorating their beloved dog. The buffalo is a sign of freedom. 

While the company is not that old, it has become quite popular over the years. This is mainly due to recipes that are healthy and meet special dietary needs. 

However, over time, the brand has been heavily attacked. Such is the case with Purina, who accused Blue Buffalo that his products did not contain enough micronutrients for dogs. 

It is also opposing that Blue products have been mentioned several times in some FDA investigations. These investigations looked for a link between Dilated Cardiomyopathy and grain-free and other special diets. 

A clear connection could not be found, but the whole thing did no good to Blue Buffalo’s acclaim. 

Despite the negatives mentioned above, Blue Buffalo is one of America’s most popular pet food brands today. The company was acquired in 2018 by General Mills.

Science Diet History

The history of Hill’s Science began in 1939 with a blind man (Morris Frank) and a guide dog. 

Frank asked his vet (Dr. Mark Morris) to examine his dog, who had kidney failure. Dr. Morris discovered that the poor canine health problem was due to malnutrition. 

This prompted him to develop a recipe that contained the proper nutrients to treat the disease. 

The formula proved to be effective, and after that, even more, dog owners bought it. It has become clear to people that a proper diet can prevent and treat many health problems. 

Nine years later, Dr. Morris’s formula became so popular that he began working with the Hill packaging company. 

From this collaboration came the Hill’s Science Diet, the success of which is unbroken to this day. 

The brand is currently owned by the Colgate-Palmolive group and is available in 86 countries around the world. 

Plenty of veterinarians recommend these recipes because the Science Diet is synonymous with quality.

Blue Buffalo vs Other Dog Food Brands

Most experts consider Blue Buffalo to be a very high-quality and competitive brand. So it’s no coincidence that it is often compared to many other dog food brands. Below you will find my Blue Buffalo comparison articles:

Blue Buffalo Product Lines

Blue Buffalo offers seven product lines. None of the lines contain ingredients harmful to dogs’ health, such as artificial dyes, preservatives, etc. All carbohydrate, fat, and protein sources are of true natural origin. 

Some Blue Buffalo products contain a blend called LifeSource Bits. This vitamin and mineral cocktail has been developed with the help of veterinarians and other pet experts and makes recipes healthy.

Blue Life Protection

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review Life Protection

This is Blue’s best-known line. All of Life Protection’s recipes contain real meat or a meat meal. 

Carbohydrate sources can be grains or grain-free alternatives. You should choose the one that works best for your pup. 

Ingredients include vegetables and fruits, as well as a vitamin and mineral blend called LifeSource Bits. 

Life Protection products can be grouped in several ways. In addition to the different types of food (wet or dry), customers can also choose according to breed size or life stage. 

You won’t be disappointed with the choice of flavors either. These flavors are available: chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish, and turkey.


Blue Wilderness

blue buffalo dog food review wilderness

Wilderness dog food formulas are high in protein and fat. With this, the manufacturer wanted to replicate the diet of wild wolves. 

This high-calorie content is absolutely ideal for high-activity dogs. 

Most Wilderness recipes are grain-free, with carbohydrates such as legumes or roots. Of course, they also offer grain-containing products (oats, barley). 

You can choose from several flavor options. Examples are beef, bison, chicken, duck, fish, lamb, rabbit, salmon, trout, turkey, or venison. 

You don’t even have to worry if you want food for dogs of different sizes or stages of life. At Wilderness, you’ll find options for these, too.


Blue Basics

blue buffalo review basics

Basics is a deservedly popular Blue Buffalo line and also my personal favorite. 

The secret to these recipes is that they contain few ingredients and use a single source of protein to provide dogs with suitable amino acids. 

This can be an excellent method for a so-called elimination diet to filter out and avoid proteins that cause allergic reactions quickly. 

In addition, carbohydrate sources are easily digestible, which increases the efficiency of the intestinal tract.

Blue Basics products also contain healthy ingredients such as added vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids. This way, you can be sure that you are helping your dog’s immune system a lot. 

The Basics line offers the following flavors: duck, fish, lamb, turkey, and salmon. Recipes for different breed sizes and life stages are also available.


Blue Freedom

blue buffalo review freedom

If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach, consider the Blue Freedom product line. These recipes are gluten-free and grain-free. 

The ingredient list usually starts with some meat. The most common are chicken, beef, and salmon. Some plant protein may also be present in these foods. 

The carbohydrate sources are different legumes, potatoes, and different starches. 

What is really sympathetic to Freedom products is the content of glucosamine and omega fatty acids. These ingredients have several positive effects on the joints of dogs.


Blue Carnivora

blue buffalo dog food review carnivora

Blue Carnivora is a product line with totally meat-based recipes. These formulas feed canines with 11 different animal sources. Plus, it’s all gluten-free and grain-free, making them ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

The vitamin blend called LifeSource Bits is not found in the ingredients. But don’t worry, your internal organs are high in micronutrients. Plus, the manufacturer added some vitamins to the formula. 

Due to its high calories, protein, and fat content, I recommend Blue Carnivora for very active dogs.


Blue True Solutions

blue buffalo review true solutions

Blue True Solutions formulas, while not prescription, still target specific health issues. These include digestive, skin, coat, and joint problems, as well as weight control. These four recipes are available in both wet and dry form.


Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet

blue buffalo natural veterinary diet

This product line includes prescription recipes for a variety of medical conditions. Such conditions include gastrointestinal diseases, kidney, and urinary diseases, overweight, mobility issues, or various allergies. 

The ingredients have been selected by experts. All recipes are grain-, corn-, soy-, and wheat-free. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before purchasing these products.


Hill’s Science Diet Products

hill's science diet

The Science Diet is one of Hill’s product lines. There are several types of food here. These are wet food, dry food, and treats. 

Based on the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis, it is clear that the manufacturer’s primary goal with these recipes is to provide the healthiest possible diet for pets. And all this is by their excellent quality and nutrient content. 

Although they are not prescription, you can buy them without recommending your vet. 

Among the Science Diet dog foods, you will also find grain-free versions and ones that target specific health problems. Examples are skin and coat health or joint issues. 

You can also choose from Science Diet formulas based on different breed sizes and life stages.


Blue Buffalo Vs Science Diet: Nutritional Value Comparison

Like any responsible pet parent, I think you are aware that diet is one of the most important for the health of our dogs. 

Canines of different sizes and stages of life may have different dietary needs. Therefore, recipes for different breed sizes and life stages have different nutrient content. 

I selected a product from both brands as described above in this section. These are large, medium, small breed, puppy, and senior formulas from the Blue Buffalo and Science Diet. 

I will compare these using the guaranteed analysis. I also look at protein, carbs, fat, and other nutrients.

Large breed formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed

Key features:

  • Promotes joint health and mobility
  • Contains high-quality protein source
  • Features essential minerals and vitamins for growth
  • Free of corn, wheat, or soy

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Key features:

  • Contains prebiotic fibers
  • Supports the digestive system
  • Contains vitamins, and minerals
  • Recommended by veterinarians


Medium breed formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken

Key features:

  • Contains high-quality protein for muscle growth
  • Features calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins
  • Promotes joints and mobility
  • Supports the immune system

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Dog Food

Key features:

  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Helps maintain strong, lean muscles


Small breed formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed

Key features:

  • High-quality protein sources for proper growth
  • Formulated for small breeds
  • Contains joint promoting nutrients
  • Features vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotics

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Key features:

  • Contains prebiotic fibers
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Optimal balance of nutrients
  • Contains added vitamins, and minerals


Puppy formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Key features:

  • Contains muscle and bone promoting ingredients
  • Features omega fatty acids
  • Promotes the immune system
  • Free of wheat, corn, soy, and artificial ingredients

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Recipe Dog Food

Key features:

  • Promotes skin, coat, and brain health
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Features added vitamins and minerals


Senior formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Key features:

  • High-quality protein sources for muscle maintenance
  • Contains joint support ingredients
  • Omega fatty acids promote skin and coat
  • Features added vitamins and minerals

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dog Food

Key features:

  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other useful nutrients
  • Optimal balance of nutrients
  • Perfect for aging dogs


Comparison Tables

I detail the characteristics of similar formulas in the tables below. Based on these, it will be easy to determine whether Blue Buffalo or Science Diet is better.

Large breed formulas comparison table:

Brand:Blue BuffaloScience Diet
First 5 ingredients:Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, BarleyChicken, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice
Main Protein SourcesDeboned Chicken, Chicken MealChicken, Chicken Meal, Egg Product
Main Carb sources:Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, PeasYellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum
Other ingredients:Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Salt, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Taurine, DL-Methionine, added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and probioticsChicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Taurine, Natural Flavors, Added vitamins and minerals
Protein content22%20%
Fat Content:12%13%
Omega-3 Content0.75%N/A%
Omega-6 Content2.25%2.5%
Fiber Content:6%4%
Kcal:352 kcal/cup394 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.64.3


Medium breed formulas comparison table:

Brand:Blue BuffaloScience Diet
First 5 ingredients:Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, OatmealChicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum
Main Protein SourcesDeboned Chicken, Chicken MealChicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal
Main Carb sources:Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea StarchCracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice
Other ingredients:Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, added vitamins, minerals, fruits, veggies, prebioticsChicken Liver Flavor, Chicken Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Pork Flavor, Lactic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Taurine added vitamins, minerals
Protein content24%20%
Fat Content:14%11.5%
Omega-3 Content0.5%N/A
Omega-6 Content3%2.5%
Fiber Content:5%4%
Kcal:378 kcal/cup363 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.64.4


Small breed formulas comparison table:

Brand:Blue BuffaloScience Diet
First 5 ingredients:Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, BarleyChicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
Main Protein SourcesDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Fish MealChicken, Chicken Meal, Egg Product
Main Carb sources:Brown Rice, Oatmeal, BarleyBrewers Rice, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum
Other ingredients:Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Pea Starch, Dried Tomato Pomace, Peas, Pea Protein, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, vitamins, minerals, fruits, and veggies
Protein content26%21%
Fat Content:15%12%
Omega-3 Content0.5%N/A
Omega-6 Content3%3%
Fiber Content:4%4%
Kcal:396 kcal/cup392 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.64.2


Puppy formulas comparison table:

Brand:Blue BuffaloScience Diet
First 5 ingredients:Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, BarleyChicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn
Main Protein SourcesDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish MealChicken Meal
Main Carb sources:Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, PeasWhole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn
Other ingredients:Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa, vitamins, and minerals, fruits, veggies, prebioticsChicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, vitamins, and minerals, fruits, veggies
Protein content27%25%
Fat Content:16%15%
Omega-3 Content0.75%N/A
Omega-6 Content3%N/A
Fiber Content:5%3%
Kcal:354 kcal/cup374 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.54.6


Senior formulas comparison table:

Brand:Blue BuffaloScience Diet
First 5 ingredients:Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken MealChicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
Main Protein SourcesDeboned Chicken, Chicken MealChicken Meal
Main Carb sources:Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Pea StarchCracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Oats
Other ingredients:Pea Fiber, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, fiber sources, fruits, veggies, prebiotics, vitamins, and mineralsChicken Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride,  L-Lysine, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, fruits, veggies, vitamins, and minerals
Protein content18%15.5%
Fat Content:10%10.5%
Omega-3 Content0.75%N/A
Omega-6 Content2%2.5%
Fiber Content:7%4%
Kcal:342 kcal/cup353 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.64.5


Analysis of the comparison tables

The tables contain all relevant information. I will evaluate this information from different perspectives. 

Let’s start!

Ingredients Quality

dog food ingredients quality

The products reviewed by both brands are very nutritious. Although they contain some controversial ingredients, the quality of the nutrient sources is adequate for canines. Plus, all recipes meet AAFCO dog nutrition standards

Most of the products I analyzed contain grains. This is only important if your dog has a grain allergy. For a healthy canine, a grain-free diet is unreasonable. 

The recipes in both product lines contain real meat and are a primary ingredient. This is highly positive, as meat or meat meal provides the best amino acid profile for dogs to grow. 

However, there are differences in the other components. Blue Buffalo usually uses meat meal as a second ingredient, a great source of glucosamine. 

At Hill’s products, we also find meat meal in second place, in addition to the real meat, but this is less common. The protein source is usually followed by the main carbohydrate source in this brand. 

The most commonly used carbohydrates in the Science Diet are barley, wheat, corn, sorghum, brewers rice, and peas. Of these, wheat and corn are somewhat objectionable. 

Wheat contains gluten, which causes food allergies in many dogs. Corn can also cause digestive problems and is not considered a nutritious source of carbohydrates like brown rice.

Blue Buffalo does not use carbohydrate sources that cause sensitivity. Brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and peas are rich in valuable vitamins and minerals and also add fiber to your pup’s diet. Barley also contains gluten, so if your dog has a gluten allergy, please consider this fact.

At Blue, we find starch. It is not considered nutritious, but I don’t think this is a problem since the grains above and peas appear on the ingredient list sooner. 

Unfortunately, both brands contain reprehensible protein sources. At Blue Buffalo, this is the pea protein. Although it is one of the best quality vegetable proteins, it is not equivalent to real meat. 

However, it’s worth noting that since this ingredient is usually ranked 10th to 11th in Blue recipes, there aren’t many of it. 

There are more problematic protein sources than Hill’s. Soybean meal and corn gluten meal are inexpensive ingredients that increase the crude protein content of products. 

However, they can cause allergies, intolerances, or other digestive problems in dogs with sensitive stomachs. So in such cases, you should avoid this brand. 

Blue Buffalo is clearly better than Hill’s Science Diet in terms of micronutrients. The blend called Blue LifeSource Bits I mentioned earlier is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

In addition, almost all Blue Buffalo recipes contain added fresh vegetables and fruits, providing additional support for dogs ’immune systems.

Not all of Hill’s recipes feature fruits and vegetables, and the number of vitamins and minerals added is more limited. 

Ingredients that aid digestion should also be considered. Blue Buffalo formulations contain probiotics that support the intestinal system and, at the same time, overall health. 

In terms of the quality of fat sources, we need to stick to omega fatty acids. This is because their positive effects are significant on the health of the skin and coats and inflammation. 

The omega-3 content is always critical to me in a recipe. Unfortunately, Hill’s Science Diet products do not clearly indicate the omega-3 fatty acid content. 

But based on the ingredients, it appears that the Blue Buffalo formulas contain more of these valuable compounds. 

It can be seen from the above that both lines include healthy and less healthy animal and plant sources. 

However, Blue Buffalo contains more beneficial and less controversial ingredients than Hill’s Science Diet. Therefore, in terms of ingredients quality, Blue Buffalo is the winner.


Meat and Protein Content

dog food meat content

AAFCO’s protein recommendations for dogs are absolutely met by the two brands. 

Blue Buffalo has 22-27% protein content and the Science Diet 20-25%. An exception to this is the senior formulas, where there are fewer protein sources in the formulas to suit the needs of old dogs. 

However, quality is more important than quantity. The main protein sources in both brands are real meat and meat meal. In this way, the formulas ensure the amino acid supply of the dogs. 

The difference is more in the secondary sources. Some formulas in the Blue and Science diet contain eggs that have a very high biological value. 

However, in Blue Buffalo recipes, albeit in small amounts, we find pea protein, which is a lower quality source of protein than meat. Hill’s also contains more significant quantities of vegetable protein sources (corn gluten meal, soybean meal).

So because of the additional vegetable protein sources, Blue won the protein content competition over Hill’s.


Fat content

dog food fat content

AAFCO recommends a minimum fat content of 5.5% for average adult dogs. The two brands exceed that amount, but don’t worry, that’s not a problem. Fats are excellent energy sources and play a key role in many biological processes. 

Both the Blue Buffalo and Science Diet have a 10-15% fat content that is beneficial for active dogs. 

Lower fat formulas may be needed for obesity, but you should consult your veterinarian about this. 

As the fat content of the dog foods compared is roughly the same, it is worth looking at the specific quality of the fat sources. 

Both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet use animal fat (e.g. chicken fat), which is delicious and healthy. 

The role of omega fatty acids is key to a dog’s health, so it’s worth looking at how many of these valuable ingredients are in recipes. 

Unfortunately, the amount of omega-3 in Science Diet products is not clear, but it is suspected that it is low based on the ingredients. 

In contrast, Blue Buffalo contains sources of fat such as fish oil and flaxseed, which add plenty of omega-3s to your dog’s diet. 

Based on the above, it can be concluded that Blue Buffalo has better fat content than the Science Diet.


Carbs

dog food carb content

Manufacturers are not required to indicate the carbohydrate content of dog food. However, this is not a problem because the quality of carbohydrates is much more important than the comparison. 

Each of the recipes I studied contained grains, which are extremely good sources of energy and fiber and are well digestible. It is essential to know that grain-free diets are associated with certain heart conditions. 

This assumption has not been proven, but I would definitely recommend that you switch your dog’s diet to grain-free only if he has a grain allergy. 

Some Science Diet products (e.g., the medium breed formula) contain questionable sources of carbohydrates, such as wheat and corn. 

These grains often cause intolerance or allergies, so you shouldn’t choose these Hill’s recipes if your dog has a sensitive stomach. 

All Blue Buffalo products are wheat, corn, and soy-free. So based on the above, Blue Buffalo is a better choice than the Science Diet considering carbs.


Fiber Content

dog food fiber content

Dogs don’t need a lot of fiber, yet, this nutrient plays a significant role in their diet. This is because fiber slows down the absorption of nutrients, thus preventing obesity. 

Plus, it has a positive effect on the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. The result has a huge impact on the functioning of the intestinal tract

Blue Buffalo has an average higher dietary fiber content. Therefore, if your dog has digestive problems due to a low-fiber diet, you may want to consider that brand.


Micronutrients

Various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants prepare your dog’s immune system to take up the fight against pathogens. 

Manufacturers regularly add vitamins and minerals to their recipes, making them healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an additional help in this. Other valuable ingredients are various probiotics that boost the effectiveness of the intestinal tract of canines. 

Both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet take the micronutrient content of their products seriously. Although Science Diet formulas, unlike Blue Buffalo, do not contain fresh fruits, vegetables, and probiotics. 

Thus, Blue Buffalo is better than the Science Diet in terms of micronutrients.


Flavors And Options of the two brands

If just like mine, your dog is also picky, I’m no wonder you’re always looking for the best-tasting dog food recipe. 

It is often enough to switch from a dry to a wet type of food. Blue and Hill’s also offer dry and wet products, so switching is easy. 

But there are times when you just have to look for a different flavor for your pup. That’s why you should check out the selection of flavors from each brand. 

(Remember, while changing the taste doesn’t mean a drastic dietary change, it’s not recommended to introduce another formula to your dog suddenly.) 

Based on online reviews and my own experience, dogs generally like the taste of food from both brands. Of course, there are very picky canines who eat almost nothing; in their case, you have to try a lot before we find the right taste. 

This is why it is essential to know precisely how many options to choose from. 

Blue Buffalo offers a broader range of food types and flavors. For this reason, Blue Buffalo won this round over the Science Diet.


Cost

There are fixed costs to keeping a dog that can be reflected in everyone’s budget in the long run. Such is the case with dog food, of which premium quality is almost unaffordable for many. 

However, I do not recommend giving low-quality food to your pup. Really bad dog food brands use cheap but awful quality ingredients that can harm your dog’s health. 

Fortunately, both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet put real meat and easily digestible nutritious carbohydrates and fat sources in their recipes. 

However, there are inexpensive components in both brands that increase the products’ crude protein or energy content, but their effect is unfortunately questionable. 

In the case of Blue Buffalo, such an ingredient is pea protein, and in the case of the Science Diet, it is wheat or corn. However, the purpose of the current round is to determine which brand is cheaper. 

In general, Blue products are more affordable than the Science Diet.


Blue Buffalo and Science Diet Recall History

For a detailed comparison, we should consider safety. If there are many complaints about a particular product in a brand, the FDA (or the brand itself) can initiate a recall. 

You can find a list of current recalls here.

Both brands have received some recalls in recent years:

Blue Buffalo Recalls

  • 17th March 2017 / Cause: Potentially high beef thyroid hormone levels / Recalled product: Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs, 12.5 oz. cans, UPC #840243101153, best by June 7, 2019
  • 28th February 2017 / Cause: Problems with packaging quality (announced by PetSmart) / Recalled products: 17 of the Blue Divine Delights. Namely:
  • Blue Divine Delights Filet Mignon Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312035
  • Blue Divine Delights New York Strip Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312037
  • Blue Divine Delights Prime Rib Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312039
  • Blue Divine Delights Rotisserie Chicken Flavor in Gravy, UPC #84024312041
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Filet Mignon Flavor, UPC #84024312043
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Porterhouse Flavor, UPC #84024312045
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Grilled Chicken Flavor, UPC #84024312047
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Top Sirloin Flavor, UPC #84024312049
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Angus Beef Flavor, UPC #84024312051
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Roasted Turkey Flavor, UPC #84024312053
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate With Bacon, Egg & Cheese, UPC #84024312057
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Sausage, Egg & Cheese Flavor, UPC #84024312059
  • Blue Divine Delights Pate Steak & Egg Flavor, UPC #84024312061
  • Blue Wilderness Trail Trays Duck Grill, UPC #84024312071
  • Blue Wilderness Trail Trays Beef Grill, UPC #84024312073
  • Blue Wilderness Trail Trays Chicken Grill, UPC #84024312075
  • Blue Wilderness Trail Trays Turkey Grill, UPC #84024312077
  • 13th February 2017 / Cause: Possible aluminum contamination / Recalled product: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight, Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables, 12.5 oz. can, UPC #8-40243-10017-0, best by Aug. 3, 2019
  • 31th May 2016 / Cause: Mold contamination (possible) / Recalled product: 30 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe dog food, best by April 11, 2017
  • 25th November 2015 / Cause: Potentially salmonella contamination / Recalled product: one lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones, best by Nov. 4, 2017
  • 8th October 2010 / Cause: Possible excessive vitamin D content / Recalled products:
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken, 4.5 lb., best by JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z or JUL2811Z
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken, 11 lb., best by JUL1211B
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken, 24 lb., best by JUL1211B or JUL1311B
  • Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon and Potato, 11 lb., best by AUG2111B or AUG2211B
  • Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon and Potato, 24 lb., best by AUG2111B, SEP2311P or OCT2611P
  • Blue Life Protection Formula Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Large Breed Adult, 30 lb., best by SEP2211P, SEP2311P or OCT2611P
  • 26th April 2007 / Cause: Melamine contamination (possible) / Recalled products: All Blue Buffalo Blue canned dog foods, dog treats, and Spa Select canned cat food produced by American Nutrition, Inc.


Science Diet Recalls

  • 31st January 2017 / Cause: High levels of D vitamin / Recalled products: 15 of Hill’s canned dog food. Namely:
  • Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Chicken & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7036, Lot #102020T12
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Beef & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., 12-pack, SKU #7039, Lot #092020T31 or 102020T21
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7037, Lot #092020T22, or 102020T13, or 102020T14, or 112020T23, or 112020T24
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Turkey & Barley, 13 oz., SKU #7038, Lot #102020T06
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7040, Lot #112020T10, or 112020T11, or 102020T13
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light With Liver, 13 oz., SKU #7048, Lot #112020T19
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetable Entrée, 12.8 oz., 12-pack, SKU #2975, Lot #092020T28
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entrée, 13o oz., SKU #7055, Lot #092020T31 or 102020T13
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7056, Lot #102020T28, or 092020T31, or 112020T20, or 112020T24
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Turkey & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7057, Lot #112020T19
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10452, Lot #102020T28, or 102020T14, or 102020T21
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew, 12.5 oz., 12-pack, SKU #10451, Lot #102020T28
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew, 12.5 oz., 12-pack, SKU #10449, Lot #092020T28
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Youthful Vitality Chicken & Vegetable Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10763, Lot #102020T04, or 102020T05, or 112020T11
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small & Toy Breed Chicken & Barley Entrée, 5.8 oz., SKU #4969, Lot #102020T18
  • 28th November 2015 / Cause: Labeling problems / Recalled products: 7 of Hill’s dog food. Namely:
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Adult Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetables, 12.8 oz., SKU #5210092, UPC #5274229750
  • Hill’s Ideal Balance Slim & Healthy Chicken, 12.8 oz., SKU #5210280, #UPC #5274230770
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Adult Gourmet Beef Entrée, 5.8 oz., SKU #5092280, UPC #5274249660
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Mature Gourmet Beef Entrée, 5.8 oz., SKU #5092282, UPC #5274249680
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Adult Beef Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #5117274, UPC #5274270390
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Adult Beef & Chicken Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #5117273, UPC #5274270400
  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Mature Gourmet Beef Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #5117275, UPC #5274270560
  • 2nd June 2014 / Cause: Potential Salmonella Content / Recalled product: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog food, #08 2015 M094 size: 15.5 lb. bags with SKU #9097

There are currently no active recalls for any brand, so feel free to purchase them. 

However, based on the above, it appears that Blue Buffalo has had several recalls over the years. For this reason, the Science Diet has won this round.


Comparison Based on Real Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews can help us understand the pros and cons of each product. Below I have examined the most popular products from Blue and Hill’s. I collected both positive and negative reviews from Chewy’s website.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

This dog food is one of the most popular products of the entire Blue Buffalo brand, not just Life Protection. 

There are plenty of five-star reviews on the internet praising the taste and quality of the recipe. Of course, this food doesn’t suit every dog’s taste, and very picky canines won’t eat it.

Positive

Brenda loves Blue Buffalo!

  • Brenda is my adult son’s dog. He lives in Florida and I live in Chicago. He was broke, naturally, and asked if I would spring for food for Brenda. Of course, I said yes. I only heard good things about this brand even though Brenda never had Blue Buffalo before. I ordered Blue Buffalo Adult Chicken and Brown rice. Well, my son gave me a glowing report on Brenda’s opinion. She gobbled the whole bowl. She loves Blue Buffalo and now I have to send Brenda this gourmet food every three months. Well, it’s my pleasure. Brenda deserves the BEST!

My first baby loves it!

  • After our regular dog food has not been available for close to a year now.. I’ve tried others in comparison to Eukanuba adult large breeds. My girl didn’t like anything and it was upsetting her belly. Gave Blue Buffalo a try and she LOVES it! She doesn’t let it sit and mope.. she knocks her bowl over(that’s what she does) and goes right to it! Not one upset stomach at all! We will be sticking with blue from now on.


Negative

Not a winner

  • I thought I finally found food all four of my pups would love. At first, they did but then two of them started sorting out the life bits and wouldn’t eat them. Another two days later one pug flat out walked away from it. The other two are food hogs and eat anything. Will have to switch back to hills or nitro. This is really a no-go for us. Never had problems with blue buffalo before, quality may not be there anymore

Great service

  • I like this brand, but must’ve chosen something different than my usual?? My dog isn’t digging this flavor. So, back to the drawing board. lol Love the delivery and subscription options though!!

You can read more reviews about this product here.


Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin

This formula seems to have been developed by the best professionals. According to customer reviews, it has helped many dogs with skin and coat problems. 

Most canines are happy with the taste of this dish, but the really picky ones don’t like it.

Positive

Picky eater and sensitive skin

  • OMG! I can’t say enough great things about this food! My fur baby(Killian) would go 2-3 days without eating! I’ve had her into the vet and they had no idea why she wasn’t eating! I tried all kinds of foods and nothing worked until we tried Hill’s Science Diet! She acts like a puppy again, she’s 6 now.

Finally! Our Weimaraner is eating!

  • We have a Weimaraner who has a very sensitive stomach. He will refuse to eat if the food doesn’t settle right with him. We tried every sensitive stomach food/ not cheap ones/ that we could find. He might eat grudgingly for a while and then refuse. He is once again happy at mealtime with Hills Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken! There is even a bounce in his 11-year-old step again! Yah Emory!


Negative

Good food, but why the change in kibble size?

  • We’ve been using this food for our two Great Danes for about six months now, and it agrees with both of them (miracle of miracles). The overall quality of the brand is excellent; however, we noticed that the kibble is much smaller in the last bag we received. One of our dogs is now eating it too quickly and vomiting before it’s fully digested. The overall formula seems to be the same – I’m wondering why there was a need to change the kibble size? Unfortunately, we may have to switch foods because of this change.

Okay for his digestive issues… but the dog really doesn’t want to eat it

  • I’ve never had a problem with my dog not liking food… but he really doesn’t like this one. I’ve had to crumble cheese on top of his food for the last month to get him through the bag. What’s strange is that last week I picked up the large breed one (hound on the front) not realizing there was a difference and he gobbled that up as soon as it hit the bowl. Other than the kibble size, idk what’s different between the two- but if your dog is like mine and turns his nose up this one, try the large breed version (if your dog can handle the bigger kibble size).

You can read more reviews about this product here.


My Final Verdict About Blue Buffalo Vs Science Diet

My comparative guide shows that Blue Buffalo is better than Hill’s Science Diet. 

Unlike the Science Diet, Blue Buffalo does not use a source of protein and fat that causes questionable sensitivity in its foods but adds healthy fruits and vegetables to its diets. 

Blue also outperforms Hill’s in terms of omega-3 fatty acid content, affordability, and flavors. 

Although the Science Diet has had fewer recalls over the years, I still think Blue Buffalo is a much better choice.


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Author:
Hey, my name is Peter, and I am the owner of this site. I have loved animals since I was a kid. I am constantly training myself; I recently obtained an accredited certificate in pet nutrition. But I am constantly learning about training, grooming for dogs and cats. I am currently a happy owner of two dogs, six cats, and two red-eared sliders. My goal is to provide my visitors with the most authentic information possible on any pet-related topic.
Amber LaRock
Reviewed By An Expert:

My name is Amber, and I am a licensed vet tech with 10 years of experience in the field. I spent the majority of my career working in emergency medicine but recently transitioned to creating accurate pet care information online. There is nothing more important to me than helping pet owners understand their furry friend’s health, and giving you the tools you need to offer your pet the best future possible!

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