This is my detailed and updated comparison of Purina vs Blue Buffalo dog food in 2022. You will be able to find out which is better, and what’s the difference.
As a pet expert, I am proud to say that I now have several years of experience in reviewing and comparing different dog foods.
Thanks to this experience I researched Purina and Blue Buffalo to find out which is better and what the differences are.
I have found that Blue Buffalo uses much healthier protein and carbohydrates sources in its diets than Purina. In addition, Blue recipes also have a higher omega-3 fatty acid content, which is good news for dogs’ skin and coats.
And while Purina has a more affordable and broader product offering, I still think Blue Buffalo is a better choice.
Let’s get started with the comparison and reviews!
Purina Vs Blue Buffalo Comparison:
- 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: $$$$
And how did I decide to choose Blue Buffalo over Purina? I compared the following similar recipes:
Purina Vs Blue Buffalo
- Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice – Purina Large Breed Formula
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed – Blue Large Breed Recipe
- Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Chicken & Rice – Purina Medium Breed Formula
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice – Blue Buffalo Medium Breed Formula
- Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Small Breed Chicken & Rice – Purina Small Breed Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Chicken & Rice – Blue Buffalo Small Breed Recipe
- Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice – Purina Puppy Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice – Blue Buffalo Puppy Recipe
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice – Purina Senior Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Chicken & Brown Rice – Blue Buffalo Senior Recipe
|Dog Food||Name And Benefits||Pet Worshiper Rating||Where To Buy?|
Purina for Large Dogs
|Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Blue Buffalo For Large Breeds
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Purina For Medium Breeds
|Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Blue Buffalo for Medium Breeds
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Purina For Small Breeds
|Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Adult Small Breed |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Blue Buffalo for Small Dogs
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Recipe |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Purina For Puppies
|Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Blue Buffalo for Puppies
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Purina for Seniors
|Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
Blue Buffalo for Seniors
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Formula |
|Check on AmazonCheck on Chewy|
How I Did The Purina Vs Blue Buffalo Comparison
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!
What’s in this article
- Purina History
- Blue Buffalo History
- Purina Product Lines
- Blue Buffalo Product Lines
- Purina Vs Blue Buffalo: Nutritional Value Comparison
- Comparison Tables
- Analysis Of The Comparison Tables
- Flavors And Options Of The Two Brands
- Purina and Blue Buffalo Recall History
- Comparison Based on Real Customer Reviews
- My Final Verdict About Purina Vs Blue Buffalo
History of the two brands
Before comparing, let’s look at the history of the two brands. Purina and Blue Buffalo are also well-known companies in the pet food industry. However, Purina was founded much earlier.
The history of Purina dog food dates back to 1894. Three people, William H. Danforth, George Robinson, and William Andrews, founded an animal feed company called Robinson-Danforth Commission Company.
Danforth (the president of the company) launched a wheat-based cereal called Ralston Whole Wheat Cereal.
In 1902, the company was renamed Ralston Purina and received the red and white logo still known today.
Danforth’s son has studied the nutritional needs of animals a lot. In 1926, he established the first pet nutrition and care center in Missouri, now called the Nestlé Purina PetCare Center.
This is where the Purina Dog Chow was created, which was the first dry dog food. Other goals included recipes for hunting dogs and working dogs, but innovations such as cat food, puppy food, etc., were also born here. The Purina company has completely reformed animal nutrition.
The real quality breakthrough came in 1986. It was then that Purina’s experts were able to create a formula whose primary ingredient was real meat.
As a result, the Pro Plan product line has been introduced, featuring the brand’s best products to date. This includes the Pro Plan Veterinary Diet line, which contains all kinds of prescription recipes.
In 2001, Nestlé acquired Ralston Purina. As a result, the brand is widespread worldwide, and its popularity in the pet food market is unbroken to this day.
Blue Buffalo History
The history of Blue Buffalo dog food does not go back so long. The company was founded in 2003 by the Bishop family.
Bishop’s dog, Blue, who was an Airedale Terrier, became cancerous. The family was very shaken to hear the news and began to study the commercial dog food brands on the market.
They soon realized that proper nutrition and health were interrelated. Hence the idea for them to create dog food that meets all nutritional needs.
Of course, they did not work alone. They were also assisted in the project by veterinarians and animal nutrition experts.
The brand name became Blue Buffalo, reminiscent of their former dog. The buffalo symbolizes freedom.
The company soon became successful in the market. This is mainly due to recipes that cater to nutritional and special needs.
However, Blue Buffalo has been hit by some attacks over the years. Purina accused Blue of not having enough vitamins and minerals in the LifeSource Bits they developed.
Although the link has not been confirmed, these investigations have not done any good for the company’s reputation.
Despite the above, Blue is one of the most popular pet food brands today. In 2018, even General Mills noticed it and bought it.
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 vs Blue Wilderness
- Wellness vs Blue Buffalo
- Natural Balance vs Blue Buffalo
- Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo
- Purina Pro Plan vs Blue Buffalo
- Kirkland vs Blue Buffalo
- Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo
- Blue Buffalo vs Science Diet
Purina vs Other Dog Food Brands
Purina is today one of the largest brands in the world in the pet food industry. The quality of the products allows them to compete with other dog food brands. I also have some articles comparing Purina to other brands. Here they are:
Purina Product Lines
Purina, like Blue Buffalo, has several product lines. Each of these serves a different purpose, and the composition of the products can vary greatly. Below you will find a list of the sub-brands that Purina carries.
This is one of the most popular Purina product lines; it is no coincidence that Purina One is often compared to the Pro Plan.
Purina One also contains high-quality ingredients, and the first ingredient in any recipe is some meat or meat meal.
The manufacturer feels obligated that this diet perfectly meets the nutritional needs of dogs, all at an affordable price.
Although these One formulas are not designed to treat medical conditions, they can positively affect the skin, coats, and joints of dogs due to their omega fatty acid and glucosamine content.
There is no doubt that Pro Plan is Purina’s premium line. The recipes contain high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fat sources. This allows all Pro Plan products to contribute to the health and performance of your dogs.
The offer of the line is extensive. You can choose products for different breed sizes or life stages.
But many formulas target different health conditions, such as skin and coat problems, digestive problems, joint problems, weight problems, and so on.
One thing is for sure: at Purina Pro Plan, you will find what your pooch needs.
Purina is also a brand that offers a veterinary diet line. This line includes both dry and wet food as well as treats.
Purina Vet Diet recipes target digestive issues, skin and coat conditions, obesity, dental problems, kidney disease, urinary tract problems, and joint problems.
Of course, they are not a substitute for proper medication, but they can do a lot to help improve the health of your dogs.
The formulas start with alternative protein sources, such as vegetable protein, which may be beneficial for dogs with certain health conditions in isolated form.
Because these protein sources are not considered complete, the manufacturer adds taurine to each Veterinary Diet formula.
This diet also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent anti-inflammatory and have many positive effects on the skin and coat.
Purina Beyond is also a popular line that contains only natural ingredients. Examples include meats, fish, vegetables, and wholesome grains. But you will also find grain-free recipes on offer.
One of the positives of Beyond is that it provides dogs with enough vitamins and minerals to maximize the effectiveness of the immune system. The added probiotic is responsible for the health of the digestive system.
Within Dog Chow, you can choose from recipes to suit different needs. There are Puppy, Adult, Small Dog, Large Breed, and High protein formulas.
The bad news is that Dog Chow products contain ingredients that are not considered healthy. Examples are various dyes. In addition, the primary ingredient in most Dog Chow recipes is corn, which is quite detrimental to foods that start with real meat.
Nevertheless, many dog owners choose these products because of their taste and affordability.
The recipes in the Beneful product range include natural ingredients such as real meat and fresh vegetables.
In addition, they do not contain artificial preservatives or other additives. All this at an affordable price, which explains why this line is so popular.
Beneful dog foods include wet, dry, and treats. These recipes do not target specific dietary needs.
There is a tiny Terrier on the packaging of Purina Bella products, and it’s no coincidence. The company has created this product line with the dietary needs of small breeds in mind.
All recipes are high in meat, protein, and vegetables. They are also free of artificial ingredients.
According to customer reviews, dogs are happy with the taste of these products. The most common flavors are beef, chicken, and lamb. You will also find dry and wet recipes.
Alpo line products taste good and are affordable, but the ingredients are not very good quality.
This is because the primary ingredient in dry formulas is corn, and they contain artificial colors. This is terrible news, especially for dogs with sensitive digestion.
The offer includes dry and wet food as well as treats. The wet versions contain slightly more meat.
Blue Buffalo Product Lines
Blue Buffalo has seven product lines, so the brand fully covers the dietary needs of dogs.
All line products contain natural animal and plant resources. No harmful dyes, preservatives, or additives are found in the ingredients.
Most Blue Buffalo products feature a blend. The blend called LifeSource Bits has been developed by veterinarians and animal nutrition experts and helps a lot in supporting dogs’ immune systems.
It’s no coincidence that Life Protection is Blue Buffalo’s most popular product line.
The primary ingredient in each recipe is real meat or a meat meal, and thanks to LifeSource Bits, it contains plenty of valuable vitamins and minerals.
Life Protection’s offerings are very diverse. You will find wet and dry dog food as well as formulas for different life stages or breed sizes. Grain-free and grain-containing versions are also available.
You can choose from several flavors. Chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish, and turkey meats bring variety to your dog’s life, even when picky.
Blue Wilderness is also a trendy product line. The dog foods included here are high in protein, fat, and calories, so I recommend them for very active canines.
There are mostly grain-free formulas here, but there are also recipes that contain wholesome grains.
The choice of flavors is extremely wide. Beef, bison, chicken, duck, fish, lamb, rabbit, salmon, trout, turkey, and venison are good quality and delicious meats. Your pup will definitely not get bored of them.
Like Life Protection, Wilderness offers recipes for different life stages and breed sizes.
Blue Basics dog food is the limited ingredient line of the Blue Buffalo brand. This means that these recipes contain a single source of protein and few other ingredients.
This facilitates the so-called elimination diet, which makes it easy to determine which ingredients are causing allergies.
Both the meats and carbohydrates are well digestible, which does not overload the stomach.
Basics recipes contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids that positively affect the overall health of dogs.
The range of flavors on this line is extensive. There are duck, fish, lamb, turkey, and salmon, for example. They are all high-quality meats. Recipes are also available for dogs of all life stages and sizes.
Blue Freedom’s recipes are gluten-free and grain-free, benefiting dogs sensitive to these.
The primary ingredient is real meat, such as chicken, beef, or fish. There are other sources of vegetable protein in these formulas, but their amount is negligible.
Carbohydrate sources are various legumes, potatoes, peas, and starches extracted from them.
Freedom products usually contain glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds have a positive effect on the joints of dogs.
The Blue Carnivora line is made for real carnivores. These products contain several types of animal parts that feed your pup perfectly.
Plus, you won’t find grains or gluten among the ingredients, which is good news for sensitive dogs.
Thanks to the internal organs and added vitamins, Carnivora products are very healthy. There is no need for the previously known LifeSource Bits blend.
These recipes are often recommended for dogs with a very active lifestyle due to their high-calorie content.
True Solutions (as its name suggests) have been developed for specific health problems. These include digestive complaints, skin and coat conditions, joint and mobility issues, and weight control.
Although these formulas are not prescription, they have proven to treat the conditions mentioned above effectively. Each formula is available in both wet and dry form.
The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet line contains prescription recipes that you can purchase after consulting your vet.
These formulas offer a solution to a variety of chronic health problems. These include gastrointestinal diseases, kidney, and urinary diseases, overweight, mobility issues, and various allergies.
You won’t find grains, corn, wheat, or soy among the ingredients.
Finding the best diet for your dog is not easy. You have to consider several aspects, e.g., activity, breed, age, health condition, etc. If you want to make the best decision possible, check out my comprehensive guide on how to choose the best dog food.
Purina Vs Blue Buffalo: Nutritional Value Comparison
The health of our dogs starts with the proper diet. But what is right?
Dogs of different sizes and stages of life may have different dietary needs. Therefore, I selected similar formulas from the two brands in this section. These are the large, medium, small breed, puppy, and senior formulas.
The packages that included the guaranteed analysis helped me with the detailed comparison. Based on these, the differences in nutrients can be easily examined.
Large breed formulas:
- Promotes joint health and mobility
- Contains high-quality protein source
- Features essential minerals and vitamins for growth
- Free of corn, wheat, or soy
Medium breed formulas:
- Suitable for working and other active dogs
- High-quality high protein content
- Live probiotics support the digestive system
- Contains amino acids to help muscle growth
- Contains high-quality protein for muscle growth
- Features calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins
- Promotes joints and mobility
- Supports the immune system
Small breed formulas:
- High-quality protein sources for proper growth
- Formulated for small breeds
- Contains joint promoting nutrients
- Features vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotics
- Supports the growth of puppies
- Real meat as the first ingredient
- Features omega fatty acids for brain development
- Promotes the digestive system with probiotics
- Contains muscle and bone promoting ingredients
- Features omega fatty acids
- Promotes the immune system
- Free of wheat, corn, soy, and artificial ingredients
- Contains healthy vegetable oils
- Omega fatty acids and glucosamine promotes joint health
- Features probiotics for better digestion
- Added vitamins and minerals
- High-quality protein sources for muscle maintenance
- Contains joint support ingredients
- Omega fatty acids promote skin and coat
- Features added vitamins and minerals
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:
|First 5 ingredients:||Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken, Poultry By-Product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Rice, Corn, Wheat, Barley||Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas|
|Other ingredients:||Beef Fat, Corn Germ Meal, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil, Wheat Bran, Soybean Oil, Salt, added Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics||Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa, added Fruits, Veggies, Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics|
|Kcal:||407 kcal/cup||353 kcal/cup|
Medium breed formulas comparison table:
|First 5 ingredients:||Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice, Beef Fat, Poultry By-Product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Rice, Corn||Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch|
|Other ingredients:||Corn Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Garlic Oil, added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics||Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, added vitamins, minerals, fruits, veggies, prebiotics|
|Kcal:||484 kcal/cup||378 kcal/cup|
Small breed formulas comparison table:
|First 5 ingredients:||Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-product Meal, Beef Fat, Corn Gluten Meal||Deboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken, Poultry By-Product Meal||Deboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Rice, Corn, Wheat||Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas|
|Other ingredients:||Soybean Meal, Corn Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Dried Yeast, Glycerin, Wheat Bran, Fish Meal, Added Vitamins, Probiotics, and Minerals, Garlic Oil||Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Chicory Root, Salt, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, fruits, and veggies|
|Kcal:||373 kcal/cup||381 kcal/cup|
Puppy formulas comparison table:
|First 5 ingredients:||Lamb, Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley|
|Main Protein Sources:||Lamb, Chicken By-Product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Rice, Corn, Oatmeal||Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Peas|
|Other ingredients:||Beef Fat, Corn Germ MealDried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Fish Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Soybean Oil, Added Vitamins, Yeast, and Minerals||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, prebiotics|
|Kcal:||447 kcal/cup||400 kcal/cup|
Senior formulas comparison table:
|First 5 ingredients:||Chicken, Poultry By-Product Meal, Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal||Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken, Poultry By-Product Meal||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Rice, Corn, Wheat, Barley||Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Pea Starch|
|Other ingredients:||Corn Germ Meal, Vegetable Oil, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil, Natural Flavor, L-Arginine, Soybean Oil, Salt, Added Vitamins, and Minerals, Probiotics||Pea Fiber, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, fiber sources, fruits, veggies, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals|
|Kcal:||423 kcal/cup||342 kcal/cup|
Analysis of the comparison tables
The tables contain all relevant information. I will evaluate this information from different perspectives.
Both Purina and Blue Buffalo are deservedly popular brands. So it’s no wonder we can talk about excellent quality ingredients for both.
Each recipe tested is nutritious and complies with AAFCO recommendations for dogs. However, we can come across some questionable ingredients, so I would like to take a closer look at each animal and plant source.
The order of the ingredients is critically important as it determines the quantities. So the first ingredient is the highest amount in the product. This is followed by the second and so on.
That’s why it’s positive for me that the very first ingredient in these recipes is real meat. Your dog gets all the essential amino acids needed to build and maintain lean muscle mass, thanks to meat.
You can also find meat meals in the above products.
Not only are these concentrated ingredients high in protein, but parts of the animal that are high in glucosamine and chondroitin are added to the diet. These compounds have beneficial effects on joint health.
Unfortunately, there are also less preferred protein sources for both brands.
Among the protein sources of Purina products, we find corn gluten meal. This extract from corn is very cheap and helps increase the protein content of your pup’s diet. However, it is not very nutritious and can cause digestive problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Another example is a poultry by-product meal, which is problematic in several ways.
Although by-products may contain valuable nutrients (glucosamine), you should avoid them because these ingredients can also wear out on your dog’s stomach.
In addition, poultry by-product is an unnamed source where you may not know exactly what animal it was made from.
The problematic protein source in Blue Buffalo is pea protein, which has a lower biological value than meat. Fortunately, this ingredient is usually ranked 11-12th in the order.
In the case of Purina, we find other sources of good quality protein, albeit in small quantities. Examples are fish meal and eggs.
The recipes I reviewed contain grains. This can only be a problem if your dog is allergic to these carbohydrate sources. For healthy dogs, it is not worth forcing a grain-free diet.
It’s important to note that Purina doesn’t really have grain-free products, so if that’s a critical preference for you (and your pup), it’s definitely an extra point for Blue Buffalo. This brand has a lot of products whose main sources of carbohydrates are legumes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
But let’s look at the carbs in the formulas I’ve analyzed.
Purina most commonly contains rice, corn, wheat, and barley. Of these, corn and wheat are questionable.
The nutrient content of corn is significantly lower than that of rice, and it can cause digestive problems for many dogs. Wheat is a nutritious grain, but its gluten content can cause allergic reactions.
Blue Buffalo was much more careful when choosing carbs. Brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and peas are nutritious and easily digestible ingredients that provide canines with energy throughout the day. However, barley also contains gluten, so you should consider it.
The two brands did a pretty good job in terms of micronutrients. The Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo formulas contain added vitamins and minerals.
Blue Buffalo tries harder as it also includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and probiotics in its foods. These ingredients have a fantastic effect on overall health, so I miss them very much from Purina diets.
In addition, Purina contains objectionable micronutrients such as Menadione. It is a synthetic form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies, and red blood cell breakdown problems.
Garlic Oil is also a problem ingredient in Purina Pro Plan products. It is due to the supportive effect of the immune system in prescriptions, but unfortunately, it may be associated with anemia in dogs.
Both brands use acceptable fat sources and provide enough omega fatty acids for dogs. These fatty acids have good effects on the skin, coat, and inflammation.
Blue Buffalo generally contains more omega-3 fatty acids, as its ingredients include fat sources such as fish oil and flaxseed.
From the above, it can be seen that both Purina and Blue Buffalo have chosen perfect ingredients for their recipes overall.
However, Blue Buffalo won the ingredients quality competition over Purina because it contains more beneficial and fewer harmful ingredients.
Meat and Protein Content
Both Purina and Blue Buffalo meet AAFCO protein recommendations. The average protein content of both brands’ formulas is between 22% and 30%.
For the products I tested, Purina generally had a higher protein content. However, the quality of protein sources is much more important than this.
We also find real meat as a primary ingredient in Blue Buffalo and Purina. However, the differences are much more significant for other protein sources.
Blue Buffalo meat meals are concentrated meats high in protein and glucosamine. At Purina, the most common secondary source of protein is a meal, which is not considered a high-quality ingredient.
Purina also contains other questionable proteins, such as corn gluten meal. Blue also uses a vegetable protein source (pea protein), but only in small amounts.
Given the above, I have to say that Blue Buffalo is better than Purina in terms of meat and protein content.
One of the most valuable macronutrients for dogs is the variety of fats. Because they are excellent sources of energy and play a key role in many physical processes.
AAFCO recommends a minimum of 5.5% fat in the diet of an average dog. Both brands go beyond that. However, this is only a problem if your pup is overweight.
The fat content of Purina and Blue Buffalo is very similar (12-18%), so the quality of the fat sources should be examined for comparison.
Both dog food brands prefer to use animal fats in their recipes, which are pleasant tasting and healthy.
An important question for me is always how much omega fatty acid is in a given formula. This is because these fatty acids contribute to the health of the skin and coat of dogs.
We also find omega-3 in Purina and Blue Buffalo. You know, these are the most valuable fatty acids. However, Blue Buffalo performs better in this regard.
Considering the above, I have to say that Blue Buffalo is a better choice than Purina in terms of fat sources and fat content.
While carbs are not essential for dogs, they provide plenty of useful nutrients and energy for every pup.
The exact carbohydrate content of recipes is not usually revealed, as manufacturers are not required to indicate this on the packaging.
However, the quality of carbohydrates is a much more important consideration in the comparison.
Each formula I have reviewed contains grains. These plants are excellent sources of nutrients and can be a valuable part of your dog’s diet. Your puppy will only need grain-free dog food in the case of sensitivity or allergies.
Quality differences, on the other hand, abound in the comparison. Purina contains questionable carbs such as wheat and corn. These ingredients cause digestive problems in many dogs.
Considering the above, it can be stated that Blue Buffalo has better carbohydrate sources than Purina.
Although fiber does not provide energy to dogs, it does prove to be a valuable nutrient in the diet.
This is because it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, which will cause your pup to consume fewer calories. This slowed absorption prevents obesity in the long run.
The average fiber content of Purina products is 3-4%, while that of Blue Buffalo is 5-6%. In such quantities, these differences are negligible.
Since the quality of the fiber sources is almost the same for the two brands, I suggest you decide based on individual preferences. If your dog has loose stools, he may need a slightly higher fiber diet (i.e., Blue Buffalo).
Different micronutrients are essential in your dog’s diet as they support the functioning of the immune system. Examples include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These ingredients are found in fruits and vegetables, but manufacturers most often add them to their recipes in synthetic form.
I also have to talk about probiotics, which affect overall health by supporting the digestive system.
Both brands contain added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. However, since Blue Buffalo also features fruits and vegetables, I find it better than Purina.
Flavors And Options of the two brands
One of my two dogs is very picky, so I know exactly how important it is to find the best tasting dog food possible.
In addition to taste, texture can also be crucial in determining whether your dog will like a particular product.
Purina and Blue Buffalo also offer both wet and dry food, so you can switch at any time if needed.
But the flavor selection of the same type of food is also worth exploring. After all, if your dog gets tired of chicken, you can try beef, lamb, or other flavors.
Different flavors of the same brand don’t mean a drastic dietary change, so your dog’s digestive system won’t be strained either.
Reading online customer reviews, both brands have an overall positive perception.
Obviously, there are extreme picky dogs for whom nothing is good and will not eat Blue Buffalo or Purina food. But basically, the two brands visibly make sure their recipes taste good.
However, Purina is a much larger company than Blue Buffalo, with more product lines and formulas.
As a result, the selection is also much more varied, that’s why Purina wins the “flavors and options” competition over Blue Buffalo.
As a dog parent, you must be aware of the costs of keeping a dog. Dog food is a constant expenditure of money that no one can get away with.
That’s why it’s okay if you want to save up and check out the price tag from time to time. However, you must choose the best possible quality from even the cheapest dog food.
Ironically, cheapness comes at a price. Manufacturers reduce production costs with low-cost, low-quality ingredients.
For example, these low-grade ingredients can increase the protein content of the crude to make the recipe meet AAFCO requirements. However, they can also cause digestive problems in more sensitive dogs.
Such inexpensive ingredients at Purina include soybean meal, corn germ meal, meat by-products, corn gluten meal, and more. But Blue also has components for similar purposes, such as pea protein.
The primary ingredient and main source of protein in the recipes I review is real meat, the best possible protein source.
But in this round, I only looked at the price tag. I have found that overall, Purina products are more affordable than Blue Buffalo products.
Purina and Blue Buffalo 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:
- 10th March 2016 / Cause: Inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals / Recalled products: Pro Plan Savory Meals, 10 oz. tubs; flavors: Braised Chicken Entrée, Braised Pork Entrée, Braised Turkey Entrée, Grilled Salmon Entrée, Braised Beef & Rice Entrée; date range: Best before-June 2017 to August 2017
- 30th August 2013 / Cause: Salmonella risk (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: Purina ONE beyond Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food in 3.5 lb. bags; production Code #31071083; best by October 2014
- 30th March 2007 / Cause: Possible Melamine (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: ALPO Prime Cuts, 13.2 ounce and 22-ounce packs; ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs, 6, 8, 12, and 24 can
- 16th March 2007 / Cause: Possible Melamine (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: Mighty Dog brand pouch products, product codes are #6337 to #7073; produced by Menu Foods, Inc. 3rd December 2006 to 14th March 2007
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.
There are currently no active recalls for any of the above brands. This is great news because it allows us to be confident that we can confidently choose a product from any of the companies for our dog.
However, it is clear from the data that Blue Buffalo has had several recalls over the years. That’s why Purina won this round.
Comparison Based on Real Customer Reviews
Nowadays, customer reviews are easily available online. As a result, we can quickly find the pros and cons of certain products.
Below I have collected positive and negative online reviews of the most popular recipes from Purina and Blue Buffalo. They all come from Chewy’s website.
This is a perfect-tasting chicken recipe from Blue Buffalo that has plenty of positive reviews online. 82% of customers rated this product as 5-star quality. Dogs generally love it, and it has a good effect on overall health as well.
However, it is clear that very picky dogs will not eat it. In such cases, try switching flavors or wet variation.
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 not being 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.
Not a winner
- I thought I finally found a 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
- 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.
This product is an excellent recipe developed to support your dog’s overall health and wellness. Hence the name “Complete Health”.
Customers are generally satisfied with the product. 83% of the reviews are 5-stars. In many cases, veterinarians recommend this recipe, which tastes good and has positive effects on dogs.
Overall, there are few complaints about the product. These are usually due to packaging problems, or some dogs do not eat the food.
Vet recommended – Fur Children Approved
- In my lifetime of pet rescues I find this product to cost me far less in Vet visits. My fur children are healthy, vibrant and ALWAYS look forward to feeding time. I have tried cheaper brands and unfortunately lost pets at younger ages to Cancers. I would rather pay slightly more for the food I feed my fur children, you will save the difference on vet bills and your Fur Children will live much longer happier lives. Auto ship is the BEST – With the pandemic and store shelves not always having consistent stock I find it cheaper to auto ship and not have to chase around looking for products. No can Never mistake the CHEWY box – It’s the best!
Don’t tell her she’s a Sr!
- We love the Purina Pro Plan. It was recommended to us by our vet for our other furbaby that needed to be put on a low fat diet. She also has epilepsy and it’s important to us to have dog food that does not use rosemary extract.it can be a trigger. Indie turned 7 this summer and is a spoiled, highly trained service dog. She decided she didn’t like her food that she had been on for years! Protested! I fed her some of our other puppers food.scarfed it down! She loves the shredded blend the best. I accidentally ordered the regular blend the 2nd go around. As always Chewy immediately made it right! They sent me the right one. Told me to donate the other bag as I saw fit!
My dog won’t eat it.
- It was highly recommended by our vet. He said my dog needs grain. He doesn’t recommend raw. But that’s all my dog will eat. So I went back to Stella and chewy. I give him grains in his treats instead.
- Bought this and our pup will not touch it. So strange because she eats EVERYTHING. Had to run out and get something else.
You can read more reviews about this product here.
My Final Verdict About Purina Vs Blue Buffalo
I think it is clear to you from my comparative article that the Purina vs. Blue Buffalo competition winner is Blue Buffalo.
Blue Buffalo brand uses better protein and carbohydrates sources and adds more valuable omega fatty acids to dogs’ diets than Purina.
In addition, Blue also contains other beneficial ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and probiotics.
Although there are aspects in which Purina performs somewhat better. These are price, taste, product range, and recalls.
So if you’re on a lower budget, a wide range of flavors and past recalls are important, Purina can be a good alternative.
On the other hand, I think the quality of the ingredients and the nutrient content are more important, and based on these considerations; I recommend Blue Buffalo.