Royal Canin Vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food Comparison

Written by: Peter Laskay
Reviewed by: Amber LaRock
Last updated on:
Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo

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

Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo are top-rated brands, so it’s no wonder we often ask which one is better and what the differences are. 

I also wanted to answer the question, so I looked at the two dog food brands in every possible way. 

I have found that Blue Buffalo is a better choice for dogs because it contains much healthier and more nutritious protein and carbohydrates sources than Royal Canin. In addition, the content of omega-3 fatty acids is higher. All this at a more affordable price.

Let’s get started with the comparison and reviews!

Royal Canin Vs Blue Buffalo 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: $$$
Royal Canin
Runner Up
Royal Canin
8.6
  • Selection: A lower selection
  • Protein Quality: Chicken By-Product Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal
  • Protein Content: 23-29% on average
  • Omega Content: Less Omega-3
  • Carb sources: Brewers Rice, Wheat, Corn, Brown Rice, etc.
  • Breed Specific Diets: Available
  • Price Range: $$$$

And how did I decide to choose Blue Buffalo over Royal Canin? I compared the following similar recipes:

Royal Canin Vs Blue Buffalo

  1. Royal Canin Size Health Large Breed Adult Dog FoodRoyal Canin Large Breed Formula

  2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large BreedBlue Large Breed Recipe

  3. Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog FoodRoyal Canin Medium Breed Formula

  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown RiceBlue Buffalo Medium Breed Formula

  5. Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog FoodRoyal Canin Small Breed Recipe

  6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Chicken & Rice Blue Buffalo Small Breed Recipe

  7. Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog FoodRoyal Canin Puppy Recipe

  8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Blue Buffalo Puppy Recipe

  9. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Aging 8+ Dog FoodRoyal Canin Senior Recipe

  10. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Blue Buffalo Senior Recipe
Dog FoodName And BenefitsPet Worshiper RatingWhere To Buy?
Royal Canin For Large Breeds
Royal Canin Size Health Large Breed Adult Dog Food
Royal Canin Size Health Large Breed Adult Dog Food
  • Formulated for large dogs
  • Contains probiotics and dietary fibers
  • Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Promotes healthy skin
9
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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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Royal Canin For Medium Breeds
Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for medium-sized dogs
  • Contains dietary fibers, and easily digestible proteins
  • Designed to promote healthy gut flora
  • Features vitamins, minerals
9.1
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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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Royal Canin For Small Breeds
Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for small breed adult dogs
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight for your pooch
  • Prevents tartar formation
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy coats and skin
8.9
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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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Royal Canin For Puppies
Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for puppies
  • Contains highly digestible proteins
  • Supports digestive health
  • Helps reduce tartar formation
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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Royal Canin for Seniors
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Aging 8+ Dog Food
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Aging 8+ Dog Food
  • Formulated for senior canines over 8 years
  • Features Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Contains digestible proteins
9.1
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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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How I Did The Royal Canin 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!

History of the two brands

Before I get into the detailed analysis and comparison, let me write a bit of the history of the two brands. Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo are extremely popular in the dog food industry. 

Royal Canin was founded earlier, but as you’ll see, Blue Buffalo is competing with it nicely.

Royal Canin History

Royal Canin was founded in 1968 by a French veterinarian, Jean Cathary. Cathary created his own grain-based recipe to treat skin and coat problem dogs. 

The formula worked, and that’s why he registered it under the name Royal Canin. The company quickly spread and soon became the largest producer of pet food in France. 

But Cathary didn’t stop there. Royal Canin became increasingly popular in Europe until it was bought by a huge animal feed company called Guyomarc’h Group. 

In the following years, the goal was further expansion. 

1980 was a significant turning point not only for Royal Canin but for the entire pet food industry. 

The company introduced its recipe for the large breed puppy. It was clear to everyone that formulas could and should be made for different dietary needs. 

Royal Canin soon began exporting its products to the United States. In 1990, the Guyomarc’h Group was acquired by Paribas Bank. This, of course, has further increased the popularity of Royal Canin worldwide. 

The brand was finally bought by Mars Inc. in 2001 and is still owned by the company. Royal Canin has been one of the most popular pet food brands in the world ever since.

Blue Buffalo History

The relatively short history of the brand began in 2003 with the Bishop family. 

Bill Bishop’s dog, Blue, had cancer. This affected the family so badly that they began to study the dog food formulas available at the time. 

They realized that diet has a massive impact on the health of their overalls. The purpose of the family then became completely clear. 

They wanted to create a brand of dog food that would perfectly meet the dietary needs of canines. They did all this on their own, but with the help of veterinarians and other experts. 

The Bishops founded Blue Buffalo dog food company in 2003, named after their former dog and a giant mammal that symbolizes freedom. 

The brand quickly gained immense popularity thanks to recipes that cater to nutritional and special dietary needs. 

However, there were also dark spots in Blue’s history. Purina, for example, accused the company that the blend called LifeSource Bits in Blue Buffalo products did not contain enough vitamins and minerals. 

The company’s assessment was also negatively affected by FDA-initiated investigations examining the association between the development of grain-free diets and Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Fortunately, no connection has been found since then, but Blue Buffalo has been mentioned several times in these investigations. 

Despite the above adverse events, the Blue brand has become extremely popular in America and has even been purchased by General Mills.

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:

Royal Canin Product Lines

Royal Canin has three product lines, two of which are commercially available. These are Size-based and Breed-specific formulas. The third, the Veterinary diet range, contains prescription recipes.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition

royal canin breed

Royal Canin is one of the few brands with a breed-specific product line. In making these products, the manufacturer considers the dietary needs of each breed, common health conditions, and so on. 


Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition

royal canin size health

If you want to buy dog ​​food based on different breed sizes, you should check out the Size Nutrition product line. At this line, you also have the option to choose a diet for giant, large, medium, small, and toy breeds. 

Recipes developed with certain health conditions in mind are also available here. Examples are digestive, coat and skin, or joint issues.

Both wet and dry foods are available here. If you choose these products, you have two flavor options: chicken and pork.


Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

This line includes prescription products that target a variety of chronic health complaints. It would help if you always bought these formulas after consulting your veterinarian.


Blue Buffalo Product Lines

Blue Buffalo has a total of seven product lines. Each contains natural ingredients without artificial preservatives or other additives. 

You’ll also find versions that include grain-free and grain, depending on which one your pooch needs. 

Most of the lines contain a unique blend, called LifeSource Bits. It adds vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to recipes. It was developed by the company with the help of veterinarians and other animal experts.

Blue Life Protection

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review Life Protection

Life Protection is one of Blue’s best-known product lines. All recipes here include real meat or meat meal as the first ingredient. 

But we also find added vegetables, fruits, and micronutrients brought in by the aforementioned LifeSource Bits. 

You can choose formulas in this line based on several criteria. You will find wet and dry food, food for different life stages, and breed sizes. You can even find grain-free and grain-containing versions. 

There will be no shortage of different flavors either. Among the selection of chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish, and turkey, you are sure to find one that your pup will like.


Blue Wilderness

blue buffalo dog food review wilderness

Blue Wilderness (as its name suggests) was developed to replicate the diet of wild dogs. 

It is high in protein and fat and contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other natural ingredients. Due to their high-calorie content, these recipes are ideal for hunting or working dogs. 

Most Wilderness products are grain-free and contain carbohydrate sources such as legumes, tubers, or roots. 

But we can also find formulas containing grains. These contribute to the energy of dogs with carbohydrate sources such as oats or barley. 

There are many sources of protein to choose from, for example, beef, bison, chicken, duck, fish, lamb, rabbit, salmon, trout, turkey, and venison. 

Wilderness, like Life Protection, also offers formulas for different life stages and breed sizes.


Blue Basics

blue buffalo review basics

Blue Basics dog food is one of my favorite product lines. These products have limited ingredients and contain a single source of protein. The purpose of this is to make it easy to filter out any allergies and sensitivities. 

All protein and carbohydrate sources can be properly digestible, which does not burden the stomach. 

In addition, the added vitamins and minerals take care of the health of the dog’s immune system. And the sources of omega fatty acids have a good effect on the coat and skin condition. 

With Basics recipes, you can choose from a variety of flavors for your dog. Duck, fish, lamb, turkey, and salmon are nutritious and delicious meats that your pup will never run into. Recipes for different breed sizes and life stages are also available.


Blue Freedom

blue buffalo review freedom

Blue Buffalo Freedom is a product line that includes mainly gluten-free and grain-free recipes. That’s why I usually recommend it for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

The primary ingredient is real meat, which is usually chicken, beef, or salmon. You’ll also find some vegetable protein in the recipes but negligible amounts. 

The most common carbohydrate sources in Freedom are the various legumes, potatoes, peas, and starches. 

But that’s not all. The great advantage of the product family is that the recipes contain adequate amounts of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids. These ingredients come in really handy when it comes to dog health.


Blue Carnivora

blue buffalo dog food review carnivora

I recommend the Blue Carnivora line to those who want to feed their canines plenty of meat. 

These recipes contain 11 types of animal sources (both meat and internal organs). All of this is gluten-free and grain-free, which is quite beneficial for dogs sensitive to these ingredients. 

The animal sources mentioned above contain plenty of valuable micronutrients, and the manufacturer has also added some vitamins to the formulas. This means there is no need for a blend called LifeSource Bits developed by Blue Buffalo. 

This diet is ideal for dogs who lead a very active lifestyle. This is because high calorie, fat, and protein content are high.


Blue True Solutions

blue buffalo review true solutions

The True Solutions product line offers solutions for four types of health conditions. These are skin and coat issues, obesity, joint problems, and digestive issues. 

Although the prescriptions are not prescription, they do help a lot in relieving and treating the symptoms. All four formulas are available in both wet and dry versions.


Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet

blue buffalo natural veterinary diet

As the name suggests, the Veterinary Diet line includes prescription recipes. So before you get them, be sure to consult with your vet. 

These products target chronic health conditions such as gastrointestinal diseases, kidney, and urinary diseases, overweight, mobility issues, or various allergies. 

All recipes are free of grains, corn, wheat, and soy, so dogs with sensitive stomachs can also consume them.


Royal Canin Vs Blue Buffalo: Nutritional Value Comparison

There are huge differences between dog foods, and you need to be aware of the individual needs of your pup. 

A different diet is necessary for dogs of different life stages and breed sizes. Therefore, in this section, I will compare the two brands’ large breed, medium breed, small breed, puppy, and senior formulas. 

Based on the packaging label and the guaranteed analysis, I examine the nutrient content and quality of the ingredients in the recipes. Detailed conclusions can be drawn from this data.

Large breed formulas:

Royal Canin Size Health Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Key features:

  • Formulated for large dogs
  • Contains probiotics and dietary fibers
  • Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Promotes healthy skin

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


Medium breed formulas:

Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Formulated for medium-sized dogs
  • Contains dietary fibers, and easily digestible proteins
  • Designed to promote healthy gut flora
  • Features vitamins, minerals

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


Small breed formulas:

Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Formulated for small breed adult dogs
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight for your pooch
  • Prevents tartar formation
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy coats and skin

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


Puppy formulas:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Key features:

  • Formulated for puppies
  • Contains highly digestible proteins
  • Supports digestive health
  • Helps reduce tartar formation

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


Senior formulas:

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Aging 8+ Dog Food

Key features:

  • Formulated for senior canines over 8 years
  • Features Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Contains digestible proteins

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


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:Royal CaninBlue Buffalo
First 5 ingredients:Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Wheat, Brown Rice, Chicken FatDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Main Protein SourcesChicken By-Product Meal, Poultry By-Product MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal
Main Carb sources:Brewers Rice, Wheat, Brown RiceBrown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas
Other ingredients:Corn Gluten Meal, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Salt, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dl-Methionine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Rosemary Extract, added vitamins, and mineralsFlaxseed, 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 probiotics
Protein content24%22%
Fat Content:15%12%
Omega-3 Content0.46%0.75%
Omega-6 ContentN/A2.25%
Fiber Content:3.3%6%
Kcal:360 kcal/cup352 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.34.6


Medium breed formulas comparison table:

Brand:Royal CaninBlue Buffalo
First 5 ingredients:Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats, Wheat, Corn Gluten MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
Main Protein SourcesChicken By-Product MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal
Main Carb sources:Brewers Rice, Oat Groats, WheatBrown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch
Other ingredients:Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Hydrolyzed Yeast, L-Lysine, Rosemary Extract, added vitamins and mineralsFlaxseed, Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, added vitamins, minerals, fruits, veggies, prebiotics
Protein content23%24%
Fat Content:12%14%
Omega-3 Content0.39%0.5%
Omega-6 ContentN/A3%
Fiber Content:3%5%
Kcal:340 kcal/cup378 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.44.6


Small breed formulas comparison table:

Brand:Royal CaninBlue Buffalo
First 5 ingredients:Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Corn, Wheat GlutenDeboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Main Protein SourcesChicken By-Product MealDeboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal
Main Carb sources:Brewers Rice, CornBrown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas
Other ingredients:Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors, Fish Oil, Monocalcium Phosphate, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Fructooligosaccharides, Hydrolyzed Yeast, L-Lysine, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, L-Tyrosine, N-Butyric Acid, L-Carnitine, Carotene, Rosemary ExtractChicken 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
Protein content28%22%
Fat Content:20%14%
Omega-3 ContentN/A0.75%
Omega-6 ContentN/A2.0%
Fiber Content:3.4%5%
Kcal:364 kcal/cup381 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.34.6


Puppy formulas comparison table:

Brand:Royal CaninBlue Buffalo
First 5 ingredients:Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Wheat Gluten, Corn Gluten MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Main Protein SourcesChicken By-Product MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal
Main Carb sources:Brewers Rice, CornBrown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Peas
Other ingredients:Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Fructooligosaccharides, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Marigold Extract, L-Carnitine, Carotene, Rosemary Extract, added vitamins and mineralsChicken 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
Protein content29%27%
Fat Content:18%16%
Omega-3 ContentN/A0.75%
Omega-6 ContentN/A3%
Fiber Content:3.3%5.0%
Kcal:354 kcal/cup400 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.34.6


Senior formulas comparison table:

Brand:Royal CaninBlue Buffalo
First 5 ingredients:Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken FatDeboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal
Main Protein SourcesChicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten MealDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal
Main Carb sources:Brewers Rice, Wheat, Corn, Brown RiceBrown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Pea Starch
Other ingredients:Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Wheat Gluten, Fish Oil, Pea Fiber, Dried Tomato Pomace, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Potassium Chloride, Psyllium Seed Husk, Salt, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, L-Tryptophan, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Taurine, GLA Safflower Oil, Marigold Extract, Green Tea Extract, L-Carnitine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Rosemary Extract, added vitamins and mineralsPea Fiber, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, fiber sources, fruits, veggies, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals
Protein content25%18%
Fat Content:15%10%
Omega-3 ContentN/A0.75%
Omega-6 ContentN/A2.0%
Fiber Content:4.3%7%
Kcal:308 kcal/cup342 kcal/cup
Price rating:4.34.6


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 recipes from the two brands all meet AAFCO’s nutritional requirements for dogs. However, this does not mean that these are perfect and healthy formulas. To make an accurate judgment, we need to look at the quality of the ingredients. 

It is important to know that the list of ingredients is based on what amount of the different components are present in a given recipe. So they contain the largest amount of the primary ingredient, followed by the second, and so on. 

Therefore, it is critical to examine the first five ingredients of dog food in each case. We’ll soon realize that Blue Buffalo is performing better in this regard. 

This is because the primary ingredient in Royal Canin is usually by-product meals or rice. Although the former contains valuable amino acids and nutrients (glucosamine), it is not considered to have the same biological value as meat. 

Rice is an excellent nutrient and energy source, but it is not favorable for me to have so much of it in a product. On the other hand, Blue Buffalo always uses real meat or a meat meal as a primary ingredient. You need to know that real meat is the most valuable protein source for dogs.  

By the way, meat meals are excellent sources of concentrated protein that also contains parts of the animal such as cartilage. For this reason, the content of glucosamine and chondroitin is also significant, which is good news for the joints.

You can also find other questionable protein sources at Royal Canin. These are corn gluten meal and wheat gluten. 

Although these are very inexpensive ingredients and increase crude protein content, they have a low biological value and can cause digestive problems in dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Blue products usually contain pea protein, but only in small amounts. It is also of lower quality than meat. 

The recipes I compare usually contain grains. This can be problematic if your dog has an allergy to some grain. However, you don’t have to stick to grain-free dog food for healthy dogs. 

The most commonly used carbohydrates in Royal Canin are brewers rice, wheat, brown rice, and oats. These are very nutritious grains, although you should know that wheat contains gluten, so these recipes should be wholly avoided in the event of a gluten allergy.

Blue Buffalo pays much more attention to gluten content. The most common carbohydrate sources used by the brand are brown rice, oatmeal, barley, peas, and pea starch. However, barley also contains gluten, so you should consider this.

Of these, only starch is somewhat objectionable, as it is an extract that lags behind grains in terms of nutritional value. 

Both brands are striving for the right omega fatty acid content. This is because these fatty acids are essential and promote the health of the coat, skin, and brain

Both Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin use animal fat sources, and ingredients such as fish oil are often found among the components. This oil has a very high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which is more important than the amount of omega-6. 

Blue Buffalo recipes often contain flaxseed, which further increases the amount of omega. In terms of micronutrients, both brands strive remarkably. 

Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contribute to the functioning of the immune system. Blue Buffalo products also contain fresh fruits and vegetables, which further enhances the effect of these formulas on the immune system. And various probiotics that aid digestion is also found in Blue recipes. 

It can be seen from the above that while the quality of the ingredients in both brands is acceptable, Blue Buffalo has done a better job in this regard than Royal Canin.


Meat and Protein Content

dog food meat content

The AAFCO recommends that adult dogs need an 18% protein diet. In the case of puppies, this figure is slightly higher at 22.5%. 

This protein requirement is abundantly accomplished by both the brands I have reviewed. 

Royal Canin recipes have 24-29% protein content, and Blue Buffalo recipes have 22-27% protein content. It is important to know that more is not always better; this is especially true when looking at the quality of protein sources. 

The primary ingredients in Royal Canin are chicken by-product meals, which, although a concentrated source of protein, are somewhat controversial. 

In contrast, Blue Buffalo uses real meat and meat meals that are much more digestible, nutritious, and safer. 

As mentioned in the ingredients quality section, both brands use some plant protein sources. For example, corn and wheat gluten meal at Royal Canin and pea protein at Blue Buffalo. 

But it’s also worth clarifying that at Blue, pea protein is usually in the 10th-11th place among the ingredients, so we can only talk about a tiny amount. 

Blue Buffalo has significantly more meat content than Royal Canin and uses better protein sources.


Fat content

dog food fat content

Fats are essential sources of nutrients, as they provide energy and are suitable for the health of dogs’ skin, coats, and brains, and have an excellent anti-inflammatory effect.

The AAFCO recommends that average healthy adult dogs need 5.5% fat, which Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo are well above. Of course, this is not a problem, as excess fat is an excellent source of energy for hunting dogs, working dogs, and other active breeds. 

Your dog only needs a low-fat diet if he is obese. 

The fat content of the products of the two brands is almost the same (between about 12% and 18%), so I will examine the quality of the fat sources. 

Both Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin contain animal fat (e.g., chicken fat) as the primary source of fat, which is beneficial in several ways. 

On the one hand, these fats make food very tasty, and on the other hand, they have a good effect on dogs’ health. 

I always check the amount of omega fatty acids when I review a particular recipe. This is because these fatty acids promote the health of dogs’ skin, coat, and brain and have an anti-inflammatory effect. 

The omega-3 content of Royal Canin products is not clearly stated. However, based on the list of ingredients, it appears that Blue Buffalo features more sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Considering the above, I can say that Blue Buffalo is a better choice for fats than Royal Canin.


Carb content

dog food carb content

Carbohydrates are not essential in the canines diet, but they are excellent energy sources and contain plenty of valuable nutrients. 

Manufacturers are not obliged to indicate the exact carbohydrate content of dog food on the packaging, but we can deduce the quantity from the other ingredients. But quality is more important than that. 

The Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo formulas I have studied use grains as their main carbohydrates. As I mentioned in the ingredients quality section, healthy dogs do not need a grain-free diet. 

On the other hand, Royal Canin uses questionable carbohydrate sources such as wheat and corn. 

Corn does not have as high nutrient content as other grains and is often a problem in dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Wheat is considered a lower quality ingredient due to its gluten content. Each Blue Buffalo product is free of wheat, corn, and soy. 

Therefore, in terms of carbs, Blue Buffalo is better than Royal Canin.


Fiber Content

dog food fiber content

Fiber is a very valuable nutrient in the diet of dogs. Although they cannot use it as energy, it has many positive effects. 

Good quality dietary fiber slows down absorption, thus preventing obesity. Plus, they provide nutrients for beneficial gut bacteria, making your dog’s digestion more efficient

Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo use similarly high-quality fiber sources for their recipes, but Blue Buffalo contains more fiber on average. 

Therefore, if your dog has indigestion due to low fiber content, you may want to choose Blue Buffalo instead of Royal Canin.


Micronutrients

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential for proper health. 

Manufacturers usually add these nutrients in synthetic form to dog food, but some formulas also include fresh fruits and vegetables. Such is the case with Blue Buffalo, which had valuable vitamin and mineral resources in all the reviewed recipes. 

In addition, probiotics are very common in Blue dog foods, which improve the condition of the digestive system and thus indirectly affect overall health. 

Given the above, the micronutrient content of Blue Buffalo is preferable.


Flavors And Options of the two brands

The wide range of flavors is crucial because you need to consider if your dog gets tired of a specific product. 

After all, no matter how much you love your mother’s cooking, I don’t think you could eat the same broth every day for years. The same is true with dogs. 

The situation is even worse if your pup is picky. Based on online customer reviews, most dogs are happy with the taste of Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo.

But of course, some dogs are hard to please. It is vital for them that a brand has plenty of options. 

Blue Buffalo has a broader range of flavors than Royal Canin, winning that round.


Cost

As a pet parent, you are obviously aware of the costs of keeping a dog. A significant part of this is dog food, which many people like to save on. 

However, this can have negative consequences as low prices can mean low-quality ingredients. +

Manufacturers often add components to their recipes that are not very nutritious but increase the crude protein content. At Royal Canin, for example, by-products or corn gluten meal. 

However, what is interesting is that despite the above, the price of Blue Buffalo is more favorable. So Blue Buffalo won that round.


Royal Canin 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:

Royal Canin Recalls

  • 11th May 2007 / Cause: Melamine Content / Recalled products:
    • Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice Adult dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice Reduced dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Lamb and Rice Reduced dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice Puppy dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Natural Blend Adult dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Natural Blend Senior dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Natural Blend Puppy dry dog food
    • Kasco Chunks dry dog food
    • Kasco Hi Energy dry dog food
    • Kasco Maintenance dry dog food
    • Kasco Mealettes dry dog food
    • Kasco Mini Chunks dry dog food
    • Kasco Puppy dry dog food
  • 19th April 2007 / Cause: Melamine Content / Recalled products:
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Early Cardiac EC 22 dry dog food
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Skin Support SS21 dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Chicken Meal & Rice Formula Senior dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Puppy dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Adult dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Senior dry dog food
    • Sensible Choice Rice & Catfish Meal Formula Adult dry dog food
  • 3rd May 2006 / Cause: Too much Vitamin D3 / Recalled products:
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO dog food, 13.6 oz. cans, Codes 511A/B and 521 A/B, best by March 2007
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO dog food, 13.6 oz. cans, Code 525A, best by June 2007
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Low Fat LF dog food, 13.6 oz. cans, Code 526A/B, best by June 2007
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Calorie Control CC in Gel dog food, 12.7 oz. cans, Code 515B, best by April 2007
    • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Calorie Control CC in Gel dog food, 12.7 oz. cans, Code 528A, best by July 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.

Currently, none of the brands have an active recall, which is good news. This gives us the confidence to choose a recipe from any company. 

As you can see, Blue had more recalls. Royal Canin’s recalls have taken place much earlier, probably because the brand has eliminated any quality and manufacturing flaws over the years. 

Because of the above, Royal Canin won this round.


Comparison Based on Real Customer Reviews

I like to study real customer reviews because they make it easy for us to learn about the pros and cons of our products. 

Below, I have collected the pros and cons of the two brands’ most popular products. They all come from Chewy’s website.

Royal Canin Large Digestive Care

This formula prevents digestive health problems such as diarrhea, loose stools, bloating effectively, and more. Plus, most customer reviews say dogs love the taste. 

There are also a few complaints about the product, most often related to packaging, shipping, and price.

Positive

Instantly fixed everything.

  • This food instantly fixed my 16-month-old Dutchie/GSD mix’s chronic soft stool and frequently poor quality bowel movements. He was on Royal Canin adult food, having had no issues with Royal Canin large breed puppy food. Since his stomach was already upset when the new food got here I didn’t bother switching him to the sensitive stomach food slowly but opted to change to the new food all at once and late the next day all of his issues were gone.

Wow! What A Difference!

  • I bought this for my young male Doberman who has some stomach issues. He loves the kibbles as well as the corresponding canned food, and his diarrhea has completely disappeared. However, my older female, pickiest eater in the world, LOVES this stuff! More importantly, we are seeing a huge difference in her playfulness, energy, and attitude. We are on our second bag, and while I would rather fix my dogs homemade chicken, turkey, and such, they PREFER the Royal Canin kibbles and canned. Crazy, but true.


Negative

Trusted food that agrees with her stomach

  • Our vet highly recommended Royal Canin so we chose this food for our 60 pounds 2.5-year-old mixed breed dog. She gobbles it up (though she’s not a picky eater). This has greatly improved digestion for her. There are two things I don’t like – 1. I wish the resealable bag actually worked (the seal always breaks in the first week of opening) and 2. The kibble doesn’t fit in any of our feeder toys because it’s so big. I know RC does a lot of research and the size is specifically made for the size of the dog… but we miss being able to use her toys!

Great Quality Food

  • The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 is that it’s expensive.

You can read more reviews about this product here.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

The Blue Life Protection formula contains plenty of healthy and delicious ingredients. It is a favorite of many owners and dogs as it has beneficial health effects. 

However, you should know that this recipe does not suit all canine tastes. So if you have a really picky dog, you need to try a different flavor or brand.

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 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.


Negative

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

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.


My Final Verdict About Royal Canin Vs Blue Buffalo

Thanks to my detailed comparison article, the differences between the two brands can be clearly seen. 

Royal Canin uses many questionable ingredients that can be considered lower quality. Examples are by-products, corn, corn gluten meal, or wheat gluten. 

Blue also contains some controversial ingredients (pea protein, pea starch) but only negligible amounts. 

However, Blue Buffalo is definitely better in terms of omega fatty acids and other valuable ingredients (probiotics, fruits, vegetables). Plus, it’s all about making the products of this brand more affordable. 

Considering the above, we can say that Blue Buffalo is a better choice than Royal Canin.


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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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