blue buffalo vs blue wilderness

Blue Buffalo vs. Blue Wilderness: Side-by-Side Comparison

Like all other pet parents, my main concern is finding the correct dog food for my beloved furball. My experience says that the correct food keeps my pup healthy and happy.

So when I started looking for the best dog food products in my area, I discovered that Blue Buffalo was among the top 5 on every website. However, they were selling various options, and I got confused. One of their most popular products was Blue Wilderness.

So, if you, too, are confused between the regular Blue Buffalo dog foods and Blue Wilderness, you have landed at the correct place.

Today, I will share a holistic, side-by-side comparison of both products. In the later section of this article, I have also discussed recipes, ingredients, nutrient profiles, and other factors to help you make the correct choice.

Okay, let’s begin.

FactorsBlue BuffaloBlue Wilderness
Owned ByGeneral MillsGeneral Mills
Launched In20032003
Special FeatureHigh fiber contentHigh protein content
Number Of Formulas160+ different formulas and products50+ products
Intended ForAdult dogs that have more energyHigh-performing and working dogs

All You Need to Know About Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo

4.6 Overall Editor Rating

Blue Buffalo

  • High-Quality Protein
  • A Natural Dog Food
  • Dry Dog Food, Chicken, and Brown Rice
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While Blue Buffalo may be a relatively young brand compared to other well-known names in the industry, it has certainly made significant strides in the pet food sector.

Founded in 2003, Blue Buffalo derived its name from a lovely dog called Blue, who belonged to the brand’s owner, Bill Bishop. In 2018, General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo and remains its owner today.

If you’re wondering what sets Blue Buffalo apart, there are a number of things. They place a strong emphasis on producing high-quality formulas for both cats and dogs, catering to animals of all ages and sizes.

But that’s not all; their products lack fillers and harmful by-products. They only use real, organic meat as the primary ingredient. A team of nutritionists and veterinarians meticulously selects all the ingredients for their products, ensuring that the food is wheat, corn, and soy-free.

Get to Know Blue Wilderness

Blue Wilderness

4.7 Overall Editor Rating

Blue Wilderness

  • Packed With Real Chicken
  • Including Oatmeal, Barley, And Brown Rice
  • High Protein Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
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You might think that Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness sound the same. Well, it’s because they have a connection. Fascinating, isn’t it?

You might know that Blue Buffalo, being an industry leader, offers an extensive range of recipes divided into seven categories. One of them is Blue Wilderness!

Now, let’s talk about Blue Wilderness. It’s a daughter brand of Blue Buffalo. What sets it apart is the commitment to providing quality dog food with a sustainable and high protein content, not to mention it’s grain-free.

To achieve this protein-rich formula, they’ve taken inspiration from what wolves naturally consume in the wild. Yes, you’ve guessed it right – the primary ingredient in their products is meat.

Blue Buffalo vs. Blue Wilderness: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Blue Buffalo Vs. Blue Wilderness: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Blue Buffalo is a go-to choice for many pet parents today. It’s a renowned brand when it comes to providing quality dog food. Their food is made from natural and high-grade ingredients that your pup can benefit from.

This makes it challenging to pick between regular Blue Buffalo and its unique product line, Blue Wilderness.

Well, here’s a comparison of the two based on 4 essential parameters: recipes, ingredients, nutrient profile, and recall history.

1. Ingredients

Not just the first but the most important factor you must take into account is ingredients. The ingredients that your pup gets will have a direct and significant impact on their health and overall well-being.

Let’s take a look at the primary ingredients of the two:

Blue Buffalo

  • Animal Meat

Blue Buffalo is not a market leader for nothing. It lists real animal meat as the first ingredient and the primary protein source in all its recipes.

Animal meat ensures your dog gets the proper protein and amino acids needed to grow and stay healthy. From high-quality chicken to many other poultry by-products and even meats like fish, pork, and turkey, you can find them all in the recipes.

  • Brown Rice

Blue Buffalo pet food manufacturers also add brown rice to many of their recipes. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that your pup can consume and digest easily once it’s properly cooked.

Besides it being a natural energy booster, there’s not much nutritional value present in brown rice that it can offer to your canine friend.

  • Barley

Next up on the stellar ingredient list of Blue Buffalo is barley. It’s an ingredient rich in starch and carbohydrates that offers fiber and other essential nutrients to dogs.

However, just like brown rice, barley will not provide nutrition to your four-pawed companion except for an energy boost.

  • Oatmeal

If you’re conscious of your health, there’s a good chance that you might have oats at home. But did you know that oatmeal is also good for your dog?

The oatmeal in Blue Buffalo recipes is a whole-grain and gluten-free ingredient that provides dietary fiber and vitamin B to your pet dog and improves its health.

Blue Wilderness

  • Meat Protein

Wondering what makes Blue Wilderness different from Blue Buffalo? It focuses on real meat as the primary protein source and the main ingredient.

These recipes include turkey, salmon, tuna, chicken, and many other natural meat sources that are easily digestible and delicious, making them irresistible for your dog.

  • Chicken Meal

If you thought the above is all there is in terms of protein, you were wrong. Some recipes also contain chicken meal, which is a chicken meat concentrate. It contains almost 300% more protein content than normal fresh chicken.

  • Dehydrated Chicken

Next up is dehydrated chicken, a meat concentrate that offers four times more protein than fresh chicken.

What makes it different from a chicken meal? Dehydrated chicken isn’t exposed to high temperatures during processing, which helps preserve the meat’s nutrients.

  • Grains and Vegetables

Blue Wilderness aims to offer dogs a healthy blend of essential nutrients. It includes both grains and vegetables along with meat.

You can find brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, along with potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, alfalfa, flaxseed, tomato pomace, dried kelp, parsley, turmeric, barley grass, and even blueberries and cranberries.

Who Won?

When you compare the ingredients of Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness, the latter has an edge because of the higher meat protein and wider ingredient range, especially with grains, vegetables, and fruits.

2. Recipes

If your pup is a fussy eater and gets bored of the food very quickly, it would be challenging for you to stick to one brand. Here, it would help if the dog food manufacturer offered a wider variety that allowed you to switch between recipes, offering your puppy multiple tastes and flavors.

You can determine which one is better by checking how many recipes it offers:

Blue Buffalo

  • Dry Dog Food – 87
  • Wet Dog Food – 99
  • Dog Treats – 46

Blue Wilderness

  • Dry Food – 22
  • Wet Food – 29
  • Dog Treats – 0

Who Won?

Given that Blue Wilderness is only a subdivision of Blue Buffalo or a product line under it, it’s natural that it has fewer options in each category. Therefore, I will declare Blue Buffalo as the obvious winner in the category of recipes.

3. Nutrition

While recipes and ingredients can be a hit or miss with your pet, I think the one thing that can help you be sure about the brand is its nutrient profile.

Blue Buffalo offers a balanced nutrition to pups, but let’s see how it actually fairs.

Blue Buffalo

To ensure your pet’s optimum health and well-being, the recipes from Blue Buffalo come with a healthy nutrient profile. You will find the average protein level at 26.6%, fat level at 15.56%, and fiber at 5%.  

Blue Wilderness

When it comes to the specific product line of Blue Wilderness, the protein level stands at 38%, the fat level is 17%, and fiber is 6%.

Who Won?

Blue Wilderness typically offers more crude protein, which ensures that these formulas are incredibly beneficial to a pup and help with physical growth and development. Not only that, these recipes also contain more fat and fiber than regular Blue Buffalo ones.

Who do you think wins here? Yes, it is Blue Wilderness again!

4. Recalls

As a responsible dog owner, you would research the brand history and other details; however, it wouldn’t guarantee that the products are safe for your pup. What will help you determine the safety of the meals? Well, it is the number of product recalls.

Product recalls of a brand indicate whether it is safe for canine consumption and how well the brand handles such safety concerns. Here are all the product recall instances of the two:

Blue Buffalo

  • 2007 – Traces of melamine
  • 2010 – Due to sequencing error
  • 2016 – Possibility of mold
  • 2017 – Possible aluminum contamination
  • 2017 – Increased levels of the beef thyroid hormone

Blue Wilderness

  • 2017 – Increase in the level of the beef thyroid hormone

Who Won?

Although there have been a few recalls of Blue Buffalo, only one involved Wilderness products, making it much safer and better for your dog.

Blue Wilderness, although a product line of Blue Buffalo, secures a win here!

Highlights of Both Dog Food Brands

Now that we have done an in-depth analysis of the two famous brands, let’s take a quick look at the key features before declaring the winner.

Blue Buffalo

  • All-natural recipes
  • Free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and fillers
  • Wide range of options to choose from
  • Ideal for fussy and picky dogs

Blue Wilderness

  • One of the 7 product lines of Blue Buffalo
  • Uses natural animal meat
  • Recipes offer higher protein and fiber

The Winner: Blue Wilderness

The Winner Blue Wilderness

I think the latter lifts the winner trophy in this tough competition between Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness. Even though both come from the same brand, Blue Buffalo, Blue Wilderness has an edge in many aspects.

Blue Wilderness provides more protein by including more animal-based sources, which can improve your pup’s muscles, bones, and even overall health. The recipes are especially beneficial for high-performing and working dogs that require these amino acids.

Besides that, the formulas from Blue Wilderness also include more omega fatty acids essential for giving your furry friend healthy skin and coat.


  • Features quality meat as the first ingredient
  • Provides a good amount of carbohydrates for more energy
  • Abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support immunity
  • Free of poultry by-products, meal, soy corn, and wheat


  • Fewer options to choose from
  • More expensive

What Led to Blue Buffalo Losing?

Blue Buffalo is a well-known brand owing to its impeccable product range and nutritional profile. However, its product line, Blue Wilderness, takes the lead compared to the regular products due to its rich ingredients and nutrients.

There have been frequent and significant product recalls over the years, leading to safety concerns surrounding the brand.

I have noticed that the raw dog food from Blue Buffalo also has a shorter shelf life, which only adds to the inconvenience, especially if you are a busy pet parent!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Blue Buffalo Dog Food Processed?

The company Blue Buffalo uses an extrusion process involving extreme heat and pressure to process the food.

Is Blue Buffalo All Natural?

All Blue Buffalo products are natural and made from high-quality ingredients.

Why Is Blue Buffalo So Popular?

The dog food brand Blue Buffalo is extremely popular among pet parents because of their high-grade ingredients.

Final Thoughts

The dog food market is brimming with brands and manufacturers, each offering something unique and beneficial. This can make it tough for you to choose one.

Blue Buffalo is a reliable brand you can trust for your pet dog’s well-being. If you’re looking for an affordable option, you can go for the regular Blue Buffalo recipes, but if you want protein-rich food for your dog that needs more energy, opt for Blue Wilderness.

But it’s important that you talk to your vet before making the final decision about which one to go for!

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