Dog foods abound in the market, and it becomes a challenge to choose the right one for our dog. Some have a high protein-rich formula, while others offer high-fiber nutrients.
How will you choose which is the best and which food will give our pup all the nutrients without any side effects or health risks?
Blue Buffalo and Nutro both rank high on the list of dog foods. But even then, you can question your mind as to which one would be more effective and affordable.
This article will give you a comprehensive idea about both brands and by the end, you can decide which one is ideal for your fur baby. Let’s jump in!
Blue Buffalo Vs. Nutro: A Basic Overview
|Parent Company||Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd||Mars Incorporated|
|Special Features||Natural ingredients with zero preservatives, artificial flavors, or color||Kibble free of wheat, corn, or barley|
|No. of Products||650+||100+|
|Ideal For||Dogs with specific medical issues||Dogs with food sensitivities and allergies|
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo marked its presence in the pet food market in 2002 and gradually progressed upwards in premium quality, all-natural pet food ingredients. For more than 20 years in the business, Blue Buffalo has come up with more than 650 different dog food products.
The company is based out of Wilton (Connecticut) and aims to provide the best dog food supplies for your fur baby while catering to dogs with specific medical issues.
Walking for nearly a century into the pet food business since 1926, Nutro, pioneered the first line of specialty natural pet food and treats. It is a wing of Mars Incorporated based out of Tennessee.
The company is setting a new standard by introducing clean recipes with real, recognizable ingredients. The company holds its ground in providing the best pet care in its veterinary hospitals.
Blue Buffalo Vs. Nutro: Comparison
Both brands have more or less similar ingredients that cater to your dog’s health. I shall make a list of the common ones wherein you can compare and choose the best.
Ingredients For Blue Buffalo
The main ingredient of Blue Buffalo dog food is meat. Meats are an optimal source of essential amino acids, which are important for the muscle development of your pup.
Their meats vary from an alligator (a great source of protein with low fat and cholesterol content, which helps maintain a healthy weight) to bacon, beef, beef cartilage, beef liver, bison, chicken, chicken heart, and chicken liver.
Apart from these, Blue Buffalo dog meals include vegetarian proteins like dried whey, dried yeast, potato protein, and dried eggs. These immensely help them in early recovery from injuries and muscle development.
Veggies And Fruits
Blue Buffalo meals contain coconuts, carrots, cranberry, broccoli, potatoes, peas, pumpkin, blackberries, sweet potatoes, dried tomatoes, pomegranate, bananas, apples, and barley grass.
This diverse list of veggies and fruits ensures that your dog gets a considerable dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to help maintain a healthy gut.
Blue Buffalo dog food has a lot of barley, brown rice, lentils, flaxseed, and rye. These are important sources of carbohydrates in their diet.
Apart from these, they also use by-products like oat flour, potato flour, and oatmeal. These are easy to digest and help in healthy metabolism.
Spinach and parsley provide a good amount of Vitamin A and C along with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in the Blue Buffalo dog food products.
Chicken fat, fish oil, canola oil, and salmon oil are the primary fat sources in Blue Buffalo dog food. They help to maintain healthy skin and soft, silky fur for your furry child.
Ingredients of Nutro
Since it is dog food, the primary ingredient here is meat. Nutro usually uses real beef as the standard meat in all its products. The company also includes beef liver, chicken meat, and chicken liver in its line of products.
Apart from these, Nutro also uses lamb, fish, turkey, and dry egg products as a second protein option for your dog.
Fruits And Veggies
Split peas, dried tomato pomace, kale, chia seeds, dried pumpkin, dried coconut, and dried plain beet pulp, included in their diet, help to keep their digestive health at the top of the game.
Brown rice, brewers rice, sorghum, oatmeal, and barley are rich sources of carbohydrates for the energy they need to run and jump around.
Nutro uses dried spinach as a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin E supplements.
Chicken fat, fish oil, and omega-3 fatty acids in Nutro foods keep the skin and coat healthy and shiny.
In my opinion, the best choice is Blue Buffalo, as it seems to cover all your dog’s nutritional needs. For each nutrient group, Blue Buffalo uses a wider variety of sources and ingredients than Nutro.
Recipes And Varieties
As a pet parent, you must know what food you feed your pet and at what age and stage. You cannot feed a pup with food meant for adult or senior dogs.
Similarly, the hunger or craving for big dogs will not be the same for puppies. Also, the variety in recipes and food options for a pet is as important for health as nutrition and physical activity.
For these reasons, we will be comparing Blue Buffalo and Nutro based on the variety they offer.
- The brand offers over 250 dry food varieties for puppies, adults, and senior dogs across small, standard, and large breeds.
- There are 100+ wet foods for dogs of all ages.
- 80+ dog treats that include bits, bars, and nudges. There are also soft training treats for dogs of all ages and sizes.
- Specialized food categories catering to different ages
- Grain-free recipes are available if you wish to feed your dog meat from the beginning.
- Vegetarian recipes are also there if you want to start with a veg diet plan.
- Nutro offers 43 dry foods with different flavors like beef, brown rice, farm-raised chicken, lamb, and sweet potatoes for adult dogs of all breeds – small, standard, or large.
- 46 wet dog food recipes include chicken, white fish, turkey, tomato, and carrots for dogs of all ages and sizes. These come in small bits and filets in gravy that are easy to chew and digest.
- 10 treats in various flavors like beef, berry, yogurt, chicken, carrots, apples, bananas, mixed berries, and peanut butter. These bits and crunchies are an amazing way to train your furry child.
In my opinion, Nutro takes a backseat here because even though it has a very straight and easy menu to choose from, the recipes of Blue Buffalo are more age and breed-specific.
The range of dog treats and snack options is also more varied in the Blue Buffalo.
Another very important aspect of a pet food brand is the nutritional value they are offering to the pups, adults, and senior dogs.
I shall pick the three most important nutrition components and compare one brand against the other.
Protein is a vital component in any food and plays a crucial role in the growth and development of your dog. The need for protein differs from one breed to another and depends on the size of your dog.
A Rottweiler requires more protein (as a very active dog) than a Golden Retriever. Similarly, a Chihuahua requires less protein than a Great Dane.
Blue Buffalo’s Adult chicken rice meal contains a minimum of 24% crude protein, while the same variant in Nutro gives 22% protein.
Ever wondered what gives your dog a bright shiny coat and blemish-free skin? It is the fat content that goes with the food. Fats are required to provide energy to your dog, while at the same time, they also help in absorbing certain vitamins.
AAFCO recommends that 5% fat can be included in dry dog food. However, most brands give a higher percentage of fats in these foods.
Again, the amount of fat consumption depends upon the type and size of your dog. Also, it depends on how active your dog is.
Blue Buffalo dog food contains a minimum of 14% crude fats in its Adult chicken and rice meal, while Nutro products contain 13% crude fats.
A good amount of crude fiber in dog food is vital for a healthy gut and a healthy digestive and metabolic state. The amount of fiber required is directly proportional to the size of your dog.
For the same product mentioned above, Blue Buffalo gives a maximum of 5% crude fiber, while in the same line of Nuto products, you get 3%.
Interestingly, here I find both products on a more-or-less equal pedestal. But if we go into the numbers, Blue Buffalo offers slightly higher concentrations of almost all the essential nutrients.
Why, then, have we placed them on more or less the same pedestal?
It is because a good percentage of nutrients does not have to be the highest possible. You should decide that based on the needs of your dog’s breed, size, and age.
A recall is one of the most important parameters for judging a brand’s credibility. In simple terms, it refers to legal allegations. Thus, the fewer the recalls, the safer the brand.
Since its inception in 2002, Blue Buffalo had to face their first recall in 2007. The latest was in January 2020 for some component in one of their products that led a pet to become obese and diabetic.
All in all, there were six reported recalls from 2007 – 2020.
Although nearing a century, this brand has also had its share of recalls. The first was in March 2007, twice in 2009, and the latest in December 2015 for Nutro Apple Chewy Treats. The allegation was against mold contamination in the product.
There were three reported recalls from 2007 – 2015.
Blue Buffalo and Nutro get in a tie in the aspect of recalls!
Highlights of Blue Buffalo And Nutro
Before you conclude, I shall come up with a few highlights of each brand to make it a little easier for you to choose.
- Wide range of dry and wet products to choose from
- Age and breed-specific foods
- A range of training treats
- Well-balanced nutrition with a higher protein component
- Limited range of wet and dry food options
- Recipes and variety are more or less straightforward
- Variety of flavors, even in the limited product range
- Adheres to the standard nutritional value as recommended by AAFCO
Is Blue Buffalo dry food good for my pup?
If you are looking for age-specific dog food, Blue Buffalo offers a range of nutrition-packed puppy foods suitable for the baby.
What is the price of a Blue Buffalo product?
A large pack of Blue Buffalo dog food will cost you somewhere around $30-$60.
Do vets recommend Nutro dog food?
Yes. Many vets recommend Nutro dog food as it tops the chart among grain-free varieties.
Why are Nutro products so expensive?
The main reason for the price hike in Nutro products is the rising cost of ingredients. The processing of these products is also expensive.
So, what do you feel?
Now that you have a thorough knowledge of the types of products in each brand, their recipes, and their nutritional value, you must weigh the pros and cons of each product you choose. Nutro is Vintage. Blue Buffalo is Gen Y.
It’d be wise to talk to your vet if your dog has any health issues, either by birth or acquired. That will help you streamline your choices for the right product (dry/wet) for your pet.
If you are ever confused, just come back to this article. You’ll get sorted.
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Ankita Sharma is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.