blue buffalo vs royal canin

Blue Buffalo Vs Royal Canin: Unbiased Comparison

As pet parents, we always want the best food for our adorable furball. When I was new to this, I had this misconception that I’d simply go online and buy the best dog food for my buddy. But it was a huge shock for me when I realized that selecting a good pet food brand isn’t a piece of cake.

The main task starts with considering the dietary requirements of your pup, what suits their taste buds, and then finally zeroing in on the top-quality dog food. Among the thousands of dog food brands available, I came across two names that have captured the market by storm: Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin.

Now, if you are confused between these well-known brands just like me, then you are in the correct place!

I have researched the two products and have created a comparison based on essential parameters like ingredients, nutritional profile, recipes, and recall history.

So, let’s dive straight in and learn everything about Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin.

FactorsBlue BuffaloRoyal Canin
Owned ByGeneral MillsMars, Incorporated
Launched In20031968
Special FeatureHigh fiber contentRecipes prioritizing dog needs
Number Of FormulasAround 160 different formulas and productsMore than 260 formulas 
Intended ForAdult dogs that have more energy Dogs with sensitive stomachs

Blue Buffalo: Everything You Need to Know

Blue Buffalo

4.7 Overall Editor Rating

Blue Buffalo

  • High-quality protein
  • A Natural Dog Food
  • Antioxidant-Rich Lifesource
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Blue Buffalo is a fairly new USA-based company that began its operations in 2003. But they have a heartwarming origin story. It all began with the family, who had a dog named Blue. However, sadly, within a couple of years, their beloved pet started battling cancer and ultimately lost the fight to lymphoma.

This heartbreaking experience led Bill Bishop, the founder, to make an ultimate promise to manufacture healthier alternatives to low-grade pet food, which was the major reason behind Blue’s illness.

Fast forward almost two decades and Blue Buffalo remains steadfast in its commitment to that promise. They offer a wide array of dog food recipes crafted from real meat and superfoods, always avoiding the use of by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or flavors, ingredients that are best avoided in a dog’s diet.

Whether you have a pup full of energy, a furry friend with dietary restrictions, or a pooch at any stage of life, Blue Buffalo has you covered. They provide grain-free and grain-based options, high-protein recipes for super-active dogs, and nutritious choices for dogs of all sizes and life stages.

They ensure your four-legged family members can enjoy wholesome, quality nutrition from a company that truly cares.

Royal Canin: Let’s Decode the Buzz Around the Brand

Royal Canin

4.9 Overall Editor Rating

Royal Canin

  • Chicken by-product meal
  • EPA and DHA for skin and coat health
  • For supporting digestion and nutrition absorption
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Let’s dive into the fascinating origin of Royal Canin, shall we? The brand traces back to 1968 when a visionary veterinarian named Jean Cathary decided it was time to revolutionize the pet food industry. He introduced the very first dog food recipe, famously known as ‘yellow soup.’

As the years rolled by, what began as a single recipe grew into an extensive range of pet food options designed for both dogs and cats. Today, Royal Canin is proudly under the ownership of Mars Petcare, a major player in the pet food manufacturing industry.

The manufacturers believe their pet foods are the first step to better health for every canine and even feline companion. Their unique selling point is their specialization in tailoring recipes to specific breeds, not just considering age or size.

So, whether you have a Dachshund or a Great Dane, Royal Canin has a tailored solution for your beloved furry friend’s dietary needs.

Blue Buffalo Vs. Royal Canin: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Blue Buffalo Vs. Royal Canin: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Whenever you embark on this journey of finding the best food for your beloved pet, you need to put in some serious work. You will have to decide on important parameters and then find information to compare the two brands.

But don’t worry, here I have done the homework for you.

Let me compare these two popular brands based on four crucial factors.

1. Ingredients

What makes or breaks any dog food is its ingredients and flavors, so it’s natural for it to be your top priority. Here are the primary ingredients used by Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin for their dog food recipes:

Blue Buffalo

  • Animal Meat

The first ingredient used by Blue Buffalo in its wide range of recipes is real animal meat. They want to ensure your dog gets proper nutrition, and only real meat can fulfill that.

You can find high-quality chicken, as well as many other poultry by-products and other forms of meats, to offer a balance of ingredients to your pup and help improve its overall well-being.

  • Brown Rice

Next up, we can see brown rice used in a majority of the recipes offered by this brand. Being a complex carbohydrate, it is easy for a dog to digest it if cooked properly.

The rice can provide a good boost of natural energy to canines; however, it doesn’t offer much nutritional value.

  • Barley

Another thing you might notice on the products is barley. It is a starchy carbohydrate-rich ingredient that can supply fiber along with many essential nutrients to your pup. Much like brown rice, it also doesn’t come with any exceptional nutrients apart from those that provide energy.

  • Oatmeal

If you are even remotely health-conscious, it would be safe to assume that oatmeal is a go-to option for you because you are accustomed to its real benefits. But the real question is, did you know that it can be beneficial for your four-pawed friend as well?

Well, yes. Oatmeal is a whole-grain gluten-free ingredient present in Blue Buffalo recipes that comes with an abundance of vitamin B and dietary fiber.

Royal Canin

  • Animal Protein

To ensure canines get the required amount of protein, Royal Canin occasionally adds real meat but relies majorly on meat by-products as well as by-products of meals. Although they don’t mention what goes into these by-products, the manufacturers claim that it’s safe and beneficial for your dog.

  • Grains

Royal Canin also adds soy, corn, and wheat in many recipes. Although these ingredients can irritate the digestive systems of a few dogs, a majority would be able to digest them with ease.

Some formulas include oat groats, which is a whole grain that’s a minimally processed form of the oats you know. Except for the caloric content and the fact they’re gluten-free, oat groats don’t add much to the nutritional value.

You can also find corn gluten meal in some recipes. It’s a rubbery residue that’s left after most of the starchy carbohydrates present in corn washes out.

  • Rice

Royal Canin dog foods include both brown rice and brewer rice. While brown rice is a carbohydrate-rich complex that a dog can digest once cooked, brewer rice is another cereal grain that comes as a by-product from the milling of whole rice.

Both of them offer natural energy content but don’t offer much nutritional value to your dog.

Who Won?

In the battle between the ingredients of Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin, the former is a clear winner. I think it has an edge because of the wider range of ingredients, especially exotic animal proteins.

While Royal Canin uses good ingredients, it’s not as diverse as Blue Buffalo.

2. Recipes

I’m sure the next thing on your list would be the number of recipes, isn’t it? Well, it’s natural for you to find a brand that offers more recipes to help you give your little furball a nice variety of flavors and ingredients to fulfill their dietary requirements.

Let’s take a quick look at the number of formulas offered by both brands:

Blue Buffalo

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

Royal Canin

  • Dry Dog Food – 132
  • Wet Dog Food – 47
  • Dog Treats – 5

Who Won?

When you look at the numbers above, it seems like both brands are giving each other tough competition. I still think the winner is Blue Buffalo, as it has quite a lot of options for all the categories.

Whether you want to choose from a good variety of dry food or wet food or need to get tasty treats, Blue Buffalo will have something for your pup!

3. Nutrition

We’ve talked about recipes and ingredients, but I think it all comes down to the numbers. What numbers, you might ask. Well, we will talk about the numbers that make up the nutrient profile of dog foods.

While each brand promises to offer the right balance of nutrients, it’s imperative for you, as a pet parent, to get down to business and know the exact amount these products contain.

Blue Buffalo

The recipes of this brand come with a healthy nutrient balance that can ensure your pup’s optimum health. The average protein level is at 26.6%, the fat level is at 15.56%, and lastly, fiber amounts to 5.56%.

Royal Canin

On the other hand, the protein level of Royal Canin is 23%, and the fat level is 14%. Besides that, the fiber content is only 3.4%.

Who Won?

It’s safe to say that the numbers have clearly declared Blue Buffalo the ultimate winner, and I stand by it. Royal Canin has a decent nutrient profile, but it falls short in front of Blue Buffalo in terms of protein, fat, and fiber.

4. Recalls

I think every pet parent must take the responsibility of researching the history and past of a food brand before buying. A product recall by the brand can help indicate how safe it is for your pup and also how they handled the safety concerns.

Here are some product recall instances of both brands:

Blue Buffalo

  • 2007 – Melamine traces
  • 2010 – Sequencing error
  • 2016 – Possibility of mold
  • 2017 – Aluminum contamination 
  • 2017 – Increased levels of the beef thyroid hormone

Royal Canin

  • 2006 – Excess vitamin D
  • 2007 – Melamine
  • 2007 – Melamine

Who Won?

When we talk about quality solely, is Royal Canin a better choice than Blue Buffalo? Yes, and it’s not better in terms of quality, but how they handle the product recalls is quite impressive.

In this comparison criterion, Royal Canin takes the first place.

Highlights of the Two Dog Food Brands

The winner might be quite evident here, but before that, why don’t we take a quick look at the key factors of the two brands again:

Blue Buffalo

  • Offers natural recipes free of preservatives and fillers
  • Wide range of recipes to choose from
  • Suitable for dogs that are picky and fussy
  • 7 different product lines

Royal Canin

  • Started by an expert vet
  • Emphasizes heavily on research
  • Offers breed-specific recipes to cater to dietary needs

The Winner: Blue Buffalo

The Winner: Blue Buffalo

The epic battle of Blue Buffalo vs. Royal Canin concludes with Blue Buffalo lifting the winner trophy! No surprises there, given how committed the manufacturers are to providing nutritious and balanced meals to canines.

While seasoned vets and nutritionists pick the ingredients, the manufacturing of this renowned brand happens within the US only.

The recipes are completely free of poultry leftovers, artificial ingredients, and preservatives, as well as corn, soy, and wheat to avoid allergies.


  • Doesn’t contain meat by-products or fillers
  • Offers a balance of nutrients, like vitamins and antioxidants
  • Created by vets and nutritionists


  • Frequent and significant product recalls
  • Raw food has a shorter shelf life

What Led to Royal Canin Losing?

Royal Canin is a leading brand trusted by many dog owners, but when you go deeper into researching the brand, a few aspects may seem disappointing. The manufacturer uses limited and low-quality ingredients in the dog food recipes, and they don’t offer good nutritional support to pups.

Moreover, I also feel that Royal Canin products are fairly expensive and not easily affordable for people with a big dog or more than one dog. There are many other all-around and high-quality dog foods available that serve as a substitute for Royal Canin, including Blue Buffalo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Special About Royal Canin?

What makes Royal Canin special and different from others is that it offers health-specific diets to benefit dogs.

Is Blue Buffalo Healthy Dog Food?

Yes, Blue Buffalo dog food is healthy, safe, and nutritious. It contains a healthy blend of natural ingredients that improve overall canine well-being.

Is Blue Buffalo All Natural?

Blue Buffalo only uses natural, high-quality ingredients like real meat. The recipes are free of by-products, soy, corn, and wheat, which might prove harmful to your pup.

Final Thoughts

Just like every brand comes with its own set of pros and cons, so do Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo. They are both good, well-known brands that have been offering quality products for years.

But when it comes to comparing them, Blue Buffalo takes the lead. Despite the significant recalls throughout its history, the brand has managed to stay afloat and cater to the changing needs of the canine world.

I think you can invest in it for your pup. It can help promote overall health and prevent issues from developing. However, you must consult your vet before introducing it in your dog’s daily diet!

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