Do you spend most of your time researching, comparing, and trying out new dog foods for your little pup? Well, trust me, we have all been there.
Finding the best dog food for your furry friend can be a tricky task, especially if they are picky eaters or have special dietary requirements. And with so many options available in the market, it can get pretty confusing.
So, while you are searching for the best dog food companies, two common names that may frequently come up are Science Diet and Blue Buffalo.
Now, if you are wondering which is the correct choice for your beloved pup, you are in the right place.
I have done extensive research on these two popular dog food brands. I will be sharing my insights with you to help you choose the best one.
So, let’s begin!
|Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
|High fiber content
|Free of artificial fillers and preservatives
|Number Of Formulas
|Around 160 different formulas and products
|200+ dog food formulas
|Adult dogs that have more energy
|Dogs with health issues
All You Need to Know About Blue Buffalo
- High-quality protein
- A Natural Dog Food
- Antioxidant-Rich Lifesource
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Although Blue Buffalo is a relatively young brand when compared to other popular names in the industry, I think it is surely making long strides in the sector. Blue Buffalo began its operations in the year 2003 and took inspiration for its name from an Airedale Terrier dog named “Blue,” a beloved pet of the owner of this brand, Bill Bishop.
In 2018, the company General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo and still owns it. If you’re wondering why Blue Buffalo stands out, there is one compelling reason for it. They focus more on manufacturing high-grade formulas for both felines and canines of all ages and sizes.
And that’s not all; their products are completely free of fillers and harmful by-products and use real, organic meat as the primary ingredient. Both nutritionists and veterinarians carefully select all the ingredients for the products and ensure the food is free of wheat, corn, and soy.
Get to Know About Science Diet
- Over 70% of dogs lost weight within 10 weeks
- Made with global, natural ingredients
- 1 Veterinarian Recommended
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Science Diet, manufactured by Hill’s, is a dog food endorsed by top veterinarians. For many years, this brand has been synonymous with top quality, but let’s understand its history briefly.
There used to be a well-known vet named Dr. Mark Morris. He noticed that pet diseases were often linked to bad pet food. So, he decided to create some super healthy pet food that was better than anything else out there.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Dr. Morris met a blind guy named Morris Frank and his trusty guide dog, Buddy. Buddy had kidney problems, and Dr. Morris knew that lots of pet foods back then had stuff like phosphorus and protein that could mess up the kidneys.
So, he made a special diet to help out Buddy’s kidneys, and that’s how Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d came to be. It was the first Hill’s pet food you could buy in stores. Thanks to this special food, Morris and Buddy had many more happy years together.
Dr. Morris’s son, Dr. Mark Morris Jr., also got involved and helped improve Hill’s Pet Nutrition over the years. In 1968, they started Hill’s Science Diet, and it was something you could get from vets and pet experts.
And guess what? They’ve kept on growing, and today, they have over 50 different pet foods for all kinds of pets and their unique needs.
Blue Buffalo vs. Science Diet: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison
Given that both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet are popular dog food brands, they have become a go-to choice for many dog parents. Their quality, wider ingredient range, and, of course, the use of natural ingredients make them market favorites.
All of these factors can certainly make it harder for you or anyone to choose one. So how do you make the decision? Well, here’s a 4-factor comparison I apply to find the best food for my dogs.
The primary deciding factor for you and your pet’s health must be the ingredients. Your pup will consume these ingredients directly, and it will affect the overall health as well as quality of life.
Although Blue Buffalo and Science Diet use a wide range of ingredients, I will discuss the primary ones that go into the making of their products.
- High-Quality Animal Protein
The first ingredient that Blue Buffalo lists on the products is animal meat. This real meat is a great source of amino acids that are essential for your pup as it can aid muscle development.
Blue Buffalo adds chicken, bacon, beef, and dried egg products to their protein-rich formulas. Besides that, the manufacturers also add chicken meals as well as whole deboned chicken, and both offer protein that is rich in amino sugar glucosamine, which will help support joint health.
- Fruits And Vegetables
To give your pup a balanced meal, the manufacturers also add fruits and vegetables. These offer essential antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, and natural vitamins and minerals, along with fiber.
These formulas promote health and overall well-being and are also a good source of carbs that are highly digestible.
You can find bananas, apples, broccoli, carrots, coconut, blueberries, cranberries, and tomato pomace. Although many people think tomato pomace is a low-quality filler ingredient, it also contains dietary fiber that aids digestion.
- Flax Seeds
Flaxseeds are a source of healthy fats and essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that will ensure your pup’s coat and skin are healthy and also reduce inflammation. These seeds can also offer your pet dog a healthy dose of plant protein.
- Animal Meat
Hill’s Science Diet also indicates meat as the first ingredient. They include chicken, pork, lamb, and even salmon in their dog food recipes.
Besides that, the manufacturers also add chicken meals to dog food, which is a meat concentrate that contains 300% more protein than regular fresh chicken. You can even find chicken fat in some recipes, an item obtained from the process of rendering chicken.
The next ingredient in this dog food is grains, including brewer rice, wheat, and corn. It’s a by-product of the cereal grain that consists of small fragments left from the milling of whole rice. Besides the caloric energy, brewer rice contains only little nutritional value.
Wheat and corn are also inexpensive yet controversial grains that don’t contribute to the nutrient profile of the recipes. Soybean meal is also a by-product of the manufacturing of soybean oil commonly found in animal feeds that contain 48% plant protein content.
The recipes of Science Diet also contain sorghum or milo, which is also a starchy grain that has a nutrient profile identical to that of corn. It is free of gluten and has a smoother blood sugar effect, making it a more acceptable non-meat ingredient.
Some recipes also contain peas, a quality source of carbohydrates and natural fiber. Since peas can contain 25% protein, you must consider it when determining the total protein content present in the dog food.
Both brands are all about giving your furry friends top-notch dog food made from organic and natural ingredients. When it comes to what’s inside the bag, they’re pretty much on the same level because their recipes have a lot of the same stuff.
But here’s my opinion: Blue Buffalo likes to go the extra mile by adding more ingredients to their pet food recipes, which makes it a winner.
The next criterion in my comparison guide is the recipes offered by the brand. It is essential for you to ensure that the dog food you pick comes in different recipes or flavors so you can offer a range of options to your pup without changing the brand too frequently.
Here’s all you need to know about the recipes offered by Science Diet and Blue Buffalo:
- Dry Recipes – 85
- Wet Recipes – 101
- Dog Treats – 51
- Dry Recipes – 87
- Wet Recipes – 99
- Dog Treats – 45
If you check the number of recipes offered by Blue Buffalo and Science Diet, you’ll realize that there’s not much difference. Both come with an identical range of options that you can choose from.
So, in the case of recipes, I think it’s a clear tie between the two brands.
You must’ve read that Science Diet and Blue Buffalo are both excellent dog foods. So how do you choose between them?
Well, let’s consider the nutrient profile of the two to help you make the right decision.
The recipes from Blue Buffalo contain a balance of nutrients that can help your pup stay healthy and happy. While the average protein level is 26.6%, fat content is 15.56%, and fiber stands at 5.56%.
When it comes to Science Diet, the average protein content is 24%, whereas fat level is 15%. The crude fiber content is 10.6%, making it a food enriched with all the essential nutrients.
Both brands are giving each other fierce competition in terms of nutrients. While Blue Buffalo takes an edge in terms of protein and fat, Science Diet surely contains more fiber content.
In my opinion, Blue Buffalo has a good balance of nutrients, and you can get it for your pup to ensure overall well-being.
When you’re a pet parent, you naturally want only the very best for your furry friend. Even when you’ve done your homework and picked a trusted brand, there’s still a chance of ending up with low-quality products.
That’s why it’s crucial to consider the brand’s track record when it comes to recalls. Here are some instances of product recalls.
- 2007 – Melamine traces
- 2010 – Sequencing error
- 2016 – Possibility of mold
- 2017 – Aluminum contamination
- 2017 – Increased levels of the beef thyroid hormone
- 2014 – Potential salmonella contamination
- 2019 – High vitamin D level
- 2019 – More issues related to vitamin D
Given the fewer recalls, Science Diet is a clear winner here. It indicates that the brand is not only producing high-quality dog foods but also ensures they follow all the safety measures to give the best to your dog.
Highlights of the Two Dog Food Brands
Before I tell you who I think is the winner between the two brands, which I’m sure you must have guessed by now, let’s take a quick look at the key aspects of the two brands:
- Vets and nutritionists select ingredients
- Manufacturing takes place in the US
- A well-established as well as recognized brand
- Offers 7 different lines of products
- Comes with a rich and long history
- Offers a range of recipes
- Specific diets to suit different health conditions
The Winner: Blue Buffalo
In the showdown between these two big brands, Blue Buffalo emerges as the clear winner. Still wondering why? It’s because they’re totally committed to making top-notch pet food.
With zero poultry leftovers, artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors, the manufacturers also steer clear of wheat, soy, and corn to keep those allergies at bay. They’re definitely the winners here!
- Free of fillers and other by-products
- Optimum balance of vitamins and even antioxidants
- Created by collaborating with vets and nutritionists
- Frequent product recalls
- Low fiber content
What Led to Science Diet Losing?
Coming from a renowned name like Hill’s, Science Diet is a good dog food brand. So why did it lose?
Well, it’s because of the extremely low caloric value, standing at only 291 calories/cup, while it is 326 calories for Blue Buffalo. This calorie level might be quite low for some dogs, and you will have to feed them larger portions to keep their appetite under control and prevent hunger.
Moreover, the dog foods from Science Diet are also a little expensive when compared to Blue Buffalo, though they are still affordable for a majority of pet parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Blue Buffalo Actually Good For Dogs?
Yes, Blue Buffalo is among the best dry foods available for your pup and can help maintain their overall health.
Is Science Diet Suitable For All Dogs?
Science Diet offers a very wide range of formulas that are specifically curated to fit the needs of all dogs.
Is Hill’s And Science Diet The Same?
Science Diet is a brand specializing in pet food, but it is marketed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc.
Every dog parent would swear that the most challenging part of having a lovely pet is finding the right dog food. With changing trends and numerous brands coming up in the market, it becomes even trickier to choose one.
If you’re confused between Blue Buffalo and Science Diet, I hope this detailed guide helped you understand which one will suit your pup more. In case you still have concerns, you must consult your vet before introducing either to your beloved pet dog!
Ankita 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.