You are not alone if you have been making frequent veterinary trips because your puppy couldn’t digest the food. Almost every dog owner has faced the issue since canines tend to have delicate stomachs and are resistant to most instant foods.
With numerous brands and dog foods available in the market, it can become challenging to find one that fulfills your dog’s dietary needs and also suits them. Blue Buffalo and Wellness are the two most common brands trusted by pet parents.
Both brands are becoming popular owing to their high-quality ingredients, making it even more difficult to pick one.
I can help you here since I did a lot of research to find the most suitable food for my pet dog. Here is a detailed guide about ingredients, recipes, nutrition, and recalls to help you make the right choice for your furry friend.
|Owned By||General Mills||Clearlake Capital|
|Special Feature||Uses deboned chicken and brown rice for more fiber content||Uses deboned chicken and oatmeal for high protein and fat|
|Number Of Formulas||Around 160 different formulas and product||Around 13 dry and 17+ wet food recipes|
|Intended For||Adult dogs that have more energy||Complete meals for dogs of all ages and breeds|
All About The Brand Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo, a relatively younger pet food brand, began operating in 2003. They took inspiration for the name from an Airedale Terrier named “Blue,” owned by the brand’s owner, Bill Bishop.
General Mills acquired the brand in 2018 and continues to own it still. Blue Buffalo brand focuses more on creating formulas for cats and dogs of all ages.
They aim to keep their products free of fillers and by-products and use real meat as their primary ingredient. Veterinarians and nutritionists select the ingredients for their products while ensuring they don’t contain corn, soy, or wheat.
Sneak Peek Into Wellness
Wellness is a slightly older pet food brand founded in 1997. It has been popular since then for making natural dry and wet food for dogs and cats and various treats.
The values of the company Wellness focus on commitment to promoting pet health and wellness by producing food that brings them enjoyment and joy during mealtimes.
There is also a foundation of the brand called the Wellness Foundation. It partners with organizations like the MSPCA and the HABRI or Human Animal Bond Research Institute to promote animal welfare, pet adoption, and ethical breeding.
Blue Buffalo Vs. Wellness: Detailed 4-Factor Comparison
When it comes to quality dog food, Wellness, and Blue Buffalo are the go-to options for pet owners. They consist of natural and high-grade ingredients that can benefit your dog.
But how can you choose the best one from the two brands? Here is a detailed comparison of them based on 4 different parameters: ingredients, recipes, nutrition, and recall history.
Let’s dive into the comparison to help you make the decision!
For any pet parents, the main concern when choosing dog food is the ingredients that go into it. They consume it directly, impacting their overall health and quality of life.
I will discuss the primary ingredients that both brands add to their dog food so that you can understand the difference.
Blue Buffalo aims to offer the essential nutrients puppies need through the critical developmental stages. The main ingredients in Blue Buffalo dog foods are:
High-Quality Protein: Blue Buffalo lists the most abundant ingredients as the first. All dog food ingredients start with real meat, a good source of essential amino acids for muscle development.
They add beef, bacon, chicken, and even dried egg product to make the formulas rich in protein. The two many ingredients they use are chicken meal and whole deboned chicken, which are excellent sources of protein naturally rich in glucosamine, which supports joint health.
Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables offer dogs essential phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, natural vitamins, minerals, and fibers. It promotes health and wellness and is a source of highly digestible carbohydrates.
Blue Buffalo contains apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, coconut, cranberries, and tomato pomace. Even though people consider tomato pomace a low-quality filler, it is, in fact, full of dietary fiber and helps with digestion.
Flax Seeds: Healthy fats are present in Blue Buffalo puppy food as flaxseed. They have an abundance of omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids that encourage a healthy coat and skin and help reduce inflammation.
Moreover, flaxseed also adds protein to dog foods, ensuring their recipes don’t get protein only from meat.
Grains: Blue Buffalo diets contain 3 main grains: oatmeal, brown rice, and ground barley. All three are carbohydrate sources and full of dietary fiber, supporting digestion.
In this section, we will mention some of the ingredients that Wellness uses to address the needs of a growing puppy. Here are a few of the primary ingredients that they use. Read on to know more.
Meat: The main protein in Wellness dog food is whole deboned chicken, reinforced by chicken meal. It becomes a rich protein source and offers a high level of glucosamine. This supplement promotes joint health and benefits developing puppies more.
They also include chicken fat, a great source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and DHA. While DHA aids the development of eyes and brains, fatty acids improve skin and coat quality.
The manufacturers also add salmon oil to enrich the food with essential acids.
Grains: Wellness recipes include brown rice or rice flour, oats, and barley. Similar to Blue Buffalo, these grains offer good carbohydrates and dietary fiber to encourage healthy digestion.
Fruits: Dog food formulas from Wellness also contain fruits like apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, and pears. All these fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals to dogs, thus promoting overall health.
Both brands focus on delivering high-quality dog food and use natural ingredients. Their ingredients are at par since their formulas consist of similar constituents.
However, Blue Buffalo tends to stand out as they include more ingredients in their pet food formulas.
After ingredients, the second crucial factor is a recipe or a brand that offers a wide range of recipes. It becomes even more important if you have a dog with a sensitive gut and want to avoid switching brands repeatedly to offer variety.
Here’s all you should know about the recipes offered by Wellness and Blue Buffalo:
- Contains real meat
- It has antioxidants that can boost a dog’s health
- Suits adult dogs with higher energy levels
- Uses healthy, complex carbs like brown rice
- Free of soy, wheat, corn, meat by-products, and artificial flavors
- Comes in bags ranging from 3 to 30-pound
- Offers a balanced diet to canines
- Low-calorie content recipes keep weight in check
- Consists of natural ingredients with no additives
- High levels of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Supports the dog’s immune system
- Free of corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, and preservatives
Blue Buffalo stands out in recipes as it offers more variety and options than Wellness. They offer rich recipes with natural ingredients that can add variety to your furry companion’s diet.
Wellness has a limited set of options and a low-calorie count than average, which might not be ideal for growing dogs.
Given that both Wellness and Blue Buffalo are excellent quality dog foods, you can’t go wrong choosing either. Both are premium, well-balanced diets that can support a small puppy through each development stage and grow into a healthy dog.
Crude Protein: Protein is extremely important for dogs, as they can develop severe health problems without sufficient protein.
Blue Buffalo contains 29% crude protein in dry recipes and 34% in Wellness, which is considerably more. Both brands offer almost the same amount of crude protein at 40% for wet dog foods.
Crude Fat: Dietary fats also facilitate your puppy’s proper development and function while reducing inflammation, improving their skin and coat health, and boosting dog foods palatially.
Both brands contain similar amounts of crude fat for dry foods at 15%, but Wellness has 24% crude fat, and Blue Buffalo has around 26% for wet foods.
Crude Fiber: Dietary fiber is a stool ‘stabilizer’ or the solution to the most common toilet problems your puppy may suffer. Fiber can also assist an overweight dog that needs to lose weight by helping reduce the calorie content and helping the pup feel fuller for longer.
Wellness offers 5.6% crude fiber in dry formulas, while Blue Buffalo guarantees 6.8%. In the case of wet dog foods, Blue Buffalo provides 7.4%, but it is only 4.9% for Wellness.
The brands give each other tough competition when it comes to nutritional value. While Wellness has more protein and fat, Blue Buffalo contains more fiber.
Wellness has an edge when it comes to essential nutrients present in its products.
As a pet parent, you want only the best for your puppy. Even if you research the brands before buying, there can be a chance of getting bad-quality products, so it is essential to consider the brand’s recall history.
Wellness and Blue Buffalo both have had product recalls over the years. The instances of product recalls are:
There are a total of 9 recalls for Blue Buffalo for:
- On November 25, 2015, for Salmonella
- On November 6, 2015, due to the presence of Propylene Glycol
- On May 31, 2016, for mold
- On March 18, 2017, because of increased beef thyroid hormone
- On February 14, 2017, due to the presence of aluminum
- On March 3, 2017, for a foil seal packaging issue
- On October 8, 2010, due to toxic vitamin D levels
- On April 19, 2007, because of melamine
- On April 26, 2007, for melamine
The 5 recalls of Wellness are:
- On March 18, 2017, due to high beef thyroid hormone
- On February 10, 2017, due to the presence of foreign material
- On October 30, 2012, for high moisture
- On May 4, 2012, due to salmonella
- On Feb. 28, 2011, because of low Thiamine (Vitamin B1) levels
Wellness is a clear winner in this arena as it has less number of product recalls. It highlights their high product quality and their determination to offer only the best to dogs.
Highlights Of The Two Brands
Before I announce the obvious winner, let’s quickly recap the two brands and their primary aspects.
- Ingredients selected by vets and nutritionists
- Products manufactured in the US
- Established and recognized brand
- 7 different product lines
- Contains only natural ingredients
- Free of fillers and by-products
- Made in the US
- Wide variety of products to choose from
The Winner: Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is a winner in the rigorous battle between the two famous brands because the manufacturers have committed itself to produce high-grade foods without using poultry by-products and artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. It also avoids wheat, soy, and corn to prevent allergies.
- Variety of natural ingredients
- Take care of the needs of all breeds and ages
- An abundance of different recipes
- Contains more fiber
- Less protein and fat content
- High prices
Why Did Wellness Lose?
Although Wellness is a popular and credible brand, it lacks the variety that other substitutes can offer. They not only use a limited number of ingredients but also offer less variety of canine products.
It also has a lower-than-average calorie count, which might hamper your dog’s overall health and quality of life if they don’t get the required nutrition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do The Brands Offer Grain-Free Dog Foods?
Yes, the two brands have a range of products, with both grain-free and grain-inclusive options. You can pick one depending on the need and dietary requirements of your canine friend.
Does Blue Buffalo And Wellness Add Meat By-Products?
While both brands ensure they don’t add meat by-products in their recipes, there have been instances when Blue Buffalo has used misleading packaging claiming to be free of meat by-products. Yet, they were still present in their products.
Is Wellness pet food made in the USA?
The brand claims that they produce all their dry recipes at their facility in Indiana, USA.
Wellness and Blue Buffalo are popular and well-established brands in the dog food arena. While dog parents find them reliable, their furry companions enjoy the delicious taste and benefit from the high nutritional value.
While both brands give each other tough competition, Blue Buffalo stands out. When we talk of ingredients, recipes, and nutrient levels, Blue Buffalo has the edge over Wellness!
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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.