Blue Buffalo Vs. Purina Pro Plan: A Detailed Comparison

You must have heard people say that dogs and their owners have a lot in common. Some people even go on to compare the appearance of people and their adorable pets, which I think is a little far-fetched.

However, I do believe that the one thing we have in common with our beloved dogs is our mutual love for food!

Is your pup a foodie, just like you? Are you looking for the best dog food brand that offers delicious and nutritious food? Well, then, you’re just at the right place at the right time.

Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo are among the two most famous dog food brands on the market today. I have done detailed research and analysis of these two brands to pick out the best one for my pup, and I’m sure it can help you too.

Dive right in to learn about the history of the brands and a detailed analysis on the basis of four factors – recipes, ingredients, nutrients, and recalls.

So, let’s begin without further ado.

FactorsBlue BuffaloPurina Pro Plan
Owned ByGeneral MillsNestle, Purina
Launched In20031894
Special FeatureUses a range of animals as a protein sourceQuality meat makes it rich in protein
Number Of Formulas160+ formulas and productsOver 140 recipes 
Intended ForAdult dogs with greater energy needsAthletic dogs with a high energy requirement

Get to Know The Champion Brand – Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan

4.6 Overall Editor Rating

Purina Pro Plan

  • 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat
  • Fine-tuned nutrition
  • High-quality dry dog food
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While many brands come and go, Purina is the one brand that has been going strong since its inception in 1894. Originally called Purina Mills, it was founded by William H. Danforth as an animal feed company.

Wondering how it became a dog food brand? Well, that’s the result of decades of mergers, acquisitions, and name changes. Today we all know Purina as the biggest pet food company that has a dedicated research center working day and night to bring only the best food for your furry friend.

All You Need To Know About Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo

4.7 Overall Editor Rating

Blue Buffalo

  • Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids
  • Contain essential proteins and carbohydrates
  • Helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles
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Let’s talk about the incredible journey of Blue Buffalo! Back in 2003, Bill Bishop had a brilliant idea fueled by his love for their family pet, Blue. As Blue grew older and faced health challenges, the Bishop family realized the importance of high-quality food.

To improve dogs’ well-being, he created natural and nutritious dog food, which he called Blue Buffalo. Headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, Blue Buffalo offers a diverse range of pet products for our furry friends and even our feline companions! Yes, you heard that right! Blue Buffalo makes quality products for both dogs and cats.

In 2018, the well-known brand General Mills, the makers of Cheerios, couldn’t resist and acquired Blue Buffalo in an impressive $8 billion deal. Today, Blue Buffalo continues to honor the legacy of their beloved canine companion, Blue, by providing pets all around the world with the finest food they deserve.

Blue Buffalo Vs Purina Pro Plan: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Blue Buffalo Vs Purina Pro Plan: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

We, humans, believe that we are what we eat. Do you think the same holds true for your cute furballs too?

I do, and that’s why I believe in the importance of choosing only the best food for my pet dog to keep him healthy and energetic. And to help you in the quest to find the best dog food, I’m going to compare these two popular brands based on 4 crucial factors.

1. Ingredients

The ingredients that go into the dog food also constitute your dog’s health. Although both Purina and Blue Buffalo use a wide range of ingredients, let’s take a look at the primary ingredients to help you decide which one is better for your pup.

Blue Buffalo

Let’s start with Blue Buffalo:

  • Real Meat

Blue Buffalo’s range of dog food promises to give proper nutrition to our furry friends. And they fulfill it by using real meat as the primary ingredient.

They only use high-quality chicken or other poultry by-products and meats to give maximum protein to your dogs and help them grow and become healthy.

  • Brown Rice

The next commonly used ingredient in Blue Buffalo recipes is brown rice. It is a complex carbohydrate that is easy to digest by your pup once cooked properly.

It can offer natural energy content to dogs, but besides that, rice doesn’t offer a lot of nutritional value.

  • Barley

You might even find barley in some Blue Buffalo recipes, which is a starchy carbohydrate that will supply much-needed nutrients and fiber to dogs. It is yet another ingredient that doesn’t provide any other nutrients but only energy.

  • Oatmeal

If you’re even a little health conscious, you know the benefits of oatmeal. Can your pet dog benefit from it too? Yes, because oatmeal is a whole-grain ingredient that is rich in vitamin B and even dietary fiber and can be gluten-free.

  • Pea Starch

Some Blue Buffalo products also include a healthy amount of vegetables like peas. Pea starch is a carbohydrate extract that is like a paste and free of gluten, used by manufacturers in the kibble as a binder. 

Purina Pro Plan

Now let’s talk about Purina Pro Plan:

  • Animal Meat

What makes Purina stand out from the variety of brands available is that it uses selected premium animal meat as a protein source. You can find chicken, lamb, beef, pork, and fish like salmon and tuna in popular Purina recipes.

These high-grade animal meats provide a good amount of nutrients like protein and amino acids.

  • Vegetables

Did you think Purina is all about meat? Well, no. It is a well-balanced meal as it also contains a good mix of vegetables, like beet pulp, sweet potatoes, eggplants, and even carrots.

Your pup not only gets fiber but also essential vitamins and minerals from these veggies. And that’s not all; the recipes can also include legumes, like beans and peas, which provide ample vegetable protein to dog food.

  • Cereals

Purina also adds cereals to some of the dog foods. You can find barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheat listed in the ingredients.

The recipes containing cereals can help provide carbohydrates, which is a raw energy source, and also dietary fiber to improve digestion.

Who Won?

In the battle of ingredients between Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan, I think the former emerges as the winner. It has an impressive lineup, with formulas that contain more exotic protein sources such as bison, shrimp, and even duck.

Purina uses a good variety of ingredients, although it mainly focuses on traditional options like chicken or lamb.

2. Recipes

I’m sure you must be worried about how many recipes each brand offers. Well, you can rejoice as both brands offer a wide range that caters to the needs of dogs of every age and size.

Since they offer a lot of formulas, both brands categorize them into distinct lines to help make the selection easier for you.

Blue Buffalo

  • Dry Dog Food – 87
  • Wet Dog Food – 99
  • Dog Treats – 46
  • Topping – 4
  • Puppy Dog Food – 17
  • Adult Dog Food – 203
  • Senior Dog Food – 13

Purina Pro Plan

  • Dry Dog Food – 48
  • Wet Dog Food – 45
  • Dog Treats – 0
  • Supplements – 2
  • Topping – 1
  • Puppy Dog Food – 15
  • Adult Dog Food – 72
  • Senior Dog Food – 7

Who Won?

You can guess by the numbers who the winner is; yes, it’s Blue Buffalo. It has almost twice the number of recipes offered by Purina, which gives it a lead here.

3. Nutrition

I’m sure you agree that there are too many options from Blue Buffalo and Purina, which makes it challenging to compare the nutrients. But to give you a clear picture, I will try to compare the products and the nutrients present in them.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo contains a good amount of nutrients that can benefit your furry friend. While protein is at 26.6%, fat is at 15.56%, and fiber is at 5.56%.

Purina Pro Plan

When it comes to nutrients, Purina Pro Plan also contains an abundance of essential nutrients that can benefit canines. Its nutritional profile stands at 29.55% of protein, 18.18% fat, and 3.41% of fiber.

Who Won?

In terms of nutrients, both Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo are fiercely competitive, and the numbers are close. Still, Purina takes the lead here since it has more protein and fat content, even though Blue Buffalo has higher fiber.

4. Recalls

Are you wondering if these brands are safe for your pooch? Don’t worry! We have a failsafe approach to know that for sure.

A brand’s product recall history can help you ascertain its safety. It allows pet parents to know how the manufacturers deal with safety concerns.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has had a few recalls in the past, and they are:

  • 2007 – Traces of melamine
  • 2010 – Sequencing error
  • 2016 – Possibility of mold
  • 2017 – Possible aluminum contamination
  • 2017 – High levels of the beef thyroid hormone

Purina Pro Plan

In its history spanning many decades, Purina dog foods have been recalled only twice:

  • 2013 – Possible salmonella contamination
  • 2016 – Incorrect nutrient level on the label

Who Won?

Is Purina Pro Plan able to compete with Blue Buffalo when it comes to quality? Well, not only that, it far exceeds Blue Buffalo if I look at the recall history.

For me, Purina Pro Plan is the clear winner here!

Highlights of The Two Dog Food Brands

I know you’re eager to know which brand is better for your dog, let’s do a quick recap of the two.

Blue Buffalo

  1. Free of preservatives and artificial flavors
  2. Offers a wide range of recipes
  3. Suitable for picky and fussy dogs

Purina Pro Plan

  1. Offers premium and high-quality dog foods
  2. A range of recipes and flavors
  3. Uses premium and selected ingredients

The Winner: Purina Pro Plan

A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Purina Pro Plan

In the battle of Blue Buffalo vs. Purina Pro Plan, it has been a neck-to-neck competition, making it difficult to pick a clear winner. But since I have to choose one, Purina Pro Plan deserves to win.

What makes it better than Blue Buffalo is the brand’s commitment to providing safe and healthy dog foods. Even though it uses fewer ingredients and offers less flashy recipes, Purina food contains more protein and fat, which are essential to keep your dog healthy!


  • Caters to the needs of all life stages
  • Has a range of specialized dog food formulas
  • Clean recall history
  • Offers a balance of essential nutrients


  • Some recipes can contain poultry by-products
  • Vague ingredient lists

What Led to Blue Buffalo Losing?

Blue Buffalo is a relatively newer brand when compared to Purina, but it has managed to secure a good place in the market. It offers a broader range of recipes made from a good mix of healthy ingredients; however, it fails to offer high nutritional value like Purina Pro Plan.

My decision swayed in favor of Purina majorly because of the recall history, which raised safety concerns. Moreover, there have been accusations of Blue Buffalo of false advertising, further harming its reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Purina High Quality?

Yes, Purina is an old brand that only uses quality and natural ingredients in dog food. It has had only two recalls, which further proves its quality.

What Makes Blue Buffalo A Good Brand?

Blue Buffalo uses real animal meat as a protein source and includes a good variety of ingredients, which makes it stand out.

Why Don’t Vets Recommend Blue Buffalo?

Owing to the recent product recalls and concerns over Blue Buffalo dog food causing health issues in dogs, a lot of vets don’t recommend it.

Final Thoughts

I firmly believe that there’s a good and bad side to everything, and dog food brands are no exception to this philosophy. While Blue Buffalo takes the lead in recipes and ingredients, the go-to brand Purina Pro Plan gives it competition in terms of nutrients and safety.

I think in the end, only you know what will suit your little furry companion. But if you ask me for my opinion, I’d say that if your dog is not very picky or doesn’t need a lot of variety in food, go for Purina Pro Plan!

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