As customers, we tend to gravitate towards the first can or bag of food we see at the store, or go straight to the cheapest brand, just to save a couple of cents. Just remember, cheap dog food brands are made with cheap ingredients, and are probably not the healthiest for your pet.
Your dog deserves only the highest quality source of food. Imagine if you were forced to eat unhealthy food every day? What would that do to your quality of life? Your dog feels the same, I am sure.
Our advice is to take a little time, do some homework, and find a premium brand you can trust, that uses high-quality ingredients, with proper nutrients. Choose a brand that has a reputation for great quality and one that will contribute to a long and healthy life for your dog.
I used to stand in the aisle at the store, looking at each brand’s packaging and label, trying to decipher which premium meal brands did offer high quality dog food. The two companies that are constantly pinned against each other and debated over are Blue Buffalo and Wellness.
After much research, I am here to share my findings of which premium meal brand is the better on the market, Blue Buffalo vs.Wellness Dog Food.
Wellness vs. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Wellness Dog Food has a history dating back to the early 1920’s, but they became well-known for producing premium meals for both cats and dogs around 1997. The company’s mission is to “Make every mealtime count,” by taking a holistic, yet simple approach to your pet canine’s diet.
Wellness uses natural ingredients with real benefits that come from plants, animals, and minerals, while they exclude artificial preservatives and colors.
To go with the Wellness Pet Food’s simplistic approach, they have four distinct product lines: Complete Health, Core, Simple, and Trufood. All the products mentioned above include both dry and wet foods, treats, mixers, and toppers. The ingredients in each product vary depending on your dog’s preferences, age, breed, and diet.
For example, recipes include single-protein or a combination of proteins, such as turkey, duck, lamb, chicken, and beef. Also, Wellness dog food recipes use a mixture of grains, vegetables, and fruit, or grain-free recipes.
Blue Buffalo Overview
The premium brand was founded in 2012 by Bill and Jackie Bishop. Their goal was to guarantee that pets received proper nutrition with all their products on the market.
As their website states, “Blue Buffalo offers your pet the wholesome nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle for any breed at any age.” To ensure high quality products the company uses nothing but natural, healthy, and holistic ingredients.
The company offers various types of meals, such as treats, wet and dry food. This company also understands that different breeds have different diets, at different stages of life.
So, they use various proteins, like chicken, fish, and lamb. Also, products include other healthy ingredients like whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Their product line also includes grain-free food. In addition, they’ve created a plethora of recipes to satisfy the needs of dogs, ranging from puppies to seniors.
For example, look for the products that include LifeSource Bits, which is filled with antioxidants to ensure good health.
Lastly, with the approval of a veterinarian, you can buy from the company’s BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet products, which were developed specifically for dogs’ with certain health conditions.
Both offer dry, wet food, and treats. Both are committed to producing high quality, premium meals, which includes all-natural ingredients, with no artificial flavoring, colors, and preservatives.
Both utilize different sources of nutrients and minerals, which is evident in their choices of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
One similarity to be noted is that although both manufacture their products inside the United States, they do use imported ingredients from various countries. Furthermore, the country of origin for these imported ingredients is not available to the public for either company, which can make it difficult to judge the quality of the ingredients.
Lastly, it is necessary to mention that some of the Wellness canned foods are packed and distributed by their partner, Diamond Pet Foods. We usually prefer brands that handle their own manufacturing and distribution rather outsource them, so there is greater quality control.
Differences in Blue Buffalo and Wellness
Proper nutrition is critical for your dog’s health. Although these two brands, share a commitment to offering all-natural premium dog foods, there is a slight difference in the quality and amount of nutrition their products offer.
View the following comparisons in the following macronutrient categories.
Protein is vital to their development, energy, maintenance, and even repair. Proteins are the foundation for cells, tissues, organs, hormones, and antibodies. Both use various sources of protein, which contain amino acids (link), like chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, and fish.
However, there is a slight difference in the amounts of protein each brand offers, per product. On average, Wellness dry and wet foods (+2-3%) contain a slightly higher percentage of protein, over Blue Buffalo.
Fats are essential because they are excellent sources of energy, providing twice the amounts of energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats produce fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation and provide a healthy coat.
Blue Buffalo prides itself on using high-quality sources of fat, such as wholesome vegetable oils and fish oils. However, when it comes to average fat content between the two brands, for both dry and wet foods, once again, Wellness (+1%) has a slightly higher percentage over Blue Buffalo Dog Food.
Fiber is not crucial to a canine’s diet, but feeding your them with nutrition that is rich in fiber provide numerous health benefits. Meals that are high in fiber are like medicine for your pet and can improve colon health, weight management, and prevent diabetes.
In this category, Blue Buffalo dog food (+1-2%) scores a little higher than Wellness.
Both have had their fair share of controversy in the past, but have worked hard to recover. Nowadays, it is very rare to find food companies that have not had problems with product quality.
Wellness Dog Food has been recalled five times, from 2011 to as recent as March 2017. They have been recalled for various issues, like elevated beef hormone, salmonella, and the discovery of foreign materials in their products.
On the other hand, Blue Buffalo dog food products have been recalled a total of nine times, dating back to 2007, to as recent as March 2017. Reasons for recall were for Salmonella, mold, the presence of aluminum, as well as elevated levels of vitamin D and beef hormone.
Which One Should I Get?
Both of these companies have built respectable reputations within the industry, providing healthy, premium meals, with natural ingredients. Some consumers believe the two brands share more similarities than differences, and both will help promote a healthy lifestyle for your pet.
However, if we were to nitpick between the two brands, there is a slight difference in nutrient and mineral content, prices, history, and transparency.
After analyzing the two brands and listening to all the consumers, we strongly recommend trying products from the Wellness Brand. Products from the Wellness brand slightly edge-out Blue Buffalo products based on the density of protein, fat, and fiber content.
Although Wellness Pet Food products may have a higher price-tag, consumers view this price difference as the price one pays for higher-quality dog food.
In addition, consumers tend to gravitate towards Wellness products due to Blue Buffalo’s checkered past as far as product recalls, and lack of transparency. For example, customers speculate that Blue Buffalo may be using ingredients from China.
Overall, we cannot tell you what brand to give your pet, but we suggest trying both out and see which one you and your canine prefer.