Two premium, well known names in dog food are Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo: both are excellent choices by themselves. The nutritional quality of these two brands far exceed most cheaply made foods offered by brands like Iams, Purina or Alpo.
Taste of the Wild is a fairly new brand established in 2007 and focuses on the market’s demand for natural, grain-free dog food. Their dog formulas are meant to mimic what your dog would eat in the wild such as lean meats like bison, venison, salmon or beef without hormones or antibiotics .
Blue Buffalo was established in 2012 and based out of Connecticut. They also focus on natural ingredients including real meat, fruits and vegetables. They offer a wide range of products from dry foods, wet foods, meat rolls, and treats.
But which is better?
There are several factors, but protein content/type is probably the main thing you want in a high quality dog diet. This is based on dogs being biologically carnivores. This means their bodies need the specific amino acids found in meat (animal/fish) protein, which is difficult to find in plants. Many pet food manufacturers don’t offer enough quality protein in their foods because it costs much more for them to raise, slaughter and process stock animals for meat versus simply growing cheap plant based food.
While each brand offers several products, we’ll compare two popular products from each brand and look at the top 10 ingredients listed.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Salmon: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, tapioca starch, pea starch, dried tomato pomace, dried egg product, natural flavor, flaxseed
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Southwest Canyon Premium Dry Dog Food: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil, egg product, wild boar, ocean fish meal, pea flour, brewers yeast
- Notice the first ingredient in both foods is ‘animal’ based: deboned salmon in Blue Buffalo and beef in Taste of the Wild. This is very important, setting them apart from many low quality plant based dog foods that are made from mostly fillers, like corn and wheat. Tie between both; both foods are animal based.
- ‘Meals’ are dehydrated forms of the original food source, which are much higher in protein content. While the fourth ingredient in Taste of the Wild is lamb meal, the second ingredient in Blue Buffalo is chicken meal. This means the Blue Buffalo product is likely higher in ‘the right kind’ of animal protein. Blue Buffalo wins here.
- Blue Buffalo has a higher protein content with 34% protein versus 29% for Taste of the Wild.
- Both egg and fish products (like the salmon in Blue Buffalo) offer important fatty acids. If you look at the lists above, both foods offer egg product. This comes later on the list with Blue Buffalo, meaning less is used, but Blue Buffalo also has Salmon as the very first ingredient, which also has fatty acids. Tie between both.
How do these brands compare for price?
When it comes to most of us dog owners out there, though, we want to know if they’ll ‘break the bank’! Here are links to the two products at Amazon (I get a small commission if you buy):
As you can see, the Blue Buffalo example product is more expensive than the Taste of the Wild product with less pounds of dog food. Keep in mind, Blue Buffalo is a slightly better known and more popular brand, and maybe a little bit better nutritionally, but maybe not enough to warrant a higher the price with less product. Taste of the Wild wins here.
Conclusion: It’s a Tie!
Though there are many aspects, we compared three areas: protein content, essential fatty acids offered, and product price. Blue Buffalo just barely won in protein content, and lost in the price comparison. Which is your favorite?