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Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: A Head-to-Head Comparison and Staff Experiences!

Brand Reviews By Kelsey Snyder 38 min read September 16, 2021

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food

With so many high-quality kibbles available on the dog food market today, narrowing it down to just one for your best buddy can be tricky. Nutro and Blue Buffalo are two popular choices offering a wide array of formulas and recipes, and many owners find themselves struggling to choose between the two brands. 

We’ll try to help you make the best decision for your pooch below, as we compare Nutro and Blue Buffalo. We’ll dive into their histories and recalls, examine the recipes they offer, and compare and contrast a few select recipes.

Hopefully, this will help you decide which brand is best for your dog.

Let’s jump right in!

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: Key Takeaways

  • Both Nutro and Blue Buffalo offer high-quality dog food options. Pup parents sing praises for both brands as they feature nutritious, high-value ingredients and shun things like by-products and other ingredients owners often like to avoid. 
  • While they’re both good dog food brands, there are a few key differences between the two. When stacked side-by-side, Blue Buffalo offers more variety in formulas and recipes than Nutro, but they also come with a more extensive recall history than Nutro.
  • Both of these dog food brands cost more than run-of-the-mill department store kibble. Quality ingredients come at a cost, so you’ll pay more for these foods than budget-priced alternatives. Note that Blue Buffalo is generally more expensive than Nutro, depending on the formula selected.
K9 of Mine Staff Experiences

Be sure to check out our staff’s experiences with Nutro and Blue Buffalo toward the end of the article.

(Spoiler alert: We’re pretty big fans of both brands.)

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: Brand Basics & History

brand comparison blue buffalo vs nutro

Nutro and Blue Buffalo are both trusted dog food brands with legions of fans, furry and human alike. While both brands pride themselves on offering dog foods that are much healthier than standard big-box kibble, they have key differences, starting with their roots. 

Let’s dig in and see how different they are.

Nutro: The Natural Choice

Nutro Dog Food Brand

Nutro got its start way back in 1926(!) with a trio of fox-raising brothers who first made fox food before trying their hands at dog food. 

The company has exchanged ownership a few times over the years before being most recently acquired by Mars, Incorporated in 2007. The company’s goal has always been to use the finest natural ingredients in its product offerings, striving for quality and food safety. 

Nutro touts a “Feed Clean” label for its recipes, focusing on non-GMO ingredients.

Blue Buffalo: Healthy & Holistic 

Blue Buffalo Logo

Blue Buffalo began in 2003 and got its name from the creator’s beloved Airedale terrier, Blue. 

Like Nutro, Blue Buffalo has since changed ownership and is now under the General Mills label. From the start, Blue Buffalo’s mission has been to bring high-quality food to your dog’s bowl using natural, high-quality ingredients. 

Blue Buffalo vs Nutro: Corporate History Takeaways

Both brands are now under large corporate umbrellas despite having humble roots, though Blue Buffalo saw a more meteoric rise to prominence on the dog food scene compared to Nutro. Some owners favor Nutro’s nearly century-long history, while others prefer Blue Buffalo’s modern edge.

That said, both companies share a mutual desire to offer high-quality, natural ingredients to our four-footers, which is a win for everyone.

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Nutro Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Brand

Having discussed the history of each brand, we can now turn our attention to the nuts and bolts of their products. When you compare the two side-by-side, some clear differences and similarities are noticeable: 

NutroBlue Buffalo
Made in the USA?YesYes
Where are Ingredients Sourced From?Globally sourcedGlobally sourced
Who develops food formulas and recipes?Per Nutro: “teams of Associates with expertise in many different fields including nutrition, food science, animal science and veterinary sciencesOn-staff veterinarians and PhD-level animal nutritionists
Limited Ingredient Options?YesYes
Grain-Free & Grain-Inclusive Options?YesYes
Chicken-free Options?YesYes
Exotic proteins available?Some available in LID variety, including venison meal and duckSome available in the Wilderness line, including rabbit, bison, and trout  
Veterinary Diets?NoYes
Pricing?$$-$$$$$$$-$$$$$

To get at their core differences, you need to dig a little deeper, however. And we’ll do exactly that in the following two sections, as we take a deep dive into the formulas and recipes available from Nutro and Blue Buffalo.

Nutro Formulas & Recipes

Nutro’s dog food line includes two main tiers, with their signature line being Nutro Natural Choice, while Nutro Ultra is their top-shelf offering. 

They also offer a limited ingredient diet line, and all three options are available in wet and dry versions, giving pet parents six primary product lines to choose from in total (and then each product line has multiple formulas and individual recipes). 

We’ll look at each in detail below. 

Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice is Nutro’s primary line of grain-inclusive dry dog foods, featuring various formulas including large breed puppy, small breed adult, healthy weight, and more. 

Nutro-Natural-Choice

Sticking to Nutro’s core philosophy, each recipe contains only real, high-quality proteins and non-GMO ingredients, and they’re made without any corn, soy, wheat, or chicken by-product meals. 

Proteins used in the brand’s recipes include the most common ones on the dog food circuit like chicken, lamb, and beef, but they also offer an uncommon one in venison meal.

Still, this protein selection is a touch limited if you have a dog with food allergies or intolerances, especially given their complete lack of fish options. 

Pricing for most of these foods is reasonable for their quality, starting around $39 per 30-pound bag.

Nutro Natural Choice options include:

  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Healthy Weight (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult (Beef & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult (Venison Meal & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Puppy (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult Small Bites (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Adult Small Bites (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Senior (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)

Nutro Natural Choice Wet Dog Food

Got a doggo who prefers a really tasty wet dog food? Don’t worry — Nutro has you covered!

Nutro Natural Choice also comes in a number of wet food options, including options featuring most common proteins, like chicken, turkey, and lamb.

They also offer several texture varieties, like hearty stew, pâté, and cuts in gravy. 

No exotic proteins are available, which can be a bummer for dogs with sensitivities, but there are several multipacks you can buy offering more than one recipe if you have a dog who can tolerate mixing his proteins up occasionally.

Nutro Wet Food

Note that Nutro has recently changed their packaging and graphics, which may cause those already familiar with the brand to do a double-take. Nevertheless, the recipes remain unchanged.

These doggo dinners start at about $1.26 each, and they’re sold in 12- and 24-packs.

Current Nutro Natural Choice wet options include:

  • Nutro Natural Choice Cuts In Gravy (Turkey, Potato & Green Bean Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Bites In Gravy (Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Bites In Gravy (Tender Beef, Peas & Carrots)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Cuts In Gravy (Simmered Beef & Potato Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Cuts In Gravy (Savory Lamb & Vegetables Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Cuts In Gravy (Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Premium Loaf (Tender Chicken, Carrot & Pea Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Premium Loaf (Slow Cooked Chicken, Potato, Carrot & Pea)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Premium Loaf (Healthy Turkey, Sweet Potato & Green Bean)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Premium Loaf (Savory Lamb, Carrot & Pea)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Premium Loaf (Tender Beef, Sweet Potato & Carrot)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Hearty Stew (Chunky Beef, Tomato, Carrot & Pea Stew) 
  • Nutro Natural Choice Hearty Stew (Meaty Lamb, Green Bean & Carrot Stew)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Hearty Stew (Roasted Turkey, Sweet Potato & Green Bean)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Pate (Slow Cooked Chicken)
  • Nutro Natural Choice Pate (Tender Beef)

Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra is Nutro’s premium line of food, containing grain-free and grain-inclusive options that boast a superfood medley of proteins, grains, seeds, and produce to foster health and wellness. 

Like Nutro Natural Choice, there are several formulas to choose from to fine-tune your pup’s diet to his needs, including puppy, large breed puppy, and senior. 

Nutro Ultra contains a mixed protein base billed as “the trio of proteins,” including chicken, lamb, and salmon.

This is great for some dogs, but mixed proteins aren’t ideal for dogs with sensitivities, nor is the lack of any exotic offerings. 

Nutro Ultra

Note that this is Nutro’s premier dog food line, and the pricing reflects this: You’ll likely pay around $49 per 30-pound bag. 

Nutro Ultra dry foods include:

Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food

As we’ve mentioned, Nutro offers a variety of dry and wet foods, and this includes wet versions of their Ultra line.

This is a great choice for owners needing to please canines that prefer canned food. You could even use these wet foods like mixers, to sneak in some tasty goodness to your dog’s dry food. 

These foods don’t all feature the “trio of proteins” approach seen in the dry variety of Ultra (though they do offer three triple-protein recipes).

Instead, these recipes provide quite a bit more diversity, and give you the chance to select proteins like turkey, duck, and beef.

As with all Nutro wet foods, this would also make a great topper to pair with your pup’s current kibble.

These meals will set you back about $1.91 each.

Nutro Ultra wet food options include: 

  • Nutro Ultra Farm-Raised Lamb & Green Bean
  • Nutro Ultra Signature Duck Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Juicy Duck & Potato
  • Nutro Ultra Turkey Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Roasted Turkey Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Chicken Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Chicken Entree Pate
  • Nutro Ultra Savory Chicken & Trout
  • Nutro Ultra Chicken & Whitefish Pate
  • Nutro Ultra Tender Beef Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Deluxe Chicken Entree
  • Nutro Ultra Senior Pate (Chicken, Lamb & Salmon)
  • Nutro Ultra Trio of Proteins Pate (Chicken, Lamb & Salmon)

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

Dogs who have food allergies or simple sensitivities may require a LID (limited ingredient diet), which will help prevent your dog from suffering with itchy skin or an upset tummy.

And like most major dog food manufacturers, Nutro produces a food line for exactly these types of dogs.

Nutro’s complete Limited Ingredient Diet line features grain-free dog kibble containing no chicken (one of the most common dog allergens) — including in “sneaky” forms, such as chicken meal or chicken by-product meal.

Further, these recipes always have less than 10 ingredients (aside from vitamins and minerals). 

Nutro-LID foods

Pricing is generally around $55 per 22-pound bag, which is on the pricier side, but that’s somewhat common for limited ingredient dog food recipes.

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet dry foods are:

  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Lamb & Sweet Potato)
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Duck & Lentils)
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Small Bites (Lamb & Sweet Potato)
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Salmon & Lentils)
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Venison Meal & Sweet Potato)
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult (Lamb & Sweet Potato)

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet does have some wet offerings, which is pretty nifty, as wet LID foods aren’t as common as their dry counterparts.

Nevertheless, they appear to be more limited than the ingredient list at the moment.

They don’t exactly match the dry list of LID foods, which is a bummer if you were hoping to spice up your pup’s bowl to complement the Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet dry food he’s already eating.

Despite this small issue, these are still high-quality wet foods that may work perfectly for dogs suffering from food allergies.

Nutro LID Wet Food

These cans are typically sold in packs of 12, with each can costing about $2.28.

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet wet food options include: 

Blue Buffalo Formulas & Recipes

Blue Buffalo’s product offerings are far more diverse and ample than Nutro’s, producing everything from general adult dry dog foods to specialized veterinary diets. Every Blue Buffalo dry dog food contains LifeSource Bits, a patented pellet of cold-formed kibble packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Not every dog is keen on eating these, but they’re a nice addition. 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo offers a vast array of kibbles, but we’ll begin our analysis with their primary product line: Blue Buffalo Life Protection.

As Blue Buffalo’s flagship formula, the Life Protection line offers what the brand promises at its core: wholesome ingredients for a healthy life.

Real meat is always the first ingredient, and none of the Life Protection formulas contain poultry by-product meals, corn, soy, wheat, or artificial flavors and preservatives. 

In addition to offering these kibbles in a variety of flavors, Blue Buffalo also markets different individual recipes for doggos at varying life stages.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Pricing starts around $50 per 30-pound bag, which is higher than Nutro’s core line, Natural Choice.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection offers a wide range of formulas and recipes, including:

  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy (Lamb & Oatmeal)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy (Chicken & Oatmeal)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult (Fish & Oatmeal)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice) 
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult (Fish & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Bite Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult (Fish & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult (Lamb & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Toy Breed Adult (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Senior (Chicken & Brown Rice)

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Wet Dog Food

Like most other major dog food manufacturers, Blue Buffalo also produces canned foods for dogs who like wet dinners.

In fact, Blue Buffalo actually produces several different wet foods, but we’ll start by looking at their best-selling collection.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle is Blue’s primary wet food line, featuring many recipes that can be matched with respective Life Protection dry formulas.

These are in a loose pâté style that can be easily mixed in with can or served on their own.

Note that most Blue Buffalo canned varieties are offered in mixed multipacks, too, allowing you to get an assortment of recipes if your dog can tolerate a mixed diet.

Blue Buffalo Canned Food

Blue Buffalo Homestyle cans are usually sold in packs of 12, and individual can prices start at about $2.16 each.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle options include:

  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Puppy (Chicken & Vegetables)
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Beef Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Fish and Sweet Potato Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Lamb Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Turkey Meatloaf Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Small Breed Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Small Breed Lamb Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Toy Breed Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Large Breed Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Senior Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables

BLUE Delights

Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle recipes are packaged in 12.5 ounce cans, which is great for big ‘ol doggos, but what if you have a smaller pooch at home? And what if his palate is a little more refined?

Well, Blue Buffalo Delights may be exactly what you need!

Designed for small dogs, BLUE Delights bring big flavor in small packages perfect for little guys. Made with single-use feedings in mind, you don’t have to worry about storing leftovers.

Note that these recipes are all of the grain-free variety. That may not be ideal for all situations, but it’s very helpful for dogs who have allergies or sensitivities to wheat (many other canned foods use wheat as a thickening agent).

Blue Buffalo Delights

Blue Delights are typically sold in packs of 12, and they start at $1.29 for each individual meal.

The BLUE Delights line includes: 

  • BLUE Delights Filet Mignon in Hearty Gravy
  • BLUE Delights Filet Mignon in Savory Juices
  • BLUE Delights New York Strip in Hearty Gravy
  • BLUE Delights Top Sirloin in Savory Juices
  • BLUE Delights Roasted Chicken in Hearty Gravy
  • BLUE Delights Angus Beef in Savory Juices
  • BLUE Delights Prime Rib in Hearty Gravy
  • BLUE Delights Porterhouse in Savory Juices
  • BLUE Delights Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
  • BLUE Delights Grilled Chicken in Savory Juices
  • BLUE Delights Roasted Turkey in Savory Juices

Blue’s Stew Wet Dog Food

While some dogs will gladly slurp up pate-style canned foods, others prefer a more natural consistency. And that’s exactly what Blue’s Stew Wet Foods provide.

Blue Buffalo’s Blue’s Stew recipes aim to bring a home-cooked feel to your dog’s food bowl with several super-tasty options featuring chunks of meat and vegetables in gravy.  

These foods work great as standalone options, but they’ll also work marvelously as toppers for owners trying to feed picky pooches.

Note that, like many other canned options, these recipes are all made without grains. Instead, potatoes provide the bulk of the carbohydrate content.

Blue Buffalo Blue's Stew

Blue’s Stew cans are usually sold in packs of 12, and each individual can usually costs about $2.42.

Blue’s Stew options are:

  • Blue’s Stew Hearty Beef
  • Blue’s Stew Country Chicken Stew
  • Blue’s Stew Hunter’s Stew
  • Blue’s Stew Irish Lamb Stew
  • Blue’s Stew Tasty Turkey Stew

BLUE Family Favorite Recipes Wet Dog Food

Does your dog always seem to be more interested in your dinner than his own? Don’t worry — you’re in luck!

BLUE Family Favorite Recipes is a line of canned grain-free food made to mimic human favorites, from the Frankenfeast Turducken to the classic chicken dinner.

These recipes feature the same high-quality ingredients as other wet BLUE options, but they’re formulated like more human-centric meal offerings.

You’ll have to pay a bit more for these recipes than you will Blue Buffalo’s standard canned foods, but that’s just part of the gig for owners of picky pooches.

Blue Buffalo Family Favorites

These recipes are sold in 12 packs, with the price of each individual can starting at $2.35.

BLUE Family Favorite Recipes include:

BLUE Wilderness Dry Dog Food

Looking to feed your doggo’s inner wolf? Blue Wilderness may be the perfect product line for your pooch!

BLUE Wilderness is Blue’s high-protein, meat-dense line of food made with no poultry by-product meals, corn, soy, or wheat.

Numerous formulas are available within this product line, including puppy, large breed puppy, senior, and more.

Grain-free and grain-inclusive BLUE Wilderness recipes are available, along with numerous proteins, from the everyday chicken and lamb to the less common duck, trout, and bison. 

Blue Wilderness Dog Food

Wilderness is on the pricier side, starting around $55 per 24-pound bag.

The current line of dry BLUE Wilderness includes: 

  • BLUE Wilderness Puppy (Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Large Breed Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Large Breed Adult (Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Large Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Large Breed Adult (Salmon)
  • BLUE Wilderness Large Breed Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Salmon With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Duck)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Salmon)
  • BLUE Wilderness Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Small Bite Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Small Breed Adult (Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Small Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Small Breed Healthy Weight (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Toy Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Senior (Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Puppy (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult (Rabbit)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult (Bison)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Healthy Weight Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Small Breed Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Large Breed Adult (Bison)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Large Breed Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Senior (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Denali Dinner Adult (Salmon, Venison & Halibut)
  • BLUE Wilderness Snake River Adult (Trout, Venison & Rabbit)
  • BLUE Wilderness Flatland Feast (Turkey, Quail & Duck)

BLUE Wilderness Wet Dog Food

Do you like the idea of Blue Wilderness recipes, but also like to feed your dog canned food? Don’t worry — Blue Buffalo has you covered!

In addition to the dry line, BLUE Wilderness also comes in a wet food line, offering an array of options, including small trays for easy feeding to canned chunk stews for big doggos.

And best of all, you can get these recipes in both grain-free and grain-inclusive forms. This is fantastic for owners of dogs with grain-sensitivities as well as those who are nervous about the potential connection between grain-free diets and DCM.

Most can be easily paired with their matching BLUE Wilderness dry food version.

Blue Wilderness Canned Foods

Sold in packs of 12, Blue Wilderness canned meals start at about $2.35.

BLUE Wilderness wet food options are:  

  • BLUE Wilderness Puppy (Turkey & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Puppy (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Adult (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Senior (Red Meat)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Beef & Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Turkey & Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Salmon & Chicken With Grains)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Beef & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Duck & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Salmon & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Turkey & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Adult (Trout & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Healthy Weight Adult (Turkey & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Small Breed Adult (Turkey & Chicken Grill)
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Trays Beef Grill
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Trays Chicken Grill
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Trays Turkey Grill
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Trays Duck Grill
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Tubs Beef Stew
  • BLUE Wilderness Trail Tubs Chicken Stew
  • BLUE Wilderness Denali Dinner (Salmon, Venison & Halibut)
  • BLUE Wilderness Snake River Grill (Trout, Venison & Rabbit)
  • BLUE Wilderness Flatland Feast (Turkey, Quail & Duck)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew (Hearty Beef Stew)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew (Hearty Duck Stew)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew (Chunky Chicken Stew)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew (Savory Salmon Stew)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wild Cuts (Chunky Beef Bites)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wild Cuts (Chunky Chicken)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wild Cuts (Chunky Duck Bites)
  • BLUE Wilderness Wild Cuts (Chunky Salmon Bites)
  • BLUE Wilderness Senior (Turkey & Chicken Grill)

BLUE Freedom Dry Dog Food

BLUE Freedom is Blue Buffalo’s completely grain-free line of dog foods. Seeking to provide quality nutrition without grains or glutens that can upset the sensitive systems of some pooches, these foods provide yet another option for owners who’re a fan of the brand.

These foods are available with your choice of several different primary proteins, including chicken, beef, and lamb. And, as always with Blue Buffalo, you’ll find these whole proteins listed first on the kibble’s ingredient list.

Do note, however, that many of these recipes feature multiple protein sources, which can cause issues for dogs with food allergies.

Because these foods don’t include grains, sweet potatoes provide carbohydrates and energy. Meanwhile, flaxseed and fish oil offer the fatty acids needed for a healthy coat. 

Blue Freedom Dry

Pricing for these recipes is on the higher side, starting at $56 per 24-pound bag.

Current BLUE Freedom products are:

  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Beef)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Lamb)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Healthy Weight Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Small Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Large Breed Adult (Beef)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Large Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Large Breed Adult (Lamb)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Senior (Chicken)

BLUE Freedom Wet Dog Food

BLUE Freedom also comes in wet varieties, with most of the available recipes matching a dry food version. This makes it super-easy for owners to use these canned foods as toppers for the matching kibble.

You can get your paws on these foods with any of several different proteins to please your pup’s palate (or avoid triggering allergies). Just note that — like the kibble versions of these recipes — some of these flavors contain multiple protein sources.

You may also be pleased to find out that this product line includes a few “grillers” recipes. These foods feature chunky meat in gravy as opposed to the traditional pate style.

Blue Freedom Canned Food

These canned recipes are (like most other canned foods) sold in packs of 12, with each individual meal costing about $2.58.

BLUE Freedom wet food options include:

  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Puppy (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Beef)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult (Lamb)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Small Breed Adult (Chicken)
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult Grillers Beef
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult Grillers Chicken
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult Grillers Lamb
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Adult Grillers Turkey
  • BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Senior (Chicken)

BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

Got a dog who suffers from food allergies? No problemo! Blue Buffalo has you covered! The BLUE Basics line provides a limited ingredient diet for dogs with sensitives.

Made with single-protein ingredient lists containing no chicken, beef, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, or eggs, it’s an excellent choice for dogs needing a simplified food.

Pumpkin is added to many of these recipes to help promote regular, problem-free digestion (pumpkin isn’t normally an allergic trigger for dogs).

You’ll have your choice of grain-free and grain-inclusive dry options with this line, which allows you to make the best choice for your four-footer. 

Blue Buffalo LID

Basics’ pricing is on the higher side, starting around $56 per 24-pound bag.

BLUE Basics includes:

  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Adult (Salmon & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Healthy Weight Adult (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult (Duck & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult (Lamb & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult (Salmon & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Adult (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Grain-Free Adult (Lamb & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult (Turkey & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Grain-Free Adult (Lamb & Potato)
  • BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior (Turkey & Potato)

BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food

Don’t worry if your allergic little four-footer prefers wet food — Blue Buffalo offers a great option for these pups too.

BLUE Basics canned varieties are available in most of the flavors that the dry versions come in, so you can match them together in many cases.

That is a huge win for dogs who have allergies and require a little somethin-somethin to spice up bland kibble.

However, unfortunately, at this time, only grain-free BLUE Basics wet recipes are available. But, you could always pair your canned choice with one of the grain-inclusive dry dog foods from the Basics line if this worries you.

Blue Basics Canned

Sold in packs of 12, Blue Basics LID recipes are a bit pricier than some of their basic options, with individual cans starting at $2.58.

BLUE Basics canned foods are:

BLUE True Solutions Dry Dog Food

Unfortunately, some dogs struggle with health issues, ranging from joint problems to coat issues. Fortunately, there Blue Buffalo offers an entire line of non-prescription foods designed to help address several common canine challenges.

BLUE True Solutions is a veterinarian- and animal-nutritionist-formulated line crafted to support specific canine health issues. 

They accomplish these goals in different ways, such as by including joint supplements in their Jolly Joints recipe, or having a reduced calorie content in their Fit & Healthy Weight recipe.

Of course, these foods also exhibit most of the other traits fans of the brand love, such as being made in the USA and featuring a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list.

Blue Buffalo True Solutions

And — like all Blue Buffalo kibbles — these recipes include the brand’s trademarked LifeSource Bits.

Pricing for these foods is pretty high but still reasonable for a food catered to certain conditions, and they start at $56 per 24-pound bag.

BLUE True Solution options are: 

BLUE True Solutions Wet Dog Food

BLUE True Solutions is also available in canned varieties to match their dry counterparts, though these seem to not have ingredients recommended by veterinarians like dry variants, according to an interesting disclaimer (pictured below).

Blue True Solutions Wet

To be honest, we really don’t know what to make of this, but wanted to bring it to the attention of our readers.  

Disclaimer aside, these foods make good canned alternatives to the dry versions of Blue True Solutions, and they’d also work well as toppers or mixers.

These meals are sold in packs of 12, with each individual can costing about $2.33.

Current BLUE True Solutions wet options are:

  • BLUE True Solutions Best Life
  • BLUE True Solutions Blissful Belly
  • BLUE True Solutions Perfect Coat
  • BLUE True Solutions Jolly Joints
  • BLUE True Solutions Fit & Healthy
  • BLUE True Solutions Small & Mighty
  • BLUE True Solutions Top Form 

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet Dry Dog Food

In some cases, a dog’s health problems are too serious to be treatable via an over-the-counter food option, like the True Solutions line. But these poor pooches are in luck, as Blue Buffalo offers foods specifically designed for these types of situations.

Called BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet, this prescription-only line of foods is made for dogs with specific health needs.

For example, one of these recipes includes hydrolyzed ingredients for allergy-prone pups, while another is a low-fat formula, designed for pups whose bodies struggle to digest fats. 

To purchase any of these foods, you’d need a prescription from your vet, but in a veterinary diet landscape once ruled by Science Diet alone, it’s great to see options for pup parents. 

Blue Buffalo Vet Recipes

As with all veterinary diets, this stuff isn’t cheap, so you can expect to pay between $80 and $100 per 22-pound bag, depending on the formula. 

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet dry formulas are:

  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet W+M (Weight Management & Mobility)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet W+U (Weight Management & Urinary Care)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet NP (Novel Protein)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS (Kidney Support)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet HF (Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet GI (Gastrointestinal Support)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet Low Fat GI (Low Fat Gastrointestinal Support)

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet Wet Dog Food

What about dogs who need a veterinary diet yet prefer canned foods? Don’t worry — Blue Buffalo has you covered here too!

Each BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet also comes in a wet variant, allowing you to match them with their respective dry form or feed on their own, if needed. 

These wet foods are usually used as a sole food for dogs with health problems. However, they could conceivably be used as toppers to help improve the appeal of the dry recipes.

Just be sure to discuss this possibility with your vet before adopting this kind of feeding strategy for your four-footer.

Blue Buffalo Canned Vet Food

Like most other prescription diets, Blue Natural Veterinary Diet cans are a bit pricey. They’re usually sold in packs of 12, with each individual can costing $3.49.

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet canned options are:

  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet W+M (Weight Management & Mobility)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet W+U (Weight Management & Urinary Care)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet NP (Novel Protein)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS (Kidney Support)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet HF (Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet GI (Gastrointestinal Support)
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet Low Fat GI (Low Fat Gastrointestinal Support)

Baby BLUE Formulas: Petco Exclusives

Baby BLUE is a Petco-exclusive line of puppy foods made specifically for growing doggos. When we compared the Baby BLUE Puppy in Chicken & Rice to the Life Protection Puppy in Chicken, the guaranteed analysis of protein, fat, and other levels were the exact same along with the ingredients list. 

Baby BLUE also has wet foods to choose from, though they don’t match exactly with the dry versions, so keep an eye on the ingredient list if your puppy has any sensitivities. 

To be clear: The only difference between this product line and the brand’s Life Protection line was the packaging, slightly different package sizes, and a cute puppy graphic on the bag. 

We admit that the little cutie caught our eye, but so did the slightly elevated pricing for these foods. Frankly, we’d encourage our readers to simply order the Life Protection version of these foods via Amazon or Chewy to save a few bucks. 

Baby BLUE options are:

  • Baby BLUE Puppy (Chicken & Rice)
  • Baby BLUE Puppy (High Protein)
  • Baby BLUE Small Breed Puppy (Chicken & Oatmeal)
  • Baby BLUE Large Breed Puppy (Chicken & Brown Rice)

Baby BLUE wet food options include: 

  • Baby BLUE Puppy (Chicken & Vegetable)
  • Baby BLUE Puppy (Turkey & Potato)
  • Baby BLUE Pup Cup (Tasty Lamb & Veggie)
  • Baby BLUE Pup Cup (Tasty Chicken & Veggie)

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: Head-to-Head Recipe Comparison

As you can see, Blue Buffalo blows Nutro out of the water in terms of product offerings, but Nutro has a pricing edge in many cases

If your dog has specialized needs, you might have better luck with Blue Buffalo, but most dogs can get by with Nutro.

To really see Nutro and Blue Buffalo head-to-head, we’re comparing two of their best-selling recipes, which both feature a chicken and brown rice base but differ significantly when it comes to ingredient lists, pricing, and more. 

Check out the actual ingredient lists and our analysis below.

Nutro Natural Choice Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Ingredients List

Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Barley...,

Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Whole Flaxseed, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, DL-Methionine, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Ingredients List

Deboned chicken, Chicken meal, Brown rice, Barley, Oatmeal...,

Pea starch, Flaxseed, Chicken fat, Dried tomato pomace, Natural flavor, Peas, Pea protein, Salt, Potassium chloride, Dehydrated alfalfa meal, Potatoes, Dried chicory root, Pea fiber, Alfalfa nutrient concentrate, Calcium carbonate, Choline chloride, DL-methionine, Mixed tocopherols, Dicalcium phosphate, Sweet potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc amino acid chelate, Zinc sulfate, Vegetable juice, Ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, Iron amino acid chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, Niacin, Glucosamine hydrochloride, Calcium pantothenate, Copper sulfate, Biotin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, L-lysine, L-carnitine, Vitamin A supplement, Copper amino acid chelate, Manganese sulfate, Taurine, Manganese amino acid chelate, Thiamine mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Calcium iodate, Dried yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic acid, Sodium selenite, Rosemary oil.

Nutro Natural Choice Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Country of OriginUSAUSA
First IngredientChickenDeboned Chicken
Controversial Ingredients?Brewers rice: A by-product of cereal grain, this provides a fair amount of fiber and energy but better, more nutritious grains exist.
Dried plain beet pulp: High in fiber, this is a by-product of sugar beet processing. Controversial and sometimes labelled  a “filler,” it’s reasonably common in dog kibble for fiber.
Dried tomato pomace: A by-product of processing ketchup and other tomato products, this is rich in fiber but often argued as an unnecessary ingredient.
Dried tomato pomace: A by-product of processing ketchup and other tomato products, this is rich in fiber but often argued as an unnecessary ingredient.
Garlic: Linked to certain anemias with regular or frequent use, this isn’t a favorite ingredient for many when spotted on an ingredient list. Some argue in trace amounts its benefits outweigh its risks.
Pea protein: Made of the remnants of peas after removing the starchy bits, this is a controversial source of protein, as some feel meat-based options are better.
Protein Content22%24%
Fat Content14%14%
Fiber Content3.5%5%
Caloric Content343 Calories per cup378 Calories per cup
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content0.2%0.5%
Omega-6 Fatty Acid Content2%3%
Grain-Inclusive?YesYes
Probiotics?NoYes
Supplements?None400 mg glucosamine per kg min
Pricing per 30-pound bag $39.99$51.98
Subscribe & Save Available?YesYes
Bag Size Options5-, 13-, 22-, 30-, and 40-pound bags available3-, 6-, 15-, 24-, and 30-pound bags available
Made without corn, soy, or wheat?YesYes
Special features?Non-GMOLifeSource Bits

Overall, both dry kibble options offer high-quality ingredients and plenty of bag size options, a sticking point for many of us. Nutro does edge out Blue Buffalo in offering a 40-pound bag, a win for large breed owners and those with multi-dog households who go through kibble quickly. 

Nutro does come in a fair amount cheaper than Blue Buffalo as well. While Blue Buffalo is more expensive per bag, you’re getting some nice bonuses with the price difference, including added glucosamine for joint health and probiotics for additional digestive support. 

The price difference is definitely a factor for many pup owners, however, though it may be negligible if you need to buy supplements to add to your dog’s Nutro-based diet to make up the difference. 

Blue Buffalo vs Nutro: Recall & Legal History 

Legal and Recall History Blue Buffalo & Nutro

A major area for concern with any pup parents is food safety, and both Blue Buffalo and Nutro have issued recalls in the past. 

Now to be fair, the word “recall” gets a gut reaction out of all of us, but it’s important to read into the facts of a recall (for instance: is it out of precaution or did dogs get sick), and to note whether it’s a voluntary recall or a mandatory one implemented by the FDA. 

Also, it is worth pointing out that high-profile human food brands issue recalls all the time. Point being, consider the recall history of a given pet food brand, but don’t place more weight on it than you would the food you eat yourself. 

Nutro

Nutro has seen a few recalls over the years, though no recent injuries or illnesses were reported with them, and it’s been a chunk of time since the last one. These include:

  • March 2007: Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Ultra, and Nutro Max were all placed under voluntary recall for potential melamine contamination. 
  • September 2009: A voluntary recall was issued for possible plastic contamination in limited lots of Nutro Ultra Puppy Food, Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Meal, Rice, and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites Puppy.
  • December 2015: Limited lots of  Nutro Chewy Treats were voluntarily recalled for potential mold contamination.

Blue Buffalo

A hurdle for some pup owners is Blue Buffalo’s recall history, which is more extensive than Nutro’s despite its much shorter time in operation. Blue Buffalo has issued several recalls over the years, including: 

  • October 2010: A voluntary recall was issued for potentially high levels of Vitamin D in three products: Blue Wilderness Chicken, Blue Basics Salmon, and Blue Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken after 16 dogs were sickened.
  • November 2015: A voluntary recall was issued for possible salmonella contamination of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chew Bones after routine testing found trace amounts at a manufacturing site. No illnesses were reported.
  • May 2016: Possible moisture and mold in a single batch of Blue Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe led to a voluntary recall. No illnesses were reported.
  • February 2017: Certain lots of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight were voluntarily recalled for possible aluminum metal contamination, though no injuries or illnesses were reported.
  • March 2017: A voluntary recall was issued for one lot of Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for possible elevated levels of a naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone. One dog was sickened and later recovered.
  • March 2017: A voluntary recall of Blue Divine Delights and Blue Wilderness Trail Trays was issued for quality issues with the foil seals of food trays. No illnesses or injuries were reported.

Blue Buffalo also settled a class-action lawsuit in 2015 for $32 million. 

Admitting no wrongdoing and recalling no food with the settlement, the company aimed to “eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further litigation” regarding their True Blue Promise of no by-product meal in their food offerings. 

This was after several Blue Buffalo items were found to contain poultry by-products in laboratory testing, though this was later blamed on supplier issues. No pets were sickened, but it’s worth noting. 

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo: K9 of Mine Staff Experiences

As mentioned, the K9 of Mine team has quite a bit of experience with both of these brands, so we’ll share the thoughts of our founder and CEO Megan Marrs and editor Ben Team below.

Megan & Remy’s Nutro Experiences

Honestly, I initially grabbed a bag of Nutro when I saw it was on sale at PetSmart. Ever since then though, we’ve really loved Nutro and I find myself continually returning to it. I’ve tried many other types of dog foods, and Remy’s poops are rarely as firm consistently as they are on Nutro.

Nutro recently did some re-branding, so the Nutro Wholesome Essentials line that we used to use is gone. The Nutro Natural Choice is a little bit pricier, but seems to work for Remy just as well!

Ben & J.B.’s Blue Buffalo Experiences

Hey there, dog lovers!

I have been feeding J.B. Blue Buffalo recipes for about 4 years now, and they’ve proven to be a very good fit for us. 

A few of the primary factors that were involved in my dog-food-buying decision include:

  • As a Rottie, J.B. needed a large-breed food.
  • J.B. does have some mild to moderate joint issues, so I wanted something that contained glucosamine or chondroitin, as well as a ton of omega-3s.
  • I like dog foods that contain an assortment of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies.
  • J.B. is a picky eater, but she loves chicken, so I needed a brand that provided plenty of poultry options.
  • I wanted a grain-inclusive option for her, preferably one that contained brown rice.
  • J.B. doesn’t really have any serious coat or digestive issues to worry about.
  • I didn’t want to spend a fortune on her food, but I wasn’t concerned about spending five or ten more bucks per month for a food we liked.

After factoring all of this in (and chatting about the issue with my vet), I chose Blue Buffalo Large Breed Chicken & Brown Rice recipe.

And it worked great!

She seemed to like it enough (though I do use Open Farm’s bone broth toppers now to make it even tastier), she seemed to digest it perfectly well, and her coat condition may have even improved a tad.

She does often leave a few LifeSource Bits in her dish once she’s finished, but she gets the bulk of them down the hatch.

Nevertheless, we have recently switched to Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice recipe, as she had put on a few pounds and I watch her weight like a hawk.

I don’t blame the original recipe I’d given her for the weight gain; I blame that on our treat-heavy training sessions (and, I guess, my inability to say no to her puppy dog eyes when I’m eating).

She’s been eating the weight-management recipe for a few months now, and it does appear to have helped her slim down just a bit. She also seems to digest it without issue and more-or-less like the way it tastes.

Bottom line: Blue Buffalo has been a fantastic choice for me and my pooch, and we strongly recommend owners give the brand consideration.

Bottom Line: Is Nutro or Blue Buffalo Better for Your Pet?

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to feed your boxer, give your Maltese something to munch on, or keep your Great Dane’s big belly full — when trying to pick a dog food, you and your vet know your dog’s needs best.

Both dog foods have a lot going for them. In fact, they’re both dog foods that are made in the USA, both feature a variety of different inclusive and grain-free dog food recipes, and both have some chicken-free options and limited ingredient formulas too.

What works for one dog may not work for another, so it’s important to factor in your pup’s palate, dietary needs, and overall condition. 

As always, if your furry friend has any underlying health issues, it’s best to consult your veterinarian about his diet, as he may have specialized needs, like a reduced protein or fat content.

If you’re concerned about…

  • Budget: Nutro is likely the better pick for cost-conscious owners, as Blue Buffalo is the more expensive dog food of the two.
  • Protein options: Blue Buffalo offers more diverse protein options, though Nutro has more combination offerings in their Nutro Ultra line.
  • Recipe variety: If your dog likes to change up his food, Blue Buffalo tends to offer more recipes for each formula than Nutro.
  • Included supplements: Many Blue Buffalo dog food recipes are fortified with probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin, while these types of bonuses aren’t found in most Nutro recipes.  
  • Recalls: While both brands have had them over the years, Blue Buffalo has had more than Nutro.
  • Prescription food: Blue Buffalo offers prescription-based diets, including ones for kidney disease and GI issues. Nutro does not.
The Better Option for Cost-Conscious Owners

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Nutro Chicken and Brown Rice

Nutro Natural Choice Adult Chicken & Brown Rice

A wholesome and tasty dog kibble that is relatively affordable and packed with premium, non-GMO ingredients.

The Better Option for Owners Seeking Nutritional “Extras”

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken and Brown Rice

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Chicken & Brown Rice

A tasty dog food that’s loaded with premium ingredients, probiotics, joint supplements, and Blue Buffalo’s patented LifeSource Bits.

With any dog food, you want to make sure it fits AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s age and size. Remember that dog food isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing, with large breed puppies having different nutritional needs than a small breed senior. Pay close attention to formulas, and always discuss them with your vet to make sure your dog is getting the well-rounded diet he needs.

Also, when trying a new dog food, always switch your dog over gradually to avoid stomach upset. You should also see how he adjusts to the new food and make changes if needed, with a special focus on how his belly handles it, how much he likes eating it, and if there are any changes to his coat (such as dandruff, itchiness, or greasiness). 

***

Both Nutro and Blue Buffalo are quality dog food brands. The best brand of the two for your dog depends on his individual needs, but hopefully, this comparison helped you make the best decision.

Does your dog eat Blue Buffalo, or is he a nibbler of Nutro? Let us know in the comments! 

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Written by

Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey is a K9 of Mine contributor who has worked with dogs as a shift runner and office manager of a boarding kennel. When she’s not writing, she can be found throwing a ball or losing at tug of war. An animal lover to the max, she lives in South Jersey with her husband, her five dogs Boomer, Taj, Batman, Maya, and Moxie, some kitties, and two grumpy turtles.

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