The dog food industry has evolved quite a bit since the first commercial dog food was produced back in 1890. More dog owners are becoming conscious of the needs of their canine companions. As a result, new brands that are focused on the well-being of man's best friend have emerged.
Today, there are two brands that stand out among the rest. Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild have a solid reputation among dog owners. The companies are known for producing high-quality food products that are formulated to meet the needs of breeds big and small.
The two trailblazers also use natural ingredients that can support a dog's health throughout their lives.
Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo are both great options for any dog. But which one is the best?
This is a common question that many pet owners who are seeking the very best for their dog have. To answer that question, we're going to examine various aspects of both brands' product lines.
We'll compare the two to help you determine which company's food is right for your dog.
About Blue Buffalo
When compared to older brands that have been around for several decades, Blue Buffalo is still relatively new. It was founded back in 2002 by Bill and Jackie Bishop. The brand's namesake comes from the Bishops' dog Blue.
The dog was an Airedale Terrier that suffered from many health complications. The brand was created as a response to the lack of nutrient-rich dog food options that could support their dog's health.
The numerous Blue Buffalo products were created with input from holistic veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure that the food met all of a dog's needs.
In 2018, Blue Buffalo was acquired by General Mills. As a result of this acquisition, the brand's accessibility has expanded significantly. In the past, the brand's products were only available online or from pet stores.
Now, Blue Buffalo sells in large grocery and department store chains.
About Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild is even newer than Blue Buffalo. The company was established in 2007 as a response to the growing demand for a high-quality dog food that was healthy and grain-free.
Taste of the Wild is currently made by Diamond Pet Foods Inc. Their small line of products is manufactured in a handful of facilities around the United States.
The company is owned by Schell and Kampeter, Inc. While many other dog food brands belong to large umbrella corporations, Taste of the Wild is privately held and family-owned.
Despite their similarities, Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo are quite different from one another. They have the same end-goal to provide consumers with natural dog food options that benefit canine companions everywhere. However, the two companies achieve this goal in unique ways.
Both brands have a range of products to suit the needs of any dog. To get a better understanding of what each company has to offer, let's look at their individual product lines.
As of 2019, Blue Buffalo has five different types of formulas that you can get. Within these lines, the company offers unique flavors as well as canned varieties.
The Life Protection line is considered to be the "original" option from the brand. It's a universal product that can serve any dogs well. The dog food starts with real chicken, fish, or lamb as the main protein source.
These formulas also contain natural fruits and vegetables. Blue Buffalo enhances every product in this line with additional vitamins, minerals, and patented LifeSource Bits.
The Freedom dog food is designed for dogs that can't handle grains. It features many of the same benefits as the standard Life Protection formula. However, the lack of gluten makes it easier to digest for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies.
The BLUE Basics line takes ingredient limitations even further. This food is catered to dogs who are unable to eat traditional dog food products due to allergies. Unique protein sources like duck and lamb are used in lieu of chicken. Like the previous line, BLUE Basics is also grain-free.
Another grain-free formula is BLUE Wilderness. What sets this product line apart from others is its focus on high protein content. It's formulated to imitate what canines eat in the wild. It's highly digestible and contains more meat to please a hungry palate.
Finally, there's Blue's Natural Veterinary Diet line. These food products are made to address specific health concerns, such as obesity, kidney failure, and more. This line is not commercially available like other products. It must be purchased from a vet with a prescription.
Taste of the Wild
Because Taste of the Wild is still quite new to the industry, the company doesn't have the same large collection of products to offer dog owners. In fact, the brand only had one line until fairly recently.
The standard Taste of the Wild line includes nine different formulas. Two of them are specifically made for puppies while one is made for small breeds. All products in this line are grain-free and utilize a range of protein sources to give dogs a complex amino acid profile.
The Prey line includes limited ingredients formulas. All recipes only have four main ingredients to improve digestibility. It also uses non-GMO ingredients and high-quality proteins. This line is ideal for dogs with allergies.
Quality of Ingredients
Every formula from Blue Buffalo is made with natural ingredients. The company does not use corn, wheat, or soy as fillers. Instead, most of the recipes start off with chicken, lamb, or fish, as the main ingredient. Plant-based ingredients are then added for vitamins and nutrients.
Depending on the particular formula, Blue Buffalo will then add digestive fiber and omega fatty acids.
One unique thing about Blue Buffalo's products is that they contain the brand's signature LifeSource Bits. These small morsels are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. The ingredients of the LifeSource Bits are cold-formed to retain all of their nutritional content.
One negative aspect of Blue Buffalo is that the company doesn't provide a lot of in-depth information about where their ingredients come from. While some of the major ingredients are sourced locally, smaller components are not.
Taste of the Wild
All of Taste of the Wild's recipes utilize many different protein sources. When compared to Blue Buffalo, the brand offers more ingredient variation. Formulas take advantage of unique lean meats to provide as many amino acids as possible.
Many foods incorporate protein sources like bison, venison, quail, and so much more.
Taste of the Wild sources most of their ingredients locally within the United States. However, some are sourced from international locations. The company vets sources heavily to ensure that ingredients are safe for canine consumption.
All of the meat sources are certified to be free of hormones and antibiotics. Taste of the Wild doesn't use potentially dangerous preservatives either. Instead, they opt for natural options that are safe.
To provide even more peace of mind, all of the food is steam dried with reverse-osmosis water to ensure that the final product is free of bacteria and microorganisms.
When a dog food product is recalled, that means that something went wrong during the manufacturing process. That issue, whether it's cross-contamination or faulty labeling, made the food potentially dangerous for dogs to eat.
Recalls can happen to even the best companies from time to time. The frequency of the recalls is important to consider when you're choosing a dog food brands. Companies with a long history of recalls should raise a red flag in terms of safety.
Blue Buffalo has had nine recalls since 2007. On numerous occasions, multiple recalls were made within the same months.
Some of the reasons that the brand has recalled their products include potential formulation errors, the possibility of salmonella, and possible mold contamination.
While it's easy to fault a company for recalls, it's important to consider the size of the issue. In most instances, Blue Buffalo's recalls were confined to limited batches. The company responded quickly in all cases and make corrections to continue production.
Taste of the Wild
Since the brand's launch, there has only been one recall. This occurred in 2012 due to the potential for salmonella. While the company only had a single recall, it affected thousands of products.
Also, Taste of the Wild's manufacturer Diamond Pet Food has been subjected to many recalls in the past. Those recalls did not affect Taste of the Wild directly. However, the issues leading to those recalls occurred in the same facilities.
Comparing the cost difference between these two brands can be tricky. Prices can fluctuate from retailer to retailer. Furthermore, both brands offer multiple bag sizes.
To make things easier, we're going to look at closely related products from each brand that are popular.
For Taste of the Wild, we'll be examining the average cost of the High Prarie recipe. The product that we'll be comparing to is Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken. These products are comparable because they both have the highest protein content of their respective brands.
The Blue Buffalo product is sold in 24-pound bags for an average retail price of $55.99. Per pound, it costs roughly $2.33.
The Taste of the Wild product is sold in 28-pound bags for approximately $48.99. This equates to about $1.64 per pound.
Based on our comparison, Taste of the Wild dog food has a bit more to offer dogs than Blue Buffalo. Not only is it slightly more affordable than the alternative, but the formulas use better ingredients.
Taste of the Wild goes to great lengths to make their products as safe for dogs as possible. Their good track record with recalls shows this. The various recipes use many different protein sources to ensure that dogs get all of their necessary amino acids.
Furthermore, the company vets potential ingredient sources and makes sure that every piece of meat is free of antibiotics, chemical preservatives, and hormones.
This careful attention to detail results in a high-quality food that's as close to a natural diet as your pup is going to get with commercially available products.
With all that being said, Blue Buffalo is also a great option that you should consider. This company offers much more variety in terms of product lines and flavors.
They have more than twice the amount of base formulas that Taste of the Wild, allowing you to get a recipe that meets your pup's unique needs.
At the end of the day, not every dog food is going to work for every pup. If you're looking for the best product possible, you need to consider everything that a brand has to offer and how it can benefit your pooch.
Both Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild are miles above a vast majority of cheaper brands on the market. They offer a chance to supply your dog with a diet that's natural, healthy, and rich in protein.
Whichever brand you choose to go with, your dog will love the upgrade either way.