As a devout pet parent, how do you choose the right food for your pup? What is the priority for you? Do you check the ingredients and see if there is anything that might be harmful to your dog? Do you go for the packaging that is all colorful and cute? Do you choose the brand that your veterinarian recommends? Do you prefer a brand after detailed research and stick to it no matter what?
In any case, there is always a new brand or a new product in the market that confuses you and claims to be better than the others. This leaves many pet parents confused, which is why most of them prefer trusted brands to be safe. When it comes to the trusted brands Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo are the first that come to mind.
These two brands have been on the market for a long time and managed to earn the trust of pet parents. In this case, it is difficult to say which one is better since the two brands are equally successful in their field.
Let’s compare Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo by examining them in detail to see what they have to offer in terms of quality, product safety, nutritional value and all the other important factors.
The History of Royal Canin
Royal Canin was founded in 1968 and has been around ever since. It is an innovative brand that analyzes the different needs of different pets based on their ages and breeds. The food is produced according to the needs of different pets, which makes them a successful brand, and it reflects on their sales.
This analysis is done in quite a detail, such as examining how dogs’ organs work and how different breeds burn food. Dogs are examined individually since each of them needs different amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins and calories. This in-depth analysis allows Royal Canin to produce an adequate diet for all breeds.
It is not just dog food for all dogs but individually produced food for a Chihuahua, Sheppard, Great Dane and all the other breeds. What is more, is that Royal Canin is the first brand to produce special foods for the dogs of large breeds.
All the ingredients found in Royal Canin are substantial, and they come from known sources. Every product is tested carefully to meet the high standards before being produced on a large scale. Since safety is essential to Royal Canin, it is safe to say that your pup is in good hands.
The History of Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo was founded in 2003. Even though it is a relatively newer brand, it has a touching story that reminds us how our pets and their health is important for us, and we will go to extreme measures to provide a better life for them.
Blue Buffalo came to being when the founders’ family dog Blue started experiencing severe health problems. Blue’s family decided to change his diet and feed him natural and quality food. The problem was that there were not many products offering what they were looking for. The only solution was to make their own food.
As a result of this dedication and special care, Blue had a much longer and happier life. He lived for another 10 years. Since this natural diet changed Blue’s life for the better, Blue Buffalo continued to produce high quality and natural food for other dogs.
Blue Buffalo believes in treating all the other dogs as a part of their family, and the food is produced accordingly. The brand offers different types of dog food, depending on the special needs of dogs, such as Freedom, Wilderness, Life Protection Formula, Basics and Natural Veterinary Diet.
Ingredient Comparison Between Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo
Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo approach the dietary needs of dogs differently. Royal Canin takes on a more scientific approach, focusing on all the numbers and statistics while Blue Buffalo focuses on what is natural.
In the end, both brands achieve the same result even though there are slight differences between them. Before choosing which one you want to feed your dog with, let’s take a deeper look into the ingredients of both brands.
Blue Buffalo especially focuses on using all-natural ingredients in their products. Blue Buffalo products contain fruits and vegetables that are known to be rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They don’t prepare the dog food only with meat meals or use grains and soy as fillers. Their products do not have artificial flavorings, colorants and preservatives. Blue Buffalo also provides gluten-free dog foods.
Royal Canin produces nutritious dog foods however focuses more on the finished products and their usage as well as effects on different breeds. Their products contain meat and wheat in the amounts that is safe for dogs. Royal Canin has no equivalent when it comes to food safety, and quality control as its products are strictly tested to ensure perfection.
Let us take a look into some of the key elements that are found in dog foods and analyze them about Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo.
Protein is a significant part of a dog’s diet. When dogs do not consume enough protein in their diet, they develop severe health issues. When we compare Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo contains more protein than the latter by 2.20%. Not only in their dry dog foods but also in their wet dog foods, Blue Buffalo offers more protein.
Even though the difference in the amounts of protein is quite small between the two brands, it is worth noting.
Protein intake is especially important for dogs that have health problems such as obesity or kidney diseases. Your dog might also need a low protein diet. In this case, make sure to read the protein percentages in the ingredients list at the back of each bag.
Fat is another crucial element in a dog’s diet. Fat is especially vital for puppies because it provides the energy that they need, and it also helps their body to grow and function properly. Fat also helps dogs to produce prostaglandins in their body, which reduces inflammation.
Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo have the same amount of fat in most of their products. However, when it comes to wet dog foods, Blue Buffalo contains 9.36% more fat than Royal Canin. Although there is a small difference, it is crucial for dogs that require a special diet.
Fiber is not as fundamental as the other two elements mentioned above, however, it is still important for dogs. It is especially important for colon health and weight management. When fiber is consumed in required amounts, it helps dogs with constipation problems, diabetes and even diarrhea.
Again, the difference in the amounts of fiber between the two brands is not much. Blue Buffalo provides more fiber in their products, 5% to be exact, while Royal Canin provides 3.2% fiber. However, when it comes to wet dog foods, Royal Canin provides 2.66% more fiber.
Fatty acids are important for cell functions as they help with healthy growth, reproduction, healthy coat and skin as well as improving the immunity system. Sunflower, corn, soybean, canola and safflower oils contain fatty acids. Fats of animals such as chicken also have Omega-6.
Since Omega-6 is a type of fat, it contributes a dog’s calorie intake, which is something that you need to take into consideration.
Blue Buffalo contains 2.4% Omega-6, while Royal Canin contains only 0.48%, which is a significant difference.
Controversial ingredients found in dog foods are considered to be controversial due to having no nutritional value or being harmful to dogs. Of course, these harmful ingredients are not necessarily lethal to dogs, however, they can still cause health problems in the long run.
Among these controversial ingredients, both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo have tomato pomace, dried tomato pomace, powdered cellulose and pea protein.
Royal Canin has a long list of controversial ingredients in its products such as corn, cornflower, corn gluten meal, been plasma, soybean protein isolate, chicken by-product meal, pork by-product, aggregate and pork plasma among another 12 ingredients.
On the other hand, they use one of the ingredients that some people consider to be harmful to dogs which is the Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.
Compared to Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo contains much less controversial ingredients in its products and these ingredients are garlic, canola oil, caramel, caramel color and pea protein concentrates. Each of these ingredients has a different effect on dogs. Even though small amounts of these ingredients would not be that harmful to your dog, they can cause certain complications in the long run.
Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo recalled their products in the past, and they handled the situation professionally and quickly. Let us examine how it all happened.
Blue Buffalo recalled its products nine times from November 25, 2015, until March 17, 2017.
Two of these incidents happened due to Melamine in 2007. Seven of them were due to salmonella, propylene glycol, aluminum, mold, elevated beef thyroid hormone, vitamin D at a toxic level found in the products and foil seal packaging.
Blue Buffalo voluntarily recalled some of their canned dog foods on March 17, 2018, due to increased levels of beef thyroid hormones that naturally occur and small amounts are not considered to be dangerous. Yet, when high levels of the hormone are consumed, it can cause increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, increased heart rate as well as restlessness.
Royal Canin has a significantly less rate of recalls. They recalled their products due to high amounts of vitamin D on February 2, 2006. On April 19 and May 11 in 2007, they recalled their products due to melamine found in them.
We mentioned how Royal Canin values the safety and the quality of its products and tests them carefully. Due to Royal Canin’s high standards of quality, recalls do not happen often and have not occurred since 2007.
It is entirely up to you to decide which brand is the best option for your dog. However, no matter which one you choose, you need to follow their suggested feeding guide to benefit from them properly. Each brand has a detailed chart at the back of the packaging. If you have any further questions about the feeding guides, you can contact the brand and learn more.
Royal Canin specifically designs dog food based on age, breed, special needs, and so on. Therefore, each Royal Canin dog food has a different feeding guide. These charts recommend how many cups you should feed your dog per day depending on its weight, age, breed and many other situations.
Make sure to follow the feeding guides on each bag and choose dog food wisely according to the needs of your dog. If you are not sure about how you should feed your dog, we recommend that you contact your veterinarian.
Like Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo has a similar feeding chart at the back of their bags. This chart shows recommended daily servings according to the weight of the dog. However, Blue Buffalo does not classify dogs according to their breed as Royal Canin does.
Blue Buffalo believes that the breed of dogs does not necessarily have an effect on what they should eat. Instead, they find the lifestyle of dogs and their activity levels affect their feeding needs.
Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo
Both brands have their own advantages and disadvantages. Every pet owner or even every pet prefers one over the other for sure. However, as a result of this comparison, we think Blue Buffalo has the upper hand due to having natural ingredients and a lot more nutrients.
We have made a list of the best products by Blue Buffalo in case you are looking for new food for your pup.
Winner: Blue Buffalo
Best Selections by Blue Buffalo
Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Dog Food
About: This particular dog food contains high-quality protein as well as vitamins and minerals to make your Basset Hound live a much healthier life.
Features: The first ingredient in this dog food deboned chicken while the second ingredient is chicken meal. Both of them are great sources of protein for dogs.
Even though some pet parents do not like to see “meal” written in the ingredients list, chicken meal is essentially the organs under the skin of a chicken. These organs are full of vitamins, minerals as well as glucosamine which is especially beneficial for dogs with sore joints.
The primary source of carbohydrates in this dog food is peas. Peas contain vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin K along with protein. Therefore, it is not only a great source of vitamins, but it is also a complementary source of protein.
The secondary source of carbohydrates in this dog food is flaxseed, and it contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
The best part about this dog food is that there are no grains involved in its recipe. That is why it is an excellent choice for Basset Hounds as they are sensitive to gluten.
On the downside, this dog food has pea protein which is a by-product of pea that is used as a filler. Even though it is not a harmful ingredient, it is considered to be a low-quality ingredient.
Runner Up: Blue Buffalo Basics – Salmon
About: Sometimes dog food that uses beef or chicken as its primary source of protein may not be the best idea for a dog, especially if he is allergic to them. This dog food is an excellent alternative as it uses salmon as its primary source of protein.
Features: Digestive problems occur mainly because of allergies that a dog might have. For a dog like a Bull Terrier, the best way to prevent such allergic reactions is to control what he is eating. In such cases as this, Blue Buffalo Basics – Salmon is a great food option for dogs that have a sensitive stomach.
Salmon is the main ingredient in this specific dog food, and it is also the only protein source in the recipe. Carbohydrates are supplied through potatoes, peas and pumpkin, which are healthy and nutritious for your pup. They are also known to ease digestion.
This dog food also does not contain grains which are another possible allergens for dogs that are suffering from a sensitive stomach.
Even though there is no chicken, beef or grains in this dog food, the nutritional value of it is balanced perfectly with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential to a dog’s diet and help improve its health.
This dog food could also be our top pick. However, Blue Buffalo Basics – Salmon is quite expensive compared to Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Dog Food.
Best Grain Free: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
About: This is an all-natural recipe for adult dogs that do not contain any by-product meal or artificial ingredients, especially perfect for Bull Terriers.
Features: Maintaining muscle mass is quite crucial for dogs. Bull Terriers also need to maintain their muscle mass, and they need to eat foods that are high in protein. This particular recipe manages to be a great source of protein while being yummy.
The special recipe of this dog food is inspired by the Rocky Mountains, it is made of natural ingredients and real meat, chosen carefully by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians. Its high protein levels are due to containing real meat.
As a bonus, this dog food is also grain-free which means it is also easy on your dog’s digestive system. Instead, as the source of carbohydrates, it contains natural peas as well as sweet potatoes.
If you want a grain-free dog food that has healthy sources of carbohydrates that are less harmful to your dog, this might be the right one for you. However, do not forget that every dog is different, and they might not like the taste of the dog food no matter how healthy it is.
Best for Puppies: Blue Buffalo Puppy Food, Chicken and Brown Rice
About: It is difficult to find a great starter dog food for your puppy that is just adjusting to its new life and that life might as well be healthy with Blue Buffalo Puppy Food, Chicken and Brown Rice because it contains all the nutrients they need. It is especially great for Labradoodles.
Features: While real chicken is the primary ingredient, chicken meal is the second ingredient in this dog food, and they are important sources of protein that is needed for puppies.
Even though some puppy parents might be hesitant to see chicken meal in the ingredients list, remember that it is full of vitamins and minerals that are extremely important for your dog’s health. Only avoid dog food if it has “meat meal” in its ingredients list instead of specifying the animal.
The recipe is specifically designed for puppies, and therefore it contains fatty acids such as DHA and ARA that are found in mother’s milk. Such fatty acids are essential for eye and brain health.
It also contains Lifesource Bits, manufacturer’s licensed formula, that are dark kibbles loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
This dog food also has healthy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and parsley along with some fruits such as blueberries and cranberries.
It worth noting that this recipe contains wholesome grains such as brown rice and oatmeal, which are much better than corn and any other sources of carbohydrates. Your pup should not have any problem digesting them. However, you should avoid it if your puppy has allergic reactions to such ingredients.
Are They Good for Seniors?
Senior dogs need a special diet to provide them with enough nutrients so that they live a longer and healthier life. If you have a senior dog, do not worry because both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo offer dry and wet food for them.
They contain Omega-3, vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein and beta carotene. Make sure the packaging states that the dog food is for mature and senior dogs.
Conclusion: Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo (2020 Reviews)
We hope you enjoyed reading our comparison of Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo. In any case, we would recommend you to consult your veterinarian before choosing the dog food that is best for your pup.
On our part, we have done several experiments to see which brand was better for our Terriers. Surprisingly, one preferred Royal Canin while the other preferred Blue Buffalo. The moral of the story is that no matter how much you try, in the end, your dog is the one to decide which one is better.