Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness: Dog Food Comparison (2024)

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blue buffalo vs wilderness comparison

As dog owners, we need to make sure our fur babies get the right food necessary to stay healthy and enjoy life to the fullest.

If you wonder which is better, Blue Buffalo or Blue Wilderness, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s compare Blue Buffalo versus Blue Wilderness dog food and get a grasp of the ingredients, nutrients, price, and quality these two brands offer.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
High-quality ingredients
Wide variety of flavors
Nutrient-rich formulas
For healthy dogs with no health issues
More affordable
A lot of positive reviews
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Adult Dry New Recipe
High levels of protein
Exotic meats
Better fog high-performing dogs
Primal recipe great for muscles, skin, and coat
No wheat, soy, corn

Basically, we will compare the Blue Buffalo brand in general with its product line, Blue Wilderness to help you decide which food is more suitable for your canine.

Brand History

The company started in 2003 after the Bishop family found out their dog, Blue, had cancer.

They investigated the market and decided to start making pet food that will help dogs stay healthy by using natural ingredients, premium meat, vitamins, and minerals.

Not long after, Blue Buffalo became recognized as one of the leaders in the dog and cat food industry, and many pet parents choose their recipes for their munchkins.

And the brand reached even more customers after General Mills acquired it in 2018.

One of their most popular recipes, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is our favorite dog food for Rottweilers, in fact.

Since Blue Wilderness shares the same history as the Blue Buffalo company, we can go on and compare their recipes in more detail.

The Regular Blue Buffalo vs Blue Wilderness Comparison

blue buffalo product range

Blue Buffalo has an amazing variety of products, and it’s no wonder that dog owners prefer this brand over many others.

This brand has 7 selection lines with over 170 products and its formulas are for different breeds, sizes, and life stages.

The product lines include:

  • Blue Life Protection Formula
  • Blue Basics
  • Blue Freedom
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet
  • Blue Wilderness
  • Blue Carnivora
  • Blue True Solutions

Every dry or wet formula starts with real meat, healthy grains, veggies, fruits, and LifeSource Bits that are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that boost your pup’s immune system and overall health.

Besides veterinary diets that help dogs with weight management, urinary, kidney, GI, and mobility problems, the brand offers limited-ingredient formulas and grain-free options for dogs with sensitivities.

Also, Blue Buffalo features specially-made food for small breeds, medium breeds, and large breeds, and you can find recipes for puppies, adults, and senior dogs.

Many of the formulas are grain-free, so if your pal has food-related allergies, you have a wide range of products to choose from.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Adult

One of their top grain-free recipes is the Blue Freedom with chicken and potatoes for adult dogs.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free
Features real chicken as the first ingredient
Grain-free formula
Good source of carbs for high-level energy
Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune health
No poultry by-products meal, wheat, soy, corn
Check On Chewy

It can be a great option for dogs prone to stomach and skin problems since it doesn’t contain grains and the protein-rich and nutrient-dense formula can keep your pal fit, strong, and energized.

Blue Wilderness is one of the selection lines of the Blue Buffalo brand and the main difference is the protein content.

This brand features 22 formulas and you can find great options for puppies, adults, and senior dogs of all sizes and life stages.

The more common chicken recipes are accompanied by beef, lamb, bison, salmon, and duck formulas to give your pal more exquisite tastes.

It’s worth mentioning that Blue Wilderness offers recipes for healthy weight maintenance for dogs with weight issues.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness RMR with Red Meat

The Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with red meat for healthy weight is an excellent choice since it offers a combination of venison, beef, and lamb that dogs can’t resist and it helps them maintain the ideal weight.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness RMR Red Meat Adult
Packed with beef, chicken, salmon, venison, and lamb meat
Good source of antioxidants & healthy carbohydrates
Rich in omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
No poultry by-products meal, wheat, soy, corn
Check On Chewy

As mentioned above, these recipes contain more protein than Blue Buffalo’s signature line, the Life Protection formula, and the other lines as well, so it can be a good fit for dogs with high-energy demands, like sporting or working dogs.

In addition, the Blue Wilderness product line offers meat, wholesome grains, veggies, fruits, and LifeSource Bits to give your dog the taste he craves and lots of nutrients to stay strong and fit.

Blue Buffalo offers a wide range of products and you can find a suitable recipe for your furry buddy that will provide him with a nutritious meal.

The Blue Wilderness line is a great fit for dogs who need plenty of unique proteins for building and maintaining muscles, active dogs with high-energy demands, and dogs who thrive on a grain-inclusive diet. 

Food Ingredients Quality

Blue BuffaloBlue Wilderness
Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb, turkey, menhaden fish meal, lamb meal, whitefish, salmon, duck, salmon meal, beefBeef, venison, chicken, duck, bison, lamb, menhaden fish meal, salmon meal, chicken meal, fish meal, beef meal
Brown rice, barley, oatmeal, peas, potatoes, egg product, alfalfa, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, tomato pomace, beet pulp, flaxseed, garlic, cranberries, blueberries, barley grass, parsley, turmeric, dried kelpOatmeal, barley, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, egg product, alfalfa, flaxseed, carrots, tomato pomace, blueberries, cranberries, parsley, turmeric, barley grass, dried kelp
Canola oil, fish oil, chicken fatFish oil, chicken fat
Vitamins, mineralsVitamins, minerals

You can find similar ingredients in most of Blue Buffalo’s recipes and their motto is using real meat, natural ingredients, and added vitamins and minerals to help your pet thrive.

What makes the Blue Wilderness brand stand out is the amazing variety of meats combined with whole grains, hearty veggies, and fruits for a complete meal high in protein, fiber, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Both Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness have tomato pomace in their ingredients list and this may be used as a source of fiber or as a filler by some pet manufacturers.

Note that the recipes are made with deboned meat and meat meals and they don’t contain by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

And they contain LifeSource Bits abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that boost your canine’s immune system and protect him from diseases.

Plus, every formula is made without corn, soy, and wheat so that dogs with food sensitivities can also enjoy the rich taste without causing any stomach or skin issues.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Real meat as the 1st ingredient
All formulas start with real meat, whole grains, veggies, and fruit
Features LifeSource Bits blend, containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
Rich in essential omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product meals
Check On Chewy

Nutritional Value Comparison

Now, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of Blue Buffalo’s most popular recipe, the Life Protection Formula with chicken and brown rice Vs Blue Wilderness chicken with whole grains for adult dogs.

blue wilderness guaranteed analysis
Blue Wilderness
blue life protection guaranteed analysis
Blue Life Protection

Bear in mind that your dog’s needs may differ and you should consult your vet for the best advice on your dog’s diet.

Meat Content

Both recipes start with deboned chicken and chicken meals, but Blue Wilderness has dried chicken and salmon meal in addition.

That’s more meat and omega fatty acids for your canine since salmon is rich in these essential fats that promote immune, skin, and coat health.

As a matter of fact, Blue Wilderness’s kibble has 75% protein from animal sources which is a complete protein that helps dogs maintain strong muscles, bones, and general well-being.

As you can see the two formulas don’t have by-products or controversial ingredients that pet parents choose to avoid.

The kibbles are made with real meat and your dog gets premium ingredients that provide him with protein, amino acids, and omega fatty acids.

So, the winner in this category is Blue Wilderness for featuring more meat sources that help build muscles and provide more health benefits.

Winner: Blue Wilderness

Protein Content

chicken thighs and fillets

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, including muscles, skin, and hair. 

Dogs need protein to produce enzymes and hormones which help regulate various processes in the body like digestion and metabolism.

Moreover, protein helps support the immune system and protect the body against diseases.

Also, it gives dogs energy to stay active and it’s used for other important functions within the body.

Dogs should eat high-quality sources of protein to meet their nutritional needs.

Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are good sources of protein that dogs need in their diet.

Legumes and grains can also be part of balanced nutrition in addition to animal-based protein.

According to the AAFCO, adult dogs need a minimum of 18% crude protein for maintenance and you’ll be glad to know that both formulas meet the standards.

In comparison, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula has 24% while Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness recipe has 34% crude protein.

Guaranteed AnalysisBlue WildernessBlue Life Protection
Crude Protein34%24%
Crude Fat15%14%
Caloric value3599 kcal/kg3618 kcal/kg

Blue Wilderness’ formula has more meat protein too and that’s important when comparing percentages.

Not only that it provides more protein, but it makes sure your dog gets complete protein from sources like deboned chicken, chicken meal, dried chicken, and salmon meal. 

We have to side with Blue Wilderness again for featuring terrific ingredients and a high amount of protein for building muscle and strengthening bones, and the immune system.

Their recipe is great for dogs who are active and need plenty of this nutrient to stay strong and energized.

Winner: Blue Wilderness

Fiber Content


Fiber is another essential nutrient that promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.

It also supports digestion and helps prevent diarrhea.

Besides, fiber can help with weight management because high-fiber foods keep dogs full longer and that can reduce their overall calorie intake and prevent overeating.

Fiber can be beneficial for dogs with diabetes or obesity since it can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

Your dog should eat food like fruit and veggies, whole grains, and legumes to get enough fiber.

Both Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness provide your dog with good sources of fiber because they include ingredients like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.

In addition, both formulas are enriched with alfalfa, carrots, sweet potatoes, raspberries, and blueberries.

Raspberries are hearty fruits that are not only high in fiber but in antioxidants too and they have anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve joint pain.

The fiber content is similar and Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula has 5% whereas Blue Wilderness’ has 6% crude fiber.

We give credit to both brands for including wholesome ingredients and providing good fiber for your pup’s digestion, healthy weight, and satiety.

Winner: Tie

Fat Content

Fat is an ideal source of energy for dogs, especially those who are very active or have high energy requirements.

Moreover, fat plays a vital role in the absorption and use of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

Fatty acids found in fats are beneficial for dogs’ coats, skin, and immune systems.

Good sources of fat for dogs are meat, poultry, and fish, as well as plant-based fats, such as oils, nuts, and seeds. 

A balanced diet that includes appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and fiber is important for maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being.

In comparison, Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula contains 14% while Blue Wilderness’s formula has 15% crude fat.

Guaranteed AnalysisBlue Buffalo WildernessBlue Buffalo Life Protection
Crude Fat15%14%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.5%0.5%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.75%3%
Omega-6 To Omega-3 Ratio5:5:16:1

Again, we have similar fat content and both brands use ingredients like chicken fat and flaxseed, but Blue Wilderness’ recipe has a salmon meal on top of that.

Flaxseed and salmon meal are excellent sources of omega fatty acids that dogs need for reproduction, growth, immune function, and skin and coat health.

That’s why we side with Blue Wilderness in this round for adding more ingredients rich in these healthy fats.

Winner: Blue Wilderness


The flavor is important too when it comes to pups’ food.

No matter how healthy their kibble is, if they refuse to eat it you need to switch to another product or even a manufacturer.

As someone who has a picky fur baby, I know how difficult it can be to find the right food for your canine.

Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog food brands for offering an extraordinary range of products.

You can find recipes with common and uncommon meats, grains, or no grains, limited-ingredient formulas, and vet diets.

Blue Wilderness as a product line also features rich meat flavors, whole grains, and a taste of nature dogs crave.

So, Blue Buffalo wins for having more products, and even fussy eaters can find a recipe they can devour.

Winner: Blue Buffalo

Price Comparison 

blue wilderness

This is another vital aspect for dog parents, especially if you are buying on a budget.

Premium dog food brands offer quality ingredients and added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to make sure dogs get everything they need to stay healthy.

Buying better quality food can save you money in the long run.

Furthermore, Blue Buffalo uses real meat, meat meals, whole grains, and healthy fruits and veggies to help your pup maximize his potential.

And, they don’t use by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors which is important for sensitive stomachs and pups in general.

Blue Buffalo WildernessBlue Buffalo Life Protection
Bag size28 lb30 lb
Average cost/lb$2.86$2.17

Blue Wilderness is slightly more expensive and that’s due to the fact they add more meat which means your dog gets more complete protein necessary for building and maintaining lean muscles.

It’s up to you to decide which recipe you prefer.

If your dog needs plenty of protein, then Blue Wilderness is a suitable option.

And if you want to save some money and buy good quality food but with less protein, then Blue Buffalo is your choice. 

Winner: Blue Buffalo

Customer Reviews

In this category, we will compare the recipes based on Chewy’s customer reviews.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula with chicken and brown rice for adult dogs has 4.5 stars and quite a lot of reviews, more than 2900. One dog parent stated:

“In an effort to put some weight on my senior hound mix, I began transitioning to Blue Buffalo a few weeks ago and she LOVES it. She is slowly adding weight.”

Read more Blue Buffalo reviews

Blue Wilderness with chicken for adult dogs on the other hand has 2.8 stars based on only 44 reviews.

They changed the recipe and added a salmon meal instead of a fish meal and they added more whole grains, but apparently, customers aren’t satisfied with the new formula. Here’s one disappointed buyer’s review:

“My two golden retrievers used to eat this food. After the recipe change my old golden started showing signs of grain allergy, and my young golden would not eat all of it. We switched foods for something that is higher quality and that is not so ridiculously priced.”

Looking for a cheaper Blue Wilderness alternative? Check out our article on Nutro versus Blue Buffalo.

This is a recent change so it takes time to get more reviews and weigh up the positive and negative experiences.

Some customers say that the whole grains are good for heart health and their dogs like the new kibble.

In addition, Blue Buffalo turned out to be good for dogs’ skin and coats, it boosted their energy, and even picky eaters liked it. One reviewer shared:

“Our puppies are now over a year old and we started feeding them Blue Buffalo a few weeks ago. Positive change, their coats are so shiny and they appear to be much happier with BB. Older dog has more energy (positive for him not so much for pups). The picky eater is no longer leaving food in her bowl.”

Read more Blue Buffalo reviews

However, some customers complain about the little LifeSource Bits that dogs seem to avoid and eat around them.

Blue Buffalo has a better rating, but it depends on you to choose the best food for your pal.

Winner: Blue Buffalo

Recalls and Product Safety

The FDA regulates pet food in the US and they have established standards to make sure the food is safe and meets certain nutritional requirements. 

When a product doesn’t meet the safety standards, the FDA issues a recall and the manufacturer needs to retrieve or replace the goods.

Blue Buffalo had several dog food recalls over the years from October 2010 to March 2017, but they don’t have any active recalls at the moment.

It’s important to note that these recalls are not unique to Blue Buffalo, all pet food companies may have issues with their products at some point. 

That’s why you should stay informed about pet food recalls and check the brand’s website or the FDA’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Overall Winner

After researching and testing their products, we can say that Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness use nutrient-dense ingredients like real deboned meat, whole grains, veggies, and fruit.

They don’t use by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors which is good news for pet parents who avoid these ingredients.

When it comes to safety, both brands have recalled products, but they fixed the problem promptly and make sure pets get quality food to thrive.

Blue Buffalo has a wider range of products and it’s more affordable, generally.

But Blue Wilderness offers more protein and higher animal-based sources which contribute to your dog’s muscle building, bone strengthening, and overall health, and this is especially beneficial for high-performing or working dogs who need plenty of these amino acids.

Also, it includes more omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

We hope this article helps you choose the most appropriate food for your canine. Don’t hesitate to contact your vet before making any decision regarding your dog’s diet.

Do you want to read similar articles? Check out our Dog Food Comparison page!

Photo of author


Sal is the founder and editor of Dog Food Point and an avid dog lover who is passionate everything related to dogs. With over 20 years of experience as a passionate dog lover and expert in dog nutrition, Sal is committed to sharing valuable information and advice to promote happy, healthy dogs. When he is not playing with his pooch Tara, Sal spends most of his time reading, writing, and cooking for his dogs.

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