Pet food is one item on the pet care list that cannot be taken for granted because this is where all the nutrition necessary for a long, healthy and happy pet life comes from.
This fact makes choosing a pet food brand for our feline and canine friends a bit frustrating but this challenge is short lived when you have a guide that compares all your favorite eye-catching pet food brands. This is where we come in.
This article compares two premium pet food brand, Blue Buffalo and NutriSource, using detailed information on their pricing, brand history, brand pros and cons, nutrient content, product safety and more.
We will answer all your petfood-related questions from where to buy them to what nutritional values they bring to the table.
- 🤔 Blue Buffalo vs NutriSource FAQ
- ⚖️ Blue Buffalo and NutriSource Pros and Cons
- 😻 Types Of Pet Food
- 🥕 Nutritional Value Comparison
- 💰 Price Comparison
- 🤤 Ingredients and Flavors
- 🏡 About Blue Buffalo and NutriSource
- 🙀 Product Safety and Recalls through History
- 🏆 Blue Buffalo Vs NutriSource: And the winner goes to…
🤔 Blue Buffalo vs Nutrisource FAQ
What is guaranteed analysis?
The concept of guaranteed analysis on pet food products is to assure purchasers of the precise nutrient content of each consumable. Emphasized by AAFCO, guaranteed analysis by food labels must meet certain requirements such as an exact value for the minimum percentage of crude protein and fat, as well as the maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture on the basis of dry matter obtained. All of the percentages that I use in this comparison are averages of dry matter basis. Learn about dry matter basis here.
Which one has more protein?
NutriSource offers 1.0%, 3.3% and 1.2% more protein than Blue Buffalo for dry dog food, wet dog food and wet cat food respectively while Blue Buffalo has only 0.3% more protein than NutriSource for dry cat foods. In light of this, I believe it’s safe to say NutriSource pet food has more protein than Blue Buffalo pet food.
Which one is cheaper?
The NutriSource pet food offers cheaper meals than the Blue Buffalo pet food and this cuts across all meal types. Whereas Blue Buffalo is also known for its affordability.
Which one has more flavor?
The Blue Buffalo brand offers more flavor than the NutriSource brand with over 200 recipes formulated for dogs alone while Nutrisource offers 50 recipes for dog food and treats combine.
Which one has received more recalls?
Blue Buffalo has been recalled nine times whereas NutriSource has never received any recalls from inception till date.
⚖️ Blue Buffalo and NutriSource Pros and Cons
Blue Buffalo Pros:
Blue Buffalo Cons:
😻 Types Of Pet Food
|Product (Dog Food)||Blue Buffalo||NutriSource|
|Dry Food||85 recipes||29 recipes|
|Wet Food||101 recipes||12 recipes|
|Treats||51 treats||9 treats|
|Product (Cat Food)|
|Dry Food||40 recipes||5 recipes|
|Wet Food||47 recipes||14 recipes|
|😻 See all Blue Buffalo recipes||😻 See all NutriSource recipes|
While NutriSource offers only 69 recipes for all meal types with an exception of cat treats, Blue Buffalo offers a generous 339 recipes for all food types and treats.
🥕 Nutritional Value Comparison
Basically, dogs, cats and other pets require carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins and water in every meal. Any pet food lacking any of these is considered incomplete and unfit for consumption unless prescribed by a vet for special purpose such as treatment.
The nutritional value of every pet food is defined by these nutrient and their percentages or ratios present.
Let compare both brands based on their nutritional value using protein, fats and fibre as a basis.
|Blue Buffalo||Protein(dry)||Protein(wet)||Fat (dry)||Fat(wet)||Fiber (dry)||Fiber (wet)|
|🥕 See more Blue Buffalo info||🥕 See more NutriSource info|
Amino acids derived from proteins are the building blocks of tissues. Those synthesized by pet’s function as enzymes components, body secretions and several structural and protective cells.
A good protein source provides at least 3.5kcal of energy per gram yet not all good protein sources supplies all the essential amino acids required, thus it is extremely important to make up these deficiencies and reduce the excesses by selecting pet foods with the appropriate ingredients.
For example, soybean meal or corn cannot stand alone as sole protein sources for pet food, therefore they are used in combination during recipe formulations.
Fibre is not a key nutrient but it is as important as water and every other nutrient because without it the digestive system of dogs and cats will suffer. It is obtained from fruits, vegetables and carbohydrate based food and it assists in digestion.
Although both brands offer exactly the same amounts of fibre for dry dog foods, Blue Buffalo offer more fibre in their wet foods than they do in their dry food when compared with NutriSource.
Vitamins and Minerals
These are nutrients required daily in varying quantities depending on the pet and they are gotten from fruits and vegetables. They are mostly responsible for the metabolic reactions in dogs and cats.
While dogs do not need excess of vitamins in their meals and cats require them specifically, Vitamin A and B, both pets need minute amounts of minerals such as calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, and others. Vitamin E aids immunity and Vitamin A enhances healthy skin and fur while mineral such as calcium are needed for healthy bones and cartilages.
An overdose of these nutrients is as equally dangerous as a deficiency. Excess intakes of fat soluble vitamins usually result in toxicosis as they get stored in the liver while lower urinary tract diseases could be the resulting effect off excess intake of minerals such as magnesium.
Common sources of carbohydrate in pet food include rice, corn, wheat, potatoes, rye, and legumes such as peas and beans.
Carbohydrate supplies pets with the energy needed to carry out all their body function including processing other nutrients. Most carbohydrates in pet foods are broken down by enzymes and absorbed as glucose. Carbohydrate provides the fibre content of a pet’s meal which is responsible for smooth functioning of the digestive system.
A deficiency in carbohydrate in a pet’s diet would result in the heavy dependence on protein for energy thereby depleting its necessary functions in the body.
💰 Price Comparison
How much do you spend on average on pet foods? Is your current food brand of choice cost-effective? Are the most expensive pet food brands the ones with better nutritional values? It is important to note that the type of ingredients used in formulating the recipes of a pet food affect its price so do not make a choice on the basis of cost alone.
Be informed on the best way to save yourself from paying more for low quality brands by using either the average cost per calories or the average cost per pound metrics.
|Dog Food||Blue Buffalo (dry)||Blue Buffalo (wet)||NutriSource (dry)||NutriSource (wet)|
|Cat Food||Blue Buffalo (dry)||Blue Buffalo (wet)||NutriSource (dry)||NutriSource (wet)|
|💰 See the best Blue Buffalo prices||💰 See the best NutriSource prices|
While experts are still looking for a better metric of carryout out price comparison of pet food, it’s advisable for now to use the cost per calories which involves only the dry matter. This is so because we do not want you paying for the moisture you can supply to your pet’s diet by providing clean drinkable water from your home.
🤤 Ingredients and Flavors
Some experts argue that a brand could claim to have a particular flavor in its meal without the inclusion of the ingredient responsible for that flavor in the recipe meaning chicken might not be used as an ingredient in a recipe claimed to be chicken flavored because the flavor could be from a by-product, chicken meal or artificial flavor.
However true that might be, Blue Buffalo and NutriSource are an exception because they are well known for their naturals flavors derived from the natural and organic ingredients used in their different recipes.
With a total of 339 recipes, Blue Buffalo offers a wide variety of flavors to choose from for your dogs and cats.
The brand uses turkey, potatoes, deboned chicken, deboned salmon, chicken meal, brown rice, oat meal and other controversial ingredients like garlic, canola oil (source of omega-3 and omega-6 acid), caramel, pea protein concentrate, tomato pomace and powdered cellulose.
- Chicken and Brown Rice
- Meaty Morsel in tasty Gravy
- Salmon recipe
- Turkey and chicken grill
The brand manages only 69 recipes, as against 339 recipes, for its dog and cat foods yet it uses quite a number of ingredients in putting together these mouth-watering recipes.
The ingredients include chicken, brown and white rice, chicken meal, dried beet pulp and brewer’s yeast, chicken and turkey digests, flaxseed, fish meal/oil, dried egg products, chicken fat, deboned salmon, barley, and others.
The only controversial ingredients used by this brand is the brewers rice and the white rice and they are seen as controversial because of the amount of carbs and fibre they provide.
- Lamb and Rice
- Chicken Salmon and liver
- Jerky dogs treat
🏡 About Blue Buffalo and NutriSource
Blue Buffalo Information
Blue Buffalo pet food is owned by Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd, a US based company recently purchased by a branded consumer foods manufacturing and marketing company, General Mills. Its headquarters is still in Wilton, United States. The brand sources its ingredients and produces its recipes in Japan, Mexico and Canada but it distribution network cuts across this world.
The brand offers quiet a number of dog and cat food variants under it four main product lines, BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Life Protection Formula and Blue Basics.
The NutriSource pet food is a KLN family brand owned by Pine Lakes Feed Company which is today called the Tuffy’s Dog Food Company. The brand was created 39 years after the original founder, Darrell “Tuffy” Nelson, allowed his son expand the company into the super-premium pet food company it is today.
This family owned pet food company operates and produces all its products in Perham, Minnesota, United States.
All ingredients are sourced within the United states and some common recipes you might find today in your regular pet shop includes lamb meal and rice recipe, super performance formula, woodlands select formular, grain-free heartland select formula, and others.
🙀 Product Safety and Recalls through History
Companies make scheduled recalls on products that may have a foreseen defect or safety issues. The importance of a recall is to conduct further safety tests in order to effect changes to
Blue Buffalo Recalls
- Nov. 25th, 2015 – Salmonella risk
- Nov. 6th, 2015 – Propylene Glycol presence
- May 31st, 2016 – Mold
- March 18th, 2017 – Inapposite amounts beef thyroid hormone
- Feb. 14th, 2017 – Aluminum risk
- March 3rd, 2017 – Packaging problems
- Oct. 8th, 2010 – Dangerous levels of vitamin D
- April 19th, 2007 – Melamine presence
- April 26th, 2007 – Melamine presence
🏆 Blue Buffalo Vs NutriSource: And the winner goes to…
Blue Buffalo is the winner of this comparison battle, even though it has had a couple of safety recalls it has one of the widest varieties of flavors among pet food brands. It provides high quality nutrition for all ages at optimum levels and is quite affordable. If you canine of feline is the picky type and would not eat just anything, you know you can always count on the diversity of the Blue buffalo brand, there is something for everyone.
|If you want||Then you should choose|
|Higher levels of protein||Both Brands|
|A cost effective option||NutriSource|
|A wider variety of flavors and ingredients||Blue Buffalo|
|Safety, based on number of recalls||NutriSource|
|A balanced diet for all age levels||Both Brands|