Nutrition Category IconNutrition

Taste of the Wild vs. Blue Buffalo: Which Dog Food is Better?

Comparing Taste of the Wild vs. Blue Buffalo as potential dog food for your pup? Find out which brand we prefer at each life stage in this brand comparison!

Emma Braby

Last Updated: August 31, 2020 | 12 min read

Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo Dog Foods

Love Your Dog is reader-supported. When you buy something through one of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Trying to decide between Taste of the Wild vs. Blue Buffalo in picking out a new food for your furry canine friend? When it comes to big popular brands, they don’t come much bigger than these two dog food titans. Both have a large and loyal following who wouldn’t choose any other brand when it comes to feeding their beloved furry friends.

So, if you’re here to see which brand suits you and your pup’s food lifestyle best, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take a look at their brand history, through to their recipes and onto their ingredients. We’ll take a look at what they are all about when it comes to creating tasty and well-balanced food, and much more.

While cost is going to play a factor, most canine owners already understand you get what you pay for. That rings true with dog nutrition as well. Both Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo carries a premium price tag, but that’s usually less of a concern for dog owners that want the best for their pups. So, let’s get straight to it and see who wins this battle of the brands.

Taste of the Wild Puppy Formula High Prairie
Our Rating

Top Pick For Puppies

Taste of the Wild Puppy

View at Chewy.com
Blue Buffalo Life Source
Our Rating

Top Pick For Adults

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

View at Chewy.com
Blue Buffalo Senior Adult Food
Our Rating

Top Pick For Seniors

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

View at Chewy.com

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Chewy.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Brand History

Dog Eating Taste of the Wild
Both Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo are high quality dog foods.

Popular dog food brands are built on good reputations and great vision. Once the manufacturer has a vision and ethos that chimes with their client base, they quickly increase in popularity. Let’s look at what these two brands are built on and why they became so popular so quickly. 

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild was created in 2007 by their parent company Diamond Pet Foods. Diamond Pet Foods owns and manages many brands in the pet food industry. The brand was created to be premium but affordable food for all dog owners.

Their name says it all, and their recipes are designed to replicate a dog’s natural diet. They do this by including real whole meat cooked with other natural vegetables and proteins. Meat sources take center stage as the first ingredient in all of their recipes, and this was, and still is, a big hit with their customers.

We’ve compared Taste of the Wild to several different brands in addition to doing an in-depth Taste of the Wild Dog food review. You can see some of the additional brand comparisons we’ve made right here:

With all the brands we’ve put up against Taste of the Wild, they always hold their own. Their brand reputation is strong and they have a loyal following of dedicated customers.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo is a Wilton, Connecticut based brand created in 2002 by the Bishop family.  After the early death of their beloved Airedale Terrier ‘Blue’, they decided to create a well-balanced leading line of dog food as a legacy for Blue. The Blue Buffalo mission is simple, ‘love them like family, feed them like family.’

Their mission was to create food that would assist in keeping poorly dogs healthy and ease a range of ailments. Working with good quality natural ingredients, they created a variety of foods that have been a big hit ever since.

While we’ve also done a full review of Blue Buffalo’s dog food, we’ve similarly made several comparisons of Blue Buffalo’s dog food versus its competitors. Some of those comparisons include the following:

Just like other brands, Blue Buffalo continues to do well with a loyal customer base. Their customers seem to enjoy the unique blend of affordability and quality that they get when they purchase a Blue Buffalo product.

Recalls

Recall Histories of Food Brands
Taste of the Wild has as lower recall frequency than Blue Buffalo.

As responsible dog owners, it is down to us to know what we are feeding our pups. That way, we can ensure they have a healthy balanced diet to keep them fit and their immune system working correctly. That way, they stay safe and are with us much longer.

So, a pet food company needs to be aware of any issues that might compromise quality. When the quality drops, the company itself will identify it and issue a recall, or it may fall to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). By collating the info available on the FDA website and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website, we can detail the brand’s history of recalls.

Taste of the Wild

The parent company of Taste of the Wild, Diamond Pet Food, has had several recalls of food across their different companies, but only one directly related to the Taste of the Wild brand.

May 5, 2012 – Taste of the Wild instigated a recall of their products as a precautionary measure. This was related to a salmonella concern affecting other brands manufactured in Diamond Pet Food facilities. Although the recall affected thousands of pets and owners across the country, there were no confirmed cases of salmonella poisoning as a result.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has had one major recall that caused illness in pets because of high levels of vitamin D. It was their first-ever recall that was raised by the FDA after a string of illnesses reported by vets and owners.  All subsequent recalls were identified and actioned before any illness or injury occurred.

October 8, 2010 – Blue Buffalo recalls specific batches of some of its popular products due to potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. Multiple illnesses reported and researched by Michigan State University were linked to a batch of Blue Buffalo products. Blue buffalo successfully recalled the products and reduced the number of pets affected.

November 25, 2015 — Blue Buffalo recalled one lot of its Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones due to potential salmonella contamination. No illness reported.

May 31, 2016 – they recalled a limited batch of Life Protection Formula Dog Food products due to the presence of excessive moisture and mold. No illness reported, discovered by Blue Buffalo, not consumers.

February 13, 2017 – Blue Buffalo recall specific lots of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight due to possible aluminum metal contamination. No illness reported.

March 2, 2017 – they withdraw 17 varieties of its Blue Divine Delights and Blue Wilderness Trail food trays due to quality issues with the foil seals. No illness reported.

March 18, 2017 – Blue Buffalo recalled one production lot of food that may have contained elevated levels of naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone. No illness reported.

Food Ingredients

Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo Natural Ingredients
Both Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild use natural ingredients in their foods.

You shouldn’t underestimate the quality of the ingredients that go into your pooch’s food. The better the quality and the more balanced the food is, means the better your pup’s overall health is likely to be.

A proper diet is directly linked to good health and less illness. So, whether you choose to feed Fido a diet that is all organic, or real whole foods, or maybe grain-free, always choose natural ingredients. The ingredient list is always the first place to look when considering whether it is the right kibble for your pooch.

Taste of the Wild

The Taste of the Wild list of ingredients is wide and varied with a selection of whole meats listed as the first ingredient. This means it is the most significant ingredient by volume. With meats such as bison, wild boar, salmon, fowl, lamb, and venison, they pride themselves on using good quality meat.

They also refuse to use meat by-products that have nutritionally questionable animal parts within them. Their grain-free recipes are very nutritious, and their grain inclusive line ‘ancient grains’ use chia seeds, quinoa, millet, and sorghum, reflecting a more natural canine diet.

Taste of the Wild formulates recipes with ingredients such as chicory root and prebiotic fiber to aid regular digestion and promote intestinal health. Natural additives such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bacillus subtilis probiotics promote friendly bacteria in your pups’ gut.

Blue Buffalo

As early pioneers of the natural pet food industry, Blue Buffalo uses quality ingredients such as alligator, rabbit, and halibut as healthy protein-packed meat sources. And fruits and veggies such as blueberries, broccoli, and pumpkin are championed for their health benefits. They also refuse to use cheaper meat by-product ingredients.

Blue Buffalo’s recipes are formulated by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to produce foods that the owners would be happy to feed to their own families. As such, they created ‘Blue LifeSource Bits’, which are different kibble pieces that are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are cold-formed, retaining more goodness heat-treated foods.

Blue Buffalo also uses prebiotic and probiotic ingredients just as Taste of the Wild do, and overall offer easy-to-digest formulas. They offer a wide variety of grain-free recipes, and their grain inclusive recipes use gentle grains such as brown rice and oatmeal.

Range of Formulas

Wet Dog Food
From wet to dry, both manufacturers offer a wide range of dog foods.

Whether your pup is big or small, lazy, or active, they have specific requirements that will not be met by a generic cheap, low-quality dog food. For this reason, most good quality food brands will offer a choice of foods specifically for age, lifestyle, or even size of pooch. So, let’s look at each product line and see just how many recipes they have for the differing dog needs.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild offer a total of 2 product lines:

  • Standard Taste of the Wild (their standard kibble, all-natural ingredients)
  • Prey (their limited ingredient line, just four natural ingredients)

There are both ancient grain and grain-free options within the standard kibble, but no grain inclusive options in the Prey line. Their two puppy recipes are the only dietary specific offering they provide. Taste of the Wild’s advice is that their offerings are balanced and nutritious enough to meet all dog requirements.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has 6 product lines:

  • Freedom (grain-free line)
  • Basics (their standard kibble line)
  • Wilderness (full of meat and extra protein)
  • Carnivora – prey feed (90% animal proteins)
  • Veterinary Diet (health and dietary issue specific)
  • True Solutions (Lifestyle and problem-specific solutions)

Across every Blue Buffalo product line is an offering for breed size, life stage, and dietary or lifestyle specific requirements. They also have grain-free and grain inclusive options too.

Puppy Formulas


Taste of the Wild Puppy

Taste of the Wild Puppy Food HP
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • Made with real bison.
  • No corn, wheat or fillers.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

The first year of your pup’s life is the most important. Setting them up with all their development and health needs means they will be off to a flying start. Puppies require higher amounts of protein and extra nutrients for the development of their muscles, brain, and organ function.

Puppies require almost twice as much in amino acids to support the rapid cell regeneration necessary for full growth. As such, a good puppy formula is a great way to start your pooch off on the right paw. Here’s how these two brands stack up in the puppy products.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild offers just 2 puppy formulas. One is egg and chicken free as some pups are sensitive to these ingredients, so it caters to early-onset allergies. Taste of the Wild is unique in this formula as few brands offer it as an option for your young one.

These are suitable for both puppies and nursing mothers (they require a similar diet when raising pups). So even though there are no breed or size-specific puppy options, Taste of the Wild states that you can use them for all size types. Just bear in mind that the kibble will be sized for the average-sized pooch, so pups with smaller mouths might struggle with it. Taste of the Wild’s puppy formula is one of our favorite foods for the American Bully as well as one of our favorite dog foods for German Shepherds.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has a vast range of puppy products. There are 2 from the life protection range, 3 from the freedom range, 3 from the Wilderness range, and 2 from the Carnivora range. There are both grain-free and inclusive options, too, as well as size and dietary need products across the puppy range. Blue Buffalo has some excellent foods for large breed puppies, as well as some of our favorite puppy food formulas for smaller breeds.

Winner

Taste of the Wild gets the nod here for the winner in the Puppy Food category. While Blue Buffalo has a wide range of options for your puppy, Taste of the Wild’s high prairie formula for puppies is so popular that we have to give it the win.


Adult Formulas

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult

Blue Buffalo Adult Life Protection Formula
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • No by-product meals.
  • Antioxidant-rich for immune health.
  • Grain-inclusive formula.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • 378 Calories per cup.
  • 24% Protein, 14% Fat, 5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Adult dogs also have specific needs when it comes to diet. They come in all different sizes and shapes, differing ages, lifestyles, and energy levels, and each needs to be catered for differently. Here’s what these two brands have to offer on the adult front.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild offers 3 types of recipes for adults. Standard, standard with ancient grains, and their limited ingredient Prey range. With 16 recipes, they provide a good choice of flavors, all with real meat.

The shortfall here, much like the puppy round, is that none of the recipes offer small dog-specific kibble. There is also a lack of products to cater to lifestyle issues that some dogs suffer from, such as joint health or weight control, so the choice is somewhat limited. Taste of the Wild was also selected as one of our favorite foods for Labradors, due to the joint support.

Blue Buffalo

Across their 6 product lines, Blue Buffalo has a whopping 98 recipes to choose from. These recipes cater to every need and want. Including grain and grain-free options, size-specific kibbles, and of course, dietary and health-driven formulas for pups that need a little extra help with their diet. These recipes cater to joints, sensitive tummies, obesity, and many more.

Winner

We call this a tie. Blue Buffalo has a wide variety of formulas, recipes, and age-specific options for your pup no matter what life stage they are in. However, Taste of the Wild has the adult high prairie formula, which is a fan favorite for many dog owners.


Senior Formulas

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior

Blue Buffalo Senior Life Protection Formula
  • No corn, wheat, soy or chicken.
  • No poultry by-product meals.
  • L-Carnitine for muscle maintenance.
  • Glucosamine for joint support.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health.
  • 357 Calories per cup.
  • 18% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

As dogs age, they slow down and develop dietary needs that help with ailments and sensitivities. A common problem is joint pain and stiffness. Two wonder ingredients that are known to help with this are glucosamine and chondroitin. They lubricate joints and keep them supple, so foods with these additives are essential for the aging dog.

Another good recipe for old pups is lower fat and more fiber. This satiates appetite and, at the same time, reduces calorie intake to prevent them from piling on the pounds as they get slower and less mobile. Let’s see what these brands offer for the older dog.

Taste of the Wild

It’s disappointing that Taste of the Wild does not offer senior-specific food. They state that their recipes are suitably balanced for all life stages, which is mostly true. However, a quick comparison of their recipes with other senior recipes shows that their products do not offer the same levels of glucosamine and omega fatty acids.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo offers senior kibbles across 5 of their 6 product lines, with 7 senior recipes. All are ranging from dietary and health issues specific to lower calorie and increased chondroitin and glucosamine formulas. You have a great choice of recipes to cater to their aging needs effectively. 

Winner

Once again, due to the full range of recipes and formulas, Blue Buffalo is the winner here.  Allowing you to keep your wise old wolf happy and healthy throughout his twilight years.


Wet Foods

Taste of the Wild Wet Food

Taste of the Wild Wet Canned Food
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Made with real lamb.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health.
  • No corn, wheat or filler.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 351 Calories per cup.
  • 8% Protein, 4.5% Fat, 1% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

As great as a well-balanced kibble is, we know dogs can get fussy with their food if it is a bit dry and unappetizing. For this reason, we have two tricks to use. One is to add a little water to produce a gravy around the kibble, and the other is a meat topper or meat mix thrown in for good measure. So, let’s check out what wet food these two brands offer for fussy Fido’s.

Taste of the Wild

From Taste of the Wild, we get 5 wet food recipes. A mix of beef, fish, lamb, or fowl in nutritious, well-balanced canned foods your pup is sure to perk up when he gets a sniff of one. 

Blue Buffalo

As with their kibble offering, the Blue Buffalo wet food offering comes in at a massive 101 wet food recipes and formulas to choose from. Every kibble has matching wet food options with a plethora of flavors to mix and match. You will be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing, and your pooch will be licking his chops for sure.

Winner

This was another big finale, and Blue Buffalo have won again. Although Taste of the Wild has offerings in this round, they are no match for Blue Buffalo’s sheer variety of formulas and options. 


Final Thoughts

Well, some might call it a whitewash, others would say no contest, but what we say is that range of products aside, these two are both producers of top-quality food for your pup. With similar outlooks on using natural ingredients and crafting great-tasting meals, they are both excellent choices for your furry friend.

The key to a good healthy life for dogs is a good healthy diet. So it’s always essential that you do what is best for Fido and his individual needs. Overall, Blue Buffalo is the hands-down winner when it comes to sheer choice and bespoke offering for your pup. But whether you choose them or Taste of the Wild, your dog stands to have a great diet with either.

Leave a Comment