Nutro vs Blue Buffalo Detailed Comparison

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When it comes to choosing the best dog food, getting the right brand is essential. Instead of mixing things up from different brands, sticking to one is recommended. However, this does not mean you have to stick to one bag of dog food. Nowadays, brands like Nutro and Blue Buffalo provide many varieties for you and your dog to choose from. That way, you can rotate between products or find the one your dog likes the most. In this article, we compare both products according to their ingredients, quality, and varieties. After reading this article, you will decide for yourself the winner of Nutro vs Blue Buffalo. Let us begin!

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo Comparison Table

FactNutroBlue Buffalo
Protein sourceChicken, chicken meal, and turkey    Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, bison, duck, fish, rabbit, trout, salmon, venison
Carbs sourceBrewer rice, whole grain, and brown riceBarley, potatoes, oat flour
Vegetables and fruitsExtracted tomato, extracted pumpkin, carrot powder, green pea powderCarrots, blueberries, cranberries, alfalfa
FiberWhole grain and barleyFlaxseed, brown rice, chickpeas
Fatty acidsOmega 3 Fatty Acids = 0.2% Omega 6 Fatty Acids = 2%Omega 3 Fatty Acids = 0.35% Omega 6 Fatty Acids = 0.75%
Grain-freeSome products, including: Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro UltraAll products except True Solutions
Variety77 options for dog food Treats available101 options for dog food Treats available
Recall history2009 – A production issue that led to some bags of Nutro Ultra containing melted plastic in them.2007, melamine in canned dog food 2010, potentially toxic levels of Vitamin D 2015, salmonella contamination 2016, mold in some packages 2017, aluminum contamination and high levels of beef thyroid hormones
PriceAround $3.78 per poundAround $3.45 per pound

About Nutro

Nutro vs Blue Buffalo

This brand focuses on fatty acids to help provide the proper nutrition for dogs, especially puppies. For older dogs, Nutro provides products with high calcium to keep them healthy. Another thing we like about this brand is the variety of tasty kibbles. In addition, they are made of organic ingredients. That is something you rarely find in dog food. All in all, this brand offers high-quality ingredients. As a result, Nutro is one of the most recommended dry dog food brands.

About Blue Buffalo

Even though it is relatively new, this brand is one of the most popular brands among dog owners. Blue Buffalo offers a formula called LifeSource Bits. This formula is a fantastic combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, mixed in the kibbles. Each product usually contains medium to a high protein, which is excellent for dogs like Pitbull puppy to get big muscles.

Now that you know a bit about Nutro and Blue Buffalo, let’s compare both brands according to the contents and quality of their products. Let us begin with the comparison table, followed by a detailed explanation of each feature.

Ingredients Comparison between Nutro and Blue Buffalo

The most important thing in deciding the Nutro vs Blue Buffalo winner is the nutrients their products contain. Thanks to AAFCO’s regulation, each brand must provide details of the ingredients included in each bag of dog food. Let us compare each brand and find which one is best for your dog. Note that each product contains different ingredients. The following comparison is based on the average nutrient components of the brand’s overall products.

Protein Source

Needless to say, protein is crucial for any dog at any age. Puppies need protein to grow, while adult dogs need them to keep their muscles strong. Nutro uses chicken, chicken meal, and turkey as its sources of protein. These are pretty common among other dog food brands. And there is a reason behind it. First, most dogs like the flavor of chicken and turkey. And the formula is saver for dogs, especially those with stomach issues such as diarrhea.

Blue Buffalo agrees with Nutro on this one. This brand also uses chicken and turkey as some of its sources of protein. But there is more. Blue Buffalo also mixes beef, lamb, pork, bison, duck, fish, rabbit, trout, salmon, and venison in their protein formula. As a result, you can rotate between flavors for your dogs. This is also good for picky eaters.

In terms of percentage, Nutro’s products averagely contain 35% of protein, which is higher than Blue Buffalo. The latter only offers around 28% of protein each meal. However, none of these are good or bad. It is only a matter of what you prefer for your dog. More protein per meal means more muscles built and more weight to gain.

Carbs Source

Besides protein, carbohydrate is crucial to your dog’s growth and health. Before you jump in and say grains are not natural for dogs, let us remind you that grains are not the only source of carbs. In fact, the best type of carbs is sourced from vegetables and fruits.

For this, we side more with the latter between Nutro and Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo chooses barley, oat flour, and potatoes as their sources of carbs. Potatoes are one of the best sources of carbs, especially for dog owners who do not want to feed their dogs grains. Meanwhile, Nutro sticks to grains as its source of carbs. With that said, their sources are the healthiest among grain-based carbs: brewer rice, whole grain, and brown rice.

It is up to you to choose which one is the best for your dog and its needs. To ensure you provide the best for your dog, look at our detailed guides on the feeding schedule depending on your dog’s age, such as the 4 Week Old Puppy Feeding Schedule.

Fiber Sources

Fiber is not the main concern among dog owners when it comes to feeding their dogs. However, fiber intake is crucial when it comes to your dog’s diet. Diet is not always about losing weight but also gaining more and maintaining the right amount. Controlling fiber intake means you get to achieve these weight goals for your dog in a more sufficient way. High fiber content also helps your dog who is always hungry.

Nutro sources its fiber from whole grain and barley, the same sources for carbohydrates. And average, each meal of Nutro’s products provides around 11% of fiber. This is considered high among most dog food brands. And it is higher than its competitor, Blue Buffalo, which offers 7% of crude fiber. However, Blue Buffalo has better sources of fiber. They include flaxseed, brown rice, and chickpeas.

On this matter, choosing which brand depends on your answer to this question: do you prefer a higher percentage of fiber or the quality of its source? For the former, go for Nutro. And for the latter, pick Blue Buffalo.

Vegetables and Fruits

Besides being good sources of vitamins and minerals, vegetables and fruits are important to keep your dog’s diet balanced. Without the right amount of vegetables and fruits, your dog may suffer from health issues.

Nutro brand chooses extracted tomato and pumpkin as well as carrot and green pea powder as its sources of vegetables and fruits’ goodness. As you can see, these are not the most organic sources, especially compared to its competitor. Blue Buffalo chooses carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and alfalfa. As a result, we recommend choosing Blue Buffalo when it comes to providing your dog the best type of vitamins and minerals.

Product Quality Comparison

In this section, we will discuss each brand’s varieties and recall history to decide the winner of Nutro vs Blue Buffalo. Let us start with Nutro and its array of products. In total, this brand offers 77 options of dog food. Among them are tasty treats your dogs will love. Some of their products are grain-free, such as Nutro Natural Choice and Nutro Ultra. Note that this brand mostly sources its carbs and fiber from grains. So the grain-free options may not be suitable for dogs needing more carbs and fiber. On the other hand, Blue Buffalo offers 101 options for dog food, including some treats. All of this brand’s products are grain-free, except for those with True Solutions.

Both products have been recalled in the past. Nutro was recalled once in 2009. There was a production issue that led to some bags of Nutro Ultra containing melted plastic. The quality of the product itself was never an issue.

Unfortunately, Blue Buffalo was recalled several times. In 2007, melamine was found in its canned dog food. In 2010, there were potentially toxic levels of Vitamin D. Five years after, for three consecutive years, this brand was recalled for salmonella, mold, and aluminum contamination issues, respectively.

Price Comparison

Both Nutro and Blue Buffalo offer affordable products. In fact, both brands are priced averagely $3-4 per pound. They are not the cheapest, but definitely among the most affordable options. Nutro’s products are available for around $3.78 per pound, while Blue Buffalo’s are approximately $3.45 per pound. Note that even though Blue Buffalo is cheaper than Nutro on average, some of Nutro’s dog treats are cheaper than Blue Buffalo’s. Price-wise, both products are inseparable in this battle of the best brand. Your choice should be made based on other things, such as the brand’s quality.


With our detailed comparison article on Nutro vs Blue Buffalo, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing between the two brands. If you need more information, consider how these brands are compared to others. Take a look at Nutro vs Nutrisource and Blue Buffalo vs Kirkland Dog Food next!

If we have to choose, we will give Nutro a chance. Even though its products’ ingredients are not as exclusive as Blue Buffalo’s, the brand’s quality speaks a lot for itself. Blue Buffalo is still a great option. However, the brand’s recall history is not something you can put aside easily. With that said, if you believe that the brand has made adjustments to its recall issues, there is nothing wrong with choosing Blue Buffalo.

So, which one are you going to choose? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

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