Purina Pro Plan VS Blue Buffalo: Which Is The Best Brand For Dogs

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Just like us, a dog requires healthy nutrition before and after training. Whether it’s physical exercises or some basic commands, a good diet can help improve performance and motivation in a big way. Hence, the reason I would like us to compare Purina pro plan vs blue buffalo and see which brand is the best in dog training.

Needless to say, the two happen to be major competitors in the pet food industry, which is another reason I opted them for this subject. Their rivalry is a pretty visible one as with the 2014 lawsuits and countersuits.

At the time, Purina accused Blue Buffalo of false advertisement, then Blue Buffalo filed a countersuit for defamation and unfair competition. Yes, Blue settled the suit and went after their supplier, Wilber-Ellis Co. for supplying misbranded ingredients. But that doesn’t mean the makers concluded their production differences.

In this comparison article, therefore, I will highlight factors like ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, and product safety. Then, we see their relation and importance of exercising and or training dogs.

Similar Article: Victor Dog Food vs Blue Buffalo

The 6 Best Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo Dog Foods

Brand Product Line First Ingredient Benefits View on Amazon
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken Highly palatable & digestible
Nourish skin and coat
Support digestive health
Enhance brain function
Promote overall health & wellness
Read Reviews
Purina Pro Plan Sport Chicken Promote muscle development
Optimize oxygen metabolism
Nourish immune system
Boost heart & brain function
Support joint health & mobility
Read Reviews
Purina Pro Plan Chicken Complete & balanced diet
Tasty & highly palatable
Promote digestive health
Support immune health
Promote strong bones & teeth
 Read Reviews
Blue Buffalo Woodland Bend Chicken Promote firmer muscles
High energy for exercise
Contains no grains
Promote joint health
Support strong teeth & bones
Read Reviews
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Chicken Support stronger muscles
Provide energy for training
Support immune system health
Promote healthy skin & coat
Support heart and brain health
Read Reviews
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Chicken Complete & balanced diet
Easy to ingest & digest
Promote healthy muscles
Boost heart & brain function
Read Reviews

Though there are others, the above table includes some of the bestselling recipes from Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo. You can click the link to read about what other pet owners are saying, as well as check the current price. Continue reading below on the differences and similarities between the brands.

Before we compare Purina Pro Plan vs Blue Buffalo, though, let’s highlight some of the key ingredients in a training dog.

Factors to consider when choosing a diet for exercising/ Training Dogs

  • Proteins- Contains amino acids to support muscle development and speed recovery after exercise or injury
  • Carbohydrates- provide energy to support an active lifestyle
  • B Vitamins- specifically B6, B9, and B12 can help support a healthy brain.
  • Niacin- helps boost heart health and improve brain function
  • DHA [docosahexaenoic acid]- this is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s very essential to brain development and heart health. Thus, can be very helpful in behavioral and vocational dog training.

Purina Pro Plan vs Blue Buffalo: A Glance at the Manufacturers

Facts Purina Pro Plan Blue Buffalo
Founded 1986 2002
First Ingredient Real Meat Real Meat
Dog Food Brands  9 Types  8 Types
Dry Food Flavors 39 101
Wet Food Flavors 44 Options 99 Options
Dog Treats NO 48 Items
Cat food YES YES

Purina Pro Plan

Overall, Purina is a leading pet food brand in the market, with thousands of consumers here in the US and around the world. The company’s also over 100 years old, which means it’s one of the oldest providers who are still operating.

As mentioned in the Purina Pro Plan vs Purina One review, the Purina Pro Plan diet was in the market for the first time in 1986. It was the first kibble diet to have real meat as the first ingredient and a breakthrough formula to promote functions like mental sharpness.

Up to now, the Purina Pro Plan has about 83 dog food recipes, including both dry and wet food. It also has various formulas for cats.

Blue Buffalo

Meanwhile, Blue Buffalo is not very old in the pet care business. The brand started operating in 2002, in which case the owner hoped to give dog owners diets with the finest, healthy, and natural ingredients.

At the moment, however, the Blue Buffalo is part of the General Mills Food Company. The American multinational manufacturer acquired it from the founding Bill Bishop Family in 2018, hoping to expand its operations.

Regardless, the company still provides high-quality products with the help of their team of vets and animal nutritionists. As for the training dogs, it has a variety of exclusive diets that have high proteins and essential vitamins to improve brain function.

Purina Pro Plan vs Blue Buffalo: Comparing the Various Features and Differences

  • Available Dog Food Formulas

True, your dog requires a balanced diet to grow. However, a single diet is not enough to provide all the nutrients and vitamins for optimum development. So, it’s best to adopt a rotational feeding program, whereby you switch your dog’s diet once in a while. And in doing that, you can either opt for single or multiple different providers.

If you prefer using one provider, both Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo have a wide range of food formulas that you can choose. The former has around 39 dry dog food recipes, which includes various high-protein diets to boost muscle development in physical training. Then, there are also specialty formulas to promote mental sharpness and alertness, which is very crucial in behavioral and vocational training.

Unfortunately, Blue Buffalo doesn’t have specific diets for cognitive health support. It, however, has more high-protein dog food recipes that can help enhance the physical development of your dog. Furthermore, the pet food brand has a variety of treats to motivate your pet during and after training.
Purina Pro Plan doesn’t have dog treats at the moment.

  • Guaranteed Analysis

Also known as nutritional value, guaranteed analysis is important in showing the percentages of the contained nutrient content. According to AAFCO, all dog foods, wet and dry, should provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat. The label should also have maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

Usually, the other nutrients are not a must to list but their presence can help inform the dog owners on the other benefits to expect.

Regardless, both Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo have various types of dog food, in which case there are no definite figures to compare. For quick reference, I’m going to compare two high-protein diets from either brand so that we can see which has the highest ratios.

Purina Pro Plan Sports High-Performance Formula vs Blue Wilderness High Protein Adult Dog Kibble

Guaranteed Analysis  Guaranteed Analysis  Dry Matter Basis Dry Matter Basis
Purina Pro plan  Blue Buffalo  Purina Pro plan  Blue Buffalo
Crude Protein 30.0% Min 34.0% Min 34.09% 37.78%
Crude Fat 20.0% Min 15.0% Min 22.73% 16.67%
Crude Fiber 3.0% Max 6.0% Max  3.41% 6.67%
Moisture 12.0% Max 10.0% Max. 0% 0%

Purina Pro Plan High-Protein Adult vs Blue Wilderness High-Protein Wet Food

Guaranteed Analysis  Guaranteed Analysis  Dry Matter Basis Dry Matter Basis
Purina Pro plan  Blue Buffalo  Purina Pro plan  Blue Buffalo
Crude Protein 9.0% Min.  10% Min. 40.91% 45.45%
Crude fat 6.0% Min. 8.5% Min.  27.27%  38.64%
Crude Fiber 1.5% Max. 1.5% Max. 6.82% 6.82%
Moisture 78.0% Max. 78.0% Max 0% 0%

When comparing different pet foods, you have to convert the guaranteed analysis to a dry matter basis to draw definitive conclusions. In this case, I picked the highest protein recipe from the Purina Pro plan and Blue Buffalo.

As you can see, the Blue formulas win on protein level [both dry and wet food] at a significant rate. Please note, the brand has the latest high protein dog food line, Carnivora, which rates 40% and above in guaranteed analysis. That means the difference with the Purina Pro Plan would have been even larger.

  • Ingredients Use

Despite their differences, Purina and Blue are focused on providing healthy and beneficial diets that your pet needs. They both rely on high-quality ingredients, with real meat as the first ingredient.
Here’s a table showing the various meat sources and other ingredients used by the two manufacturers.


 Purina Pro Plan

 Blue Buffalo

Carbohydrates Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potatoes, Corn, Wheat, & Cassava Flour Sweet potatoes, Barley, Brown Rice, Oat Flour, Potato Flour, & Tapioca Starch
Proteins Beef, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Eggs, Fish, Lamb, Meat by-products, peas, Soybean, Turkey, & venison, Alligator, bacon, Beef, Bison, Eggs, Fish, Lamb, Peas Poultry, Pork, Rabbit, & Venison
Fiber Barley, Green Beans, Guar Gum, Peas, Pumpkin, Beet Pulp, Soybean Hulls, & whole grain wheat Alfalfa, Barley grass, Bananas, Fava beans, Spinach, Pumpkin, Guar Gum, & Psyllium
Vitamins  Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Chicory Root, Cranberries, Spinach & Essential VitaminsVitamins  Apples, Blueberries, blackberries, Broccoli Carrots, Chicory Root, Cranberries, & Essential
Minerals Avocado, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Salt, & Supplements Carrots, Chickpeas, Green Beans, Kelp, Salt, & Supplements
Fatty acids Canola Oil, Chicken Fat, Corn Oil, Fish, Fish Oil, Soybean oil, & Sunflower Oil Canola Oil, Fish, Chicken Fat, Cinnamon Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Herring Oil, & Sunflower Oil
Antioxidants Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Parsley, & Vitamin E Supplement Apples, Blueberries, Pomegranate, Cranberries, Parsley, & Vitamin E Supplement
Flavors Animal Digest, Cheese, Locust Bean Gum, Natural Flavors, & Natural Flavor. Cheese, Cinnamon, Rosemary Extract, Natural Flavors, & Natural Flavor.
Preservatives Mixed Tocopherols, Sorbic Acid, & Citric Acid Citric Acid & Mixed Tocopherols

As shown above, the majority of ingredients are similar in Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo. The St Louis maker, however, has wide use of poultry by-product and meat by-product that many feel is a low-quality addition.

Other controversial ingredients from Purina Pro Plan include corn gluten meal, soybean protein, caramel color, Red 3, Yellow 5, and Menadione sodium bisulfite complex.

As for Blue Buffalo, they don’t use meat by-products or gluten products. The brand, however, tends to use caramel color that’s certainly unnecessary and experts believe it may be a possible health risk.

  • Product Safety

This is a shared concern that’s with almost all manufacturing companies, including Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo. However, the former has had only one recall in 2016 involving inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, Blue Buffalo has had 9 recalls. They include:

2007: [2 scenarios]- Melamine issue
2010: elevated Vitamin D
2015: Presence of propylene glycol
2015: possible Salmonella contamination
2016: Mold issue
2017: aluminum contamination
2017: elevated beef thyroid hormone

  • Pricing

Overall, the diets from all the two dog food brands come at a friendly budget. However, Purina Pro Plan is relatively cheaper, with a diet like Purina Pro Plan Sport kibble costing between $0.08-$0.38 per ounce. The pet food pricing usually decreases as the quantity increases. So, the highest figure is for the smallest quantity [4lbs bag].

Meanwhile, the cost of the Blue Buffalo depends on the product line you’re interested in. If it’s the Blue Wilderness, the Blue Wilderness High Protein Formula currently costs between $0.14-$0.25 per ounce.

Nonetheless, Blue Carnivora formulas are relatively more expensive due to the ingredients used. A recipe like Blue Carnivora High Protein Prairie Blend will cost you around 0.37-$0.47 per ounce. That equates to around $130.00 if you’re purchasing a 22-pound bag.

Final Verdict:

Truthfully, both Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo are great pet food brands but in their ways. They are reputable names in the business, plus there are numerous different dog food formulas that you can pick.

Nonetheless, the Purina Pro Plan can be a better option if on a tight budget and when teaching your dog basic commands and other behavioral/ vocational training. The American brand is budget-friendly, plus it has a special dog food line of “bright mind”.

Yes, the product line is not very long, but the few available formulas contain a unique blend to support brain health and performance. Some of these brain-function nutrients include Botanical oils and a blend of DHA & EPA.

Meanwhile, Blue Buffalo is the best when it comes to physical training. The company has been offering higher protein pet foods than almost all brands for many years. So, you possibly will find it a worthwhile option for building leaner and firmer muscles in your dog.

Blue also has a variety of dog treats that you can use to compliment your dog during and after exercising or training. Hence, making it possible for him to learn new tricks faster.

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