Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food (2024)

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In this comparison between two popular dog foods, we’ll look at Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan dog food. For each product we’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money to give our verdict on which one we think is best.

Comparing Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

All of our dog food suggestions are carefully selected by professionals. We extensively research the products to check if they’ve been approved by governing bodies before making recommendations. You can read more about our stringent review standards here. And remember, always consult your veterinarian first, before changing your dog’s food.

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What’s the Best Dog Food?

Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

Both Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free and Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach are popular diets for dogs suffering from gastrointestinal distress, allergies, or other skin or stomach sensitivities.

Blue Buffalo, a company founded in the United States in the year 2000, makes it their highest priority to craft diets based on the most holistic ingredients possible. Each food is sourced locally with the entire diet manufactured in the United States. This food manufacturer found its start when the founding couple’s Airedale Terrier “Blue” was diagnosed with cancer, and a high quality diet was required to combat the effects of the disease.

As with many pet food manufacturers, Blue Buffalo has been subject to several recalls throughout the years. From 2010-2017, there were six recalls on the company’s product lines. Since this time, there have been no further formal complaints or recalls.

Purina Pro Plan is one of many pet food lines produced by the Nestle Purina Petcare company. Among its other brands include Purina Dog Chow, Beneful, and Purina ONE. Nestle Purina Petcare also produces cat food, treats, and litter. Though the company traces its origins to 1894 as a farm feed manufacturer, Nestle Purina Petcare was born in 2001 through the amalgamation of the Nestle-owned Friskies PetCare Company with Ralston Purina.

Nestle Purina Petcare currently holds the title of the largest pet food manufacturer in America. Throughout the years, Nestle Purina Petcare has undergone several recalls on its various product lines, many of which were voluntary.


Blue Buffalo Ingredients

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free is an excellent quality food to support the needs of dogs suffering from skin or stomach sensitivities. Because this diet contains no grains, it is also well-suited to dogs with allergies. 

The primary ingredient in this Blue Buffalo offering is whole salmon, an exceptional quality protein that is high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage good skin and coat health. Salmon is a highly flavorful meat, ensuring the taste of this food is of great appeal to dogs. The food is also enriched with a proprietary antioxidant blend known as LifeSource Bits to support a healthy immune system to help fight disease.

Blue Buffalo is free from corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, an important help for dogs struggling with digestive issues. Its emphasis on a limited list of ingredients ensures only the best quality foods that are known for their ease of processing are included in this food.

Though this formulation is grain-free, it is still quite rich in carbohydrates in the form of starchy vegetables and fruits. The second ingredient listed in this formulation is potatoes, a complex carbohydrate that contains a large percentage of dietary fiber to support digestion. Potatoes add bulk to a diet, helping dogs to feel full on fewer calories.

Peas, another starchy vegetable that belongs to the legume family, has also been added to this diet. While peas do contribute fiber, they also add to the protein, meaning not all of the protein content in this food is derived from meat. Peas have also been linked to lowered fertility rates in breeding dogs.

Salmon meal is also present in this diet, a rich and powerful concentrated form of protein. Flaxseed reinforces the omega 3 acids found in this food to encourage healthy skin and coat and to provide vital energy to allow dogs to enjoy an active lifestyle. In addition to this, flaxseed is fiber-rich. However, it is also a protein, thus meaning an additional plant ingredient contributes to the protein content found in this food. 

The main healthy fat found in Blue Buffalo is canola oil. While this is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, an animal-based fat such as chicken fat or an oily fish is preferred. From canola oil, this food takes such important nutrients as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.

Natural fish flavor has been included in this recipe. Though fish will certainly increase a dog’s interest in a food, natural fish flavor is a poor description of what this ingredient actually is, making its health benefits questionable.

Blue Buffalo has several dried probiotic strains included in this food. These ingredients provide a vital help for the development of healthy gut flora to promote good digestion and ease of stomach distress. Chelated minerals also feature prominently in this diet to ensure adequate absorption of critical nutrients to support optimal health. 

Purina Pro Plan Ingredients

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach has been carefully formulated to provide relief for dogs that suffer from skin or stomach sensitivities. Its formulation is free from common allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, making it also well-suited to dogs with allergies. However, it is important to note that Purina Pro Plan is not a grain-free diet.

The primary ingredient in this Purina Pro Plan diet is whole deboned salmon. This powerhouse protein is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help repair damaged coat and skin and promote optimal health.

Barley has been included in this diet to form the basis of its carbohydrate content. Barley is a whole grain that is rich in fiber; however, it is insoluble fiber, meaning it is more difficult to process and utilize effectively. Ground rice and oatmeal have also been added to round out the carbohydrate profile from grain-based ingredients.

An ingredient that is the subject of some controversy is canola meal. This product is essentially a vegetable compound derived from rapeseed. Since rapeseed is often genetically modified, its health benefits are somewhat questionable. Canola meal is considered to be of lesser quality than canola oil but still contributes some important nutrients such as essential fatty acids to support skin and coat health.

To ensure an adequate amount of healthy fats in this diet, an ingredient labelled as “animal fat” has been added to this recipe. Healthy fats derived from animal origins are optimal sources of such powerhouse nutrients as DHA, linoleic acid, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. However, what is somewhat concerning about this ingredient is the fact that we do not know which animal the product was sourced from.

Fish meal, a highly concentrated form of protein, has also been added to this Purina Pro Plan formulation. This contributes valuable amino acids to help with the development of strong and healthy muscles. Fish meal is also naturally high in glucosamine, an important help in preserving good joint health.

Nutritional Value

For dogs suffering with digestive issues or skin sensitivities, both Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan have been proven to provide relief. Both of these diets are well-balanced though Purina Pro Plan does tend to be a little heavier on carbohydrates, most of which are derived from whole grains, making this diet perhaps more difficult for dogs with sensitive stomachs to digest well.

Blue Buffalo contains 20 percent protein, 12 percent fat, and 6 percent fiber to Purina Pro Plan’s 26 percent protein, 16 percent fat, and 4 percent fiber. Blue Buffalo does include several plant-based proteins in its formulation, thus lowering the percentage of protein content allotted specifically to meat.

Both diets offer solid nutrition to support the needs of dogs with sensitive skin and/or stomachs.


In order for a dog to enjoy the maximum benefits from any food, they have to eat it! This means that the taste of a food is as important as the nutrients found within it.

Both Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan make whole salmon the basis of their formulation, a meat that is highly flavorful and that most dogs just love. Blue Buffalo enriches this flavor through the addition of natural fish oil. While this increases the flavor profile, it is unknown what ingredients make up this product, making its benefits somewhat questionable.

To enhance its rich flavor, Purina Pro Plan includes fish meal as one of its primary ingredients.

Blue Buffalo’s powerful antioxidant blend LifeSource Bits offer dogs great benefits; however, most dogs find these kibble pieces unpalatable and avoid them if possible.

Though both diets are flavorful and nutritious, Purina Pro Plan reigns supreme in this taste test.

Best Suited For

Both Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan are excellent choices for dogs suffering with poor digestion, allergies, or skin and stomach sensitivities. Since Purina Pro Plan is grain-based, it may not be the optimal choice for dogs that have expressed problems with digesting grains.

Due to the extremely high calorie count of Purina Pro Plan, it is best for highly active dogs.

Helpful for Health Conditions?

Both Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan have been found to address the problems associated with poor digestion, allergies, and skin and stomach sensitivities.

Value for Money

Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan offer excellent value for a family’s dog food dollar. However, since Purina Pro Plan is much higher calorie, it does tend to stretch further than Blue Buffalo, earning it the top spot in this category.


For dogs suffering from gastrointestinal distress, it is important to find the relief they need to thrive. Families can’t go wrong by selecting Blue Buffalo or Purina Pro Plan to address this problem. However, in the final analysis, Blue Buffalo is the diet that earns the top position. Though slightly more expensive, this high quality diet still offers excellent value. Its emphasis on a grain-free formulation makes it best-suited to a larger group of dogs plagued by skin and stomach issues.

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