In this comparison, we’ll look at Blue Buffalo vs Hill’s Science Diet dog food. 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 Science Diet 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.
- Top 5 Ingredients
- Our score
- Deboned Chicken
- Chicken Meal
- Brown Rice
- Pea Fiber
- Dry food
- 326 kcal/per cup
- Cracked Pearled Barley
- Brown Rice
- Pea Fiber
- Corn Gluten Meal
- Dry food
- 291 kcal/per cup
What’s the Best Dog Food?
Blue Buffalo vs Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
When it comes to top quality nutrition for adult dogs, Blue Buffalo Life Protection consistently delivers. A company based in the United States and in business since the year 2000, Blue Buffalo highly prizes the use of holistic ingredients in all of their diets. A family run company, Blue Buffalo was developed when the founding couple’s beloved Airedale Terrier was diagnosed with cancer and a food was needed to help offset the negative effects of the disease.
Blue Buffalo has had six recalls of different foods within its product line, some of which were completely voluntary. Each of the recalls occurred between 2010 and 2017. Since this time, there have been no further formal complaints or recalls on Blue Buffalo foods.
Though Blue Buffalo does not conduct feeding trials for its foods, it does regularly host tests for both palatability and stool quality to help with quality control and safety. They do maintain a veterinary nutritionist on their staff roster to assist with healthy and balanced recipe development.
Science Diet, a food manufactured by Hill’s, is a veterinarian-endorsed food for dogs. The brand has been synonymous with quality for many years.
Throughout its history, Hill’s Science Diet has been subject to a number of recalls on its various product lines which include both Science Diet and Prescription Diet. The most notable recalls occurred in 2007, 2014, and 2015. The 2007 recall affected many different brands that contained trace amounts of melamine, a substance that is toxic to dogs.
In 2019, Hill’s did a voluntary recall of their canned foods, believing that the product line had been inadvertently enriched with too much Vitamin D.
Blue Buffalo Ingredients
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight is a top quality food that has been specifically formulated to help adult dogs achieve and maintain a proper body condition to support excellent health. It is a diet based on easily digestible whole grains such as brown rice, ground oats, and barley to provide a healthy dose of dietary fiber to encourage eating satisfaction and long term nutritional staying power.
However, diets that are based on grains can be problematic for dogs that have expressed sensitivities to certain foods. This makes this Blue Buffalo food offering best suited to canines that have not shown any predisposition towards allergies.
Blue Buffalo bases its formula on whole chicken and chicken meal, a flavorful, low fat meat to increase the taste profile of this powerhouse food. The diet has been enriched with L-Carnitine to boost metabolic function to support weight loss. The primary proteins in Blue Buffalo are whole chicken and chicken meal.
Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to this Blue Buffalo weight maintenance food to assist with vital joint health. Chelated minerals, essentially minerals attached to protein strands, have also been included to ensure an excellent rate of absorption to maximize health benefits. A powerful antioxidant blend known as LifeSource Bits is also prominently featured in this diet to promote a strong immune system.
Blue Buffalo is free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, all ingredients that can be common allergens for many dogs. This particular Blue Buffalo food focuses on a high ratio of fiber-dense carbohydrates to a lower percentage of fat and protein to support weight loss and maintenance. On a per cup basis, Blue Buffalo offers a lower calorie count while still providing the nutrition dogs need to achieve a feeling of fullness.
Chicken fat, an exceptional source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, has been added to Blue Buffalo’s master recipe. This powerhouse animal-based fat supports skin and coat health and also provides dogs with the energy they need to live an active lifestyle.
One of the most controversial ingredients found in this Blue Buffalo weight maintenance food is powdered cellulose. Essentially used as a binding agent, powdered cellulose contributes some dietary fiber but very little nutritional value for dogs.
In addition to this, pea fiber, pea starch, and pea protein have all been included in this diet, ingredients that have been linked to lowered fertility rates in dogs. Pea products are both starches and proteins, thus meaning the amount of meat in this diet is influenced by the heavy helping of this starchy food.
Flaxseed, another protein-rich food, has been included in this Blue Buffalo food. Flaxseed boosts the healthy fat content of the diet, encouraging coat and skin health while also boosting the plant-based protein content. Tomato pomace, an ingredient some experts believe offers little more than filler to a food, plays a role in this diet. However, many canine nutritionists assert that tomato pomace contains vital nutrients to support optimal canine health.
Hill’s Science Diet Ingredients
This Hill’s Science Diet closely mirrors the ingredients found in the Blue Buffalo offering in many ways. This diet was specifically formulated to assist dogs with the need to shed a few extra pounds. Though produced in the United States, the ingredients found in this powerhouse food have been sourced from all across the globe to ensure their high quality.
One of the primary goals of this Science Diet weight maintenance food is to encourage the development of strong and healthy muscles. This ensures the dog’s ability to continue to enjoy an active lifestyle, and thus, maintain a healthy weight.
Whenever possible, natural ingredients have been included in this food. The diet was formulated by the Hill’s panel of veterinary nutritionists and is peer recommended as well as often sold in veterinary clinics throughout the country.
The foundation of Science Diet is chicken and chicken meal, an excellent quality protein that is renowned for its delicious taste that dogs just love. Like Blue Buffalo, Science Diet is also a grain-inclusive formulation, taking barley and brown rice as two of its main carbohydrates. While both of these grains are relatively easy to digest and high in fiber, they are both low in overall nutritional value.
Pea fiber, a by-product from other agricultural uses, is included heavily in this diet. Pea fiber is a starch as well as a protein. Its use in this diet along with corn gluten meal, a product that is ranked as being 60 percent protein, means that the actual meat in this Science Diet weight maintenance food is significantly lower than what the first glance at the label indicates.
Science Diet contains oat fiber, one of the highest and most easily digested sources of soluble fiber. This encourages the feeling of satiation in dogs to give them the staying power they need while attempting to lose weight.
There are several controversial ingredients in this Science Diet offering. Like Blue Buffalo, tomato pomace has been included. While some experts claim this ingredient is no more than a low quality filler food, others believe there is nutritional benefit to its presence.
Beet pulp is another ingredient that some believe is lacking in quality. However, many canine nutritionists assert that beet pulp can assist with achieving and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, an important component of weight loss.
Instead of an animal fat, coconut oil has been included to assist with coat quality and skin health. Coconut oil is beneficial to dogs; however, an animal-based fat is preferable. Taurine has been enriched to assist with support for excellent heart health.
There are two drawbacks to this Science Diet weight maintenance food. It contains no probiotic, and there are no chelated minerals added to the formulation.
As with Blue Buffalo, this diet places a high emphasis on carbohydrates with a lower percentage included of both fats and proteins. Its inclusion of many plant-based proteins and whole grains means dogs with sensitivities to these items should not eat this diet.
Both of these foods which support weight loss and maintenance offer dogs the nutrition they need to remain satisfied while trying to shed a few extra pounds. Blue Buffalo offers dogs 20 percent protein, 9 percent fat, and 10 percent fiber to Science Diet’s 24 percent protein, 9 percent fat, and 5-13 percent fiber. Both diets are heavy in grain-based carbohydrates to encourage eating satisfaction during the weight loss phase.
Both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet are slightly lacking in balance, offering lower protein amounts and fat. Both of these foods also include many plant-based proteins, meaning the majority of the protein content may come from plants rather than meat.
Science Diet’s calorie count is quite low at 291 calories, meaning it may be challenging to keep dogs full and more food may need to be fed to achieve satiation.
Since no dog will eat a food they don’t find appetizing, taste is a very important consideration when trying to determine which diet to select for a dog.
Both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet take whole chicken and chicken meal as their primary meat proteins. Chicken is a highly flavorful meat that dogs just love, ensuring their interest is piqued by either of these diets.
However, Blue Buffalo has one strike against it in the taste department. Many owners have claimed that their dogs dislike the flavor of the LIfeSource Bits, choosing to pick it out of their food or avoid it altogether. This means that these dogs miss out on the disease-fighting benefits found in this power-packed pieces of kibble.
When it comes to taste, Blue Buffalo and Science Diet are in a dead heat tie with both earning high marks from pooches regularly fed these diets.
Best Suited For
Since both of these foods are grain-based, they are not a good choice for dogs with sensitivities to certain foods. However, for weight loss, either makes an excellent selection.
These foods would not be suited to highly active dogs as their calorie content is far too low to keep the dog properly fuelled for performance.
Helpful for Health Conditions?
Both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet were formulated to address the achievement and maintenance of a healthy weight. Science Diet has the slight edge in this department, having been designed by veterinary nutritionists to help dogs return to a normal body condition.
Value for Money
When it comes to value for money, Blue Buffalo has a slight edge over the competition. It offers excellent nutrition at a moderate price. Its modest calorie count of 326 calories per cup means it is sufficiently nutrient-dense to last.
Science Diet is an extremely low calorie diet at only 291 calories per cup. For some dogs, this will be too low to keep their appetite under control, and thus, larger portions must be fed to prevent hunger from occurring. It is also more expensive than Blue Buffalo though still easily affordable for most families.
While both Blue Buffalo and Science Diet have lots to offer dogs in need of weight control, Blue Buffalo takes the top spot when it comes to the best weight maintenance food for adult dogs. Its main advantages are the inclusion of chicken fat, an optimal source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and the addition of such powerhouse supplements as glucosamine, chondroitin, L-Carnitine, and chelated minerals.
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