Blue Buffalo vs Wellness Dog Food

Blue Buffalo vs Wellness Dog Food (2024)

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In this comparison between two popular adult dog foods, we’ll look at Blue Buffalo vs Wellness 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 for your dog.

Comparing Blue Buffalo vs Wellness 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 Life vs Wellness Dog Food

For families looking for premium quality nutrition to feed their puppy, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy and Wellness Complete Health Puppy are sure to deliver.

Blue Buffalo, a company founded in the year 2000 in the United States, was built to provide holistic nutrition to meet the needs of the founding family’s ailing Airedale Terrier “Blue,” a dog suffering with cancer. To achieve this goal, all of Blue Buffalo’s formulations are based on natural ingredients included in their whole form whenever possible.

As with many food manufacturers, Blue Buffalo has been subject to a number of recalls. Between the years 2010-2017, the company had six recalls on its product lines; many of which were voluntary. To date, there have been no further formal complaints or recalls on Blue Buffalo foods.

Wellness, a top manufacturer of exceptional quality diets for dogs, first opened its doors in 1997. Their primary focus has been the development of recipes that support optimal health and wellness in both dogs and cats. To this end, Wellness uses only human grade ingredients in all of its product lines including Complete Health, Core, Simple, and Trufood.

Wellness is one arm of a larger business that operates under the company name Wellpet LLC, a corporation that also owns Holistic Select, Eagle Pack, and Old Mother Hubbard, all holistic pet food brands. Its foods have been subject to several food recalls in 2012. The product line has seen no formal complaints or further recalls since that time.


Blue Buffalo Ingredients

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy offers all of the nutrition puppies need to support them through their critical developmental periods. This particular food has carefully calibrated the ratio of calcium to phosphorous to ensure a healthy rate of growth.

The pieces of kibble found in this Blue Buffalo offering are bite-sized to encourage careful chewing while still providing scrubbing action against the teeth to prevent the accumulation of tartar. DHA and ARA have been included in this formulation to support cognitive and vision development in puppies.

Blue Buffalo places a high emphasis on a holistic approach to its foods, and thus, this diet is free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Its two many ingredients are whole deboned chicken and chicken meal, excellent protein sources that are naturally rich in glucosamine to support good joint health.

Healthy fats are included in this Blue Buffalo puppy food in the form of both fish oil and flaxseed. While both are excellent sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage healthy skin and coat, flaxseed also is a powerful help in reducing inflammation. However, flaxseed also contributes to the protein content of this food, thus meaning that the percentage of protein found in Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy is not all derived from meat.

A diet that is based on the inclusion of whole grains, this Blue Buffalo food may not be ideal for puppies that have expressed sensitivities to these types of carbohydrates. In addition to this, LifeSource Bits, a powerful antioxidant blend, has been added to assist with the development of a strong immune system to fight disease.

The three main grains found in this diet are ground brown rice, ground barley, and oatmeal. All three of these carbohydrates are full of dietary fiber to support good digestion. However, barley is rich in insoluble fiber, meaning it takes longer for a puppy’s body to properly process the grain.

The next ingredient is somewhat controversial: peas. Peas are high in fiber; however, they are also commonly used as a filler food, and are often included in many different forms including pea starch, pea fiber, and pea protein as well as in their whole form. Peas have also been linked to lowered fertility rates in breeding dogs.

Tomato pomace is another included ingredient that is the subject of some debate. Though it contains healthy amounts of lycopene, beta carotene, Vitamin C, and antioxidants, many believe it is little more than a low quality filler food. Research does not support this; in fact, tomato pomace is also full of dietary fiber, providing an excellent help for digestion.

In addition to its other ingredients, Blue Buffalo has added L-Carnitine, an important nutrient which helps with proper metabolic function. This powerhouse vitamin assists with the development of strong, healthy muscles.

To increase the antioxidant profile in this food, both blueberries and cranberries have been added in addition to several prebiotic and probiotic strains to help maintain fluid digestive processes. Chelated minerals have also been enriched to ensure proper absorption of these vital nutrients.

Wellness Ingredients

Wellness Complete Health Puppy is an excellent quality diet that has been specifically formulated to address the needs of growing puppies. Like Blue Buffalo, this Wellness puppy food includes whole grains in its recipe. Each was selected for its ease of digestibility to encourage healthy digestive processes in puppies. However, pups that have expressed food sensitivities many not be able to tolerate this diet well as a result.

The main protein in this food is whole deboned chicken which is reinforced by the addition of chicken meal, a rich source of protein. These meats are high in glucosamine, a powerful supplement that supports good joint health in developing puppies.

Wellness is a recipe which includes grains in the form of brown rice (or rice flour), barley, and oats. This makes it similar to Blue Buffalo in the nutritional profile of its carbohydrates. Each of these grains is rich in dietary fiber which encourages healthy digestion. However, barley is largely comprised of insoluble fiber, and some puppies will have difficulty processing it well.

Also as found in Blue Buffalo, Wellness does include peas in its recipe. Peas are a starchy vegetable referred to as a legume, and they also contribute protein to the food. Rich in fiber to assist with digestion, peas have also been considered to have a negative effect on breeding dogs; however, in puppies, this is not a concern. It is important to note that the inclusion of peas in this recipe means at least a portion of the protein content is derived from plants.

Healthy fats are added through chicken fat, an optimal source for obtaining omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as DHA. DHA provides a vital help for developing eyes and brains. In addition to this, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also responsible for excellent quality skin and coat. These essential acids are also enriched through salmon oil, another excellent source for vital nutrients.

Much like Blue Buffalo, Wellness also contains the controversial ingredient tomato pomace. Though some believe it lacks any true nutritional value, other veterinary professionals maintain that there are many vitamins and minerals to be gained from this food.

Other ingredients to note in this food are flaxseed, chicory root, and chelated minerals. Flaxseed enriches the diet’s helping of omega 3 fatty acids and also reduces inflammation. It is also considered to be a protein, thus contributing to the overall protein content of the food.

Chicory root is a natural prebiotic that supports the development of strong and healthy intestinal flora. Chelated minerals ensure optimal absorption of important nutrients to support good health.

Nutritional Value

Blue Buffalo and Wellness are such excellent quality foods, and families can’t go wrong with selecting either diet for their dogs. Both of these premium diets are well-balanced to support a puppy through each phase of its development.

Blue Buffalo contains 27 percent protein, 16 percent fat, and 5 percent fiber while Wellness lists its nutritional profile as 29 percent protein, 18 percent fat, and 4.5 percent fiber. Both diets to do include some plant-based proteins in their formulations, ingredients which can be more difficult for puppies to digest.

Both diets also base their carbohydrates on whole grains, making them unsuitable for dogs with allergies to these types of ingredients.

Blue Buffalo and Wellness are both high in protein to support the energy levels of active puppies. Each is fortified with probiotics as well as glucosamine to provide vital support for digestion and joint health.


Taste is an important consideration in any diet, particularly for a puppy that needs to eat to grow.

Both Blue Buffalo and Wellness take poultry as their primary proteins, a meat that is both flavorful and nutritious to whet a puppy’s appetite. While Blue Buffalo favors the addition of salmon oil, Wellness focuses on chicken fat, both excellent sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that not only provide health benefits but also improve taste.

Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits are disliked by some puppies who choose to leave them in their bowl, thus missing out on their powerhouse health benefits.

When it comes to which diet to select based on taste alone, Blue Buffalo and Wellness are locked in a tie with both foods an excellent choice for even the most finicky puppies.

Best Suited For

Both Blue Buffalo and Wellness are excellent choices for puppies up to one year of age. However, large breed puppies that can be prone to rapid growth spurts due to foods that are too rich in protein should not be fed either of these diets. For them, a large breed puppy formulation is preferable.

Once a puppy reaches 75 percent of its adult size or is nearing one year, it is important to transition the dog to an appropriate adult food.

Helpful for Health Conditions?

Both Blue Buffalo and Wellness were specifically formulated to meet the needs of growing puppies. These diets are best suited to puppies that fall within the following categories; toy breed, small breeds, or medium breeds.

Value for Money

Blue Buffalo and Wellness offer excellent value for a family’s dog food dollar. Both are high in calories, meaning less of the food needs to be fed for a pup to reach satiation thus increasing the food’s overall value.

However, when it comes to price point alone, Blue Buffalo is the less expensive food of the two, offering top quality nutrition for a lower price.


When it comes to selecting the best diet for a puppy, it’s hard to go wrong with either Blue Buffalo or Wellness. However, in the final analysis, Blue Buffalo has the slight edge over Wellness. Though both foods are equal in terms of the quality of their ingredients, what sets Blue Buffalo over the top is its more affordable price point.

Both foods are an excellent choice for growing puppies of toy, small, or medium size. 

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