Merrick vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Merrick vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food (2024)

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It’s nearly a dead heat in today’s review of Merrick vs Blue Buffalo 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, but as you will see, it’s a close call!

Comparing Merrick vs Blue Buffalo 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
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Deboned Chicken
      2. Chicken Meal
      3. Turkey Meal
      4. Peas
      5. Sweet Potatoes
    • TypeDry food
    • LifestageAdult
    • Calories404 kcal/per cup
    • Protein
    • Fat
    • Fiber
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Deboned Salmon
      2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
      3. Peas
      4. Pea Protein
      5. Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
    • TypeDry food
    • LifestageAdult
    • Calories415 kcal/per cup
    • Protein
    • Fat
    • Fiber

What’s the Best Dog Food?

Merrick  vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food

For a food that meets all of the high points adult dogs need from their daily diet, it’s hard to go wrong with either Merrick Grain-Free Adult or Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult.

Merrick, an American-based company in operation since 1988, is well renowned as a manufacturer of the highest quality pet foods. A diet crafted from the best ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible, Merrick’s foods have become synonymous with excellent nutrition at an affordable price point.

Merrick was founded by Mr. Garth Merrick and was proudly opened under the name Merrick Pet Care, Inc, at its plant headquarters in Amarillo, Texas in 1988. In 2015, the Merrick family sold its operations to the Nestle-Purina company. Manufacturing was moved to Hereford, Texas, but the Merrick pledge remains true to continue production of dog foods of exceptional quality to support optimal health and wellness.

One of the hallmarks of Merrick food is its use of only human-grade ingredients in all of its formulations. Merrick has been the subject of a few food recalls in the years 2010 and 2011. There have been no further complaints or recalls since this time.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness, a food produced by the American-based Blue Buffalo, is an excellent quality diet that owners can proudly feed their dogs. A company founded in 2000, Blue Buffalo was born out of one family’s desire to produce a holistic food to assist their Airedale Terrier “Blue” as he battled the effects of cancer on his body.

The entire Blue Buffalo product line focuses on top quality ingredients that are included in their most natural form. Between the years of 2010-2017, Blue Buffalo has had six food recalls, many of which were submitted to voluntarily. The company has had no formal complaints or recalls since 2017.


Merrick Ingredients

Throughout the years, Merrick has enjoyed a stellar reputation as a manufacturer of top quality dog foods. Merrick Grain-Free Adult is a premium diet that has been carefully crafted to support optimal health and wellness in adult dogs. Because its formulation is completely free from grains, it is well-suited to dogs with sensitive stomachs are those that suffer from poor digestion or allergies.

Merrick bases its foundation on whole deboned chicken, a protein of exceptional quality to provide dogs with the amino acids they need to maintain strong and healthy muscles. A protein-rich formulation, Merrick also includes turkey meal, salmon meal, and chicken meal in its formulation to help provide flavor, added nutrients, and eating satisfaction for dogs.

A diet that contains no grains, Merrick’s carbohydrates are derived from easily digestible fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries. Each item was selected for its rich nutritional profile as well its plethora of antioxidants to support a strong immune system.

Sweet potatoes offer a dense source of dietary fiber to promote fluid digestive processes and satiation. They are also rich in many vital nutrients to support good health including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium, important building blocks for canine health maintenance.

Peas, a starchy vegetable belonging to the legume family, also make a prominent appearance in this diet. Rich in both protein and fiber, peas can help promote that satisfied full feeling and also assist with digestion. However, since peas do contain protein, they will form a part of the food’s overall percentage of protein content, meaning less is derived from the more optimal source: meat.

Additionally, peas have been linked with lowered fertility rates in dogs, making this food perhaps not ideal for pooches used in breeding programs.

Merrick contains no gluten, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, making it an excellent selection for dogs with digestive issues or allergies. Both glucosamine and chondroitin have been included in this recipe to support good joint health.

Flaxseed is another important addition in Merrick that dogs can benefit from. Flaxseed is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health and assist with fuelling vital energy to keep dogs healthy and active. Some experts report that flaxseed helps to alleviate any inflammation in dogs, keeping their joints limber and strong. However, flaxseed is also a protein, meaning another plant-based protein is included in this food.

The healthy fats in this diet are largely derived from salmon oil. This is an optimal fat, boosting the coat and skin health of dogs, something that is particularly helpful to dogs suffering from skin conditions or allergies.

A probiotic strain as been added to this diet to support optimal gut health. In addition to this, Merrick also includes chelated minerals in this food to ensure adequate absorption.

Merrick is extremely well-balanced, making it an excellent choice to support the health of adult dogs.

Blue Buffalo Ingredients

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free packs the powerhouse punch that adult dogs need from their diet to thrive. This diet is based on holistic ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible to ensure the highest quality nutrition. Its main ingredient is whole salmon, a meat that is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage optimal coat and skin health.

Blue Buffalo is also grain-free, making it a very good choice for dogs with allergies or stomach sensitivities. Its formulation includes a high number of easily digestible foods to support fluid digestive processes. The proprietary antioxidant-rich blend LifeSource Bits has been included to encourage a strong and healthy immune system to fight disease.

Like Merrick, this Blue Buffalo offering is free from any truly controversial ingredients in its recipe, earning it high marks from owners. It contains no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, making it highly unlikely to trigger any allergic reactions in dogs.

In addition to salmon, chicken meal has been included in this recipe to enrich its meat-based proteins. Chicken meal is a dense and nutritious form of protein, making it an excellent basis for any well-rounded diet. Glucosamine is naturally present in chicken, providing dogs with added support for joint health.

Like Merrick, Blue Buffalo also includes peas in its formulation. Peas are high in fiber but are also a form of protein, meaning at least a portion of the protein content in this diet is derived from plants, a less than optimal source. However, peas are also rich in many different vitamins including Vitamin A, B6, C, K, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Pea protein has also been added to this diet.

Menhaden fish meal ensures additional amounts of meat-based proteins coupled with the benefits of enriched omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to give dogs the energy they need to enjoy an active lifestyle. A good source of nutrients, Menhaden fish meal enhances the flavor of this food and is easy to digest.

Both chicken fat and chicken broth are found in this powerhouse food formulation. These important ingredients contribute both healthy fats and flavor to this diet.

Nutritional Value

For families on the hunt for a food with exceptional nutritional value for their dogs, they’ll be spoiled for choice with Merrick and Blue Buffalo. Both foods are well-balanced and contain all of the vital nutrients to support optimal health.

Merrick contains 38 percent protein, 17 percent fat, and 3.5 percent fiber to Blue Buffalo’s 34 percent protein, 15 percent fat, and 6 percent fiber. Both diets do derive a portion of their protein content from peas, but they also contain healthy servings of high quality meats to offset this and provide a good balance of animal-based proteins.

Merrick rings in at 414 calories per cup, making it very calorie-dense. However, Blue Buffalo has a slightly higher calorie count at 415 calories to each cup of food. This means that care must be taken to measure all food to ensure overeating does not occur. With such a high caloric count per cup, this food should definitely last, providing excellent nutrition and value.


Taste is equally as important as nutritional quality in selecting a diet for dogs to enjoy. After all, if the food is not appetizing, the dog will not eat it, meaning no nutritional benefit is gained.

Both Merrick and Blue Buffalo include highly flavorful meats in their formulations, making them appealing to dogs. Merrick favors the inclusion of salmon oil to Blue Buffalo’s chicken fat and broth, both excellent animal-based fats that increase taste and provide health benefits for the skin and coat.

Merrick gains the slight edge in this taste test as Blue Buffalo contains LIfeSource Bits, pieces of kibble that many dogs dislike and will not eat.

Best Suited For

Both of these diets are excellent choices for adult dogs that enjoy a moderately active lifestyle. They are particularly well-suited to dogs that suffer from skin or stomach sensitivities, poor digestion, or allergies.

However, because of their high caloric content, Merrick and Blue Buffalo are not ideal for dogs that are largely sedentary or in their senior years. For dogs needing to lose a few pounds, these diets may also be too rich in nutrients and calories to assist with weight loss efforts.

Because of their intense flavor profile, both Merrick and Blue Buffalo are a great selection for dogs known to be picky eaters.

Helpful for Health Conditions?

Though neither Merrick nor Blue Buffalo have been formulated to address any specific health conditions, both are well-suited to dogs with poor digestion, allergies, or skin and stomach sensitivities. Their grain-free formulations make them easy to digest and rich in antioxidants to help fight disease.

Value for Money

While both of these foods are available at modest price points, Blue Buffalo offers slightly more value since the food’s larger bag is slightly less expensive than Merrick’s. However, both foods are very calorie dense, meaning less of the food needs to be fed to achieve the eating satisfaction. This means the food will stretch farther, thus increasing its value.


Both Merrick and Blue Buffalo are excellent choices when it comes to a well-balanced, complete, nutritious food to feed dogs. However, Merrick has the slight edge over Blue Buffalo in the final analysis. The final determining criteria is Merrick’s lesser emphasis on legumes, its emphasis on the use of only human grade ingredients, and its inclusion of nutrient-rich and flavorful proteins to support strong and healthy muscles.

The truth is both products are foods families can feel good about feeding their dogs with very little to fault in either diet.

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