Has your local pet food store run out of your favorite Blue Buffalo recipe, or is the price of Blue Buffalo getting too high for you to keep up?
Well, you aren’t alone, and with the ongoing supply chain issues plaguing the world, it’s likely Blue Buffalo recipes will be unavailable at times for the foreseeable future.
Most dog owners are painfully aware of how difficult switching a dog’s food can be, especially if they’ve been on their existing food for many years.
Finding an alternative to Blue Buffalo or any dog food brand isn’t an easy task, and there are lots of things to consider, including price, ingredients, nutrition, and availability.
What To Look For When Searching For An Alternative To Blue Buffalo Dog Food?
For most who are looking for an alternative to Blue Buffalo, price is the most important factor. Upgrading or switching to a more expensive brand simply isn’t an option.
Blue Buffalo dry dog food recipes typically cost between $45 to $60 for a 24lb bag depending on the sub-range and recipe. This works out to be roughly $2 to $2.5 per pound of dry dog food when purchased in larger bags.
You’ll want to check the weight of any prospective alternatives and make sure they are a similar price per pound.
The ingredients found in an alternative dog food recipe are another extremely important factor. Many dogs have a poor reaction to new ingredients, and that is something you’ll want to avoid if possible.
Blue Buffalo dog food recipes typically use meat ingredients like Chicken, Chicken Meal, Lamb, Salmon, and Turkey.
Blue Buffalo also makes heavy use of plant-based ingredients like Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, and Flaxseed.
You are unlikely to be able to find an alternative dog food recipe with the exact same ingredient list, but instead, you may want to aim for most of the first five ingredients to be the same.
The nutritional value of a dog food recipe is also important, with many dog owners picking dog food recipes because of their protein and fat content.
This is especially true for certain dogs who have larger protein or fat requirements because of the high activity levels of life stages.
Blue Buffalo dry dog food recipes typically have between 20-30% protein and 12-15% fat; however, there are some recipes that fall outside of this range.
When selecting an alternative, you may want to find a recipe that has a protein and fat proportion that is within this range or within 5% of your dog’s previous recipe.
Last but not least is the availability of the new dog food recipe. If you are switching because you can’t get your existing recipe reliably or it’s sold out, switching to another, which is difficult to get your hands on, is a bad idea.
You’ll want to check if the brand is available from multiple sources, such as at a local pet food store and online from pet food websites like Chewy.
Best Alternatives To Blue Buffalo Dog Food
Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild is a pet food brand that is extremely similar to Blue Buffalo. They are a relative newcomer to the industry as they were launched in the early 21st century.
They also rode the explosion in the popularity of grain-free dog food that Blue Buffalo has ridden over the last two decades.
Taste of the Wild is priced very similarly to Blue Buffalo, with a recipe typically costing between $45-$55 for a 28 lb-pound bag of dry dog food.
This works out to be roughly $1.75-$2 per pound of dry dog food which is probably just below most similar Blue Buffalo recipes.
Taste of the Wild also uses very similar ingredients in their grain-free dog food recipes, including whole meat ingredients and meat meals like Lamb, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, and Salmon.
On the plant-based side, Taste of the Wild more heavily relies on legumes and starches like Peas, Lentils, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes than Blue Buffalo, but they do have some grain-inclusive recipes that use grains like Barley, Sorghum, and Millet.
We compared the nutritional value of five Taste of the Wild recipes to five blue buffalo recipes and found that the protein levels in their recipes varied from 25-32%, and the fat levels in their recipes varied from 15-18%.
Based on this, the nutritional profile of most Taste of the Wild dry dog food recipes is likely to be an improvement on Blue Buffalo with slightly higher protein and fat proportions.
Taste of the Wild is also extremely easy to purchase from physical retail pet stores across the United States.
However, you are more likely to find their recipes at dedicated pet stores like PetSmart or Petco than at grocery stores like Walmart.
While some retail locations may have a limited selection, Taste of the Wild stocks all of its recipes online at large pet food websites like Chewy and Amazon.
One of the great traits of Taste of the Wild is that all of their recipes are quite similar in nutritional value and ingredient quality.
For this reason, we would recommend you select your recipe based on your dog’s preference of meat and fish ingredients.
For example, if your dog enjoys Salmon, you should consider Pacific Stream or Ancient Stream.
Alternatively, if your dog enjoys red meat ingredients, consider their High Prairie or Ancient Prairie recipes.
Diamond contrasts quite significantly from Blue Buffalo, or Taste of the Wild, which are newer entrants into this monster market.
What makes them different is that while they are a large dog food brand by themselves, they are also one of the largest third-party dog food manufacturers and produce food for other brands, including Taste of the Wild and Tractor Supply Company’s private label brand 4Health.
Diamond is priced very competitively and is most cost-effective than Blue Buffalo. However, unlike Rachael Ray Nutrish, they do so by selling their dog food in much larger quantities.
It is typical to see most Diamond Naturals recipes being sold in 40lb pounds which is far larger than most brands.
One of these 40lb bags of dry dog food can set you back between $40-$45, depending on your retailer of choice. This works out to be roughly $1 per pound of dry dog food which is extremely impressive.
However, after reading this, most of you may imagine that Diamond has to drastically reduce the quality of its ingredients to achieve such a low-cost price.
However, this isn’t necessarily the case, and Diamond Naturals recipes contain many of the same meat ingredients that Blue Buffalo does, including Lamb Meal, Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Beef Meal.
On the plant-based side of things, Diamond Naturals recipes typically contain a range of grain ingredients, some of which are similar to Blue Buffalo. Examples of these grain ingredients include Brown Rice, White Rice, Barley, and Sorghum.
As for the nutrition of Diamond Naturals recipes, they typically have a protein proportion between 22%-27% and a fat proportion between 12%-16%. This is extremely similar to Blue Buffalo recipes which is promising for those considering Diamond Naturals.
Diamond Naturals are not as widely available from retail pet food stores as some other brands mentioned here but can still be found at some physical stores like Petco and Tractor Supply Company.
On the online front, Diamond Naturals are widely available to purchase from popular online pet food sellers like Amazon, Chewy, and Petflow.
As for which Diamond Naturals recipe we recommend, we are big fans of their Chicken & Rice and their Beef Meal & Rice recipes, both of which have impressive nutrition and a high proportion of animal-based content.
American Journey is not a dog food brand that dog owners will be familiar with seeing on the shelves of their local pet food store.
This is because American Journey is the private-label brand of the huge online pet food website Chewy. Despite this limitation, American Journey has seen huge growth thanks to the success of Chewy and is an option you should definitely consider.
Due to it being associated with Chewy, American Journey dog food recipes are competitively priced, and a 28lb or 24lb bag of dry food can be typically purchased for between $40-$50, depending on the recipe type.
However, Chewy does offer 35% off your first purchase of American Journey using their Autoship service, which is a tempting offer for many.
American Journey uses a large range of high-quality meat and fish ingredients in their recipes, many of which are shared with Blue Buffalo. Some examples we could find included Salmon, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb, and Beef.
For plant-based ingredients, American Journey offers a broad range of both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes, and they typically utilize ingredients like Brown Rice, Barley, Peas, Chickpeas, and Sweet Potatoes.
As for nutrition, American Journey pulls ahead of Blue Buffalo, and in some cases, by an impressive margin.
Most of American Journey’s dry dog food recipes contain 25%-35% protein and 14%-16% fat which is slightly above Blue Buffalo. This higher protein proportion could benefit some dogs, especially those that are highly active.
As we touched on when first discussing American Journey, they are the private label brand of Chewy which means they are only available to purchase online from their website.
You can see American Journey’s full range of dog food recipes here.
Thankfully Chewy has a huge supply chain to rely on for the delivery and production of its American Journey, and you can be confident that their food will typically be available.
However, if you want to purchase an alternative to Blue Buffalo that is also available from retail pet food stores, American Journey may not be the brand for you.
As for which American Journey recipe, we’d recommend you check out their Active Life Salmon, Brown Rice, & Vegetables recipe thanks to its competitive pricing and the large portion of Salmon present, which provides an impressive level of the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids.
Rachael Ray Nutrish
Rachael Ray Nutrish is an extremely popular pet food brand and is one of Blue Buffalo’s biggest competitors.
Rachael Ray Nutrish is priced below Blue Buffalo, with their recipes typically costing between $1.5 per pound to $2 per pound when purchased in larger bags.
However, the ingredients found in Rachael Ray Nutrish’s recipes are very similar to Blue Buffalo, with the inclusion and widespread use of Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, and Peas.
However, Rachael Ray Nutrish does include some ingredients that are not commonly found in Blue Buffalo recipes, like Soybean Meal, Brewers Rice, and Corn.
We compared the nutritional value of five Rachael Ray Nutrish recipes to five blue buffalo recipes and found that they had extremely similar nutritional profiles, with most of the recipes having a proportion of protein between 20-30% and a fat proportion between 12-15%.
Rachael Ray Nutrish is one of the most widely sold brands in the United States and is available for purchase from retail pet food locations such as PetSmart and large grocery stores like Walmart.
You can also purchase Rachael Ray Nutrish from several of the online pet food websites like Amazon and Chewy, which often stock more recipes or offer discounts.
We would recommend you look to purchase one of Rachael Ray Nutrish’s Peak recipes as we believe these are the most comparable to Blue Buffalo.
The below Peak Open Prairie recipe is one of their most popular and includes impressive nutrition from high-quality ingredients like Beef and Chicken Meal.
Victor is a dog food brand that we regularly highlight and promote on our site thanks to a range of factors.
The brand is owned by Mid American Pet Food LLC, which also owns some other dog food brands like Nature’s Logic and Eagle Mountain.
Similar to Diamond Naturals, what makes Victor stand out in the crowd is the large volumes their food is sold in and their competitive pricing.
While the cost does vary quite a lot depending on the range the recipe is within; most Victor dry dog food recipes typically cost $40-$60 for a 30lb or a 40lb bag.
This means that their dry food typically costs $1-$1.50 per pound, which is noticeably cheaper than Blue Buffalo.
Similar to Diamond Naturals again, Victor makes extensive use of several high-quality meat meal ingredients, including Beef Meal, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal, and Salmon Meal.
Most of Victor’s recipes are grain-inclusive and utilize grain ingredients like Sorghum, Millet, and Brown Rice, but they also have some grain-free recipes that use legumes like Peas and starches like Sweet Potatoes.
Nutrition is one of the most interesting topics to discuss for Victor as it varies tremendously from recipe to recipe, much more than other brands.
Part of the reason for this is as some Victor recipes are designed for working or highly active dogs that have much higher protein and fat requirements than typical dogs.
Due to this, Victor’s recipes contain between 22% and 38% protein and 10% to 20% fat which is a colossal range.
While some may think we have included a few outliers, there are, in fact, several Victor recipes that contain 30% protein and not just one or two specialized recipes.
Thankfully, Victor is widely available for purchase from hundreds, if not thousands of retail locations across the United States, including larger stores like Tractor Supply Company and Pet Supplies Plus.
Victor is also available from several online pet food websites, including Chewy, Amazon, and Petflow.
When it comes to Victor, one recipe always comes to mind, which is their extremely popular Hi-Pro Plus. We’ve discussed this on several of our ‘best’ lists and highlighted its impressive nutrition and range of high-quality ingredients.