Battle of the Brands: Blue Buffalo vs. Orijen Dog Food

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We want to give our canine family members the very best of care. This includes the best nutrition. How can we know what that is ? Your vet can recommend a food for your dog , but it turns out, many vets get commissions on food that they sell from the  pet food companies they recommend. It’s best if you rely on your own research, or in the absence of time or understanding to do this, rely on ours. Here we have a comparison between two of the more popular brands of top quality dog foods. Blue Buffalo and Orijen.

Blue Buffalo Introduction

Blue Buffalo has all of the earmarks of a quality pet food. The company’s origins go back to a start -up that began began due to the dietary needs of one family pet, and Airedale Terrier called “Blue.” Bill and Jackie Bishop’s experience with Blue, who suffered from cancer, led them to develop their first pet food products. They now hold the distinction of having the #1 pet food sold in America. This is a high quality premium brand that, while more expensive than average, gives your dog greater nutrition, and pound for pound is a wiser choice than the standard dog food on your grocery store shelves. Blue offers a handful of different product lines. Dry food, wet food, raw and dog treats are among the offerings from Blue.

Coupon Details

This deal is good for 20% off your first order when you sign up for Chewy.com’s autoship program.

Update: All orders above $49 will receive FREE SHIPPING

The Life Protection Formula from Blue Buffalo is a premium quality dry food with real meat (chicken, lamb or fish) as the basis for the recipes. They follow with brown rice and a host of nutrients and antioxidants that are designed for the health and wellness of your canine family member. Life Protection is formulated for small breeds, large breeds, puppies  or senior dogs.

The Freedom line from Blue Buffalo is all grain free and features chicken, lamb and beef as the basis for the recipes. They too have small breed and large breed formulas.

The Wilderness line is designed to mimic what your dog’s ancestors possibly ate in the wild. So red meat, salmon, turkey, duck and venison are featured in these recipes. There is also a chicken grain free formula.

Orijen Introduction

Orijen is a maker of dog food, freeze dried dog food and dog treats. These recipes featured meats and fish , bison and salmon sourced in the eastern United States. Their “biologically appropriate” freeze dried foods meet the standards for a raw diet for your canine family member. Natural meat poultry and fish, nothing else.  Orijen offers a high end line of puppy, senior, and large breed and regular grain free formulas. Orijen prides itself on having their meat and fish grown in the eastern US and sourced exclusively for their products.

Coupon Details

This deal is good for 20% off your first order when you sign up for Chewy.com’s autoship program.
Update: All orders above $49 will receive FREE SHIPPING

They claim that all fruits,vegetables and meats are taken from products fit for human consumption. There are no BHA/BHT, GMO’s or China-sourced ingredients in the Orijen products.

6 Fish Formula is a grain free fish recipe containing whole fish, boneless fish and fruits and vegetable. This original formula is a top quality dry dog food that is considered a “prey diet” for your dog.

Regional Red from Orijen contains locally sourced red meats such as beef, boar, lamb , pork and bison. This is considered a “Whole Prey” diet with red meat as the basis for the recipe followed by fish, eggs , fruits , vegetables and herbs.  This is one of the more popular recipes with dog owners, albeit one of the more expensive.

Original grain free is formulated with chicken, turkey fish and eggs and includes fruits, vegetables and probiotics. No grains, potato, tapioca or plant protein complexes are included in this formula which makes it a great choice for a high quality premium dog food.

Blue Buffalo Price vs. Orijen Price

Blue Buffalo is the clear winner when it comes to price. The 30 pound bag of Life Protection formula comes out to about $1.50 per pound and consumers can realize a 5% savings if they sign up to do a regular autoship for this product.  The reviews on the autoship feature have been mixed with some complaints that the food was warehoused too long and the kibble was stale or had become wet and moldy. These are rare cases, but this issue has been documented.

By comparison, the Orijen can cost up to $3.15 per pound  for the Original dry grain free formula. A 25# bag can cost about $80. Again, the auto ship regular subscription will realize a 5% savings and a great deal of convenience in receiving the product at your door.

Comparison of Ingredients

Both of these companies provide top quality ingredients but Orijen edges out Blue with more raw, locally sourced ingredients and omits fillers and starches that Blue contains such as potato and potato starch. Both companies provide meat and meat meals as the first ingredients, but Blue contains oatmeal, brown rice and barley, while Orijen’s first ingredients are chicken, turkey, flounder and whole eggs.

The ingredients that follow closely mirror each other with pumpkin, squash and other vegetables and fruits included both in the Life Protection and the Original Dry Grain free formulas. For dog owners that want a truly grain free diet, the Orijen recipes compare more favorably than Blue.

Blue Buffalo Nutrition vs. Orijen Nutrition

Orijen 38% crude protein and 18% Crude Fat in their Original Dry Grain Free Formula compared to Blue Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice’s 24% Crude Protein and 14% crude fat. Orijen also adds Chondroitin and Glucosamine where Blue only adds Glucosamine. The fiber and moisture content in the Orijen food is also higher than Blue by about 2%.  

Both recipes provide good nutrition. You as the consumer should consult with your vet about the percentage of protein that is recommended for your particular breed of dog. Different breeds have different nutritional requirements due to size, activity level and housing. It very important that you know what your dog requires to be at their best. Blue adds a lot of vitamins and supplements to their recipe while Orijen relies on on more of the whole foods included in their recipes.

Final Verdict

When it comes to the final decision, you have to choose based on what is important to you. For some it’s price, others count nutrition as the most important factor. When all’s said and done,  Orijen is the clear winner when you look at nutritional value per pound, and the overall healthiness of the recipe and the ingredients.

Blue edges them out on price per pound and provides a healthy and diverse selection to chose from for consumers. There is no clear winner when it comes to being breed specific, except for the Orijen may meet the requirements for certain working breeds better due to the higher levels of crude protein in the feed. You make the choice and then you have to see if your dog likes it. That could be the deciding factor!

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