Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo 

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo are both good brands of dog food. Both are often recommended for people who want to improve their dogs’ nutrition quality, whether to solve some digestive issue or simply to support their dogs’ growth and health.

In this article, we will see a detailed comparison between Nature’s Recipe and Blue Buffalo, including:

  • The comparison of the nutritional values of Nature’s Recipe and Blue Buffalo
  • Whether Nature’s Recipe and Blue Buffalo use safe ingredients or not
  • The comparison of the callback history and quality control of Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo
  • Why Nature’s Recipe can be a great choice that doesn’t cost too much money
  • Why it is better for some dogs to stick with Blue Buffalo

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo: Nutrition

First of all, let’s start by comparing the nutritional values of these dog foods. There are three key nutrition elements that dogs require to live healthily, which are protein, fat, and fiber. In general, both Nature’s Recipe and Blue Buffalo provide good amounts of these nutrition elements.

The dry dog food of Nature’s Recipe contains 27.5% protein, 13.7% fat, and 4.7 % fiber. Meanwhile, their canned dog food contains 52.2% protein, 13.8% fat, and 6.7% fiber. These values are comparably higher than other cheap dog foods in the market, and fairly comparable to the high-quality ones.

On the other hand, the dry dog food of Blue Buffalo contains 29.5% protein, 15.3% fat, and 6.8% fiber.  The canned dog food contains 40% protein, 26.2% fat, and 7.4% fiber. As you can see, the nutritional values here are higher. The differences are fairly small, but in general Blue Buffalo still provides more nutrition than Nature’s Recipe. The only exception is the protein content in the canned product, but forty percent is still quite high.

As a note, the percentages above are acquired from comparing the labels of Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo. Since the AAFCO obligates all pet food products to have guaranteed nutritional content analysis on their labels, it is safe to assume that those numbers are accurate.

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo: Ingredients

Comparing the nutritional values alone is not sufficient to determine the best dog food for your beloved companion. We also need to make sure that the nutrition is acquired from safe ingredients. This is the tricky part, because dogs have different needs and health concerns. For example, some dogs can eat poultry products just fine, while others tend to get digestive problems from eating them.

Nature’s Recipe is generally good because it uses natural ingredients. They also have grain-free formulas, suitable for dogs who can’t eat grains like wheat or rice. The Nature’s Recipe Salmon and Sweet Potato formula, in particular, is grain-free and contains pumpkin, which is a good ingredient to prevent constipation and loose poop.

However, Nature’s Recipe is not a perfect solution because all of their formulas contain poultry fat. This is a natural ingredient that is used as a preservative. However, dogs that have digestive issues usually get problems from poultry fat.

Blue Buffalo in general uses higher quality ingredients. They are a holistic brand, meaning that the ingredients used in the formulas have been chosen carefully based on consumer experience. So, there is no surprise to see that Blue Buffalo is free from risky ingredients. For example, the Blue Buffalo Simple Salmon formula is grain-free and doesn’t use poultry fat, so it is an excellent choice for dogs with digestive issues.

One important thing to keep in mind when changing your dog’s diet is to do it very slowly. You do this by mixing their old and new food. Start with just a small amount for the new food, and gradually increase the amount until eventually the old food goes to zero. This is very important, as it will prevent your dog’s digestive system from getting surprised and running into a variety of health issues.

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo: History

Nature’s Recipe is a dog food brand that was created by Big Heart Pet Brands, and is now owned by The J.M. Smucker Company. It is a relatively young brand. This is part of the reason why, so far, Nature’s Recipe has never needed a recall. We may assume that the other part of the reason is excellent quality control by the company.

Blue Buffalo has a much longer history. It was founded in 2003 and quickly became one of the fastest growing pet food brands in the United States. In 2018, the company was acquired by General Mills, which is a global food company.

Throughout the years, Blue Buffalo has experienced recalls a few times. Twice in 2007 for melamine contamination, once in 2010 for extremely high amounts of vitamin D, twice in 2015 due to salmonella and propylene glycol contamination, and once in 2016 due to mold.

The latest three recalls were in 2017. The reasons were aluminum contamination, increased beef thyroid hormone, and a packaging problem. However, so far, there is no more recalls since 2017, so we may assume that the quality control is now much better and more consistent.

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo: Price

Last but not least, there is an important aspect that we need to consider, the price. While all dog owners want to get the absolute best food for their furry friends, this is not always possible due to budget limitation.

Nature’s Recipe holds a better edge in terms of price. Their formulas are generally available at lower price points. They are made in the United States. To make things even better, you can get discount vouchers from the Internet to get their formulas at even more affordable prices.

Blue Buffalo is a more expensive brand. We can see that the ingredients in their formulas are high quality, but this directly affects their prices. Hence, people usually want to try the cheaper products first, and move to Blue Buffalo only when the other alternatives don’t work well.

Nature’s Recipe vs Blue Buffalo

Nature's RecipeBlue Buffalo 
- Slightly lower nutritional values, but still good- Higher nutritional values
- Good natural ingredients, has grain-free formulas- Good natural ingredients, has grain-free formulas
- Uses poultry fat as a preservative- Has formulas that don't contain poultry
- No recall history- Has experienced recalls 9 times, the latest were in 2017
- Made in the United States- Made in the United States
- Cheaper- More expensive


In general, Blue Buffalo is better because of the higher nutritional values and the better quality ingredients. However, if you have a limited budget, Nature’s Recipe is a decent alternative that also provides very good nutrition. You can try Nature’s Recipe first, and if it doesn’t solve your dog’s digestive issues, you can switch to Blue Buffalo.