There is a seemingly endless list of dog food options on shelves and online and choosing the right brand for your dog can seem daunting. As well as choosing food according to life stage, you can buy foods according to dog size, specific breeds, and any specific dietary or health requirements your pup has.
There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of dog food brands to choose from. While the choice of exactly which food to give your dog will depend on many factors, in this article we look at two premium dog food brands—Canidae and Blue Buffalo—to help you decide which of these is likely to be best for your canine companion.
Read on to see which of these two we believe to be the best brand.
Click to skip ahead:
- A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Canidae
- About Canidae
- About Blue Buffalo
- The 3 Most Popular Brand Canidae Dog Food Recipes
- The 3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes
- Recall History of Canidae and Blue Buffalo
- Canidae vs. Blue Buffalo Comparison
A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Canidae
|CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recip||
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||
Canidae and Blue Buffalo are both premium brands and it is very difficult to pick a clear winner, especially when looking at their best lines. They both come at a similar price point, both use high quality ingredients, and both have very good nutrient ratios. They also both have some lower quality recipes, and it is because Canidae has fewer low-quality options that they take the win.
Canidae is a US-based dog food company that was founded in 1996. Although the range has expanded recently, Canidae does not have as varied a range of products as Blue Buffalo, but its prices are similar, and its food is nutrient-dense and protein-rich and also boasts using high quality ingredients that are beneficial to dogs. The company targets those dogs and dog owners that are looking for allergen-free foods.
Canidae lists named meat meals as its primary ingredients. Meat meals are highly concentrated forms of the meat they are made from, which means that they offer a lot of protein and other nutrients, even when compared to fresh and whole meat. The company says that all of its food is free from artificial flavors as well as corn, wheat, and soy. Their food is grain-inclusive, which we believe to be the best option for dogs that are not specifically allergic to any grains.
Like Blue Buffalo, Canidae food is considered super-premium food and it has the price tag to match. Also, like Blue Buffalo, it does offer a budget range, and the quality of this range is lower than its main premium food. Minerals included in the foods are chelated, which means they attach more easily to protein strands and are more easily absorbed by the body.
Some Questionable Ingredients
Although the majority of Canidae’s ingredients are high quality, they do use some ingredients that are considered controversial. As with all dog foods, you should check the ingredient list of any food you are considering ensuring that you are happy feeding the contents to your dogs.
About Blue Buffalo
Formed in 2003, Blue Buffalo is a US-based company that was set up by dog owner Bill Bishop, whose Airedale, named Blue, lost his fight to cancer. Bishop started the company with the aim of providing high quality and nutritious food for dogs with the belief that good nutrition enables dogs to live longer and healthier lives.
With that ethos in mind, Blue Buffalo dog food is free from what the company considers cheap fillers. This means there are no animal by-products in their food. All meat ingredients are clearly labeled and identified, and real meat is always the first ingredient in the food.
Blue Buffalo food is expensive, at least compared to the standard shelf-filler stock that can be bought from supermarkets and even pet stores. Even their budget lines tend to be more expensive than a lot of other brands.
Nutritional Quality Varies Between Lines
Although lines like the Wilderness line are considered high quality and have very good nutritional levels, this isn’t true of all Blue Buffalo food. The Basics and Freedom Grain Free lines are not as high quality, and these do make up quite a portion of the company’s offerings.
The 3 Most Popular Brand Canidae Dog Food Recipes
Below are three of Canidae’s food recipes:
1. Canidae All Life Stages Chicken Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
The primary ingredients of chicken meal, barley, and peas help give this premium dry food 26% protein by dry matter. The food also contains a host of vitamins and minerals, and the ingredients also state that the food contains a source of live naturally occurring microorganisms or probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that will fight the bad bacteria in your dog’s stomach and provide a host of health benefits.
Unfortunately, not all the minerals are chelated, which means that they are not absorbed as well as by the dog and the ingredient list also contains sodium selenite, which is considered inferior to natural alternatives. The food is expensive, but it has a good protein ratio and, overall, high quality ingredients.
2. Canidae All Life Stages Turkey Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Canidae All Life Stages Turkey Meal & Rice Formula is another from the All Life Stages range, but this one is targeted toward large breeds. The main ingredients in this food are turkey meal, brown rice, and peas. It does contain canola oil., which is a controversial ingredient because, while it isn’t toxic to dogs, it has likely come from genetically modified crops and has been more heavily processed than alternative oils. A fish oil or olive oil would be preferred.
Again, the food is expensive, but as well as containing nutrient-dense turkey meal, it is made with fresh fruit and real vegetables to meet your dog’s dietary needs and it is specially formulated for large breeds. It has a 24% protein ratio and higher omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratios than the chicken formula above.
3. Canidae All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food
Canidae All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food is one of Canidae’s All Life Stages wet food options. Its primary ingredients are chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver, although you will find both canola oil and sodium selenite in the ingredient list, too, and both of these are controversial ingredients. Not only do meat ingredients make up the primary ingredients, but the majority of the food’s 41% protein by dry matter seems to come from meat sources, too, which means that the ingredients are considered high-quality meat ingredients.
Like the rest of the company’s food, though, it is an expensive option to put in your dog’s bowl.
The 3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes
And now we’ll take a closer look at three of Blue Buffalo’s most popular recipes.
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a dry food for puppies under one year of age. As well as containing calcium and phosphorus to encourage strong bone development and healthy teeth, the food comes in a smaller kibble size than the adult formula so is easier for puppies to get their teeth around.
The primary ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice. While deboned chicken is a quality ingredient, it is not actually as nutrient-rich or protein-rich as chicken meal. The ingredients list does include sodium selenite and also garlic. Garlic is considered controversial because, although it should be perfectly safe in the quantities found in this food, it can be toxic to dogs.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
In the same way puppies have specific dietary requirements and benefit from the inclusion of certain vitamins and minerals, so too do senior dogs. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is targeted at senior pups. Its main ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice. It contains a host of chelated minerals and vitamins, as well as probiotics and prebiotics.
Its protein ratio is 23%, which would benefit from being a little higher, because senior dogs benefit from having more protein in their diet to help maintain good muscle strength. However, antioxidants help support good immune health, glucosamine and chondroitin are added for joint health and to ensure continued mobility in senior canines, and the kibble is designed for small breeds so it will more easily fit in your small dog’s mouth.
3. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food lists primary ingredients of chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver. It also contains chelated minerals and is enhanced with vitamins to ensure it is a complete meal that meets a dog’s nutritional requirements.
There are a couple of controversial ingredients, including sodium selenite, but also carrageenan. Carrageenan has caused a stir in recent years with some scientists claiming that it is heavily linked to inflammatory diseases like arthritis, and other scientists claiming that it is perfectly safe for use.
By dry matter, this food is 36% protein, a lot of which seems to come from chicken, although the fat level is a little high at 27% so it may not be suitable for all dogs.
Recall History of Canidae and Blue Buffalo
Both companies have had some product recalls over the past years, but Blue Buffalo has had many more than Canidae with a total of six recalls between 2007 and 2017.
Some of Canidae’s food was recalled in 2012 due to a possible salmonella infection.
Blue Buffalo food was recalled in 2007 because of a melamine contamination; in 2010 because of possible high levels of vitamin D; twice in 2015, for possible salmonella and low levels of propylene glycol; in 2016, for mold; and three times in 2017 for aluminum contamination, problems with packaging, and the existence of a beef thyroid hormone.
Canidae vs. Blue Buffalo Comparison
Below, we compare the two brands to see which comes out on top in various aspects.
It is difficult for us to judge taste so base our findings on buyer reviews. In these cases, both foods fare reasonably well, but some Blue Buffalo buyers do complain that their dogs tend to leave the LifeSource Bits in their dry food. Therefore, Canidae seemingly has the better flavor.
When it comes to nutritional value, it is very difficult to pick a winner. Both companies offer food with similar protein ratios in both wet and dry food, and while Blue Buffalo tends to offer slightly higher fiber, it also has higher fat ratios. At a push, Canidae just about comes out on top.
The two companies are considered premium brands and their food prices match this tag. They are priced very evenly, and it is impossible to separate the two.
Blue Buffalo has a lot more foods on offer, including puppy and senior food, as well as some specialist foods for certain health conditions and nutritional requirements. Canidae’s range is smaller, although they do have a wider range of protein choices. Although this is another difficult comparison, Blue Buffalo just about edges it.
Overall, Canidae’s popularity with dogs, its nutritional values, and the fact that it does a great selection of different proteins mean that it just beats Blue Buffalo in this comparison. But both foods are high quality and would make an excellent choice of brand for most dogs.
It is a really tight competition between Blue Buffalo and Canidae dog foods, and both would make a good choice of food for the majority of dogs. Both are nutritionally well-rounded, use mostly high quality ingredients, and offer a decent selection of different foods. Canidae just about comes out on top, however, in our comparison.