If you’re searching for a new dog food for your dog, the options are staggering. It can be overwhelming to not only sort through the possible brands and product lines but determine which is best for your pet.
When it comes to IAMS and Blue Buffalo, we did the work for you. We’re going to cover the nutritional value, variety, product lines, company reputation, and recall history for both of these brands, as well as their top three recipes. Take a look!
A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Blue Buffalo
|Best Overall||Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula||
|Runner-up||IAMS ProActive Health Adult Dog Food||
Between IAMS and Blue Buffalo, the latter gains a slight edge. As a newer company, Blue Buffalo experienced numerous recalls that present concerns with quality control, but it offers slightly better nutrition, more variety in recipes and selection, and more quality ingredients than IAMS. Both have mixed reviews for taste, so that comes down to individual preference.
IAMS was founded in 1946 by Paul F. Iams. The goal was to create a top-quality diet for health and wellness in dogs and cats. The first food debuted in the 1950s, which was groundbreaking in its use of meat as the basis for the recipe.
IAMs was also a pioneer in other areas of pet food research, including the development of pet foods for different life stages, “natural” food lines, and more. Though IAMS uses strict quality control testing for its foods, it has had a few recalls in its 80-year history.
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is a newer dog food manufacturer that launched in 2000. The founders pursued the development of a dog food company after seeking a diet to help Blue, their Airedale terrier with cancer. All Blue Buffalo diets use holistic ingredients and local sourcing, free from wheat, soy, corn, by-products, natural flavors, colors, and preservatives. The brand has several product lines, including grain-free and grain-inclusive, formulas for different breed sizes, and special diets.
Six recalls affected Blue Buffalo, all between 2010 and 2017. Blue Buffalo was also one of the brands included in the FDA’s statement on canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
The 3 Most Popular IAMS Dog Food Recipes
1. IAMS ProActive Health Adult With Chicken & Whole Grain Rice Pate Canned Dog Food
IAMS ProActive Health Adult With Chicken & Whole Grain Rice Pate Canned Dog Food offers natural ingredients in a slow-cooked broth that’s appetizing to picky dogs. The food has complete and balanced nutrition, including fatty acids for skin and coat health. It may be served on its own or as a topper for dry kibble. This food has grain and is suitable for all breed sizes as an adult maintenance diet. Several reviewers said their dogs developed gas and loose stools.
2. IAMS Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
IAMS Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is an adult food that features real lamb as the first ingredient. It has plenty of other ingredients to love, such as natural fiber and prebiotics for healthy digestion and antioxidants for overall health. The kibble is small, making it ideal of all breed sizes. This food has several controversial ingredients, however, such as beet pulp, caramel color, and chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols.
3. IAMS High Protein Proactive Health Active Real Chicken & Turkey Flavored Adult Dry Dog Food
IAMS High Protein Proactive Health Active Real Chicken & Turkey Flavored Adult Dry Dog Food offers wholesome ingredients in an appetizing kibble formula. Chicken and turkey offer high protein to support an active lifestyle, and L-carnitine is included for healthy metabolism. Like the other kibble formula, this recipe has controversial ingredients like chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, beet pulp, and caramel color.
The 3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Fish & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Fish & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food has meat, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit for a blend of nutrition. The LifeSource Bits contain antioxidant-rich ingredients that enhance nutrition and offer a variety of texture in the kibble. This recipe has fish and brown rice with glucosamine, fatty acids, and calcium for joint, coat, muscle, and bone health. There are no wheat, soy, or by-product meals. This recipe does have some controversial ingredients, such a chicken fat with mixed tocopherols, garlic, and pea starch.
2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Turkey Meatloaf Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food offers turkey and fruits and vegetables for well-rounded nutrition. This food offers whole and balanced nutrition for adult dogs and may be fed on its own or as a topper for kibble. There are no by-product meals, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives. Several reviewers complained about the texture and said their dogs wouldn’t eat it.
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has chicken as the first ingredient for a high-protein meal that maintains lean muscle mass. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support a healthy coat and skin. It also has antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits with vitamins and minerals for all-around health. This food has no wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. This is a grain-free food, however, which has been connected to possible heart problems in dogs.
Recall History of IAMS and Blue Buffalo
IAMS has had several recalls due to salmonella contamination, aflatoxin, and low levels of thiamine. IAMS was also one of the brands involved in the melamine recall, which involved contaminated foods from 180 brands that resulted in the serious illness or death of dogs and cats.
Blue Buffalo has also had a number of recalls throughout its short history, including recalls for elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones, mold, salmonella, and propylene glycol. Though Blue Buffalo was involved in the melamine recall, it was during a period in which Blue Buffalo was produced by American Nutrition, Inc. The company is no longer associated with Blue Buffalo at this time. Blue Buffalo was also implicated in the FDA statement on dilated cardiomyopathy.
IAMS VS Blue Buffalo Comparison
Both IAMS and Blue Buffalo receive good reviews from pet owners who say their dogs like the food. Some reviewers said their dogs wouldn’t eat the food, across all product types, which is true of most dog food brands and picky dogs. Without direct taste tests, it’s difficult to determine which is more appetizing to dogs.
Both IAMS and Blue Buffalo are complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards for dog nutrition. With wet and dry dog food varieties, the foods are close in terms of crude protein, fat, and fiber, though Blue Buffalo comes in a little higher in all categories. With either brand, the protein content percentage is higher in the wet food.
Overall, IAMS contains more controversial ingredients than Blue Buffalo, such as by-products, vegetable oil, animal fat preserved with tocopherols, assorted food coloring, and menadione sodium bisulfite. Still, Blue Buffalo contains some controversial ingredients, including canola oil, caramel color, and pea protein.
Both foods offer nutrition at a modest price. The high calorie counts of both mean less food is needed to reach satiation and optimal nutrition, though IAMS has lower quality ingredients that affect its nutrient density and how filling it is to your dog. Overall, Blue Buffalo offers better value for your dollar and higher-quality ingredients.
With dry and wet dog food, Blue Buffalo comes out on top for variety. IAMS has 24 recipes of dry dog food, compared to 93 for Blue Buffalo. Similarly, IAMS has eight recipes for wet dog food, while Blue Buffalo has 94 recipes.
Overall, Blue Buffalo comes out ahead for its selection, ingredient quality, and value. It has fewer controversial ingredients, slightly higher nutritional values, and a modest price for good nutrition at all life stages. Both foods have similar reviews for taste, so that comes down to the preferences of your individual dog.
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In this comparison, Blue Buffalo takes the edge. Its nutritional content, highly digestible ingredients, and selection all offer an edge over IAMS. That said, IAMS offers good all-around diet options for dogs at all life stages. The controversial ingredients are more of a concern with IAMS, as are Blue Buffalo’s many recalls and quality control issues.