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Orijen Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo: Key Differences

Chelsie Fraser

By Chelsie Fraser

Orijen vs Blue Buffalo

Orijen and Blue Buffalo are well-established premium dog food brands, but which one is better? We want our pets to have the best nutrition in food that they love. While many foods advertise fancy terms like organic, sports food, ancient grain, or locally sourced, these labels don’t always mean much. So, how do you choose?

Here is a detailed comparison between Orijen and Blue Buffalo dog food. We look at each product in-depth and the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

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At a Glance

orijen vs blue buffalo

  • Meat-based diet
  • Local-sourced ingredients
  • No artificial additives
  • Offers kibble and freeze-dried options
Blue Buffalo
  • Transparent ingredients
  • LifeSource Bits with added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • No artificial additives
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • Variety of recipes for all life stages
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Overview of Orijen

Orijen dog food is based on an ancestral dog diet. This Canadian manufacturer prides itself on three ideals:

  • Its food provides a meat-based diet.
  • It uses locally and regionally sourced ingredients.
  • It never outsources the manufacturing of its food.

All Orijen foods contain high-quality ingredients that are fresh, never frozen, and non-GMO. The dog food contains no fillers, by-products, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. The ingredient lists on Orijen foods are short, and real meat is always the first ingredient.

While Orijen has arguably one of the highest-quality dog foods on the market, it has the price tag to go with it.

  • Meat-based food
  • Sustainable ingredient sourcing
  • High levels of quality control
  • No by-products or artificial ingredients
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t meet all special dietary needs

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Overview of Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo produces several different lines of dog food. Unlike Orijen, it outsources its manufacturing to other dog food companies. Its recipes are based on the nutrition that dogs require in order to prevent certain types of cancer. It focuses on providing high-quality food packed with antioxidants and immune-boosting properties.

The food contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or by-products. It is wheat, corn, and soy-free to avoid triggering allergies. While the ingredient lists on Blue Buffalo food are long, they are easy to read and understand. All the foods have real meat as the first ingredient.

  • No use of animal by-products
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No soy, wheat, or corn
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Vast selection of recipes for every life stage
  • May not work for special dietary needs

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How Do They Compare?


  • Edge: Orijen

Blue Buffalo food has a high concentration of meat and a low carbohydrate count. It has high amounts of deboned chicken. Since this ingredient is cooked and dehydrated, it reduces the actual meat content in the food. The company compensates for this by adding chicken meal, which is higher in protein.

Orijen includes dehydrated meats in its dog food that have not been exposed to heat. This enables the meat to retain a higher quantity of nutrients than other processing methods. Unlike Blue Buffalo, Orijen includes organ meats in its food, which are packed with flavor and protein.

Blue Buffalo has a low grain content, while Orijen food has zero grains. What tips the scales on the nutrition profile is the inclusion of tomato pomace in Blue Buffalo food. This is a controversial by-product in dog food.


  • Edge: Blue Buffalo

Orijen has a significantly higher price tag than Blue Buffalo. The latter is also easier to find in retail stores and has a larger selection of food choices.


  • Edge: Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has six lines of dry food in various flavors, five types of wet food in different flavors, and six different types of dog treats, giving it the widest range of available products.

Orijen has five flavor options for adults, one for seniors, and two puppy formulas. It does offer freeze-dried food options in three different recipes, something that Blue Buffalo doesn’t.


  • Edge: Orijen

Orijen’s inclusion of organ meats like the heart and liver gives them the edge on flavor. Since their meat is uncooked, it retains the original flavor that is sometimes lost during processing.

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What the Users Say

  • Orijen is a high-quality food.
  • Owners with picky dogs say that they love Orijen food.
  • Some reviews report increased gas after switching to Orijen.
  • The biggest complaint about Orijen is the price.
Blue Buffalo
  • Overall, users are happy with Blue Buffalo food.
  • There are a few complaints about picky dogs that won’t eat it. But many say that this is the food that got their picky dogs to eat.
  • Owners say that their dogs have shiny coats that are free from skin issues.
  • Numerous reviews state that it is a reasonably priced food that is high-quality.

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The overall winner of this comparison based on nutritional value is Orijen. Its inclusion of high-quality meat ingredients, including organ meats, and its limited-ingredient list make this dog food hard to beat nutrition-wise. With regards to value, though, Blue Buffalo is the winner. The nutritional profile of this food is still good, and the food is affordable.

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