Wag Dog Food vs Blue Buffalo: 2023 Comparison
Sometimes switching from one dog food brand to another is necessary for the health of our dog — or simply the benefit of our wallets. Wag and Blue Buffalo are two dog food brands with few obvious differences between them. While Wag has only been around for a few years and Blue Buffalo is one of the most well-known brands in the U.S.A., both take pride in supplying dogs with food made from natural ingredients.
Since choosing between two brands can be a challenge, here, we compare Wag and Blue Buffalo to help you learn the differences between them. We introduce you to both brands and show how they measure up side by side so you can determine which one best meets your needs.
A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Blue Buffalo
|Wag Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food||
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe||
Both Wag and Blue Buffalo have benefits, but our choice for the winner goes to Blue Buffalo. It might have had a few more recalls than Wag, but it is easier to find online and in physical stores. Blue Buffalo also has its own website, so the brand is more visible to pet owners who don’t like to rely on Amazon for their shopping needs. This availability is what makes Blue Buffalo stand out.
Founded in May 2018, Wag is a brand owned by Amazon. Due to this, it benefits immensely from Amazon’s foothold in the retail industry and is one of the most affordable dog foods available for dog parents on a budget.
It hasn’t been around for nearly as long as Blue Buffalo, but it’s slowly becoming a familiar sight for Amazon shoppers and in certain retail stores, like Walmart
Wag offers several formulas for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. It also has a selection of treats for training and special snacks.
Wag was originally intended to be a grain-free brand, and most of its recipes don’t contain grain at all. The brand has recently started including grain-inclusive formulas in its product line following a suspected correlation between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
Where Is It Made?
Although Wag is owned by Amazon, it’s manufactured by a third-party company that works in partnership with Amazon to create it. Each recipe is formulated to meet AAFCO standards, with the help of veterinary nutritionists, and is produced in California in a family-owned facility.
- Formulated with the help of veterinarian nutritionists
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Each recipe contains probiotics and omega fatty acids
- Pristine recall history
- No whole fruits and vegetables
- All the recipes contain salmon oil, which some dogs dislike
- Doesn’t have a website
About Blue Buffalo
Started in 2003 by the Bishop family in Connecticut, Blue Buffalo has since become one of the most well-known dog food brands in the U.S.A. and is even sold internationally in Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
The Bishop family began making Blue Buffalo dog food after their Airedale Terrier, Blue, passed away from cancer. After researching the link between cancer and nutrition, they wanted to create healthy dog food that would meet the nutritional needs of dogs while only using natural ingredients and real meat
Blue Buffalo has almost 2 decades of experience. Its years in the market have given the brand ample opportunities to create a vast variety of formulas and recipes for dogs of all ages and breeds.
Blue Buffalo uses high-quality meat in its Life Protection formulas and high-protein ingredients in Blue Wilderness. If your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities, the Basics formula uses limited ingredients, and the Freedom line is grain free. The True Solutions and Veterinary Diet formulas are tailored to all sorts of health issues that can affect your dog, and there is also a dedicated Puppy line to promote the growth of younger dogs.
Where Is It Made?
Owned by General Mills, a U.S. food company, Blue Buffalo makes all its products in the U.S.A. It began in Connecticut but has since bought two manufacturing facilities in Missouri and Indiana.
- Recommended by veterinarians
- Formulas to suit all ages, breeds, and health conditions
- Each recipe uses real meat, fruits, and vegetables
- Available from most online and physical stores
- Some dogs have issues digesting the food
- Has been recalled several times since 2010
The 3 Most Popular Wag Dog Food Recipes
Wag has a variety of kibble and wet dog food for all ages and preferences. Here are three of its most popular recipes.
1. Wag Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Most dogs don’t have a problem digesting grain, but if yours does, Wag has grain-free formulas to try. Formulated with the help of veterinarians, the Wag Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food use real salmon to provide your dog with plenty of protein for their adventures and omega fatty acids to support their skin and coat health.
Like many of Wag’s recipes, this grain-free food doesn’t contain artificial ingredients to provide color or flavor or to preserve the food. It also has a satisfaction guarantee to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite.
This option has caused vomiting in some dogs. Grain-free dog food is currently under investigation by the FDA due to a suspected link to dilated cardiomyopathy. You should discuss grain-free diets with your veterinarian to decide whether it’s the right choice for your dog.
- Real salmon is the first ingredient
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Formulated by veterinarians
- Has caused vomiting in some dogs
- Grain-free diets aren’t recommended for all dogs
2. Wag Wholesome Grains Senior Dry Dog Food
As they age, dogs need different nutrition to keep them active and in perfect health. The Wag Wholesome Grains Senior Dry Dog Food is designed with the help of veterinary nutritionists and tailored to the needs of older dogs. Real chicken is the first ingredient, and the protein content keeps your dog’s muscles strong, while their aging joints are protected by glucosamine and chondroitin. This recipe also helps support your dog’s digestive system with probiotics.
There are no artificial flavors included in the recipe, so your dog can benefit from the taste of natural ingredients.
It has been reported that this senior dog food has a strong smell that some dogs and owners find unpleasant.
- Protein from real chicken
- Formulated to meet the needs of senior dogs
- Probiotics support a healthy digestive system
- Glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health
- No artificial flavors
- Some dogs dislike the strong smell
- Has given some dogs bad gas
3. Wag Beef and Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food
Canned food is a good way to ensure that your dog stays hydrated and is soft enough for canines that find it difficult to chew kibble. Wet dog food can also be added to kibble to provide extra flavor or texture to your dog’s diet or to keep your puppy interested in their food.
Wag Beef and Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food is made from real meat to provide a healthy level of nutrition and protein for your dog. It’s made with beef, beef broth, and chicken as the first three ingredients and has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Several dog owners who have used this product have mentioned that the cans arrive damaged or aren’t sealed properly, which can cause the contents to be contaminated.
- Beef broth, beef, and chicken are the first three ingredients
- Real meat provides healthy nutrition
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Can be mixed with kibble or served alone
- Many of the cans arrive damaged
- Some cans aren’t sealed properly
The 3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes
Blue Buffalo has many formulas for dog food. Here are a few favorites.
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection formula uses real, high-quality meat to provide a balanced diet for your dog. The recipe contains ingredients that are designed to protect your dog’s overall health. While protein works to support your dog’s muscle health, glucosamine keeps their joints lubricated and sturdy. Real fruits and vegetables supply plenty of antioxidants to boost your dog’s immune health, and calcium makes sure their bones and teeth stay strong.
Although Blue Buffalo is expensive, it does offer more options when it comes to the size of bag that you can buy, to suit multi-dog households or limited storage space.
- Glucosamine supports joint health
- Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins promote strong bones and teeth
- High-quality protein from real meat
- 5-, 15-, 24-, 30-, or 34-pound bags
- Antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables
2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner
For dogs that struggle to eat kibble, Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner is soft and easy to chew. Similar to the dry food options, Blue Buffalo’s wet food uses real meat and vegetables to provide dogs with a healthy level of nutrition. The high protein content supports lean muscle development.
Unlike with dry food, the moisture content in wet food helps promote a healthy level of hydration. This can be beneficial if your dog struggles to stay hydrated.
Many owners dislike the strong smell of this wet food. The leftovers also need to be kept in the refrigerator and don’t last as long as dry food.
- Suitable for dogs that have issues chewing kibble
- Supports lean muscle development with protein
- Promotes healthy hydration
- Real chicken and vegetables provide healthy nutrition
- Leftovers need to be refrigerated
- Has a strong, unpleasant smell
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
Available in four bag sizes to suit all sorts of storage spaces or the number of dogs that you have at home, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is made with real chicken. The recipe contains high levels of protein to promote healthy muscle development and carbohydrates to provide energy for your dog’s adventures. Antioxidants from natural superfoods and vitamins support your dog’s immune system, and the omega fatty acids contained in the fish meal keep their coat and skin sleek and shiny.
The FDA is currently investigating a correlation between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. While grain-free food can help dogs with sensitivities to grain, you should discuss the option with your veterinarian before deciding to try a grain-free diet. This recipe has also caused diarrhea in some dogs.
- 5-, 11-, 20-, or 24-pound bags
- High protein content promotes muscle development
- Omega fatty acids support coat health
- Antioxidants and vitamins support the immune system
- Has caused diarrhea in some dogs
- Grain-free diets have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy
Recall History of Wag and Blue Buffalo
Recalls are issued by the FDA or the food brand itself and occur when a product doesn’t meet expectations. For example, a batch of dog food might be found to contain mold.
The recall history of both Wag and Blue Buffalo is important to consider when deciding which brand is better. Not only does it show how much the brand cares about maintaining the quality of its products, but it also demonstrates how mishaps are handled.
As the younger of the two companies, Wag has only been around for a few years. As a result, it hasn’t received any recalls for its products as of writing.
Blue Buffalo has been recalled for several reasons since 2010. It was recalled for toxic levels of vitamin D in 2010, salmonella in 2015, and mold in 2016. 2017 was Blue Buffalo’s worst year so far, with several recalls for aluminum contamination, foil seal quality issues, and elevated beef thyroid protein levels.
Wag vs. Blue Buffalo Comparison
Here’s how Wag and Blue Buffalo compare for taste, nutritional value, price, selection, and ingredients. Comparing them side by side will help you see which one comes out best overall.
Dogs can be surprisingly picky about the flavor of their food, and Wag and Blue Buffalo have similar ingredients and tastes. This makes it difficult to pick a winner for this option.
Both brands have downsides when it comes to taste. All of Wag’s recipes contain salmon oil, which some dogs can find displeasing, while many owners have complained about their dogs turning up their noses at a few of Blue Buffalo’s recipes.
When comparing the two, however, the broader variety of flavors offered by Blue Buffalo gives you more chances to find a formula that your dog loves.
Nutrition-wise, Wag and Blue Buffalo are similar.
Both take pride in providing healthy food filled with natural ingredients. Compared to Blue Buffalo, however, Wag has slightly more crude protein and fat in its recipes. These nutrients can help support your dog’s muscle development and their skin and coat health, which gives Wag the edge over Blue Buffalo for nutritional value.
When it comes to price, Wag is cheaper than Blue Buffalo.
As an Amazon brand, it’s backed by Amazon’s buying power and can afford to price its products lower than the competition. Due to this, Wag dog food is often more affordable for dog owners on a budget.
In comparison, some of Blue Buffalo’s products can be among the most expensive on the market, depending on the bag size, formula, and where they’re sold.
Considering the age difference between Wag and Blue Buffalo, it’s not a surprise that Blue Buffalo wins the selection criteria.
Both Wag and Blue Buffalo have several formulas and dog treats, but with 15 extra years under its belt, Blue Buffalo has a much broader variety of food available.
While Wag focuses on grain-inclusive and grain-free diets, Blue Buffalo offers formulas for multiple ages, breeds, and health conditions. It also has a large range of wet food if you prefer canned food over kibble.
Wag and Blue Buffalo both use real meat as the first ingredient to ensure that your dog receives the nutrition that they need. However, Blue Buffalo wins overall. Compared to Wag, Blue Buffalo has more fruit, vegetables, and berries in its formulas to help balance your dog’s diet. The additional fruits enable Blue Buffalo to better support your dog’s health through natural superfoods that contain antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Blue Buffalo also has more meat options to choose from, including rabbit, quail, cod, bison, venison, and alligator, along with the common chicken, salmon, and beef.
Despite Wag being owned by Amazon, the win for availability goes to Blue Buffalo.
While Wag is slowly finding a place among other retailers, Blue Buffalo is much easier to find at various online retailers and in physical stores.
This greater availability makes Blue Buffalo the better option if you prefer not to wait for shipping times to plan out your shopping. It also enables you to add dog food to your existing grocery list so you can do all your shopping in one go.
If you’re looking for dog food that uses natural ingredients, Wag and Blue Buffalo are good options. Both brands are remarkably similar when it comes to providing healthy and nutritional food for dogs.
Overall, we’ve chosen Blue Buffalo as the winner for this comparison because of its wider distribution. It also gives you more formulas to choose from when it comes to personalizing your dog food to suit your pet’s health, breed, and age.
That’s not to say Wag isn’t a good choice, however, and it’s quickly becoming a firm contender as one of the best dog foods on the market. If you’re on a budget or prefer to get your dog food shipped to your door, you can buy Wag dog food online and save yourself from having to carry heavy dog food bags around the supermarket.