When you are embarking on finding the best dog food for your pet, you realize that a lot of homework should be done before you are ready to make any decisions. What are your expectations in relation to quality? How much money are you ready to spend monthly on your canine’s nutrition? Does your pooch require a special diet due to health conditions? Once you’ve worked out your criteria for dog food, you are very welcome to read this comparison of Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo. If you are not done with the answers yet, this is also OK. This article will also be beneficial for you as it will provide you with facts and detailed analysis.

In this review, we’ll go over the questions that have been haunting you recently. You’ll discover what products these brands offer, if they use quality ingredients in their recipes, what are the nutritional profiles of their foods, which company has the best correlation of price and quality, and so on. We’ll also detail the recall history of both and drive our own conclusion.

Excited? Then read on!

About Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo is a family-owned company based in the USA that is currently owned by General Mills. The brand’s story started in 2003 with deep love to a family Airedale dog named Blue who endured two cancer relapses and died because of lymphoma. As it turned out, nutrition was the reason for the dog's cancer, so Bill Bishop gave a promise to provide a healthy alternative to poor quality pet food that was dangerous for furry friends.

Nearly 20 years have passed, but Blue Buffalo is still committed to the pledge. The brand offers a myriad of dog food recipes made of real meat and superfoods. It never adds by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or flavors that should be avoided in the dog’s diet. You’ll find grain-free and grain formulas, high-protein recipes for super active dogs, or just options for daily nutrition for dogs of different sizes and at any life stage.

Our Blue Buffalo Top Picks

When comparing Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo dog food, we can’t miss a chance to get a better view of the recipes both companies offer. We’ll start our investigation with some of the best Blue Buffalo formulas.

BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Bison Recipe for Adult Dogs

Unleash your dog’s wild nature with this high-protein recipe cooked with bison. This grain-free formula starts with deboned bison meat, which is then complemented with fish meal. As this food is free of grains, it relies on peas, tapioca starch, potatoes, and other ingredients that are rich in plant proteins and carbs. With 30% of protein and 15% of fat, your canine will be fueled for the rest of the day, performing even the most complicated tasks or supporting you as you are hiking. This is a natural formula that excludes any questionable ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, by-products, preservatives, or artificial flavors. When feeding your canine with this food, you can be 100% sure your furry buddy eats healthy.

BLUE True Solutions Livin’ Large Breed Formula

When you have a large dog, you know those common recipes might not be enough. Large dogs tend to develop and have a much shorter lifespan. But you can be proactive and help your pet live longer and healthier by providing a balanced diet that targets large dogs, just like this one. This Blue Buffalo formula has everything giant canines need to maintain their body and mind. The recipe starts with chicken and chicken meal to ensure your pooch gets enough proteins for muscle support. Wholesome gluten-free grains deliver enough energy, so your pet doesn’t get tired too soon and feels full even after a small food serving. On top of that, the company adds EPA, glucosamine, and chondroitin to this food for strong joints and bones.

Grain-Free Lamb and Potato Recipe for Adult Small Dogs

If your small-breed furry companion does not tolerate chicken, grains, eggs, or other ingredients, Blue Buffalo has worked out a solution - a delicious recipe that excludes common allergens or poorly digestible ingredients. With this food, your tiny bundle of joy can finally enjoy its meal without any tummy issues. Since this is a lamb recipe, it’s made of real lamb meat combined with lamb broth. No other meat types are added to avert any allergic reaction. Potatoes and pea protein are used to enhance the level of protein and carbohydrates. You’ll find pumpkin in this recipe that is a powerful source of fiber and helps fight stomach issues.

Blue Buffalo Pros

  • A wide selection of recipes for any dog
  • Quality ingredients without any banned stuff
  • Free of corn, wheat, soy, and by-products
  • Meat and meat meal as the basic ingredients
  • Enhanced with supplements and probiotics

Blue Buffalo Cons

  • Wet recipes include carrageenan

Read our full Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review.

About Royal Canin

As we compare Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo, how can we get past the Royal Canin story?

The brand story started in 1968 when Jean Cathary, a veterinarian, decided that the time to change the pet food industry had come and introduced the first dog food recipe known as ‘yellow soup.’

Time went on, and a single recipe turned into a huge selection of dog pet foods available both for dogs and cats. These days Royal Canin is owned by Mars Petcare, one of the mastodons in the pet food manufacturing business.

According to the Royal Canin’s website, their foods are the first medicines every canine should take to improve its health condition or get rid of certain issues. What makes it different from Blue Buffalo is that this company offers recipes tailored to specific breeds, not just breed age or size.

Our Royal Canin Top Picks

Royal Canin offers two product ranges: vet and retail. We’ll go over recipes from the retail range since they are widely affordable and do not require vet prescriptions.

Royal Canin Large Digestive Care Dry Dog Food

What Royal Canin food is equivalent to Blue Buffalo limited ingredients? This recipe might be a good alternative for large dogs. Formulated for canines weighing 56-100 lb. and over, this is claimed to be food for digestive care. Since it includes a blend of proteins, fiber, and probiotics, this recipe will minimize the risks of food intolerance. However, we are warned by some of the ingredients we believe shouldn’t be included in dog food. Chicken by-product meal is the first ingredient, and there’s no real meat in this recipe. Other low-quality fillers like corn gluten meal, brewers rice flour, wheat gluten, and some more are intensively used here. To maintain the bones and joints of a large dog in a good condition, glucosamine and chondroitin are also added.

Royal Canin Small Aging 12+ Dry Dog Food

For small aging canines, Royal Canin offers a special formula that is sure to support a dog’s health. If your pet is 12 years or older, this recipe will ensure healthy aging with EPA, DHA, and a complex of antioxidants. These essentials help fight inflammation, boost the immune system, support skin and heart health, and do much more to prolong your canine’s lifespan. Because of the controlled phosphorus level, this formula aids in maintaining kidney health. A complex of fatty acids is responsible for flawless skin and a shiny coat. Besides, this kibble is easy to chew once you rinse it with water. Brown rice, corn, corn gluten meal, and brewers rice are the first four ingredients, and there’s no hint of real meat in this recipe, just chicken by-product meal.

Royal Canin Boxer Adult Loaf in Sauce Canned Dog Food

If you own an adult purebred Boxer, you’ll get interested in this canned formula. This paté will definitely appeal to the dog’s appetite due to the delicate texture and astonishing flavor. Since this is a complete and balanced formula, you can use it as a standalone meal or mix it with your pet’s favorite kibble. The recipe is formulated to maintain Boxer’s strong muscles and low body with an optimal blend of protein, fat, and L-carnitine levels. Royal Canin also adds taurine, EPA, and DHA to this food to contribute to cardiac health. Chicken and pork by-products with a little bit of chicken meat make the core of this recipe.

Royal Canin Pros

  • A huge product line for different breeds
  • Basic and vet-prescribed recipes for specific health conditions
  • Is widely available

Royal Canin Cons

  • Relies on fillers like corn, wheat, soybean badly
  • All recipes include by-products or by-product meal
  • No real meat in kibble
  • Might be overpriced

Read our full Royal Canin Dog Food Review.

Types of Dog Food from Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo

Some dogs love variety in their nutrition, others finish the bowl of their favorite food in one gulp, no matter how long they’ve been addicted to it. So, in this section, we’ll delve into the product variety of these two companies so you could make sure that at least one has a perfect recipe to meet the nutritional needs of your pet. For this purpose, see the comparing chart first.

Dog Food Type

Blue Buffalo

Royal Canin

Dry dog food

97 recipes

132 recipes

Wet dog food

102 recipes

47 recipes

Dog treats

55 recipes

5 recipes

Blue Buffalo compared to Royal Canin has more wet recipes, but Royal Canin outnumbers Blue Buffalo in a dry food selection. If you would like to learn more about the assortment of these two companies, read on.

Royal Canin divides its products into two big categories:

  • Retail products (commonly available).
  • Vet products (for canines with diagnosed health issues).

Retail products by Royal Canin do not have brands, and the whole variety of recipes is divided by breed, age, size, and special needs. Thus, you can find formulas for Boxers, Labradors, German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, and more breeds. There are also products for toy, small, medium, and large breeds. If you are looking for puppy, adult, or mature foods for your dog, you’ll find them at Royal Canin as well.

As far as Blue Buffalo is concerned, its products are grouped according to common criterion, making 6 brands of dog food:

  • BLUE Life Protection Formula (grain recipes for dogs of different sizes and ages).
  • BLUE Wilderness (high-protein formulas, both grain and grain-free).
  • BLUE Basics (limited-ingredient recipes with one meat type).
  • BLUE Freedom (zero-grain foods packed with quality meat proteins).
  • BLUE True Solutions (options support canines that need a special diet).
  • BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet (wet-prescribed recipes that are supposed to address dog’s health issues).

In general, both companies offer a myriad of products, so every pet parent will be able to find the recipe that addresses their needs best.

Nutritional Value Comparison

If you have a healthy dog who does pretty well with any dog food, you probably are not concerned about the nutritional value your food choice brings. But things might change when your dog is not as active as it used to be or start gaining/losing weight. To avoid all negative consequences of inadequate nutrition, you’ve got to take a more educated approach towards your canine’s nutrition.

Thus, we compare Royal Canin dog food vs Blue Buffalo to help you define which company meets your pet’s needs. Please mind that these are average figures and we strongly recommend every food label for guaranteed analysis individually.

Blue Buffalo

Royal Canin

Dry dog food










Wet dog food













As you see from the data we provide you in the chart, Blue Buffalo offers nutritionally dense food that is packed with proteins, fats, and fiber. What is more important, the brand uses premium quality protein sources like real meat and meat meal (but we’ll talk about the ingredients later).

Royal Canin has recipes with an average nutritional profile. Some formulas have high protein and fat levels, while others are moderate in the number of nutrients they carry.

When choosing Royal Canin or Blue Buffalo dog food from the standpoint of the nutritional value, we’ll give our vote to Blue Buffalo without any hesitation.

Ingredients and Flavours Comparison

Ingredients and flavors in dog food are probably one of the defining factors in your decision-making process. So below, we’ll compare Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo to help you pick the brand you think is best for your canine.

Royal Canin offers mainly recipes with chicken flavor that are manufactured from chicken by-product meal or pork by-product meal. Only wet recipes have real meat, but this ingredient is never in the top three. This company heavily relies on wheat, oat groats, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, corn, and some other fillers that provide no value but for carrying empty calories or digestive issues.

Blue Buffalo once gave a promise to produce quality dog food options without adding any fillers and by-products. This brand is devoted to that claim and keeps on manufacturing premium-quality dog food recipes that are packed with functional ingredients and supplements. Along with real meat and meat meals, Blue Buffalo also adds wholesome grains, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, other fruit, and vegetables. However, its wet recipes include carrageenan, which is linked to cancer and gastrointestinal issues.

Price Comparison

As you see from the chart, these two brands are on the expensive side. When we put Blue Buffalo vs Royal Canin side by side, we see that Blue Buffalo is more affordable. Since Blue Buffalo also uses real meat and superfoods in all the recipes, we believe it’s a perfect combo.

Blue Buffalo

Royal Canin

Dry dog food

$2.47 per lb.

$2.84 per lb.

Wet dog food

$3.52 per lb.

$4.85 per lb.

Product Safety and Recall History

Both companies were involved in a series of recalls.

Royal Canin recalled thousands of recipes that were distributed through professional vet stores because of the excessive levels of Vitamin D. Two consequential recalls took place in April and May 2007 as the company's food was contaminated with melamine.

Blue Buffalo has a long history of recalls:

  • April 2007 - melamine contamination
  • October 2010 - elevated level of vitamin D
  • November 2015 - potential salmonella infection
  • May 2016 - possible mold contamination
  • February 2017 - metal contamination
  • February 2017 - packaging defects
  • March 2017 - increased beef thyroid hormone level

Is it good or bad that these companies were involved in these recalls? We believe it’s a sign that they keep the food quality under control and are ready to forget about the revenue when it comes to the health of our four-pawed friends.

Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Which Should You Choose?

You’ll never go wrong with these brands as they both have their own merits. Royal Canin offers a scientifically-backed diversity for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. If you are searching for a breed-specific formula for your pet, this is your choice. Blue Buffalo also has a wide selection of formulas for pets of any size and age. It also provides recipes for pets with different health issues or food intolerance. Blue Buffalo uses natural and functional ingredients that will nourish your canine and support its health.

Which is better Royal Canin or Blue Buffalo? We believe it’s you who should decide what company is more beneficial for your pet. Now you’ve got all the information you need to make an educated choice.

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