In this comparison, we’ll look at Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo dog food. We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money to give our verdict on which one we think is best.

Royal Canin vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Product Comparison
ProductRoyal Canin GastrointestinalBlue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free
Image
TypeDry foodDry food
LifestageAdultAdult
Calories248 kcal/per cup352 kcal/per cup
Top 5 Ingredients
  1. Brewers Rice
  2. Chicken By-Product Meal
  3. Wheat
  4. Barley
  5. Natural Flavors
  1. Deboned Turkey
  2. Potatoes
  3. Turkey Meal (Source of Glucosamine)
  4. Pea Starch
  5. Peas
Nutrition
Protein
20%
20%
Fat
6.5%
6.5%
fibre
3.9%
3.9%
Protein
20%
20%
Fat
12%
12%
fibre
6%
6%
Cost
Our Rating
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What’s the Best Dog Food?

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Since its founding in 1968, Royal Canin has been crafting the highest quality diets to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs overcoming health conditions or attempting to maintain optimal wellness. The company was developed by Mr. Jean Cathary, a veterinarian whose work primarily centered on horses and bulls. Over time, Dr. Cathary began to believe that nutrition played a vital role in the longevity of the animals in his care, and he began carefully formulating recipes to support his assertions.

Today, Royal Canin operates over 1800 manufacturing plants throughout the world, all of which are held to the same exacting standards. Due to its stringent food trials and quality control and safety protocols, Royal Canin is one of very few companies that can claim to have never had a recall on any of its foods.

All foods included in Royal Canin diets are of exceptional quality to provide maximum health benefits to dogs. Locally sourced ingredients are used whenever possible, and all ingredients and their origins are carefully recorded allowing for full traceability up to a maximum of two years.

Blue Buffalo, an American company founded in 2000, is committed to a diet comprised of holistic ingredients to support optimal health and wellness in dogs. The company regularly performs palatability studies and also assesses stool samples to ensure each product is safe and effective for dogs to enjoy.

Blue Buffalo enjoys an excellent reputation as a high quality food manufacturer. It has seen six product recalls between the years 2010-2017, some of which were completely voluntary. Since 2017, there have been no further recalls or formal complaints against this stellar company.

Ingredients

Royal Canin Ingredients

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal is a diet of exceptional quality that has been formulated by veterinary nutritionists to assist dogs suffering from recurrent issues associated with stomach sensitivities or intestinal distress. Available only by prescription from a veterinarian, this high quality food is particularly effective for dogs exhibiting classic signs of stomach troubles including vomiting, diarrhea, and poor appetite.

Since good digestion is an important component in alleviating gastrointestinal distress, Royal Canin has included a powerful prebiotic in its formulation to support excellent gut health. The diet is also rich in dietary fiber to support fluid digestive processes.

Naturally low in fat to provide support for dogs that cannot digest fats effectively, this Royal Canin offering is also enriched with fish oil to soothe the gastrointestinal tract and promote good coat and skin health. Antioxidant-rich foods have also been included to help build a strong and vibrant immune system.

The primary ingredient in Royal Canin is brewer’s rice, a grain of low quality. Though relatively easy to digest and containing some dietary fiber, this ingredient is essentially a filler food, offering limited nutritional benefits to dogs.

Protein is the second ingredient listed in this diet, and it is taken from chicken by-product meal. By-products are produced through the rendering of the pieces of the slaughtered and cooked animal that have been deemed unsuitable for human consumption. These can include such items as feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, blood, bones, and all internal organs.

By-products remain the subject of some controversy as they are believed to be of very poor quality. Some experts assert that they are little more than “slaughterhouse waste,” yet other nutritional experts strongly disagree with this statement. What is known for certain is that by-products are made of 30 percent meat concentrate, a powerful amount of condensed protein which equates to 300 percent more protein than what would be found in whole chicken itself.

Wheat is included in this Royal Canin offering. An ingredient considered to be of poor quality, wheat is also a common allergen for many dogs, making it an unusual choice in a food formulated to address stomach sensitivities. Wheat is rich in protein, however, this plant is harder for dogs to process effectively and lacks the amino acids found in meat, a vital component of any dog’s diet.

Barley has also been added to this food to boost its dietary fiber. This whole grain is easy on the digestive system and contains minerals that are helpful for dogs.

Since this diet is rich in whole grains, it is important for owners to realize that dogs with sensitivities to these ingredients likely will not excel on this food.

There are several ingredients in Royal Canin are the subject of controversy. The first of these items is dried beet pulp. Though it has been claimed that this is a low quality filler with few nutritional benefits, experts purport that this ingredient assists with maintaining good intestinal health, an important help for dogs recovering from stomach issues. It has also been reported to support the stabilization of blood sugars.

Another ingredient in this diet that causes some concern is vegetable oil. Though chicken fat is present in this formulation to contribute vital linoleic acid and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vegetable oil has also been included. Unfortunately, nothing is known about the origins of this ingredient or what type of plant it is derived from, making its health benefits questionable.

Perhaps one of the most questioned ingredients in Royal Canin is corn. Corn is high in protein and does contain dietary fiber. However, its benefits are typically far outweighed by its negative effects. Corn is an inexpensive filler that is a common allergen for many dogs.

In addition to corn, corn gluten meal has also been added to this diet, a low quality food. Both of these items greatly lower the nutritional profile of the protein content, making a large percentage of it derived from plants rather than meat.

Two other ingredients worth mentioning are fructooligosaccharide and chelated minerals. Fructooligosaccharide is essentially an artificial sweetener that acts as a prebiotic to support digestion. Chelated minerals are minerals attached to proteins for easy absorption.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Blue Buffalo LID Grain-Free is an excellent quality diet to address the needs of dogs with sensitive stomachs. The primary ingredient in this premium food is whole turkey, a meat that is easy to digest and unlikely to cause stomach distress.

A grain-free diet, Blue Buffalo is a better choice for dogs that suffer from allergies. It is free from wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, some of the most common allergens that can affect dogs negatively.

This diet is heavy in peas, including whole peas, pea fiber, and pea protein in its formulation. Peas are both starches and proteins, meaning the amount of meat included in this food will be greatly tempered by the plant-based protein found in these pea products, reducing the overall amount of vital amino acids.

Potatoes also play a starring role in this Blue Buffalo food. Potatoes contain no gluten and are renowned to be easy on the digestive system. However, potatoes are primarily a filler food, offering little nutritional benefit to dogs on the whole.

Though animal-based fats are preferable, Blue Buffalo does include canola oil in its recipe. Canola oil contributes omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage coat and skin health. However, where this food is sourced is very important since products derived from rapeseed are often genetically modified.

Both alfalfa meal and alfalfa nutrient concentrate are present, two items that are rich in fiber, plant-based protein, and minerals. However, these items would also mean that a lower percentage of the protein in the diet can be attributed to meat, thus lowering the quality of the protein content.

Other important ingredients found in this powerhouse Blue Buffalo food include chicory root, flaxseed, dried yeast, and chelated minerals. Chicory root is a natural prebiotic, providing vital support for optimal gut health. Combined with the addition of flaxseed, this diet is rich in soluble fiber to encourage fluid digestive processes.

Flaxseed also enriches the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in this food to provide support for coat and skin health. However, flaxseed is also rich in protein, making it yet another plant-based protein found on the ingredients list of this food.

Dried yeast is the subject of some controversy. Some believe that it is a natural flea repellent. While others claim that it may exacerbate existing allergy problems in dogs.

Taurine has been included in this recipe to support cardiac health. Chelated minerals, essentially minerals attached to proteins, have been added to ensure adequate absorption of vital nutrients.

Nutritional Value

Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo offer the nutrition dogs need to assist with recovery from gastrointestinal distress. In general, both foods are high in carbohydrates and lower in fats and proteins to assist with restoring excellent digestive processes.

Royal Canin rings in at 20 percent protein, 5.5-8.5 percent fat, and 3.9 percent fiber to Blue Buffalo’s 20 percent protein, 12 percent fat, and 6 percent fiber. What is important to note is that though both diets list poultry among their main ingredients, they are also rich in plant-based proteins, making the percentage of protein taken from meat dramatically lower. In addition to this, Royal Canin’s meat-based protein is derived from by-products, an inferior quality product.

In addition to this, the calorie count of the Royal Canin diet is very low at only 248 calories per cup. For dogs with good appetites, it may be necessary to feed a larger volume of this food to achieve satiation. By comparison, Blue Buffalo’s caloric content is average at 352 calories per cup.

Taste

Taste is an extremely important factor in any food to encourage a dog to eat heartily.

Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo take a poultry-based meat as one of their primary ingredients. Dogs love both chicken and turkey, ensuring both foods will have some appeal for even the most finicky canines.

However, the amount of meat included in these diets is questionable with the protein content rounded out by the inclusion of my plant-based proteins. In both foods, natural flavor boosts the taste profile.

Both foods score equally in taste tests amongst dogs fed these brands on a regular basis.

Best Suited For

Both Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo have been designed to assist dogs struggling with stomach sensitivities or gastrointestinal distress. They are well-suited to dogs with poor appetite, sensitivities to certain types of foods, or to those experiencing recurring bouts of diarrhea or vomiting. However, Royal Canin’s grain-based formula may make it a poor choice for dogs with allergies.

Their emphasis on high carbohydrates content and lower fat and protein makes both of these foods unsuitable for highly active dogs.

Helpful for Health Conditions?

Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo are both intended to provide support for dogs with gastrointestinal distress or sensitive stomachs. For dogs with poor appetite, these foods are also an ideal choice.

Value for Money

When it comes to value for money, there is little decision to be made. Royal Canin is a very expensive food. Its low calorie count means it will not stretch very far; in fact, many dogs will require double helpings to feel satisfied. This diet is best suited to dogs struggling with ongoing gastrointestinal distress that requires permanent resolution. Since it is a prescription diet, it should be fed only if recommended by a veterinarian.

Blue Buffalo is available at a moderate price point. Its calorie count is moderate, making it an excellent value for each family’s dog food dollar.

Verdict

While both of these diets have much to offer dogs in need of relief from stomach troubles, Blue Buffalo earns top marks in this comparison. Its emphasis on a healthy meat from a high quality source as its primary ingredient as well as its inclusion of superfoods and vital nutrients such as chicory root and flaxseed place it in a class slightly above the heavily plant-based Royal Canin. Its price point is also far more affordable for the average family.

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