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Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo: Who Wins? [2024]

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on January 3, 2024

Blue Buffalo and Nulo are two prominent names in the dog food industry, each boasting its own set of advantages and unique selling points. In this article, we delve deep into a side-by-side comparison, evaluating these brands on ingredients, ingredient quality, protein content, price, value, and their recall histories. Join us as we dissect the details to help you make an informed decision for your furry friend.

Blue Buffalo Vs. Nulo: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison

Blue Buffalo Pros:

  1. Real Meat First: One of the main selling points for Blue Buffalo is that they often use real meat as the first ingredient in many of their products, be it chicken, lamb, beef, or fish. This ensures high-quality protein sources for dogs.
  2. Whole Grains: In their non-grain-free options, Blue Buffalo incorporates healthy whole grains like brown rice and barley, which are great sources of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
  3. Lifesource Bits: A unique feature to Blue Buffalo is their cold-formed LifeSource Bits. These are packed with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants carefully selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
  4. Natural Ingredients: Blue Buffalo emphasizes the use of natural ingredients, staying away from poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Blue Buffalo Cons:

  1. Controversy over Ingredient Definitions: In the past, there has been some contention over Blue Buffalo’s ingredient lists, particularly concerning how they define “natural” ingredients.
  2. Some Fillers: While many of their ingredients are premium, some Blue Buffalo formulas do contain fillers such as pea protein and powdered cellulose which don’t offer much nutritional value.
  3. Price Point: Given the premium nature of many of their ingredients, some pet owners might find Blue Buffalo to be on the pricier side.

Nulo Pros:

     High-Protein Formulas: Nulo places emphasis on high protein content, often sourcing from real meat, fish, and fowl. Their dog foods frequently contain an impressive 30-42% protein, beneficial for muscle maintenance and overall health.

  1. Low-Glycemic Index Ingredients: Nulo uses ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes, which provide sustainable energy without causing spikes in blood sugar.
  2. BC30 Probiotic: Nulo is one of the few dog food brands that incorporates a patented BC30 probiotic to aid in digestive health and regulate metabolism.
  3. No Artificial Ingredients: Nulo prides itself on staying away from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, ensuring a more natural diet for dogs.

Nulo Cons:

  1. Limited Vegetarian Options: For those seeking plant-based or vegetarian diets for their pets, Nulo might not be the ideal choice as their focus is predominantly on high meat-based proteins.
  2. Pricey: Like Blue Buffalo, Nulo’s commitment to high-quality ingredients means it also comes at a higher price point.
  3. Limited Range: While Nulo does offer a variety of recipes, its range might not be as extensive as some of the other big names in the industry, potentially limiting choices for specific dietary needs.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo

Nulo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Blue Buffalo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Recalls & Lawsuits: Blue Buffalo Vs. Nulo

In the competitive world of pet food, maintaining a pristine record is challenging. Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo have had to navigate the occasional roadblocks of recalls and legal issues to uphold their reputation.

Blue Buffalo Recalls & Lawsuits:

      Blue Buffalo, being in the market for a longer duration, has experienced several recalls over the years.

  1. 2007: One of the most significant recalls associated with Blue Buffalo came in 2007 when the FDA found that multiple dog food brands, including certain Blue Buffalo products, were contaminated with melamine, leading to kidney failure in pets.
  2. 2010: The brand faced another setback when an excessive level of Vitamin D was discovered in some of their dog foods, which can be harmful in large amounts.
  3. 2015: A single lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones was recalled due to potential Salmonella contamination.
  4. 2016: A moisture problem that could lead to mold growth prompted a limited recall of certain Blue Buffalo cans.

Blue Buffalo Recalls & Lawsuits:

Blue Buffalo hasn’t been free from legal troubles either. The most notable lawsuit came in 2015 when they settled a $32 million class-action lawsuit. This settlement was over claims of false advertising, where the brand was accused of including by-product meals in some of their pet foods, contrary to their labeling and advertising.

Nulo Recalls & Lawsuits:

As of this section’s date, Nulo hasn’t had widespread recalls. Their record in this department has been relatively clean, which can be attributed to stringent quality control measures and possibly their shorter time in the market compared to some of the industry giants.

While recalls have been few and far between for Nulo, it’s worth noting that no major company-wide lawsuits related to their products or advertising claims have been brought to the public’s attention. This can be indicative of the brand’s commitment to transparency and maintaining the trust of its consumers.

The Road Ahead:

Pet owners should remain vigilant about any pet food brand they choose. Recalls, while concerning, can sometimes be a sign that a company is actively monitoring its products and taking corrective action. However, frequent recalls might indicate broader issues with quality control. It’s equally crucial to note the nature and frequency of these recalls when making purchasing decisions.

In comparing Blue Buffalo and Nulo, while Blue Buffalo has faced multiple recalls and a significant lawsuit, they have also taken corrective actions and remain a trusted brand for many pet owners. Nulo, with its shorter history and fewer recalls, has managed to maintain a cleaner record so far. However, the longevity of a brand in the market can play a role in the number of incidents faced, and Nulo’s commitment to quality and transparency seems evident.

In conclusion, it’s not just about the number of recalls or lawsuits but how brands respond to them that truly matters. Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo have demonstrated their commitment to providing quality pet food, but the past incidents serve as a reminder to always stay informed and prioritize our pets’ health.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo

Nulo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Blue Buffalo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Our Verdict – Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo: Who Wins?

When comparing Blue Buffalo and Nulo Dog Foods based on protein content, ingredient quality, and recall history, certain distinctions emerge. Blue Buffalo offers a wide range of protein sources, but Nulo often emphasizes a higher protein content in their formulations. In terms of ingredient quality, both brands strive for premium, wholesome components, but Nulo’s shorter ingredients list suggests a more straightforward approach. Recall history reveals that while Blue Buffalo has faced multiple recalls, Nulo’s record remains relatively clean. Given these factors, we lean towards Nulo for its emphasis on high protein and fewer recalls, though Blue Buffalo remains a reliable choice for many pet owners.


Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where are Blue Buffalo and Nulo products made?

Blue Buffalo products are manufactured in the United States with ingredients sourced from around the world. Similarly, Nulo’s products are also primarily made in the U.S., ensuring stringent quality control and safety standards.

2. What sets Nulo’s protein content apart from Blue Buffalo?

Nulo emphasizes high protein content in their formulations, often making it a primary selling point. While Blue Buffalo also offers a variety of protein-rich options, Nulo consistently highlights meat as its first ingredient, ensuring pets receive adequate protein.

3. Have either of these brands had recalls in the past?

Yes, Blue Buffalo has faced multiple recalls in the past due to various reasons, ranging from potential salmonella contamination to metal fragments. Nulo, on the other hand, has maintained a relatively clean record with fewer recalls to date.

4. Which brand offers grain-free options?

Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo offer grain-free options for pets. These formulations can be beneficial for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities, providing alternatives without compromising on nutrition.

5. Are there specific lines for different dog sizes and life stages?

Absolutely! Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo offer products tailored for different life stages (puppy, adult, senior) and dog sizes (small breed, medium breed, large breed). This ensures that pets get the right nutrients appropriate for their age and size.

6. Do these brands cater to special dietary needs?

Yes, both brands have formulations that cater to special dietary needs. Blue Buffalo has the “Prescription Diet” line for specific health concerns, while Nulo offers low-glycemic recipes suitable for dogs with diabetes or weight management issues.

7. How do these brands source their ingredients?

Both brands pride themselves on sourcing high-quality ingredients. Blue Buffalo sources globally, ensuring they obtain the best for their formulations. Nulo also maintains rigorous standards, often emphasizing natural, whole-food ingredients in their recipes.

8. Are probiotics included in their dog foods?

Nulo highlights the inclusion of a patented probiotic in their formulas to support digestive and immune health. Blue Buffalo also recognizes the importance of digestive health, including probiotics in many of their products.

9. How do the price points for these brands compare?

Generally speaking, Nulo tends to be on the higher end in terms of price, reflecting its premium positioning in the market. Blue Buffalo offers a range of products with varying prices, some of which might be more affordable than Nulo’s offerings.

10. Do these brands use artificial preservatives or colors?

Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo prioritize natural ingredients, avoiding artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors in their formulations. They lean on natural preservation methods to ensure product freshness.

11. Are there cat food options available for both brands?

Yes, both Blue Buffalo and Nulo manufacture cat food, ensuring feline friends are not left out. They offer a range of options from kitten to senior formulations, catering to various dietary needs and preferences.

12. Can I buy these brands in regular pet stores or only specialty ones?

Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo are widely available. They can be found in major pet store chains, local pet shops, and online retailers, making it convenient for pet owners to purchase.

13. Which brand is more eco-friendly in terms of packaging?

While both brands do not majorly advertise their packaging as being eco-friendly, they are committed to sustainability and best practices. It’s always a good idea to check the packaging for any recycling information.

14. Are there wet food options for both brands?

Certainly! Both brands offer wet food or canned food options for dogs and cats. This provides variety and can be especially useful for pets that prefer wet food or need added moisture in their diet.

15. Do these brands use real meat or meat meal?

Both Blue Buffalo and Nulo emphasize the use of real meat in their products. They might also use meat meals, which are essentially dehydrated, ground meat. However, it’s essential to check individual product ingredient lists to see the primary protein sources.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Blue Buffalo vs. Nulo

Nulo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Blue Buffalo 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

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