Product Reviews

Orijen Vs. Blue Buffalo, Here’S What To Consider When Choosing Either Brand

With the numerous dog food brands out on the market, it can be quite hard to decide which is the best for your own dog. Today we’re going to look at two of the top contenders, Orijen and Blue Buffalo, and determine which of these two will provide you with the best option.

The Orijen Brand

Founded in 1975, Orijen was made by Champion Petfoods in Alberta, Canada. Their products are now available in over 60 countries and are considered one of the best brands of dog food on the market. Orijen has also been given multiple awards like Pet Food of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, and Growing Alberta Leadership.

Champion and Orijen take pride in producing “biologically appropriate pet food from fresh regional ingredients”. They believe that dogs should be fed with foods that are similar to what they would eat in the wild. Because of this, their pet foods are rich in meat protein. 75-80% of their foods are meat and are 38-42% made of protein. Carbohydrates are at a low level of 18-22%. Up to 40% of the food make up are fresh meats, which is very unique from other dog foods. They have at least five fresh meats in each of Orijen’s formula, which makes them very distinct indeed.

Another outstanding quality of Orijen pet food is that they use natural vegetables like green peas, lentils, and chickpea. They’re also largely grain and chicken meal-free. Even minor ingredients like dried alfalfa and selenium yeast are sure to impress you when you take a closer look at their food’s make up. Dried alfalfa has 18% plant protein and 25% fiber, which your dogs need as well. Selenium yeast has also been proven as an organic way to prevent cancer.

Orijen dog food products come in a variety of forms that you can choose from dry dog food, freeze-dried treats, and freeze-dried food. They also sell pet food for cats.

Here are the top 5 best-sellers from Orijen:

The 6-fish formula of Orijen is one of the most outstanding and unique dog food mixes available on the market. It is made of 70% freshly caught fish like Canadian salmon, herring, walleye, lake trout, freshwater cod, and northern lake whitefish. This makes the formula very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is a great nutrient source for your dogs.

What about reputation – has there been any Orijen’s dog food recalls?

None that we can track down! Which is good!​

As far as controversy goes, there have been reports of an odor emitted by the manufacturing plants which Champion has tried to fix with a plasma injection system. However, this solution did not work. They have been fined and their tax break has been withdrawn as a result of this issue, but latest efforts have since reduced the odor. This is not really an issue that is unique to the brand, as other pet food manufacturing plants have been reported to do the same.

There’s just one downside to this brand. Because of its premium status, Orijen products are one of the most expensive dog foods available. It’s understandable that it’s not in every pet owner’s budget. However, you’ll have to look really hard to find a brand that matches the amount of nutrition that this brand can provide. After all, you do get what you pay for and if you’re looking to invest in high quality, nutritious meals for your dog then this is the brand you’d want to go for.

With that being said, there are alternatives to Orijen without having to compromise your budget which is where the Blue Buffalo Brand comes in.

The Blue Buffalo Brand

The Blue Buffalo brand, on the other hand, is available in pet stores across the United States. Their headquarters is located in Wilton, Connecticut. Blue Buffalo operates on the slogan, “Love them like family, feed them like family.” They understand that pets like our very own family members, and so deserve to be fed naturally and healthily.

The reason why Blue Buffalo was started was because of their own family dog, named Blue, had a variety of health issues including cancer. Thus, the family decided to create a pet food that was made from only the highest quality ingredients. To this day their office remains largely pet-centered and claim that sometimes they have more pets in their office than employees. This is a good sign that they are really dedicated to serving healthy food to your own pets.

Like Orijen, Blue Buffalo is also one of the top contenders when it comes to dog food. They also have a variety of dog food that you can choose from, including their top 5 product lines:

Here are the top 5 dog foods from Blue Buffalo​

As compared to Orijen’s short and lean list of ingredients, Blue Buffalo’s list can be quite daunting. But don’t dismiss this brand just yet – a closer look will tell you that they’re still offering you the right things for your pet.

Their Blue Wilderness Chicken Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food uses all natural deboned chicken, reinforced with chicken and turkey meal, tapioca starch, and peas. You can see that they also put meat content at the top of their ingredients list. The non-meat ingredients follow closely in terms of quality, with peas being a good source of carbs and fiber. Tapioca starch is a gluten-free carb that also acts as filler for Blue Buffalo’s food.

Their pet food contains no corn, wheat, or soy, grains that have been proven to make dogs allergic. They also take pride in the fact that they use all-natural ingredients, with no chicken or poultry by-product meals, and which are also rich in antioxidants.

Has there been any Blue Buffalo dog food recalls?

Yes there has.​ 

In March, 2017, the company recalled a brand of canned dog food for potentially excessive beef thyroid hormone, along with a Wellness Brand of canned dog food. In February 2017, the company recalled some cans of Homestyle Recipe dog food because of possible metal contamination.

March 2017

Cause: Potential for elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Announcement: NASDAQ Global News Wire report dated March 17, 2017. What was recalled: Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs, 12.5 oz can, UPC code #840243101153 with a Best Buy date of June 7, 2019.

February 2017

Cause: Potential for metal contamination. Announcement: Company announcement dated Feb. 13, 2017. What was recalled: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight, Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables, 12.5 ounce can, UPC #8-40243-10017-0, best by Aug. 3, 2019.

Cause: Packaging quality. Announcement: PetSmart report dated February 28, 2017. What was recalled: Blue Buffalo dog food cups: Divine Delights Filet Mignon Flavor in Gravy, UPC 84024312035, Divine Delights New York Strip Flavor in Gravy, UPC 84024312037, Divine Delights Prime Rib Flavor in Gravy, UPC 84024312039, Divine Delights Rotisserie Chicken Flavor in Gravy, UPC 84024312041, Divine Delights Pate Filet Mignon Flavor, UPC 84024312043, Divine Delights Pate Porterhouse Flavor, UPC 84024312045, Divine Delights Pate Grilled Chicken Flavor, UPC 84024312047, Divine Delights Pate Top Sirloin Flavor, UPC 84024312049, Divine Delights Pate Angus Beef Flavor, UPC 84024312051, Divine Delights Pate Roasted Turkey Flavor, UPC 84024312053, Divine Delights Pate with Bacon, Egg & Cheese, UPC 84024312057, Divine Delights Pate Sausage, Egg & Cheese Flavor, UPC 84024312059, Divine Delights Pate Steak & Egg Flavor, UPC 84024312061, Wilderness Trail Trays Duck Grill, UPC 84024312071, Wilderness Trail Trays Beef Grill, UPC 84024312073, Wilderness Trail Trays Chicken Grill, UPC 84024312075 and Wilderness Trail Trays Turkey Grill, UPC 84024312077.

However, there are also some problematic ingredients in Blue Buffalo products such as tomato pomace, controversial for its use as a filler that does not offer that much nutrition. Caramel is also used to artificially color their food. This in itself is not harmful, it’s just another added ingredient that doesn’t serve many purposes apart from providing coloring.

While Blue Buffalo doesn’t have as many highly-sourced ingredients as Orijen, they still provide good nutritional value and their fillers are on the healthier side. This makes them a worthy opponent to one of the top dog food manufacturers out there.

Like most manufacturers, they are not free from controversy either. Blue Buffalo has faced some controversy regarding the extreme levels of vitamin D in their food products, so that might be something you should be wary of when you consider Blue Buffalo as an alternative to Orijen.

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Conclusion: The Final Verdict

When it comes to quality, Orijen provides you with the best choice there is. As mentioned previously, the downside to choosing this brand is the price. But if you can afford a nutritious dog food brand, this is certainly the best choice. If you’re a pet owner who stops at nothing (even cost) to provide only the best for your pets, Orijen is your go-to.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that offers good quality for the cost, you can turn to Blue Buffalo and still get a good deal.