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Canidae vs. Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Pros, Cons & What To Choose

Written by: Samantha Reed

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Canidae vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food - Featured Image

Canidae vs. Blue Buffalo Dog Food: Pros, Cons & What To Choose

Staring at the solid wall of pet food offerings in a store is overwhelming and confusing all at the same time. Maybe you’ve passed the pet food aisle during a  grocery trip and found yourself mesmerized by the sheer volume of choices. Or perhaps you’ve examined two bags of dog food and wondered how the brands’ “grain-free” formulas are different from the current brand you feed your dog.

Your dog is your heart and soul, and you want to take care of them and ensure you’re giving them the best of the best when it comes to their food. Let’s debunk these mysteries and examine some of the top brands on the dog food market. We are going to compare Canidae and Blue Buffalo dog food, so you don’t have to! Which one comes out on top? Let’s find out.

A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Blue Buffalo

Rating Image Product Details
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Well-balanced recipe
  • Easily digestible grain
  • Lots of omega fatty acids
  • Second place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • No animal by-products are used
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • All-natural locally and globally sourced ingredients
  • While both brands are close contenders for the best overall food, Blue Buffalo edges out the competition due to its higher protein content, high-quality protein sources, and food variety. Both brands have a lot in common, and both have a recall history (with Blue Buffalo actually having more recalls than Canidae). Although Canidae may have a slight advantage regarding the overall price, Blue Buffalo uses well-rounded ingredients and whole proteins. Blue Buffalo stands out with its Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken and Brown Rice food due to its added LifeSource Bits and Wilderness Chicken Grain Free Recipes because it is crafted with real chicken to build lean muscle. Let’s take a deep dive into why Blue Buffalo prevails in this close competition!

    About Canidae

    Canidae is a family-operated business dedicated to delivering total wellness to pets. It believes in only including the highest quality ingredients. Founded in 1996, this company still sources its ingredients locally and across the United States. Supporting local farmers is part of Canidae’s overall mission.

    Best Bang for Your Buck

    Canidae’s specialty foods hold more calories per cup than comparable dog food brands and are nutritionally balanced. Your dog can eat smaller portions of Canidae; this helps the food last longer and puts less of a strain on your grocery budget.

    Don’t be scared of the higher calorie count. Each bag of Canidae dog food is made with fresh veggies and quality proteins, and you can be certain your dog is getting the best food possible for the price.

    Pet Food Made by Pet People

    Canidae prides itself on using real food ingredients sourced from the United States to support local agriculture while giving your pets the best food with simple recipes. Good ingredients make great food, but providing simple and nutritious meals is a difficult promise to uphold in today’s competitive dog food market. Yet, Canidae is still keeping true to its word and delivering on its promises of providing amazing dog food for all life stages.

    bernese mountain dog eating
    Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

    What Type of Dog is Canidae Made For?

    Canidae is not explicitly made for dogs with dietary restrictions or needs. Dogs that require a special diet will be better off using veterinarian-recommended formulas. However, Canidae has five successful dry food recipes and one wet food. Canidae offers recipes for small-breeds, multi-dog families, seniors, and less active pups.

    Pros and Cons of Canidae Dog Food

    • Family-owned
    • Cheaper than other options
    • Grain-free options
    • Formulas to cover all lifespans
    • Not many options for health issues
    • Not ideal for sensitive stomachs

    About Blue Buffalo

    In comparison, Blue Buffalo is a more recent example of explosive growth. Created in 2003, Blue Buffalo took the dog food world by storm with its natural, high-protein blends that highlighted its focus on including real meat as the first ingredient. Blue Buffalo has earned quite a reputation amongst pet owners, making a name for itself in a very short time.

    Made from the Heart

    Blue Buffalo’s humble beginnings pay homage to the story of a man trying to save his dog. Blue, the beloved dog of Bill and Jackie Bishop, was diagnosed with cancer. Blue’s cancer sent the Bishops on a hunt to discover pet food that was healthy, holistic, and as natural as possible to provide the ultimate nutrition to pets in every stage of life. Not only did the Bishops’ hard work lead to the undeniable popularity of Blue Buffalo, but their love for Blue also led to the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research.

    No Cheap Fillers

    As you can expect from a food created with a sick pup in mind, Blue Buffalo makes a point of avoiding common problematic ingredients in most of their formulas. With a promise to include real meat as the first and most prominent ingredient in every recipe, Blue Buffalo has much to offer in terms of nutrition. However, some ingredients may not be the best for every dog. Make sure you always check the ingredients list if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities.

    Black Dachshund dog guarding and eating food
    Image Credit: dogboxstudio, Shutterstock

    More Expensive Than the Competition

    Blue Buffalo is a high-end brand, and it is natural to shy away from a hefty price tag, especially if you have a mountain of a dog that devours everything in sight. If you consider the quality ingredients in Blue Buffalo, its high prices shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. While the food might be more expensive, the price is worth paying if it helps your dog.

    Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo

    • No animal by-products are used
    • No artificial flavors or preservatives
    • All-natural locally and globally sourced ingredients
    • Real meat is always the first ingredient
    • It can be pricey
    • May not work for every dietary need

    3 Most Popular Canidae Recipes

    Canidae is a strong contender for Blue Buffalo to take on, so let’s take a closer look at some of Canidae’s most popular formulas.

    1. Canidae All Life Stages — Multi-Protein Formula

    Canidae All Life Stages

    Caniade’s All Life Stages formula is hard to beat based on its sheer versatility factor. Whether you have one dog or three, this formula will give every pup a well-balanced, nutritionally dense meal. Since it’s free from preservatives and fillers, it’s no surprise that this is one of Canidae’s most popular products.

    All Life Stages contains various antioxidants and probiotics, and the protein-rich formula provides a healthy, quality meal for your dogs no matter their age, size, or breed.

    • Plenty of meat protein
    • Meets nutritional guidelines
    • Veggies and fruit give added nutrients
    • Promotes a healthy digestive system
    • Not ideal for sensitive stomachs

    2. Canidae Pure — Puppy Recipe

    Canidae PURE Limited Ingredient Premium Puppy Dry Dog Food

    A strong competitor in the limited ingredients food brant, this Pure Puppy Recipe stands on its own with a solid base of chicken, lentils, and whole eggs. While grain-free meals are not appropriate for all dogs, Pure Puppy contains quality protein, probiotics, and antioxidants to support their pups on their journey to adulthood.

    You can be confident that your puppy is eating a healthy meal with no artificial flavors and unnatural preservatives. While it’s expensive for a small bag of puppy food, Canidae doesn’t neglect the nutrients and protein your puppy needs to succeed.

    • Ideal nutrition for puppies
    • Minimal ingredients
    • Probiotics
    • Antioxidants
    • Preservative-free
    • Pricey for puppies

    3. Canidae Under the Sun — Grain-free recipe

    CANIDAE Under the Sun Grain-Free Lamb Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

    While not listing a meat product as the main ingredient might seem a bit scary, this grain-free formula consists of lamb meal, fruits, and vegetables. Under the Skin is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids to help your dog maintain healthy skin and a glowing coat.

    Although grain-free recipes are trendy, you should talk to your vet before using a grain-free brand. Surprisingly, most food intolerances in dogs stem from beef, dairy, and chicken.

    • Single animal protein
    • May be suitable for some dogs with food sensitivities
    • Plenty of fruits, veggies, and legumes
    • Well-balanced
    • Mostly suited for dogs with food sensitivities
    • Reviews claim food crumbles into powder too easily

    3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Recipes

    With Canidae coming out strong with premium food formulas on the market, you might be wondering how Blue Buffalo could have possibly come out on top. Blue Buffalo’s high-protein recipes are loved by dogs and respected by owners.

    1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

    Catering to dogs in all walks of life, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is an excellent combination of high protein, appealing flavors, and hearty whole grains. This powerhouse food is made from real chicken and brown rice, creating a flavor profile that’s hard even for picky eaters to resist. Life Protection has a  great mix of high-quality protein from the chicken and essential carbohydrates from the rice to provide the perfect building blocks for healthy muscle development.

    It should be no surprise that this is one of Blue Buffalo’s most popular recipes. Life Protection promotes healthy muscles, strong teeth and bones, healthy joints, and a super-powered immune system.

    • Well-balanced recipe
    • Easily digestible grain
    • Lots of omega fatty acids
    • Uses superfoods like cranberries and blueberries
    • Has a few potential allergens for sensitive dogs
    • Not suitable for specialized dietary needs
    • More expensive than the competition

    2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe

    Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness line of food is one of the stars of Blue Buffalo’s products, and this Rocky Mountain Formula is no exception. The ingredients found in the Wilderness line is designed to closely resemble the diet our dogs would have out in the wild. This recipe is a sturdy combination of beef, chicken, lamb, and venison.

    A high-protein diet is not suitable for every dog, and it is best to consider your dog’s activity levels and nutritional needs before purchasing a high-protein recipe.

    • Nutrient-packed
    • Includes LifeSource Bits
    • Antioxidant-rich berries boost the immune system
    • Not suitable for dogs with lower activity levels
    • More expensive than the competition

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner with Wild Salmon, Venison & Halibut Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    The Denali Dinner Formula does not disappoint in the protein department with real salmon holding the primary ingredient spot. Not only is salmon an excellent source of protein for dogs, but it is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and supports your dog’s healthy skin and coat. With over 30% protein, 16% fat, and  6% fiber, your canine hunter is bound to stay full throughout their busy days.

    This formula was inspired by the diet of wild wolves to provide your dog with a well-balanced meal and includes a healthy blend of essential nutrients and minerals.

    • High-protein recipe
    • Packed with omega fatty acids
    • Should keep dog full between meals
    • Contains no poultry, artificial flavors, or preservatives
    • Includes potatoes and dried egg product
    • More expensive than competitors

    Recall History of Blue Buffalo and Canidae

    Blue Buffalo has more recalls than Canidae. However, neither company is perfect regarding its recall history, but we have to acknowledge that Canidae has only had one complete recall since being established in 1996. In 2012, Canidae’s dry dog food was voluntarily recalled for possible salmonella contamination. Although Canidae’s pet food did not test positive for contact with salmonella, other products made in the same facility did test positive.

    On the other hand, Blue Buffalo has had quite a few recalls, but most of the recall issues also affected other companies during the same period. Blue Buffalo was one of 100 brands of dog food affected by the melamine recall in 2007. In addition, Blue Buffalo recalled its products for having elevated vitamin D levels, and in 2015, it recalled dog food because of a salmonella scare.

    Blue Buffalo versus Canidae Comparison

    In the grand scheme of things, it may be a bit difficult to decide which brand to choose. Below we compare the two companies head-to-head.


    If we consider that both brands, in general, rely heavily on different sources of meat for their main ingredients, it shouldn’t be too surprising that they have a fairly even flavor profile. However, despite Blue Buffalo edging out Canidae in terms of sheer protein content and flavor, we’re concerned that dogs eating Blue Buffalo often dislike the taste of the company’s signature LifeSource Bits. For this, and this alone, we have to give Canidae the award for the best flavor.

    Hunting dog eating
    Image Credit: Nadezhda Zaitceva, Shutterstock

    Nutritional Value

    Although Canidae considers its recipes to be protein-rich, they pale in comparison to Blue Buffalo’s variety of lean proteins. However, both brands feature fresh fruits and veggies and include omega fatty acids and antioxidants. If you’re after the best food for all possible life stages and don’t plan on switching from puppy to active adult to senior meals, Canidae is the winner. But if you want a recipe that is formulated for your adult dog’s wants and needs, Blue Buffalo wins the prize.


    If you examine the price of Blue Buffalo’s and Canidae’s dry food offerings, it’s clear that Blue Buffalo is more affordable. While both brands are more expensive than your average dog food, Blue Buffalo reigns supreme due to its larger bags offered at similar prices to Canidae’s smaller bags.

    Available Selections

    Both companies are similar in terms of their product offerings. Considering that Canidae has been around longer than Blue Buffalo, it may seem a bit odd that Canidae has nearly the same number of products.

    Blue Buffalo covers nearly every base when it comes to offering something for just about every dog. Its products range from limited ingredient recipes to our personal favorite, the high protein Wilderness diet. Canidae produces recipes for small breeds, puppies, adults, multi-dog families, and seniors. You can even find recipes for certain health conditions.

    close up of a dog eating from the bowl
    Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock


    Although Canidae may have a slight edge over Blue Buffalo in terms of taste, Blue Buffalo’s overall approach to whole nutrition earns it the top position. Blue Buffalo is better suited for dogs with food sensitivities due to its more inclusive ingredient list, and its recipes seem more appropriate for ordinary dogs compared to Canidae’s grain-free formulas.

    To be perfectly honest, you can’t go wrong with choosing either brand, as both are exceptional. Your decision ultimately depends on your dog’s preferences for flavors and textures.

    Final Thoughts

    While there is no way you can go wrong with either brand in your wild quest for the best food for your canine, Blue Buffalo’s sheer variety takes it to the top. Canidae and Blue Buffalo offer high-quality food that is purposefully packed with essential nutrients for your dog to live their best life. However, the protein content of Blue Buffalo averages over 30%, and it’s difficult to beat. Blue Buffalo’s well-rounded, whole foods ingredient profile makes it one of the best brands in the pet food industry.

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