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Iams Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

IAMS vs Blue Buffalo Dog Food - Featured Image

Iams Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

There are dozens of different dog foods in the marketplace today. And whether you have a completely healthy dog or one that has dietary restrictions due to allergies or sensitivities, it’s best to know which options may be best for your pup.

Some dogs respond better to dry foods, while others may respond better to wet dog food. And there are two dog brands specifically that tend to stand out in the marketplace: Iams and Blue Buffalo. In this article, we’re going to cover these brands and compare them to help you decide which one is beneficial for your dog.

divider-pawA Sneak Peek at the Winner: Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

The clear winner in this dog food competition is Blue Buffalo. The brand simply offers better products. While they definitely aren’t the biggest dog food brand on the market, they have significantly more market saturation than Iams, and their products are inclusive of dogs that are older or suffering from health conditions.

About Iams

IAMS Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food

A product of Procter and Gamble, Iams dog food products surprisingly hit the scene way back in 1946. The brand was named after an animal nutritionist, the company’s founder, Paul Iams.

Since then, the company has been led by veterinarians and nutritionists to provide healthy pet food formulas and food options for both dogs and cats. Iams offers both wet and dry food options and operates in Ohio, the state in which it was founded. They have affordable prices and are a great option for dog owners on a budget or who need simple meals for their pets.

  • Prices are less expensive
  • Multiple retail locations
  • Caters to different breed sizes
  • Offers wet and dry products


  • Few flavor options
  • Ingredients aren’t all-natural
  • Few specialized diet meal options

About Blue Buffalo

The Blue Buffalo pet food brand originated just 20 years ago, which is not long compared to other notable dog food brands. However, they’ve managed to take a sizable share of the marketplace in their two decades of operation. They offer dry and wet meal plans for both cats and dogs, and their number of dietary supportive meals is more than notable.

Blue Buffalo’s approach to creating pet food is one that’s holistic and aimed at optimal nutrition. This brand is an ideal pet food option for owners who want to find sustainable, whole foods, and all-natural ingredients for their pets.

The company is based in Wilton, Connecticut, and they also have facilities in four other states, including one in California. So, if you’re a dog owner with a pup that has allergies, GI problems, food sensitivities, or other health issues, this brand may be best for providing you with more specialized dietary options.

  • Whole foods/natural ingredients
  • Specialized formulas
  • Variety of flavors
  • Affordable
  • Caters to various breeds and ages


  • Not available on the brand’s site
  • Notable product recalls

3 Most Popular Iams Dog Food Recipes

1. Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food

Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food

Here is a great meal to give your pup in the afternoon or in the evening as a quick snack. It’s made from high-quality chicken protein to help encourage muscle growth and strength. It’s also full of powerful antioxidants that provide great immune support.

This specific meal contains prebiotics and a specialized blend of fiber to help keep your dog regular and promote good health. It’s made with farm-raised chicken and the size of the kibbles are smaller, which is helpful for puppies and dogs with chewing issues.

  • Premium source chicken
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Has prebiotics and fiber


  • Limited flavors
  • Serving size of small

2. Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food was formulated for adult dogs specifically and is packed full of protein-rich chicken. It also contains L-Carnitine to help support a healthy immune system. This recipe contains natural prebiotics and a substantial amount of fiber to support regularity and easy digestion.

If you have a dog suffering from weight issues, this meal can help to support weight management, as it has less than 17% fat. The chicken and eggs sourced for this meal help to support muscle growth and bone integrity.

  • Supports overweight dogs
  • Has fiber and prebiotics
  • Contains L-carnitine
  • Premium-quality chicken


  • Limited flavor options
  • Pricey

3. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

This specific puppy food is perfect for large breeds. It contains premium sourced protein and features 22 key nutrients that can help your pup develop strong bones and muscles. It also includes omega-3 to help with brain development and cognition.

All chicken in this meal is farm-raised and sufficient enough to fulfill daily protein requirements. This formula was designed to support large breeds, but it’s also suitable for medium-sized breeds as well.

  • Has omega-3 fatty acids
  • Premium-sourced chicken
  • Contains 22 key nutrients


  • Few flavor options
  • No small breed version

divider-dog paw3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes

1. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle Recipe is one of the most popular items on It gets rave reviews and is one of the best food options for your dog. It’s made from natural ingredients, has high-quality protein, and also includes garden fruits and veggies.

If you’re looking for a satiating meal that provides your dog with essential minerals and vitamins, this is it. It’s created to support lean muscle mass and is perfect for the growing pup or adult dog. You’ll be happy to know that this product is also free of soy, wheat, corn, and artificial flavors and preservatives. These cans can be bought individually or in a 12-pack case.

  • High-quality protein
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Excellent serving size


  • Few flavor options
  • Pricier than dried food

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Here is a meal that has high-quality protein and beneficial omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. If you’re looking for a formula that can help improve your dog’s skin and coat as well as supply its daily protein needs, look no further.

This formula contains several antioxidants, vitamins, and chelated minerals for optimal nutrition. It’s also free of chicken by-products, soy, corn, and wheat. So if your dog needs a little immune support or has a sensitive stomach, this meal recipe may help. This all-natural formula is a kibble meal that helps to promote tartar removal.

  • Have antioxidants and minerals
  • Easy to prepare
  • Free of by-products and preservatives
  • Rich in protein


  • Pricier
  • Limited flavor options

3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew Hearty Beef Stew Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew Hearty Beef Stew Grain-Free Adult Canned

This hearty beef stew is perfect for growing dogs and larger breeds. It is packed full of beef protein and is irresistibly tasty. It’s also gluten-free and contains natural grains as healthy carbohydrates. It’s packed in a tasty gravy and it’s full of vegetables and fruits so that your dog has a daily supply of minerals and vitamins.

This formula was made to promote a healthy lifestyle and advanced muscle growth. So if your dog is lacking in protein, or seemingly growing at the speed of light, here is a meal to consider. It is also free of artificial flavors, soy, corn, wheat, and preservatives.

  • Quality beef protein
  • Popular flavor
  • Has antioxidants and nutrients
  • For all breeds


  • Pricier than other products
  • Portions are large

divider-dogRecall History of Iams and Blue Buffalo

Iams has only had two product recalls: one in 2010 and another in 2013. Both recalls were due to potential Salmonella contamination.

Blue Buffalo has had six product recalls from 2010-2017, also due to issues with salmonella. Other issues included low propylene, mold, melamine, and excessive vitamin D.

Iams Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo Comparison


It seems that Blue Buffalo takes the lead when it comes to flavor options. Their beef stew and chicken and rice meals are best-selling items on, and they have more flavors to offer overall.

Nutritional Value

It seems that these brands’ products actually have similar nutritional values. For many Iams products, 10-17% protein, 2% fat, and roughly 81% moisture seem to be the norm for wet meals. And Blue Buffalo’s wet food options are about the same.

Their dry food options are roughly the same in nutritional content, with the exception that they have less moisture. So, it looks like the nutritional content wouldn’t be significant if you have a dog breed that is less active or sedentary. However, being that Blue Buffalo has a lot of high-protein meals, this may be ideal if you have a dog that is very active or larger.


Surprisingly, these food brands don’t have huge differences when it comes to pricing, but there are some differences here. And this goes for both wet and dry meal options. A 24-lb bag of dry food from Blue Buffalo is about $50, while Iams has 30-lb bags for around $45.

A 12-pack of Iams wet food is currently $27 on Chewy, while a 12-pack of wet food from Blue Buffalo hovers around $35 on average. Keep in mind that Blue Buffalo also has more specialized dog food options, which can raise their costs.


Blue Buffalo definitely has more food flavor options and dog products than Iams. The brand also has more food catering to dietary restrictions or specific health conditions.


As you may guess, Blue Buffalo seems to be the better option here. They have more offerings, a bigger market presence, and they cater to dietary restrictions. However, if you’re on a budget or don’t care about flavor variety (granted your pup isn’t a picky eater), Iams is still a good brand to consider. They are well-known in the pet community and have quality products to offer.


It’s Blue Buffalo for the win in this race. They have more products, and more flavors, and include more specialized meal options in their product lineup. And the good thing is that they aren’t the priciest brand on the market, though they may be a bit pricier than Iams.

They may be the better brand if you have a dog with an active lifestyle or health issues. But if your dog is healthy and you’re on a budget, Iams can fulfill the task of providing you with good dog food products, granted it’s a limited list. Their wet and dry foods are just enough to keep your pup full and give them the nutrition they need.

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