Cheaper Alternatives To Blue Buffalo Dog Food

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This is our guide to the best cheaper alternatives to Blue Buffalo dog food.

I’m a former veterinary technician, and Blue Buffalo is one of my favorite pet food brands. This company prioritizes using exceptionally high-quality ingredients to produce a wide range of specialized formulas.

But, Blue Buffalo recipes often have a high cost that some owners can’t afford. So I researched the best budget alternatives to all of Blue Buffalo’s famous product lines.

There are several affordable options for high-quality dog food comparable to Blue Buffalo. And Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food is one of the best alternatives overall.

But every pup is different.

We’ll review several brands that offer similar quality ingredients and specialization at a lower price to help you find the best one for your furry friend.

Let’s get started!

5 Best Blue Buffalo Cheaper Alternatives

  1. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food (Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Alternative)
  2. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food (Blue Buffalo Wilderness Alternative)
  3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Dog Food (Blue Buffalo Basics Alternative)
  4. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dog Food (Blue Buffalo Freedom Alternative)
  5. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food (Blue Buffalo Carnivora Alternative)

Blue Buffalo Cheaper Alternatives Reviewed

Blue Buffalo offers several different product lines that meet the unique needs of individual dogs throughout their lifetime. Some product lines are grain-inclusive, while others focus on a prey-feeding model of high meat content.

Here are reviews of our top picks for the best affordable dog food similar to Blue Buffalo in every popular category. All formulas meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for dogs. But you should always consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.

Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Chicken Rice All Life Stages

Diamond Naturals is a renowned brand that specializes in producing high-quality dog food formulas at an affordable price. These pet food products focus on supporting your dog’s overall health with nutritional support from healthy ingredients.

Comparable dog foods in this range cost nearly 45% less than Life Protection Formulas from Blue Buffalo.

I recommend Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice All Stages Dry Dog Food as an affordable alternative to Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formulas. This recipe provides comprehensive nutritional support suitable for a wide variety of dogs.

The All Life Stages dog food line uses real meat as the first ingredient to offer a 26% moderate crude protein diet suitable for most dogs. Blue Buffalo Chicken & Rice Life Protection Formula has a very similar 24% protein content from chicken.

Both grain-inclusive formulas use whole-grain ingredients like brown rice to provide sources of digestible carbohydrates. [1]  Fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense ingredients increase the concentration of antioxidants in Diamond Naturals dog food.

Antioxidants work together with healthy omega-3 fatty acids to protect tissue and reduce inflammation. [2] Blue Buffalo uses flaxseed as a source of these healthy fats, while Diamond Naturals includes salmon oil.

Neither product contains corn, wheat, or soy. These ingredients are common allergens in dogs, and probiotics in both formulas help support digestive health.

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free

Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog foods use multiple high-quality animal protein sources to provide balanced nutrition. Taste of the Wild formulas feature novel proteins inspired by wild environments and grain-free alternatives as sources of carbohydrates.

Compared to other high-protein diets with multiple meat ingredients, Taste of the Wild is incredibly affordable. This dry dog food is about 33% less expensive than Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food is the best alternative to Blue Buffalo Wilderness formulas. This recipe uses several different animal proteins to offer a high crude protein content of 32%.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness formulas feature a high-protein content of around 34%. High-quality protein from buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal ensures that Taste of the Wild can also provide adequate amino acids for muscular dogs. [3]

Both recipes include fish meal to offer a high-fat content for pups with high energy needs. Taste of the Wild’s 18% crude fat content is slightly more than Blue Buffalo Wilderness.

Increased levels of omega fatty acids support skin and coat health. [4] Taste of the wild also features a canine-specific probiotic blend to provide more digestive support than Blue Buffalo.

Both formulas are grain-free and exclude corn, wheat, and soy. Sweet Potatoes and chicory root act as sources of digestible carbohydrates and fiber in this cheaper alternative to Blue Buffalo.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Lamb

Nutrish Simple Six dog foods are affordable alternatives to more expensive limited ingredient diets. These diets eliminate common allergens by using a simple recipe. [5] And the Nurtish restricted ingredient diets offer balanced nutrition from just six simple ingredients.

The Basics line of limited ingredient pet foods from Blue Buffalo is about twice as expensive as this similar dog food brand.

If you are searching for an affordable dog food for your pup with food allergies, I recommend Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Limited Ingredient Recipe.

This dog food uses lamb as the single source of a 20% crude protein content. A novel single protein source helps prevent exposure to new potential allergens. [6]

This formula’s protein content is identical to the 20% protein content of Blue Buffalo Basics Lamb Recipe.

Rachael Ray Nutrish simple formulas use even fewer ingredients than Blue Buffalo recipes. But both include added vitamins and minerals to meet your pup’s daily requirements.

Just-6 formulas are also pea-free, unlike Blue Buffalo Basics. Peas can sometimes cause allergic reactions in sensitive dogs. But both recipes are grain-free to avoid gluten sensitivities in pups that suffer from canine allergies.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Pork Beef Lamb

Whole Earth Farms uses a blend of animal proteins and plant-based ingredients to provide well-rounded nutrition for all types of dogs. These grain-free formulas boast a moderate protein and caloric content similar to Blue Buffalo Freedom dog foods.

Although both product lines have similar nutritional content, Whole Earth Farms is almost 40% cheaper than Blue Buffalo.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork Recipe is my top pick for pet parents looking for grain-free dog food with a moderate protein content. Like Blue Buffalo Freedom, this formula is suitable for many different breeds and activity levels.

Pork meal is the first ingredient of this recipe, providing a moderate crude protein content of 24%. This product range has precisely the same protein content as the Blue Buffalo Freedom line.

Unlike other grain-free formulas, these dog foods have significant portions of starchy vegetables. Sweet potato in Whole Earth Farms dog food and peas in Blue Buffalo formulas increase carbohydrate content without whole grains.

These digestive carbohydrates and 14% fat content provide energy to help dogs stay active. [7] Just like Blue Buffalo, Whole Earth Farm prioritizes ingredient quality to ensure that their dog foods are safe for your furry best friend.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Raw Great Plains Red Recipe

Recent trends in canine nutrition have resulted in new formulas inspired by the carnivorous diets of wild wolves. Merrick Backcountry dog foods feature an incredibly high protein content and organ meat to mimic prey feeding.

Owners who want to feed this diet with Blue Buffalo Formulas face exceptionally high costs. Although most prey-model dog food brands are expensive, Merrick Backcountry is around 25% cheaper than the Blue Buffalo Carnivora Brand.

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Great Plains Recipe dog food is an excellent cheaper alternative to Blue Buffalo Carnivora. This formula incorporates freeze-dried raw meat to replicate the diets of your dogs’ ancestors.

The 42% protein content of Blue Buffalo Carnivora dog foods is hard to match. But Merrick Backcountry comes close with a 38% crude protein content from beef, lamb meal, and salmon meal.

These formulas are unique because they use ingredients from the whole prey animal to provide comprehensive nutrition. Organ meats like beef liver are high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A. [8]

Both brands aim to provide a healthier dry dog food alternative to raw homemade dog food.

Uncooked meat can contain a high level of nutrients, but commercial dry dog food helps pet parents make sure their pups get enough vitamins and minerals. [9]

How To Transition To A New Food

After you’ve determined what dog food is comparable to Blue Buffalo, you may want to transition your dog to a more affordable diet.

Humans eat a varied diet that changes every day. But your dog relies on consistency and often eats the same food for every meal over a long period.

Changing pet foods too quickly can cause digestive upset in sensitive pups. Only make gradual changes when transitioning your four-legged friend to a new dry dog food.

If your dog doesn’t suffer from food allergies or primary health conditions, you can safely transition to a new food over 5 to 7 days.

Begin by mixing a small portion of the new formula with his old dog food. Then gradually increase the amount of new kibble until it makes up the entire meal.

And always remember to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

Our Verdict

Blue Buffalo is a high-quality dog food brand with premium formulas based on real meat. But similar brand choices can offer the same nutritional benefits at a lower cost.

If you are looking for a more affordable alternative to Blue Buffalo dog food, consider Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food. This grain-inclusive recipe offers similar nutrition to Life Protection formulas at a significantly lower price.

Other cheaper alternatives offer the same unique benefits of specific Blue Buffalo lines. The best choice for your pup will depend on his individual needs.

When it comes to dog food, expensive isn’t always better. There are several cheaper Blue Buffalo alternatives that your pup can thrive on. As long as your furry best friend is happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on kibble every month.

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Caroline Cochran is a former veterinary technician who is passionate about helping fellow dog lovers learn about canine nutrition. Her best friend is a rescued Great Pyrenees named Syrah, who is also very enthusiastic about dog food.

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