Home > Dog Health > Nutrition > Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo: Comparison of Leading Natural Dog Foods

Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo: Comparison of Leading Natural Dog Foods

Taste of the Wild vs Blue BuffaloWhen it comes to healthy dog food choices, it’s not always a cut and dry decision as to which to choose for your pup. Here we compare two high-quality options that focus on natural ingredients, Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo, so you can see which food fits your dog best.

Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo

Made by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc., owned by Schell and Kampeter, Inc., Taste of the Wild is a family owned, privately held business. As a relatively new brand of dog food made only since 2007, Taste of the Wild was created to meet the market’s growing demand for a natural, grain-free dog food. It offers five adult formulas, one wet and one dry of each, and two dry puppy formulas for a total of 12 high-quality food choices for your canine. All of their formulas are created to emulate what dogs would eat in the wild with unique lean meats (like bison, venison, or quail) that are certified hormone and antibiotic free, with highly digestible energy sources, antioxidants, and chelated minerals for better absorption.

Nutritional Notes

In addition to all lean meats being free from hormones and antibiotics, they’re also free from toxic the preservative ethoxyquin. Instead, all natural dog food preservatives are used by Taste of the Wild. Taste of the Wild also uses reverse osmosis water – the same quality found in your over-the-counter bottled water – to steam-dry all of their foods to be sure that they’re free of microorganisms, organic and inorganic chemicals. Every formula is grain free.

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Price

If ease is the name of your price game, Taste of the Wild may be the brand for you. The company keeps their offerings, and subsequently their pricing, simple with two options for dry food and one for wet:

Taste of the Wild High Prairie, Pacific Stream, Sierra Mountain, Southwest Canyon and Wetlands:

Blue Buffalo

It was ultimately Bill and Jackie Bishop’s large-breed Airedale Terrier, Blue, and his wide range of health issues, that inspired the two to make a commercially available dog food that was nutrient-rich for our canine companions. It included additional minerals to maintain oxidative balance. All BLUE foods begin with chicken, lamb, or fish, supplemented by whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, along with LifeSource Bits, a patented blend of nutrients and antioxidants. They offer foods in three categories – puppy, adult, and senior – with varying wet and dry options for all and a wide range of options spanning the three categories to total 118 adult food options, 20 senior options, and 19 puppy options. So, if you are looking for variety, it is safe to say that a far more diverse range is offered by Blue vs Taste of the Wild. Further, most Blue Buffalo options uses wholesome whole grains, but they do have a grain free option in their Freedom and Wilderness lines if you prefer.

Nutritional Notes

Blue Buffalo never uses chicken or poultry by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, corn, wheat, or soy in any of their formulas. The first ingredient for all of their food is de-boned chicken, lamb or fish. Like Taste of the Wild, they use chelated minerals for easy absorption, and their patented LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of vitamins and antioxidants selected by holistic animal nutritionists and veterinarians – are cold-formed to preserve potency.

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Price

If variety is the name of your game, Blue Buffalo may be the brand for you. But with so many available options spanning three ages (puppy, adult, and senior) and varying categories within (small breed, sensitive systems, etc.), it’s slightly harder to explain the pricing for Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free (Chicken Recipe)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (Lamb and Rice Recipe)

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free (In our opinion, the closest comparison to Taste of the Wild):

Natural Dog Foods Overview

While Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness formula have many of the same qualities and are both ultimately options you can feel safe feeding your furry friend, we feel that Taste of the Wild’s clean ingredient list, lower price, use of hormone and antibiotic-free meats, grain-free guarantee, and ethoxyquin-free preservation techniques give it the slight edge over Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness formula.

Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo Wilderness Comparison Table

 Taste of the Wild

Southwest Canyon with Wild Boar
Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Rocky Mountain Recipe with Bison
Price - WetTwelve, 13.2 oz cans will cost approximately $25.99.

$0.16 per ounce
Twelve, 12.5 oz cans of the same brand are approximately $37.50.

$0.23 per ounce
Price - DryApproximately $28.99 for a 15lb. bag, and $44.99 for a 30lb. bag.

$1.50-$1.93 per pound
Approximately $17.99 for a 4.5lb. bag, and $57.99 for a 24lb. bag.

$2.24-$4.00 per pound
Chelated MineralsYesYes
Other AntioxidantsYesYes - LifeSource Bits
First Seven IngredientsBeef, peas, Garbanzo beans, Lamb meal, Canola oil, egg product, Wild Boar.

Fewer total ingredients.
Deboned Bison, Chicken meal, Turkey meal, Menhaden Fish meal, Tapioca starch, peas, potatoes.
Crude Protein %29% min30% min
Crude Fat %15% min15% min
Crude Fiber %15% max4.5% max
Moisture %10% max10% max
AAFCO ApprovedYesYes
Uses Hormone & Antibiotic-free MeatsYesNo
Ethoxyquin-freeYesN/A

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About Sara Logan Wilson
Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.
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  • CONNIE ENDRES

    Johnsons baby shampoo is great for puppies and adult dogs it does not burn in their eyes and it has lanolin which makes my dogs hair soft. My older dog stopped itching when we used this. GENTLE AND SAFE

  • Ky Lentz

    When I brought my puppy home (a standard australian shepherd) the breeder suggested Purina Pro (I believe). I wasn’t comfortable with Purina, so I started him on Iams Smart Puppy. He didn’t take to it and would barely eat it. I then switched him to blue buffalo chicken and brown rice puppy, which was an instant success. A few months down the line he started having bad gas, loose stools, and always seemed hungry despite being allowed to free feed. I wanted something grain free, and my local feed store didn’t have a puppy formula of the grain free wilderness. He is now almost 8 months and I have switched him to Taste of the Wild buffalo puppy formula. We are 3 days in, he is still rather gassy, but his stool is already firm. He also doesn’t appear to be hungry all of the time. It’s still premature, but if this doesn’t work out we will try Fromm and then Orijen.

  • gonzalo Gomez

    I’m feeding my puppy blue buffalo wilderness, if I switch to taste of the wild what would be a good choice for my dog? She’s going to be 4 months June 12.

  • Lisa L

    My 6 year old German shepherd has been eating TOTW for about three years and loves it. My concern is about my 9 month old German Shepherd. She has been on TOTW puppy food since we got her 4 months ago. Today, the vet told me she seemed too thin and I need to perhaps supplement with raw or wet food. He asked if I was feeding her Large Breed Puppy food. I was surprised when I looked closely that TOTW puppy food bag did not indicate Large Breed puppy. In looking further I was told there is not a Large Breed Puppy TOTW. I would appreciate your comments about this. Thank you! Lisa

  • Janelle

    I use pacific stream and bison. Sorry I’m so late responding.

  • Michelle Ritter

    Thanks everyone for your contributions, this is helpful. I came here to do some research on Taste of the Wild. My daughter works at a vet clinic and she questioned why I was using this brand. She did not answer me when I asked why. So I came here questioning if TOTW had too much protein for my wiener dog. It seems tough to get straight answers at the pet store as well.

    I used TOTW on my late wiener dog (the black one). The vet clinic recommended it when my dog was diagnosed with diabetes -thus skin irritations. He did very good on this for several months before his death, then we had to switch to diabetic dog food.

    I have since adopted a red wiener dog. (I thought he was a puppy but the vet said “no way, he’s about 8 years old and has bad arthritis”.) I have been using the bison formula with him. Today I bought a small bag of salmon and one bag of roasted fowl (duck). I want to keep bison as his base food and add a couple morsels of salmon and duck to his main bison food once and awhile. TOTW is so good that I also use the extra flavors as dog treats! He loves them.

    Never-the-less, I came here to see if TOTW and its protein levels are okay for smaller breeds that are not extremely active. It seems from the advice here that it is okay. I did however buy glucosamine tablets for his arthritis, I did not see an additive for joints on the back of the TOTW bag. If you think TOTW does indeed have arthritic benefits, please let me know.

    So glad to have found a great food at a fair price point!

  • Wow, I would’ve never guessed that was the cause! So glad your dog is better now and that you found the cause!

  • Tonie’

    I have a picky shepard mix myself. He loves Blue Buffalo. He literally dances around when it’s time to eat. I didn’t know about the recall either. I often get compliments on how shiny and soft his coat is. He could stand to lose about 10 pounds as well. My vet originally recommended Hills Science weight control blend. My baby just outright refused to eat it! He went on a 3 day hunger strike until I switched him back. I have have been feeding him the healthy weight blend for a while. So far he has only lost 4 pounds. I am hesitant to try switching him to taste of the wild because he is so picky and I haven’t seen where they make a blend to help dogs lose weight. Let me know if you find any tips to help shepherds lose weight.

  • Terri Bradley

    I have a ten year old lab with a sensitive stomach and fatty ulcers. Which Taste of the Wild dry food would you recommend?

    • I would call your vet and ask. Your vet will know your dog’s specific medical needs best and will have a better understanding of what dog food is best for the lab.

    • Robert

      I’d recommend the salmon formula, personally I had a blue heeler/black lab that died at age 16 with fatty tumors that had been kept at bay given the grain-free diet yet stomach sensitivities that Blue caused so TOTW or Fromm are the foods I use from here on out. Hope that’s helpful.

    • Robert

      I’d recommend the salmon formula, personally I had a blue heeler/black lab that died at age 16 with fatty tumors that had been kept at bay given the grain-free diet yet stomach sensitivities that Blue caused so TOTW or Fromm are the foods I use from here on out. Hope that’s helpful.

    • Olivia Stevenson

      I would try the Pacific Stream. All Taste of the Wild (except the 2 puppy formulas) are for all life stages, so they are safe for seniors. It has a very high protein content and no beef. If his stomach is still upset, you can buy a packet of Weruva’s Pumpkin Patchup to mix in with the food. That should help calm the troubled tummy. Good luck!

  • tara lyle

    I have 2 mini schnauzers, who have been on the Taste of the Wild since they were weaned and joined our family 2 and 3 years ago.

    We switch flavors every 3 months or so, and have never had a problem, but now our 2 year old girl is having diarrhea with the recent switch to the fowl flavor and the 3 year old male is fine. Could it be something else? I put her on a rice cooked in chicken broth (low sodium) diet for 2 days and it started to ease. Just scared to go back. I wonder if I can return and go back to the bison? Any similar issues?

    • There’s a chance it could’ve been something with the new dog food. Try switching her back to a dog food you know she does ok with and see if the symptoms return. If they do, schedule a visit with your vet immediately to find the cause.

      • tara lyle

        It’s always taste of the wild, so I just thought it was odd that she’s having issues with just simply changing the flavor. She’s still having loose stools, so I’ll be taking her in… just in case 😉

        • That’s a great plan Tara! Hope everything turns out ok and your pup gets to feeling better soon!

          • tara lyle

            She’s doing much better now. Found the culprit… Japanese Lady Bugs! I found her eating them, and the vet said that most likely contributed to the issue, especially since she’s had the flavor before and had no issues. I’ve swept up all the Japanese beetles from the patio and sidewalks in their pen, and her stools are back to good! 🙂 Good to know… those little yellow/orange lady bugs=sick fur baby!

  • Debi Mascia

    I see alot of preferences for Taste of the Wild. I have a 6 lb. yorkie who has been eating Ultra small breed food. Which variety of Taste of the Wild are you yorkie parents giving your little ones?

    • Olivia Stevenson

      The great thing about Taste of the Wild is that the kibble is all the same, small size, so there isn’t a specific one for small breed dogs. If you have a healthy eater with no allergies or issues, you could go with any of the formulas that your pup likes, salmon, bison, venison & legumes, etc. The most popular formula will be the Pacific Stream. If you have a picky eater, go for the lamb, it’s the richest- which means it tastes the best, but could also cause an upset tummy. Good luck!

  • William

    I switched from grain free Blue Buffalo Puppy dry food (lamb/oat) to the Taste of Wild bison puppy dry food. ACD Puppy Dog liked both. But, Blue came out the other end in a wrong way. Taste of the Wild corrected that. Less expensive/get a bit more.

  • Greg

    We have a pit who is allergic to everything it seems. We had him allergy tested and give him allergy shots every 2 weeks. Also, have him on an allergy pill daily. He is pathetic looking. He is always scratching and his skin is always red. He scoots across the carpet to get relief. We bathe him in medicated shampoo from the vet. We have spent so much money on this dog. We cannot leave him outside very long, just long enough to potty and then back in he comes. We also have our yard sprayed to kill any weeds, dandelions, crab grass, etc. We have taken every measure to keep him healthy. He is still miserable. Was feeding him Diamond Naturals, which had no soy, wheat or corn. Still no improvement. We just switched this week to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. We are hoping this helps him. If he doesn’t get relief from this food and all the other stuff we do for him, we will be at a complete loss. Most expensive dog I have ever owned. We hate to see him so miserable, but have no clue what else to do for him. In the winter months he is better, spring starts all his flare ups. Hoping Taste of the Wild helps him. If anyone has any other suggestions, please share.

    • Joel Millan

      Try omega 3 gel caps, the same one humans use. I have a chocolate lab with all kinds of skin issues and that cleared it right up. Works great and pretty cheap! Two gel caps with every meal works great, hope this helps!

    • Karen Cox

      Greg, I would like to know how your Pit is doing now. I have a Schnauzer mix foster dog who is about 10 years old and she has bad skin issues. I’ve had her since October 2014 and after trying several other foods (Nutro, Blue Basic) I tried TOTW Pacific Stream and found it to be the answer for her. I also have my 10 year old Pom on it and she seems to be doing well on it. She had been on Nutro but I slowly switched her and she’s happy. Seems to love the taste and had no problems. So, my Pom and my foster are on TOTW Pacific Stream. My rescue cat has been getting in their food so I’m switching him when his food runs out.

      I would like to hear an update on your Pit.

    • Mona

      Hello, I’m sorry to hear about your dog. I am a first time dog owner of a pitbull who’s now 7 months. I too had many issues with her allergies and itching. I’ve been using organic coconut oil after her oatmeal baths. I feed it to her and lotion her with it. I also take apple cider vinegar with the mother and add it to her water daily. She no longer scratches like she used to. I do not have any issues with her skin unless I neglect to refill her oil. Her coat, skin and teeth are beautiful. I get compliments on a regular about her. I hope that helps.

    • LInda

      You might try LDN (low dose naltrexone). This is an off label use of an FDA approved drug – naltrexone. For people, it is being found to have many uses – my niece’s MS stopped progressing and my Mom’s fibro pain went away. It is also being used in animals. Another niece is a holistic vet who uses it in her practice and she recently told me she prescribes it for allergies. I am starting it next week with an older dog we recently took in when her owner died. She came to us last month with a bald rump and skin infections (and ear, too). We have been treating as our vet has directed, but I want to get away from the steroids. Fingers crossed the LDN works for her! Call Skip’s Pharmacy for more info (you can do a search and it will come right up)- they have lots of experience with this.

      Good luck!

  • Maria, so glad to hear that this article was helpful and thanks for sharing your story! We were not aware of the Blue Buffalo recall, but will definitely look into it more and see what we can find. If we come across anything, we’ll be sure to update the article and our readers so they can stay informed with the latest. Good luck with the weight loss for your pup!

  • Pam Goforth Gilliam

    I used Blue Buffalo for about 2 years and then got to comparing it to the Taste of the Wild and decided to switch about a year ago. I have 4 Dachshunds and a Shiba Inu and they love it. It is about $5 cheaper and I get 6 lbs more per bag. By reading your article, I’m very pleased to see my decision to switch was a good one.

    • Wow, that is a great story of your food switch, Pam. Thanks for sharing with our readers!

    • missbreebree03

      Taste of the Wild is the only brand I’ve fed my Boxer. She does great on it and I constantly get compliments from other Boxer owners on how fit she is and how soft and shiny her coat is. I’m getting a Yorkie and have been wondering if I should research other brands with small breed specific formulas. Does anyone have any opinions?

      • Janelle

        Yes, you can feed your new yorkie Taste of the Wild. I do it myself and I’m the mum of 4 yorkies! They have healthy skin and a shiny coat as well as much more energy. I used to feed them Chicken soup for the dog lovers soul and they had loose stools and itchy skin and dull fur. I hope this helps.

        • missbreebree03

          Thanks, he’s been on the Taste of the Wild puppy food and likes it. I was worried it’d be too big for him, but I softened the pieces with water. Now that he’s a little bigger he seems to prefer the drier pieces and has no problem eating the adult formula when he steals bits from my big dog’s bowl.

    • Jessica

      We have 1 dachshund and 1 dachshund mix – what bag of Taste of the Wild do you give them? Their current food changed recipes and I’ve never seen either of them have so many issues!

      Thank you!!

      • Pam Goforth Gilliam

        Sorry just saw this but I give them the yellow bag it’s bison .

  • We just got a puppy and she came with a bag of Purina Puppy Show. And yeah. She doesn’t sit to eat – just grabs a bite when I think she is starving. So my wife ordered Taste of the Wild for her. Will post how she does once it comes. She is a German Shepherd/Pit Bull mix and is 10 wks old.

  • tone

    My dogs love Taste of The Wild. They are over 3 years old and have the energy of puppies. Their coats are healthy and teeth/gums are great.

  • tone

    My dogs love Taste of The Wild. They are over 3 years old and have the energy of puppies. Their coats are healthy and teeth/gums are great.

  • sportsnut72

    Thank you for the information. We have used Taste of the Wild for a year to year and a half and the issue we are finding right now is the wet food is on “back order” and per TOW they state the demand has them looking into 2015 to eliminate the shortage. Makes me wonder how fast they will produce if they are not in a hurry to sell to people like us whom are in need of the product.

  • John Hoffman

    Thank you so much for the comparison. My large breed pup showed minimal interest in finishing his food. We started with a couple pounds of all organic (unsure of the name) food given to us by the puppy’s “original” mom, we then bought a bag of Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild. Taste of the Wild is the only food he finishes in one sitting. To be honest they are both excellent, I would see which type your puppy prefers.

    Just remember though, if you have a large breed, he will probably be slim no matter how much you feed him. TOO MUCH FOOD=TOO MANY GROWTH SPURTS=WEAK BONES.
    Bless all you good people and your canine companions.

  • Michele

    Thank you for your comparison of Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo. I have recently changed my dogs food to Taste of the Wild. Being a Corgi she was to overweight for her frame. Then I found out that she has an allergy to gluten and grains. Since changing her diet she is slimming up and eats less food. I feel better knowing that she is actually absorbing the food that she is eating and not just storing it as fat. I chose Taste of the Wild only because of the price, so it is good to know that both are very similar. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sara

      You're welcome, Michele! Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Sara

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Linda and for reading Canine Journal! We'll definitely look into doing a review on Chicken Soup for Dog Lovers. 

  • Linda

    I wanted the best for my pup but can't afford raw meat so it was bag food. I have had and still have cats and feed them Chicken Soup for Cats, so decided to check out the brand for dogs. I was so surprised to see more natural ingredients in the chicken soup for puppies/adult dogs than in the higher-priced brands you chose to do a comparison on. 

    My dog loves it, he recently turned one and I have no problem with him chowing down. He has beautiful muscles and no flab, teeth nice and white, gums nice and pink, I am very satisfied with this food. $40 for 35 pounds.

    I will compare it to Taste of the Wild though for I am definitely always trying to go as healthy as I can afford. Thank you for your forum, I have bookmarked your site and added it to my Facebook page. 🙂