Taste Of The Wild vs Blue Buffalo: Comparison Of Leading Natural Dog Foods

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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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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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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)

  • 15-Pound Bag: 

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
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
About The Author:

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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Our Alaskan Malamutes now Three years old have been eating the for over a year I think and one of them is obcessively licking his paws. I thought it was a behavior due to bored but Now I am thinking it is the dog food. IThe same dogs does not like Blue wilderness or Blue buffalo and would rather have Purina. We will be changing brands I am sure after doing some research.
Diamond Rick
I have 2 Belgian Malinois, one 8.5 and one 9 years old
And have been feeding them Taste of the Wild Venison & Bison for over 8 years. I only want to feed them the best, so I feed them TOTW…
Their coats are absolutely beautiful, the dogs are super healthy and happy,
Poops are always good. I recommend TOTW to anyone
Who wants the best food. My dogs are my treasure and
Only want the best for them. I have had Shepherd dogs for nearly 40 years and have tried many brands. TOTW
Is the best.
I have two Boston Terriers ages 12 a female and 10 a male. I bought them from the same AKC breeder at 8 weeks. When I bought my female she never had any food issues. But after I got my male and after some time passed, he seemed alergic to something. He would go out in the backyard on the Bermuda grass, come in and lick his paws, his tummy would get red he was itching all the time. His vet said to give him Benadryl. So I did that for quite awhile. It did nothing. Then one day a light came on and I thought he might be allergic to grains. I started both of them on Taste Of The Wild. But he was still itchy. Then I did more research and I was surprised my vet did not mention this. But I decided to have my entire backyard Bermuda grass removed and had artifical turf installed everywhere to the tune of nearly $5000. Then he got better. Yay!!! So they are getting older, and they are both healthy and are still eating TOTW. I have not seen anything wierd in their food like some people mentioned. But I do change flavors every time. I have used all of the flavors except the Lamb because that tends to make them gassy.
DO NOT BUY!!! we’ve used this product for two years for our sensitive lab after he had reactions to other foods as a puppy. For two years now it’s been his only food and he’s been happy and healthy. Now we bought a bag a few weeks ago and opened it last weekend. He got extremely I’ll. Once in chicken and rice he was fine. Taste of the wild insisted no changes in formula or recalls. So we bought another bag in his other flavor and within 24 hours he got extremely I’ll again. Two different bags and $100 in food and more in vet bills and we don’t want another dog to suffer.
Miranda Owens
Feed Taste of the wild “grain free”venison and bison to my GSP and Maltese For 4 years almost and started feeding it to my 14 month old silver lab when we got him. My lab is allergic to Grain an so is my Maltese so it was great and it is high protein for my pointer so double great. Then one day I notice something very different about the product. White grain looking objects lodge in the food and free floating throughout the bag. Contact taste of the wild because I knew from years of handling the dog food that something wasn’t right. After going back and forth they told me it was barely in the food. That there must have been a mistake when switching over and making products.So after I notified them hoping the problem was solved went out a few weeks later and bought a second bag. Come home and open it to find the SAME ISSUE. BARLEY all in the bag. Highly disappointing that they had not taken my concern more seriously. Contacted them a second time and was gave the run about. They tried to tell me at first that it wasn’ts “barely”now but “cull peas”. Finally after going back and forth with their Quality control manager he finally seen the light of day and realized that it was barely once again. Then he said he pulled “samples” from that batch and could find no evidence Of barely and there was nothing else he could do on the matter and he had receive no other complaints on the matter. Well that right their sent me over the edge. Because i have evidence Of barely in their high priced grain free dog food I buy specifically For my animals health and they did almost nothing on the matter beside pull a sample they have. How can you do A thorough investigation without pulling some of their product off the market to Identify the problem. I will no longer support this company or brand because they do not care for the health of the animals and they do not care about the Quality of the product they supply to us. I’m thoroughly disgusted With the way they handle the matter and I want everyone else to know that you could potential have whole barely in your dog food. And if your animals are allergic to grain just like mine you should know that their is a mistake on their part and they don’t care to fix it or let you all know About it.
Elisa Artman
Got some Iams, Racheal Ray, and Taste of the Wild. My dogs wont eat any of it.
My Chihuahua has been losing hair, chews on feet and no matter how much I bathe him he still stinks. I started him on dinovite two weeks ago. What are your thoughts on dinovite? I’m about to start him on TOTW Appalachian Valley Small Breed tomorrow. I may hold off on the dinovite to see if this food helps. Currently I’m feeding him Pedegree which I do not like the ingredients. I can do better and I’m about to.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We haven’t researched Dinovite, so we cannot tell you our thoughts on it. Sorry we can’t be more helpful!
I have tried many dog foods for allergy issues , I even tried raw. Nothing stopped the chewing on his feet. I was at the vet last year he said there was a new product on the market. Called Cytopoint its an injection every 8 weeks. My dog doesn’t chew on his feet at all anymore.
I bought Dinovite, but it is hard to give my dogs this because you are supposed to put it over their food and because I free choice feed them so putting it on their food one cannot make certain each dog gets their portion. But I guess I could have put a little of Dinovite in some wet food just give them that supplement.
Sean McKeon
Blue Buffalo was recently bought by General Mills Co., has there been any changes to their production process?
Dave Green
See class action lawsuit filed in California Southern District Court mid 2017 claiming lead contamination. Case was dismissed by judge because it was “too similar” to the class action settled in or about 2013. I stopped feeding Blue Buffalo after reading this (all information available on line including the complaint filed with the court).
Please go to “consumeraffairs” and type in Blue Buffalo complaints in the box at the top-right of the screen. The same horror stories over and over, just like mine. My dog developed the exact same symptoms and illnesses you’ll read about. Blue Buffalo won’t tell you where their ingredients are sourced from. Made in America means nothing … you want to know WHERE they get their meat from.
Hi i have 2 year old German shepherd male. he has had tummy issues. He is on Merrick dry food, rice and chicken and has dirrhea. Will Taste of the wild help him or is there another brand of dog food that is better for him.
Thank you
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Natasha, We suggest you speak with your vet for nutritional counsel. They will know what is best for your specific dog and his dietary needs.
When I got my pit mix at 6 months old the owner of her was feeding her dollar store food. She had bad diarrhea, we started her out with bil-jac but PetSmart stopped carrying it so I put her on taste of the wild and she has been fine now for 5 yrs, never a case of the squirts. We mix it up, if she gets tired of eating one flavor we can switch to say the salmon one with no problems. I have recently gotten a new pit mix pup, weened at 6 weeks and fed only taste of the wild puppy formula now she’s 2 months and gorgeous.
Hi Natasha!
We have a 2 year old German Shepherd with extreme food sensitivities. We have tried every food even prescribed food via our Vet. We narrowed down his sensitivity and he has been eating Taste of the Wild Salmon for 4 months. I add 100% organic pumpkin to it and he’s gaining weight and no more diarrhea. Give it a try!
We have a boxer and wanted to feed him the highest quality food due to the prevalence of cancer in the breed. So we tried Orijen but it gave him runny poo. We switched to Taste of the Wild grain free venison and bison formula, also a great quality food and no more runny poo. We also feed blue buffalo freedom grain free (they love it) AND Country Vet naturals grain free. We have five dogs, several breeds in our home and these three foods work well for us. Good luck!
Don’t waste your money on taste of the wild ! I worked there for 2 years … over hyped over priced and the feed is so hard
May I ask, how is the food over hyped? Is theor food not safe?
Disgruntled? Where are you working now, USPS?
Did you share this while you worked there or just afterwards?
Not sure I will take advice from a disgruntled employee. Fed to My GSD with great results and our newest addition a Golden Doodle. Again excellent results. Good luck in your new career.
Maybe someone can clarify which totw food to buy my airedale terrier. he was on rocky mountain blend for blue buffalo and had itchy ears and my little terrier was eating his feet. i put them on flea meds. which has helped and also put them on LID diet of lamb from natural balance but they dont like it at all. they walk up smell it and walk away. my great dane cannot go over 23% fat or he will have diarrhea – so we stick to a salmon and sweet potato food. My terrier is not getting enough protein because he is always hungry. I tried calling totw and the girl did not really have any recommendations which blend.
I think you could safely try any of the blends to start. My dog particularly likes the Boar blend so you might start there. My dog switches to a new flavor after finishing a bag. The TOTW Lamb blend makes her itchy so we steer clear of that one. I tried Blue Buffalo with her and it also made her itchy so I went back to TOTW. Good luck!
Blue is in a class actions & your pups symptoms are similar. I switched my dads pup 2 bison taste of the wild.
Diamond or Science diet, we like both, my husband is picky about nutrition because he worked with dog trainers in California, most all of them used Diamond also, remember to introduce food gradually, and dont keep changing, our Chihuahua is 16 and very healthy, she only gets science diet senior
I have a 10 yr old Chihuahua and she has acid issues. She was changed over to Hill’s Science Diet, but I read about some junk that is in the ingredients. But it did cure her from vomiting acid.

But I did just purchase Blue for small breed and I hope this helps. I love all three of my babies, but shes been stuck to my hip since day one. But I also bought Blue for all three, $54 foe a 25lb bag just for the two medium dogs, when I used to spend $40 for 38lb. But they all have been eating grass past 1.5 years, just trying to find them a good food.

Haley M Jewell
If you’re using a salmon feed now, try the salmon blend with totw. My dog has extreme issues with grains. I feed him the bison and venison blend. And have tried the water foul blend. He and my or her dogs LOVE both and their coats are gorgious! Absolutely love totw!
Julane Swank
My four shepherds have been on totw salmon for several years, with no problems, and they are very healthy with beautiful coats. Occasionally I divide a can of Merrick wet food mixed into their dry food, which they love! They also love
their Blue Health Bars!
Wendi Lambert
I am very concerned about feeding totw. I have went to consumers affairs reviews and there are so many BAD reviews in the last few months. I have been feeding totw to many animals for almost four years. Many of the things said are true with some of mine as well. Smells, gasses, loose stools, upset stomach etc. Some have claimed death as a result. What is being done?? Is there an investigation? Now I dont know what I dare to feed. Blue buffalo has had so many recalls! I thought I was doing the right tging feeding a 5 star, grain free. Please help!
Dee Dee
I have a 12 year old lab-border mix rescue. I was originally using Costco organic dry dog food. He got skin allergies. So I switched to totw, he got better, then lately after 1 year, his allergies are back. I was told they use a lot carbs ( potatoes) in their dry food. I’m now slowly changing to Earthborn Holistic. I also give my dog fish oil & Cosequin DS. Will let you know if this works..
Hi Wendi, I’m not sure if the claims are true, but it can be scary!
I like Canidae. It’s still an individually owned company and the guys are very involved with everything about their foods and where the source them from.
Canidae is manufactured by Diamond also…so is it really any safer?
its spooky. and confusing. i am super confused about what to do. i have heard chicken meal is bad and yeast is terrible, oats are bad, yet i have read that my breed needs oats…. every company has some shady information if you dig enough.
Mary Barosso
I have been using TOTW for years and just recently both my dogs have developed diarrhea. I don’t know what has gone wrong but I won’t be feeding them this again.
Canidae Pure
OH NO!! Ive NEVER Been informed of Blue recalls, only been seeing the fresh/frozen foods as recalls…and I just spent $87 on Blue today!!!! Ugh!!
Kelly Van Ess
I had the same problem fed TOTW salmon my 13 year old goldens entire life. Suddenly he had the squirts so bad with vomiting. I didn’t think he would make it through the weekend to get to the vet. I put him on a white rice and white meat chicken which he devoured. Within days he was back to himself. I gradually added his dry food back in and boom the same thing. The other two younger dogs had no problem. Talking with my vet he recommended switching proteins because he’s not just old but for a golden, he is ancient. I switched to the High Praire and low and behold no problem. I did do some research and found out that there was indeed a recall on the salmon which I wish there was an easier way to know about these things. I threw the other bag out and switched them all over with no problems. He is just so old that I believe his immune system couldn’t handle whatever the recall was for. I have in the past tried other brands, grain free, just trying to save money. But it truly isn’t worth it. Blue Buffalo has been involved in a number of recalls and lawsuits. I will continue with TOTW as my dogs are very important to me. I have a very close relationship with my vet and he doesn’t believe there is a better dry dog food out there.
Melanie Ibarra
Priceless Information!! Thank You SOOO much! You just helped me figure out which TOTW formula is upsetting my senior Boxer female.
Bless You!!
Melanie Ibarra
I have the same situation with my boxer female.
Can I ask you which formulas do you think are causing problems recently?? Because I also have been feeding ToTW for years and lately its just one thing after another! I was always blaming it on everything else BUT ToTW. Now that I see your comment I think I need to focus on this brand instead.
Thank You for the info!!
I am in the same predicament. We have had our two Labs on TOTW puppy food and now Pacific Stream and Venison Bison Adult and they are 2 and 1/2. Their breath smells like fish. But they are extremely healthy, at least they appear to be with beautiful coats. Now I am reading about the class action suit against TOTW and toxicity, deaths in dogs of different breeds and now I am scared to death about choosing food for them.
Dane Morgan (Admin)
I have a chocolate lab mix ( Lyle ) and a standard schnauzer mix ( Horatio ). Lyle has gotten a little overweight and we are trying to watch his food intake but want to make sure he is getting what he needs and Horatio is allergic to every grain on the planet.

Finding a food that they both like to eat and that meets both of their needs was a challenge, but we’ve settled on the Taste of the Wild Bison and it hits all of the marks.

We get big bags of it at Orscheln on Tuesday because they give Veterans a discount on Tuesdays.

Catherine Hobbs

I adopted a 7 yr old spaniel/beagle mix 1 1/2 years ago. He was underweight with bald itchy patches of skin. His coat was dull and lifeless. My daughter told me they had their German Shepherd puppy on TOTW grain and chicken free as recommended by their vet. Within a few months my dog had gained weight which leveled out at 22 lb (healthy weight per my vet). His bare itchy patches cleared up. His coat filled in and is now silky and shiny. This month my vet told me not to change what I was feeding him since he is now a beautiful, healthy, energetic fella again. He loves TOTW Bison!!

Connie Driskell
I adopted a 1 year old female mixed Shepard rescue. She has had constipation issues from the start. She is thriving on Taste of the Wild Bison flavor. I was able to figure out early on that she had a chicken allergy. Constipation problem solved by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pure canned pumki, which she loves. NOT the pie filling, but just plain 100% pure pumpkin. Problem solved. No gas, coat glistens and she is lean and muscular. Vet says her weight is near perfect. She will be 5 years old in November 2017. I will never feed her anything else but TOTW the rest of her life.
Jesse S Martin
I have two, three and a half year old golden retrievers and a 14 year old lab/golden. The Golden’s have eaten taste of the wild their entire life. Compared to other Golden’s their coats are brighter and silkier. They have very low fat on their bodies and show their muscle tone through their fur. My vet made the comment that she has never seen two Golden’s in better shape or condition.

My 14 year old started on taste of the wild 4 years ago and adjusted very well. She was about 20 lbs over weight before starting on totw. She dropped 17 of those pounds since and loves her food. At 14 she runs around and plays with my 3 1/2 year olds every day. As well as climb stairs without issues and makes the 2and a half foot jump easily from the floor to bed.

I live out in the country and is a 50 minute drive to get totw, worth every minute. A few times I have tried other foods but they have always refused it. And wanted their totw. I am a loyal fan of Taste of the Wild and will be for the rest of the time that I own dogs.

I have a Pitbull, Weimaraner and a Great Dane. The Pitbull has a lot of allergies i spent 1.5 years trying new foods that didn’t give him reaction. He would get bumps, hot spots everywhere. I took him to the Vet they didn’t really help. I was scared to walk him during day light because of his coat condition, I didn’t want people to think I was abusing him. Evo seemed to work for about a year. After that someone told me about Taste of The Wild, it was almost an instant 360 for him. He was playful again. I since then added the Weimaraner and Great Dane. A friend gave me a bag of Blue Buff, recently i mixed it with the taste of the wild. The dogs didn’t react well to the food, the pitbull and great dane puked that night. I ran it for a total of 3 days but they puked until I stopped feeding them the B/buff. I swear by Taste of The Wild. Its a very clean healthy food. That was just my experience.
Craig Hill
This post needs to be deleted because it provides the reader with false information. Look up Blue Buffalo on Google and you will see that they were sued successfully by Purina over the fact that B/Buff. claimed NOT to have chicken by-products, and Blue Buffalo was busted. So those who tread this article do your own research easily enough on Google and you will see that this author was either misinformed, on the take or this article is simply outdated, coming out before the true facts were known about the fabricated formula stated by Blue Buffalo which has been proven to be false and misleading and really illegal….if it were human food at least. I feed my Bengals ‘Taste of the Wild’ which I think may be top of the line, but that too will probably be shown to be full of lies as well. Can’t trust anybody but yourself anymore…if I had the will and the formula for the right minerals and vitamins I would make my own cat food, but that’s not going to happen.
Jana Adams
My dog, 6 years old is diabetic and has been on dry food from the vet. He won’t hardly eat it if I don’t add either a little chicken broth, or sometimes a little peanut butter. I was told he does not need high protein food but all these on this list are 26-30% protein. Any suggestions?
Alec Morton
I suggest dropping dry food as a whole. Depending on the diabetes, a more moisture rich diet would be best. Your dog not eating is probably a sign from your dog telling you to add moisture from chicken broth because the moisture makes him feel better. Do canned food or raw food. I just met someone I suggested this to and her dog’s levels are back to normal from eating Wild Calling canned food and Small Batch raw. Her dog had diabetes. Plus, vet food is full of bad ingredients and hardly any meat, especially their dry food. Her dog was on pro plan or something before doing research and agreeing to try wet and raw.

The I suggest to do a protein level of 25% or higher. The older your dog or cat the more they need access to a good digestible high protein.

Moist food for diabetic animals is one of the worst ideas you can suggest. Canned food promotes postprandial hyperglycemia. A food with low digestable carbohydrates and high fiber is a better choice.
I just watched a documentary on pet food, not 100% sure what I believe, but one thing that I took away from it is that Science Diet from the vet is one of the worst pet foods out there. I feed my dog Taste of the Wild and am not looking into supplementing with some raw brands.
I am a veterinarian and have been feeding my pets science diet for 25 years. My pets all lived past their life expectancy. I recommend and sell Hills Pet Nutrition products.
Blue buffalo wetlands is 32% protein. Victor hero grain free is 33% and Victor nutra pro is 38%. Hope that helps!
Been feeding my 6 Year old GSD TOTW her whole life. She is in excellent shape and has no tummy issues unless she eats table food that she shouldn’t.
I can’t say enough about TOTW, this company stands behind their food 110% and they, although being produced by Diamond, is the best food out there. Don’t let the whole Diamond thing deter you. TOTW monitors the production and quality.
I have had my German Shepard mix on taste of wild for 3 1/2 years been good for her she is fit and lean, her coat is soft and shiny people are surprise when they pet her, she also has the sensitive stomach that is a trait of the German Shepard and doesn’t have that problem with the taste of wild. The only time she does is when she eats the neighbor dog food than she is up all night with stomach problems very satisfied with product
Which brand of TOTW do you feed your GSD. I was trying to figure today in the store if I should get salmon or bison flavor
Melanie Ibarra
I wud stick to the Bison
Millie Peña
I just received a sample of Taste of the Wild from my Maltese Terrier’s new groomer and when I gave it to him, he seems to enjoy it more than Blue! I guess I’m switching brands now! I’m so glad I can finally feed him something he’ll enjoy.
We have a 12 year old black lab german Shepard we used to feed him blue buffalo and we switched to taste of the wild. Any flavor they offer and he acts like a puppy and his coat is so much better softer and shinier and his joints seem better too! We just recently got a puppy and automatically put her on taste of the wild puppy food and she took to it very well. So when she gets bigger we can buy just 1 big bag of taste the wild. I highly recommend it an it’s $5 cheaper than blue buffalo!
I just adopted an approximately 4 yr old Chinese Crested Powder Puff. She was previously on a Kirkland brand with the foster family. Her skin was red, had an ear infection, paws always wet from chewing, scooting, and rubbing her face on the floor whenever she could. Oh and her teeth, we’ll were working on one thing at a time. It’s up next after we figure out the allergy issue.

We tried Rachel Ray’s Nutrish, not knowing any better, as we were first time dog owners. She ate it but wasn’t ecstatic about it. Had to mix in wet dog food (we had chosen Caesers) for her to gain some weight as she was about 5-7 lbs under weight. She gained weight, but we didn’t feel comfortable feeding her a food that we couldn’t decipher all the ingredients in the ingredients list. We started researching different dog foods and ingredients.

Long story short… We started her on 4Health Grain-Free Chicken and Rice, but then had a feeling the chicken could be her possible allergy. Did more research and decided to go with Taste of the Wild (TOTW) Pacific Stream (Salmon), hoping it’ll help with her red skin and allergy. She just started eating it two days ago. Going to try this food for a couple months and see what happens…

We will try Acana and/or Orijen next, if TOTW doesn’t seem to be working.

Recommendations, thoughts… Greatly appreciated.

Melanie Ibarra
I would try any of the OTHER TOTW Formulas before the Salmon one…going by our experience.
If the Salmon formula doesnt work out, DO try one of the other TOTW formulas BEFORE giving up on them. Because you cant find a cleaner grain free dog food thats even AFFORDABLE than TOTW !!!
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.
You can try pumpkin in a can or probiotics. My girl is gassy and we use honest Kitchen goat milk with added probiotics.
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.
They have a puppy formula which is what I am feeding my 4 month old gsd.
Karyn Cassio
Thank you. I’ve been using Taste of the Wild for a couple of months, since my sister introduced me to it around Thanksgiving. I ran out of food so had to buy the dogs something while I waited on my Amazon order, and so grabbed some Blue Buffalo. Due to the price, I wanted to be sure there wasn’t something I’m missing. Your article helped me. Thank you. Keeping on with my original plan. Taste of the Wild it is!
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
Jason Moore
Just got a malinois puppy. Totw puppy was recommended to me. He loves it. It has all a pup needs and it is a myth that the food has to say large breed.
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!

Sherrin Ungren
I adopted an elder dog black lab/boxer mix in July the family abandoned at 11 yrs old to humane society. He was so skinny, scared and I’m grateful they called me on the foster list! He loves the bison/venison blend and I’ll keep him on that through his days along with a taste of the canned food now and then! So glad to see what a high rating Taste of The Wild has. I’m sold!
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?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.
When my mixed lab starting having stomach problems at 7 years old, my vet wanted to put him on Science diet for sensitive stomachs, I refused to do it and put him on Lamb and Rice TOTW. Problem solved, when he went in for his annual check up, she said “Wow, he looks great! What are you feeding him?” He was a little over weight and had slimmed down a little bit. Loves the food!
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.
Barbara Cooper
If you got a larger sized dog to live to 16 years old I’d say that Blue wasn’t all that bad. Most large dogs according 3 vets I asked all said they live to about 10 years old or so on average so 16 years is a miracle (more of an outlier than the norm)! I wish I were that lucky to have a dog live that long. If you read the reviews on DogFoodAdvisor 80% all have reports that their dog got sick,etc from eating most of those foods, don’t believe everything you read, there’s two sides to every story.
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!
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?

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.
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 😉
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
That’s a great plan Tara! Hope everything turns out ok and your pup gets to feeling better soon!
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!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Wow, I would’ve never guessed that was the cause! So glad your dog is better now and that you found the cause!
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!
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.
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.

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.
Crystal Sue Hazel
Have you tried Apoquel to relieve the itching! I have personally seen it work for so many pets including my own! The bonus is no side effects like steroids! The downside is it is sometimes hard to get. Vet hospitals never have enough!
Greg, how is the pit? I have a blue bully and we have tried everything except the allergy shots, which sounds like doesn’t work. I have just bought some TOTW Pacific Stream today. We have done the steroid treatment along with prednisone. We have medicated shampoo and nothing has seemed to help. We are trying also the detergent we wash her blankets in, maybe some of the ingredients in that can cause allergies. She gets nothing except her food. No table food nothing. Please let me know what has helped your dog. Thanks.
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
My senior Shih tzu was going to the vet every month or two with skin issues from licking and chewing. She also had ear infection after ear infection. I highly recommend TOTW, any flavor. She loves it and her coat is beautiful. She hasn’t had an ear infection in over a year.
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!

Malika Robinson
I also have a pitbull who has allergies which taste of the wild will be best for him
Thanks so much for this comparison. I have a German Shepard who needs to lose weight and Blue Buffalo was highly recommended. The pet store I visited yesterday told me that there is currently a recall on Blue Buffalo products and strongly recommended Taste of the Wild. I appreciate the comparison and wondering if you have any information on the Blue Buffalo recall and whether it is true. Thanks!
Sadie Cornelius (Admin)
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!
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.
My vet wanted to put my mixed lab on that stuff, he was having skin problems, throwing up, over weight. I refused, put him on TOTW, Lamb & Rice. Problem solved, 3 years in a row he has come down in weight, and is doing great. The vet was amazed at the change in my dog!
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.
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Wow, that is a great story of your food switch, Pam. Thanks for sharing with our readers!
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?
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.
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.
Janelle, which flavor taste of the wild do you give your yorkie? I have a yorkie with “sinus” issues and was giving her nutro ultra. I wanted to see if a different food would clear up some of her issues.
I use pacific stream and bison. Sorry I’m so late responding.
Taste of the wild still. I work at a pet department and I know the dog food pretty well. It’s one of the best foods for any doggie.
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 .
Josh Hopkins
I got a new puppy about a week ago and I got him Blue Buffalo Large Puppy because I thought it was a good brand, but then I did some major research. Blue Buffalo has lied about ingredients, lawsuits, has had recalls and has outsourced their food (which is not OK). A couple of days ago, my puppy stopped eating his Blue Buffalo food, so I bought Wellness Core Puppy and I have been mixing it with his Blue Buffalo (he absolutely loves Wellness Core). I thought about Taste of the Wild, but every pet store I went to in town had bad things to say about it. Also it is made by Diamond, who has a terrible recall history. Bottom line, I would steer clear from Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild because you never know- just because a dog likes it, doesn’t mean it’s good for them.
You are exactly right! Everything you said about Diamond and Blue is correct! There are so many “decent” natural foods out there, but you have got to find out who makes it! A lot out source and that just doesn’t cut it with me. I have fed Blue after Solid Gold started jacking their price and skimping on quality. Fed my wolf for the last 3 years of her life and had fed my APBT ALL 8 years of hers. But, as you’ve pointed out, Blue has been pulling some bull and so I moved to Acana and wow! What a difference! They also feed 25lb bags which is sweet! I was, in the past, hardcore about dog foods… I could tell you damn near everything about every popular and small business brand food out there. But when I switched to Blue, I let my skills laps. No more! I did research and Acana ranks in the top 2, if not number 1.
Hesham Abu Zubaydah
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.
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.
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.
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.

Brandon Lee
Dogs eating their food all at once or in one sitting as you said isn’t a sign of healthiness, http://www.quora.com/Is-it-normal-for-a-dog-to-eat-its-food-gradually

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 Wilson

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

Sara Wilson

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. 


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. 🙂