Blue Buffalo vs Instinct

Blue Buffalo vs. Instinct

In this comparison article for Blue Buffalo vs Instinct, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Blue Buffalo and Instinct, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Instinct vs Blue Buffalo comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Blue Buffalo Review Page or Instinct Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Instinct vs. Blue Buffalo

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food vs. Instinct Dog Food

Dry Dog FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Crude Protein29.5%36.2%
Crude Fat15.3%24.1%
Crude Fiber6.8%4.4%
Wet/Canned Dog FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Crude Protein40.0%42.1%
Crude Fat26.2%27.7%
Crude Fiber7.4%10.0%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

Blue Buffalo dry recipes contain 6.72% less protein than Instinct dry recipes. This difference in protein content is a notable difference between Instinct and Blue Buffalo. For wet dog foods, Instinct typically provides a little more protein (about 2.04% more).

Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Dietary fats serves a multitude of roles in the proper development and function of our canine companions. Here are some of the benefits (not exhaustive):

  • Help produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among other critical functions.
  • Aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve skin and coat health
  • Improve the palatially of your dog's food

Instinct dry dog foods clearly provides more fat than Blue Buffalo. In fact, the difference between the fat content is roughly 8.81%, which is a significant amount. For wet dog foods, Instinct and Blue Buffalo provide roughly the same amount of fat.

According to our average data, Instinct typically provides less fiber than Blue Buffalo. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more fiber than Blue Buffalo wet foods.

Blue Buffalo Cat Food vs. Instinct Cat Food

Dry Cat FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Crude Protein37.5%43.7%
Crude Fat16.8%25.4%
Crude Fiber6.2%3.7%
Wet/Canned Cat FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Crude Protein45.8%47.1%
Crude Fat24.3%25.0%
Crude Fiber8.1%8.6%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

The table shows that Blue Buffalo provides far less protein than Instinct. The difference in protein content is roughly 6.14%. For wet cat foods, Instinct and Blue Buffalo provide roughly the same amount of protein.

Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve the health of skin/coat
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Slow the development and spread of certain type of cancers.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure

On average, Instinct dry cat food recipes contain 8.54% more fat than Blue Buffalo recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the fat content of Blue Buffalo and Instinct. For wet cat foods, Instinct and Blue Buffalo provide roughly the same amount of fat.

If you look at the average percentages of crude fiber, you'll notice that Blue Buffalo typically guarantees 2.55% more fiber. This is a fairly small difference between Blue Buffalo and Instinct, but still worth mentioning. For wet cat foods, Instinct and Blue Buffalo provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Blue Buffalo Pet Food Ingredients vs. Instinct Pet Food Ingredients

Blue Buffalo and Instinct both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Blue Buffalo.

Caramel Color
Powdered Cellulose

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Instinct.

Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Blue Buffalo.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Instinct.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Blue Buffalo & Instinct?

Blue Buffalo has been recalled 9 times.

  • Nov. 25, 2015: Salmonella
  • Nov. 6, 2015: Presence of Propylene Glycol
  • May 31, 2016: Mold
  • March 18, 2017: elevated beef throid hormone
  • Feb. 14, 2017: presence of aluminum
  • March 3, 2017: Foil Seal Packaging Problem
  • Oct. 8, 2010: toxic levels of vitamin D
  • April 19, 2007: Melamine
  • April 26, 2007: Melamine

Instinct has been recalled 2 times.

  • July 24, 2015: Salmonella
  • Feb. 15, 2013: Pieces of clear plastic in bag

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Per Pound$3.42$8.93
Per Calorie$0.0021$0.0044
Dry Cat FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Per Pound$5.07$11.49
Per Calorie$0.0031$0.0057
Wet Dog FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Per Pound$5.09$6.31
Per Calorie$0.0100$0.0107
Wet Cat FoodBlue BuffaloInstinct
Per Pound$7.50$8.87
Per Calorie$0.0153$0.0179

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Blue Buffalo or Instinct, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Blue Buffalo or Instinct will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Blue Buffalo and Instinct. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.

Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Blue Buffalo Pet Foods

You can purchase Blue Buffalo pet foods from the following stores:

266 Recipes In-Stock Today

135 Recipes In-Stock Today

258 Recipes In-Stock Today

15 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Instinct Pet Foods

You can purchase Instinct pet food products from these retailers:

79 Recipes In-Stock Today

59 Recipes In-Stock Today

65 Recipes In-Stock Today

17 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

ProductBlue BuffaloInstinct
Dry Dog Food93 Recipes37 Recipes
Wet Dog Food94 Recipes10 Recipes
Dog Treats50 TreatsNone
Dry Cat Food42 Recipes20 Recipes
Wet Cat Food59 Recipes16 Recipes
Cat Treats16 TreatsNone

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores