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Blue Buffalo vs Vital Essentials

Blue Buffalo vs. Vital Essentials

In this comparison article for Blue Buffalo vs Vital Essentials, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Blue Buffalo and Vital Essentials, 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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Vital Essentials 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. Vital Essentials Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 29.5% 50.9%
Crude Fat 15.3% 29.1%
Crude Fiber 6.8% 4.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 40.0% 53.7%
Crude Fat 26.2% 31.9%
Crude Fiber 7.4% 6.4%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

The comparison table above shows that Vital Essentials dry dog foods provide significantly more protein than Blue Buffalo. More specifically, Vital Essentials guarantees at least 21.42% more protein. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet dog foods provide significantly more protein than Blue Buffalo wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Fats are an absolutely vital component of a balanced canine diet. Not only do fats provide energy, but they also serve important roles in the normal development and function of your dog's body. For example, fats help dogs produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among many other significant functions.

Vital Essentials dry dog foods clearly provides more fat than Blue Buffalo. In fact, the difference between the fat content is roughly 13.72%, which is a significant amount. For wet dog foods, Vital Essentials provides more fat (about 5.68% more).


There is a small difference between the fiber content of Blue Buffalo and Vital Essentials. We can see that Blue Buffalo guarantees about 2.20% more fiber than Vital Essentials. For wet dog foods, Blue Buffalo and Vital Essentials provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Blue Buffalo Cat Food vs. Vital Essentials Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 37.5% 58.4%
Crude Fat 16.8% 20.7%
Crude Fiber 6.2% 4.1%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 45.6% 50.6%
Crude Fat 24.8% 18.8%
Crude Fiber 7.9% 2.5%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

On average, Vital Essentials dry cat food recipes contain 20.90% more protein than Blue Buffalo recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Blue Buffalo and Vital Essentials. For wet cat foods, Vital Essentials provides more protein (about 5.00% more).


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):

  • Fats help with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain heart problems.
  • Aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.

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


If you look at the average percentages of crude fiber, you'll notice that Blue Buffalo typically guarantees 2.15% more fiber. This is a fairly small difference between Blue Buffalo and Vital Essentials, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Blue Buffalo wet cat foods also provide more fiber than Vital Essentials wet foods.

Blue Buffalo Pet Food Ingredients vs. Vital Essentials Pet Food Ingredients

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

Garlic
Caramel
Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Powdered Cellulose
Dried Tomato Pomace

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

Product Safety: Recall History of Blue Buffalo & Vital Essentials?

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

Vital Essentials has been recalled 4 times.

  • July 8, 2015: Listeria monocytogenes
  • Jan. 15, 2016: Salmonella
  • Feb. 24, 2018: Salmonella
  • April 16, 2018: Salmonella

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Per Pound $2.63 $33.36
Per Calorie $0.0016 $0.0165
Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Per Pound $3.67 $42.28
Per Calorie $0.0022 $0.0221

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 Vital Essentials, 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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials. 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:


286 Recipes In-Stock Today

172 Recipes In-Stock Today

231 Recipes In-Stock Today

17 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Vital Essentials Pet Foods

You can purchase Vital Essentials pet food products from these retailers:


43 Recipes In-Stock Today

43 Recipes In-Stock Today

21 Recipes In-Stock Today

17 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Blue Buffalo Vital Essentials
Dry Dog Food 92 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 94 Recipes
Dog Treats 42 Treats 35 Treats
Dry Cat Food 41 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 50 Recipes
Cat Treats 16 Treats 8 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores