Written On: November 14th, 2019
The great debate between Blue Buffalo vs Orijen. One is an established brand and the other a rising star in the dog food space.
As dog parents, we all want our fur-babies to have the best of everything. And, why not? We want them to be around for all the long nature walks and all the cuddles for as long as possible.
It is now widely accepted fact that pets require high-quality nutrition rather than that old cheap dog food that your mom used to buy.
But, with all the fancy brands on the shelf today, with fantastic packaging, sporting words like organic, farm-fresh, locally sourced, ancient grains, how is one to choose the best product?
Also, once you finish with this article see our comparison of Blue Buffalo vs Merrick.
For this article, I’ve chosen two of today’s leading brands: Blue Buffalo vs Orijen. We will explore both products in-depth and discuss the pros and cons of each.
What’s The Difference: Blue Buffalo Vs Orijen
A Brief History of Each: Through Eyes of the Company and the Consumer
According to Blue Buffalo’s website, the brand was started by two brothers and their father. It’s a family company. They say that it’s because of family that they started the brand in the first place.
The video, on their history page, goes into the story of how the family dog, “Blue,” contracted cancer.
While battling this canine cancer, they discovered that diet has a lot to do with why dogs get cancer in the first place, so they set out to save families everywhere the pain they suffered by helping them find the best nutrition for their dogs.
According to many online retailers, the reviews for Blue Buffalo’s products are overwhelmingly positive. With 80-90 percent of all reviewers rating it at five stars.
The product is also considered above average for the larger-than-normal amount of named meats contained in the product.
Orijen’s website offers no corporate testimonial. Their website says that their purpose for creating this product is to get back to basics, or the origin.
Dogs evolved eating mostly prey animals, and that’s what Orijen strives to put into their products.
While they do not have any corporate testimonials, their website is full of customer stories that bring a smile to your face and make the product appear incredibly trustworthy.
Similarly, to Blue Buffalo, Orijen boasts outstanding reviews on major retailer websites. This poses a problem for the discerning consumer who is looking for the absolute best product for their dog.
So, Which Brand is Healthier?
Blue Buffalo has a high of named meats in its products and very low carbs. They use a lot of deboned chicken that is then cooked and dehydrated, which reduces the actual meat-content.
This is supplemented with chicken meal, which is like a meat concentrate and contains about 300 percent more protein than average meat products.
Their products also contain quite a bit of pea protein, which is low in fat, and while it does contain some carbohydrates, these are thought to be a healthy level of carbs.
Along with tomato pomace — a controversial by-product of food manufacturing, dried egg, chicory, and several other sprouted grains. Blue Buffalo appears to be above-average dog food.
Orijen boasts chicken, turkey, and flounder in its dry dog food. These meats have been dehydrated and thus have not been exposed to heat during the processing phase, which allows them to retain a much higher value of heat-sensitive nutrients.
Unlike Blue Buffalo, Orijen also incorporates ingredients like chicken heart, turkey heart, chicken liver, and turkey liver into their food. These organ meats are packed with protein and flavor for your pets.
The mixture of lentils used accounts for about 25 percent of the total protein content and is packed with more healthy nutrients.
Orijen products contain zero grains which are full of unnecessary carbs and are not part of a dog’s intended diet.
The main difference between the ingredients in these products is that Orijen does not use things like tomato pomace, which is essentially a filler product.
Which One Has the Best Options?
Between the two brands Blue Buffalo and Orijen, our local shelves are packed with dry food, canned food, and various treats that all seem fabulous. The question of, who has the “best” options is hard to answer.
According to the ingredients listed in each product, Orijen appears to be slightly more nutritional. Perhaps a better question is, who has the “most” options.
With 6 lines of dry food all in various flavors, 5 types of wet food in various flavors, and 6 different lines of dog treats, Blue Buffalo sports the widest array of products.
All with different levels of nutrition implied in names like Wilderness and Life Protection. Again, I would draw your attention to the presence of processed, plant-based fillers.
Orijen sports far fewer varieties. With two different puppy formulas, one blend of for seniors, and 5 flavor options for adults, their food assortment is much more limited.
They also carry three different flavors of freeze-dried dog food, and they carry only 9 different flavors of their freeze-dried treats. While their assortment is much smaller, the quality of each may be greater than those of the giant assortment of Blue Buffalo.
Which Brand Tastes Better?
After comparing the ingredients and the manufacturing methods of each brand’s products and having my own dog test them, I feel safe in saying the Orijen wins the in the battle of taste.
Blue Buffalo uses an unspecified “pea protein” in their food blends as opposed to the complex recipe of legumes used by Orijen.
Orijen also incorporates organ meats like heart and liver into their recipes. The use of dehydrated meat in the Orijen recipes that is uncooked helps maintain the original flavor of the meat and retains the nutrients that may otherwise be cooked out.
Orijen’s freeze-dried treats and food which effectively enhances the flavor. By adding a bit of water to the freeze-dried pellets, the flavor comes back to life.
A Review of The Facts
While both Blue Buffalo and Orijen are both quality products that are considered above average in nutrition and pedigree of their recipes, Orijen seems to have the edge on Blue Buffalo.
Orijen uses organ meats in their food while Blue Buffalo does not. Orijen is 100 percent grain-free while Blue Buffalo does along other questionable fillers.
Orijen’s dehydrated products are packed with flavor that can simply be rehydrates for added flavor. And, while Orijen has a smaller selection of food, their commitment to excellence shows me that they’re committed to our pets.