Dogs are like our babies. We want them to have a long, healthy life. When we are choosing dog food, ingredients are one of our biggest concerns. What are the main ingredients, and what about fillers? Does it have preservatives? Is it grain-free? There are so many variables to consider. Where is the food made? Is it expensive? Do you buy name brand or generic? For instance, 4Health and Blue Buffalo are both popular brands. But which one do you think you should buy for your dog? We compared the two brands in this article, and this is what we found.
A Sneak Peek at the Winner: 4Health
|4Health with Wholesome Grains Adult Digestion Support Salmon and Potat||
Aids in digestion
Subscription option available
Promotes healthy skin and coat
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain Free Dog Food 24lbs||
No corn, wheat, or soy
Ingredients are quality tested
Main ingredient is deboned salmon
Both 4Health and Blue Buffalo are dog foods that contain quality ingredients. But since 4Health uses high-quality ingredients, has fewer recalls, and is less expensive than Blue Buffalo, it won the comparison. The company offers kibble with and without grain and a variety of treats and wet food. The formulas are made with its primary focus on providing your dog with fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein for optimal health.
The brand is store specific and can only be purchased at The Tractor Supply Store. If you do not have a retail location close by, you can purchase the dog food online or join their subscription service.
4Health dog food is a Tractor Supply Co brand dog food. It is made with natural ingredients, and there are several formulas for puppies and adults. The brand offers 22 dry kibble formulas and a small variety of treats and wet foods. The brand also offers diets with specific formulas for your dog’s special needs.
The Tractor Supply Co does offer 4Health on a subscription service. If you like the convenience of having your dog food delivered on a regular schedule, this may be an option for you.
Where is 4Health Dog Food Made?
The dog food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, a third-party manufacturer. The company maintains five locations in the United States. The plants are in Missouri, Arkansas, California, and South Carolina.
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is a well-known dog food brand. It is available online and at many retail pet food stores. The brand has a variety of formulas, including specialized prescription diets. The food is made of high-quality, natural ingredients. It is available in grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes. Blue Buffalo is preservative-free and does not contain artificial colors or flavors. A unique feature of the food is the dark kibble called LifeSource Bits which are obtained from an array of fruits and vegetables.
Where is Blue Buffalo Made?
All Blue Buffalo pet foods and treats are made in factories in the United States. The Chomp ‘n Chew treats are co-manufactured in Ireland, however.
In 2003, the Bishop family founded the Blue Buffalo Company. Billy Bishop, Sr., along with his sons, Chris and Billy Jr., consulted with nutritionists and holistic vets to formulate a dog food that was natural and wholesome. They got the inspiration when their family pet, Blue, was diagnosed with cancer.
The Pet Cancer Awareness Campaign was formed in 2003 and is led by Blue Buffalo. The money is raised for organizations and research nationwide. Also supported by Blue Buffalo are organizations like Sierra Delta Service Dogs for Veterans.
3 Most Popular 4Health Dog Food Recipes
Here are three of the most popular 4Health recipes. You can purchase your dog’s favorite or mix it up for variety in his diet.
1. 4Health with Wholesome Grains Adult Digestion Support Salmon and Potato Dry Dog Food
Your dog is sure to love the flavor of salmon and potato. The formula is fortified with taurine for heart health and probiotics for healthy digestion. The fatty acids contained in the formula promote healthy skin and coat. The special ingredients in this formula may help dogs with food sensitivities.
It does contain peas, however. Some studies have suggested a link between peas and canine heart disease. If you like the convenience of having the food delivered to your door, you can order online or join the subscription service. Otherwise, the food can only be purchased at a Tractor Supply Store.
2. 4Health with Wholesome Grains Large Breed Adult Digestion Support Chicken Formula Dry Dog Food
If you have a large breed of dog, you may want to try this formula. The recipe includes chicken as the main ingredient along with wholesome grains for proper nutrition. It is a heart-healthy diet with quality nutrition without artificial ingredients. It supports digestive health from probiotics and includes antioxidants to support the immune system.
Again, it can only be purchased online or at a Tractor Supply Store, or you can join the subscription service.
The chicken contained in this formula may not be a good choice for dogs with food allergies.
3. 4Health Grain-Free All Life Stages Digestion Support Beef and Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
This dry kibble formula is made with beef as the main ingredient. It does not contain wheat, corn, or soy for better stool, coat, and teeth. The food is formulated to provide healthy nutrition and maintain a healthy weight. It is fortified with taurine for a healthy heart and probiotics for healthy digestion.
The 4Health brand is Tractor Supply Company exclusive and is priced lower than similar quality brands. The store also offers the option to join the 4Health subscription service.
This is a grain-free formula and does contain peas as one of the main ingredients. It is recommended that you seek the advice of your vet before putting your dog on a grain-free diet.
3 Most Popular Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recipes
Blue Buffalo dog food is a well-known brand available in most pet stores. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sellers.
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain Free Dog Food
The deboned salmon in this recipe is sure to please the inner wolf in your canine.
The Blue Buffalo Salmon Recipe is free from corn, soy, and wheat. It is a high-protein dog food with deboned salmon. It contains peas and potatoes for active dogs. The fatty acids help to maintain healthy skin and coat. The LifeSource Bits help support your canine’s immune system and provide the energy he needs for a healthy life.
All ingredients are quality tested, but the company does get some of the vitamins and minerals from foreign suppliers.
The salmon recipe may give some dogs gas and loose stool. Your dog may not like it if he is a picky eater.
The main ingredient is chicken mixed with rice, oatmeal, and barley. It is rich in fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. Keep your canine’s organs healthy with this antioxidant-packed dog food. For an extra treat, the tasty LifeSource Bits will help to keep your pouch healthy.
The formula is free from soy, wheat, and corn but it is not grain-free. The chicken formula may not be good for dogs with food allergies or picky eaters.
3. Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Healthy Growth Formula Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Puppy Dry Food
The Buffalo Blue puppy formula is sure to provide your furry baby nutrients he needs to grow. Made with chicken, brown rice, vegetables, and fruits, it is sure to please his palate. The food does not contain artificial flavors or preservatives. It is also free from wheat, soy, and corn.
The recipe does contain peas which may be a problem for some pet owners.
Recall History of 4Health
Since its introduction in 2010, Diamond Pet Foods had one recall in 2012 for possible salmonella contamination in all products manufactured in the factory based in South Carolina.
In addition, a 2019 report from The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a possible link to heart disease and grain-free diets. No recalls were issued because of the report.
Recall History of Blue Buffalo
The company has had recalls dating back to 2007. In April 2007, Blue Buffalo pulled its manufacturing from American Nutrition Inc. for putting melamine in their products. Blue Buffalo denies having any knowledge of the additive being used in the dog food.
In October 2010, there was a voluntary recall for possible contamination. An ingredient supplier made an error in processing that may have caused cross-contamination of vitamin D.
In November 2015, there was possible salmonella contamination on a single lot of chew bones. In that same month, cat treats containing propylene glycol were pulled from shelves.
In May of 2016, there was a recall of sweet potato-flavored dog food because of the possibility of mold.
In February 2017, cans of Homestyle Recipe were recalled for possibly containing aluminum contamination. There was also a problem with the packaging of wet dog food cups, and they were recalled.
In March 2017, Blue Wilderness canned dog food was recalled for elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.
On a positive note, since the acquisition of Blue Buffalo by General Mills, the recalls have not been an issue.
4Health vs Blue Buffalo Comparison
Now that we have gone into detail about the two companies, let’s look at the food.
Both 4Health and Blue Buffalo use similar products in their formulas. Both formulas contain meats, like chicken, beef, and turkey as their first ingredient. Other ingredients like potatoes, peas, and rice are combined to make tasty, healthy food for dogs.
Blue Buffalo has the edge on this one because they carry a larger variety of flavors and formulas to choose from.
Both 4Health and Blue Buffalo use natural, high-quality ingredients.
4Health gets the blue ribbon on this one. They tend to provide dogs with a higher amount of protein in their diet.
Like most store brands, 4Health is more budget-friendly than Blue Buffalo. The cost of 4Health dog food is surprisingly competitive with other store brands. That is quite an accomplishment when you consider the quality of the food.
Furthermore, they offer a discount if you join the subscription service.
If you are interested in variety for your canine, Blue Buffalo would be the winner. They offer a variety of kibble, wet foods, and treats. There’s sure to be something appealing to your dog’s palate.
However, if you have issues with certain ingredients or formulas, the selection for your dog may have limitations.
Nutrition and price are on the top of the list when choosing a dog food, and 4Health has succeeded in both categories. And furthermore, the recall history speaks volumes about the strict standards they use in processing your dog’s food.
Both 4Health and Blue Buffalo are high-quality dog foods. There are pros and cons to both. Ultimately, we provide you with key details so you can make informed choices for your furry friend.
If you do not have a Tractor Supply Store nearby and you are not an online shopper, you may want to spend a little more and go with the Blue Buffalo instead. It may not be our winner, but it is a quality dog food, nonetheless.
Keep in mind, the Blue Buffalo recall issues seem to have been eliminated since being taken over by General Mills. Hopefully, this pattern will continue, and recalls will no longer be a concern.
Now, go feed your dog. They are giving you the “I am hungry!” look!
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