Fromm Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo: Pros and Cons of Each Brand

Feeding your dog the right food is essential to his happiness and overall well-being. However, this simple exercise can become confusing and overwhelming when you have to choose between two top dog food brands such as Fromm and Blue Buffalo.

Both Fromm and Blue Buffalo are well-established and quality dog food brands. However, Fromm offers fewer nutrients and food options than Blue Buffalo. Unlike Fromm, Blue Buffalo does not use any by-products as ingredients. The major downside to it, however, is its high number of recalls.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both brands, comparing their nutrient content, ingredients, recall history, price, and value, and their advantages and shortcomings.

Fromm Dog Food: An Overview

Believe us when we tell you that Fromm has been in the dog food business for more than 100 years. The company was founded in 1904 and has been producing pet food ever since. Fromm is family-owned and currently operated by the fifth generation. Being one of the oldest pet manufacturers, Fromm has played a massive role in dog food development.

Fromm Family Foods manufactures its plants in Wisconsin, USA, and has complete control over its ingredients and flavors. The company uses the best ingredients to ensure that your pet is provided with the right nutrient and the right proportion. The goal of Fromm is to produce the best premium pet food.

Having established itself as one of the best pet food brands due to its reliability and consistency, Fromm offers a large selection of recipes to cater to different dog lifestyles, breed sizes, and health needs. Fromm products do not contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

The three lines of dog food that Fromm offers are Fromm Gold Nutritionals, Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals, and Fromm Family Classic. They also offer a collection of paté recipes, and their ingredients are sourced from approved-trusted suppliers with none coming from China. They are made from high quality, human-grade meats and are AAFCO certified.

Pros of Fromm Dog Food

  • Production tradition is ingrained in the family
  • Extensively test their food to meet every possible standard
  • Available to different stages of a dog’s growth

Cons of Fromm Dog Food

  • Lesser nutrition density
  • Contains more controversial ingredients
  • Once had the issue of recall
  • Less dog food options than Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo: An Overview

In comparison to Fromm Dog Food, Blue Buffalo is a relatively new brand. Just like Fromm Family Foods, the foundation of Blue Buffalo is built on family values. It was founded in 2002 by Bill and Jackie Bishop. The story of Blue Buffalo started when the family’s dog, Blue, got sick with cancer and had other health complications.

The Bishop family soon discovered that most of the dog foods available at that time lacked the nutrients needed to support their dog’s health. In conjunction with holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists, they create dog food with real meat and natural ingredients that appeal to each type of dog and cater to their needs.

Fast forward to today, Blue Buffalo is one of the top dog food brands in the world. It has several dog food lines formulated with different ingredients and flavors for all dog ages, sizes, and activity levels. You can find Blue Buffalo products in top grocery and departmental store chains.

Pros of Blue Buffalo

  • Highest selling dog food brand in the United States
  • Dog health-specific product line
  • Less expensive
  • Contains more nutrient
  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • No by-products or fillers are used
  • Has more dog food options

Cons of Blue Buffalo

  • Recalled several times
  • Contains some controversial ingredients

Fromm vs. Blue Buffalo: Guaranteed Analysis of Nutrients

Every dog food brand is required by AAFCO to provide a guaranteed analysis of the nutrient content on its product labels. The guaranteed analysis provides information on the four main nutrients in the product: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture.

Each product must specify guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat and the maximum percentages of moisture and crude fiber. Although it is required by law, it serves as a guide to help you understand what you’re giving to your dog. It allows you to make a meaningful comparison between the nutrient level in different pet food brands.

The term “crude” refers to how the nutrient content is measured and does not relate to the nutrient’s quality itself. Any other nutrient added to the product during manufacture must be included in the guaranteed analysis. This helps to provide more information and serve as a mark of quality.

In this comparison between Fromm Dog Food and Blue Buffalo, each brand’s nutrient levels are evaluated on a dry matter basis, in other words, in the absence of the moisture content. Below is the table comparing the crude protein, fat, and fiber in each brand’s dry dog food.

Dry Dog Food

Fromm

Blue Buffalo

Crude Protein

28.7%

30.6%

Crude Fat

16.6%

15.6%

Crude Fiber

6.7%

6.7%

Below is the table comparing the crude protein, fat, and fiber in each brand’s wet dog food.

Wet/Canned Dog Food

Fromm

Blue Buffalo

Crude Protein

40.7%

41.3%

Crude Fat

21.3%

26.0%

Crude Fiber

6.5%

7.1%

 

Crude Protein Comparison

To sustain life and maintain bodily functions, dogs require 22 different amino acids. Although all these 22 amino acids are necessary for their health, only ten are classified as essential, and the remaining 12 are synthesized naturally within your dog’s body.

Without these 10 amino acids, the canine body cannot grow and function properly. Since the body can’t produce them, they must come from food, and protein is the main nutrient that provides some or all.

In the dry dog food table above, both Fromm and Blue Buffalo meet the dogs’ nutritional levels. They guarantee similar percentages of crude protein. Also, in the wet food/canned dog food table, the amount of crude protein in both is very similar.

Crude Fat Comparison

Just like protein, fats are also a very important part of a dog’s diet. They are needed for proper development and protection of organs, and necessary to keep your furry friend active and healthy. Fats should be provided in the right proportion as too little or too much can cause health problems in dogs.

A look at the dry dog food table, and you’ll notice that both brands guarantee almost the same amount of crude fat. As for wet or canned dog food, Blue Buffalo guarantees about 4.7% more fat than Fromm.

Crude Fiber Comparison

Fiber is very important in your dog’s diet. It reduces the risk of canine colon cancer, prevents constipation and diarrhea, and supports weight loss. The average crude fiber content in most dog foods is between 2.5% to 4.5%. Nutrient digestibility is maximized at these levels.

There isn’t much difference between the crude fiber content in Fromm and Blue Buffalo. These levels are acceptable in most dog food requirements. The difference in the crude fiber content of the wet food of both brands is also relatively insignificant.

Fromm vs. Blue Buffalo: Ingredients Comparison

It is important to note that the guaranteed analysis does not provide information on the type of ingredients used in dog food production. Both brands advertise that they use only the best ingredients in their products, so we’ll take a closer look at these ingredients and see the important and controversial ones.

Chicken

In any dog food, the most important nutrient is protein, and you need to know the source of that protein. Chicken meat is one of the most common sources of protein in dog foods. However, chicken meat or any meat cannot provide your dog with all the nutrients it needs.

Fromm prepares chicken as meat, broth, and meal to provide your dogs with all the protein it can get from the chicken meat and its other parts.

Blue Buffalo also uses chicken as one of its main sources of protein for dogs. However, its dog food excludes all chicken by-products. It only has chicken meat as its base protein for puppies and adults.

Beef

Beef is another common source of protein for dogs. It contains a high amount of protein and is rich in the B vitamins and supplies healthy fat to your dog. It is also rich in iron, a very important mineral in blood oxygenation.

With Fromm, dog food containing beef is usually accompanied by secondary sources of protein to provide more amino acids and other nutrients.

Blue Buffalo does not include beef as an ingredient in its products. Instead, they use lamb meat for puppies, adults, and seniors.

Pork

Pork is not a primary protein source in Fromm dog food. It usually accompanies chicken, beef, or even turkey in providing certain nutrients and other amino acids to your dog.

The use of pork as an accompanying protein supplier doesn’t make it useless in dog food. It contains a high level of fat needed by dogs, both young and old, to keep their metabolism going.

Pork is available in Fromm products as pork meal. This means the pork is cooked, dehydrated, baked, and grounded into a powder to provide all of its nutrients in readily available forms. You won’t find any of Blue Buffalo’s dog foods containing pork meat or its by-products.

Brown Rice

Digesting protein isn’t an easy task for the body, even for humans. This is why a fiber-rich ingredient needs to be present in any combination that makes up dog food. One of the richest sources of fiber is brown rice. Apart from its role in aiding digestion, it has other benefits.

Brown rice is a rich source of complex carbohydrates. It also provides your dog with vitamins B and D, essential for their heart. It is also packed with minerals such as iron and calcium.

Fromm consistently uses this nutrient-dense ingredient in its products. Blue Buffalo also uses brown rice as its major carbohydrate source in its dog food production. It is used for dog food for all ages.

Barley

Pearled barley is semi-processed barley. Its outer shell has been removed. Usually, you would be concerned about the nutrients that have been lost in removing the outer shell, but with Fromm dog food, you shouldn’t be. They add brown rice to any dog food that pearled barley is part of. This makes up for the lost nutrients in the pearled barley.

Barley is a great source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for your dog. It also has a small portion of protein.

Fromm uses barley, pearled, and sometimes, whole as one of its ingredients in its products. In contrast, Blue Buffalo uses whole barley as a soluble fiber, carbohydrates, and B-vitamins source.

Dried Whole Egg

Eggs are a rich source of carotenoid, a compound essential for your pet’s eyes. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals essential for the overall well-being of your dog. One of such vitamins, vitamin D, promotes the strength of your dog’s bone. Vitamin E protects the cells and boosts immunity. It is also rich in iron, a mineral essential in the formation of blood cells.

The most important provision of dried whole eggs is amino acids. It provides all the essential amino acids and contains other nutrients like sulphur, which promote brain power and healthy skin.

Blue Buffalo strictly uses no chicken or poultry by-product in its dog food. So, you won’t find eggs in its ingredient list.

However, Fromm uses eggs as part of its ingredients in some of its products, especially food for adult and senior dogs.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C. They are dense in carotenoids, which are essential for the health of your dog’s eyes. They also contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. These minerals are important in blood cell formation, oxygen transportation, protein transportation, etc. Despite its nutrient-dense nature, it contains low fat and high fiber.

Both brands use this ingredient. Fromm uses it whole, while Blue Buffalo uses it whole and also extracts its starch.

Other Ingredients

Fromm and Blue Buffalo use ingredients like flaxseed, lentils, peas, and pea fiber as supplementary protein sources and fiber for easy digestion and bowel movement. Lettuce, chicory root extract, carrots, and alfalfa meal are used as supplementary plant-based nutrient suppliers.

Other ingredients used by Blue Buffalo include blueberries, dried parsley, oil of rosemary, cranberries, garlic, and many more.

Both Fromm and Blue Buffalo use tomato pomace.

Controversial Ingredients

When ingredients are deemed controversial, it does not mean that they are necessarily bad. However, some can cause more harm to certain dog breeds than others. Here are some of the questionable ingredients that these two brands contain.

Grains

Why would grains be controversial? Well, every grain, whether it’s rice, wheat, oats, or corn, contains gluten. Gluten is not a natural food for dogs. It sometimes causes allergic reactions to some dogs that consume them.

Fromm uses grains, so does Blue Buffalo. Although both brands use grains, Blue Buffalo has dog food options that are grain-free in its Carnivora dog food selection. Fromm also has its grain-free options in its Heartland dog food selections.

Tomato Pomace

Tomato Pomace is a by-product of tomato juice processing. It is an excellent source of Lycopene, an antioxidant. It is also a good fiber gotten after the processing of tomatoes. Why, then, is it a source of concern since tomato is a desirable vegetable?

The skin of a tomato is the major organ left after the juice has been extracted during processing. This skin could be carrying remnants of pesticides, detrimental to its consumer.

Also, tomato pomace’s nutritional quality is debatable since it depends largely on the fruits they are obtained from.

Pea Protein

Fromm and Blue Buffalo constantly use peas in their dog food production. Pea is an excellent source of protein, considering it’s a vegetable. It also has high levels of carbohydrates and fiber.

The use of peas in grain-free pet food has increased since concerns about gluten for pets arose. Despite its excellent protein make-up, it does not contain all the essential amino acids. It is also not a suitable substitute for meat protein.

So, you’ll have to be very watchful to make sure your dog food contains a good meat protein, and pea mainly as a source of fiber and carbohydrates.

Fromm and Blue Buffalo have excellent meat protein combined with pea. They don’t rely on peas to provide protein for your dog.

Flaxseed

A great source of omega-3 fatty acid, flaxseed, is used by Fromm and Blue Buffalo in some of their products. It is also a good source of soluble fiber. Flaxseed contains about 19% protein, so you must consider this when judging the product’s meat content in question.

However, there are speculations that the consumption of flaxseed in high amounts causes reproductive issues for female dogs.

Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa is used in its dry form in pet foods and contains between 14 and 22 percent protein. It also contains calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin K, and various B vitamins. However, as a plant-derived protein source, it does not contain all the amino acids your dog needs.

Alfalfa contains saponin, which can cause nausea or gastritis in some dogs. Saponins may also interfere with the absorption of important nutrients. It may also trigger an allergic response from dogs with pollen allergies.

Both Fromm and Blue Buffalo use alfalfa meal in their dog foods.

Recall History of Both Brands

Dog food is recalled if it fails to meet the nutritional and/or health safety requirement. It involves extensive scientific investigation and prompt action once the investigation is completed. What you should consider as a dog owner is the frequency of recalls. A brand with too many recalls is probably a bad sign.

Fromm has been recalled just once. The company had all of its chicken pate (Code #11893), chicken & duck (Code #11895), and salmon & chicken pate (Code #11891) recalled on March 18, 2016. All of its entire 12 oz. canned dog food distributed between December 2015 and February 2016 were returned. The recall was due to inadequate levels of vitamin D.

In total, Blue Buffalo has been recalled 9 times. It had its first recall in April 2007. This recall was due to the presence of melanin in rice protein concentrate. The concentrate was produced for Blue Buffalo by American Nutrition Inc.

Blue Buffalo had some products recalled due to a sequencing error made by an ingredient supplier in October 2010. This recall was done voluntarily, and the error involved the possibility of contaminating the products with vitamin D.

In 2015, Blue Buffalo had some chew bones recalled because of potential salmonella contamination. In May 2016, Blue Buffalo had another recall for some of its sweet potato-flavored dog food due to possible mold growth arising from moisture problems. In March 2017, Blue Buffalo faced the issue of excessive beef thyroid hormone levels in their Blue Wilderness canned dog food.

Some cans of Homestyle Recipe dog food were recalled in February 2017 due to possible aluminum contamination. In that month of the same year, wet dog food cups were recalled due to packaging problems.

Fromm has way fewer recalls than Blue Buffalo. However, both dog food-producing powerhouses have pending issues with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for being two of the 16 pet food brands that are possibly causing heart disease in dogs and cats. This investigation has been on since 2019.

Fromm vs. Blue Buffalo: Product and Price Comparison

Price comparison between any two brands can be tricky. This is because prices can vary from retailer to retailer. Also, both brands offer multiple dog food bag sizes. To make things easier, we’ll closely examine each brand and compare some of their most popular products and their prices.

Product Comparison

Fromm has three product lines: Fromm Family Classics, Fromm Gold, and Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals.

  • The Family Classics – This line consists of dry dog food recipes, made with grains, and are specific to different stages of life.
  • The Fromm Gold – This line’s recipes are also specific to dog ages and contain a more varied protein source. Some are grain-free, some are not.
  • The Four-Star Nutritionals – This line is all-encompassing. They can be eaten by dogs of all ages and have both grain and grain-free recipes.

On the other hand, Blue Buffalo has five dog food lines, a point over Fromm, that cater to different stages of your dog’s life.

  • Blue Life Protection Formula -This line’s dry dog food recipe with real meat as its base protein and no artificial additives or preservatives. Its meat-source protein is accompanied by fruits and vegetables to supply needed vitamins and minerals.
  • Blue Freedom – This line is an option for your puppy that is grain sensitive. Meats, fruits, and vegetables are most of the ingredients used in this line.
  • Blue Basics – This line caters to the need of pups that are reactive to the most common dog food ingredients.
  • Blue Wilderness – This is a protein-dense line of dog food inspired by wolves. The idea behind this is that dogs originate from the wild, so Blue Buffalo thought it necessary to formulate a food that meets your very active dogs’ needs without infusing them with questionable ingredients.
  • Natural Veterinary Diet – This line caters to your dogs that have specific dietary needs concerning their health. It focuses on dogs with gastrointestinal issues, food Intolerance, in need of weight management, and those with kidney problems.

Price Comparison

To determine which of these two dog food manufacturers is more expensive, we’ll consider the average prices per lb of both brands’ wet and dry foods.

Dry Dog Food Price Comparison

Dry Dog Food

Fromm

Blue Buffalo

Per Pound

$2.35

$2.75

Per Calorie

$0.0014

$0.0017

Wet Dog Food Price Comparison

Wet Dog Food

Fromm

Blue Buffalo

Per Pound

$4.10

$4.29

Per Calorie

$0.0100

$0.0086

A simple look at the tables, and you’ll notice that Fromm Dog Food products are less expensive than Blue Buffalo products. However, Blue Buffalo uses more nutrients, and there are several dog food options available.

Conclusion

Fromm and Blue Buffalo are big names in the dog food production sphere. Your decision will depend on your dog’s needs as both brands have their advantages and disadvantages.

Fromm and Blue Buffalo use animal protein as their main ingredients. However, Blue Buffalo has superior nutrition content compared to Fromm. But if you’re in search of dog food that has diversity in its protein-source, consider Fromm. However, it contains more grain than Blue Buffalo dog food, meaning it will contain more gluten and carb.

The number of recalls Blue Buffalo has will make you reconsider its quality since Fromm has had just one. However, the success of Blue Buffalo in the United States will make you reconsider.

Finally, Blue Buffalo has a wider range of product lines to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements, regardless of age, health needs, size, and activity levels.

Sources

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