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Bison Vs Buffalo- Which is Correct?

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

What did the Mama Buffalo say when her youngest went off to college? - "Bison"

Gone are the days of using the names Buffalo and Bison interchangeably, and we are adapting to these changing times by transitioning our product labels and website to contain accurate terminology. Don’t worry…we are not making any ingredient changes to our products—this is purely an administrative change. Your pets can continue to enjoy the same products they have grown to love, they will just be more accurately named. We trust your pets won’t know the difference, but we know our astute customers will be savvy enough to notice the difference on our labels.

In January of 2020, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) voted that all uses of the term “buffalo” must be further qualified so that the consumer is always aware of what is being purchased. To comply with the new AAFCO standards, we are required to declare meat ingredients derived from bison as either “North American buffalo” or “bison.”

What Is The Difference Between Buffalo and Bison?

Although both animals are in the Bovidae family, they are two distinct animals.

Bison, aka North American Buffalo, have large humps on their shoulders, bigger heads than “True” Buffalo—African or Asian Buffalo (Cape Buffalo or Water Buffalo, respectively), and thick coats they shed in the spring and early summer. Bison are found in North America and Europe. You can also distinguish the two animals by looking at their horns. African or Asian Buffalo horns resemble a handlebar mustache.

Buffalo and bison had been used interchangeably in North America for centuries. Historians believe that early European explorers are to blame for the mix-up, though the details are a bit murky.

What Animal Does Red Dog Blue Kat Use?

We use Bison, or North American Buffalo, for our meal line products and bone products. Our bison are raised in Canada in a clean and natural environment without the use of any chemicals, hormones, or steroids. Bison is a great choice of protein for pets as it provides a leaner option than beef and is especially great for pets with food sensitivities.

What Changes Will Be Made and When?

Again, we will not be making any changes to our ingredients, just the names of those ingredients on our products will change. Instead of using the term “buffalo” in our list of ingredients, we will further qualify the animal by using either the term “North American Buffalo” or “Bison.”

We will start making the adjustments in November of 2020 and you will see a gradual rollover to the new terminology on our website and ingredient lists.

What Products Are Affected?

Any products containing bison—including meat, bones and organs—will have the ingredient name changed. To not disrupt ordering, we are keeping the product names the same on our Price Lists and Order Form, just indicating the correct terminology on the list of ingredients.


We hope this provides the necessary background information to explain why we are making this change. Ultimately, we want to avoid consumer confusion, and as always, we make it our goal to continuously improve and provide accurate declarations to our customers.


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