Orijen is so far ahead in the premium dog food industry that their main competition is their sister company ACANA. If you’re looking for the best dog food, Orijen is it. Period.
Note: Some varieties of Orijen can be found on Amazon, but for the most part Orijen only sells in specialty pet supply stores.
Last Updated: November 28, 2023 by Lisa Melillo
About Orijen Dog Food
Orijen, which takes its name from the word “Origen,” is formulated to be more in line with the natural diet that pets have evolved over millennia to consume. To this end, the company promises to make use of only the freshest, premium ingredients that are biologically the best fit for our animals’ wellbeing. Orijen and ACANA are both sister companies owned by parent company Champion Pet Food. Orijen is a top recommendation for Schnauzer dog food.
Orijen Dog Food Review
Quality of Ingredients
Similar to ACANA, Orijen really prides itself on the quality of the ingredients used in their food, and their website proudly displays the long list of awards that they have received over the years, testifying to their commitment to their customers.
According to their website, all of their products feature “unmatched inclusions of fresh free-run poultry, whole nest-laid eggs, whole wild-caught fish and ranch-raised meats – farmed or fished in our region by people we know and trust, and delivered to our kitchens daily so they’re brimming with goodness.” The two companies have some of the highest quality ingredients in the entire dog food industry and are truly setting the stage for industry quality. This strong commitment to being the best is the main reason ACANA and Orijen are ranked first and second on our list of best dog food.
Full Ingredients and Analysis
To get a better analysis of what’s inside Orijen Dog Food, we sampled the Orijen Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Analyzing the first 10 ingredients in a dog food is a great way to understand the overall nutrient content of the dog food because AAFCO requires all dog food ingredients to be listed in order of predominance by their weight. Here’s a closer look at what’s inside.
Full Ingredients List:
Deboned Beef, Deboned Pork, Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Beef Meal, Pork Meal, Whole Green Peas, Red Lentils, Pinto Beans, Beef Liver, Beef Fat, Catfish Meal, Chickpeas, Green Lentils, Whole Yellow Peas, Deboned Bison, Whole Catfish, Herring Oil, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Natural Pork Flavor, Beef Tripe, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Pork Liver, Beef Kidney, Pork Kidney, Pork Cartilage, Dried Kelp, Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Kale, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Carrots, Red Delicious Apples, Bartlett Pears, Freeze-Dried Beef Liver, Freeze-Dried Lamb Liver, Freeze-Dried Pork Liver, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
The Estimated Nutrient Content in this Orijen dog food was found to have a healthy nutrient breakdown. When analyzing the top 10 ingredients of the Orijen Red, there’s really no question when it comes to quality due to all of the meats and vegetables found throughout it. Chickpeas also provide excellent nutrients for your dog including proteins, lecithin, potassium, magnesium, copper, folate, and a wide variety of vitamins.
The ingredients towards the end may raise your eyebrow due to their long names alone, but rest assured these are great to have in dog foods. Mixed tocopherols may sound like a nasty chemical, but it’s actually a naturally occurring organic chemical compound and a type of Vitamin E. Tocopherol can be derived from various nuts and vegetable oils and these serve as a natural preservative for dog foods. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also a probiotic added to help promote a healthy stomach and digestion in your dog.
Orijen Dog Food Pricing
This dog food is also recommended for all breeds and the estimated cost is $3.84 per lb. This price is a bit higher than most dog foods, but that’s simply because it’s the best.
We don’t mind doling out a little bit more for our Shepherd/Blue Heeler’s food.
Dry Orijen Dog Food Product Line
Orijen makes a wide variety of foods, including dry foods, treats, and even freeze-dried products. For the sake of this article, however, we will only examine the dry foods, although the freeze-dried products are definitely worth checking out. The company also has dedicated puppy, large breed puppy, and senior formulas, but we are going to just focus on the adult lines for this article.
As the name suggests, this is the original formula that helped carve out a name for the Orijen company on the pet food market. The food is marketed for all life stages, and the company tells us that it is appropriate for all dogs, “from Dachshunds to Great Danes.” The original formula is also made up of 85% chicken, fish, and egg ingredients, 15% fruits and veggies, and no corn wheat or soy. They also promise that there is only one synthetic supplement, zinc and that the rest of your pet’s nutritional needs come from their carefully selected blend of ingredients, making this one of the most natural food options on the market today.
The Six Fish formula promises that every bag is made up of 85% wild caught fish, and use a unique blend of mackerel, herring, monkfish, flounder, silver hake and red fish to create a nutritionally balanced diet that doesn’t make use of any poultry or red meat. Much like the Original blend, Six Fish also limits the outside supplements added into the mix, fortifying the food with only zinc and copper to ensure your dog has a natural, healthy meal in every bowl. Raw fish is a great source of protein for dogs. All though it should be prepared according to guidelines.
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Orijen makes very interesting use of different meats to deliver a high protein punch to your pup’s plate. Making use of Angus beef, wild boar, Boer goat, Romney lamb and wild caught mackerel, this is a great choice even for the pickiest of eaters. The company website also promises that their “dried meats are specially prepared at 200°F from fresh meats to create a concentrated source of richly nourishing protein that cannot be supplied by fresh meats alone,” and that zinc is the only added supplement to help create a well rounded meal to meet all your dog’s needs.
Formulated with wild boar, fresh goat, venison, arctic char, free run duck and mutton, this formula, like all Orijen blends is 85% meat to 15% fruits and vegetables and makes use of 2/3 fresh or raw product to 1/3 dried. Zinc is also the only added ingredient in the Tundra formula, rounding out a nutritionally complete meal with each feeding.
Fit and Trim
The newest entrant into the Orijen line, Fit and Trim is made to be the weight loss formula for the company. This product makes use of chicken, turkey, flounder, whole eggs, herring, and cod to provide a “diet rich in protein to support lean muscle mass, with limited carbohydrates and calories for peak conditioning.” Zinc and copper are also the only added supplements, and interestingly there is a whopping 42% protein in every serving of Fit and Trim, which makes this an optimal choice for those looking to provide their pets with a little extra bulk.
Orijen Dog Food Pros
- Highest quality ingredients in the dog food industry
- Commitment to be the best
- High-quality nutrients for all dog ages and sizes
Orijen Dog Food Cons
- Not really a con, but top quality always comes with a price.
Orijen Dog Food Recall History
To this date, Orijen had just one recall. The recall was related to their cat food line in November 2008 and was limited only to Australia. According to Australian law, all imported food has to undergo an irradiation treatment which is used to improve overall food safety preventing or eliminating sprouting or ripening thus extending product shelf life. The company claimed the irradiation was never done outside of Australia. As a direct result of that recall, the Orijen decided to stop selling all Orijen pet food products in Australia.
Orijen Dog Food Company History
Orijen started its life back in 1985 when Reinhard Muhlenfeld decided that he wanted to bring a better-quality food to the market. From a small start in Muhlenfeld’s kitchen, Orijen has grown into a major brand that is currently sold in 70 countries around the world.
Today, Orijen dog food is manufactured in the United States and Canada, with different formulas being made in different areas. The majority of their products, however, seem to be produced by their plants in Kentucky, with most of their ingredients coming from locally sourced farmers and growers.
Where to Buy Orijen Dog Food
The Orijen website provides a handy list to help potential customers know where they can purchase the product. Most specialty stops will also carry it, however, surprisingly, it is not available on one of the largest pet food retailers on the web, Chewy. Some varieties of Orijen can be found on Amazon, however, the company does not directly stock with Amazon. Other online retailers, however, do carry the brand, and the Orijen company website also has a long list of places that can deliver the food directly to your door.