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Orijen Dog Food Review

Orijen dog food review
  • Protein/Carb Ratio - 10/10
    10/10
  • Quality of Ingredients - 10/10
    10/10
  • Variety - 10/10
    10/10
10/10

Summary

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.

 
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We analyzed 1386 dog food formulas and reviewed 119 dog food brands to understand their company values, product selection, and quality of ingredients. We did this by creating an algorithm to rate each dog food based on the nutrient content and top 10 ingredients. All dog food brands were ultimately graded based on Protein/Carb Ratio, Quality of Ingredients, and Variety.

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, highest quality 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. 

Quality of Ingredients

OrijenSimilar 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 Orijen Regional Red Grain-Free.

Full Ingredients:

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.

  • 43.2%

    Protein

  • 20.5%

    Fat

  • 31.8%

    Carbs

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 Regional 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.

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.

Our dog Sasha with Orijen dog food
We regularly feed our 3 year old pup Sasha (Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog mix) the Orijen Regional Red and/or Acana Appalachian Ranch. She loves both!

Dry Orijen Dog Food Product Line

Types of Orijen dog food

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.

Original

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 pets nutritional needs come from their carefully selected blend of ingredients, making this one of the most natural food options on the market today.

Six Fish

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 as a natural, healthy meal in every bowl.

Regional Red

Regional Red makes use of a 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.

Close up of kibble
Here’s a close-up of what the kibble looks like.

Tundra

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.

About Orijen

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 on store shelf

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.

9 thoughts on “Orijen Dog Food Review

  1. Had a question since the Tundra one is the only one they sell in the US that’s still made in Canada can i feed it to my 5month old husky

  2. I’m looking to change from Orijen since both my dogs have had severe health issues, $800 in vet bills just this year so far. My lab has been fed Orijen for over 5 years and my GSD for a year. Both have been so sick. I have seen there is a class action lawsuit against Orijen / Champion. Do you have any preference on Fromm or Zingature? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Stephanie! Sorry to hear that about your two pups. All dogs are different, some will really thrive on a a premium kibble like Orijen/ACANA while others may not. I used to give Sasha ACANA until she started showing allergy symptoms. I thought it was something wrong with the brand before I realized she simply no longer does well with red meats.

      But oddly enough, Zignature and Fromm are the two brands I give her now, so I strongly recommend both. She does great on Zignature Zssential and Fromm’s Four Star recipes.

    2. You do have big breed dogs always pair grain tp your diet 2-3 times a week. Boil brown rice at home and add or we have great things like freshpet and human grade just food 4 dogs at petco. Im a petco partner anvalways encourage a no grain diet with origen and Acana and pair it with grain SOMETIMES. Thats my suggestion to you without changing to a company like zignature that uses lots pf fillers unlike origen and acana diets as well as hpw the kibble it made.

  3. I have fed Orijen to two border collies after Precise fell apart. Both dogs have sought out and ingested natural mineral and vegetables. But otherwise I have been happy with the food.

  4. I bought my first bag on Orijen a week ago and I immediately saw a difference in my dogs. I give them less of this food than their other food and they no longer look for more food when they have finished their meal. They no longer look for bones during the day as they did before. Most important, I have been concerned with how much water my Lab was drinking and how much she peed even though the vet assured me that this was normal. She no longer drinks all day and pees like a racehorse. I think the old food was overworking her kidneys. Also her stools are more solid, where previously only the first one in the morning was solid while the later ones were mushy. I’m so glad that we discovered Orijen and in a most unlikely place; not a pet food store or supermarket but in a Feed and Grain outlet. The man there praised this food so highly that I just had to try it and I’m so glad that I did.

  5. My healthy 1 yr. old pitbull has been doing great with purina one . I got her orijen regional red thinking it’s a better and healthy food by there advertising. I spent 2 weeks transitioning the new food. She started with really bad diarrhea day and night after one week. Then started vomiting. I put her back on the purina and she was back to normal the first day. There is something in the orijen that made her sick.

    1. Origen offers very rich protein and not all dogs like that. Also per breed they require leaner meats like lamb. Acana grasslands would be the better option for you. It happens sometimes with RR(origen). But if purina seeems like a better option great! Although they use lots of fillers and use way more meal. Also origen and acana use purified water not tap. And remember no rendering(boiling of meat) this is the first company to not add suppliments in powder form or oil!

  6. Have been giving it to my cocker spaniel for about 5 years. She seems to love it. Obviously I do to to spend the money on it.
    I’m a little concerned about negative posts. Nothing bad noted @this post.

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