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Last updated: 26 Oct 2019

Orijen Dog Food Review

Premium Quality Meat Dry Dog Food

Premium Quality Meat Dry Dog Food

High-Protein Dry Dog Food

High-Protein Dry Dog Food

Senior High-Protein Dry Dog Food

Senior High-Protein Dry Dog Food

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 07:08 am

If you’re looking for the most biologically appropriate dog food there’s only one name you can really put your trust on. Orijen pet food products have always been known to use only the best quality ingredients that are raised and caught right from their natural environments. The focus of the brand is in giving pets that kind of diet that speaks of their evolutionary adaptation by providing a rich diversity of high-quality animal proteins and fresh meat. A lot of Orijen dog food reviews talk highly of the brand.

And while they may not have a very aggressive marketing like the leading brands, they’re one of the most sought-after by pet parents who know better.

Orijen Dog Food Review

1

The Orijen Original dog food contains 85% animal ingredients that include poultry, fish, and egg products. Chicken and turkey make up the bulk of the ingredients with a blend of yellowtail flounder, Atlantic herring and mackerel, and whole eggs. Wholesome lentils, vegetables, and fruits are added, but without the worrisome grains. The natural ingredients in this Orijen dog food alone are enough to meet all the nutrient requirements of your pet. Yet the brand still manages to beef it up with probiotics and prebiotics for healthier digestion and a much-improved immune system.

Related Post: Best Probiotics for Dogs

The 4:1 ratio of the omega fatty acids – especially EPA and DHA – also mimics the ideal ratio, promoting anti-inflammatory processes and improved neurologic function. Glucosamine and chondroitin help make sure your adult dog will have no issues with its mobility. The Orijen adult dog food provides the perfect balance of nutrients sourced from high-quality ingredients to maintain the heath of your pet.

Amount of calories: 449 per 8-oz cup

Minimum crude protein, in percent: 38

Minimum crude fat, in percent: 18

Maximum moisture, in percent: 12

Maximum fiber, in percent: 4

First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken and turkey, whole eggs, yellowtail flounder, and whole Atlantic mackerel

DHA, EPA, calcium, phosphorus, chondroitin, glucosamine, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids

Prebiotics and 3 strains of probiotic organisms (100 million CFUs)

Specification:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • Model: DOR4410-4.5
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds

2

It’s a meat-lover’s delight. That’s what the Regional Red Orijen dog food is. Featuring an amazing array of premium-quality meats that even leading brands cannot put in their formulations, this Orijen adult dog food contains sumptuous Angus beef, Romney lamb, Boer goat, Yorkshire pork, and tasty wild boar plus the EPA and DHA-filled goodness of wild mackerel. There are no grains, too.

Instead, the formula uses only 18% carbohydrates from wholesome vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits. There’s the usual glucosamine and chondroitin courtesy of its rich blend of meat products. What is amazing is the nearly-perfect ratio of omega fatty acids giving your pet the kind of silky smoothness for its coat and the health of its skin, heart, and brain. There are probiotics, too for your pet’s tummy; as if the meat-rich nature of the formulation is not enough to ensure optimum digestion. This is one Orijen pet food that is surely loved by the meat-loving dogs on the planet.

Amount of calories: 449 per 8-oz cup

Minimum crude protein, in percent: 38

Minimum crude fat, in percent: 18

Maximum moisture, in percent: 12

Maximum fiber, in percent: 4

First 5 ingredients: deboned Angus beef, Boer goat, wild boar, and Romney lamb, and lamb liver with wild mackerel and Yorkshire pork

2:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio

EPA, DHA, glucosamine chondroitin

Prebiotics plus 3 strains of probiotics (100 million CFUs)

Specification:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • Weight: 24.9 pounds

3

It may have almost the same formulation as the Orijen original dog food, but the Puppy Large is anything but. While its protein content is the same at roughly 38%, its fat content is slightly lower by 2 percentage points. This helps make sure that your puppy won’t be starting out obese in its life. It has more fiber, too, underscoring Orijen’s understanding of the unique digestive anatomy of young large hounds that are especially prone to digestive upsets.

Helping your pet in this regard are the 3 strains of probiotics. There are a greater proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, too, especially DHA and EPA which your young hound needs for brain and eye development. And if the taste of turkey, chicken, eggs, and premium-quality ocean fishes won’t appeal to your pet’s taste buds, nothing else will. At least, you can feel more confident about your young pet’s optimum growth and development before switching it to an Orijen adult dog food.

Amount of calories: 429 per 8-oz cup

Minimum crude protein, in percent: 38

Minimum crude fat, in percent: 16

Maximum moisture, in percent: 12

Maximum fiber, in percent: 6

First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken and turkey, whole Atlantic mackerel, whole eggs, and yellowtail flounder

EPA, DHA, essential fatty acids, chondroitin, glucosamine

Prebiotics + 3 strains of probiotics for 100 million CFUs

Specification:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • Model: DOR4425-25
  • Weight: 24.9 pounds

4

You don’t need a science degree to decipher the Orijen dog food ingredients put into the Six Fish. Actually, there are not only 6 fishes included in this Orijen pet food formulation. There’s mackerel, herring, flounder, redfish, monkfish, silver hake, blue whiting, Alaskan cod, and Pollock. That’s an amazing 9 different fish varieties that are caught in their natural habitat, never farmed. You can always bet that the DHA and EPA levels of this Orijen dog food will be simply fabulous for your pet’s nervous, immune, and integumentary system health.

It has a 1.15:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids; just 0.15 points to make the perfect 1:1. This provides your dog with the best of both essential fatty acids. Additionally, there are antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and definitely none of the grains that are always worrisome to many pet parents. If you’re thinking of giving your 4-legged friend a real sumptuous seafood platter, the Six Fish Orijen dog food is always a great choice.

Amount of calories: 449 per 8-oz cup

Minimum crude protein, in percent: 38

Minimum crude fat, in percent: 18

Maximum moisture, in percent: 12

Maximum fiber, in percent: 4

First 5 ingredients: whole Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, Atlantic flounder, Acadian redfish, and Atlantic monkfish with blue whiting, and whole silver hake

DHA, EPA, omega fatty acids, chondroitin, glucosamine

Prebiotics and 3 strains of probiotics (100 million CFUs)

Specification:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • Model: DOR4430-25
  • Weight: 24.9 pounds

5

Your senior dog has a very unique requirement when it comes to nutrition. Remarkably, the Senior formulation of Orijen dog food hits the mark in all the right places. It has lower calorie content for your older dog’s reduced mobility while still retaining its classic 38% minimum crude protein. Its fat content is also lower by 3 percentage points from an Orijen adult dog food formulation. What the Senior has quite plenty of is fiber, doubling the fiber content in its other formulation to 8%.

This only highlights the brand’s understanding of the reduced efficiency of the gastrointestinal tract of senior dogs. Adding more fiber, but never going overboard, should help facilitate bowel movement. Helping in digestive health are 3 strains of gut-friendly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. There are the ever-reliable chondroitin and glucosamine, too for improved joint mobility. This Orijen pet food for senior dogs has the right balance of healthy, easily digestible ingredients that even elder hounds will surely love as they live out their final years.

Related Post: Best Senior Dog Food

Amount of calories: 414 per 8-oz cup

Minimum crude protein, in percent: 38

Minimum crude fat, in percent: 15

Maximum moisture, in percent: 12

Maximum fiber, in percent: 8

First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken and turkey, whole Atlantic mackerel, yellowtail flounder, and whole eggs

DHA, EPA, glucosamine, chondroitin

Prebiotics and probiotics with 100 million CFUs from 3 strains

Specification:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • Model: DOR4420-4.5
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds

Orijen Dog Food Buying Guide

Company Information

Orijen is classified as a premium brand of pet food that was founded in 1985. The brand is under Champion Pet Foods with headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and with a strong presence in the US market with their facility in Kentucky.

Orijen Pet Food boasts of unique canine and feline nutrition that utilizes fresh local ingredients and formulated in their state-of-the-art custom-built kitchens, earning them international recognition for innovation.

Some of the most recent awards include Eco Excellence Award from Natural Child World, Global Markets Award from Global Food Safety Initiative, Award for Dogstar Kitchens from the Design-Build Institute of America, Outstanding Excellence in Canine Pet Food from the Glycemic Research Institute, and many more. It was named the Best Pet Food of the Decade from 2000 to 2009 by the Rate It All Consumer Reviews, Best Dog Food Brand by Reviews, and the Pet Food of the Year (2009-2012) by the GRI.

Hands holding dog food

Why Choose This Brand?

The brand is best known for 3 unique things that are quite rare in other pet food brands, which should also make you want to buy for your pet.

First, their formulas are considered biologically appropriate, taking into consideration the unique dietary requirements of canines and felines throughout the ages. Every dog diet that comes out of their kitchens mirrors the freshness, amount, and variety of premium quality meats that canines have been shown to have evolved to eat. One can say that they love their pet food to be meat-based, not plant-based. As such, if you’re the type of pet parent who strongly believes that your dog needs more meat than plants, then an Orijen dog food is for your pet.

Second, the brand always uses regional ingredients, caught or grown fresh from Mother Nature’s fields themselves. From the famed ranches of the Appalachian to the rolling grasslands and fertile farmlands of Kentucky, Orijen utilizes only ingredients that are farmed, fished, or ranched by folks that the company knows and trusts to use responsible methods. Fresh meats are delivered right to Orijen kitchens within 3 days after being federally inspected at the farms. Within 2 days these same high quality meats are already packed into your favorite Orijen dog food. It’s the freshness and quality of ingredients packed into each formulation that makes the brand such a worthy diet to give to pets.

Third, in relation to the second point, Orijen pet food doesn’t source out its ingredients or employ a third-party provider to cook their pet food. Everything is done the Orijen way. With ingredients sourced only from reputable and trustworthy partners in the field, Orijen utilizes its own state-of-the-art kitchens to provide your pet with the balanced and biologically-appropriate nutrition they deserve.

Ingredient Analysis

The list of Orijen dog food ingredients speak a lot about the brand’s emphasis on premium quality dog nutrition. Remaining forever faithful to their biologically appropriate pet nutrition philosophy, the brand features one of the best nutrient profiles you can ever have in a dog food.

  • High levels of high-quality proteins

On the average, the amount of crude proteins on Orijen dog food formulations is at 38% which roughly translates to 43% by dry matter basis. This is even slightly higher than the dry matter protein content of wet dog food formulations of other brands. The best part of this is that the brand only utilizes animal proteins as its main ingredients. There are proteins from lentils, too but the proportion they add to the protein mix is almost negligible as 85% of all the ingredients in the Orijen formulation are meats.

Every meat is named. Instead of having ‘poultry’ you get to read turkey and chicken. Instead of reading ‘meat’ you’ll get Angus beef, Yorkshire pork, and Romney lamb, among others. You won’t also see ‘fish’; instead you will see Atlantic herring, and Atlantic mackerel, just to name a few. This gives you peace of mind on the ingredients that you are giving to your pet.

Related Post: Best Wet Dog Food

  • Moderate amounts of healthy fats

The good news about Orijen dog food products is that its fats are mostly derived from its meat ingredients. Its crude fat content is roughly 16.5% on the average, translating into a dry matter fat reading of 18.75%.

Even when the highest fat content is taken, its dry matter equivalent will still be 21% which is way lower than other brands. It also has one of the best ratios of essential fatty acids, never going beyond the 4:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Fish oil is sometimes added to beef up its EPA and DHA content, both of which are important in nervous system, cardiovascular system, and immunologic system functioning.

  • Substantially low amounts of carbohydrates

Orijen adult dog food contains no more than 23% carbohydrates which is basically less than half the carbohydrate content of other dog food brands, often in the 45 to 55 levels. One giveaway is that Orijen knows that dogs are not obligate carnivores, unlike cats. As such, they always include carbs in their formulations, but in proportions that mimic dogs’ natural diet in the wild.

Another big plus for the brand is its non-inclusion of potatoes or other highly starchy ingredients. Instead, it provides lentils like beans and peas. There are no soy, corn, and wheat. Instead, wholesome veggies like butternut squash, carrots, collard greens, and many more abound. There are fruits, too, like whole apples and pears to give it an amazing blend of antioxidants.

  • Energy-dense formulations from proteins and fats, not carbs

If one looks at the calorie content of Orijen pet food, it is more on the moderately-high side of the spectrum. The good thing about this is that only 23% of the calories come from carbohydrates, with the remaining supplied by both proteins and fats. This gives your dog the energy it needs without necessarily turning obese.

  • Micronutrients

Orijen doesn’t see the need to add nutrient supplements to its formulations since its wide range of meat ingredients are already complete with everything that dogs need. From calcium to phosphorus and even zinc and selenium and the complete range of fat- and water-soluble vitamins, Orijen’s unique formulation has it all. There’s even probiotics, prebiotics, chondroitin, and glucosamine for additional benefits.

Pros

  • Contains at least 85% animal ingredients like meats, poultry, eggs, and fish
  • All ingredients are clearly identified and named; no ‘vague’ sources
  • Contains no more than 15% plant ingredients, a majority of which are lentils, fruits, and wholesome vegetables
  • No corn, wheat, soy, and other grains and ingredients that produce gluten
  • Doesn’t use starchy ingredients such as potatoes
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics in each formulation
  • The exceptional ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
  • EPA and DHA enriched formulations
  • Well-balanced and nutritionally-complete dog food
  • No history of product recalls

Cons

  • More expensive than most brands
  • A little bit difficult to source as some online retailers don’t carry the brand

Feeding the dog

It’s easy to see why a good number of Orijen dog food reviews highly recommend the product. It has one of the best nutrient profiles for hounds, utilizing the highest proportions of high-quality meat products and a modest percentage of carbohydrates that include only vegetables and fruits that are easiest to digest. This is in addition to the exclusion of corn, wheat, soy, and potato from their blend to give your pet the right amounts of fiber necessary for digestive health. The protein to fat ratio is one of the best in the industry making Orijen pet food products clearly one of the best if not The Best.

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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