Orijen Dog Food: An In-Depth Review


Orijen Dog Food—Why Does Everyone Love It?

There’s something intriguing and fascinating about Orijen dog food, and now we’re going to see what it is.

Orijen dog food has a reputation that spans more than 30 years. They use fresh ingredients that are never frozen, so they support smaller businesses such as farmers and ranchers. Their food is said to mirror the dogs’ ancestral diet, which is why it’s called biologically appropriate.

This brand has received many awards for its top-quality dog food products. You’ll find plenty of positive comments about its ingredients on the Internet. Thousands of people vouch for the Orijen dog food products, but how can you know if they will suit your beloved pooch?

Enter TheDogDigest. But first remember—we are not affiliated with any dog food brands, which also applies to Orijen. We don’t get paid to advertise dog food products. Everything you read about Orijen in this article is based on our meticulous research and our desire to help you pick the best food for your canine.

How We Evaluated Orijen Dog Food

The value of a product brand is reflected in its impact on customers and their loyalty. This evaluation’s primary goals are to investigate how the consumers see Orijen dog food brand and test its food quality. The DogDigest team loves to be meticulous and provide you with only true and verified facts. We look behind the brand’s marketing strategies and focus on the service. But we never work alone. Our research is always supported by a group of people with plenty of experience in the field.
For this topic, we decided to seek help from: 

  1. Veterinary nutritionists
  2. Dog owners
  3. Dog lovers community

Our veterinary nutritionists have years of experience in testing different dog food brands. These experts came across many top-quality dog recipes in their practice. They have also seen many products with great advertisement strategies, which later turned out to be harmful to dogs. We wanted to pick their brains and check which category Orijen dog food belongs to. 

Dog owners are always a great source of information as they give us an insight into specific dog reactions. These dog parents own different dog breeds with various health issues. If a certain brand provokes adverse responses to their beloved pets, we are informed about it. 

Finally, the dog lover community is always there to give us additional info we use to round off the evaluation. The members of this community warned us that these formulas are costly, but there is a good reason for that. We’ll come to that soon. 

And don’t forget, we are not paid to advertise or badmouth any food company. Our greatest interest is to help you find the best recipe for your hairy companion so that they can thrive and be healthy. This evaluation is the fruit of our thorough research.  

Let’s Learn about Orijen Diet Dog Food 

The name of the brand stems from the Latin word origin, which refers to the roots. Orijen strives to make natural food products that follow the dog’s evolution. It uses fresh and often local ingredients that meet all your dog’s nutritional needs.   

Although dogs are often associated with their closest relatives—wolves—the nutrition of these two species has changed a lot throughout centuries. While the howl-at-the-moon species has remained carnivorous, dogs’ requirements are both meat and plant-based.

Orijen dog food believes that dogs are mostly carnivorous animals, and they put the focus on dogs’ need for meat. This brand’s recipes are similar to the food that our dogs can find and eat in nature.

Orijen dog food is one of the most popular brands today. Their popularity stems from their satisfied customers whose trust they have earned. They pride themselves on using the food that’s biologically appropriate for dogs. 

Most of their recipes are made for all life stages. This means you can feed your pup with their formulas, the moment they start munching on kibble. Another great advantage of this is that you can apply a method of rotational feeding once your pooch gets used to the Orijen diet. Nobody loves to eat the same food day in and day out. Plus, your pup will be less likely to miss out on any useful ingredient.

If you’re looking for an Orijen store in your surroundings, you can find it with the help of their online store locator. 

What Can You Find in Orijen Dog Food

This brand is famous for its meat-based products, but how much meat are we talking about here? In comparison to other popular dog food products, Orijen uses large quantities of meat in their recipes, which is, in a way, their hallmark. Each formula contains 85%–90% meat. 

The formula also contains 2/3rds of raw or fresh meat. If you decide to get your pup used to raw food, make sure you choose the one that contains top-quality ingredients. Canines need 37 vital nutrients to meet all their dietary requirements, which is sometimes challenging to manage with raw dog food.

At least six different meats are found in each Orijen product. In this case, we like to say—the more, the merrier. Meat contains protein, and dogs are naturally equipped to digest large quantities of meat. However, canines also require plant-based nutrients, which they can find in vegetables and fruits. Also, meat doesn’t contain enough calcium, but it can be compensated by eating bones in raw food—whole or ground. You can find a quality source of calcium in:

  • Chicken wings
  • Chicken legs
  • Lamb ribs
  • Chicken, turkey, lamb, or goat necks

Due to high-meat content, energy source mostly comes from protein and less from carbs. If your pooch gets too many carbohydrates, they will be more prone to gaining weight. Although many people claim that a high-protein diet is not beneficial for senior dogs, it’s not harmful. If the diet has more protein, it contains fewer carbs. Our grandpa doggos surely shouldn’t gain weight, so be careful with their carb intake.  

This brand uses organ meats, such as:

  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Tripe

These organs are rich in minerals—magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron, as well as vitamins—E, D, A, and K. Orijen uses WholePray ratios of raw organs, muscle meat, and cartilage. 

Proteins also come from fish and eggs. Fish provides your pup with amino acids that promote healthy skin and coat. Eggs are a high-quality protein source, too. 

Transition to Orijen Dog Food

Orijen food recipes are different from commercial dog food products. Their food is mostly meat-based, and the transition from regular food to their formulas can be a massive change for your pup. 

Switching your dog to a new recipe is more complex than just filling their bowls with food. Introducing the new diet slowly will reduce the risk of digestive system problems. Patience is the key. The sudden transition can make their tummy hurt and change their discharge. 

Start by giving your furry friend 25% of new food and 75% of the food they are used to. Over the next two weeks, slowly increase the intake of new food. If you find that they are having issues, either slow down the process even more or take your beastie to the vet. 

When you start the transition, choose an Orijen recipe that has the same meat-type as the food you have been feeding them before shifting. 

Meat as the Main Protein Source In Orijen Dog Food

While meat is a great protein source, you can’t say that the product is safe until you find the one that contains real meat. Lots of food companies praise their formulas as part of their marketing strategy, although the food they make does not provide your dog with everything the pooch needs. Always check out the ingredient list before putting the product in your shopping cart. 

Meat that you can find in high-quality formulas is:

  1. Chicken 
  2. Beef
  3. Turkey
  4. Duck

Meat by-products consist of slaughterhouse waste. They do have some protein, but your pooch will find it very difficult to digest. Meat by-products typically contain:

  • Horns
  • Claws
  • Feathers
  • Hooves
  • Hair
  • Beaks

You should always strive for recipes that contain real meat, such as Orijen. Meat-quality is essential for this brand, and you can sleep tight, knowing that it’s biologically appropriate for your hairy friend. 

Orijen Dog Food Price

This brand belongs to the list of the most expensive ones on the market. If you look at the list of ingredients, you’ll understand why. Orijen uses high-quality ingredients, and it’s rich in top-quality protein, too. 

Its price depends on the package you’re purchasing. The formulas come in sizes of 12-ounce, 4.5-pound, 13-pound, and 25 pounds bags. 

The brand also offers nine different treats that come in 1.5-ounce and 3.25-ounce bags. 

Orijen Dog Food—Our Favourite Picks

The brand has only eight dry dog food formulas. Even though they are excellent recipes for your pup, there aren’t many options here for picky dogs. Despite that, Orijen dog food boasts top-quality ingredients that you should consider giving to your hairy one. 

Below, you’ll find our favorite products with their nutritional information. Take a look if there’s anything your pooch would like to munch on. 

TheDogDigest PicksBrandRating
Best overallOrijen Original4.9
First runner-upOrijen Puppy4.9
Second runner-upOrijen Senior4.8

Orijen Original

Source: orijen dog food

Orijen Original is a formula made with cage-free chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs, which are the primary sources of protein. These premium ingredients will keep your dog healthy. The taste and nutrients correspond to your pooch’s nature. 

After a short period of eating this recipe, your dog will show some changes in their behavior. They will become more energetic, and their coat will be shinier and nicer. These healthy, natural ingredients will reduce the risk of allergies and sensitivities.  

It’s not pleasant only for your buddy’s nose, but for yours as well! You will also notice that a little beastie has a fresher breath.

You no longer need to use supplements or extra vitamins. It’s all there in the package. 

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein38.0% min
Fat Content18.0% min
Crude ash9.0% max
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Calcium1.4% min
Phosphorus1.1% min
*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)1.0% min
*Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)3.0% min
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)0.3% min
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)0.2% min
Glucosamine* (min.)1400 mg/kg
Chondroitin sulfate* (min.)1200 mg/kg

Ingredients:

Fresh chicken meat (13%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh cage-free eggs (7%), fresh chicken liver (6%), fresh whole herring (6%), fresh whole flounder (5%), fresh turkey liver (5%), fresh chicken necks (4%), fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), whole navy beans, herring oil (1%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, lentil fibre, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, whole pinto beans, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, chicken fat (1%), chicken cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole Red Delicious apples, fresh whole Bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole Saskatoon berries, chicory root, turmeric root. ADDITIVES (per kg): Nutritional additives: Zinc chelate: 100 mg. Enterococcus faecium. NCIMB10415: 600×10^6 CFU.

Orijen Puppy

Source: orijen dog food

Puppies are energetic little creatures that jump around all day long. They need nutrition that can follow their restlessness. Orijen Puppy is a perfect formula for your growing baby. It’s full of high-quality protein that comes from wild-caught fish and free-run chicken and turkey. The product improves your puppy pup’s stool and is excellent for their digestion. It’s suitable for hairy cuties with sensitive tummies. Plenty of Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids promote your baby’s coat and skin, letting them strut in every walk. 

The formula doesn’t contain any:

  1. Artificial colors
  2. Artificial flavors
  3. Artificial preservatives
Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein38.0% min
Fat Content20.0% min
Crude ash5.0% max
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Calcium1.4% min
Phosphorus1.1% min
*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)1.1% min
*Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)3.0% min
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)0.35% min
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)0.25% min
Glucosamine* (min.)1500 mg/kg
Chondroitin sulfate* (min.)1200 mg/kg

Ingredients:

Fresh chicken meat (11%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh cage-free eggs (6%), fresh whole herring (6%), fresh chicken liver (5%), fresh whole flounder (5%), fresh turkey liver (5%), fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), fresh chicken necks (4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), chicken fat (4%), herring oil (2%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, whole yellow peas, lentil fibre, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole Saskatoon berries, whole pinto beans, whole navy beans, chicken bone and cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole Red Delicious apples, fresh whole Bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root. ADDITIVES (per kg): Nutritional additives: Zinc chelate: 100 mg. Enterococcus faecium. NCIMB 10415: 600×10^6 CFU.

Orijen Senior

Source: orijen dog food

Orijen Senior is made especially for our grandpa and grandma doggos. It contains less fat content compared to its other products, to protect our senior citizens from putting on too much weight. Fresh chicken liver provides them with protein, zinc, folate, and iron. 

In case your dog has dry skin, you need to give them amino acids, of which this product has plenty.

This grain-free recipe is excellent for pups who have sensitive tummies. In some cases, dog owners reported that eating this formula helped their canines reduce vomiting and severe constipation. This biologically appropriate dog food offers them flavors that they’ll love. 

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein38.0% min
Fat Content15.0% min
Crude ash8.0% max
Crude Fiber8.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Calcium1.3% min
Phosphorus1.1% min
*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)0.9% min
*Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)2.3% min
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)0.3% min
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)0.2% min
Glucosamine* (min.)1400 mg/kg
Chondroitin sulfate* (min.)1200 mg/kg

Ingredients:

Fresh chicken meat (13%), fresh cage-free eggs (7%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh whole herring (7%), fresh chicken liver (6%), fresh whole flounder (4%), fresh turkey liver (4%), fresh chicken necks (4%), fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole pinto beans, fresh chicken cartilage (1%), whole Saskatoon berries, whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, fresh kale, fresh spinach, whole green lentils, fresh whole green peas, lentil fibre, fresh whole chickpeas, fresh whole yellow peas, whole navy beans, herring oil (1%), chicken fat (1%), fresh turkey cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole Red Delicious apples, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips fresh whole Bartlett pears, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle. ADDITIVES (per kg): Nutritional additives: Zinc chelate: 100 mg. Zootechnical additives: Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415: 600×10^6 CFU.

Let’s Wrap It up

In case your pup isn’t a picky eater, Orijen dog food is an excellent choice for their diet. It has formulas for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. Their recipes are made of high-quality, palatable ingredients, rich in protein, mostly from meat. 

If your dog is used to different nutrition, make sure you make a gradual transition to Orien formulas. Their recipes mostly consist of raw food, and your pooch will need some time to get used to it.

We enthusiastically recommend Orien products for your beauties. 

In case you consider Orijen formulas too big a change in your pup’s diet and want to continue your quest for perfect food, we have some suggestions. Take a look at our list of best large breed dry dog food—perhaps you’ll find something in there. Steer clear of the worst dry dog food brands. If you are looking for canned food, scan through the best canned dog food on the market. The dog parents searching for something that will improve your canine’s dental health should check out the top 10 best dog dental chews.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orijen
  2. https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-grow-my-German-Shepherd-puppy-slowly-by-only-using-Orijen-products
  3. Tjernsbekk, M. T., et al. “Raw Mechanically Separated Chicken Meat and Salmon Protein Hydrolysate as Protein Sources in Extruded Dog Food: Effect on Protein and Amino Acid Digestibility.” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, vol. 101, no. 5, 2017, doi:10.1111/jpn.12608.
  4. Robertson, Debora. Bone appétit: 50 Clean Recipes for Healthier, Happier Dogs. Harper Design, 2019.

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Coral Dawn Drake

My fiance, Justin, and I live with our two little dogs, Sofie and Lisa, and three chickens in Gainesville, Florida. Justin and I are homebodies who occasionally enjoy a good adventure. I love living in Gainesville, and I love Florida. I can’t imagine anywhere more beautiful or strange than this hot, marshy place where people are guaranteed to be nothing other than themselves. Justin is always reminding me to relax. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m always busy. Making art or editing photos, digging in the yard or trying to grow some new moss or plant. There never seems to be enough time to do everything that I want to do. Life is so, so full and I want to plunge into every second of it.

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