Orijen Logo

Orijen Information

Orijen is one of the most famous premium dog food brands in the world. If you are familiar with Orijen, you are also likely to be familiar with their sister brand, which is called Acana. Acana is very similar to Orijen but is designed to be more affordable.

You can read our review of Acana here.

The brands Orijen and Acana are produced exclusively by Champion Pet Foods. Champions Pet Food is based in Canada, but they have recently expanded production to the United States, and their products are sold worldwide.

Orijen Acana Logos

Orijen prides itself on the fact that it does not outsource any of its pet food production to third parties and maintains rigorous and thorough safety and quality standards.

While Orijen is considered by many to be a very high-quality brand, there are many others who are not a fan of the Canadian brand and believe that their products are controversial or that the brand is too heavily focused on marketing.

Orijen recipes are widely available for purchase at thousands of retail pet food stores in the United States, Canada, and worldwide.

You can also purchase Orijen recipes online from several of the large pet food websites, including Amazon, Chewy, and Petflow. Orijen has only recently returned to Chewy after a sustained absence.

Orijen Product Range

Dog Food

Orijen has a broad product range but does choose not to produce certain ranges or niche products. Their dog food range includes dry dog food, freeze-dried dog food, freeze-dried dog treats.

Their dry food range is their most expansive and has niche products such as puppy food and senior dog food.

There are dry food recipes that contain a variety of meat and fish ingredients to suit the tastes and needs of almost every dog. This includes products with red meat, poultry, fish, and uncommon meat ingredients like Goat or Char.

While Acana recently expanded their product range to include some new grain-inclusive recipes, Orijen has not, and all of its dry dog food recipes are grain-free.

Orijen Dry Dog Food Product Range

Their freeze-dried range is smaller than their dry food range but does have some variety and has recipes that share themes with dry food recipes. This includes recipes with poultry, red meat, game, and fish.

Orijen Freeze Dried Dog Food Range

Orijen does not produce canned or wet dog food. They state their motivation behind this is ensuring that they do not have to outsource their production. See below for the full statement.

Orijen Canned Dog Food FAQ

Orijen also does not produce limited ingredient dog food or anything specifically targeted in the hypoallergenic market. While this is a disappointment for those dogs with allergies, Orijen’s sister brand, Acana, does produce limited ingredient dog food.

You can learn more about these Acana recipes here.

Cat Food

Orijen’s cat food range consists of a mix of dry cat food and freeze-dried cat treats.

While at one point in time, this range was quite small, it has expanded and now includes five unique dry food recipes that are similar in name and ingredients to dry dog food equivalents.

This range does include some specialized recipes, including one for Kittens and another for more active cats.

Once again, Orijen does not produce any canned or wet cat food products or specific recipes for cats with allergies or sensitivities.

Orijen Nutrition

Dog Food

Orijen Dry Dog Food Average Calorie Breakdown Chart

Please note, the above chart is based on Orijen’s Guaranteed Analysis. This is an estimate, and the true values are likely to include a slightly higher proportion of protein and fat.

Orijen’s dry dog food range provides excellent nutrition when compared to other dog food brands. As you can see above, the proportion of protein and fat is, on average, 38% of the total calories. This proportion is unprecedented and is significantly above average.

The proportion of protein would be suitable for dogs of all activity levels, including those who are extremely active. While it is true that many dogs do not need this much protein, it will not necessarily be wasted and can instead be used as an energy source.

If you are interested in learning more about dog nutrition and why it is important, we recommend heading over to our Dog Food Guide.

Orijen Freeze Dried Dog Food Average Calorie Breakdown

Please note, the above chart is based on Orijen’s Guaranteed Analysis. This is an estimate, and the true values are likely to include a slightly higher proportion of protein and fat.

The nutrition provided by Orijen’s freeze-dried dog food is also very satisfactory. The proportions of protein and fat are extremely high, and the proportion of carbohydrates is minimal.

However, this nutritional profile is less balanced than dry dog food and is extremely fat heavy. While this isn’t a problem for all dogs, a diet this dense in fat may not be suitable for those who are prone to weight gain or obesity.

Cat Food

Orijen Dry Cat Food Average Calorie Breakdown Chart

Please note, the above chart is based on Orijen’s Guaranteed Analysis. This is an estimate, and the true values are likely to include a slightly higher proportion of protein and fat.

The nutrition provided by Orijen’s dry cat food is very satisfactory when compared to other cat food brands. All of Orijen’s recipes include huge portions of animal or fish-based protein and fat, which should be at the core of every cat’s diet.

Cats do not require any carbohydrates in their diet due to the fact they are obligate carnivores, and while there is a small portion present in Orijen formulas, it is not worthy of concern.

If you’d like to learn more about cat nutrition and why it is so important that cats eat a diet high in animal-based protein and fat, check out our Cat Food Guide.

Orijen Ingredients

High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Goat
  • Venison
  • Wild Boar
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Mackerel

Orijen makes use of a huge variety of meat and fish ingredients, some of which are listed above. Named ingredients such as this are perfect for a dog’s diet and can provide them with high-quality and easily digestible protein and fat.

In addition to traditional meat and fish ingredients, such as Beef, Chicken, and Turkey, Orijen also makes use of some very uncommon and unusual meat and fish ingredients.

Some examples of these include Char, Goat, Venison, Wild Boar, Monkfish, Redfish, and Hake. While these ingredients may not provide noticeably better nutrition than the usual suspects, they could provide some added variety or uniqueness in the taste of palatability of your dog’s food.

Venison

In addition, some of these ingredients may contain a different mix of vitamins and minerals, which could provide some small health benefits.

If you’d like to learn more about some of these ingredients and why they are used, we’d recommend checking out the below articles.

Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide

Best Dog Foods With Venison

Best Dog Food With Bison

Orijen makes use of organ meat ingredients such as Liver, Heart, and Kidney. These organ meats can provide dogs with an extremely dense and rich source of select vitamins and minerals.

Organ meat ingredients are an excellent addition to the diet of the vast majority of dogs and can also enhance the flavor of food. Orijen’s use of organ meat ingredients can allow you to provide them with consistency.

Other Notable Ingredients

Orijen makes extensive use of legume ingredients like Peas, Chickpeas, and Lentils. Legumes such as these are the most popular plant-based ingredients in grain-free pet food.

Legumes have a very high proportion of plant-based protein when compared to other ingredients, which is one of the reasons they are so popular among pet food manufacturers. The other reasons are that the ingredients are relatively easy to source, and they are cost-effective.

However, as we will discuss later, there are growing concerns about the use of legumes in dog food and an increased rate of Canine Heart Disease. Scroll down to our section on Dilated Cardiomyopathy for more info.

Orijen makes extensive use of Eggs in its recipes. Eggs are an excellent addition to a pet food recipe and can provide a balanced mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and beneficial vitamins and minerals.

One of the reasons that Eggs are so effective at providing nutrition is that they are extremely bioavailable. This means that when they are digested, very little of their nutrition is wasted as it is easy to absorb.

Three Fresh Eggs

Select Orijen recipes include a small portion of Pumpkin. Pumpkin is often given to pets as a supplement to aid digestion, and it is effective at this, thanks to its high fiber content.

However, Pumpkin isn’t just a source of fiber and can also provide a mix of carbohydrates and beneficial micronutrients such as Beta Carotene.

If you are interested in learning more about Pumpkin and discovering some excellent Pumpkin dog food recipes, check out our article Best Dog Food With Pumpkin.

Orijen And Dilated Cardiomyopathy

In July 2018, the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration)announced that it had received reports about a type of heart disease called Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which can cause an enlarged, weakened heart and eventual heart failure in dogs. These reports suggested a link between grain-free dog foods high in Potatoes, Peas, and other Legumes could be the cause.

The heart disease occurred in select breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, and Miniature Schnauzers. None of these dog breeds are genetically prone to the disease, which suggests that there must be another cause, and the reports pointed the finger at legumes like Peas.

Many dog owners were quick to notice that Orijen formulas contain a large variety of legumes such as Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas. Some went as far as to immediately transition their dogs to an alternative recipe that did not use legumes and instead makes use of grains.

Peas Close Up

However, what many dog owners do not take into account is that while Orijen contains a large number of legumes, the quantity or proportion of these legumes is still relatively low (roughly 10%). It is especially low when it is compared to many of its competitors, who use as much as 40-50% legumes in their recipes.

However, for those who took a more in-depth look at this issue, they were more concerned with Orijen’s sister brand – Acana’s use of legumes, as it is far more substantial.

Champion Pet Foods, who own Acana and Orijen, have disputed this link and have made repeated statements in emails and on social media that state that all of their products are carefully formulated to meet industry guidelines.

Despite the low proportion of legumes in Orijen formulas, if this link between legumes and Dilated Cardiomyopathy is substantiated, then there will be serious consequences for Orijen and many other brands. This will likely lead to reformulations and ingredient modifications.

In late 2019, Acana released a number of grain-inclusive formulas to appeal to consumers that are concerned about DCM and the use of legumes in dog food. However, to date, Orijen has yet to give any indication that they are going to produce grain-inclusive dog food. This could leave them exposed if a link between DCM and legumes is proven.

Orijen Recalls

Sadly, despite its fantastic nutrition and high-quality ingredients, Orijen is not a recall-free brand. However, the reason Orijen is not recall-free is quite unique and not due to contamination or poor safety measures like many others.

When Orijen was first imported to Australia, Orijen failed to make public the fact that their food was treated with Gamma Radiation. This treatment contradicted its biologically appropriate label. While not compulsory, Orijen made the decision to issue a voluntary recall of its products.

Based on our research (FDA, AVMA, DogFoodAdvisor), outside the above-mentioned Australian incident, Orijen products have not been recalled in the United States, Canada, or any other country in the world.

In March 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Champion Pet Foods, the manufacturer of Acana and Orijen pet products. The lawsuit claims that Champion Pet Foods failed to disclose harmful levels of heavy metals and toxins such as Arsenic and Lead in their products.

Champion Pet Foods quickly responded, claiming the lawsuit was meritless and had misrepresented the data. It is important to understand this is merely an accusation at this stage, and until any conclusive judgment or evidence is made public, we will not advise against any of Champion Pet Foods products.

Orijen Animal Testing

Orijen, along with its sister brand Acana, proudly states that it does not perform any testing or trials on animals that they would not feel comfortable being performed on their own pets. See below.

Orijen Animal Testing FAQ

This is an excellent approach to animal testing and shows that they care about the wellbeing of all animals. Orijen does state that they participate in palatability and digestibility testing, which is vital to ensure that they can both enjoy and digest Orijen’s products.

We firmly believe that animal testing to test pet food is a cruel and outdated practice. We hope over the coming years that it will be significantly reduced or preferably eliminated.

Orijen Expertise

With the recent concerns around dog food and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, there have been increasing calls for transparency on formulation and expertise in the dog food industry.

Many believe that all pet food brands should have experienced and qualified pet nutritionists on staff to formulate their recipes and ensure their nutritional balance is well suited.

On Orijen’s website, they state – “Champion Petfoods’ Research and Innovation team works with a group of animal nutritionists, and consults with Veterinarians who specialize in nutrition, toxicology, and holistic medicine when developing our ORIJEN diets.

While the above doesn’t specifically call out which groups or individuals Orijen or Champion Pet Foods works with, it does verify that qualified individuals are involved in the process.

Best of Orijen

Orijen’s products are extremely nutritious and contain ingredients of very high-quality, perhaps even higher-quality than we consume ourselves. As a consequence choosing the best of their products was a very difficult process. Nevertheless, these are some of our favorites.

Dry Dog Food

Six Fish Review

Orijen Six Fish Packaging

Deciding which of Orijen’s dry dog food formulas was our favorite was a tough decision, but in the end, Six Fish was the comfortable winner.

The huge variety of fish ingredients present within the recipe is unprecedented in commercial dog food and has no equal.

Examples of the fish found in Six Fish include Mackerel, Herring, Monkfish, Redfish, Flounder, and more.

These fish ingredients provide a very satisfactory proportion of protein and fat, which would be suitable for dogs of all activity levels, especially those who are extremely active.

However, what makes Six Fish stand out compared to other Orijen formulas is its level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Thanks to all those oily fish ingredients, the level is outstanding (1.8%) and could provide your dog with noticeable health benefits such as improved skin and coat health, improved cognitive function, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

As with all Orijen recipes, Six Fish makes use of a wide range of vegetable ingredients, with a focus on legumes. Examples include Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, and Beans. These vegetable ingredients provide a modest proportion of carbohydrates and fiber.

Puppy Food

Orijen Puppy Review

Orijen Puppy Formula Packaging

Orijen produces two puppy recipes, their standard Puppy Formula and their Puppy Large Formula. While they do have some nutritional differences, they are very similar.

These puppy formulas from Orijen have excellent nutrition and make use of an enormous range of high-quality poultry and fish ingredients. The Puppy formula contains over fifteen different meat and fish ingredients, whereas most of Orijen’s competitors have less than five.

These ingredients provide a proportion of protein and fat that is significantly above average and can help fuel a puppy’s activity and growth.

Examples of these poultry and fish ingredients include Chicken, Turkey, Mackerel, Herring, and some Organ meats like Liver and Heart. The fish ingredients help boost the levels of the Omega Fatty Acids, which can provide a range of health benefits.

The organ meats can provide high levels of vitamins and minerals that aren’t as abundant in traditional meat cuts, as well as enhance the flavor of the recipe to make it more appealing to puppies.

Once again, as with all Orijen recipes, Puppy and Puppy Large make use of a large range of legume and vegetable ingredients. These provide puppies with a small portion of carbohydrates and fiber.

Freeze Dried Dog Food

Freeze Dried Food – Tundra Review

Orijen - Freeze Dried Food - Tundra

Orijen’s dry food recipes are a premium product, but their freeze-dried range takes this premium to new heights. But for those of you who demand only the best for your pup, the freeze-dried product range is phenomenal in quality and nutrition.

The above-mentioned Tundra recipes use a number of uncommon and unique meat and fish ingredients such as Elk, Venison, Quail, and Bison. It is highly unlikely that your dog would have experienced such tastes, which could make this an enjoyable reward and add some much-needed variety.

These ingredients provide a dense source of animal-based protein and fat to fuel a dog’s maintenance and activity.

The freeze-dried recipes may be an excellent choice for those dog owners who do not their dogs eating a large volume of vegetable ingredients as they only contain a very small portion.

Due to the tiny portion of plant-based ingredients, the recipe only contains a tiny proportion of carbohydrates.

Dry Cat Food

Regional Red Review

Orijen Regional Red Cat Food Packaging

While Orijen’s dry cat food range may be quite small, it is very impressive when compared to some of its competitors. This is thanks to the extremely high proportion of meat and fish found in these Oirjen recipes.

Cat’s are obligate carnivores, and therefore the vast majority of their diet should be made up of meat and fish. They do not require a diet high in plant-based material like grains or vegetables.

Regional Red mimics its dry dog food equivalent and has a strong focus on traditional red meat ingredients. These red meat ingredients include Beef, Pork, Lamb, Goat, and more.

Many cats stick to a diet of poultry ingredients like Chicken or Turkey or a diet of fish like Tuna and Salmon. For this reason, this Regional Red recipe may interest them as it will be a vastly different flavor.

These red meat ingredients are combined with a large range of legume and vegetable ingredients. Each of these plant-based ingredients is only present in tiny proportions. While ideally, cats would not eat any of these ingredients, this quantity is not worthy of concern.

Orijen Featured Articles

Acana vs. Orijen – Dog Food Brand Comparison – Compared the two brands from Champion Pet Foods is the primary discussion point in this article as we outline the core similarities and differences between the brands, such as nutrition, product range, and ingredients.

To summarize, we also recommend our favorite Acana and Orijen recipes and explain our reasoning.

Best Senior Dog Food – While many dog owners choose to skip out on senior dog food, it is an emerging niche. This article goes in-depth on the differences between adult dog food and senior dog food and why it may be worth considering.

Orijen has an excellent senior dog food recipe within its range, and it features as one of our top recommendations.

Best Dog Food For Great Danes – Great Danes are one of the largest breeds of dogs in the world, and as a consequence of their size, they need a specially formulated recipe for when they are puppies. This is critical to ensure they do not grow too fast or encounter health problems.

Orijen’s Puppy Large formula is one of the best large breed puppy recipes available and features in our list of recommendations accordingly.

Best Puppy Food – Correct nutrition for a puppy is critical, and there are hundreds of new puppy owners daily looking to understand what is right for their new friend.

This article will provide you with everything you need to understand about puppy food and make an informed decision on what foods are the best available. Both of Orijen’s puppy food formulas feature here as potential options thanks to their excellent nutrition and ingredient quality.

Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks – Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a distinctive dog breed, but sadly they do suffer from a number of health problems.

Some of these health problems can be countered or avoided by an appropriate diet. This detailed article discusses these health problems and what kind of diet and dog food recipes could be a solution.

Best Dog Food Without Chicken – Chicken is the most common meat allergy for dogs, and as a consequence, many dog owners are on the hunt for chicken-free recipes.

In this article, we discuss the alternatives to Chicken and recommend a list of our favorite dog food recipes without Chicken. Orijen has a number of recipes that do not use Chicken, and one is featured here.

Best Dog Foods Without Potatoes – Potatoes are another common allergy for dogs, and there is concern that they could be related to increased rates of Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

If you are in either of these camps, then you should check out this article and some of the formulas it recommends. These recommendations include some from Orijen, Acana, and other big brands.

Best High Protein Dog Food – It will come as no surprise that Orijen features in our high protein article. This is thanks to the huge proportion of meat and fish contained within Orijen recipes.

Orijen, alongside a number of other brands, is discussed here as well as the benefits and risks of a high protein diet.

Best Dog Food In Canada

Orijen Full Product Range

Dry Dog Food

Original

Six Fish

Regional Red

Tundra

Fit and Trim

Small Breed

Puppy

Puppy Large

Senior Dog

Freeze Dried Dog Food

Adult Dog

Regional Red

Tundra

Freeze Dried Dog Treats

Original

Six Fish

Regional Red

Tundra

Angus Beef

Grass-Fed Lamb

Free-Run Duck

Wild Boar

Kentucky Bison

Dry Cat Food

Cat and Kitten

Six Fish

Regional Red

Tundra

Fit and Trim

Freeze Dried Cat Food Treats

Original

Six Fish

Regional Red

Tundra

Grass-Fed Lamb

Wild-Roaming Boar