Nutrition - 10/10
Ingredients - 10/10
Orijen Regional Red is a high-quality freeze-dried dog food. Its nutrient profile consists of a significantly below average carbohydrate proportion, an above average protein proportion and a significantly above average fat proportion. This is very satisfactory and suitable for dogs who are very active. It’s very high-fat content will make it extremely appealing and tasty.
The recipe contains a range of red meat ingredients such as Beef, Lamb, and Pork. In addition, this dog food contains minor quantities of a variety of vegetables. These contribute carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
However, the very large number of ingredients present may make this food unsuitable for those with dietary sensitivities or allergies.
High-Quality Red Meat Ingredients
Full review of Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red by Orijen
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 13% of Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is significantly below average for a Freeze-dried Dog Food.
The carbohydrate content is extremely low and very accurately mimics a dog’s natural carbohydrate intake. The little carbohydrate that is present is from a range of vegetables. Vegetables such as Spinach and Pumpkin are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 27% of Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is above average for a Freeze-dried Dog Food.
The protein content appears to be sourced from the range of red meat ingredients. Meat such as Beef or Pork is an ideal source of protein and provides the full range of required amino acids. While being above average, this protein content is not particularly high and may not be adequate for dogs who are overly active.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 60% of Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is significantly above average for a Freeze-dried Dog Food.
The fat content appears to be from the meat ingredients. Animal-based fats are very suitable for a dogs diet. This very high-fat content will make this food extremely appealing and tasty for dogs. However, this fat content does make this food unhealthy to consume in large quantities and may cause a dog to become overweight if poorly managed.
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 36.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 35.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 4.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.7%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.4%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.5%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.1%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Wild Boar
- Beef Liver
- Lamb Liver
- Pork Liver
Potentially Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red contains eight sources of meat and fish.
The primary meat source present is Beef. Beef is a considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition, Beef contains vitamins such as Iron and Zinc. Unfortunately Beef does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a lesser proportion of Beef. Given that this dog food only contains raw meat and fish, the relative proportion of Beef is unlikely to change after the freeze-drying process.
Wild Boar is considered a high-quality source of meat. Unfortunately, Boar contains a large amount of water. This moisture will be evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a smaller amount of Boar.
Another meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein. Just like Beef, lamb is rich in iron. In addition to this, it has higher levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other red meats and high levels of Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, just like Beef and Pork, Lamb contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a lesser proportion of Lamb. Given that this dog food only contains raw meat and fish, the relative proportion of Lamb is unlikely to change after the freeze-drying process.
Another meat source present is Bison. Bison is considered a high-quality source of protein. While Bison was once considered somewhat exotic it is now a relative staple meat in North America. In addition, Bison contains similar vitamins to Beef, including Iron and Zinc. Many Bison advocates claim that it contains a smaller ratio of fat to protein than meats such as Beef. Unfortunately, Bison does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a lesser proportion of Bison. Given that this dog food only contains raw meat and fish, the relative proportion of Bison is unlikely to change after the freeze-drying process.
Another fish source present is Herring. Herring is considered a high-quality source of protein. The Vitamin B12 is extremely abundant in Herring. In addition to this, similar to other fish, Herring is very rich in the Omega 3 Fatty Acid. Unfortunately, Herring contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a lesser proportion of Herring. Given that this dog food only contains raw fish, the relative proportion of Herring is unlikely to change after the freeze-drying process.
Another meat source present is Pork. Pork is considered a high-quality source of protein. Pork is particularly rich in thiamin and while it contains less iron than Beef or Lamb, its iron content is still significant. Unfortunately, just like Beef, Pork contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the freeze-drying process leaving a lesser proportion of Pork. Given that this dog food only contains raw meat and fish, the relative proportion of Pork is unlikely to change after the freeze-drying process.
Beef, Lamb, and Pork Liver are all considered high-quality ingredients and sources of meat. Liver contains a much higher concentration of some nutrients than traditional meat cuts. Some of the nutrients present in Liver are Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Iron. In addition to these nutrients Liver also contains a high amount of protein.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and a beneficial addition to a dogs diet. Pumpkin contains high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. However, Pumpkin is probably best known for the Dietary Fiber it can contribute. This fiber can improve and regulate digestion. Finally, Pumpkin does not contain significant levels of plant-based protein. This lack of protein prevents Pumpkin being used solely to inflate protein levels like other vegetables, such as Peas, often are.
Squash, which is closely related to Pumpkin, is a positive addition to dog food. Squash contains high levels of Vitamin A and C similar to fruit such as Apples and Pears. In addition to this, Squash also provides a plentiful supply of Beta Carotene. Comparable to Pumpkin, Squash is high in fiber which can help regulate digestion. However, it is essential to be aware that Squash needs to have its seeds and skin removed to be suitable for dogs. The removal of the skin and seeds will take place during the manufacturing process of commercial dog food.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Orijen – Freeze Dried Food – Regional Red
Beef (ground with bone), wild boar (ground with bone), lamb (ground with bone), whole herring, bison (ground with bone), beef liver, spinach greens, pea fiber, lamb liver, pork, pork liver, beef heart, lamb heart, beef tripe, whole salmon, whole ground sunflower seeds, whole pumpkin, butternut squash, whole carrots, whole cranberries, whole blackberries, whole blueberries, apples, pears, plums, apricots, brown kelp, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, summer savory, peppermint leaf, ginger root, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate.