Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 10/10
    10/10
  • Ingredients - 10/10
    10/10

Review Summary

Orijen Original is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is very satisfactory and the recipe provides significantly above average quantities of protein and fat. This is suitable for dogs of all activity levels including those who are very active. 

It contains a range of high-quality meat ingredients with a focus on poultry including Chicken and Turkey, as well as some fish. The poultry provides an abundance of protein and the fish adds additional protein and beneficial fatty acids.

The recipe also contains a range of Vegetables including Legumes like Beans and Peas. These are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.

Orijen Original contains a wide range of vegetables and meats, therefore it may not be suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. However, it is very suitable and will provide fantastic nutrition for the majority of dogs.

Overall
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Pros

Very Satisfactory Nutrition

High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients

No Grains or By-products

Cons

Very Large Number Of Ingredients

Full review of Original By Orijen

Orijen Original Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

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.

Orijen Original Calorie Breakdown Chart

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 23% of Orijen – Original 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 Dry Dog Food.

The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable content of this dog food. This includes legumes like Chickpeas and Peas. These will be discussed later on. Vegetables such as legumes are considered a superior source of carbohydrates to grains. This is a very satisfactory proportion of carbohydrates and reducing it would provide minimal benefits.

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 37% of Orijen – Original 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 significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.

This is a very high proportion of protein, far above the vast majority of commercial dry dog foods. It appears to be sourced primarily from the range of meat and fish present, particularly the Chicken and Turkey ingredients. These meat ingredients alongside eggs are great sources of protein and a natural part of a dogs diet.

It is likely a small amount of this protein is from the vegetable ingredients. However, given the very high level of protein present, this is unlikely to have much effect. This level of protein is sufficient for even the most active of dogs and will contain the full range of amino acids.

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 40% of Orijen – Original 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 Dry Dog Food.

Animal and fish fats provide the majority of the satisfactory levels of fat in this dog food. These are a dog’s natural source energy. The fish fats provide additional Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which come with a range of health benefits. This high level of fat will make this dog food very appealing as well as provide lots of energy for dogs of all activity levels.

Calorie Density

Calorie Density is essential to understand as it determines the portion size of food your dog will require per day or meal. Calorie Density is commonly measured in calories per kg or per cup.
Dog food formulas with high-calorie densities can be more cost efficient to purchase while recipes with lower calorie density can be advantageous to dogs attempting weight loss or who are relatively inactive.

Overall Orijen – Original contains an average of 3940 kcal/kg or 449 kcal per 8oz. cup.

Disclaimer

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 – Original

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) – 38.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 20.00%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 6.00%
  • Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.3%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.8%

 

Ingredient Analysis

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.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Flounder
  • Eggs
  • Mackerel
  • Chicken/Turkey Liver
  • Chicken/Turkey Heart
  • Herring

 

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • N/A

 

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

 

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 – Original contains more than ten sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present is Chicken. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition to being a fantastic protein source, chicken has high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately Chicken does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Chicken. However given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

The secondary meat source present is Turkey. Turkey is a considered a high-quality source of protein. Some of the beneficial nutrients contained in Turkey include Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Unfortunately, Turkey does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Turkey. However given that Turkey is the second listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

Another fish source present is Flounder, Flounder is considered a high-quality source of protein. It is known for being a  particularly lean source of protein in comparison to other fish. However, it does contain high levels of salt and lower levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other fish. Unfortunately, Flounder contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Flounder. However given that Flounder is the third listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

Eggs are a highly nutritious pet food ingredient and are considered a high-quality source of protein. Eggs contain a huge variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and B12, Selenium, Phosphorus and many others. In addition to this, they contain a high proportion of protein and healthy fats such as the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids.

Another fish source present is Mackerel. Mackerel is considered a high-quality source of protein. It contains very high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid. In addition, it contains high levels of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, Mackerel contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Mackerel. Given that Mackerel is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.

Chicken and Turkey Giblets are considered a high or average quality source of meat depending on their ingredients. Giblets are the innards of a bird and contain organs such as the liver or heart. These can contain higher quantities of vitamins and minerals than traditional meat cuts as well as high levels of protein.

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 cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Herring. Given that Herring is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Orijen Original contains Peas, Lentils, Beans and Garbanzo Beans (also known as Chickpeas). These are all members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.

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 – Original

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, whole atlantic herring, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated turkey liver, whole green peas, whole navy beans, red lentils, chicken necks, chicken kidney, pinto beans, chickpeas, green lentils, lentil fiber, chicken fat, natural chicken flavor, herring oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, dried kelp, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, apples, pears, 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.

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