Nutrition - 10/10
Ingredients - 10/10
Orijen – Puppy Large is a high-quality dry Puppy food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides significantly above average proportions of protein and fat.
The recipe contains high-quality ingredients with a focus on poultry such as Chicken and Turkey as well as some fish ingredients. It also contains a range of Legumes which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition to their carbohydrate content, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.
Orijen – Puppy Large contains a wide range of vegetables and meats, for this reason, it may not be suitable for puppies with serious allergies or sensitivities. However, it is very suitable for the majority of puppies and will provide them with excellent nutrition.
Very Satisfactory Nutrition Profile
High-Quality Meat & Vegetable Ingredients
No Grains or By-Products
A Full review of Puppy Large 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 26% of Orijen – Puppy Large 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 Puppy Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable content of this puppy food. Examples include Lentils and Beans. These ingredients will be discussed later on. This is a very satisfactory level of carbohydrates, especially considering they are from a quality source and this is an overestimate.
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 38% of Orijen – Puppy Large 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 Puppy Food.
This will be a more than sufficient proportion of protein for the vast majority of puppies, including those who are very active. Given the very high levels of protein present, some of the excess protein will likely be burnt as calories which is completely natural. This protein appears to be sourced from the large range of meat and fish ingredients which are high-quailty sources.
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 36% of Orijen – Puppy Large 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 Puppy Food.
The fat present in this puppy food appears to be sourced from the meat and fish ingredients which is a natural source. The fish ingredients will also provide high quantities of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which have a variety of health benefits. This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active puppies.
Overall Orijen – Puppy Large contains an average of 3760 kcal/kg or 429 kcal per 8oz. cup.
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 – Puppy Large
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) – 16.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 6.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.1%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.0%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.8%
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.
- Chicken/Turkey Liver
- Chicken/Turkey Heart
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 – Puppy Large 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 to average quality source of meat depending on their quality. Giblets are the innards of a bird and contain organs such as the liver or heart. These can contain high quantities of vitamins in addition to 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
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 – Puppy Large
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, natural chicken ﬂavor, lentil ﬁber, herring oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, chicken fat, 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.