Most dogs will eat just about everything – whether it’s good for them or not!
You’re 100% responsible for ensuring your dog’s daily nutritional needs are met. But the world of dog food can be confusing, especially if you’re a new dog owner.
Diet plays a significant role in your dog’s quality of life. Your dog’s food needs a precise balance of vitamins and nutrients – and the specifics vary based on his breed, age, size and more.
Orijen has an excellent reputation for making natural, nutritious dog food. They offer varieties for practically all types of dogs. Is Orijen dog food right for your pup? Our complete, unbiased review has all the info you need to know:
Things to Consider Before Buying Dog Food
Every ingredient in dog food plays an important role. Dogs are scavenging carnivores (also called facultative carnivores). Their diet must consist primarily of meat, but can also include some plant material.
Unfortunately, not every commercial dog food has what dogs need to thrive. Low-quality food often contains animal by-products, filler, artificial flavors, and other potentially harmful additives.
Do the nutrition labels on the back of the dog food bag seem like a foreign language? Not sure what ingredients are the best choice for your dog’s stage of life? That’s okay! You don’t need to be an animal nutrition expert to find healthy food for your dog.
When shopping for dog food, consider the following features before making a purchase:
- Ingredients – Are they all-natural and healthy or filled with by-products and artificial flavors?
- Proportions – The amount of each ingredient matters. Protein should be the first listed.
- Sourcing – Are the proteins raised and the veggies grown in a natural, pesticide-free environment?
- Your dog’s life cycle – Puppies, adults, and senior dogs all have different nutritional needs. You’ll also need to make dietary adjustments based on any food allergies.
- Type of food – Dry food is the most nutrient dense but wet food might be a better choice for senior dogs and dogs with appetite issues.
Orijen Dog Food
Since 1975, Orijen has been a leader in dog food science. They’re headquartered in Alberta, Canada, where they ship their dog and cat food to over 70 countries. They make eight types of dry dog food and three types of dry cat food to cover all life stages:
All food is what Orijen calls “Biologically Appropriate.” It’s made to mimic what canines eat in the wild. The fresh, natural ingredients include free-run poultry, whole nest-laid eggs, wild-caught fish and ranch-raised meats. A special freeze-drying process locks in freshness. Their commitment to fresh, natural food is what sets them apart from most other brands you’ll find on the shelves.
Orijen Dog Food Pros & Cons
- Diet mimics what canines eat in the wild.
- All-natural ingredients include poultry, fish and meats.
- Freeze-dried to retain maximum nutrition.
- From farm to store shelves in just five days.
- Product line doesn’t have many single-protein options.
- Fresh ingredients can quickly spoil if the bag is left open.
- Relatively high priced.
Features & Benefits
Meets Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
“Biologically Appropriate” isn’t some meaningless marketing buzzword – it’s the main reason why Orijen’s food is different from the competition. They’ve created a nutritious, balanced diet based on a dog’s evolutionary needs.
Orijen is a Superfood, which means it’s carefully balanced to meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs. Feeding him this food – and nothing but this food – will keep him healthy. You don’t have to worry about adding supplements or vitamins to his diet (although exceptions might be necessary if he suffers from certain medical conditions).
All Orjen dry foods have 85% meat. That’s about three times more than most conventional dog food. Real meat provides vital amino acids, vitamins, and other necessary nutrients.
Meat should be the main source of protein. Unfortunately, low-quality dog foods often contain protein derived from plants like potatoes and peas. But you won’t find that here. Orijen’s protein content is derived purely from animals. The total protein content ranges between 38% and 44% — much higher than many other brands.
Stored Fresh without Preservatives
Fresh food has more vitamins, minerals and all-around goodness than frozen. While many brands claim their food is fresh, Orijen uses a unique process to deliver next-level freshness. Meat travels from farm to store within five days! Two-thirds of all proteins used are either fresh or raw, while the remaining third is air dried at a low temperature (which helps prevent nutrient loss).
We also like how the food contains no preservatives. Proteins are refrigerated instead of frozen. All raw ingredients are flash-frozen at peak season to seal in the nutrients without preservatives.
Ingredients You Can Trust (and Track)
As mentioned earlier, you want to know where the ingredients in the food come from. Fortunately, Orijen takes sourcing seriously. All ingredients are sourced from Alberta’s fertile farmlands. You can even hop onto Orijen’s site to learn the specifics about every supplier. Plus, because suppliers are so close to Orijen’s headquarters, ingredients are delivered to the kitchen quickly.
Helps Maintain Great Health
The high meat content, combined with the low magnesium levels, makes Orijen food naturally acidic – and that’s a good thing. Acidic food helps prevent urinary tract infections and urinary crystals. With a pH between 5.5 and 6, all varieties of Orijen foods help maintain healthy bladder function.
Orijen’s Senior food is formulated specifically for the nutritional needs of dogs ages seven and older. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about senior dog diets. You might’ve heard older dogs need a low protein diet – but that’s actually not true.
Instead, senior dogs thrive on a protein-rich diet like Orijen’s formula. Foods with high levels of protein have low levels of carbohydrates. Excessive carbs provide practically no nutrition, while protein gives seniors dogs the energy they need to stay active.
The Biologically Appropriate formula helps dogs maintain a healthy weight. That’s another advantage of the high protein, low carb diet. Excess carbohydrates easily transform into body fat, but protein powers the body without adding pounds.
Balanced Ratio of Protein and Carbohydrates
Low-quality dog food will often use carbohydrates as filler. While carbohydrates provide a temporary boost of energy, they also create a lot of sugar. Animal-based proteins are a healthier, longer-lasting energy source.
The more protein in dog food, the fewer carbohydrates – and vice versa. Orijen limits carbohydrates to 20% in all of their recipes. Plus, they use healthy, slow-release low-glycemic carbohydrates such as lentils, fresh pumpkin, and squash.
Low-glycemic carbohydrates promote stable blood sugar levels. They also don’t store as fat as easily as high-glycemic carbs. Even if a food is an excellent source of protein, a high amount of high-glycemic carbohydrates can still cause health problems. It’s reassuring to see Orijen’s commitment to low-glycemic carbs.
Of course, we don’t know personally what the food tastes like. But dogs sure seem to love it! The smells from the fresh meats and vegetables will likely capture your dog’s attention from across the room.
Unlike many other brands, Orijen food isn’t dulled with preservatives. Instead, the same process which seals in the natural nutrients also seals in great flavor.
People have plenty of praise for practically all varieties of Orijen dog food. Many people remarked on the high-quality ingredients. Additionally, the durable, stay-fresh packaging is also frequently mentioned as a benefit.
The food is typically appealing to picky eaters. More than a few pet parents commented on how their normally finicky dogs loved Orijen food. The Tundra line was especially popular among dogs who have lost their appetite due to age, a medical issue or some other reason:
The food also shows a lot of promise for treating allergies. Roughly 10% of dogs develop an allergy to their food. Proteins are the most common allergens, although dogs can also become allergic to grains, too. The solution to many allergy problems is to switch your dog’s food to one with a protein he’s never eaten before. Tundra and Regional Red are often both good choices for dogs with allergies.
Dog food quality has improved significantly in just the past few years. You’ll find a wide range of premium formulas online and on store shelves. Here are three brands similar to Orjen:
|1. Kirkland Signature Dog Food
|2. Victor Dog Food
|3. Taste of the Wild
Kirkland Signature Dog Food
Costco’s brand has a winning combination of low price and excellent quality. It’s made from wholesome ingredients including chicken, eggs, and rice. It’s formulated to protect joint health, improve coat condition and otherwise keep your dog healthy and active.
Kirkland Signature is a great option if you’re looking for a specific type of food, such as a formula for seniors, puppies or dogs with specific dietary needs.
It’s also a great option if you have multiple dogs because the Costco-connection keeps the price of each bag relatively low. Their adult dog formula is suitable for every breed so that you can feed all your dogs at once.
- Real chicken is the number one ingredient
- Many different specialized formulas available
- Helps protect joints, skin and more
If you’re looking for a quality food suitable for just about any budget, check out Kirkland Signature dog food here.
Victor Dog Food
Victor Dog Food is similar in quality to Orjen, although they don’t use flash freezing, so the ingredients aren’t quite as fresh. However, Victor’s Select Protein line offers more options for single-source proteins such as lamb and fish.
If Orjen foods seem to upset your dog’s stomach, switch to a Victor Select Protein. Single-source proteins are often easier to digest. They’re often well-suited for senior dogs, who frequently face food-related gastrointestinal issues.
All Victor Dog Food formulas feature four CORE ingredients. This unique blend of minerals and probiotics aids digestion and helps with nutrient absorption.
- Large selection of foods with single-source protein
- Easy to digest formula is ideal for seniors and dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Features a unique blend of four CORE ingredients
If Orijen Dog Food seems to upset your dog’s stomach, check out Victor Dog Food here.
Taste of the Wild
Both Regional Red and Tundra are packed with meat-based protein. If you’re looking for a similar food from a different brand, consider Taste of the Wild. The main ingredient is roasted bison, which delivers amino acids and other vital nutrients.
Taste of the Wild is a good alternative if your dog develops an allergy to Orijen Dog Food. About 10% of all dogs will spontaneously become allergic to food they’ve eaten for years. Switching to a new food, with a different protein, is often an effective solution. Bison-based Taste of the Wild usually works well if your dog is allergic to Six Fish, Tundra or Orijen Adult.
- The main ingredient is roasted bison
- Single-source protein helpful in diagnosing food allergies
- Provides amino acids and other vital nutrients
If you’re looking to switch from Orjen (due to an allergy or for another reason), Taste of the Wild’s bison food is a good option. Check out Taste of the Wild here.
You want to give your dog the very best. But dog food labels can be confusing. Fortunately, finding the best food isn’t complicated. Ingredients should be fresh, wholesome and simple.
Orijen Dog Food is a great choice for practically any dog for three key reasons:
- The ingredients are locally sourced and flash frozen, so they’re fresh when poured into your dog’s bowl.
- Several varieties of proteins are available so you’re sure to find a flavor your dog will love.
- The Biologically Appropriate formula is precisely balanced to deliver the nutrition your dog needs.
If that sounds like a meal your dog will love, click here to check out Orijen Dog Food today.