Orijen Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Orijen product line includes the 8 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- Orijen Puppy [A]
- Orijen Senior [M]
- Orijen Tundra [A]
- Orijen Original [A]
- Orijen Six Fish [A]
- Orijen Fit and Trim [M]
- Orijen Puppy Large [A]
- Orijen Original Red [A]
Orijen Original recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Orijen Original | Canada
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh chicken meat (13%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh cage-free eggs (7%), fresh chicken liver (6%), fresh whole herring (6%), fresh whole flounder (5%), fresh turkey liver (5%), fresh chicken necks (4%), fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, lentil fiber, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, whole pinto beans, whole navy beans, herring oil (1%), chicken fat (1%), chicken cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole red delicious apples, fresh whole bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole saskatoon berries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, additives (per kg), : nutritional additives: zinc chelate: 100 mg, Enterococcus faecium
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||21%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||41%||23%|
The first two items in this dog food are chicken and turkey. Although quality items, raw poultry contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The next three ingredients are herring, flounder, and turkey liver, additional quality raw items inclusive of moisture.
The eighth ingredient includes chicken necks. Raw chicken neck consists of muscle meat and bone and contains optimal levels of both protein and natural calcium.
The next two items include chicken and turkey heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The next ingredient is dehydrated chicken and turkey. Dehydrated poultry is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh poultry.
Plus (unlike meals) dehydrated poultry is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.
From here, the list goes on to include a plethora of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Orijen product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, it’s important to note that several ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Red lentils
- Green lentils
- Green peas
- Yellow peas
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, lentil fiber is a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from lentils. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
And lastly, this food contains one chelated mineral, a mineral that has been chemically attached to protein. This makes it easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Orijen Dog Food Review (Canada)
Based on its ingredients alone, Orijen Dog Food (Canada) looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the various legumes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing an abundance of meat.
Orijen (Canada) is a grain-free dry dog food using a generous amount of named meats and organs as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Orijen Dog Food
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A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
07/03/2020 Last Update