Orijen Dog Food (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★★★★

Orijen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Orijen product line includes seven dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one (Senior) for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Orijen Adult
  • Orijen Puppy
  • Orijen Senior
  • Orijen Tundra
  • Orijen Six Fish
  • Orijen Puppy Large
  • Orijen Regional Red

Orijen Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Orijen Adult Dog

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, whole eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams, pea fibre, chickpeas, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach greens, carrots, red delicious apples, bartlett pears, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium, supplements: vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis38%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%20%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%40%25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% 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 second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The next two ingredients are herring and turkey, additional quality raw items. After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The sixth ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient includes turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The eighth ingredient is whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The next two ingredients include walleye and salmon, items high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life. After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The next ingredient is chicken 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.

Next on the ingredient list is chicken cartilage, a source of both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate — natural substances believed to support joint health.

After chicken cartilage we find herring meal and salmon meal, yet two more high protein meat concentrates.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

From here, the list goes on to include a number 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 product.

With seven notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of red and green lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe also contains chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, although dried alfalfa is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

We also note this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Next, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Orijen Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Orijen Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 42%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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 effects of the red and green lentils, green peas, chickpeas and dried alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Orijen is a grain-free meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of various named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Origen, Orijin

Notes and Updates

03/05/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Crazy4dogs

    ;)

  • theBCnut

    Ya think? LOL!

  • theBCnut

    Humans, not dogs. Dr. Mercola is a human doctor. Articles by Dr. Karen Becker apply to animals, but not just dogs, so you still have to read to know what she is talking about.

  • theBCnut

    So what? You asked.
    Sorry about the comment. My device only showed me the one post and I replied to that. Then I went looking further and saw that reading was not the issue, so I removed it. However, on your other post to me, you used an article about HUMAN medicine as proof that high protein is detrimental to dogs. Maybe WHAT you are reading is the problem.
    If you were a CVT, then you know what they think they know about medicine changes over time. That’s why continuing education is a requirement. What they though they know about protein levels and dogs was based on bad research. They have improved their methods and found that protein level is not the issue, though protein quality may be. I believe you were provided with some links already.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Do you realize that you sent a mercola article regarding human protein? I believe we are omnivores. I think theBCnut is referring to dogs as this is a dog food site.

  • 1bestdog