Orijen Dog Food | Canada (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Orijen Dog Food (Canada) 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 indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis38%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%20%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%40%25%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 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, another item inclusive of water. 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 inclusive of water and sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The eighth ingredient includes 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.

However, raw fish contains about 80% water. 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 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 (Canada)
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Orijen (Canada) 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 20%. 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 effect 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 (Canada) is a grain-free meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of 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.

Orijen Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

07/12/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • BreZE Fong

    I agree. The original Orijens ingredients seem to be extremely well sourced and monitored. Only reason I’m willing to pay the premium prices.

  • BreZE Fong

    I believe both are high quality and you can’t go wrong with either. I have Samoyeds and used both. I fed the NV Salmon for about 3 years when the large bags were going for less than $60. I switched to the NV Salmon Instinct when it came out. What I really like about NV is it’s digestibility. I used to have to add Missing Link to my dogs’ food or they’d get gas but after I started feeding NV I noticed they didn’t get gas any longer and was was able to discontinued the Missing Link. I think the NV raw coating is the reason.
    When the price of NV Salmon soared to close to $100 a bag I switched to Orijens Fish for 3 reasons. My dogs were absolutely crazy about it. They loved it as much as their expensive dog treats. Orijens tests all they’re wild fish for heavy metals. NV uses a combination of wild and farmed salmon. I noticed my dogs were livelier and I didn’t need to fed as larger of a serving size.
    I did notice during the transition to Orijens a tiny bit of gas but that disappeared after they fully transitioned.

    I haven’t yet tried the Orijens made in US yet so I don’t know if these comments would apply to it.
    Hope this was of some help.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Lori-

    Their policy is to source all their ingredients locally which meant they could no longer source from Canada if the food was being made in KY.

  • Lori Heyser Benett

    I believe it is Orijen that contains the higher protein content than Acana. My pup, Sadie has done well on both. However, I cannot understand why they have been changing ingredients since opening a facility in Kentucky. You have to wonder when everything was going so well, why change it? Champion Foods, I would assume, must have a method to this madness, I just do not know what it is. Guess I’m on my way to more research

  • GimpLady

    Just like anything else, Orijen and Acana are owned by the same company, but they are different products and have different ingredients. They are manufactured in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Acana is widely understood to have a higher protein content than Orijen. My Lab doesn’t do nearly as well on Acana as Orijen, but just like people dogs differ. His Vet, which is a respected individual, agrees that lots of dogs she has treated do not do as well on Acana as Orijen but that doesn’t mean too much, it is a quality dog food,, and those dogs simply do not require as high a protein content.

  • Lori Heyser Benett

    R U aware that Acana AND Orijen come from the same company ~ Champion Foods in Canada ~

  • Gabriel Ramirez

    Due to the demand Orijen was forced to open a new facility in Kentucky, while they did not change the amounts with regard to the ingredients, they did have to change where they source their meats.

  • InkedMarie

    Me too! On occasion, he will paw lick it to a sore but maybe 3 times in his 11yrs and always in the winter with heat on. For him, raw was the answer to this & yeasty ears.

    Only specialist we have ever gone to was at the Mass vet referral hospital….three of them (internist, ophthalmologist & neurologist) in one very long visit.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Glad you found something that works. I had exhausted all the remedies over the period of 1 year and was very pleased with the results after going to a specialist. She is the only dog I ever had to take to a specialist.
    I have had paw lickers before, but nothing extreme.

  • InkedMarie

    Boone used to paw lick a lot but since putting him on raw, he hasn’t except for occasionally in winter. Even with a humidifier, it’s so dry in this house.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Paw licking tends to be a symptom of environmental allergies, if it’s mild and just sporadic/occasional, no big deal. But if it has been going on a while and has not responded to diet changes and treatment by the regular vet…..you know the drill.
    Two words, Veterinary Dermatologist.

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know why Sharron is deleting comments but I have a dog who licks his paws sometimes; not a huge deal. Did you take her to the vets for paw licking & scooting?

  • sharron

    well i had to take lexee to the vet this morning – during the night she licked the hair off one paw – the vet thinks it could be that there are too many meat proteins in the orijen – she suggested to try her on a limited ingredient food such acana singles – she is also scratching. and scooting

  • InkedMarie

    You’re probably the only person I would tell to leave her on what she’s eating, since she’s eating it!

  • sharron

    ok thanks – i can’t remember if i have tried NV kibble, i know i have bought the NV raw medallions which she didn’t care for – i’m thinking of getting the NV Instinct Small Breed Turkey – thanks for your input

  • Pitlove

    I prefer Natures Variety based on the company itself. What stands out to me the most is that they employee both an internal medicine vet and a veterinary nutritionist full time on their staff. Dr. Susan Wynn is a highly respected board certified veterinary nutritionist and she is who helps formulate their diets.

  • sharron

    there are not a lot of dry foods that she will eat – orijen is one that she does like – i change formulas to keep her interested – so you think that i should feed her NV instead of Orijen – i noticed that NV Instinct isn’t high in calories as Orijen – i’m still concerned about her gaining weight

  • Pitlove

    Sorry I didn’t know you were still rotating her food. I thought that was causing her to be more picky? I can’t remember.

    NV would still be my choice.

  • sharron

    i’m not taking her off the Orijen, i have been feeding her a different formula each meal. i just want to add another protein like turkey or duck which she really likes into the rotation but i want a brand that is similar to Orijen not one that is totally different

  • Pitlove

    I would choose Natures Variety between Blue, Orijen and NV.

  • sharron

    oh she is doing well, sorry i should have mentioned that i wanted to put another protein either duck or turkey in the rotation – no i’m not taking her off the orijen – this is the first time she is eating straight dry without the wet

  • InkedMarie

    I thought Lexee was doing well on Orijen?

  • sharron

    what would be another brand of dry dog food that would be equivalent to orijen – champion foods told me not to feed acana has it has a lot more carbs than orijen – what about Blue Buffalo Wilderness or Nature’s Variety grain free

  • sharron

    sorry another question – this is the longest Lexee has been on Orijen. I thought her poops are suppose to be smaller,she is pooping a large amount. I am giving her 1/4 cup at breakfast and dinner. Is that why, should i cut back on how much she is eating, or will it change overtime?

  • sharron


  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes, it is. When you switch from a lower protein kibble to a higher one (and Orijen is has one of the highest percentages of protein out there), it’s pretty much inevitable. Definitely nothing to worry about.

  • sharron

    hi – lexee sure is drinking a lot of water since being on Orijen, is this normal

  • I’m in Oklahoma. Since I posted this, we’ve actually started on NOW, which is also Canadian, and he seems to really like it so far!

  • PRISM-theNewSocialNetwork

    I’m holding a small bag of Orijen Puppy food (yellow bag) and it says it’s made in Kentucky, not Canada.

  • LadyDiana214

    where do you live Rachel?

  • LadyDiana214

    My Kita turned 2 a couple of months ago and it has been quite the journey trying to get to the core of his vomiting/diarrhea issues. I finally read on a site where it recommended to clear your dog of any food in his system for a day or two (i picked the weekend where I could keep a constant eye on him and also keep him distracted) and only give him water….next step is to put your dog on a food they have never had before. I put him on Merrick’s duck and sweet potato limited diet since he has never had either of those two main ingredients. AND VOILA!!! almost immediately he stopped vomiting, his poop also started firming up within a few days, and by the 2nd week I was able to wean him off his meds!!! SOOOO HAPPPY to see my beautiful boy finally be free of these ongoing issues for 2 years! He ABSOLUTELY LOVES chicken, but I quickly realized after I changed his diet that it is the MAIN cause of his stomach issues. He can have it ONCE or twice a month now, but never 2 days in a row. He gets VIOLENTLY ill on innards and salmon. He refused to touch duck meat when I first tried giving it to him (before trying the duck and sweet potato dog food), so unfortuntaly he quickly lost interest in the duck and sweet potato dog food but since he LOVES lamb (I feed it to him raw and if he could talk he would say it is ‘finger licking good’ b/c he does just that…licks my fingers clean for 5 mins when the lamb is all gone!). He is now on the Acana LAMB & APPLE. He’s just about to finish his first LARGEST BAG of it and I am about to get their new version, which is supposed to have more lamb in it and even more limited diet overall. So, I definitely recommend it and also the Merrick Duck and Sweet Potato Limited Diet. I truly understand the worry,fear and downright aggravation over trying to resolve this issue that is causing harm to our furry family member. My heart ached for him so many times and the worst time was when he ate something that had such a bad reaction to that he couldn’t even keep water down (that is when he ate a treat of dehydrated innards). He would just run back out after coming in and taking a couple of sips of water. It got to the point he refused to come in for the rest of the night ๐Ÿ™ he slept on his favorite lounge chair and I sat on the grass next to him and laid my head next to him on the chair and just wrapped my arm around him to let him know he wasn’t alone….and cried. This was at the height of his problems and he was losing weight and I was really concerned for him. He is now happy Husky boy again, his weight is back to the norm and he is even healthy enough that he can donate blood ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since you posted 4 months ago, I would love to know how your boy is doing on his new diet and if that helped to clear up his stomach issues. I truly hope he is doing better ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diane

    Thank you!

  • Crazy4cats

    Sounds good. I feed mine the Whole Earth Farms Pork, Beef and Lamb formula when I want to give them a break from chicken. Good luck to you. I hope the Acana works out!

  • Diane

    I believe chicken and the chicken fat used as a preservative. I just went and bought Acana Heritage Meat which has no chicken or chicken fat to see how he does on that and the protein is much lower too.

  • Crazy4cats

    What is your dog allergic to? This food has many ingredients and you are right, it is high in calories also.

    It is impossible to give suggestions without knowing what he is allergic to. Are you sure they are food, not environmental allergies?

  • Diane

    I was going to try this for my one dog who has severe allergies but I am concerned he will gain too much weight. He is a small dog and has already gained weight on the Nulo Freestyle dry. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • Hana Spitz

    Its really to bad what has happened to Champion Pet foods. They used to make great food.
    Other than my raw feeding I have put my dogs on Victors grain free and all my dogs seem to do very well on it. Lots of options out there though.

  • moma

    Without question this is the best dry dog food you can find. Did raw for a while, and while my dog loved it it was becoming a challenge. But this food? Wow. And it is the only kibble I’ve ever come across that is as desirable as raw food was to my pup. Couldn’t recommend it more!

  • CookiePussSonOfFudgie

    This was my last holdout from Acana/Orijen that was still being made in Canada with their original ingredients. Now this red meat version is being made in the US as well with entirely different ingredients and bag shrinkage. It went from from 28.5lbs down to 25lbs–a loss of 3.6lbs. They dropped the price 7 bucks which is well short of the price they charge for a 5lb bag (28 bucks)! I’m convinced companies just can’t help themselves and leave a good product alone that gets universally praised. I’m now officially done with Champion Pet Food–it was great while it lasted. ๐Ÿ™

  • I ordered several bags of the Canadian version from Chewy’s and am about to run out of my last bag. It’s already so expensive though I don’t know if a service like this would push it over my budget though. ๐Ÿ™ I just hate to have to put his little tummy through the whole process of trying to find another food that agrees with him. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/564374fda5ba97affb1f28f607d1915299cd7d7930e83e2dabbd2f8050a52cc6.jpg

  • Krista

    My dog had loose stools on this food. I was only feeding her 2/3 cup total per day. I really like this brand and was disappointed it didn’t work out. Did anyone else have this problem? She’s on natural balance lid formulas now and doing great, but it’s only rated 3 stars.

  • AJ

    I just started my dog on orijen. So far he loves it! He inhales the food! This is the first and only dry kibble i’ve seen him do that. So looks like I’m sticking to orijen. I may try raw, but orijen is my go to if he doesn’t like raw.

  • Kalli

    My 8 month old Alaskan Malamute puppy use to love the large breed puppy formula. But since they switched to the US Kentucky plant, he won’t eat it. I have to hand feed him, put treats or other human food in it to get him to eat. Not my idea of fun when you’re spending so much money on food. I guess I’ll be looking for a new brand of food. Really sucks! I don’t know why they would change a good thing. Or we should at least be able to still buy from Canada if we want. Hopefully they will make that change or it looks like they’ll be losing a lot of business, if they even care.

  • Eddie Dj-Polar Rose

    That is very unfortunate for the price change, as worth as the price tag is normally I cannot imagine spending three times I do now. I could see why you would switch, you could however do as Madpangolin suggests and order online, chewy being a very reputable site and should be free shipping. Should be worth for Orijen being the same as you remembered price tag and size!

  • Eddie Dj-Polar Rose

    No its fact. Read ingredients, the information is right there…
    Some of the options I looked at had great ingredient selection and few meats being at the top of the List! While others, for example their Ocean Fish, had brown rice as the second ingredient. That means a huge percentile of the food,although a healthier filler choice, is just a filler. No Orijen product has this percentile of a filler. This is one example, there are more from Victor’s selection that fill even as far as a cereal filler and need added supplements.
    Is it a bad food? No. That my friend would be an opinion. All of their selection I’ve seen provides proper nutrition for the health of a dog with mainly meat ingredients on top of the list it serves as a better food than some on the market. Concluding the evidence it being a good food.
    But, to compare all Victor’s selecions equal to a brand as exceptional as Orijen is quite unfortunately wrong.
    Another point other than ingredient percentile is:
    I haven’t seen anything from Victor that states it’s products aren’t outsourced. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but considering that is another factor of Victor being cheaper and inevitably a slight lower quality score than that of a company who claims to provide wild caught, fresh and never outsourced ingredients. The price tag of Orijen is worth knowing that my dog is eating non GMO, fresh, local food. It’s tested and all of its top ingredients are meat so that my carnivore can thrive. I trust Orijen over feeding raw to be honest as its hard to affordably replicate the great ingredients they provide in bulk. Not to say either is better but that, is my entitled opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rover

    Before switching to Acana, try adding a bit of pumpkin to each meal. Pumpkin is generally hypoallergenic and is actually a component in Acana’s single-protein foods, which were designed for sensitive stomachs. As a healthy/grain-free source of fibre, it firms up poops and acts as a digestive regulator, so I often recommend it for dogs (and cats!) who urgently need to switch foods due to digestive upset. The bonus is that the fibre also makes them feel full, thus preventing them from getting into things they shouldn’t… my Lab gets a tablespoon of it on his kibble, since they’re walking stomachs after all ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ilnaix

    Thanks! I have decided to switch his kibbles and monitor the results for the time being! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ilnaix

    Thank you very much Susan! My dog is in transition to TOTW roasted lamb kibbles.. I will try switching the white rice to potatoes instead.. hopefully he will shed some kilos months to come! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • LadyDiana214

    Good point PJ. As a Canadian, I can say that you definitely ‘hit the nail on the head’ with that analogy. My kids and I found that to be very true when it comes to ‘rest stops’. Americans have these fancy, up-to-date facilities, with snack and drink machines. We have the occasional ‘out house’. LOL.

  • LadyDiana214

    REALLY?!?!? SOOO…the ‘looks’ of the building that a dog’s food is made in is more important to you than the actual process of WHAT ingredients go into the food, WHERE those ingredients come from, the QUALITY of the ingredients and HOW that food is made?!?!
    I think you need to reevaluate your priorities and should spend your time looking at what goes into the food you are feeding your dog instead of how ‘pretty’ the building it is made in!

  • LadyDiana214

  • Missy

    I recently added probiotics to his food to see if that would help with both the yeast and his bowel movements as well. So far I haven’t seen much of a difference but I know he needs them after all the different antibiotics he’s been on this year.

  • Missy

    I started feeding my dog Orijen 6 fish because of his problems with yeast. I love the food but my dogs stool is soft more often than not. I tried the Acana mackerel and spinach freeze dried treats and he was vomiting and had diarrhea . Mackerel is one of the main ingredients in his food so I’m worried I might be feeding him something he has an allergy to. He has had issues digesting any types of poultry, kangaroo pork and beef so I’ve been trying to steer clear of anything besides fish because I don’t want to upset his stomach. He can’t digest grain, corn or wheat either so my choices are limited. Any suggestions? I’m going to try mixing in Acana’s lamb and apple and see how that goes. We’ve never tried a lamb based food so I’m hoping maybe he will be able to digest it.

  • Katy

    Yes, they’re now made in a facility in Kentucky with US ingredients as opposed to Canadian ingredients we were used to before this summer. http://www.stpetersbark.com/2016/02/19/changes-to-champion-food-with-the-new-kentucky-facility/

  • Adrienne Farricelli

    My dogs are both on Orijen senior and the bag is now 25 pounds versus the original 28 pounds, the price increased despite the smaller bag and the kibble pieces are smaller. My dogs are also more gassy, anybody know if they changed something in their formula?

  • Susan

    Hi ilnaix, stop feeding him the boiled rice, also I have found chicken breast gains weight, look for lean turkey or lean beef or pork mince instead, I feed boiled sweet potato & only 1/4 a cup sweet potato & add to 1 rissole.. I make rissoles, I add some broccoli, kale, carrot, parsley & carrot, I put all cut up pieces thru a blender then I add to lean pork or lean beef mince & make into 1 cup size rissoles & baked in oven…I freeze the boiled sweet potatoes in sections & I freeze the cooked rissoles..this way I only need to cook once a fortnight…
    also look for a kibble with lower fat% & low in carbs …. Look at the feeding guidelines, on the kibbles web page & look for the Kcals/per cup & feed a kibble that’s under 370 Kcals/per cup…I feed “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, its only 338Kcal/cup & Patch lost weight when I first started feeding the TOTW, I had to increase his kibble cause I don’t want him to loose weight…

  • bojangles

    Hi ilnaix,

    Welcome to DFA!

    After neutering his metabolism could’ve slowed up and/or the calories per cup of the 6 fish could be more than his last food. Add up the calories per cup of both foods and if the 6 fish is more, then cut back on the amount so that he’s getting the same calories as before.

    If the calories are the same then cut back his kibble by 10% and go from there.

    Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ilnaix

    I switched to Orijen six fish 5 months ago and my 8 year old Husky definitely loves it! Coat and skin definitely has improved too. However, ever since, he has gained 5 kgs and is currently at 28kg! He was just neutered 5 months ago too. I’m feeding him Orijen once a day in the morning (2 x 8oz. cup) portion and for dinner he has white rice & boiled chicken breast meat OR beef. I really want my pup to have Orijen for long term but the weight gain issue is worrying me. Am I not giving the right portion of Orijen? I have temporarily switched to Natural Balance’s L.I.D dry food hoping he can lose some weight..

  • KcQ8ov

    I understand your concerns. My terrier is doing great on Orijen. However, with the changes coming up (USA plant, formula change, price increase) I don’t know what to believe.
    So, back to Nutrisca (my other dog does well on this product), also I am giving Newman Organics dry food another chance (as a base)

  • InkedMarie

    Replying again….if I had a dog like yours, with his issues, doing well on Orijen food is the reason *I* would NOT switch

  • InkedMarie

    Just confused…you have a dog with diarrhea/vomiting/weight loss who does great on Orijen as you said above….in another post on Victor, you talk about switching him.

  • LadyDiana214

    Because Orijen is INCREDIBLY expensive ๐Ÿ™ So IF he does as well on Victor, why wouldn’t I switch to the food that costs much less?

  • LadyDiana214

    You’re entitled to your opinion.

  • LadyDiana214

    When I said that Victor was the ‘American’ version of Orijen, I meant that it is similar to Orijen in terms of having mostly meat based ingredient, with lots of ‘good’ ingredients as well. It is rated #3 (with Orijen coming in 1st & Merrick coming in 2n

  • theBCnut

    While Victor does have some high protein options, that is pretty much the limit of what it has in common with Orijen.

  • InkedMarie

    If your dog is doing so well on Orijen regional red, why are you buying Victor?

  • InkedMarie

    Victor is the American version of Orijen? How so? Made by two different companies. Acana is also made by Chsmpion, who makes Orijen; maybe you mean that?

  • Charles Mounce

    Try open farm or to help your Shepard out a little more with potential joint issues in the future, feeding a diet with more moisture may help. I would recommend Grandma Lucy’s pure formance for a Shepard in my opinion. Just start with small amounts first.

  • Charles Mounce

    Try Open Farm dog food.

  • Charles Mounce

    With sources switching and different ingredients, some weaning may be needed. Also, most will have higher protein. If you want an Acana with the same amount of protein, try their Heritage line.

  • Charles Mounce

    Try giving a little fish bone broth with the GI issues, you’ll see some good things with time.

  • Charles Mounce

    An easy switch with good sourcing would be Open Farms White Fish option. Also, with your breed, you may want to try Grandma Lucy’s White Fish instead. Just start with 20% if recommended feeding and go up from there.

  • Charles Mounce

    Try adding a little bit of Primal or Answers goat milk and it will help with the weight gain. Also, adding a topper or switching to a straight protein diet may help to, like ZiwiPeak. Another good one to try would be Honest Kitchens Love. When adding any of these, try adding maybe 20% of the recommended feeding first and transition from there.

  • LadyDiana214

    I have been reading a lot of posts on here from U.S. customers who CAN’T get the Canadian’ version of Orijen anymore. Since this is the 1st dog food that hasn’t caused stomach issues for my dog, my heart goes out to each and every one of you guys. Has anyone ever heard of a brand named ‘Victor’? When doing my research, I found that Victor is the American version of Orijen, but better in some ways (AND a 1/3 of the price). I was so impressed that I ordered a 30 lb bag for $44! ( on sale on Chewy,com for $55 and with the discount for ‘autoship’, that brought it down another $11!). While they don’t ship to Canada, I am a little over an hr’s drive from the border and a location where I have any orders shipped to that I can’t have delivered to me here in Canada. In the meantime,I will be paying approx. $75 (with taxes) for a 15 lb bag of Orijen Regional Red. Even with the weak Cdn $, I paid approx. $55 for a 30 lb bag of Victor. I am impressed with the list of ingredients,as well as the great Customer Service, so I am hopeful that it works for my Kita. HOWEVER, I am considering maybe looking into starting a service of some sort where I can help customers still get their Canadian version of Orijen. IF interested,please let me know. If I have enough ppl show an interest,I will look into this more seriously.

  • LadyDiana214

    I started my guy on Orijen Regional Red about a month ago and his diarrhea,vomiting and weight loss issues are now a distant bad memory ๐Ÿ˜€ Today he just finished his last cup of the small bag I bought him and he GOBBLED IT UP just as much as he did the 1st! Tomorrow I will be buying it again,but a bigger bag…lol. Good news is that since it is so rich,I can feed him 1/2 as much as the other foods, but what he has gained since being on this food is BEYOND BELIEF!!!
    The BEST advice i can give anyone whose dog is struggling with issues….don’t give up (it took me 18 mnths to find what worked for my Kita). Just keep trying until you find what works for your dog b/c no matter what praises anyone gives any one food,it may not be right for your dog. Dogs are after all,just as individual as we are.

  • LadyDiana214

    I got my guy at 12 wks of age and he will be 2 in November. Until about a month ago, I have been DILIGENTLY trying to find a good quality dog food and done EVERYTHING right. YET…the diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and refusal to eat EVERY dog food I ever bought him

  • KcQ8ov

    I never did blood work for allergy testing, just the intradermal skin testing by the dermatologist.
    Now, If you are talking about blood work to rule out medical issues and the vet is recommending it, I would do it. Especially if it hasn’t been done in a while.

  • Crystal Ames Vandall

    They have not been helpful at all. Said if this food or this meds don’t help come back THEN we’ll do blood work see what problem is. That means more visits more money. I didn’t know there was a vet dermatologist. My Rottweiler said she was to thin buy this brand try and that brand and try, if it didn’t work same thing. THEN come back we’ll do blood work and see what problems are.

  • Crystal Ames Vandall

    My Rottweiler you can see and feel her ribs and bone between her front legs.vet said keep trying this brand and that brand, if it continued then we would do blood work for allergy testing too see what is the problem. More visits more money.

  • KcQ8ov

    Large breeds will continue to fill out the 1st year or two. Weight varies, if a vet examined her and says she’s ok, I wouldn’t worry unless her ribs are sticking out….
    She may just be on the small size for her breed.

  • Crystal Ames Vandall

    Thank you, I just took my Dobbie to vet, said they think it might be seasonal allergies for her. Gave shot, meds, and shampoo. My Rottweiler is still not gaining weight. She will be 1 year old and only weights 66 pounds. She lost 25 pounds when I had her spayed and gave Trifexis. I’ve asked vet several times for something to help her gain and they said she’s ok. I looked up normal weight for her age and she is way behind.

  • KcQ8ov

    “Scratching all over” sounds like environmental allergies. Go to the forums section at this site and search “allergies”. Your dog’s symptoms may have nothing to do with food.
    Consider making an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist, if your regular vet has not been helpful.
    My dog with a sensitive stomach could not tolerate Orijen and does well with Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea kibble as a base.

  • Crystal Ames Vandall

    Thinking about trying for my 2 babies. I have 1 breaking out scratching all over, and 1 with sensitive stomach. I’ve practically tried all dog food brands out there grain free. Now using Merrick. Both are large breed. 1 Rottweiler and 1 Doberman. Any suggestions?

  • KcQ8ov

    You are welcome. Maybe half and half it with the cooked mixture that agrees with her for a few days and see how it goes.
    BTW: My terrier likes Orijen, I haven’t decided whether or not to try the USA version.

  • Breanna R.

    Thank you very much. I will look into the two brands that you recommended. I just want her to feel better.

  • yellowcup

    Hi Ann, I recently switched my senior hound to Orijen senior – the USA formulation – because I had no choice and could only get the USA kind. It has been wonderful for her and I’m really glad I switched. I was very skeptical of this switch to USA factories. In fact, she was on ACANA before and I don’t like the new formulation of the duck and pear for her. She had gastro problems but I’m not sure it’s the food. Anyway maybe give it a try.

  • KcQ8ov

    I’m afraid I hit the thumbs down button by mistake (above post), if a moderator reads this please remove. Thanks.
    My dog with a sensitive stomach does well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. I usually add a bite of cooked something.
    My neighbor’s dog also has GI issues and does well on Fromm. We order through Chewy.com
    By the way they still have the Canadian versions of Orijen (for now)

  • Breanna R.

    I have a 10 year old Golden. I rescued her when she was approximately 1 year old and after feedings she would get diarrhea and also begin heaving as if she were going to vomit. I went through several foods eliminating things from her diet and found her to have a grain allergy. I put her on Orijen Six Fish and she has been eating that with no issues for at least 8 years. In June she began having more diarrhea and vomiting trouble. She had her first accident in the house.

    Our Vet has ran blood work, completed ultrasound and done several rounds of antibiotics with no resolution. I order her food from Chewy.com and noticed that the issues began around the time we would have started to receive Orijen food from their US location.

    I really like the Orijen brand and would like to avoid changing but I when no other factors have changed I have to believe these issues are a result of the change in formula. Has anyone else encountered the same issues? Does anyone have any suggestions? I have thought about trying their Senior food but I fear too many changes may cause her to have more trouble.

    I have been cooking her chicken and sweet potato to give her a break from dog food and help calm her stomach until we can get back to a food that doesn’t bother her.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

  • GSDsForever

    Krystle, I agree 100% with what LabsRawesome answered.

    Try samples too, to find out if there are any dry foods that she enjoys & prefers. Try a bunch! In addition to the canned and specific add ins suggestions Labs gave, you can also top dry food with good oils like wild Alaska salmon oil (I like Grizzly’s brand, available online & in stores) and organic virgin coconut oil.

    Orijens and Fromm are both good brands. I can’t really address the quality of the foods newly coming out of the Kentucky plant — think that’s a wait and see kind of thing. And look into the new ingredient sourcing — always as important as the ingredient “list,” imo!

    Two dry foods my GSD has readily eaten & enjoyed are Zignature (which I needed to use to do a food allergy trial) and Timberwolf Organics. Those are both excellent brands. I have fed Timberwolf to many Shepherds for years with outstanding results and really like their foods. Timberwolf Organics is available easily, discounts & free ship & tax free, by ordering directly from the company website. I recommend the Wilderness Elk & Salmon w/Herbs & Berries formula as my favorite.

    I’ve also gotten MANY dogs to eat, who weren’t eating, via crumbling Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried raw medallions on top of whatever food. It’s like doggie crack. LOL!

    If you’re open to it and able given your circumstances, I would really recommend considering homemade fresh food too.

    p.s. I’ve also fed homemade for many years, with GSDs — if you would like any help/run into problems.

  • GSDsForever

    Agreed! Great advice.

  • GSDsForever

    Yes, I believe you, pitlove, & am not questioning YOU ๐Ÿ˜‰ — but, rather, the rep’s info/understanding — as it does not match up with what Orijen (Champion) is stating currently on the website, where they specifically address Tundra, and provide an explanation of why it cannot be made and ingredient sourced in the U.S.. AND we are hearing differently from stores visited by Orijen reps here.

  • GSDsForever

    Thank you!

  • bojangles

    Hi GSDs,

    I took a screenshot for you

  • Pitlove

    Yes I spoke to our Champion rep at work about it. The info is directly from him.

  • GSDsForever

    Ok, sooo . . .

    I’m NOT seeing a higher protein amount in the U.S. (re your concern) or different fat %. The fiber is slightly lower. Calories are just a bit lower per cup.

    While overall fat stayed the same, the Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio and amounts differ: 3.3:0.8 (from 3.0:1.1) and lowered EPA & DHA.

    From looking at the primary 5 ingredients in the first formula, your dog is used to tasting mostly chicken (including liver, which dogs typically enjoy as a “treat”) and herring, slight turkey.

    In the new formula, your dog is tasting more equal parts chicken and turkey (+ their organ meats), flounder, eggs, and mackerel (whole fish) as primary.

    So they are going to taste somewhat different from what your dog was used to, flavor-wise.

    New animal proteins in the U.S. formula:
    Yellowtail Flounder
    Mackerel (whole fish) and dehydrated/dried

    Removed animal proteins in the U.S. formula:
    Salmon & Salmon Meal

    Legumes: Still peas, lentils, chickpeas — but also now navy beans and pinto beans

    Veggies/Greens: Instead of just spinach, now you have kale, mustard greens, collard greens, turnips greens — all healthful, but stronger flavors here & less “sweet.” Both formulas also include alfalfa and kelp.

    Fruit: Both contain apples & pears, but the new formula removed berries (blueberries & cranberries)

    The new U.S. formula includes seeds (sunflower and pumpkin seeds), whereas Canada’s does not.

    And this herbal blend disappeared, which may account for some flavor difference (aside from benefit):

    licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary

    (The new U.S. formula has chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries — all new ingredients.)

    There’s also more dried/dehydrated and freeze dried poultry/fish ingredients in the new U.S. formula, vs the old/Canada version including poultry/fish meals.

    Just wanted to highlight differences and what has stayed the same. I’m sorry your dog loved the old formula & won’t eat the new U.S. version. Maybe share that w/Champion? Sometimes companies do listen; good companies do anyway, as best they *can* within whatever business limitations.

    I know that when a favorite brand of mine was still tinkering with a new/revised formula, it mattered to the company/owner (I spoke to him) whether my dog liked the new formula and what I thought of it/my preferences, how my dog was responding to it and whether it caused any digestive upset. And a few years later, with another newly developed formula, it was also revised (I think for the better), perhaps also due to customer feedback/dogs’ responses. And many years prior, when same company had negative feedback from customers who didn’t want chicken fat in particular non-chicken formulas, it was also removed/replaced.

  • GSDsForever

    So that people can better understand what you’re referring to — any differences in ingredients and GA/nutrient profiles in these specific 2 formulas — and make suggestions for a similar food, as you’ve requested, here are the two formulas:

    Orijen Adult Dog Food (Canada)
    38% Protein/18% Fat (5% Fiber)
    478 Kcal/Cup

    1st 5 Ingred: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver, Herring (whole), Turkey

    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 fiber, 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. Vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, ribo๏ฌ‚avin, folic acid, biotin,
    vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate,
    copper proteinate, selenium yeast.

    Orijen Original Dog Food (U.S.)
    38% Protein/18% Fat (4% Fiber)
    449 Kcal/Cup

    1st 5 Ingred: Chicken, Turkey, Yellowtail Flounder, Eggs, Mackerel (whole)

    Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail ๏ฌ‚ounder, 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, alfalfa, chicken fat,
    natural chicken ๏ฌ‚avor, 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, sun๏ฌ‚ower seeds, zinc proteinate, mixed
    tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bi๏ฌdobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.

  • GSDsForever

    Really? Champion’s FAQ re the Kentucky plant & formulas, dated June 2016, still posted on the website, states:

    EDIT: It won’t let me copy & post here or take and post a pic. Sorry. But Champion directly addressed Tundra in their PDF, saying it would continue to be made in Canada, as regional formula specific.


  • Robin Lev

    Please share any good brands!

  • Robin Lev

    My German Shepard puppy has not liked the new formula, and the pieces of kibble are too small and are causing him to burp, which he never did before. He threw up after trying the new formula for the first time. I just purchased a bag of the Original formula because he is old enough to get adult food, but after reading this thread I am having serious reservations. What is a good quality food to switch over to?

  • KcQ8ov

    I am hoping that Chewy will continue to carry both. There is no mention on their site that they won’t. Time will tell….

  • theBCnut

    As the US versions become available, they are the only ones Chewy will have. If you have one of the Canadian ones on your autoship order, Chewy will notify you when they are about to switch over completely. This allowed me to get a couple bags of the Canadian Acana formula that my allergy dog can eat. He can’t have the US version.

  • Pitlove

    Tundra will be moving to the Kentucky plant at the end of next year according to our Champion rep at work.

  • Markia J

    Thank you, I will look into it.

  • Markia J

    The USA version is what got my baby sick but good luck with it.

  • KcQ8ov

    I may be willing to give the USA version a try, after all, for all we know it could be better.

  • Markia J

    Thanks I just chatted with a representative and she said ” I’m happy to help. We are going to have the older version available until our stock has depleted.”
    So therefore, it won’t be on chewy for long ๐Ÿ™

  • KcQ8ov

    I have not heard that Chewy will stop carrying the Canadian versions…..
    Maybe we should contact Orijen directly or Chewy.com to get an answer that is not just hearsay.

  • KcQ8ov

    Orijen Tundra and some freeze dried foods/treats, “made in Canada” will still be available to USA customers

  • Markia J

    Hi Monica. Yes thanks. i saw someone post that below so I ordered a big bag. HOwever, I read that eventually chewy.com will stop carrying it so I want to search other good foods that my baby can transition to. By the way, the new food got her sick and I need to take her to the VEt tomorrow ๐Ÿ™

  • Madpangolin

    Yep I order the old version from Chewy, it usually takes 2 days to arrive.

  • Monica Garcia

    If you order off chewy.com they have the Canadian version that we all loved still. The one called original is the one causing the issues.

  • Monica Garcia

    Thank you do much for this. My lily always had perfect stool and this last bag which is original is giving her loose runny stool. I’m going to stock up from chewy.com and search for a new one. Thank-you again!

  • Pitlove

    There are a lot of high protein, high fat diets out there if that is what you are looking for. EVO is coming back into the independant retailers and I’d say it’s similar in protein and fat to Orijen.


  • Markia J

    Wow that sucks. Do you have any recommendation of a similar formula dog food that I can switch her over to?

  • Pitlove

    Yes, you can, for now. Eventually you won’t be able to.

  • Markia J

    HI, my baby tried the new formula and HATES it. She just won’t eat it. So I can buy the old version at Chewy??

  • Markia J

    Hi, Orijen changed their “Adult” dog food to “Original”. ITs different packaging and more protein/different ingredients. My dog won’t eat the new Orijen, she loved the old version:-( It took me so long to find a dog food that doesnt give her allergies and now they changed the formula. Can anyone recommend a dog food similar to Orijen Adult dog food? Thanks.

  • Just wanted to put it my share – my shiloh was doing WONDERFUL on the adult orijen and like others, my local store did not know the switch was coming until the product arrived, so we didn’t get any switch over time. The food is smaller and my shepherd will eat it, but only begrudgingly – not like he used to. Definitely gave him diarrhea from the sudden change (only had about 2 days of old food to mix in) but he still just doesn’t seem interested. I will be ordering the Canadian version off Chewy (even though I would love to support my locally owned store) while I start looking at other options I guess…my sheltie had such a beautiful coat from the six fish version but I guess he will have to change as well…

  • Amateria

    Blue buffalo and skin issues go together like a fly to your face haha (hate that so bad, drives me crazy!)

    Anyways always reading problems with blue and skin issues or digestive issues, which means it’s not that great a food as people are led to believe.

  • Madpangolin

    Hey you have a Chesapeake Bay retriever like I do, and the same age. I noticed mine was having skin issues when I started him out on Blue Buffalo (Breeder fed Eukanuba yuck!) But I switched him to Orijen Large Breed Puppy at 3 months and the difference is beautiful, better weight gain, no more skin issues at all, beautiful coat. And Chessies are known for having skin issues, due to the oily coats and waterproofing. The Large puppy food really works well.

  • Madpangolin

    Hello Amy,

    I completely agree and I noticed the very same. My dog would go through the 15lb Canada large puppy formula in 1 month, but goes through the American in a little over 2 weeks. I almost decided to switch dog foods because thats a significant monthly price jump. But I found out last week that Chewy.com sells both! And you can order the old canada verison and have it delivered in a day for free! Thank god!

  • Lindsay

    Hello Amy,

    That sucks to hear, I hope they don’t change the size/price of the Canadian bag but I am sure it will eventually come.

    Finding a quality food a dogs does well can be hard. If you end up having to switch and find a really good food that your babies do good on, let me know ๐Ÿ™‚