Orijen Senior (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Orijen Dog Food (Dry)

Orijen Senior dog food receives the Advisor’s highest tier rating of 5 stars.

Orijen Senior dog food is designed to be “biologically appropriate for senior dogs of all breeds”.1

Although the food has been optimized for older dogs, Orijen Senior claims to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Orijen Senior

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, turkey meal, boneless turkey, turkey liver, whole eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, herring meal, salmon meal, pea fibre, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams, chickpeas, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach greens, carrots, red delicious apples, bartlett pears, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium, 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) = 8.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis38%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%17%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%35%29%

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 item is salmon. Salmon is a fatty marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

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

The fifth ingredient is russet potato. Sometimes referred to as an Idaho potato, this is the most common type of potato grown in the United States.

Assuming they’re cooked, potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, they’re of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is herring meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The eighth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The ninth ingredient lists pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.

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 four notable exceptions

First, 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.

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.

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

And lastly, 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.

Orijen Senior Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Orijen Senior looks to be an above-average dry dog food.

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 reports a dry matter protein reading of 42%, a fat level of 17% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 33%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to the average dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Orijen Senior Dog Food is a grain-free kibble using a significant amount of fish and poultry meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Those looking for a quality adult kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Orijen Adult dog food.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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

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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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

01/25/2010 Original review
08/28/2010 Review updated
11/17/2010 New formula
08/17/2012 Review updated
02/17/2013 Review updated
02/17/2013 Last Update

  1. Orijen White Paper, 1/25/2010
  • Carol Graves Inskeep

    After reading bags of dog food at my local Pet People store, I chose Orijen without knowing anything about the company. Then I found this web page. There is no ingredient listed for potatoes in the bag I bought (Orijen Senior). Glad to see the food I chose is highly recommended.
    I adopted a 11.5-lb Mini Pinscher from a friend of mine. The dog has cataracts and is hearing impaired. He is alert, active, curious, has a good appetite, and cleverly adjusts to his lack of eyesight and hearing.
    Any helpful comments on a small dog with cataracts?

  • InkedMarie

    OriJen has changed the ingredients; I’m sure dr mike will update his review as time allows.

    OriJen is fine for small dogs.

  • amber&chewy

    The text of this review says that the 5th ingredient is russet potato….Origen is not suppose to have any potato.

    Would it be necessary for Origen to make a food for small breed dogs like they do with their Acana line? Or is Origen ok for small dogs as is?

  • Katherine Cote

    I had the same issue with my dog, gaining weight and no energy. Off to the vet and she was diagnosed with Thyroid issues. She is on medication and will always be (not expensive) and has regained her energy levels. Good luck

  • Pattyvaughn

    A minimum requirement is NOT a recommendation. It is the LEAST you can get by with to support life and some semblance of health. I want more for my dogs than the least I can do.

  • Shawna

    Not really.. Those who want to feed closer to a “species appropriate” diet (for a dog) feed foods this high or higher in protein. Cat foods should ideally have only about 5% to 10% (max) carbs so ALL kibbled diets for cats are not even close to being species appropriate. They simply can’t make kibbled foods without these higher amounts of carbs though.

    It’s been known for some time now that senior dogs actually need as much as 50% more protein than adult dogs due to their reduced ability to digest protein.

    Certified Pet Nutritionist Monica Segal writes
    “Diets with less protein for healthy older dogs is old-think. The fact is that older dogs need more protein, not less.” http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=782

    Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health writes
    ““A diet rich in protein is especially important for older dogs. Senior dogs appear less efficient at metabolizing protein, so they require additional protein in their diets to help compensate. In fact, research has shown that healthy older dogs may need as much as 50 percent more protein than normal young healthy adult dogs.” http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/senior-dogs-and-special-needs/

    Both of these ladies advocate home prepared diets which, for a healthy dog, already have protein amounts higher than even Orijen. In this case you actually don’t increase protein but rather amount of food fed. My now 16 year old Chihuahua went from eating 1.5 ounces of raw food to 2.2(ish) ouces over the last few years. The protein amount of the foods she eats range from 45% to 54%.

    On a side note — my dog born with kidney disease has been on the same high protien raw diet her whole life and will be seven years old the end of June this year. I’ve read, most dogs with congenital kidney disease don’t live past age two. She’s unmedicated and quite healthy too..

  • excaliburr

    This food has far more protein than is recommended for dogs of ANY age – it’s more like cat food. I bought a sample for my elderly dog and she likes it, but when I saw the protein content, I knew I couldn’t feed it to her regularly.

  • Maine Cook

    We started using Orijen a few years ago after a friend gave a glowing report of her experiences with it. Within a week or so our oldest dog (then roughly 13-14) began peeing everywhere. She would go out, pee a large amount, come back in, walk to the far side of the house and pee on the living room rug right in front of us. A vet opined she might have Cushings or Addisons but didn’t think it was the new food. When I saw how much higher the protein count was compared to what they had been eating for years (NutroMax chicken and rice) I wondered if the protein was stressing her kidneys. Within 48 hours of switching her to Innova she was practically normal; she was totally normal within a week and never had the problem again, finally going to the Bridge at 16. Now that Innova has been recalled (our new bag is just past the date range listed in the recall) I don’t know what I’ll switch to…I am afraid to try Orijen again now that our pack ranges in age from 2-almost 18 years. I wonder if anyone else has had this experience.

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  • Pets

    Science diet is not good. It is made with a lot of soy. Soy is bad for animals as it is for people in high amounts. The amount of soy in Science diet is very high. Soy is a hormone should not be given to dogs. People need to start researching the ingredients in dog foods before they feed them to their animals. Do not buy dog food with soy.

  • SG

    I have two Chi-Xs. One is 8lbs, 9 years old, and has heart problems (hole in his heart), so I want to maximize protein and reduce salt/sodium. My other dog is 14lbs, 8 years old, and prone to tartar and plaque buildup, and can start to gain weight if his food isn’t carefully controlled. Would thisis be a good option for my little boys? Or any other recommendations?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If you cut his portion in half and he still isn’t losing weight than either 1) he’s still getting too many calories (remember you need to limit treats too) or 2) he may have an underlying heath condition. I personally would have him checked by a vet. If you really are feeding him that little and he’s still not losing weight he may have a thyroid problem or some other issue.

  • Janice

    Thanks, but we did that 6 months ago….cut his food in half (the fish formula) and it hasn’t worked.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Janice -

    Orijen Senior, along with all of Orijen’s other formulas, is labeled for all life stages – meaning it meets the nutrient requirements of puppies, adults and seniors. So feeding the senior formula to your dog would be fine. However, there’s no reason to reduce fat content when trying to get a dog to lose weight. Fat per se doesn’t affect weight loss – calories affect weight loss. If a dog is burning more calories than it’s consuming it will lose weight regardless of the fat content. While it would be fine to put your dog on the senior formula it would also be perfectly fine to keep him on the fish formula and just reduce the amount you’re feeding him (thus reducing his calorie intake).

  • Janice

    Wevhave a 4 yr old French Bulldog who is overweight. He is on orijen fish formula and the pet shop people said I should put him on the orijen senior because it has less fat and higher fibre. Is this ok to put him on a senior food at 4 yrs old?

  • Poppyseed

    that could be because (in my experience anyway) puppies are so high energy compared to senior dogs they need higher fat content because they burn it off faster?

  • Melissaandcrew

    Just wanted to say that they responded to my inquiry and stated that the senior is ALS, however, they label the bag as maintenance as its not “ideal” in its fat content etc for puppies..still scratching my head over it…

  • melissa

    Mike-

    FYI- I emailed Champion today as I bought a bag of the senior. While the website claims all life stages, the bag clearly indicates “adult maintenance”. Waiting for a response : )

  • Kris

    Al, my dog who had struvite stones is now on Wellness Core with canned and lots of hot water mixed in.  I love what I see about Orijen; what are your thoughts on the higher protein content?  My dogs ages are 4 through 13 ( I have five dogs).  The 13 year old has heart disease and needs lower sodium (I put her on Wellness with grain mixed w/Hill’s h/d for lower sodium content) and the 12 year old has pancreas problems and has to eat boiled chicken, rice and I mix Hill’s w/d in – I’ve tried everything and that is the best scenario for preventing diarrhea in him.  The other four eat the Wellness Core with canned Natural Balance Chicken/Sweet Potatoe or Fromm Chicken Pate – chosen because of low mineral content).  I’d love to try Orijen but am wondering about it being so high in protein (38% as compared to 34% Core and 33% Core Reduced Fat).  

  • Jvnoonway

    I have a Senior 40lb mix breed.  After a bout of pancreatitis, we put him on Science Diet I/D, but after he continued with the pancreatitis I put him on Canine Caviar special needs diet.  Which has been working ok, except that for the first time ever he has crap in his ears, so I am looking to switch again.  Our younger dog is on Orijen and I would like to get the older dog on the Sr. formula, but I worry that it still has too much fat in it.  Does anyone else have any experience with Orijen Sr. and pancreatitis?

  • Shawna

    PoochDad :)

    I think you are doing good with your regiment!!  There are some things that could be tweaked but depending on her age etc it may or may not be worth it..

    Toxed idea is excellent if you would be willing to prepare the meals.  They can be fed raw or lightly cooked.. :)  VERY healthy too.

    If home preparing is not an option — Orijen Senior is a good food but I HATE that they use white potato for senior dogs.  Most senior dogs have some arthritis or joint issues and white potato is a nightshade plant and nightshade plants can worsen joint/arthritic issues.

    I would also suggest adding the spice turmeric to her diet..  Turmeric has a compound called curcumin and curcumin has a strong anti-cancer / anti-tumor properties.  Can be used in conjunction with meds and most dogs tolerate it very well.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties and could help with the joints as well.. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Poochdaddy,
    Might I recommend, “Real Foods for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Karen Becker DVM, and Beth Taylor. Their book can help you tweak your pups diet, so she doesn’t have any nutritional deficiencies and get some of her old bounce back. :-)

    I had a springer pointer mix that I thought was on her last lap, at 12. At that time I was a dogfood moron and fed, (shudder) old’ Roy. When my husband bought a new, pedigreed bird dog, the owner insisted on a higher grade food. So I said if Teaspoon got premium food so did Morgan. A month on the better kibble and Morgan, who had basically been a lawn ornament, got up and followed my husband 1/4 of a mile, to the back fence. When he turned around and saw her there, he was so worried/shocked he caried her all the way back to the house. She continued to get better,and we enjoyed her for several more years… That premium kibble wan’t even as good as the best kibbles here. It really makes a difference!

    Good luck!

  • PoochDad

    I’ve pretty much decided this is my last attempt at easing my weary mind in the search for a dog food. My old lab has some joint and tumor issues. She doesn’t get around so well anymore but is in relatively good health. We adopted her at 5 years of age and I believe she had been given a junk diet until that point and is now having health issues as a result. I’ve spent the past year since we found out about her tumors trying like crazy to find a low carb/high protein food for her. One lower in calories and moderate in fat would be ideal. It seems just about every kibble with high protein has a vegetable protein (or a few) booster in the ingredient list and we don’t want this. She enjoys canned foods and I use several as toppers (EVO, Core, Before Grain) but are stepping away from the Natura products after some consideration. It’s crummy too because the EVO Weight Management was perfect for her and she really loved it. She doesn’t like anything in raw form except for poultry. She will not touch beef or pork which completely blows my mind. She only eats fish if I cook it. So for now she is on Orijen Senior. I supplement it with salmon oil, low fat cottage cheese and raw freeze dried red meats. Am I doing okay here or is there a different formula/supplement regiment I should attempt to find? Getting tired of the hunt…

  • Sparky1263

    I have a 13yr old jrt (14 in Aug) he has been on Acana senior for years. I was wondering if Orijen senior would be even better. I read that Orijen is a even better than Acana. What are your thoughts?

  • Sakiab

    Around 5 years ago we switched to Orijen for our (then) 6 dogs based on the glowing recommendation of a friend.  Two weeks later I had our oldest dog at the vet with extreme incontinence issues.  Long story short, I checked the protein levels of what we had been using for food before switching to Orijen (NutroMax Chicken + Rice, which we had used for several years with great success) and discovered the Orijen was much higher…I reasoned that it might be stressing June’s aging kidneys and switched to Innova.  Her incontinence disappeared within a day or two and we have stayed with it ever since.  June lived another 3 years with no other urinary issues — she simply wound down and died at 16.

    Having said that, Innova was bought out (from what we were told) and it is possible they might change their formula, if they haven’t already.  Our current oldest dog, a Jack Russell with a cast iron stomach, is now having some issues with being constantly on the lookout for food and not digesting the Innova well (regular and Senior).  Gross as it sounds, I watch what comes out both ends of our dogs.  I am seeing more signs of what looks like granular grain residue or whatever, which makes me wonder if the formula has indeed been changed. 

    Our friend is still feeding Orijen to her mini-doxie with excellent reults (he’s now 8)…ours are 9 months, 12 and 13 years, and the nearly 17-year-old JRT…so we are contemplating giving Orijen another try.

  • gj442

     i know people want to think the vet always has a patience best interest,and normally its true,but vets run on money and money usually wins when it comes to product they sell. why else would they carry junk cat and dog food such as “science diet” and u have to love the name of this garbage. u see i use to give this to my family members till somebody educated me on reading the ingredients that are both good and bad i was shocked that i was shorting my pets life because i saw it at various vets and assumed it was good stuff. so i educated myself.  orijen produced in canada is at the top of a whole lot of  dog foods out there period.and i feed both dog and cats for years on orijen.not cheap and not east to find but i do get it delivered to my door step.

  • Aac

    “our vet wants to change her to Science Diet W/D since he “doesn’t know a
    lot about Orijen” and he says that Orijen varies their meat sources so
    he is worried about the consistency of the formula.”

    What does your vet know about Science Diet W/D? Doesn’t he worry about meat sources of SD? Ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose 17.1%,
    Chicken by-product Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Mill Run, Corn
    Gluten Meal, Soybean Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Meal.

    Protein 18,9, fat 8,8. I would NEVER feed my dogs this crap!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Kemculla,

    Based on your report here, it sounds to me like your dog is doing fine on the current menu.

    Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice in this case.

    You may wish to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

    Wish I could be more help.

  • melissa

     Kemculla-

    There is the potential that any food company varies their meat sources in terms of which farm they buy it from on any given day-But the formula is the formula.-However, I would feel better with the Orijen than the SD.Regardless, no matter what you are feeding the dog, I would not change it if the sugar levels are regulated. Simply because a vet does not “know alot about a food” is no reason to start playing around with a diabetics feeding regime, Imo.Also, if he does not “know alot about it” how can he make that statement to begin with?? If our vet had told me to switch our diabetic dogs foods based on “not knowing alot about the food” I would have suggested that he learn more about it.

    If your dog were unregulated or there was a firm medical reason to switch that would be a different story. Every one will have different opinions of course and at the end of the day, the best I can suggest is that you do what you feel is best, barring any sound medical reasoning

  • Kemcculla

    ….should add this is a new Vet for our Cavalier….

  • Kemculla

    Mike,  we have a 8 year old Cavalier diagnosed diabetic 1 year ago…..now that she has been eating Orijen Sr for about 6 mos we have been able to get her blood sugar levels regulated, but our vet wants to change her to Science Diet W/D since he “doesn’t know a lot about Orijen” and he says that Orijen varies their meat sources so he is worried about the consistency of the formula.  we feel this is a mistake to change her over - do you agree?  should we worry about the consistency of Orijen ingredients?  thanks

  • guest

    i agree,excellent food,fresh from canada. and by the way farting fills s00 good :)

  • guest

    i see u post the same paragraph on amazon too….makes me wonder.

  • Steve

    Lower the quantity.  It worked great for our dog.  

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Karen… Check with the manufacturer. You may have a new product in an older package.

  • Karen

    Orijen Senior does not have selenium yeast (I have a bag in front of me); it contains sodium selenite

  • Al

    concerning struvite crystals / bladder infections: do your research. Granted, anybody can say anything on the internet and post looking like they’re experts but you have to draw the line some where. Check out this short blog: http://onlynaturalpetcommunity.com/forums/t/266.aspx

    This again follows everything I’ve read on protein: water, water, water. Haven’t you always heard that it’s not a good thing to hold it? No ‘new’ food is going to cure an aged, ailed dog of their problems. All it’s going to do is ‘fix’ what you couldn’t by your own hand.

    From puppy to old age, I’m sticking with Orijen. I’ll post updates as he ages. Currently, as of yesterday vet check, 7 days short of 8 months, 105 lbs, no health issues. Lean and muscular.

  • Richard Raine

    Tom, another question, on both Nutrisca and Orijen Senior, the dogs drink noticeably more water. I am assuming this must be because of the salt content of both dog foods. I can see no other reason based on ingredient content for that to happen. Can you comment or offer advice on that?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Richard… This dog food is certified “low glycemic” by the Glycemic Institute in Washington, DC. This would imply Orijen might be a good choice for diabetic pets like your Pomeranian.

    Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Richard Raine

    My diabetic Pomeranian seems to like to supplement his home cooked meals with Orijen Senior. You make no recommendation as far as diabetes for this dog food. Do you think it would hurt him to munch on it occasionally, he gets tired of the home cooked meal. I also tried Nutrisca, he will eat it but seems to prefer Orijen over it.

  • Al

    Just want to throw my 2 cents in…I fed my I.W. pup till 5 months on Orijen LBP then switched to Senior; compared to their other brands, lower fat, more fruits/veggies 75/25 compared to 80/20. I had problems switching from breeder food to LBP but after 2 weeks he was fine. Now at 7 months old and on senior he’s healthy as a horse, as the saying goes. He’s very lean and muscular with very little body fat. He looks great and I get complimented all the time on his physique.
    Some things to consider…no hard physical activity one hour before, one hour after, least, at feeding. Left over protein, you, me, the dog, not used by the body is excreted through the urine. Lots of water is necessary. More water, less likely hood of crystal formation. Talk to any body builder…Consider what they eat, lots of chicken. Google what the protein is in boiled chicken per serving and compare that to Orijen…lots higher yet the vets will tell you to feed that to your dog if they have stomach issues.
    I really think that to compare analysis from one food to another one really has to look at what ingredients are affecting those numbers. Now, compare Orijen ingredients to other brands. You make the call…

  • sandy

    Michele,

    I started my pugs on some Amicus not too long ago. It’s not high protein, it’s 30%.

    On another note, all 4 pugs went for a check up last week and the oldest ones that I recently adopted (9 & 7) had just very small struvite crystals in their urine. The vet said to give them some daily vit C. This will help acidify the urine.

  • Michele

    Very interesting blog. I hear all of you. I too, am searching for an alternative food for my 3 pugs. They are 8, 11, and 12. The 12 yr old has had 2 operations to remove bladder stones(struvite). She also had a liver shunt repaired at 3 yrs old. Ever since then, she has been on Hill’s w/d. I see the ingredients are horrible, but her ph levels have been stable for years now. I dread the day we see more blood in her urine. Therefore, and after reading these blogs, we will be keeping her on this food. She and her sister have recently developed skin allergies on their feet and legs which we are dealing with and hoping they will ease up with continued weekly baths and lotions, in addition to daily doses of benadryl. Steroids helped, but now they are (teramil-p) no longer available thru manufacturer?? Maybe their patents are up?? Anyway, wecwill be staying stayingvaway from high protein!

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    P Dunn – Your vet told you “that most dogs cannot cope with that high level of protein.” MOST dogs? I don’t agree, but I’m not a vet. I wonder what your vet eats. Do ‘most’ vets eat high carb, high-sugar, high-fat, nutrient-deficient processed foods? Probably. Most people in our country (USA) have poor nutrition. Can most vets not cope with REAL FOOD?

    This morning, as we shopped at a local organic farmer’s market, we met a man who is a chef for a private family. The chef described how the family has many animals, including 20 rescue dogs they have acquired over many years. He said that all the dogs have been converted to raw meat feeding (high protein), with vet-formulated nutrient-complete recipes (that the chef makes). He said all dogs are thriving and not one dog had any issue with transition. Prior to raw, the dogs were all eating high-protein kibble and canned, mixed with some cooked meats.

  • http://www.drianbillinghurst.com Gordon

    Wow, that is interesting and there are expert nutritionists that say high protein levels are even OK for senior dogs now.

    Anyway, both my dogs get Artemis Maximal in alternation with BARF and both these foods are higher in protein than even Orijen, and my dogs are doing just great. It goes to show just how most dogs are biologically unique.

  • P Dunn

    Both my dogs became ill after being on Orijen, my vet informed me that most dogs cannot cope with that high level of protein. After returning them to a food with lower levels of protein, their health returned to normal. Be warned.

  • dog food reviews

    PROS
    ORIJEN features the highest fresh meat inclusions of any dry dog food.

  • Lisa

    My dog was deemed healthy prior to putting her on Orijen. She underwent a teeth cleaning, and due to her age, had to undergo all sorts of tests before hand. Everything, blood work included, came back fine. Also, over the course of her life, she’s had other draws which always came back clean. A few months later I put her on a “better” doog food brand, Orijen Senior. About a month later she was in the ICU due to accident. Because of this, blood was drawn and I was told her liver levels, alkaline & phosphatase and calcium levels of the kidney were all very high. I never would have know, as she showed no symptoms or distress. Immediately, she was put on 3 different liver support medicines. We had to follow up every month with more blood work to reassess. A few months into all of this, the vet advised that cancer could be present. This devastated me so I started researching this food. I learned how much protein is in the food and what that much protein could do to a body. I presented my concerns to my vet. She wasn’t as worried about the food as I was. Still her next labs came back the same. At that point, we decided to wean her off of Orijen and on to another brand. Once month later, and my dog aced her test! A clean bill of health. Her alkaline and phosphatase are still slightly elevated, but I’m told there’s nothing to worry about, we’ll just follow up with one more draw in 4 months. Had it not been for her accident, I never would have known of the damage this was causing her.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Kim… I believe RC makes a number of foods with smaller kibble sizes. Since we don’t track kibble dimensions here, you may wish to contact the company for this information. Wish I could be more help.

  • Kim

    I have a senior papillon estimated to be 13 yrs old (puppy mill rescue). He also has a grade IV heart murmur but the specialist says he is not yet in congestive heart failure. She has told me to watch salt content in his food. Currently he eats the Royal Canin Aging Care but, I know he could do better. Is the high protein content okay for the little ones? Also, do they have a small kibble size?
    My 6 yr old female papillon has allergies and in on Hills Z/D and the ingredients list is just awful to me. I’m thinking of sampling some of the better foods on this list that are grain free. Thanks for a great website!

  • Meagan

    Its best to feed dogs after exercise anyways. They utilize the food better. Giant breeds about an hour after exercise.

  • Jonathan

    Dr. Sagman is right… eating just before working out can cause stomach upset and vomiting. When you work out, your body redirects energy away from digestion and to the organs and muscles that are working harder. This can make food sit heavy in the tummy, and that can make the tummy sick… and then the food may suddenly reappear in an unpleasant way!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Ian… High protein would most likely not cause vomiting. But like with humans, exercising close to eating probably could. In any case, since I’m not a veterinarian, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. You may wish to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Ian

    Hi Mike,
    We have a customer whose dog is vomiting after eating her Orijen Senior. She feels it could be from the high protein content. I was interested to hear your opinion. Could exercising too close to eating be a cause?

    Thanks,

    Ian

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Sandra – Mike’s Diabetic Dog Food article is excellent:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diabetic-dog-food/
    I would just include one more phrase in the last paragraph: and low-carb raw foods…
    #Since most kibbles are carbohydrate based, low-carb canned foods [and low-carb raw foods] should be given serious consideration when selecting candidates for diabetic pets.#

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sandra… Please see our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Diabetic Dog Food”. Hope this helps.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Sandra – If you do some research on diabetes, you would likely decide to near-eliminate the carbohydrates in your dog food selection. The Orijen Senior kibble is a top-notch kibble, in that it has quality ingredients and lower-than-average carbs for a kibble. So, you’d be doing your dog a great nutritional favor by switching to Orijen Senior and cutting the carb quantity by half. But, for a diabetic dog, there’s still alot of carbs in this food.
    You could go even lower on the non-essential carbs by feeding a 5-star raw food.
    For the price that you’ve been paying for the Hills w/d Rx, you could pay a bit more for a 5-star raw, feed high nutrient density and real low carbs.
    Here are the 5-star raw foods that Mike has reviewed:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/raw/5-star/

  • Sandra

    Hi there

    I have a 12 year old King Charles Spaniel, who has had diabetes for the past 3 years. He has been eating Hills WD for the entire period, but I am very aware that I need to look for a source which will offer him ‘more’.
    He seems to be ‘always hungry’ and, honestly, has been like that throughout, even when his levels are ok.
    He does have a slight heart murmur , which he takes medication for.

    Can I feed him this Orijen senior dry?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Sandra

  • Nancy

    Hi Dennis,
    My husband and I and our Ridgeback will be relocating to Norway soon. I would appreciate any information on how to aquire quality kibble in country as well as having it delivered by post.

  • Beth

    I was feeding my 14 year old cocker Orijen Senior and she developed kidney and liver issues whereby her test came back all wacked out. The vet asked if I was doing something different and I said I had been feeding her Orijen Senior for the last month. The vet looked up the protein content and told me to quit feeding her that as it was too high for a senior dog regardless if the package said “senior”. All her symptoms went away and all her levels returned within a reasonable normal range. I really think this food should come with a warning on it, or better yet not marketed to senior dogs.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Heidi… Weight control is more about calories and carbohydrates and less about the brand. Most weight loss dog food products focus on reducing calories by decreasing the amount of meat in the recipe. And they do this by increasing carbohydrate content. No matter which food you select for this purpose, you should favor foods low in carbs and adjust the servings to reflect the number of calories in each serving. The 4 cups you mention mean nothing until you know how many calories are in each cup.

    If your dog is overweight, you’re simply feeding too many calories or too many carbs. Or maybe even both. Please see our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Weight Loss for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • heidi

    I am considering this food for a 5 yr old standard poodle for weight control. He is currently eating Hill’s Prescription R/D but after reading the list of ingredients on that, I wish to change. Even on 4 cups of that low cal food, we can barely keep his weight to 100 lbs. Would a senior formula be good for weight control?

  • Esther

    Origin senior diet is AWESOMEE i feed my 12 year old Morkie this stuff he loves it so much!! Ive had him since i was 9 and I love him so much. I save all my paycheck to get him his quality kibble!! I’m so glad His stools are firm and not yellow.. And there’s ALOT less stool now. He has gone from HORIBLE, frequent farting to like once since I switched him. he seems tO have more energy and sometimes even wants to play with me!! Oh yeah and he’s lost 2 lbs already :D just probably 1 or 2 more pounds and he will be at a healthy weight!!thank god I changed from ol Roy to orijen :) you did a wonderful job rating this food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Dennis… I normally don’t provide specific recommendations. But because you live so far away from North American products, I thought it would be helpful to respond here.

    Because your dog has a form of skeletal dysplasia, she may benefit from a recipe containing omega-3 fatty acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. Orijen Six Fish looks to be an ideal candidate due to its content of these these specific ingredients. It has high omega-3 content with a very favorable omega-6:omega-3 ratio.

    Of course, like with all formulations, you’ll be taking some risk as to whether or not it will be satisfactory for your dog (especially considering the cost of obtaining it by post). Hope this helps your dog.

  • Dennis

    My very large breed dog got dysplasia, C or D. She will soon be 5 years old. I feed her Royal Maxi and she is actually very fine. The last vet we saw recommended me to feed her Hill’s Prescription j/d, but there is no way I am going to follow this terrible advice. I was wondering if Orijen senior would be a better choice for her case. I know you are not a vet, but I wonder if maybe you got some experience with this specific problem. It’s not easy to find 4 and 5 stars dry food here in Norway, but I found out it’s possible to order Orijen by post.

  • Carol

    Hi Mike – I’ve posted some more info regarding Weruva on the “Weruva” information site.
    Thank you for all you do with “Dog Food Advisor” your time, and patience – it is very much appreciated and a wonderful service you provide.
    Now that I am up-to-date with all my questions; it is time to start asking you questions all about dentistry :) tee hee hee

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol… It took me a while to find the source of this discrepancy. Weruva makes 3 product lines: Human Style, Kurobuta and Kobe. Although Human Style has an average fat content of just 9% dry matter, the other two product lines are both much higher (at 23% fat). And that’s the figure I was referencing in my database when I was responding to your question.

    So, assuming the numbers provided by Weruva on the label are correct, Human Style’s 9% dry matter fat content does make it a good choice for a low fat canned dog food. Sorry I didn’t catch this error sooner. ;)

  • Carol

    So Mike…I am really confused now….I looked at your review you wrote Weruva regarding Wok the Dog, quote:As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 69% and an average fat level of 9%. Together, these figures suggest an overall carbohydrate content of 14% for the full product line.

    High protein. Low fat. And low carbohydrates when compared to a typical canned dog food

    ***
    You are saying that this flavor of Weruva is considered low fat. When I asked you about the Funky chunky which I think was almost exactly the same you said (see above) it was 23% dry matter which to you was high…
    1.2% or 1.4% shouldn’t be so drastically different?

    I thought something in that line was considered low fat?

  • Carol

    Ok thank you I will re-read it again, but I was comparing can to can -

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol… The answer to your question has nothing to do with calories and can be found on our FAQ page regarding the topic, “How We Rate Dog Food”.

  • Carol

    Perhaps you could explain this again. We’re all confused. The Purina EN (don’t think you have it reviewed which I am trying to get off of) has KCAL 1194
    Percent Fat – 3.0 – 4.2 %
    Grams Fat/1000 25-35 KCal

    Now the Weruva Funky Chunky or Grandma Chicken soup crude fat (min) 1.4 or 1.2% ( kcal in a 14.oz can is 215.16)

    So initially looking at the crude fat that is misleading then…

    I thought I could use this as a topper for my dry food.

  • Carol

    I thought that Weruva Funky Chicken Crude fat (min) 1.2%
    I thought that when converted that would still be acceptable.
    I don’t want to give anyone wrong information, we all thought that would be considered low…

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol and Kavita… Unfortunately, most low fat foods are also low in protein. Weruva is one of the very best 5-star foods in our database. But at 23% dry matter, not what I’d consider low fat.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi J Garvan… By your comment, it looks like you might believe you’re writing to a dog food company. We only review dog foods here on this site. Suggest you contact Orijen.

    In any case, the answer to your question about protein in a dog’s diet can be found on our FAQ page.

  • Carol

    Kavita
    Re: Pancreatitis
    I received a note from this group for dogs that have/had pancreatitis and they mentioned a can food Weruva. I see that it has good reviews and a couple of them have suitable fat levels.
    I have learned here and never knew before that one must use the formulation can vs. dry to see what the fat levels “really” are as you will see that the fat in can can be extremely high.

    However just quickly looking; I think the chicken soup might be suitable very low fat.

  • Jonathan

    J Garvan, this is a site for reviewing and discussing dog food. Mike Sagman does not produce any products. But feel free to check his FAQ and read his articles about protein.

  • J Garvan

    Am very confused. I feed my 2-Boys California Natural. I see your add and Literarure of being 5-Star. I like the ingredients you have. The Protein amount seems high for my Boys. They are on a 21% Protien now. It seems they will explode if given such high Protein percentage. Would like to try your products; everyone recommends it, even the Pet Stores in the area. Please advise; your Senior Dog Food, Dry, is at 42%. What will happen ??????

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Ron… I can understand your point. However, even prepared human foods don’t list the source of every ingredient in their products. So, to see why we deliberately ignore this kind of information, be sure to read my article, “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews“. Hope this helps.

  • ron

    My issue is with whare a product comes from.
    Feeding my family or my pets.
    I might of missed that in your list of dog food. If not could you include this fact?
    Thank you

  • Bruce Broughton

    I switched to Orijen senior as the other food I was feeding went corporate. I feed all life stages the senior formula and it is showing a marked improvement if coat and energy levels. My Flat-Coats are very happy and so am I with this fine ration. And, by not having filler in the food of any kind, makes clean up very easy.

  • Mike Tann

    Actually it looks like all the Orijen foods carry this statement. It’s amazing what you can find in the small print.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Mike… Actually, this product does carry that AAFCO nutritional adequacy rating “for all life stages”. According to a page on the Orijen website:

    “Orijen Senior Dog is formulated to meet nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages”

    So, you should have no problem feeding that food.

  • Mike Tann

    I’ve looked at all the Orijen formulas. They all seem to have the same ingredients. The difference from one formula to another must be in the proportioning. The confusing issue is that all the bags say 70% meat ingredients and 30% fruits and veggies. I like the senior formula the best because of the increased fiber and moderate fat. Is there any reason that this food can’t be fed as an all life stages food eventhough it doesn’t carry that label?

  • JUlieann

    My advice would be to home cook, it’s not hard and works wonders I mix my home cooked food with a little tiki wet and they are set. One of my dogs has Cushings his levels are much better since I started to home cook. good luck

  • Kavita

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much!

    Kavita
    Daisy, Marli, Fred, and Indie :)

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Kavita… We’re planning to begin posting a series of “Best of…” and “Recommended for” lists sometime in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet begun the research for these specific “solutions”. So, as a suggestion (for now), and to help you narrow your search, why not go to the navigation bar at the top of our website and click on the word “Tags”. This will take you to a “Tag Cloud” of searchable links.

    Find the one that’s labeled low fat and click on the link. This should give you a list of product lines that contains at least one low fat dog food. The average fat content of a kibble appears to be about 15-16%. Average fiber content is about 4.5%. For canned foods, average fat is higher at around 22%. Use these as guidelines. I’d consider fat content in kibble to be low when it is 11 or 12% or lower.

    And don’t forget top use our estimates of carb content. What you’re really looking for is a food with a low glycemic index with low fat, too. I plan on covering the subject of glycemic index sometime in the future. In general, carb contents are highest in kibble and usually lower in canned foods. Hope this helps.

  • Kavita

    Hi,

    I have no idea what to feed my dogs anymore. I have one dog who almost died from acute pancreatitis in 2004. Now he is diabetic and I give him insulin twice daily. Due to the pancreatitis concerns, he can’t have a diet that’s too high in fat, plus he needs high fiber. I don’t know — I’m going crazy here trying to figure out what he needs. Cost is not an issue. I would be incredibly grateful for some advice.

    Thank you so much,

    Kavita

  • http://www.adomesticfriend.com Sharon Ours

    Hi
    Was just reading some of the comments. I sell the FRR food and I have had dogs and cats alike do great on FRR that had kidney problems. Several 12 year old dogs the blood report would come back that of a 7 year old instead. Like I tell everyone that I sell to that I cannot tell you it will help your dog but have seen nothing but miracles out of this food.
    Sharon

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Betsy… I only rate the quality of the ingredients and meat content in a dog food but not the appropriateness of a particular product for a specific life stage, lifestyle or health condition. Although many (like Orijen) believe a high protein diet is great for an older dog, this can be a controversial issue. When in doubt, go with a veterinarian you trust.

  • Betsy

    Hello,
    I am looking for a new food for my 14 year old husky and was considering senior foods because my vet told me that seniors should not have diets high in protein since they cannot digest it as well anymore. Now I am concerned because you are saying that seniors should have high protein and recommending this food as five stars when it’s opposite of what my vet recommends.

  • Barb

    Hello,
    I’ve read some reactions by dog owners, who have given their senior dogs Orijen Sr dog food. I was then extremely cautious about considering this high protein diet for my 12 yr old cocker spaniel. I have heard of many senior dogs resulting in kidney failure and problem issues after having their dogs on this high
    protein diet…
    It’s wise to be very cautious , especially if you have a dog with kidney problems…….I would ask a competent friend (like a physician) who has sufficient knowledge of what the body does best on, as a senior pet with special needs or kidney issues.
    I put my 12 yr old cocker spaniel on the salmon and fish Orijen dog food, and she has had endless problems ever since of urinary tract infections. Though Orijen says that kidney problems are not due to their food, they do say that the HIGH PROTEIN DIET PRODUCES MORE NITROGEN BY PRODUCTS, WHICH ARE EXCRETED THROUGH THE URINE.
    Well, my dog has been having continuous urinary tract problems only since I put her on this high protein diet.

    So I am cutting Orijen loose from my beloved cocker spaniel’s life, or what is left of her life, at this time, for I want her healthy, and I don’t feel that she needs EXCESS NITROGEN BY PRODUCT WASTES STRAINING HER URINARY TRACT .

    HOPE THIS HELPS.
    P.S. I’D BE MOST MOST CAREFUL ABOUT GIVING THIS FOOD TO A KNOWN DOG ”WITH” KNOWN KIDNEY PROBLEM ISSUES. THIS IS MY MOST HONEST OPINION.

    THANKS FOR WRITING.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol… Since I’m not a veterinarian, I cannot assure you a high protein food like Orijen is the right choice for your senior pet. However, my personal favorite explanation and justification for a high protein diet can be found in an Orijen white paper entitled “The Biologically Appropriate Food Concept and the Dietary Needs of Dogs and Cats“. Be sure to read the parts about kidney disease and high protein feeding. Hope this helps.

  • carol scafuro

    this product looks as if it might work for a 13 year old yellow lab with kidney issues….am I on the right track?