Orijen Freeze Dried (Freeze-Dried)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Orijen Freeze-Dried product line includes three freeze-dried raw dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra
  • Orijen Freeze-Dried Adult Dog
  • Orijen Freeze-Dried Regional Red

Orijen Freeze-Dried Adult Dog was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Orijen Freeze Dried Adult Dog

Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 38% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 18%

Ingredients: Chicken (ground with bone), turkey (ground with bone), whole herring, chicken liver, chicken heart, whole eggs, spinach greens, pea fiber, turkey liver, turkey heart, whole flounder, ground sunflower seeds, pumpkin, butternut squash, imperator carrots, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, red delicious apples, bartlett pears, red heart plums, tilton apricots, brown kelp, mixed tocopherols, chicory root, dandelion root, summer savory, peppermint leaf, ginger root, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis36%35%NA
Dry Matter Basis38%37%18%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%62%13%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 62% | Carbs = 13%

The first two ingredients include chicken and turkey with ground bone. Chicken and turkey are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken (or turkey)”.1

Both chicken and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life. The ground bone is an excellent source of natural calcium.

The third ingredient is herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

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

The fifth 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.

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

The seventh ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

The ninth ingredient is turkey liver, another organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

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 two notable exceptions

First, 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.

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 Freeze-Dried Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Orijen Freeze-Dried looks like an above-average raw 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 displays a dry matter protein reading of 38%, a fat level of 37% and estimated carbohydrates of about 18%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 18% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 95%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw product dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw dog food containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Orijen Freeze-Dried is a meat-based raw dog food using a notable amount of named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, with 62% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 26% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.

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.

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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

07/09/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  • Krista

    Great, thanks!

  • Maria Kidd

    Bravo Homestyle Complete has lower fat percentages.

  • Krista

    Is the fat content in this food something to be concerned about? I usually like to see the fat percentage be close to or equal to the protein percentage. what are peoples thoughts on this? also anyone know of good freeze dried raw foods that have lower fat percentages?

  • sharron

    hi – he ziwipeak can didn’t bother me at all

  • Cannoli

    That is interesting you have such a fussy eater and she loves Ziwipeak canned. My pup will eat anything except Ziwipeak he can’t stand the taste of muscles.

    By the way how do you deal with the overpowering smell of muscles from the canned Ziwipeak? I couldn’t stomach that smell in the morning right after I wake up. Which is odd since I don’t mind the smell of tripe

    Anyway not sure if chewy.com delivers to Canada since that’s where I bought the canned Ziwipeak.

  • sharron

    well, she doesn’t like the Boreal can, she spat that out – looked through the collection of dry foods i have and settled on Acana Light and Fit with Performatrin wet,
    she ate that – gave her 1/8 cup of the Acana and tsp of the wet – i am assuming that amount will be sufficient twice a day

  • sharron

    ok – i bought 2 cans of precise, a can of boreal and a can of satori – hope these are decent foods