New Recipes for Orijen Dog Food


The new and recently reformulated Orijen Dog Food product line should be available in local retail stores sometime beginning the week of November 15, 2010.
Orijen Logo
Of course, since Orijen is one of the Dog Food Advisor’s top-rated products, many readers have expressed genuine concern regarding the nature of the new recipes.

And in many cases, when recipes change, so can a dog’s response to a new food.

Orijen Dog Food’s New Recipes…
Five Notable Changes

After studying the new formulas, we note five changes…

First, there appears to be more meat in each product. The recipe has changed from 70% meat to now 80% (75% meat for Senior and Regional Red).

Secondly, more of that meat is now fresh. At least 40% of the product’s meat component is from fresh raw meat (as opposed to meat meal). That number is increased slightly to 45% for Orijen Regional Red.

Thirdly, fresh liver now adds more variety. Chicken liver had been added to nearly every product… with the exception of beef liver (Orijen Regional Red) and no liver (Orijen Six Fish).

Next, the top five ingredients in each recipe are now completely animal based. In addition, much of that meat is now boneless… making the product lower in mineral (ash) content.

So, unlike many other high meat dog foods, Orijen guarantees calcium and phosphorus maximums for all its formulas.

And lastly, reported protein content has dropped by 2% to reflect the products’ fewer meat meal concentrates for the previous figure.

The Bottom Line

All things considered, none of Orijen’s new recipes appear to have been designed to save cost but to increase the overall quality of what was already a top-tier product.

So, those concerned about the new formulas, Orijen still merits our 5-star rating.

All three of our Orijen reviews have now been updated to reflect the new formulations. You can read more about these dog foods here…

If you’ve already been feeding an Orijen product, there’s probably no need to transition slowly to the new food. With similar protein and fat, the new recipes haven’t changed enough to merit any special precautions.

However, if you’re switching from another brand, it’s important to transition gradually to any Orijen product. Start with 25% new food and gradually increase to 100% over 5 to 7 days.

11/20/2010 Original report
12/04/2011 Removed reference to low glycemic index

  • Mike A. Beanes

    Thanks Joe!

  • Joe Horn
  • Mike A. Beanes


    Thanks for the quick response. I agree that in my situation it is a total mystery, especially since my other 3 dogs have never looked better and brighter on the same exact food.

    I actually reached out to the lab’s breeder to see what she feeds her dogs. She mentioned a probiotic in the past; I’m just not sold on that yet since Acana does have probiotics included in the formula. Still trying to get smarter there….

    Before we found Acana, we did briefly look at Zignature. I’m going to relook at that brand along with the NutiSource brand to see if those might be options.

    Interestingly enough, this is our second time trying a transition. The first time was due to our previous dog food provider going out of business. Scrambling… we eventually found Acana but had to transition way too fast. Thinking that was the issue along with taking her to the vet as a precaution, they mentioned feeing ID for a week and then transitioning her slowly from ID to the Acana brand. Again, we had great luck until about 2 weeks after the transition.

    My gut tells me this has to be “too much protein” for her to handle issue. If that’s even remotely true, then it seems like a brand switch is the better choice vs throwing probiotics on top of the existing Acana brand we’re using now.

    Thanks again for the inputs. It’s amazing how complex searching for the best dog food can be.

  • Joe Horn

    Mike so sorry to hear you’re having the same problem with Acana/Orijen. I was never able to find anything conclusive about why these 2 particular food lines (several recipes from both brands) produced the delayed throwing up. I did receive a lot of general advise through the Internet about transitioning from one recipe to the next slowly over a couple of weeks, probiotics things like that. I was already doing all of those things so it remains a mystery as to why both of my dogs from the same litter rejected these foods. we had however had much better luck with anything Zignature brand, NutriSource and pretty much rotate those 2. i love Orijen and Acana and have had fabulous results with other dogs/family dogs but I believe especially since I have the identical results between two dogs from the same litter that it is probably something genetic that you’re not going to find a conclusive certainty about on the web. I hope this helps.

  • Mike A. Beanes


    We have this exact same problem with our lab. We’re on Acana Lamb formula, and the lab was transitioned slowly. Then after about 2 weeks, we’re getting the vomiting 2-3 hours after a meal.

    Our lab has been checked by the vet, perfect bloodwork, nothing found. Our other 3 dogs do fine on the Acana line. But for some reason, no luck with the lab.

    Since you started this thread some time ago, did you ever get to the root of your problem? I’m not sure that probiotics or switching from the Acana line will necessarily solve anything. I know I need to do something. So any recent updates you have may help us move forward with another formula or brand altogether.


  • Brenda Kline

    You are anti-Semitic.

  • Bobby-Christina-Crawford

    I am very confused by this article and most of the articles on this site regarding low glycemic food and treats for diabetic canines. Is Orijen low glycemic or not? What does the line at the end of this article 2011 “removal of low glycemic index”? Is this website associate with Orijen in any way.
    This food/treats are very pricey and if they are not low glycemic I don’t want to be putting my dog in harms way and spending a lot of money

  • Joe Horn

    Thank you Mike. Until I started this discussion, I was not aware others were experiencing similar or the same results with Orijen. I have been feeding my guys NutriSource Chicken and Rice formula for large breeds and they have not had the same bouts with upset tummy/puking. We also supplement food with a variety of other things like coconut milk, veggies, and never buy anything made outside the US or Canada.

  • Mika

    I had all of the problems you just described above- and canine caviar grain free seems to work for my puppy and older dog. single protein, single carb, no potato or tapioca, and no need to transition. They recommend alternating proteins so the dogs get different amino acids- and the dogs are doing much better. I also put a little bit of yogurt in my puppy’s morning meal. as he has the sensitive stomach.

  • Edie Taylor

    I am thinking of putting our 8lb. dog on Orijen freeze dry dog food , does any one know of this.

  • Joe Horn

    I have had just a continual problems with both Acanna and Orijen line dog foods. About 4 months ago we took our 6 month old Mastiff/Boxer off Diamond large breed puppy (which he ate with zero side effects) and switched him to the Acanna Burbank Potato chicken flavor food. We did a slow 5 day transition and it seemed to get ok, until about 2 weeks later. He started throwing it up like every other meal, and acted like his tummy was in trouble..eating grass during outside times etc. Since the kibbles appeared mostly undigested when he puked them up, we thought maybe he was eating too fast so we got him a maze bowl, and elevated his bowl as well. This slowed him down a lot, but had zero effect on his ability to stomach the food. After reading online, and talking to vet etc, we thought he may have a potato allergy so we switched him to Acanna Wild prairie. He perked up, and we thought we got it under control, then 2 weeks later, same deal. Thought perhaps it might be the protein source so we switched him to the Acanna Fish flavor (blue bag) Same deal. 2 weeks of joy, then puking. We are so discouraged at this point. About 6 weeks ago we thought ok, theres still 5% potato in all Acanna kibbles, we will switch to Orijen, so we switched to the Adult Chicken since he was eating Diamond dog food chicken flavor we thought was a safe protein. This time he made it nearly a month, but has since started puking up every other day, so not as often but still eats grass…acts upset. We recently got a SECOND puppy from the same breeder using the same 2 parent dogs, Mastiff/Boxer, and we have a little 2 month old puppy at home with us now in addition to our now 9 month old thats been puking since we took him off cheap food, and the 2 month old is now eating grass and puking every other meal! We have changed from 2 larger portions during the day, to 3 smaller portions throughout the day and never exceed the bag recommended total amount of cups per day based on his weight. Bowls elevated, with maze bowls AND Trippet pro-biotics with each meal. Nothing matters! Whats so very frustrating, is we have done lots of research to find a safe healthy kibble and all of our findings on the Orijen company suggest its a great kibble, so why are our dogs throwing it up? So disheartening… We just feel so overwhelmed at this point.. thinking about switching to either blue buffalo for a more bland oat/rice diet, or Nature’s Logic. Anyone know anything about this anomaly? Any help is very appreciated as we are at our wits end. BOTH our little guys just need a healthy dog food that they can stomach 🙁

  • a velarde

    I wasn’t asking for help, I’ve been trying to determine whether her diet was causing her anal gland problem, this site came up and I saw this comment:

    DogLover • 3 months ago−

    My dogs both developed anal gland problems after being put on Orijen. Has anyone else had a similar problems??

    I found it interesting and thought I’d reply to it. If you feel burdened by my comments, please don’t reply. All I was doing was share and didn’t find my comments to be disruptive.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Tiny, hard(ish), solid poops are what you want. Larger poops are generally a sign that the food is not being digested well. Anyway, just a reminder that this is a dog food site, not a cat food site too hey?! Only so much help I/we can/should be on this one.

  • a velarde

    It did occur to me to try the Orijen Six Fish, but since we live in the Philippines, options are very limited and I’ve only ever seen Orijen in 7.5 kg bags. It just wouldn’t be too practical to get another bag when we still have a bit of Royal Canin left. We’ve had her seen by vets three times in over a month. They agree that Orijen is better but since feeding her Orijen, she poops out tiny pieces, they seem hard and solid but they’re significantly smaller than when she was on Royal Canin.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If she’s allergic to something in the Orijen, it makes sense that she wouldn’t choose it over the RC.

  • a velarde

    Our cat, Butchi is a domestic shorthair. She was a stray, rescued at six months, spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, fostered for another six months and her foster told us she fed her Whiskas. We fed her Royal Canin for about a month when we adopted her about three months ago. Then we decided to give her Orijen because it was grain-free. She prefers the Royal Canin though, she refuses to eat wet food and any kind of treat and we have a small amount of Royal Canin left which we give to her as a treat. She always goes for the Royal Canin over the Orijen. It breaks our hearts. We want her to be healthy. It’s very frustrating, to say the least.

  • Storm’s Mom

    It looks like there are 2 Orijen cat foods.. one called Cat & Kitten that has chicken, and one called Six Fish Cat.. maybe switch her to the Six Fish Cat and see if she’s still scooting?

  • a velarde

    We’re really annoyed by having to switch her back to Royal Canin because Royal Canin is slightly more expensive than Orijen and we just got a 7.5 kg bag of Orijen Cat & Kitten which has poultry, fish and eggs. We’ll probably just donate it to an animal shelter.

  • Storm’s Mom

    It’s likely your cat is allergic to an ingredient in the Orijen, probably a protein like chicken (this is possibly the case with the original posters dogs, too, but it’s hard to tell with such limited info). If the Orijen contains chicken, try a food that does not contain chicken (preferably one of much better quality than Royal Canin!!!) and see how it goes. That’s where I would start,’s the easiest place to start.

  • a velarde

    We have a cat and we switched her from Royal Canin to Orijen and she’s been scooting. We clean her butt with baby wipes before bed. We had her seen by vets, although she’s already been dewormed, they gave her another dose and emptied her anal sacs. No worms in her stool though and she’s still scooting. We’re switching her back to Royal Canin and we’ll have to see how it goes.

  • DogLover

    My dogs both developed anal gland problems after being put on Orijen. Has anyone else had a similar problems??

  • I don’t feed it to them. If my dog walked away from it the cats would run to his bowl. I feed my dog raw now.

  •  Be careful…dog food usually contains inadequate amounts of taurine for felines.

  • My dog isn’t too crazy about he 6 Fish I just bought him. And his already bad breath has gone to a whole new level… My cats LOVE it though!!!!!!!!

  • mdkroma

    Thanks again. The six fish arrived yesterday and it looks like we’re having no issues with the change. Oddly, the old pacifica formula left her stool a bit soft, and the move to six fish seems to have firmed it right back up again.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hey Jess ….

    To funny, what a complete abandonment of reason. To each his own. Cant stop laughing lol. 

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I would add that I agree that Orijen is a high quality product – it just didn’t work for my dogs.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    Jess I can only tell you what works for my dogs. Orijen did not – I tried the red meat and Six fish for 6 months. Brothers really agrees with them and after 2 months (only feed kibble for first meal per day) Brothers has proven to be one of the best foods I have tried. Plus I prefer food made in the US.

  • Johnandchristo

    Wow ….

    Every dog is different.My sister bred Flat coats and always fed Solid Gold. What is important is that the dogs eat. 

  • Core, Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Nutrisca have a higher fiber content than Orijen which might help.

  • BryanV21

    I don’t sell Brothers, so I can’t tell you anything based on customer experience or my own, but it does kinda bother me that it uses meal instead of actual meat. Maybe that’s not an issue, but I’d rather see actual meats, and some meal added to increase the protein content.

  • Jess

    I am sorry, but brothers is so inferior to anything Champion makes it isn’t even funny. I am not bashing brothers, but with only one meat source and that source being a bone heavy meal, I personally see brothers as a meatless product made by someone else. Brothers has to be theee most over priced dog food on the market this side of Solid Gold.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I would second the recommendation on Brothers. I have been feeding my dogs Brothers in the am now for about 2 months. I feed canned or air dried in PM. My dogs have done very well on 5 star grain free kibble but all around I have to say that Brothers really seems to agree with them. They have not had any digestive issues and that is a tall order for my dogs.

  • BryanV21

    I’m willing to bet quite a bit of money that it was the change in protein that was the issue. While Sun Dancer is above average, it’s still about 10% less than what Orijen is.

    Now, Acana is right around the same level, and is a high quality food (like it’s sister-brand… Orijen, as both are made by Champion Pet Foods out of Canada).

  • Acjuelich

    They were on Solid Gold Sun Dancer before.  It was higher in carbs which seemed to lend to pretty firm stools and not having to mess with anal gland issues.  I then decided to move to something lower in carbs, with chelated minerals, and get away from Diamond Foods.  Plus, our vet only sells Acana and Orijen so I wanted to support them for not selling any other garbage.  Aside from my issues with Orijen, my dogs didn’t really touch it until they were absolutely starved and had no other choice.

  • Johnandchristo


    Hi. What were your dogs eating before? Orijen is a great food, it is high in fat. It could take months for a dog to get used to higher fat. Fat is very good for a dog as protein but they cant adjust over night or even in weeks some times. I feed my Black Lab Brother’s Complete. I like it for a variety of reasons, some of which might be pertinent here. Encapsulated probiotics,and enzymes that help start and maintain intestinal bacterial colonies, fed with tapioca. Used as a binding agent. Tapioca has a very low glycemic index. Also the food is grain and white potato free, with lots of meat. Any problems I had feeding my dog I could address right here with the family that makes the food. Consequently, my dog formerly in ill health is now looking and feeling great. No loose stools no yellow stools. super shiny coat. 

  • BryanV21

    When switching foods you’re bound to run into some runny stool or diarrhea, so don’t be discouraged by them. I’m not saying go back to Orijen, as some dogs just don’t do well on high protein diets like that. Wellness Core is a really good food, I just don’t want you to give up on it right away like some owners would. Which is understandable, but not necessarily right.

  • Acjuelich

    Had to stop Orijen after about 3 weeks.  Nothing but soft stools, dogs not eating the food, bad anal glands, vomiting……..just a mess.  It is no doubt a quality food, just not the food for our two terriers.  I just brought back a small bag of Wellness Core and they were into it right away.  Hopefully the stools start firming up.

  •  YVW.  I had to drastically reduce volume fed when I first switched to Champion but use the same volume going between Acana and Orijen.  A big bag only lasts about 11 days here though.  I also substituted 6 Fish when they changed Pacifica…I prefer Salmon oil to canola!

  • mdkroma


  • Alexandra


    I would maybe try cutting back on the kibble a little bit. A way to check, that I feel is more accurate measurement is the calorie content of each food. Figure how many calories you were feeding of the old food, and calculate the calories in the Orijen. You may find it is less. Hope that it helps. 🙂

  • Thanks!  He is super sweet but about to be angry with me as I walk out the door with his daughter to go off to agility class 🙂  It’s sooo hard to treat all your “kids” equally!

  •  I rotate one bag of Acana then one bag of Orien w/o any problems.

  • Shawna

    Fresco is SUPER CUTE!!!

  • mdkroma

    Does anyone have any experience transitioning from Acana to Orijen. We were in process of transitioning our Amstaff/dalmatian/dachsie mix to the Acana Pacifica (using a small bag of old recipe), but when they changed the recipe and raised the price, it turns out that it’s the same serving price to switch to the Orijen Six Fish. She’s had the regular Orijen before and did just fine on it.

  •  Thanks Shawna…I’ve been reading but keeping quiet…hoping Orijen formulas don’t change and wondering how others have done with Acana’s regional changes.  Fresco (the boy in the photo) is donning his Santa hat – ha!

  • Shawna

    Glad to see you back :)..  Love the picture of your pup 🙂

  •  My 45lb English setter eats less than a cup a day of Champion food.  She was eating 2 cups/day of Pro Plan or Wellness Core.  I started off feeding her 1.5 cups/day and within weeks, she was up to 53lb 🙂

  • Acjuelich

    I’ve been feeding Grain Free for years so that wasn’t a transition.  I know that it is higher Protein/Fat and Lower Carb than what they are used to, though.  They are 24-25lb Terrier Mixes.  They eat a cup of food a day.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Acjuelich,

    First going from a grain inclusive to grain free is a bit of a longer transition, depending on the dog of course. And with Orijen being as dense as it is, you should actually feed less of it. So you could have a little bit of both of these issues.

    Another is the dog eliminating or detoxing from the grains in his previous food. Give it a good month and see how it goes.

    Try mixing in some pumpkin for the next few days to help firm the stool. Make sure it is pure pumpkin and not pie filling.

  • Acjuelich

    I just switched our two dogs to Orijen from Solid Gold Sun Dancer.  They seem to poop quite a bit now.  The first few times during the day they are rather firm but the last time they go it is just a mess.  I transitioned them over a week….this is their second week solely on Orijen.  Should I give it more time?  Is this normal?

  • Nectarmom

    How long did you do a switch over to Orijen? It usually takes anywhere from 1-2 weeks to adjust to a new higher protein/fat diet when your dogs were on a low protein/fat diet. It took my dogs 2 weeks and they have very sensitive tummies but we are 100% on Acana and Orijen mixed.

  • jess L.

    Big thanks. : ). That’s what i’ll do then, see how he enjoys the fromm and hope the strange bravo balance i just got is just an anomaly and i’ll let him stick with those 2 for a while until i try all 3 of the Fromm flavors i’ve okay’d. I think with the Orijen, i really think the many dense meat meals in a dry formula was just not for him. He may need the moisture content or something like that. Thanks for your help. : )

  • hounddogmom12

    Jess L,

    He’s adorable! 🙂

    If you like the ingredients in Acana and want higher protein than Fromm I think it’d be a good food to try out. It just seems odd to me that the Bravo agrees with him but Orijen doesn’t, as Bravo is higher in protein and fat than Orijen. But every dog’s digestive system works differently and you just gotta do what works. Just keep trying foods until something works. Also, it’s not like Fromm is a bad food so if you had to stick with that in conjunction with the Bravo he’d still be eating a very high quality diet.

  • jess L.

    i should also add, my dog is a 7.5lb toy maltese mix. we walk maybe 30mins a day during the week, and an hour in the dog park 4x a week. Longer weekend walks. He’s 2. I suppose he has enough years ahead of him that he can do both Fromm and Acana in his lifetime. Switch him here and there in 6 months or so if he gets tired of them.


  • jess L.

    ha, i am just on the acana page as we speak. :D. Comparing it to the Fromm. Even as i was buying the Fromm i brought both Fromm and Acana to the counter and had a tough time deciding. lol.  Was a tad nervous about the amount of meat (based on my pups disagreement with Orijen), but it should still be cool, right? I liked the ingredients.

    Chicken meal, russet potato, boneless chicken, boneless walleye, whitefish meal, peas, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E), sun-cured alfalfa, chicken liver, boneless Lake Whitefish*, whole eggs, salmon oil, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, turnip greens, tomatoes, carrots, apples, organic kelp, cranberries, blueberries, juniper berries, black currants, chicory root, licorice root, engelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, lavender flowers

    33% protein in a dry made me slightly nervous. Which is what gave me the idea to get those tiny orijen packs to mix with the fromm. lol.

  • hounddogmom12

    Jess L,

    Have you tried using Acana instead of Orijen? Acana is made by the same company (Champion Pet Foods) and has, for the most part, the same ingredients. Acana is also rated 5 stars. The only difference it Acana contains 60% Animal Ingredients and 40% Fruits & Veggies versus the 80% Animal Ingredients and 20% Fruits & Veggies in Orijen. So, consequently, Acana is slightly lower in protein and fat than Orijen. Maybe try looking into Acana, it’s 32% protein – so more than Fromm and Natural Balance.

  • jess L.


    Oh, he has always been on a kibble in conjunction with his raw, (not at the same feeding of course). i think before the orijen the kibble was… merrick maybe? (but of course he’d spit out those colored pieces. lol). So i tried orijen, after orijen gave him wicked tummy problems we went to Natural Balance kibble. he was totally fine with that, liked it, no tummy/poo problems but the fish formula was low in protein and low in fat, and they generally don’t have meat as the first ingredient so i knew i would want to end up with a different kibble. We tried “Rotations”, cuz they had that great deal, three 5lb bags for $10 and the ingredients looked really good. We did a transition period, no tummy problems, but he really had to be super hungry to eat it, and it’s hard to find, so that wasn’t a keeper either (As you can see, i’m trying to find ‘THE ONE’, ;).  We are almost about done with first bag of rotations, but i’m over it, so for the last 3 days his kibble has been some Fromm and some Rotations for the transition. No tum problems there either.

    Just basically want a kibble we can keep around, a staple for him, and then we’ll also have our Bravo (although i just got a strange batch, so we’ll see about that). His other semi-staple is Ziwipeak, he loves it, it’s just a bit expensive, so i buy one every so often. He has never had a problem with that one either.

    Fromm seems okay, and they have 4 flavors i would serve him, but just not enough meat if i decided to say, feed him nothing but dry for a few weeks. Dunno. Whaddya think? 

    But since we’ve mentioned it, for some reason i felt like that much protein in a dry, vs. a real meat type of thing, might have made the difference, what are your thoughts on that?


  • hounddogmom12

    Jess L,

    If your dog was eating Bravo the Orijen shouldn’t be too rich. Bravo is much higher in fat and protein than Orijen (62% Protein/25% Fat in Bravo versus 42% Protein/20% Fat in Orijen). The loose stools are more likely due to the fact that your dog had gotten accustomed to eating raw and you’re switching from a fresh food to a kibble. Try adding digestive enzymes, kibble is lacking in the enzymes that are naturally occurring in raw food so adding them back in may help with digestion. I wouldn’t recommend adding Fromm into the mix, if you’re already trying to switch him from raw to kibble mixing in another kibble will just confuse the digestive system more.

  • jess L.

    Orijen also gave my dog diariah, it was really gross. lol. and i did do a slow transition (from bravo raw). I think it was just way too rich. Do you think it would be okay to buy one of the small package and just put like 10% of a serving in 90% of serving of Fromm? Which i just started recently but i’d love it to have a little more animal content. I would be getting the fish one b/c his Fromm is the salmon one. or would the 10-15% give him stomach issues.

  • Kaliberknl

     Agree wholeheartedly.  Most people assume 80% MEAT  DM when they see the bag.  It’s misleading but I still think it is one of the best foods on the market and my dogs are thriving.  I just sent an email to friends who have recently switched warning them how very little their dogs probably need to eat.  One of my girls is petite at an ideal weight of 42 lb.  Before switching in mid April she had lost weight and was down to 38 lb.  She is now on the chunky side at 45 lb consuming 1.5 cups/day! 

  • Calcium

    In addition to that, 24% – 6 % (fat & oils) = 18% fresh meat/fish/egg, and how much (or little) it would be after it has dried…

  • Calcium

     Yes, but if you remove moisture from fresh meat and fresh fish, that 24% will be lower. The final product = kibbles does not contain 60% (Acana) or 80% (Orijen) animal ingredients. Kibbles contain about 10% moisture and fresh meat about 70% moisture… The more fresh meat vs dried meat in receipe, the less meat in kibbles. I hope you understood what I tried to tell you. 🙂

  • melissa


    not getting what your saying-36% dried meat products plus 24% animal products = 60% animal ingredients-just as they state?!?!

  • hounddogmom12

    That’s exactly what I said? The website states: “Orijen 6 Fish features a biologically appropriate ingredient ratio of 80% fish, 20% Fruits & Vegetables, and 0% Grain.”

  • hounddogmom12


    You don’t need liver in a dry food or canned food. They add vitamins and minerals to compensate for what would be found in the liver.

  • Calcium

     Well, the receipe contains 60% or 80% animal ingredients, but the final product doesn’t. I don’t like the idea how Champion advertises their products. Let’s see Acana Wild Prairie:

    Chicken meal (30%), russet potato, boneless chicken (6%), boneless walleye (6%),
    whitefish meal*(6%), peas, chicken fat (5%), sun-cured alfalfa, chicken liver (2%),
    boneless Lake Whitefish (2%), whole eggs (2%), salmon oil (1%)

    I think it’s a little misleading  to advertise this way. If you calculate, there is 36% dried meat products and 24% fresh animal products, including meat, fish, chicken fat, liver and eggs. As said, the final product does not contain 60% animal ingredients… Great food, though!

  • Kaliberknl

     Orijen = 80% premium animal ingredients vs Acana = 60% premium animal ingredients 🙂

  • SandyDuarte

    Above it states that the 6 fish has no liver, would that be something I should look for in a food?

  • hounddogmom12


    If she likes the Acana Pacifica I’m sure she’d enjoy the Orijen 6 Fish. They’re are basically the same, as Kaliberknl stated, the only significant difference is the Orijen contains 80% meat and 20% fruits and veggies, while Acana has 60% meat and 40% fruits and veggies. Acana and Orijen are made by the same company and the formulas are extremely similar except that Orijen has a higher meat content than Acana. They’re both great foods and I use both in my “kong-cicle rotation”.

  • SandyDuarte

    That’s a good idea, thanks!

  • SandyDuarte

    Good to know about the bag information, thanks. She seems to like the Acana Pacifica and Brothers Fish Formula so I just wanted to see what else to try. She still has a little left of both so I probably won’t try another until she’s done.

  • Kaliberknl

    My dogs love both Orijen and Acana Pacifica.  Several friends are feeding 6 fish and their dogs also love it.  I see little difference between Pacifica and 6 fish.  The bag says 80% premium animal ingredients which is not necessarily the same thing as 80% meat 🙂

  • SandyDuarte

    I’ve been transitioning her slowly over the past 3 weeks to the Earthborn Holistic GF, today was the first without the Canidae since I got her over 6 weeks ago and was just looking at a fish formula that would be great for her so she won’t get tired of the same old thing everyday. She likes the Brothers sample I got and also had her try Acana Pacifica today and she liked it as well. Of course she’s tried a lot of different canned and dehydrated foods some she liked more than others, none she likes more than the Tripett that’s for sure. I saw a trial size of the 6 fish today but will probably get it after she finishes the Acana. I was impressed that it has 80% meat and is GF and was just wondering if anyone had tried it. I’m sure I’ll be trying a white meat alternative soon also. I know I spoil her but I’m just getting what’s best for her 🙂

  • hounddogmom12

    SandyDuarte, I’ve never fed Orijen 6 Fish as a sole diet but I buy the trial size bags and layer it with pumpkin and freeze it in kongs for my dogs. I love the ingredients (makes for a healthy after dinner dessert) and the dogs seem to enjoy it.

  • You remind me of me a few years ago trying lots of different foods and can’t deciding and wondering what’s better and should I try this or that…that’s how I ended up mixing foods together because I couldn’t decide!

    I haven’t tried the 6 Fish flavor, only the Adult and Red Meats over a year ago.

  • SandyDuarte

    Has anyone tried Orijen 6 fish?

  • Thanks Mark for sharing this superb article.

  • Thanks, Mark. I’ve been trying to find GI tables for dogs or cats but so far I’ve been unsuccessful. That’s why your comment made me question how the Glycemic Research Institute endorses the pet foods that it does. Thanks for your response.

  • Mark,
    Thanks for the above info on GI vs GL. Been ready a lot of those papers lately, that was a much clearer explanation. 2thumbs!

  • Mark

    A good SCIENTIFIC paper on glycemic and insulin response in dogs fed various diets is

    Glycemic and Insulinemic Responses after Ingestion of Commercial Foods in Healthy Dogs: Influence of Food Composition1,2

    Patrick Nguyen,3 Henri Dumon, Vincent Biourge* and Etienne Pouteau

    © 1998 American Society for Nutritional Sciences. J. Nutr. 128: 2654S–2658S, 1998.

  • Mark


    I do not know for certain but I do not believe there have been any published studies on the GI of many foods or any for that matter in canines or felines. I do know that a complex mixture such as a dog or cat food by definition can not have a GI but can have a GL, and these are two very different measurements – by definition.

  • Mark

    Hi Newelm

    You may want to look into the Wysong Epigen STARCH FREE Kibble dog food. It has only ~9% carbohydrates, they also make a raw dehydrated that is only 9% carbs as well – Archetype.

  • Thanks Mike! My post showed up, warts and all, LOL I finished it! 🙂

  • Hi Newelm… I’m so sorry to hear about your poodle’s diabetes. Choosing a satisfactory dog food to help control this condition can be a challenge. We’re actually dealing with this issue in our own human family.

    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. You may wish to visit my FAQ page and look for the topic “Diabetic Dog Food” for some suggestions. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

    Wish I could be more help.

  • Hi Toxed2loss… I’ve been trying a new application today called Disqus. Have tried it before and it’s not proving to be as customizable as I thought. So, I’ve returned to the out-of-the-box WordPress comment system. Try it again and you should be OK. Please let me know how it goes. Thanks

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Mike,

    Trying to post on another thread, thought you might want the feed back. I reached a healthy paragraph and I can’t add or delete. I locked it up. Both in the reply and the comment box…

  • Newelm

    To Mike Sagman,
    Thanki you for providing a website with a wealth of information. Question:
    Our newly diagnosed minature poodle has diabetes. What would you recommend we feed him for optimal health and quality of life? We live in Canada and not all the top rated dog foods are available in our country.
    We welcome your reply. Thank you.

  • Test #B via Disqus Moderation reply

  • Test #A via Disqus Comment Box

  • Test #5

  • Hi Mark… You make an interesting point. However, since it’s my understanding the glycemic index of any food would likely vary between species, do you know if the testing done by the Glycemic Research Institute (the certifying entity regarding Orijen) was conducted for canine or human glycemic response?

  • Mark

    LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX MISREPRESENTATION- ORIJEN – When one considers the amount of marketing hype and vast monetary expenditures that go into making a dog food internationally branded and available overnight in nearly all retail outlets one needs to carefully examine the science behind claims made about the quality and features of a particular food. Case in point – The lawsuit, filed in March 2009, alleges Natura’s website and labeling contain “a large number of misleading and false statements relating primarily to assertions concerning the human-grade quality of its food.” The plaintiff alleged that these statements included such claims as “We only use ingredients you’d eat yourself,” “All of our human grade dog and cat foods are carefully cooked and tested…” and “Natura’s products use only human grade ingredients.”

    As part of the settlement, which U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel preliminarily approved earlier this month, Natura would stop promoting its pet food products as human grade, human quality or as something that “you would eat yourself.”

    Natura also would establish a $2.15 million settlement fund. The settlement fund will be used to make payments to class members, as well as cover attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.
    ORIJEN – Low Glycemic index award! Based on the very method of determining a GI for a food substance an entire diet containing various carbohydrate (SUGAR) sources can not have a GI and therefore claiming a diet such as Orijen dog food is a low glycemic index food is just plain BAD SCIENCE and MARKETING HYPE. It is possible that the mixture of ingredients results in a low glycemic load but that is VASTLY different then a low glycemic index! Russet potato, sweet potato, and peas are ALL very high GI foods! Only by adding the high meat content can the whole diet be a low GLYCEMIC LOAD diet. The bottom line is the sugar sources used in Orijen are among the highest GI foods available and WILL raise an animals blood glucose level higher and faster then table sugar (sucrose). DOGS ARE CARNIVORES and do not need sugar. CARBOHYDRATES ARE SUGARS!

    Glycemic Index

    In the past, carbohydrates were classified as simple or complex based on the number of simple sugars in the molecule. Carbohydrates composed of one or two simple sugars like fructose or sucrose (table sugar; a disaccharide composed of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose) were labeled simple, while starchy foods were labeled complex because starch is composed of long chains of the simple sugar, glucose. Advice to eat less simple and more complex carbohydrates (i.e., polysaccharides) was based on the assumption that consuming starchy foods would lead to smaller increases in blood glucose than sugary foods. This assumption turned out to be too simplistic since the blood glucose (glycemic) response to “complex” carbohydrates has been found to vary considerably. A more accurate indicator of the relative glycemic response to dietary carbohydrates should be glycemic load, which incorporates the relative quality and quantity of carbohydrates in the diet characterized by the glycemic index (GI).

    Measuring the Glycemic Index

    To determine the glycemic index of a food, volunteers are typically given a test food that provides 50 grams of carbohydrate and a control food (white bread or pure glucose) that provides the same amount of carbohydrate on different days. Blood samples for the determination of glucose are taken prior to eating and at regular intervals after eating over the next several hours. The changes in blood glucose over time are plotted as a curve. The glycemic index is calculated as the area under the glucose curve after the test food is eaten, divided by the corresponding area after the control food is eaten. The value is multiplied by 100 to represent a percentage of the control food.

    Glycemic Load
    The glycemic index compares the potential of foods containing the same amount of carbohydrate to raise blood glucose. However, the amount of carbohydrate consumed also affects blood glucose levels and insulin responses. The glycemic load (GL) of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100. Dietary glycemic load is the sum of the glycemic loads for all foods consumed in the diet. The concept of glycemic load was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carbohydrate in a meal or diet.

    See the science behind the marketing hype and be an educated “thinking person”.
    Feed foods based on science not clever marketing!

    See the GI’s for yourself go to Sydney University Glycemic Index Service

  • Bob

    Lauren as far as I know they are only coming out with new flavors and not changing the current ones. I was told a duck formula was coming, but was told to keep and eye on their website for updates.

  • Hi Lauren… Unfortunately, since there are currently no US government labeling standards regulating the use of vague terms like “fresh” or “natural”, we ignore them in our ratings.

  • Lauren

    Correction: I ment to say *fresh boneless*

  • Lauren

    One thing I noticed, the original formula when listing a meat ingredient would say FRESH boundless salmon or FRESH unless chicken. The new formula just says boneless chicken. They took out the word fresh…it made me wonder why? Does the word fresh in the ingredients make a difference, or is it the same freshness as it was before?

  • Lauren

    Hi Adam,

    I really do not know why they do not have ACANA in your country. Maybe someone else here could answer.

  • Adam Clive

    hello lauren do you know why orijen is available in my country new zealand but acana isnt? I dont really care just curious is all.

  • Lauren

    Hello everyone,

    I also wanted to mention that champion pet foods, who make Orijen and ACANA , is changing the ACANA formula. Champion petfoods have a notice on the website to expect to see the new formula for ACANA late 2011 (which we are now in, obviously). When I went to my local specialty petfood store, they were re stocking with the new ACANA I think because everything was out of place and I did not see the full line like they usually carry, and that was unusual for that shop. I did not see any of the ACANA with grain formulas, only grainless, like prairie harvest and pasifica for example.

    I looked through champion petfoods faq to see why they are changing the formulas to begin with. I didn’t find the answer so I emailed them yesterday. We will see if I get a statement back from them.

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    Oh…I don’t feed Orijen now, but I did. The original formula. I took my dogs off it for a variety of reasons. Then I decided to try a sample bag of the new formula. My dogs that loved it before liked it okay but was not all that thrilled, so I did not buy a bigger bag of it and have not fed it since. I personally do like Acana better for my dogs, but still am not feeding that either at the moment. I may rotate Acana back in, though.

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    It’s also sad and scary that dog food companies do not have to inform the customer immediately (not sure how long they have) concerning formula changes. Sometimes….actually happens quite often….a minor change will upset a dog’s digestion. It boggles the mind. I wonder why Orijen changed their formula? It was already top-notch ingredient wise. Did they change it because they thought they were making it “better” or did they do it for monetary reasons? Who knows, but when you have such a high quality product like Orijen, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” would be my motto!

  • Deb

    My golden has suffered from allergies all his life. I was thrilled to discover Orijen and was able to take him off cortisone and stop cooking for him. He was on it for several years. Last spring I bought a small bag to take on a trip with us. He got diarrhea and then did not eat for 3 days. I bought him Natural Balance which worked well enough for the rest of the trip. He continued with his old large bag of Orijen when we got back. Then I bought a new bag and the diarrhea returned (mucousy with some fresh blood). I am now cooking for him again and I’m very disappointed that the only dog food that he could tolerate has changed.

  • Hi,
    I find it important to share that I also have bad experiences with the new Orijen formula. When starting my dog ( Rott Lab mix)on Orijen a couple fo years ago, I was pleased and comfortable with it. Now it was time for a new bag. I was told only the protein % and a few other ( better) things have changed. I can’t believe that. My dog refused to eat the new formula for three days. Now that he is hungry and can’t live of the freeze dried raw diet treats, he ate some. Since a week and a half ago he developped hot spots under his ribcage and he itches in other spots. He does not have allergies, but similar happened when I had him on Earthborn holistic when they still had the vitamin K additive in it. So now last week he puked the food out all over my car. So not like him. He has not puked in over 7 years! His stool is very soft…. something is just not right. There is no way I will continue trying to make him eat it just because the bag says Orijen and I trusted that brand. Something is very wrong with it, but now it will be a hassle to find a new good food source for him. I hope our feedbacks here will help others to make good choices.

  • Pingback: Orijen - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too!()

  • Wes

    Forgot to mention that our picky dog has vomited a couple times on the new formula. I think he’s refusing to eat it not because he doesn’t like it, but because it makes him feel sick.

  • Wes

    Just checking in to say that both our dogs (alaskan klee kai) loved the original formula, but since the switch to 80/20, one has refused to eat it (even when soaking in chicken broth!) and the other only eats a small portion of her usual bowl. We tried several things over a week or so to get them to eat (just bought a 30lb bag!), but nothing works. We’ve tried a few samples of various other foods and they seem excited about almost anything but the new Orijen. Quite frustrating as I’d LOVED the food for several years now, but it’s just no good if they won’t eat it, no matter what the ingredients are.

  • Gordon

    Angela – When you do switch foods today, please ween your dog to the new food slowly. So you should still mix Orijen with the new food you choose, to start the weening process. Otherwise, you may again be bewildered to find that a new food is also causing diarrhea thanks to an upset digestive system having to attempt to quickly accustom itself to the new food. But it appears you may be already aware of proper weening. Maybe, just stick to the home cooked chicken and rice, and change meat sources from time to time.

  • Angela

    I have been feeding my dog Orijen dog food for about a year now. Being the only formula (the old one) that he had solid stool with, I was willing to pay the higher price for the food. However, about half a year ago, Orijen changed their formula; since then, my dog’s poop has been soft. Because everything else (his health, his coat) were great, I decided to look over the effects on his poop for the time-being, until I find a comparable dog food to switch to.
    The reason why I’m finally writing this review is because of my dog’s negative reactions to perhaps a particular bag of Orijen dog food. After purchasing a new 30lbs bag from the usual store that I buy from, my dog has been having watery diarrhea as well as vomiting EVERYWHERE on my carpet. I was so distressed over his vomiting fit that I took him to the ER immediately and his vet the next day. Both of the doctors agreed that it’s probably due to something that he ate. Since he hasn’t been out of my sight (he follows me everywhere) for the days before the event, I can only assume that it is the dog food. I decided to feed him chicken and rice, and slowly adding in the kibble before I made any conclusions. Maybe he did get into something that he was not supposed to?
    Today is the 2nd day that he has had only kibble. Unfortunately, his poop is a complete mess. Although it is not watery, it’s a big pile of mush. In addition to that, I’ve noticed that his farts are barely noticeable with the chicken and rice. With Orijen, however, it’s a pain to be in the car with him without the windows rolled down.
    Maybe this is only happening to my dog… I would love to hear from other people if they have similar experiences with their dogs and what they switched to.
    Picking up this morning’s poop was my last straw… I am going out today to switch his food.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    SueW – I don’t have an old Orijen package or a new one. You state “The front of the bag clearly states a higher protein level.” What are the exact words on the bag? Does it state ‘higher protein’ or does it state ‘more meat’?

    Mike’s overview (above) describes the new Orijen recipes as having more fresh meat, fewer meat meal concentrates, and that reported protein content has dropped by 2%.

    More fresh meat and fewer meat meals often equates to LESS PROTEIN. Not higher protein.

    Again… I don’t know. I’m just comparing your words to Mike’s words. Either you are incorrect or Mike is incorrect. ???

  • SueW

    There is also information about the switch on the Champion Pet Foods website.

  • SueW

    Read an old Orijen package and compare it to a new one. The front of the bag clearly states a higher protein level. Also, I was told this by more than 1 small pet food store owner in my town where I live. They were alerting customers who were known to purchase this brand because along with the higher protein came a higher price tag.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    SueW – You write “The only change to the Orijen formula was they have added more meat to bump up the protein to a higher level.”
    Is that true?
    I haven’t compared, but Mike S writes this in the above article New Recipes for Orijen Dog Food:
    “reported protein content has dropped by 2% to reflect the products’ fewer meat meal concentrates for the previous figure.”

    You say the protein is a higher level; Mike says protein content has dropped.

  • SueW

    Crystal, The only change to the Orijen formula was they have added more meat to bump up the protein to a higher level. Have you tried any of the other flavors? Their Acana line has not been changed and that line has many flavor profiles to choose from.

  • Crystal

    I’ve been giving my two Cocker Spaniels Orijen for almost 4 years now and have never had a problem with my dogs eating their food. In fact when I feed them the devour the food in 1 minute or less. I didn’t realize that when the packaging changed so did the formula of the food. I thought it was weird that it smelt kind of “fishy” (after all it is the 6 Fish they’re both on) and that they wouldn’t eat it. I thought hmm…maybe we got a bad bag of food…since that can happen I suppose. I went back to the store we bought it from to tell them and they weren’t a bit surprised about my story. The owner then told me that not only did the packaging change so did the formula of the food. I was SOOOO disappointed since I know Orijen is 5+ food and my dogs loved it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do I’ve switched to Fromm at the moment but even that they’re not eating like they did the old formula of Orijen 6 Fish. I’m bummed that they made the change since it took double the time for my dogs to finish the same size bag of food as before. My dogs have never gotten the runs or vomited with the change but something isin’t quite right even with the smell. If my dogs didn’t eat after 10 mins I had to put the food aways cause it smelt so bad. I wish they’d go back to the original formula. I believe in the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While they’re trying to make the food better there was nothing wrong with the original recipe in my view. Still far healthier than any grocery store brand full of by-products and grain. Please go back to the way it was!

  • jim

    my dog never liked orijen. I dont think an individual dogs tast in food has anything to due w quality???????

    interestingly she loves all the acana formulas

  • SueW

    Hi John;
    Canidae is not made by Champion Pet Foods, (makers of Orijen). The only other brand Champion makes is “Acana”. In the past I have fed Acana to my lab with great success. He is a picky eater when it comes to kibble. It has a meat content of 60% and is a little less expensive than Orijen. The Acana line has more varieties including some formulas with grains. So look for the ‘grain-free’ versions. This might be an easier transition since the basic formula is similar to the Orijen.

  • John

    Our 5 yr. old Yorkie was on the old 70/30 Senior formula for 9 months with no problems. It was one of the few foods that he would eat consistently. When I purchased our most recent bag I noticed the meat content had gone up to 75%, The new bag also seemed to have a much stronger fish odor to it. Windsor actually seemed to be eating more of the new formula. He’s always been a bit of a picky eater, but the new formula seemed to be more to his liking. We didn’t think much about the change until this week. Half way through the first bag of the new formula he has developed a serious case of diarrhea. His activity level is high and his appetite is still good. You wouldn’t know he was having a problem unless you saw the mess that comes out of him. But he seems to have lost a taste for the new formula. Needless to say we have taken him off of the Orijen for now. Just wish I could find a replacement that I had as much confidence in as the old Orijen formula. Does anyone have any experience with Canidae? I believe it is made by the same company as Orijen.

  • Kim

    What is the concern with Orion in Austria ? Anything to be concerned about

  • Chelsea

    I have an Australian shepherd who is just over 1 year old. Started on orijen puppy food when she was about 6 months old after having bad experiences with wellness and before grain. Ruby went from the old recipe of adult to the new with no problems whatsoever. Which was amazing because she seems to have a sensitive stomach. We have tried regional red too with even better success. Trying the six fish now. Spoke to an orijen rep who suggested we change flavors to help avoid developing allergies to a certain protein source. I think orijen is great for my active dog and I’m glad I can feed her the best of the best. Ruby isn’t the kind of dog that eats any bowl of food right away but she never skips a meal of orijen.

  • Theresa

    Glad to read that I’m not the only one having problem with the new Orijen. My dogs doesn’t have diarrhea but soft poo twice a day!!!!
    They are eating Orijen for 1 year and never had problem before they eat the new Orijen chicken formula 80/20.
    I stopped given them Orijen.

  • Shannon

    @Marti – Glad to hear your dog loved the food. Can you get back on this sit in a month or so and give us an update? I’m curious to see if you experience any long-term issues with the food?

  • Marti Hamlette

    I have 70lb much loved female shepadoodle. Meesha is 2 1/2 years old and I have tried every grain free four and five star dry food on the market. I have wasted so much money trying to find a dry food she will eat without doctoring it up with human meats and broths. Even with that, she would eat the good stuff and leave the dry food behind.

    Today I bought my first bag of Orijen Region red meat formula with wild boar, lamb, heritage pork and bison. OMG, she devoured this food as if it were her last meal.

    I am so happy that I finally found a healthy dry food she loves. I love my dog more than life, and I want her to live a long heathly life. Giving a dog cheap food made out of Monkey crap and by-products is false economy. Your vet bills will go up and your dog will suffer and more than likely die prematurely.

  • Lilly

    Wow, this is pretty crazy hearing this many people complaining about the formulation change. Its hard to dismiss this many reports of pets no longer tolerating the changed food, especially when they supposedly didnt change a whole lot. I have my recently adopted rottweiler mix on a variety diet and I was really looking forward to feeding Orijen on her next bag.
    Out of curiosity has anyone mentioned this to the regulating agencies in the US? I know they are mostly a joke when it comes to how the pet food market works but how is any outbreak or recall done? I thought if enough people report the same thing that in turn sparks an investigation which might then lead to a recall but maybe im wromg I suggest suggest everyone affected by this call or contact champion to report their issue. I also suggest you contact them via registered.mail so.there is.proof of the contact. Then report this to AAFCO, the better business beareau, etc.

  • Aaron

    Johnny, You are right! We tend to report our bad experiences. These complaints are a cry for help. When I have good experience with a product. I refer my friends. When I have a have a bad experience with a product which loved and recommended to friends. I try to get to the bottom of it. My dog loves the new formula as well but unlike the old formula it gives her the runs and sometimes causes vomiting. The Siberian was doing fine on Orijen for months until I gave her the new bags. She was fine with all of the orijen mixes red, puppy, fish whatever. Perhaps the new formula is now too rich for some dogs. We need to find out what’s going on. I applaud Orijen for attempting to improve an already great dog food. However, my dog was already eating better than me. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    Esther, it’s great to hear a positive response to the new formula! There are probably more dogs doing fine on the new formula than this thread would seem to suggest, and that’s because people don’t tend to look things up on line and post about them unless they have had a problem.

    Like in retail, when a person has a good experience, they rarely take the time to call the store’s corporate office and tell them about how nice the service they received was… but most people, if they have a particularly bad experience, will call to lodge a complaint without hesitation!

  • Esther

    I don’t know what everyone is talking about the new formula is fine with my dogs..I don’t think I’ve read one good thing Which I really don’t understand cuz both my dogs are doing FABULOUS on it! My minpin is OMG picky but will happily eat orijen and has firm stools and a beautiful coat, my 12 yo Morkie is doing fabulous! He is more active than he has been in 4 years and is losing weight (a great thing). I am completely satisfied w/ the orijen!! It’s a fantastic food and the new formula is to be applauded. Yay new formula!!

  • mo

    Oh and I also tried a little taste test for her. I had some of the old blend left and I poured half on one side of the bowl, new stuff on the other side of the bowl. She would go out of her way not to eat the new stuff even taking a mouthful, dumping it on the floor, then picking through it to eat only the old blend. Luckily, she took to the Nature’s Variety right away although she acts like it’s a bit of a downgrade.

  • mo

    I have to wonder if there isn’t something wrong with this new recipe? My dog LOVED Orijen but now she won’t touch the food. She’s probably the world’s pickiest eater. She went almost 3 days without eating because she hated the new food. She was also violently ill (vomiting all over the house) but I can’t be sure that it was that the food didn’t agree with her or if she’d somehow eaten a nasty rodent while in the park (it happens). Anyway, I had to switch to Nature’s Variety Instinct which, even though it’s good, I feel is not as good as the old Orijen recipe.

  • margaret

    My two greyhounds have always been fed orijen with great success. Bought a large bag of region red new formula and neither will eat it. I have tried mixing it with chicken stew but they still wont touch it. Will have to find another quality food for them.

  • Lukas

    btw . . I spoke to the manager at the store I buy my dog food today. It’s a high end store in a large city . . . she said she contacted Orijen by phone AND emails regarding this issue (left messages). She told them who she was and that she was concerned about the dogs and customers. That was over two weeks ago and she has heard nothing from them. Pretty rotten business practice if you ask me. I didn’t ask what the distributers are saying, but she did tell me she took all of her dogs off Orijen.

  • Lukas

    My Giant Schnauzer was on Orijen . . but right around the time they switched the formula, he began to not want to eat . . . getting diarrhea, becoming very lethargic. Of course I knew nothing about them changing their food, as it was not publicized yet . . so I was really concerned about his health. Many vet visits, rounds of anti-biotics / test etc . . Finally I changed to Natures Variety . . he is back to his old self. I have since talked to many others who have had similar issue with Orijen. Now I’m concerned that Orijen may have done something to him that may come back to haunt us (possible salmonella etc) and they are being ‘mum’.

  • Randi

    A friend has been feeding Orijen for quite a while, for at least a couple of years. She recently bought a new bag with the new formula. Two of her dogs had severe diarrhea for almost a week. Nothing seemed to stop it (Metronidazole, pumpkin). After several of us told her to take her dogs off Orijen, she finally did and the diarrhea stopped within a day. I wonder if there is an issue with salmonella, e. coli, etc in some batches of the food?

  • Hi Ailsa… Not sure why there are so many complaints about this Orijen product. But apparently something about the new recipe is disagreeable with a number of pets.

  • Ailsa

    Such a relief to find this website today. I’m in Scotland and buy Orijen Adult online. My two greyhounds have happily eaten Orijen for the last 8 months. Finally I found a food that they both liked. When I ordered my lastest 3 bags I noticed the change in protein levels and thought they would be fine. Both have runny bottoms and chronic wind. My girl isn’t enjoying the food at all and has on occasion been sick. I’m really sad about this. Emailed our supplier and asked if they would take the product back in exchange for another Orijen product but after reading this it looks like all the products have changed. I’m going to try adding some rice in to see if that helps. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • JM

    Our 3-year-old golden has been on Orijen fish for about 2 years and has always had stellar poos. Bought a new bag when we were out of his previous bag. We didn’t notice a change on the bag itself, but we immediately noticed that the kibble size had changed. We bought this right before leaving on vacation, which worried me. Well, he’s had really soft poo ever since. We thought we might need to feed him less of the new formula, but we haven’t noticed an improvement. Think we might need to pick up a bag of Acana, which I hear is cheaper. Maybe this is a good thing.

  • Hannah

    I’ve been feeding my dog Orijen adult for about 6 months and recently bought a bag of the new formula. I think the previous bag might have been the new formula too, but I didn’t know about it at the time, and I don’t store the food in the bag. Anyway, I’ve noticed a combination of firm and very loose stools for about 1-2 months now. After reading about the formula change I suspected that might be the reason. To find out for sure I’ve only been feeding her the Orijen (no treats or anything) for the past few days and her stool is firm, exactly as it should be. So, I think the formula change was just a coincidence, and maybe something else I’ve been giving her is the problem.
    It’s a relief for me knowing I don’t have to go crazy trying to find another quality food.

  • Michael

    My dog a 2 yo Chinook used to attack his morning kibble when it was the Adult 75/25 formula. Now with the 80/20 he goes by his bowl sits and looks at it as if he’s wondering why I downgraded his breakfast. I have to coax him to eat it and he always walks away with kibble left in the bowl. After reading this message thread, I’m going to switch him to TOTW which I have been using to fill his toys with and he attacks in earnest.

  • Alan

    @ Mike

    I called and emailed Champion asking about the new blend and for their reply about so many complaints. They did not even bother to get back to me. Its been over a week with no reply to a voicemail and email. Pathetic, coming from a company who claims they care so much about our pets. Might be the last bag of Orijens I buy. Luckily I was able to get the old formula so I’m OK for a little while longer. Looking for a suitable replacement.

    Maybe you ought to contact Champion and point them here. I suspect they already know they have a problem and are scrambling to address it.

  • ed

    This sounds pretty serious.

  • Hi Tony… Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it would be impossible for me to know what might be the best course of action for your pet.

    Unfortunately, due to the notable number of comments describing issues owners are experiencing with Orijen’s new formulas, it might be a good idea for you to contact the manufacturer and let them know of your concerns. Wish I could be more help.

  • Tony

    Firstly, GREAT SITE! I really appreciate the diligence with which your reviews are handled.

    As i’m sure is common, we ran out of our big bag of Orijen Large Puppy food; and off to the pet store I went. I was surprised to find that they’d stocked the shelves with the new blend only, but considering the amount of change in the new formula, we didn’t anticipate too much of a response from our 13-month female rottweiler… but we were wrong! She’s had numerous upset stools in the past 4 days, and without access to the ‘old blend’, I wonder what the best approach might be?

    I thought we might blend in some cooked white rice for a week or so, as well as drop the total feeding amount by about a cup. Any thoughts? Any advice is much appreciated!


  • Shannon

    I hope Champion PetFoods takes serious action regarding the stream of negative reactions taking place as a possible result of their new formula. I considered switching my dog over to Orijen until I read all of the negative reviews (from other sites too). I mean coincidental vomiting, loose stool, organ failure, and loss of appetite?? I’m not paying that price for this food unless some of these issues are addressed. I wish they still had the old formula. I see hardly anything but fabulous reviews for the old formula.

  • Melissa

    Both of my dogs have been drinking and peeing much more since the change to the new formula, so you are not the only one. Why can’t they leave a good thing alone?

  • Rochelle

    I have been feeding my dog Orijens for two years and she gobbles it up. Got a new bag a few weeks ago and the pet store informed me that they had changed the formula. She won’t eat it and she has never been picky (opposite actually, I have to try and slow her eating). I am going to have to change brands.

  • lynne

    My Samoyeds have been on adult orijen for several years. They loved it and did well. The first few feedings of the new formula, they immediately began having runny diarrhea, a messy deal with long haired dogs. They say that no transition is necessary if previously on their food, and of course, none is left from the previous bag. If this diarrhea doesn’t stop in the next few days, I’m taking this back to the pet store. This is like what happens when they drink tainted water. Is this new food tainted?

  • Rick

    I am also having problems with the new Orijen Adult dog food 80/20. I have been feeding my 2 1/2 year old GSD the old formula for sometime with great results. However, when I tried to transition my dog over to the new formula a little at a time he became ill. He vomited and had very runny stools. He couldn’t even make it through the night without having to go outside to relieve himself. There’s obviously more going on with this new food then we have been led to believe. Too bad for us dog owners that used to rely on Orijen and are now stuck with sick dogs because of Champion Petfoods new dog food formula.

  • Alyssa

    I’m surprised to hear that other people are having problems with the new formula too…My three year old Beagle has been on Orijen for about 2 years now and he’s never had any problems and he loves the food. I switched to a new bag a little less than a week ago and three days ago he started drinking and peeing excessively, and three times he lost control of his bladder completely. The vet did x-rays and urine analyses, nothing’s wrong so she concluded that the salt content of the food might have increased which would lead to him drinking a lot more water. I was wondering if this happened to anyone else? I really don’t want to have to change the food but this might pose a bit of a problem.

  • Lucy Collins

    I came on here to see if anyone else was having problems with the new formula and now I realize it’s been a problem for a lot of people. My lab also was doing so well on the original formula. I got my first bag of the new formula about three weeks ago and she has still not adjusted to it. Her stools are really runny now, but were great on the original formula. If anyone else has had this problem and found another food that is as good as the original orijen formula, please let me know. I don’t think I can keep my dog on Orijen after this bag runs out. Thanks!

  • Scott

    I just had to put my four year old chocolate lab down due to liver damage/failure. I came on extremely fast. She has been on Orijen food since she was born and only recently (Novemberish) didn’t seem to care for her food like she used to (but continued to eat it). Her initial symptoms (last week) were lack of apetite and a distended abdomen. Eventually, she was vomiting yellow bile and the near the end had internal hemmoraging, vomiting mucous and blood along with black diarrhea (digested blood). She had severe muscle wasting in the matter of weeks. We still done know what caused this but I had suspected the food may have something to do with it. I didn’t know they changed their formula until reading this board today. Our hearts are forever broken. Have your dog’s blood tested for elevated liver enzymes or low albumin levels if they are not acting themselves (indicating a dying liver).

  • Pam

    I have been feeding my dogs Orijen adult formula for well over two years and they were doing beautifully in it, good weights, firm stool, great coats. I began mixing the new formula with the old until all dogs are competely on the new formula, none of my dogs are doing well on it, from the beginning when I began mixing in the new formula we had from very loose stools to constant diarrhea. All the dogs have blown their coats, lost weight and two no longer want to eat it at all. I have three boxers and 8 french bulldogs & I have been feeding this food for over a month now and it’s not getting any better… I am now forced to switch them to either Acana Grasslands or Go! Natural Grain free. Wish we could convince Champion petfoods to leave a good product alone or to offer both products to us consumers 🙁

  • BC

    I mixed the old formula with the new formula for a 1.5 weeks before she was only eating the new formula. Her stools changed the first day I added the new formula. By the time she was eating only the new formula, her stools were very soft sometimes runny. I think the new formula is too rich for her. Perhaps the added liver. It is sad since she was doing so well on the food before the formula change. I believe it is quality food; however, this formula is just not for my dog.

  • Chad

    If you are having a problem switched slowly, and give it time, people tend to think these things happen over night, they don’t as with my English it can take 3-4 weeks of slowly mixing new foods otherwise his stool goes crazy.

    Both of my dogs English Bulldog, and Boston Terrier have done great on the new formula. I had to switch the English over slowly 3-4 weeks before totally switched, and he did better on the new version (Six fish), my Boston I can switch without mixing without a single problem I swear she has an iron gut.

  • Chad

    Both of my dogs English Bulldog, and Boston Terrier have done great on the new formula. I had to switch the English over slowly 3-4 weeks before totally switched, and he did better on the new version (Six fish), my Boston I can switch without mixing without a single problem I swear she has an iron gut.

    If you are having a problem switched slowly, and give it time, people tend to think these things happen over night, they don’t as with my English it can take 3-4 weeks of slowly mixing new foods otherwise his stool goes crazy.

  • BC

    My dog is a year-old Border Collie mix who has been on Orijen since she was a puppy. She has had soft stools and bad gas ever since I opened the bag of the new adult dog food I purchased two weeks ago. I tried to return it but had thrown away the bag. I am changing my dog’s food before she gets really sick.

  • Deb

    My dog had been on the Orijen Adult formula for about 6 months. He is extremely active, 2 yrs old, and a picky eater. He loved the Orijen, his coat look fabulous, and he was at last putting on some healthy weight/muscle.
    Then – they changed the formula. I don’t know how he would do on it – because he won’t touch it. I’ve managed to acquire a few bags of the original formula, but I haven’t found anything else he likes. I am SO unhappy. I thought I had at last found the answer to my prayers. Back on the hunt for a good food that he will eat. I emailed the company, but they assured me it was now “better”. I think “better” only works if your dog will eat it. And I trust my dog’s nose – something isn’t right.

  • Jonathan

    Chris, small dogs actually tend to have higher metabolisms. Any so called “small breed formula” usually contains more protein than it’s regular counterpart.

    Also, if you read through all these comments, they are left by people who have been feeding this food to their dogs for a long time and have only had problems with it since the formula change.

  • Chris

    Wow alot of neg. talk about orijen? i’ve had my two american staffordshire terriers on this food for 6 months and have no problems what so ever. This is a great high quality food for sure! They have perfect stools throughout there rotation of Orijen, Acana, and Taste of the wild. I feel that smaller inactive dogs have issues on these kind of foods. But why would those owners want to feed such a rich food to a 3-15 pound dog? Think guys if you dog is just 5 pounds how active can it really be. I think those people are fooling themselves and are trying to feed foods that are just to rich for such a small dog. Try something thats grain-free of course but not as rich, like GO!. Champion petfoods are simply the best on the market, to me thats not an opinion but fact, there quality is just so above and beyond. Its not orijen thats the problem its people not feeding correctly, and to the level of activity your dog is getting. Or the fact that your dog is just 10 pounds lol. orijen is great for the right dog bottom line.

  • Julie

    My dogs have been on Orijen for a few years and have always done wonderfully. I constantly tell others about how wonderful Orijen is and have convinced several people to switch over to it.

    Recently, we bought a new bag of Orijen (two weekends ago) and my dog stopped eating. I can’t cajole her into eating. Then she started vomiting (undigested food) and having the most horrendous gas. She’s lost several pounds, she has such bad gas that she’s in pain and her she’s acting really lethargic and freaked out. Per the vet, she is now on 2 Pepcids per day, is now eating only hamburger and rice and on a special medication to coat the GI tract. She has had full blood work, an ultrasound (both perfectly normal) and we’re hoping the bland diet and meds will resolve the issues. If not, we’re looking at endoscopy.

    My parents dog developed pancreatitis after eating the new formula as well.

    It absolutely breaks my heart. I LOVED Orijen. I don’t know what I’ll feed now…

    Lastly, I contacted Orijen and spoke with a rep there who stated that her dogs aren’t even eating it. If the employees are having trouble and so are we, I sure wish they’d change it back.

  • Allyson

    My black lab is on his 2nd bag of the new formula and has been having very loose stools. I am worried because he did so great on the old formula but now we are researching other options. I’ve tried eliminating treats and other foods to see if the issue persists, and his stool is still not firm. The only other change has been an increase in exercise, so I don’t know if excitement could be part of the problem. Regardless, I am concerned/disappointed with the new formula.

  • Hi Nicole… Yes, of course, it’s possible. But since each dog is different, I can’t assure you this is the cause.

  • nicole

    My dog has been on Orijens for over a year — and the last few months his stools have been very loose and he has been very gassy. He never had a moment’s problem with the food before. Is the new formula so different that this could be the cause?

  • I have 4 tiny pomeranians on the Orijen 6 fish, just bought a new bag 3 weeks ago, and in that amt of time:
    (1) was rushed to ER for intravenous fluids, blood tests and electrolyte treatments to treat dehydration and nonstop vomiting all that was in the vomit? undigested ORIJEN, clear water and what looked like tiny fish BONES!)
    (2) threw up lots of stiff brown slivers that looked like BONES!
    (2) have diarreah – one had what felt like BONES in the stool I had to wash off her backend fur
    And my pom who is on a strict RX diet was give FIVE Orijen kibbles as a treat and he threw up last night.

    It has to be the Orijen dog food! I am so bummed, as I ordered an $80.00 bag online after they did so fabulous on their first $40.00 bag.

    Now I need to switch foods yet again, take the $$ hit on hit on the new useless bag of 4 months worth of food AND have a big vet bill and sick pups 🙁

    I did so much research and chose so carefully when I selected this food, I am VERY dissapointed.

    BTW, I did get the new formula, it was the same 70% one, just a new bag of it shipped from

  • Coby Smith

    Hi All,

    I have had bad luck with the Orijens new recipe as well. Outstanding food and results until now. I use the regular adult one but it seems to be more than meets the eye on changes in recipe. All three of my dogs had loose stool and two vomited after using the new bag, and they were lethargic. I was not told of the change in recipe from my store help – just a new bag. Even my pointer mix, who can eat anything had problems with the new recipe. I am going to ask my vet for his recommendation on food. So very disappointing as Orijens is one of the only suppliers where it gets local ingredients and manufactures at its own facility. I have no idea why they changed a good thing. I called their customer service today and have not yet had a call back.

  • Hi Ken… Our reviews and ratings have nothing to do with results and are based only upon the recipe. To see why we intentionally ignore everything except the label, please be sure to read my article, “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews“.

  • Ken Chow

    Should you consider changing your recommendation on this brand? It seems every comment I read about it in response to your articles is about problems with this food.

  • Luke

    My 1.5 y/o golden has been on Origin adult for about 5 months now. Since we picked up the ‘new formula’ last week, his stools have become very loose. We are continuing to feed him Orijen for the next week or two and eliminating any treats, bones etc to see what happens.

    Very disappointing as it was difficult to find a dog food that agreed with his stomach. Even Fromm would upset him and we were glad when we tried Orijen. Time will tell I guess…

  • Jonathan

    I would tend to think this was an unfortunate coincidence. A 2% change in protein and more fresh ingredients vs meals doesn’t seem like the kind of change that would cause issues, you know? If they changed to lower quality ingredients I would be more concerned, but they didn’t. They actually upgraded.

  • Michael

    We have a miniature and standard schnauzer both who have been on Orijen adult food for about 7 months now and were doing fine. I just purchased my first bag since the release of the new formula and introduced it to their diet 2 days ago.

    It is too soon to draw any conclusions, but this morning our standard schnauzer had a seizure and we rushed him to our veterinarian’s office. The vet himself said it was unlikely the change in formulation of the food would have caused the seizure, but that is was possible. I have always been very confident in Orijen, but the timing of the dog’s first-ever seizure shortly after starting him on the new formula definitely has me concerned.

    Our miniature schnauzer seems to be doing fine on the new formula so far, but he is younger and more active. It leaves me with a lot of questions and not much info to go on with the new formula Orijen since it was so recently released.

  • Jennifer

    Mike; don’t entice your dog to eat it. This is just too coincidential. Take back the food to the store, if you have the bill etc. They should take it back and you should also contact Champion. I have emailed; but they never responded.

  • Mike

    Our Murphy has been on Orijen for about 10 months, since she turned 1. We picked the brand due to its high rating here and also because it was one of her top picks when we put about 10 different brands’ sample packs on the floor for her to choose from. I just got the new recipe two days ago, and I’m a little worried. She has stopped eating the food since we got it for her. She used to eat about 2 1/4 cups a day over two meals. Yesterday she ate only 1 1/8, and today hasn’t even finished her first morning bowl. The price increase was pretty steep to pay for a food my dog doesn’t want to eat anymore. I’m a little frustrated.

  • Carol

    Very strange Lauren, same thing happened to me! But it wasn’t the fish.

  • lauren

    I’ve been feeding my dog Orijen 6-fish with no problems up until a few weeks ago when I opened a new bag. Suddenly he started vomiting badly and had to be rushed to the vet. After weeks on medication for pancreatitis & a bland diet he improved. That is until I tried to start incorporating Orijen back in. Even the smallest amount sets him off. I suspected that there might have been an ingredient change & it looks like I’m right.

  • Jonathan

    This new formula sound brilliant! I didn’t realise that there more “ash” in meal than fresh. That makes sense. but I have read that dogs need some amount of bone to digest as to avoid bloat in larger breeds. Is that bull?

  • Hi Jess… I wouldn’t be at all concerned with a 2% change in protein (especially with the generous protein levels of Orijen). Please notice all the enhancements that were made to this formula. However, since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it would be impossible for me to assure you feeding him the new Orijen recipe would provide the results you’re looking for. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Jess

    I am very concerned about the change in formulation, but I am especially concerned with the drop in protein and increase in fat and carb percentage. I have been feeding my Ridgeback Orijen since he was six months old. I attribute is gorgeous physique to Orijen. It is a shame they have lowered the protein percentage to a food I can find easily at one of the super pet marts. The price has also increased, which the food was already expensive. Now, I am not sure if it is going to be worth the extra money.

    I am really bummed about the drop in protein percentage. To me, that 40% is one of the things that separated them from commercial dog foods out there.

  • Fish

    Negative results in comparison to the product I was previously using.

  • Fish


    I’ve emailed Orijen to know avail, what kind of testing have they done for performance dogs? I have tried their Regional Red and my 80lb working dog actually dropped weight and stamina which was a double negative. I’m not completely sold on the cost of the food I think it’s definately a step up from what we have seen in the past, but can someone verify which Orijen formula they use for performance dogs b/c as of right now I can’t justify the cost of continuing to pay their ridiculous price only to see negative results from the products I used previously.

  • Hi Deb… Fresh meats are almost always better in quality (think “natural”) than any kibble. But once kibbles are cooked and lose their moisture, a fresh meat makes up less of the finished product than a meal. However, in the case of Orijen, there’s so much fresh meat in the recipe, even after being cooked, the meat-based protein still makes up a major portion of the food. Hope this helps.

  • Deb

    I’m a tad surprised. I thought meat meals were better than fresh meat (in dry kibble) because of the concentration?