Orijen Dog Food Review (Dry)

Orijen Original Dog Food Review

Rating:

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

The Orijen product line includes the 9 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.

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

Orijen Original (USA)

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 43% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, whole Atlantic herring, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, whole dehydrated egg, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, chicken necks, chicken kidney, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, whole chickpeas, lentil fiber, chicken fat, natural chicken flavor, pollock oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, mixed tocopherols (preservative), whole pumpkin, collard greens, whole carrots, whole apples, freeze-dried chicken liver, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis38%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%21%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%41%23%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 41% | Carbs = 23%

The first two items in this dog food are chicken and turkey. Although quality items, raw poultry contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The third ingredient is flounder, a type of marine fish describing several distantly related species. Flounder is another quality, raw item inclusive of moisture.

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

The fifth item is mackerel, another quality, raw item inclusion. Mackerel is an oily salt-water fish naturally high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat needed by every dog to sustain life.

The next 4 items include a series of nutrient-rich organ meats

  • Chicken liver
  • Turkey liver
  • Chicken heart
  • Turkey heart

These are organ meats sourced from a named animal and thus considered beneficial components.

Although quality items, raw organs contain up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

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 Orijen product.

With 6 notable exceptions

First, it’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Red lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Green peas
  • Green lentils
  • Navy beans
  • Chickpeas

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination might occupy a significantly higher position on the list.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe includes dehydrated chicken, turkey and mackerel. Dehydrated meat is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh poultry and fish.

Plus (unlike meat meals) dehydrated meat is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.

In addition, this recipe contains lentil fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from lentils. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

Next, we note the inclusion of chicory root. Chicory 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.

We also note the use of pollock oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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

Orijen Dog Food Review

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 43%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 29% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Which means this Orijen product line contains…

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the various legumes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing an abundance of meat.

Bottom line?

Orijen is a grain-free dry dog food using an abundance of named species as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.



Orijen Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Champion Petfoods product. 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.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

06/10/2020 Last Update