Review of Orijen Dry Dog Food
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 AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Orijen Six Fish
|Orijen Fit & Trim
|Orijen Puppy Large
|Orijen Regional Red
|Orijen Small Breed
Recipe and Label Analysis
Orijen Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Orijen Original (USA)
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, chicken liver, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), whole herring, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, dehydrated mackerel, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, chicken fat, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, whole chickpeas, lentil fiber, natural chicken flavor, whole peas, pollock oil, pea starch, chicken heart, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, collard greens, whole apples, whole pears, whole cranberries, dried kelp, salt, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, dried chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract, 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
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
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 next two ingredients are flounder and mackerel.
Fish is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Although these are quality items, raw fish contains up to 73% water and after processing, they would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The fifth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
Next, we find turkey giblets, an edible by-product of poultry slaughter. They include the liver, heart and gizzard of a bird’s carcass.
Though the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these items can all be considered a natural part of an authentic ancestral diet.
Giblets are an acceptable and healthy meat ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The eighth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth ingredient is dehydrated chicken. Dehydrated chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.
Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is not exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.
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 Champion Petfoods product.
With 5 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 lentils
- Navy beans
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 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.
In addition, 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.
Next, pollock 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Orijen Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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.
Our Rating of Orijen Dry Dog Food
Orijen is a grain-free dry dog food using a liberal amount of named meats and organs as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Orijen Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Champion Petfoods.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Champion Brand Reviews
The following Champion dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Acana Classics Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Acana Heritage Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Highest Protein Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Regionals Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Acana Singles Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Acana Singles Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Orijen Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)
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- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩