Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food (USA) receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Orijen Freeze-Dried product line includes 3 freeze-dried, raw dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.
- Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra (3 stars) [U]
- Orijen Freeze-Dried Original (3.5 stars) [U]
- Orijen Freeze-Dried Regional Red (3 stars) [U]
Orijen Freeze-Dried Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Orijen Freeze Dried Original
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken ground with bone, chicken liver, turkey, whole herring, eggs, pea fiber, turkey liver, turkey heart, flounder, chicken heart, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, whole apples, salt, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, potassium chloride, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.2%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||35%||15%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||60%||11%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken with ground bone. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life. The ground bone is an excellent source of natural calcium.
The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth ingredient lists pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is turkey heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
Next, we note the use of collard greens. Due to their notable vitamin and mineral content, collards boast a high nutrient Completeness Score3 of 81.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food (USA) looks like an above-average raw product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 17% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 91%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw product dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
However, with 60% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 29% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
Orijen Freeze-Dried is a grain-free raw dog food using a notable amount of named meats and organs as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Orijen Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Orijen. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
Readers interested in Orijen dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
06/10/2019 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩