Product Reviews

Orijen Dog Food Overview: Let’s Have A Look At This Brand

When feeding your dog, you need to pay more attention to what you’re providing since we know that nutrition has a great impact on its health. It’s no surprise that you would want to know more about a certain brand and its ingredients first before giving them to your pet. In this article, we will provide you with a brand overview of the Orijen dog food brand, which will hopefully help you make an informed decision.

About Orijen

Founded in 1975, the Orijen brand specializes in dog and cat food. One particular trademark is that their pet food is “biologically appropriate,” which might make you wonder what the importance of this is. With the five key principles of Orijen, they are able to attain high-quality pet food that is close to nature.

They believe that their pet food has to be rich in meat, so it contains a variety of fresh and dried meat, different kinds of red meat, fish, poultry, cartilage, bones and contains little carbohydrate and glycemic.

Ingredients and Sources

With Orijen, you can be reassured that your pets are getting meals that are close to nature. With the concept that cats and dogs should only be fed with food that they will eat in a natural world diet, Orijen’s cat and dog food contain mostly meat. This very much aligns with their “biologically appropriate” concept, as you may recall.

That being said, there is up to 80% of meat in their pet food products. With an extremely low level of carbohydrates and 5 different types of meat, the Orijen pet food is really one of a kind.

Their ingredients are from the freshest, most natural and most reliable sources. Orijen only partners with the world’s best farmers to get their fresh, regional ingredients. Responsibly farmed and fished, Orijen cares about the environment too, as much as they care about their products.

The meat they use is suitable for human consumption and they are able to transport the fresh meat from the farm to Orijen within 5 days. Knowing this definitely gives us a sigh of relief, as the short delivery time will ensure freshness and high-quality meat for our pets.

Other than red meat and poultry, they also set high standards for the fishes that are used in the manufacturing process. Orijen stated that their fishes are tested for heavy metals and mercury. With water pollution on the rise, many sea creatures we consume today are often contaminated with all sorts of chemicals. All of their fishes are fit for human consumption, as well and pass government food regulations.

Recall History

Orijen Pet Food has an excellent reputation; with high-quality standards for their ingredients and kitchen, they were hardly involved in any recalls.

2008 Recall in Australia

In that year, there was a recall for Orijen cat food in Australia. This recall was due to game irradiation treatment, which was compulsory under the Australian government. Other than that, Orijen cat and dog food products have never been recalled in the US or Canada.

However, there are some complaints on the internet, mostly from dissatisfied customers, but they seem like separate individual incidents.

Additional Nutritional Information

Now that you know Orijen pet food contains a very high level of meat, let us break it down further for you.

High Levels of Crude Protein and Healthy Fat

Orijen dog food contains at least 38% of crude protein, above the government’s recommendation of only 18%. Furthermore, there is 18% of fat, as well, higher than the recommended 9% to 15%.You may wonder if that is too much protein and fat for your dog, but there’s no need for concern about any side effects or illnesses because meat and fat are healthy food for dogs. However, if your dog has kidney or liver problems, it is worth going to a vet for better solutions.

Low Amounts of Carbohydrate

Containing only 25% of carbohydrates, feel reassured that this is one of the lowest out there in the pet food market. It is also the same amount in many home-cooked recipes. Furthermore, the carbohydrates are in the form of healthy and fresh vegetables, which offers a wide variety of nutrients too.

Salmon Oil and Herring Oil

Apart from meat, the other ingredients also bring great health benefits to your pet. Herring and salmon oil give your dog a high amount of energy and the crucial fatty acids for his or her fur and skin. This is what gives your dog’s fur a natural shine, making it more beautiful.

Complex Carbohydrates

All these complex carbohydrates such as peas and red lentils provide dietary fiber and plant-based protein for your pets.

Plant-based protein sources are less biologically valuable to your dog than animal-based sources, but Orijen dog food is loaded with animal proteins so you don’t have to worry.

Organic Kelp

Although organic kelp is present in small amounts in Orijen pet food, it contains a sufficient amount of essential minerals for your pets. Furthermore, some organic kelp contains high levels of iodine, which can be potentially dangerous for your cat or dog when consumed. Hence, be assured that Orijen’s pet food has been tested to contain very low amounts of iodine.

Ingredients to Aid in Digestion

Pumpkin also aids in digestion for your pets and there are also cranberries and blueberries, which are high in antioxidants, as well. With the presence of good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus and enterococcus faecium, these fermented products will help in your pet’s digestion too.

Lastly, there are minerals called “proteinnates” and their main role is to help dogs and cats take in nutrients and proteins more easily.

High Nutritional Standards

Be reassured that the nutritional levels of Orijen’s cat and dog food are subscribed to the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.

Processing Methods

Besides only using the best ingredients that have been approved by the Departments of Agriculture in Canada and the United States, Orijen also has one of the strictest processing methods in the world.

All of Champion Petfoods’ – their manufacturer – products are manufactured in their patented DogStar Kitchens, which ensures that only the best quality foods are produced for your beloved pet. The summary of their processing methods, as can be seen below, shows us why Orijen’s dog food are of such superior quality.

World’s Largest Pet Food Cooler

While sourcing the best ingredients are all well and good, keeping these ingredients fresh is of utmost importance. After all, the best ingredients in the world are worthless if they’re not kept fresh.

DogStar Kitchens boasts the world’s largest pet food cooler storage at 25,000 square feet, which makes it half the size of a football field. This refrigerated storage ensures that over 50 different varieties of fish, meat and poultry ingredients are kept fresh and ready for use.

In-House Plate Freezers

What makes Orijen irresistible to dogs is the unique blend of fresh, seasonal ingredients in each bag of Orijen dog food. However, as the name implies, seasonal ingredients are not available all-year round.

Thus, in order to ensure the freshness and availability of seasonal ingredients throughout the year, in-house plate freezers are used to flash freeze these ingredients to lock in their flavor and to ensure freshness and quality.

Getting the Formulation Just Right

In order to ensure that all of the ingredients contained in Orijen’s dog food is used to the best of its ability, DogStar Kitchens utilizes special industrial-sized, high-capacity blenders to carefully formulate each batch of Orijen dog food.

Thanks to these blenders, the optimal mix of fruits, vegetables and meat can be achieved, which showcases the increased use of fresh meat in Orijen dog food. Thus, achieving that flavor which all dogs love.

Votator Technology

After all of the fresh ingredients have been blended and prior to steam-cooking, specially-designed votators are used to bring fresh meat, fruit and vegetables to room temperature without having to use steam or water. As a result, this allows even more fresh meat to be added.


In order to ensure consistency in both taste and quality, custom-made preconditioning units ensure that ingredients fed into the extruder are kept at a consistent, regulated temperature.

Steady Cooking

At the heart of the DogStar Kitchens is a twin thermal extruder (i.e. slow cooker) that gently cooks ingredients at a constant rate in order to slowly reduce carbohydrates and meat while preserving the natural goodness.

Sealing in The Goodness

As Orijen’s dog food contains large quantities of fresh meat which dogs like the Belgian Malinois will love. The DogStar Kitchens features a sequential drying and conveyance system that removes moisture without the need for high temperatures – thus, ensuring that the goodness is sealed in.

Delicious Goodness

The final step of the manufacturing process infuses the finished product with a delicious combination of natural palatants made from fresh ingredients to further enhance flavor, while boosting the nutritional content of the dog food.

Product Line

Orijen manufactures dry and freeze-dried dog food and dog treats that have been specially formulated to suit the needs for all kinds of dogs (even the Shiba Inu Husky Mix). Here, we will be taking a look at both the dry and freeze-dried line of Orijen dog food.

Dry Dog Food

The Orijen dry dog food range are specially formulated to provide your dog with all of the essential nutrients and vitamins that it would need to be healthy.

Thanks to the natural ingredients consisting of fresh meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables used to manufacture Orijen dog food, it is no doubt that Orijen can stand out from the competition. Included below is the list of all dry dog food recipes:

  • Puppy Recipe
  • Puppy Large Recipe
  • Original Recipe
  • Six Fish Recipe
  • Regional Red Recipe
  • Tundra Recipe
  • Senior Dog Recipe

Freeze-Dried Dog Food

In-lieu of canned dog food, Orijen offers a healthier, longer-lasting alternative which comes in the form of freeze-dried dog food. Formulated with high quantities of fresh meats, fruit and vegetables, Orijen’s freeze-dried dog food comes in the following recipes:

  • Adult Dog Recipe
  • Regional Red Recipe
  • Tundra Recipe


High-Quality Ingredients

Being a premium dog food brand, it is no surprise that Orijen takes its ingredients very seriously. Each batch of Orijen dog food is made from the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables and only the best quality fish, meat and poultry. Described as being “biologically appropriate,” Orijen dog food is specially formulated to match a dog’s diet in the wild.

No Filler Ingredients

In some situations, certain dog food manufacturers choose to “bulk-up” their products by using low-quality filler ingredients such as cheap rice, low-quality grain and even feathers in some extreme cases. For a brand such as Orijen that prides itself on providing dogs with premium-quality food, rest assured that Orijen only uses the best quality fruit, vegetables and meat in the manufacturing of their products.

Specially Formulated

All dogs have different dietary requirements that are based on factors such as lifestyle and breed. For example, an Australian Cattle Dog may have vastly different energy requirements as compared to a Yorkshire Terrier. Smaller breeds like Shih Tzu Chihuahuas and Deer Head Chihuahuas also have different nutritional needs. Thus, this is why Orijen products are specially formulated to meet the needs of their diverse doggy clientele.

Freshly Sourced Ingredients

In order to ensure that their products are of a superior quality, Champion Petfoods has taken steps to ensure that all of their suppliers are located within the United States and Canada. Along with this, all suppliers have been vetted by both the American and Canadian Department of Agriculture. Thus, this ensures that all ingredients used in the manufacturing of Orijen dog food is of a superior quality.


Price May Be Quite Steep

Being a premium dog food brand, Orijen’s hefty price tag may put off some owners. However, given the quality of the ingredients used, along with their dedication to providing top-quality food, the peace of mind may be well worth the hefty price tag.

Changes in Formulation

Previously, some customers have complained that changes in the product formulation have resulted in their dogs being put off by the taste and smell of Orijen dog food. Along with this, some customers have asserted that their dogs suffered from stomach irritation and diarrhea after eating their products. However, such cases are in the minority, with the dogs getting used to Orijen’s new dog food formula after a few days.


In conclusion, Orijen is definitely the brand to go for if you wish to provide your dog with food and nutrients that are similar to their natural diets. Proven to be biologically adaptable, trust that Orijen’s products contain real, fresh and nutritional meat and ingredients.

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