Orijen Dog Food Review

Orijen Dog Food is a kibble diet made by Champion Petfoods out of Alberta, Canada. This review aims to give consumers some information about this pet food in order for them to be able to make an educated purchasing decision. This dog food review is as unbiased as possible and is aided by our years of experience, having fed Orijen to our own animals, and feedback from our customers.

The Good

  • Made exclusively in Champion Pet Food's own factory
  • Made with "fit for human consumption" ingredients
  • A biologically appropriate diet for canines
  • Obtains the majority of its nutrition from natural, unprocessed ingredients as opposed to relying on synthetic/isolated vitamins and minerals
  • Very high fresh meat content (75-80%) compared with conventional pet foods (25-40%)
  • Low in carbohydrates (20-25%)
  • 50% of Orijen's ingredients arrive fresh each day
  • High ratio of fresh meat provides a rich source of glucosamine and chondroitin without adding synthetic ingredients
  • Formulated with botanicals that are a part of the natural canine diet and act as tonics to help strengthen organs and tissue

The Not-As-Good

  • A small percentage of dogs find the starch from the potato content harder to digest (can be remedied with an enzyme supplement)
  • Since this food is so popular there can be occasional shortages frustrating both retailers and consumers
  • Expense is a concern with some consumers. However, this is a dog food made with the highest inclusion of REAL FRESH MEAT of any kibble diet.

The Bottom Line

Taking into account the manufacturing process and the ingredients used, Orijen Dog Food is simply the best dry dog food available today. The only other kibble diet that even comes close is Orijen’s sister dog food Acana.


Orijen Dog Food is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate and grain-free, biologically appropriate diet with a ratio of 75-80 percent meat; 20-25 percent fruit and vegetables; and zero grains. Orijen features human-grade ingredients, we don’t recommend anything less, so you aren’t going to find any of the questionably sourced rendered meats or waste and by-products of the human food industry that are so common in commercial dog foods today. The meats used are never frozen and contain no preservatives. Unlike most commercial pet foods, the fresh regional meats used in Orijen Dog Food are processed the same day they are received, and are a key factor in the superior palatability and feeding performance of Orijen.

Fresh regional ingredients like chicken and fresh whole eggs produced on local prairie farms; lake whitefish freshly caught in northern Canadian lakes; and salmon, cranberries and apples from Pacific coast oceans and orchards are used. These ingredients found in Orijen Dog Food can’t be over-emphasized because they are full of nutrients that are usually depleted by long-term storage and shipping and can’t in any way be compared to the highly refined commodity ingredients found in many other pet foods.

Having one of the highest meat inclusions of any kibble dog food, means Orijen Dog Food is going to provide your canine companion with the biologically available and easily digested and assimilated protein sources a dog needs for good muscle tone, adequate energy levels, injury healing and a healthy immune system. The fresh regional fish, such as salmon and white fish, provide the fatty acids that dogs have a hard time producing themselves (including DHA and EPA) that are so important to nutritionally support the development of cell membranes, immune system function and a vibrant skin and coat. In many commercial pet foods, the fresh fish is replaced with fish oil imported all the way from China - preservatives and all!

When comparing kibble dog foods, Orijen is matched only by its sister food, Acana, and Natures Logic Dog Food in the way it derives the bulk of its nutrition from whole food ingredients. Instead of relying on large quantities of synthetic vitamins to meet AAFCO requirements, Orijen focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables and native botanicals that include marshmallow, burdock, chicory root, stinging nettle and milk thistle. All of these replicate the natural canine diet and help to soothe, nourish and tone the digestive tract, strengthen the liver and control insulin levels. In addition, all delicate ingredients, such as the botanicals and beneficial microorganisms are added after the cooking process to preserve their natural nutritional qualities. We are sure that you and your canine will also appreciate the absence of any artificial flavors, colors and preservatives!

One thing we have noticed about Orijen Dog Food is that since it is such a dense kibble some dogs, who have a weak or damaged digestive system, can have problems digesting it. For these animals the use of a high-quality digestive enzyme supplement is very important (we recommend you supplement with enzymes when feeding kibble foods anyway). If this fails to solve any digestive issues you can always switch to Acana, or consider a raw food diet, which contains natural enzymes and will be easier to digest.

Champion Pet Foods, the manufacturer of Orijen Dog Food, is just as special as the quality of the ingredients. Based in Canada, this family owned business formulates Orijen Dog Food in their own facility and has been manufacturing high caliber pet food for over 35 years. This keeps quality control in-house and is a huge selling point with us, especially after the large pet food recalls! Further proof of their passion to provide the highest-quality dog food is their proprietary, low-temperature (90C) processing method, which includes steam-cooking their fresh ingredients in small batches to preserve the natural goodness and delicious taste.

Is there another kibble diet better than Orijen Dog Food? We don’t believe so. The only real competition comes from its sister food, Acana, and you can’t go wrong with either one!

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