Orijen Dog Food

Orijen Dog Food Reviewed: Pros, Cons, and Ingredient Analysis

Charles Grisham
By Charles Grisham
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Orijen Dog Food Summary

  • Best Overall Orijen Dog Food: Orijen Dog Original Recipe Dry Dog Food
    Orijen Original is their most generally formulated and best dog food to suit the needs of the broadest range of canines.
  • Best Orijen Dog Food for Puppies: Orijen Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
    Made with more than 80% animal ingredients, this puppy food is made to deliver high-quality nutrients to growing puppies.
  • Best Orijen Dog Food for Senior Dogs: Orijen Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food
    The highly digestible ingredients in this food make this a great choice for aging dogs with sensitive digestive tracts.
  • Best Orijen Dog Food for Small Breeds: Orijen Dog Small Breed Recipe
    The small, bite-sized kibble in this whole prey and highly nutritious premium diet is ideal for small dogs.
  • Best High-Protein Orijen Dog Food: Orijen High Protein Amazing Grains Dry Dog Food
    Grain-inclusive formula with over 90% of premium animal ingredients for a versatile amino acid profile and strong muscles.
  • Best Multi-Use Orijen Dog Food: Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food & Topper
    This freeze-dried dog food is a great multi-purpose option that cant be used as a treat, meal topper, or stand-alone meal.
Orijen Dog Original Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
  • Using fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, ORIJEN is the Biologically Appropriate, grain-free diet that dogs have evolved to eat

What is Orijen Dog Food?

Orijen Dog Food is a pet food company owned by Champion Petfoods that specializes in making cat and dog treats as well as dog and cat food from what they call “biologically appropriate“ food sources.

The ingredients in Orijen Dog Food are animal-based, with the thought process being that wild cats and dogs are carnivores, so their domestic counterparts should eat similar foods for optimum health and energy levels.

Where is Orijen Dog Food Made?

Both Orijen Dog Food and its sister company, Acana Dog Food, are made in Morinville, Alberta, Canada.

How is Orijen Dog Food Made?

Orijen Dog Food uses wholeprey ingredients meaning the ingredients come from various parts of the animal sources of nutrition they use to make their products.

The primary ingredient in any of their food is animal-based, which means their products all contain high levels of high-quality animal protein.

Their philosophy is to remain grain-free or use healthy ancient grains. Orijen Dog Food makes pet food that is rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in carbohydrates by incorporating fruits and vegetables into the formulas as well as health-promoting botanicals.

Is Orijen Food Good for Dogs?

Yes, Orijen Dog Food is good.

The high protein make-up of their products helps to maintain a lean and athletic frame, while the natural vitamins and minerals that come from the fruits and vegetables in each formula help to make each food a source of complete and balanced nutrition.

Each of their foods is grain-free, which is not without its controversies, and is with only necessary ingredients, never fillers or artificial ingredients.

What is Wrong With Orijen Dog Food?

In the past, Orijen Dog Food has had a class-action lawsuit filed against them for selling food containing dangerous levels of heavy metals.

In short, Orijen claimed the lawsuit was based on a misinterpretation of the data, and in June 2021, the case was dismissed based on those grounds.

In late 2019 the FDA also identified Orijen Pet Food as one of 16 companies that make products that may be linked to heart disease in pets.

None of the brands have been recalled, but nearly all foods on the FDA’s list of possible causes are grain-free foods.

Orijen Dog Food Formulas Reviewed

Orijen Dog Food offers a wide specter of recipes. Please look at our in-depth review of the brand‘s best-selling formulas before clicking checkout on Amazon or Chewy.

Orijen Dog Original Recipe Dry Dog Food

Orijen Dog Original Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This dry food delivers high-quality protein using whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught salmon, and cage-free eggs. 85% of the ingredients in this food are animal ingredients for the highly bio-available nutrients that are made to retain as much nutrient density as possible. It is suitable for adult dogs and is sold in various sizes to suit most dogs’ needs.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs & puppies

Flavor Options: Orijen Fit & Trim; Original; Six Fish; Regional Red; Tundra

Price: $4.62/lb

Pros

  • Using fresh and raw animal ingredients
  • 85% of ingredients come from animals
  • High protein to support muscle growth
  • With real meat and healthy legumes
  • Suitable for dogs of all breeds and life stages

Cons

  • Relatively expensive price tag

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken, turkey, flounder, and whole mackerel are the first ingredients that ensure this food has a high protein content. Dehydrated animal parts such as turkey gizzard and chicken liver are included for their mineral profile, while lentil fiber, whole chickpeas, and pinto beans are added for fiber. Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product is used as a probiotic while the rest of the vitamins and minerals come from foods like juniper berries, dried chicory root, and vitamin E supplements.

Review: Over 90% of the 6,000+ reviews on Amazon and Chewy rate this product 4 or 5 stars. Many positive reviews say this is the best food they have ever fed their dogs, but even the 5-star reviews noted the price was a bit steep. Of the negative reviews, the most common complaint was that their dogs got sick after eating and they had to return the food.

Orijen Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

Orijen Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Summary: Orijen puppy food delivers a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole animal ingredients. Over 80% of the ingredients in this food come from animals, giving this a highly digestible makeup for growing pups. Organs, cartilage, and bone are added to the food for their nutrient density so your puppy can grow into a happy and healthy dog. It is sold in one flavor and in several sizes to suit the needs of most dogs.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Puppies

Flavor Options: Amazing Grains; Grain-Free

Price: $3.56/lb

Pros

  • High-protein, high-fiber, and nutrient-dense food
  • The first five ingredients are fresh or raw
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients
  • Whole navy beans and chickpeas for added protein
  • Suitable for puppies of all breeds and sizes

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken, turkey, turkey giblets, and fish like flounder and mackerel give this food a very high protein content. Fiber and plant protein comes from red lentils, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, and pinto beans, while chicken fat and pollock oil are used for crude fat content. All of these ingredients offer highly bio-available nutrients meaning the body does not have to work as hard to retrieve the nutrients. Probiotics and vitamin supplements help make this a source of complete nutrition.

Review: 91% of the over 2,000 reviews give this food a 4 or 5-star rating, with some buyers saying this is the next best thing to freeze-dried raw food. They were impressed with the quality and consistency of the kibble and praised it for its nutrient density while remaining grain-free. Critical reviews were sporadic, with some people complaining about the quality inconsistency when buying on Amazon, the food gave their dog diarrhea, or it was not the same when purchased from the store.

Orijen Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food

Orijen Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This dry food delivers a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to help an older dog’s body function correctly. It uses fresh ingredients sourced from the wild and responsibly raised chickens and eggs to provide healthy proteins and fats while remaining grain-free. It is best suited for senior dogs and is available in only one flavor.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Senior dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $3.56/lb

Pros

  • The first five ingredients are animal ingredients
  • High-quality protein and high-moisture food
  • With poultry, fish, and organs
  • Supports overall health in older dogs
  • Filler and preservative-free recipe

Cons

  • Fiber content may be a bit high for some older dogs
  • A bit pricey

Ingredient Analysis: The first five ingredients are chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, and turkey giblets which give this food a protein-packed, nutrient-dense foundation. Apples, whole pumpkin, and butternut squash are used for fiber and vitamins, while the chicken bone is added for calcium. The chicken heart helps finish the vitamin and mineral profile to make this a great source of nutrients.

Review: Most reviews are positive, with most people praising it for how well it seems to work for their senior dogs. Some talk about switching from other food brands, like Acana, to this, and their dogs, seemed to enjoy the food, but others brought up concerns about the food giving their older dogs diarrhea and causing them to vomit. Other critical reviews cite inconsistent quality from one bag to the next.

Orijen Dog Small Breed Recipe

Orijen Dog Small Breed Recipe

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Summary: This kibble is formulated to be easy for small breed dogs to chew and digest. It offers balanced nutrition to meet the energy demands of small canines using high-quality animal ingredients like wild-caught salmon and cage-free eggs. It is specifically formulated for small dogs and is available in a wide variety of sizes but is only sold in one flavor.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult small breed dogs at all life stages

Flavor Options: Orijen Fit & Trim; Original; Six Fish; Regional Red; Tundra

Price: $4.30/lb

Pros

  • Premium quality and high-protein formula
  • The first five ingredients are fresh or raw
  • With lutein-enriched eggs for eye health
  • Formulated to support the dog’s immune system
  • Freeze-dried, liver-infused, and small-sized kibble

Cons

  • More expensive compared to other formulas

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken, turkey, turkey giblets, quail, and whole blue whiting are the first ingredients, and this offers excellent sources of protein, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Minerals such as zinc proteinate, calcium, and copper proteinate come from things like whole pinto beans and turmeric, while vitamins are offered through juniper berries, dried kelp, and whole pumpkin.

Review: Over 90% of reviews are 4 and 5-stars. Consumers are happy with the ingredients in the food, and their small dogs are happy and healthy when on this diet. About 5% of reviews are one and two-star ratings, with the primary complaint being a lack of consistent quality from bag to bag, but some buyers note the quality is much more consistent when bought from the store.

Orijen High Protein Amazing Grains Dry Dog Food

Orijen High Protein Amazing Grains Dry Dog Food

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Summary: Providing a good source of DHA and EPA through wild-caught fish, this grain-inclusive is made with fresh and raw ingredients to be easily digestible. The whole prey ingredients use everything from turkey meat to chicken cartilage to ensure your dog is receiving the necessary nutrients for strong tendons, muscles, and healthy body functions. It is suitable for adult dogs and is sold in various sizes.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Orijen Tundra; Regional Reds; Six Fish; Original; Fit & Trim

Price: $3.51/lb

Pros

  • 90% of the ingredients come from animals
  • With a blend of oats, quinoa, and chia
  • Includes DHA and EPA from whole fish sources
  • Enriched with probiotics for easy digestion
  • Ideal for large breed adult dogs

Cons

  • More expensive than similar products

Ingredient Analysis: The first seven ingredients are animal products that help make this an excellent source of bio-available protein and micronutrients. Natural chicken flavor is added for better palatability, pollock oil and flaxseed offer healthy fatty acids, while chicken fat is added for crude fat content. It is all completed with vitamin and mineral supplements that make this food a source of complete nutrition.

Review: Over 90% of the over 6,000 reviews on Amazon alone rate this food 4 or 5 stars. Buyers of this food are happy to see their dogs are excited to eat this food while also knowing their dog is getting all of the necessary nutrients it needs to live a happy and active life. As in other reviews, though, critics are quick to point out a lack of quality control or consistent quality in the food when ordered on Amazon. This lack of consistent quality has given their dogs diarrhea and made them vomit.

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food & Topper

ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Dog Food & Topper

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Summary: 90% of the ingredients in this freeze-dried dog food are high-quality animal ingredients that offer the benefits of a raw diet but is more convenient to use and eat. The biologically appropriate nutrition comes from the animal’s organs, cartilage, muscle, and bones while being supplemented with fruits and vegetables to provide all of the micronutrients.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Original; Exotic Meats; Beef

Price: $2.48/lb

Pros

  • High-quality animal ingredients
  • Grain-free and protein-rich formula
  • Free-run poultry, wild-caught fish & whole eggs
  • With non-GMO fruits and vegetables
  • Can be used as a meal or food topper

Cons

  • Needs to be mixed with water before serving

Ingredient Analysis: Venison, duck, flounder, and lamb are examples of the first ingredients you will find in this formula. These provide high-quality, easily digestible protein, while whole pumpkin, pea fiber, and collard greens provide fiber and vitamins. Overall, with the supplementation of vitamins and minerals, this is a very solid ingredient list.

Review: Most ratings of this product are highly complementary. Satisfied customers noted reasons ranging from their dog no longer having lousy breath to their dog no longer being a picky eater thanks to this topper. Negative reviews, however, make up roughly 10% of total reviews, which is higher than usual for a dog food review section. Those complaints, however, echo those from other products in that the product is great when bought from a store but is inconsistent at best when purchased on Amazon.

What Dog Food Formulas does Orijen Make?

Orijen Dog Food has several recipes. Here is an overview of the different types of products and the specific formulas:

Has Orijen Dog Food Been Recalled?

Yes, Orijen Dog Food has a recall history.

Orijen was recalled in 2008, but the recall was limited to Australia and was to do with irradiation treatment required under Australian law.

As a result of the recall, Orijen Pet Food stopped selling its products in Australia.

Is Orijen Dog Food Worth it?

Yes, Orijen Dog Food is worth it.

Orijen Dog Food uses ingredients that are wholesome, natural, and sustainably sourced and made to provide all of the nutrients a dog needs to be healthy, active, and fit. However, we should note that compared to other brands. Orijen might be on the more expensive end.