Orijen has great meat content: Chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring and turkey (in fact, the first vegetable ingredient doesn't appear until number 16 on the list). The food is grain-free, and carbohydrates come from high-quality sources such as russet potatoes. The one small negative is the use of pea ingredients, which some experts say could cause digestive issues for some dogs -- and that's reflected in a couple of the owner reviews we spotted.
Quality doesn't come cheap. The biggest negatives we've seen are that Orijen is harder to find than some other high-quality dog foods, and that it's fairly expensive. Taste of the Wild High Prairie (Est. $50 for a 30-lb. bag), another well-regarded grain-free kibble costs substantially less, though it has less meat content and a recall record that while good, is not quite as spotless.
It tops the list of best dog food brand, just behind blue.
As far as I can tell, Orijen Adult Dog is a still a premium quality food, but I am switching back to Orijen Regional Red because this Adult Dog formula has given both of our dogs (which are different breeds - Vizsla and Staffordshire Bull Terrier) horrendous gas. I can hear their stomachs gurgling and churning all day long after eating this food the night before, and I'm considering purchasing a gas mask so that I can breathe until the next bag of Regional Red gets here. I don't know which ingredient is causing the problem, but there is most definitely a problem. And since my dogs are different breeds it leads me to believe the problem is with this formula. Neither dog had any problems on Orijen Regional Red.
My little dog Molly is a Shih Tzu and is now entering what you could call the autumn of her life. She is still full of beans, especially with regard to postmen and callers in general, but she was beginning to slow up more often, especially after long walks that previously she used to take in her stride. In addition to this she has allergies, which we have never really been able to pin-point, but the vet has her on Piriton tablets when these flare up, which controls them to an extent.
With her forthcoming tenth birthday, and a holiday which was fast approaching, when she would have a new companion in the form of an energetic retriever puppy, I decided to see if I could make improvements to her diet a few weeks ago. With this in mind I began to search the market for more natural foods. Molly has always enjoyed commercial foods, such as Pedigree and Cesar, but I have never really been sure these were ideal for her. In fact it was when my son moved to America to work for a natural pet food company that his knowledge became my interest, and his many tales of dogs doing so well on more natural foods starting me thinking that I could improve Molly's diet.
I first tried Lily's Kitchen foods which are a relatively new entrant onto the UK market, and these were enjoyed, but were rather a pricy long term option. I had been to my local garden/pet centre to purchase these, and it was there that I was first introduced to Orijen by the owner of the store, who told me that customers travelled from long distances to purchase this food. I had been very happy with Lily's, though as I said it works out rather costly, but the brochure she handed to me about Orijen immediately made me sit up and take a keen interest.
The food is dried, is made in Alberta in Canada, and is produced by a family firm who have a passion for the industry, and a compassion for the animals they serve. The food is what they call "biologically appropriate", in that it contains foods that, in their opinion, dogs have evolved to eat over centuries of living in the wild. This means that it is high in proteins and natural fruits, but has little carbohydrate, and no cereals at all. At first I must admit to being quite sceptical. Then I thought long and hard about Molly's allergies, and wondered if some of her problems could be related to the bulking agents in cheaper commercial foods, as many of these contain wheat and other cereals which are well known allergens.
It was on holiday with my daughter, who is a vet, recently that we were discussing this, and it was at this point that I discovered her dislike of supermarket pet foods. She already has her dog on James Wellbeloved, which is highly thought of in the breeding world as being a high quality food. When I questioned her about Orijen she had no prior knowledge, but on reading the leaflet was impressed and certainly said she was pleased that I had put Molly on this food.
The food has some amazing ingredients contained within it. If I wasn't a vegetarian I could honestly say it might even appeal to me, as it is like something from a banquet menu. There are saskatoon berries from Alberta and Saskatchewan (apparently these are high in anti-oxidants), fresh northern lake white and other fish caught using sustainable methods, and salmon rich in omega three fatty acids which is line caught off Vancouver Island. The food also contains free range grain fed organic chicken, free range wild boar, bison and heritage pork, grass-fed lamb and free range ducks. All these ingredients are enjoyed in Canadian households by humans, and care is taken to ensure these suppliers produce to the highest standards, and conform to animal welfare regulations.
The dog food contains six varieties of fresh meat and in particular the cartilage is used, which has a high concentration of glucosamine and chondroitin. This really interested me as sometimes Molly has had a touch of arthritis, and would occasionally limp on rising from a sleeping position. I had been buying her the Pedigree joint care treats, which are high in glucosamine, but since feeding Molly this food the need to purchase these has diminished.
The food also contains fruit and vegetables- including russet potatoes, and blackcurrants from prairie farms. There are also red delicious apples and cranberries from the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, and organic sea vegetables from the cold North Pacific waters which include kelp and dulce. The food is bursting with vegetables including peas - these are from prairie farms in Alberta & Saskatchewan, whole carrots from British Columbia & Alberta, and sweet potatoes, squashes and even vine ripened tomatoes make an appearance.
What I am also very interested in is that this food also has an inclusion of grasses and weeds, which a dog in the wild would forage for as part of its natural behaviour. So you can expect to see ingredients including sweet fennel and peppermint, chamomile and marigold flowers.
The kibbles have a strong but pleasant aroma and Molly adores them. Furthermore I can honestly say I have a dog with a new lease of life. She is absolutely on top form. There is no sign of her arthritis and her coat is the most glossy that I have ever seen it. I have no doubt that this food has transformed her life, and has taken years off her age in terms of how she acts, and furthermore there are no signs of her allergies at all.
All the ingredients are fit for human consumption so there is no low grade meat or fish included in the diet at all. Price-wise I think it is excellent value. A bag containing 2.5kg is £13.99 and lasts for ages. As Molly is small breed her size dictates a measure of food between 55-115 g per day, so this bag size would easily last 1-2 months, depending on how active your Shih Tzu was. So it is certainly not an expensive purchase. Larger breeds such as retrievers would need 375-500g per day, so this would work out to be a more expensive option, but still good value for a food so rich in nourishment. There is also the option for larger breeds to purchase giant size bags weighing 13.5 kg, which retail for around the £50 mark. What I would say, however, is that we have not had to buy other treats for Molly, mixer biscuits and so on, and she has been fed exclusively on this food with the exception of the odd foil tray of Lily's Kitchen food which she loves too!
What we did in the beginning was to very gradually introduce a little of the food in place of her normal diet, as what you shouldn't do with any change of diet is implement it in one go, as this can trigger stomach upsets. They advise you to feed twice a day and that was fine for Molly as she ate in that way already. By about 5 days the transition was complete and Molly was able to exclusively enjoy her new food, with no side effects at all. You just need to ensure a steady supply of water is readily available.
It is thought that this food may help to prevent diabetes in dogs as it is low in carbohydrates, and so prevents insulin resistance. I hope this is true as this is a dreadful condition which can affect ageing dogs in particular.
The food comes in a variety of forms including those for senior dogs and puppies and there is even a cat food out there. Work is in progress to produce some healthy treats which should also soon be available.
Their main website is at www.orijen.ca and there is a UK website at www.orijenpetfoods.co.uk where a mail order service is available. Many of the online suppliers of pet foods stock this line now, and you will also find it in certain garden centres which have pet food sections. I have just ordered some from Petplanet and it was free postage for the 7kg bag.
I will never go back to supermarket dog food again. I have been so impressed by this product that my next puppy will be fed exclusively on this food without a doubt. It has made Molly's coat shine, her arthritis had disappeared, and her energy and well being has been enhanced in a few short weeks. The ingredients are fit for a banquet, and the product is made with care and respect for both the animals that provide it and the animals that consume it.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Dog food is a contentious subject once you start to look into it. With a bit of research it becomes incredibly alarming exactly what goes into some of the more popular brands of dog food commonly availabe in the supermarket.Now,of course, many dogs live well,to a ripe old age,eating some of these foods.Bt for me, once I began researching dog food, and made the decision that I would try and find a top qualty food for our dog.
And so my search led me to Orijen Complete Adult Dog Food.
Orijen is a dry complete dog food made in Canada.It is available in anumber ofdifferent varieties including a puppy food, and an all fish variety. This review relates specifically to the original Adult Complete Food.
The most striking thing about thisfood, which makes it unique in the do food market,is the total absence of rice or grains. It is absolutely packed with meat and fish as you can instantly seeby glancing at the ingredients list. All the meat andfish issourced locally to production, from sustainable supplies. The other ingredients areall totally natural and based on foods that dogs might be seen to eat when scavenging in the wild. The food is marketed as a uniquely Biological Dog Food,and is seen by some as the next best thing to a BARF diet (thats Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet to those that dont know and has nothing to do with yukky episodes of dodgey doggy digestion!)
The kibble is a fairly standard size and has a nice meaty smell, unlike some others that don't smell of anything. This certainly seemed to appeal to my doggy more than most dry foods.
Fresh chicken (boned), Chicken Meat, dry turkey, russet potato, fresh salmon (boned), sweet potato, peas, fresh white fish (boned), fresh perch (boned), chicken fat, chicken liver, salmon meal, fresh turkey meat (boned), fresh eggs, fresh herring (boned), sun-dried alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, seaweed, squash, carrots, spinach, beets, apples, cranberries, juneberries, blackcurrants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, fennel, mint leaves , chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savoury, rosemary extract, sea salt, high-quality vitamins (vitamin E, choline chloride, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese, copper, selenium), Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium.
ORIJEN Dog Food does not contain any artificial preservatives
As you can see meats and fish are way up there on the ingredients list.
All the other ingredients have been balanced to provide optimum health for your dog and include probiotics,minerals , chondroitin and glucosamine and vitamins.
**packaging and price**
The packaging is fairly standard,coming in a choice of sized sacks ranging from 2.5KG up to 13KG
This isn't a cheap food. I recently paid around £50 for a 13.5KG bag. However it is worth pointing out that you need to feed a lot less of this than many other foods. For exapmle,therecomended ammount for my 15 kg crossbreed dog was around 200g,whereas I actually found that around 150 was enough to maintian her weight often.This compares to her needing 250g of fish4dogs,or nearly 300g of the Pets at Home own brand (which costs around £30 for 15kg) So you can see that it really doesn't work out more expensive once you factor that in.
** Our View**
Overall I think this is a great food. It is great that I can feel my dog is getting all the quality ingredients she needs for a long and healthy life. Her coat looks good on this and her poos (sorry!) are small,firm and not at all stinky - yay!
She does sometimes need to some encouragement to eat it, but then that is is just her, she is very fussy and really not interested in food that much!
Whilst initiallythe price was somewhat off putting, having worked out that the monthly cost would be similar to any premium dry food, I think I will definitely be buying this again.
Orijen is a high meat content, natural food from Canada.
This is about the best readily available dry dog food you can buy. It has an extremely high meat content for a dry food (the highest I have ever seen) and also contains fish and a very long list of vitamins! It also contains fruit and vegetables, herbs and probiotic bacteria.
Something which may be helpful for older dogs especially is that it also contains glucosamine and chrondroitin which is good for stiff joints/arthritis.
The only disadvantage is the price, it costs around £52 to £72 (depending on the flavour) for a 13.5kg bag, which works out quite expensive if you are feeding more than one dog or a large dog.
As it is grain free, it would be particularly useful for dogs that suffer from skin allergies, stomach problems or hyperactivity associated with regular dog foods that contain a lot of grains.
According to my dogs, it also has a good flavour and is wolfed down at every meal!
This is by far the best dry dog food I have ever bought and my dogs love it. When I first opened the bag, they were squealing with delight - not something they do generally when it comes to dry food, but this probably has a lot to do with the high meat content (70%). You only need to look at the list of ingredients to realise that the quality is far higher than that of your average complete food. I spent a lot of hours researching dog food brands and ingredients before purchasing Orijen, and I'm very glad that I did!
Although this food is quite expensive, and unfortunately it has recently increased in price again, it really is in a league of its own with regard to dry pet foods. One of the great things about it is that it contains no grain whatsoever. So many of what we are led to believe are premium foods contain corn and other cheap fillers, which have no place in a carnivorous diet. After the first few weeks of my dogs switching to Orijen, I noticed that they were no longer scratching and biting their skin and feet - something that many dogs do and that we humans often think nothing of. Of course, this makes sense as they are no longer consuming vast quantities of corn, wheat and other poor quality and irrelevant ingredients.
I can highly recommend this food to anyone with a dog, but particularly those with skin allergies or other intolerances. If you have questions about the ingredients, the Orijen staff are extremely helpful and will put you in touch with their own nutritionist if required. There is definitely a place in the market for this type of food and I would never go back to the old brands.
I am including an ingredient list for this product because I am so impressed by it! It even includes a probiotic and a healthy dose of glucosamine for older dogs or those with joint problems, although Orijen does also make a senior food.
Ingredients: Fresh boneless chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato, fresh pacific salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), herring meal, sweet potato, peas, fresh lake whitefish, fresh northern walleye, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), chicken liver, salmon meal, fresh turkey, fresh whole eggs, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.