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Some years ago, colorful dog food treats were a craze. When the products hit the stores, I was among the folks who excitedly lined up to buy them. I thought the combination of bright colors and fun shapes would make my puppy the happiest eater in the hood. For a time, it seemed to be the case—until the little one developed some strange rashes.
As it turned out, my dog had allergies to certain ingredients in those products. Fortunately, I found a healthier alternative in Orijen, a dog food company from Canada.
If you’re here for Orijen puppy food reviews, I can give you my honest opinion as someone who has tried their products. I have listed down their top products so you can easily see which one fits your needs best.
- Best Orijen Puppy Food
- About Orijen Dog Food
- Final Thoughts
Best Orijen Puppy Food
If you’d rather cut to the chase, the best overall Orijen puppy for was Orijen Original. This food is going to work well for all manner of dog breeds and sizes, though you may find better more specific options in our Orijen dog food reviews below.
This dog food formula is rich in protein that’s just perfect for large breed puppies, like golden retrievers, and those with giant builds like Great Danes and Mastiffs.
- High Protein, Less Calorie: You need to provide large breed puppies more protein to fully support their growth. At the same time, you don’t want them to consume too many calories to avoid making them overweight, considering that they have a huge build even when young.
- 85 Percent Meat: Most of the ingredients come from the meat of different animals like chicken, turkey, and a variety of fishes, such as mackerel, sardine, and herring. Meat-based formulas are the best kind of food for dogs— as opposed to grain-based—since they are predatory in nature, even when fully-domesticated.
- Premium Meat Ingredients: The meat used on this product is fit for human consumption before it was processed, which speaks of the quality of their ingredients.
Orijen Puppy Large is formulated according to the dietary needs of large breed puppies. Its most important component is its 38 percent meat protein. What’s impressive with this product is that its source of protein and other minerals isn’t limited to only one type of animal meat.
Aside from the meat, they also use fruit and vegetables that are excellent quality and locally-sourced. But high-quality ingredients also mean high production cost, which in turn makes this product a bit pricey.
- Premium fresh and raw ingredients
- High nutritional value
- Right amount of meat protein for large breed puppies
- No grains added
- A bit expensive
- May cause flatulence in some puppies
If you own a large breed puppy, you could never go wrong with Orijen Puppy Large. Give it a try!
Overall Rating: 5/5
Puppies need the right amount of protein and other nutrients for them to grow healthy, avoid joint issues (arthritis) and be strong. Orijen Puppy is the standard puppy kibble of this brand, designed specifically for smaller breed dogs.
- Locally-Sourced Ingredients: Orijen gets the help of local farmers, ranch owners, and fishermen to deliver them fresh produce, fish, and meat. This ensures the freshness of ingredients that they include in the processing of their dog food treats.
- Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates: Orijen Puppy uses lentils and chickpeas, two known legumes with low-glycemic carbohydrates, to prevent blood sugar spikes that may lead to diabetes.
- Adequate Amount of Zinc: This is a good antioxidant that also helps in the proper absorption of other nutrients in the body. Deficiency of zinc can pose a lot of health problems, and may even be fatal.
What I like about this product is that it comes with a detailed feeding guide, which is easy to follow. It clearly indicates how much puppies should consume according to their weight. This ensures that the dogs get the right nutrients without necessarily overfeeding them.
The only issue I have with Orijen Puppy is that its smell tends to be strong, so there are times when the pups need a few days to adjust to the product’s odor and flavor.
- 85 percent meat ingredients
- More calories from protein than carbohydrates
- 100-percent grain-free
- Fresh ingredients fit for human consumption
- Not available in all regions/areas
Orijen puppy uses premium ingredients consisting of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables to mirror the natural diet of small breed puppies.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Orijen Original uses the combination of meat, poultry, and fish to mimic the natural diet of dogs. With fat content at 18 percent, it is not as high as Orijen Puppy, nor too low as Orijen Puppy Large, but still has enough protein to meet your puppy’s nutritional needs.
- Great All-Rounder Kibble: It is formulated according to the nutritional requirements of all breeds of dogs at all stages of their lives. You might want to consider this product if you own a lot of dogs of different breeds.
- 100-percent Gluten-Free: Unlike other pet food products on the market, Orijen Original does not contain grain. Instead, it uses healthier alternatives such as lentils, chickpeas, and squash.
I like the versatility of this dog food, considering that I can use it to feed my puppy until she gets old. I don’t need to switch to other formulation for every stage of her life.
Orijen Original comes in a beautiful packaging that’s easy to carry. The only problem I see is that the kibbles inside don’t have a uniform shape and they easily break apart.
- Right amount of meat, fruits, and vegetables
- 2/3 of the ingredients are fresh
- Contains low glycemic carbohydrates
- Uses different types of fishes that are rich in omega-3
- High production cost, high store price
- Takes time for some dogs to get used to its flavor and smell
Orijen Original is the one that started the brand’s biologically appropriate philosophy. Its great appeal comes from the fact that it is well-suited to different varieties of dogs.
Like humans, dogs can become overweight too if they are not fed properly. Dog breeds like Dachshund and Dalmatian are more prone to obesity, so you need to be more careful about the treats you give them. If you are thinking of buying them a dog food formula, Orijen Fit & Trim might be an excellent place to start.
- Rich in Protein: Orijen Fit & Trim has 42 percent protein content, which is the highest in Orijen’s line of dog food products. Protein is an essential nourishment to achieve a lean muscle mass.
- Low Glycemic Carbohydrates: Consuming high glycemic carbohydrates can lead to obesity, which is the problem with conventional dog food formula that relies heavily on potato, tapioca, or white rice. Orijen Fit & Trim uses healthier alternatives known for their low glycemic carbohydrates such as lentils, chickpeas, and squash.
What I like about this product is that 2/3 of its ingredients are fresh. The rest is cooked at a low temperature to extract the maximum amount of nutrients.
A 13-pound package of this product contains around 4 pounds of chicken, which is generally reasonable. However, this might be bad news to dog lovers whose pets are allergic to chicken.
- Great for dogs with weight problems
- No grains included
- Limited calorie content
- Might trigger allergies in some dogs
Orijen Fit &Trim is a specialized product optimized to provide the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to keep dogs healthy without gaining too much weight.
Overall Rating: 5/5
What separates Orijen Six Fish from other Orijen kibbles is that its source of meat is only fish. To be exact, it has six kinds of fish freshly-caught in the wild.
- Whole Fish of Different Varieties: This product is made from pilchard, hake, mackerel, flounder, rockfish, and sole harvested from the Pacific and delivered fresh for processing. Unlike other dog foods, Orijen Six Fish use the whole fish and not just its portions.
- Rich in Omega-3: These fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining a dog’s healthy skin, a robust immune system, and balanced cell growth.
This product has 85 percent meat protein from six kinds of fish, which is great for dogs which are allergic to poultry or beef. It also contains the right amount of other nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, amino acids, magnesium, and potassium, among many others. The only issue with this product is its foul fish stench that may not appeal to some dogs.
- Fish is a healthy source of protein
- Premium fish quality fit for human consumption
- High levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Variety of fruits and vegetables included
- Has a strong stinky smell
If you don’t want to feed your dog some beef or chicken meat, but still want them to consume the right amount of protein, Orijen Six Fish is a dog food you might want to try. Instead of poultry or beef, its primary source of protein is from a variety of high-grade fish. These fishes are not only rich in protein but also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Orijen Tundra contains high levels of meat protein that comes from a variety of game, fish, and fowl. However, compared to other Orijen products, this pet food uses duck meat instead of chicken.
- Fresh Duck: Duck is an excellent alternative to chicken, which is great for dogs which are allergic to chicken. Duck meat is also rich in iron and amino acids, which could help your puppy develop strong muscles.
- Gluten-Free Formula: This product is meat based, unlike conventional dog food with whole grains as its primary source of protein. Gluten is responsible for many gastrointestinal irritations and should be avoided if your dog is gluten-intolerant.
What I like about Orijen Tundra is the variety of meat that it’s made of. They use goat, boar, venison, mutton, arctic char, and duck in varying amounts to give your dogs a balanced diet.
The only issue with Orijen Tundra is that dogs may need some time to adjust to its smell and flavor. It’s also a bit expensive considering the amount of fresh meat that it contains.
- Meat content fit for human consumption
- Locally sourced ingredient to guarantee freshness
- Includes a variety of botanicals
- May not appeal to picky eaters
Orijen Tundra contains 40 percent meat protein, which is good for your dog considering that she is by nature, a carnivore. Its duck meat content is a novel protein source, which is an excellent alternative to chicken. The rest of the nutrients are derived from different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Orijen Regional Red contains different types of animal meat that are either fresh or dehydrated. This is quite impressive, considering that conventional dog food products are mostly made of processed ingredients that may come from questionable sources.
- Wide Range of Meat Inclusions: Orijen Regional Red is packed with meat proteins from a variety of animals including Angus cattle, wild boar, Yorkshire pork, Romney lamb, and bison. It also includes some whole fish, but unlike other Orijen products, it does not have chicken or duck.
- Limited Amount of Carbohydrates: Dogs have little nutritional need for carbohydrates. That is why this product uses ingredients with low glycemic carbohydrates to prevent obesity and diabetes that comes with a high-carb diet.
What I like about Orijen Regional Red is that the majority of its ingredients come from trusted local farms and ranches, so the meat, fruit, and vegetables are delivered fresh before processing.
Some Orijen puppy food reviews I have seen online raised some concerns about the awful smell that this product has. It is true that Orijen dog food, in general, has a strong smell that may be disgusting even to some dogs.
- Nutritious red meat ingredients
- Grain free
- Suitable to all breeds
- Fewer fish ingredients than other Orijen products
Orijen Regional Red has a formulation that’s appropriate to all kinds of dogs regardless of their age. It has very high protein content from a wide range of animal meats. If you want a versatile dog food that contains the right amount of nutrients, you might want to see if this product works for your dogs.
About Orijen Dog Food
Orijen is a dog and cat food product founded by Reinhard Muhlenfeld in 1985. The goal was to create a product line that closely resembles the foods that dogs and cats eat according to their evolution.
Traditional pet foods are mostly grain-based, which runs contrary to their natural diet. Dubbed as “biologically appropriate,” Orijen’s core philosophy pushes for the creation of nutritious kibble that has 85 percent protein-rich meat content. Since dogs and cats are practically meat-eaters, this formula follows their natural eating habits.
To achieve the most nutritious pet food, Orijen has included a wide range of game, fowl, fish, fruits, and vegetables in processing its products. Through the years, the company has produced more than 20 types of dog and cat foods. Each class addresses the different feeding requirements of pets according to their breeds, environment, age, and activity.
Due to its high-quality products, Orijen has received several recognitions and awards from industry leaders including Pet Food of the Year from 2009-2012 from Glycemic Research Institute, Pet Food of the Decade from RateItAll, a consumer review site, and Brand of the Year From World Branding Forum in Vienna in 2017.
Despite its excellent reputation, Orijen was never immune to controversies. In 2008, its cat food products in Australia were recalled due to its failure to follow the irradiation protocols of the country.
Also, in 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Champion Petfoods, which is the parent company of Orijen. The complaint alleged that the company was engaging in negligent practices, and false advertising due to its non-disclosure of the presence of heavy metals in its products.
A lot of Orijen puppy food reviews have mentioned the high-quality ingredients that this company uses in its dog food products. Its meat, fish, fruits, and vegetable inclusions come from trusted local sources, delivered either fresh or dehydrated in low temperatures to avoid nutrient wastage before processing.
They use not only premium meat, but also the organs and cartilage of cattle, chicken, turkey, and other animals to create a balanced and highly-nutritious dog food. The aim is always to mimic the natural diet of dogs according to evolution.
Despite some controversies, Orijen puppy food is a reliable, healthy product that is worth a try!