An Inside Look at Orijen Dog Food [Reviews, Ingredients, & Recalls]

dog licking lips

If you've ever shopped for pet food before in your life, you've most probably heard about Orijen dog food, which is considered by many (experts and customers alike) to be one of the best dry dog foods out there.

It's more than enough to mention one fact alone, that Orijens dog foods have been officially declared to meet the standards set by AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.

That's why we're here to go in depth over Orijen puppy food reviews, along with adult, senior, and more options Orijen offers. There's no doubt they have a formula with your furry friend's best interest in mind.




  • High protein count
  • Contains essential fatty acids like Omega-6
  • Promotes joint health
  • 38% protein
  • Limited to 20% low glycemic carbohydrates
  • 2/3 of meat ingredients are fresh or raw 
  • Biologically appropriate for all life stages
  • Made with fresh or raw meats
  • Made with venison, elk, bison, quail, and steelhead trout
  • 80% premium fish
  • 20% fresh produce and botanicals
  • Enriched with marine-source DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Premium grain-free formula
  • Made with fresh free-range chicken and turkey, nest-laid eggs, and wild-caught fish

*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.


Orijen dog food is manufactured by a Canadian company called Champion Petfoods that came to life all the way back in 1975 and is renowned for its high-quality standards and policies.

A company in the pet food industry that was founded in 1975 is always a good thing to see as you directly know you're not buying from a new company with no history or track record to show for, you're buying from a company that has already made a name for itself a very long time ago.

Here's a quick list that shows the different Orijen food varieties available on the market today:

  • Orijen Adult
  • Orijen Puppy
  • Orijen Puppy Large Breed
  • Orijen Senior
  • Orijen Tundra
  • Orijen Six Fish
  • Orijen Regional Red

Orijen Dog Food In A Nutshell

If you take a look at Orijen's website, you'll see that they claim their dog food is based on the principle of a "whole prey" diet.

This basically means that Champion Petfood's aim is to feed your canine food as if they were eating a 100% natural diet the same way they would be by hunting for prey in the wild.

Of course, this isn't 100% possible because that's just not logical when it comes to commercial dog food, but they do indeed get this right much more than other brands out there.

The idea behind this is that Champion Petfood believe that the nutritional needs of nowadays canines is not much different from their wolf ancestors during the old ages, which means that (according to their logic) nowadays dogs should be fed a very similar diet that wolves of the old ages used to eat.

Diets during that time used to consist of a whole lot of natural meat as protein and fat sources, as well as fruits and vegetables as carbohydrate sources (no useless grains, only quality, natural, unprocessed fruits and vegetables).

This is by no means us endorsing Orijen's philosophy on this issue, it's just us stating what they believe in when manufacturing their food, why they believe in it and making sure you know about it before you make a purchasing decision.

Orijen Dog Food Review (Adult Formula)

First off, let's have a look at the list of ingredients that the Orijen Adult Dog Food boasts.

Ingredients List

Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium.

NOTE: The * means that the ingredient is fresh and free of any preservatives.

SUPPLEMENTS: Vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast.

Macronutrient Breakdown

Orijen is one of the most unique brands when it comes to protein content and quality.

If you check out their website, Orijen claim to produce their food with it consisting of an impressive 80% meat.

And the meat your pooch will be getting isn't meat raised in a farm, it's free range meat or wild caught meat instead, which makes it all the higher quality.

This means that only around 20% of the formula is made up of other stuff like carbohydrate sources. This is rarely found when we're talking about commercial dog food and kibbles!

It must be noted though that this dog food does contain certain carbohydrate sources that also happen to be very rich in protein, such as red lentils, green lentils, chickpeas and dried alfalfa, which SOME companies use to trick you into believing that the very high source of protein is all coming from the meat content of the food, whereas these carbohydrate ingredients are, in reality, adding up a large portion of that protein content.

However, in this case, and even if we were to remove these carbohydrate sources from the list of ingredients, the protein content from the meat in this formula will still be humongous and the difference is not that big to note.

Not only that, but if you take a quick look at their ingredient's list you'll find at least 5 fresh meats dominating the ingredient list, which is always a positive (instead of seeing a top spot on the ingredient list being something useless and harmful like corn or soy).

happy dog with owner

Before Orijen hit an absolute boom and caused a ruckus in the dog-food industry, most brands were more than happy to "play by the rules" and stick to the industry standard of not having their dry dog foods be made of more than 20-25% protein.

Orijen came in and shook the entire industry from head to toe by introducing food of their own that contains 38-42% protein!

And, it was pretty much an agreed upon standard that dry food should also contain only one meat source. Orijen broke this rule again by introducing UP TO 7 meat sources in each of their products!


Orijen's dog food products have a protein content of around a whooping 35-38%, which is a much higher protein count than many other brands on the market.

With that being said, "more protein is better" isn't always the case with all canines, as we've established time and time again in several different articles we've written on this website that no two dogs are the same, and most certainly no two breeds are the same when it comes to diets.

Certain dogs and breeds might need a whole lot of protein in their diet than others, so it's best that you talk to your veterinarian about this first before making a decision to go with something so high in protein like Orijen.

For all you know, your pooch might not really even need all this protein and you might be wasting your money on something that's just overkill for them.

Not only will higher-than-needed levels of protein just make their way outside your dog's system via their urine without them benefiting from any of the extra amounts they're eating (which means you're throwing money down the drain, literally), but higher-than-necessary levels of protein making their way into their system on a frequent basis each and every day can lead to many health problems as well, not the least of which is kidney problems.


Origen dog foods have carbohydrate levels of around 20-25%, which is a relatively lower carbohydrate count than many other brands out there, meaning more priority is given to the stuff that will actually make a difference in your canine's diet.

The majority of the carbohydrates you'll be finding in Orijens dog food products are whole vegetables and whole fruits (the most prominent being sweet potatoes, as well as the notable presence of red and green lentils and chickpeas, all of which are full of fiber), exactly the nutritious, complex-carbohydrate sources we like to see in any canine food.


Orijen's dog food products have fat levels of around 15-20% on average.

Ingredient Quality

Orijen Dog Food Reviews & Recalls

According to the company that produces Orijen dog food, they make sure to incorporate the highest standards when it comes to ingredients you'll find on the bag's list.

This means that everything remains organic and as nature intended it to be, and no low-life tricks such as added hormones, additives or preservatives are used.

Not to mention the fact that all of Orijen's different formulas come packed with probiotics that greatly help your pooch's digestive system and boost its immunity, as well as chelated minerals that are attached to proteins and are used to make sure that any nutrients lost during the processing phase of the dog food are properly compensated.

Here are some of our most important notes about the ingredients on Orijen's list:

High protein count: Did you get to have a look at the first 14 ingredients on the list? These are all protein-packed ingredients! Your average dog and puppy food (which is often times marketed as something superb) will often have the first 5 ingredient spots on the list dominated by protein sources, to only then list fat and carbohydrate sources.

But Orijen have done a very impressive job with this one, with the top 14 spots on the ingredient list being super high-quality protein sources.

Essential Fatty Acids: Ingredients the likes of walleye and salmon (which are included in the top spots on the ingredient list, meaning they are more prominent than other ingredients mentioned down the list), provide your canine with tons of essential fatty acids such as omega 3 fatty acids, which go a very long way in making sure they lead a very healthy life.

Joint Health: Since chicken cartilage is a prominent ingredient that's part of this formula, this is great news for breeds that are more prone than other breeds to suffer from joint problems, arthritis and hip/elbow dysplasia, as chicken cartilage is known to be rich in glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, both of which help alleviate the aforementioned conditions.

Orijen Dog Food Recalls as of 2020

There have not been any recalls as of this writing.

This is not us trying to say that Orijen is the perfect food that can't be beaten in any way, shape or form - on the contrary, we're just stating the facts that Orijen hasn't been involved in any forms of recalls as of this writing.

If this changes anytime soon and any Orijen dog food is recalled for any sort of reason, be it small or huge, we'll be sure to come back to this section and edit it to tell you all about it.

You can also take this upon yourself to check out before you make any canine-food related purchase by constantly checking with sources such as the FDA pet food recall list in order to discover what the latest recalls are.

Orijen Dog Food Price

As we clearly stated in the introduction to this article, Orijen is one of the more expensive dog foods you will come across in the market today.


Just take a look at the ingredients list and compare what you get with Orijen VS what you get with other dog food products.

Then, do some research about the way these other manufacturers raise and prepare their ingredients VS the 100% organic way Orijen does it. You'll find the answer for yourself!

The way Orijen does it is way more costly on their bottom line, which has to equally reflect on the price tag they put on their products (because no business is going to gladly cut into their profit margins when they don't have to) - while all that is very much worth it when it comes to your pooch's health, because you'll be sure that they're only getting the best of the best..

Not everyone can afford to feed their canine Orijen on a frequent basis, especially if you've got a relatively larger pup at home that loves to eat, and if that's the case, there are other  foods out there with a lower price-tag when compared pound-to-pound that do come close to Orijen in some of the criteria that they excel in.

However, you can be sure that your pooch will be eating much less amounts of food during the day if you go with Orijen, mainly because of the fact that they will be meeting their nutritional requirements for the day from much less amounts of dog food than would be the case if you had chosen another brand.

Cheaper brands are not nearly as nutritious and are filled with useless fillers just to bulk it up and add some weight to it to make it look impressive.

Where Can I Buy Orijen?

Despite the fact that it's produced in Alberta, Canada - there are a whole host of places you can find Orijen dog food available for you to buy online no matter where you are around the world.

For starters, give their website a visit, namely a page they have on their website where they state all the places you can buy Orijen from.

On that page, you can search for your location and they'll tell you the nearest retailer close to where you're at to make it as easy as possible for you.

Besides that, the best option for you to go with would be taking a look at their available stock (and reading up on some customer reviews for your own while at it) over at

Our List Of The Best Orijen Dog Food Options (Updated For 2019):

Top Pick: Orijen Adult Dog Food
Pick #2: Orijen Adult Dog Food (15 lb)
pick #3: Orijen Regional Red Dog
Pick #4: Orijen 6 Fish
Pick #5: Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food

Who Is Orijen Dog Food Ideally For?

Probably the happiest people about Orijen's products are those who have canines that suffer from allergies and sensitive stomachs/digestive systems, as Orijen's ingredients are completely grain-free.

Pet owners constantly credit Orijen dog food for their pooch's increased energy levels, disappearance of allergies in as little as a few weeks and much more consistency in them about "going potty" as soon as they changed to one of Orijen's formulas.

You may come across a few folks that'll tell you that that their buddy started getting stomach problems, diarrhea and vomiting after they switched them to Orijen, but from our experience, most of the times this is due to the owner switching their dog's diet over to Orijen way too fast instead of going slowly and gradually.

Here's a helpful guide on how to properly transition your dog to new food:

Remember, Orijen contains WAY more protein than other foods out there, so if you make a switch way too fast without a proper break-in phase, you're practically asking for trouble and health problems to come your pooch's way.

So you won't be finding useless filler such as corn, soy and wheat in Orijen's dog food, unlike other brands where these ingredients are very prominent.


  1. IMO Orijen and the Acana line both have downgraded their food , ( but upped their prices) when they added all the peas, lentils, a chickpeas in their new formula. Their original formula was much healthier for dogs, lentils, chickpeas etc. are hard for a dog to digest and are not good for dogs with yeast problems. I run a dog rescue and most of my dogs cannot tolerate this new formula, and I have had to change foods. All did well on the old formulas of Orijen/Acana both. I am disappointed in Orijen/Acana because of the change , and what once was a great company, are just like most other dog food companies now. They have cheapened they’re ingredients and raised their prices. The mighty dollar wins again over our pets health.

  2. I have been feeding my 9 month old cane corso orijen since we rescued him. He was very under fed and I will say he is everything a corso is described when talking about the stomach. Since feeding this food I have seen a thin stickly looking big puppy transform into one of the nicest looking dogs I have ever owned. He is absolutely gorgeous! I am spending a lot feeding this but I am hoping in the long run it will be worth it as far as a long healthy life goes. Because that is our main goal as animal lovers is to give our babies the best life it should respectfully have!

  3. My older doggy isn’t responding to the new Adult formula either. Coat lost its shine, dandruff. The only change has been the food. Now it’s made in the US but suppose to be of the same quality.
    I hope that Donna (above) tells us what brand she switched to and how it’s working. My dogs only get a diet of half kibble. The rest is homemade and raw. My second pooch is younger and, like most adolescent dogs, can hide any changes to his health. Something is definitely up with my older boy.
    Geez- feeding all “people-food” and keeping it all organic is really going to add up time-wise and money-wise. Guess I’d rather give it to Whole Foods than the AVA.

  4. Use the Large Breed Puppy with my Malinois and have had nothing but success. My Mals benefit from the increased fat and protein as they are heavily worked.

  5. Have been feeding our 2 Goldendoodles Orijens dog foods since they were 18 months. They are now 5 years of age. Started using the US made Orijens Six Fish dog food in May. My Goldendoodles began experiencing loose stools almost immediately but I did not connect it to the dog food. Over past few months loose stools are more frequent and last week both Doodles began having serious diarrhea. Thinking they picked up a parasite or Giardia, we took them to the vet for testing and put them on a antibiotic right away. No parasites or other issues could be found. Stopped feeding the brand new bag of Orijens Six Fish and diarrhea subsided overnight. Still have a bit of loose stool but it has only been over night so we will see how it goes.

  6. I have been feeding my Bernedoodle 16 week old puppy, Orijen Puppy Food since I adopted her 5 1/2 weeks ago. She has NEVER had a firm stool. She has Pudding Stool. She did have Girardia and it to


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