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The Orijen brand of pet food produces biologically appropriate diets for pets, but what exactly does that mean? According to the brand, dogs and cats are built like their ancestors which means that their bodies are still adapted to an ancestral diet. Their website states that “just like their ancestors, modern dogs and cats have anatomical features designed for a meat-based diet”. That’s why they build their formulas around 85% to 90% meat ingredients and they have the highest fresh meat inclusions following Whole Prey ratios – all of these things mimic the natural diet of wild cats and dogs. This feature is what sets the brand apart from other pet food manufacturers.
Not only do they design their products to be meat-rich, but they also follow a Whole Prey philosophy. This philosophy is based on the idea that wild cats and dogs consume nearly the whole body of their prey, consuming skin, tissue, and muscle meat as well as cartilage and raw bone. There are no nutritional supplements in the wild, so wild cats and dogs must derive their nutrition completely from the prey they eat. Orijen believes that a balanced diet for dogs should be comprised of muscle meat, organs, edible bone, and cartilage as well as limited carbohydrates and fresh botanicals to ensure nutritional completeness and balance for whole-body health.
While most of their marketing material is focused on their meat-rich philosophy, it is also important to note that their products are low in carbohydrates and low-glycemic. Low-glycemic carbohydrates like chickpeas, lentils, and squash provide slow-burning energy that doesn’t cause your dog’s blood sugar to spike like refined grains. This, combined with high protein levels and plenty of healthy fats equals a balanced and nutrient-dense diet for your dog. All of Orijen’s food products adhere to these principles and they are available in a variety of different formulas, including several life stages options and recipes formulated around regional ingredients.
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Orijen Recalls 2023:
Although Orijen pet foods are all manufactured in award-winning kitchens like the DogStar facility in Auburn, Kentucky, their products are actually made by Champion Petfoods. Champion Petfoods is one of the largest manufacturers of pet foods in the United States and it is a company that has been subject to a number of recalls over the years. They develop all of their own recipes and formulates them to ensure quality and nutritional integrity, but Champion Petfoods does the actual manufacturing and distribution. They have been affected by three recalls in recent years specifically related to Champion Petfoods, but only one of them actually affected the Orijen brand. Here are the details:
- In 2003, Champion Petfoods was affected by a small recall due to a problem with some of their beef ingredients.
- In 2008, there were reports issued of loose bone shards in some Champion pet food products as well as fears that the food had been irradiated. Several cats fell ill due to gamma irradiation use in products made in Australia.
- In 2011, there was a recall of Champion’s Acana pet food brand.
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Orijen Dog Food Coupons 2023
Orijen uses only the freshest, regional ingredient in their products to ensure quality nutrition for your dog. This being the case, their products can be a little on the pricey side. For a 28.6-pound bag of Adult Grain-Free dry food you will spend about $85. For a 16-ounce bag of freeze-dried food, plan to spend about $35. They do not offer any canned food products but they do offer an assortment of treats made with quality ingredients like Alberta lamb, bison, and duck. If you want to save money on these food products, look for Orijen dog food coupons online.
What sets their food products apart from the competition is the fact that they are protein-rich, carbohydrate-limited, and grain-free. They offer the highest fresh meat inclusion rate of any dry pet food while also excluding all of the low-quality ingredients that many pet food manufacturers use. In order to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild dogs, their products follow a whole prey philosophy, including fresh meats, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables at a ratio of 80% meat and 35% produce. They offer seven different dry food products as well as three freeze-dried formulas. All of these recipes are made with fresh, regional ingredients and produced in their dedicated Alberta kitchens.
Is this Food Good for my Dog?
A quick review of their website is all that is needed to determine the quality of this brand. They make it very clear that they are not your average pet food company – they use only the highest quality ingredients in Whole Prey ratios to mimic the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. Each and every one of their products is held to the highest standards for quality and they are all produced in company-owned award-winning kitchens located in Auburn, Kentucky. Though their product have been subject to a few recalls over the years, their current product options have been updated and improved to address any past issues. An overview of the ingredients list for several of their products also reveals the use of high-quality ingredients and a lack of artificial additives. All of these things combine to assure you that Orijen is a high-quality brand of food for your dog.
Orijen Dry Food: According to their website, their dry food products are designed to “nourish your dog as natured intended” by including unmatched fresh and varied meat selections which mimic the evolutionary diet of wild wolves. These recipes are all protein-rich and low-carb in keeping with their Whole Prey philosophy. They currently offer six dry food formulas, several of which are life stage-specific, and all of which have been updated in 2016. Here is a list of dry food products:
- Puppy Formula
- Puppy Large Formula
- Original Formula
- Six Fish Formula
- Regional Red Formula
- Tundra Formula
- Senior Dog Formula
Orijen Freeze-Dried Food: In addition to an assortment of dry food options, they also offer a line of freeze-dried foods. These recipes are designed around unmatched inclusions of fresh and regional meats while still adhering to their Biologically Appropriate formula. These products offer the nutritional benefits of raw food with the convenience of kibble. There are three freeze-dried food options:
- Adult Dog Formula
- Regional Red Formula
- Tunda Formula
Orijen Dog Treats: To ensure that your dog’s entire diet is biologically appropriate and nutrient-dense, they also offer a line of freeze-dried dog treats. These recipes are made with 100% natural meats, poultry, or fish and nothing else. The treats are gently freeze dried to preserve flavor and nutritional integrity. Here is a list of treat options available:
- Original Treats
- Tundra Treats
- Regional Red Treats
- Angus Beef Treats
- Alberta Lamb Treats
- Alberta Bison Treats
- Free-Run Duck Treats
- Wild Boar Treats
Orijen Original Biologically Appropriate Review:
This Original Biologically Appropriate Food formula is designed to offer complete and balanced nutrition for dogs in all life stages. This recipe features fresh free-run chicken and turkey, nest-laid eggs, and wild-caught fish in a formula that offers 85% animal ingredients; 15% fruits, vegetables and botanicals; and 0% grains, potato, or plant proteins. Simply put, this formula is designed to nourish the carnivore in your dog, offering a whopping 38% protein and 35% low-glycemic carbohydrate content with plenty of natural flavor. This recipe also features an infusion of freeze-dried liver for added flavor and palatability, not to mention a boost of nutrition. Like all of their products, this recipe also features Whole Prey ratios of fresh meat, organs, cartilage, and bone.
The first ingredient in this recipe is deboned chicken, followed by deboned turkey, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs, and whole Atlantic mackerel. It is always a good thing to see a fresh meat as the first ingredient in a high-quality food formula, but it is important to remember that fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture by volume. Once the product is cooked to remove moisture, the volume of protein provided by that fresh chicken could be much lower. Because this recipe includes so many supplementary sources of protein, however, it is not a problem here. In fact, the crude protein content of this recipe is a whopping 38%. It also doesn’t hurt that this recipe includes several dehydrated meats like chicken, turkey, and mackerel which have already had their moisture removed. These are highly concentrated sources of animal protein.
In addition to plenty of fresh meats and dehydrate meats, this Original Biologically Appropriate Food formula also includes several organ meats from various animal sources. In this recipe you will find chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, and dehydrated chicken and turkey liver. These organ meats provide additional protein as well as healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. The main source of fat in this recipe is chicken fat which, while it may not sound appetizing to you, it is a highly valuable addition t0 food because it provides a concentrated source of energy. Additional fat sources include herring oil, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Plant oils are less biologically valuable for dogs than animal fats but they help to ensure a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your dog’s skin and coat health.
In terms of carbohydrates, this Original Biologically Appropriate Food formula is very limited – as a biologically appropriate diet for dogs should be. The main sources of carbohydrate used in this recipe include whole green peas, whole navy beans, and red lentils. These ingredients are later joined by pinto beans, chickpeas, and green lentils. All of these are gluten-free, grain-free and low-glycemic carbohydrates which provide your dog with digestible fiber as well as slow-burning energy. This recipe also includes an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables which provide supplementary fiber but are more likely included as natural sources for key vitamins and minerals. As for supplements, this recipe includes chelated minerals and dried fermentation products. Dried fermentation products act as probiotics and chelated minerals have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb.
Overall, this Original Biologically Appropriate Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 38%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 18%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4%
- Moisture (Max) – 12%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
- DHA (Min) – 0.2%
- EPA (Min) – 0.2%
- Glucosamine (Min) – 700 mg/kg
- Chondroitin (Min) – 600 mg/kg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.3%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.8%
- Calorie Content – 449 kcal/cup
Overall, Orijen is one of the highest quality brands out there. Not only are they committed to creating biologically appropriate diets for cats and dogs, but they are very careful about where they source their ingredients. Their products are meat-rich and carbohydrate-limited which means that they provide dogs with exactly the nutrients they need and nothing they don’t. A quick review of several of their products reveals high crude protein and fat values with low crude fiber values – all of these things jive with the company’s Whole Prey philosophy. Whether you are looking for a life stages formula for a puppy, adult, or senior dog, or you want something that is made with fresh, regional ingredients, Orijen has a selection of products for you to choose from.