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Orijen Dog Food Review (2023): Recalls, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Our Final Verdict

We give Orijen dog food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Orijen Dog Food is a gourmet brand that is seen by many as one of the best dog foods available on the market. The food is made with fresh and dehydrated animal protein, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. All of their recipes are grain free and emulate what a dog would eat if living in the wild.

It can be a difficult and overwhelming task to find food that is ideal for your dog. We put together this review of Orijen dog food so you can see what ingredients are used in the food and the pros and cons associated with this brand. However, you will find that there aren’t many negatives to Orijen. Read on to find out more about this high-quality food.

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At a Glance: The Best Orijen Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Orijen Original All Life Stages Formula Orijen Original All Life Stages Formula
  • High in animal protein
  • Grain free
  • No synthetic ingredients
  • Second place
    Orijen Puppy Dry Orijen Puppy Dry
  • Ideal for puppies
  • Grain free
  • Chicken and turkey proteins
  • Third place
    Orijen Regional All Life Stages Formula Orijen Regional All Life Stages Formula
  • Ideal for all life stages
  • No poultry
  • Antioxidants
  • Orijen Six Fish All Life Stages Formula Orijen Six Fish All Life Stages Formula
  • 85% quality animal ingredients
  • Grain-free diet
  • Made in DogStar Kitchen
  • Orijen Senior Dry Orijen Senior Dry
  • Biologically Appropriate
  • Grain-free
  • Nourishes natural, biological needs
  • Orijen Dog Food Reviewed

    Overall View

    Orijen is an award-winning dog food that develops recipes to correspond with what your dog’s ancestors would have eaten in nature. Whole foods, from the meats to the fruits and vegetables, are the primary ingredients. Everything is locally sourced, and the animal products used are either wild caught, ranch raised, cage free, or free run. Orijen is pricier dog food, but you are paying for high-quality ingredients that ensure adequate nutrition for your dog.

    Who makes Orijen and where is it produced?

    Champion Pet Foods, located in Canada, is the parent company of Orijen dog food. The DogStar Kitchen prepares Orijen and Acana exclusively and is located in Kentucky. Orijen is dedicated to the highest standards of nutritional integrity and food safety, so you can be confident in your purchase of the Orijen dog food.

    Which types of dogs is Orijen dog food best suited for?

    There are two lines of dry dog food within the Orijen brand. There are the original kibble and the freeze-dried dog food. The original offers recipes for puppies, small breeds, large breed puppies, all life stages, weight management, and seniors. There are nine varieties of dry dog food.

    Three varieties of freeze-dried food are offered. These are appropriate for adult dogs and can be fed as a full meal or a topper. Both lines are grain free, making them ideal for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities.

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    Which types of dogs might do better with a different brand?

    Any dog prescribed a specialized diet for a health concern or disease would benefit from a different brand. A dog with kidney disease may need a food lower in protein, sodium, and phosphorus as instructed by a veterinarian. A brand that may be suitable for this would be Hill’s Prescription Diet K/D Kidney Care.

    Or perhaps you have a dog that suffers from food sensitivities that cause skin and GI reactions from the common proteins found in most dog foods. A suitable replacement could be Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food.

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    Primary Ingredients in Orijen Dog Food

    Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Orijen Dry Dog Food: All nine varieties are biologically appropriate for all life stages, small breeds, puppies, large breed puppies, seniors, or for weight management. This means the food is formulated to mirror your dog’s evolutionary diet to stay healthy and vibrant — plus, all formulas are grain free. However, they contain plenty of vegetables, fruit, and legumes for antioxidants and fiber.

    Each recipe has a high amount of animal protein, organs, cartilage, and bone to add nutrients that are ideal for a dog. Omega-3 and -6, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, are part of the ingredients, along with probiotics for digestive health.

    Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried

    Orijen Freeze-Dried Food: The foundation for the freeze-dried food is a variety of raw meat animal proteins that constitute 90% of the food. It also contains 10% fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, apples, and kelp. Ratios of meat, fish, organs, cartilage, and bone provide plenty of nutrients, and all three are grain-free.

    Orijen does not use synthetic supplements, preferring to provide nutritional needs through the whole-food ingredients.

    A Quick Look at Orijen Dog Food

    • Whole food ingredients
    • Variety of recipes
    • Dry food and freeze-dried food
    • Grain free
    • High in protein
    • Use of fruits and vegetables
    • Made in Kentucky
    • Locally sourced ingredients
    • No controversial ingredients used
    • Pricey
    • No specialized food

    Overview of Ingredients

    Ingredient Breakdown:

    **We selected Orijen Original to represent the other products in the line for this review **


    It would be hard to find another dog food that offers such a high amount of protein. The use of dehydrated meats adds a concentrated source of protein to supplement the use of fresh meat. Animal organs, cartilage, and bone are used as protein sources and other nutrients. The average amount of protein is greater than 36% for each formula.


    A variety of livers and hearts from animals are used in the formulas and provide a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. They do not use any processed oils, such as canola oil; instead, Orijen focuses on providing fat naturally. The average fat content is around 18%, with the Fit and Trim formula having 13% fat.


    There are plenty of complex carbohydrates within each recipe. With the number of legumes, fruits, and vegetables that are consumed, your dog receives the needed energy for the day. Orijen does not use any refined carbohydrates because it wants to focus on good-quality carbs that provide a variety of nutrients.

    Controversial Ingredients

    Since Orijen believes in using whole food for all their ingredients, there are no controversial ones used. Egg is added to some formulas, which is a potential allergen for some dogs. However, cooked eggs are an excellent source of digestible protein.

    Recalls of Orijen Dog Food

    Orijen has been in business for 25 years and has not had a single recall in that time. The company prides itself on the quality and safety checks that are performed within the kitchens to keep a close eye on the food that is made.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Orijen Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s look closer at three of the best Orijen dog food formulas:

    1. Orijen Original — All Life Stages Formula

    ORIJEN Original Grain-Free

    This recipe is appropriate for all life stages and all breeds from small to large. It is biologically appropriate for dogs who need a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients. This formula is high in animal protein that is either dehydrated or raw. The flavor profile of the chicken, turkey, and fish with added liver provides a delicious taste that dogs love and a 38% protein level within this formula.

    This is a grain-free formula that contains 15% vegetables and fruits for antioxidants, and the company does not believe in using synthetic ingredients. Added cartilage, bone, and eggs provide the rest of the needed nutrients. The use of lentils and navy beans adds more fiber for a healthy digestive system. Keep in mind that since it contains eggs, this can be an allergen to some dogs.

    • High in animal protein
    • Grain free
    • High amount of fruits and vegetables
    • No synthetic ingredients
    • Plenty of fiber
    • Antioxidants
    • Not ideal for egg allergies

    2. Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food — Biologically Appropriate

    ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    The puppy formula offers complete and balanced nutrition for your puppy to live an active life and grow into a strong and healthy adult. Eighty-five percent of the ingredients are poultry and fish, such as deboned chicken and turkey, flounder, eggs, mackerel, and chicken and turkey pieces, like the heart and liver.

    Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are great sources of complex carbohydrates to provide all-day energy for your lively pup. The taste is also one that your dog will enjoy, because not only do dogs like meat, but the added vegetables and fruits also give this recipe a nice flavor combination. The protein analysis is 38%, with fiber at 6% and fat equaling 20%. There are plenty of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants to keep the immune and digestive systems healthy and functioning correctly.

    On the downside, Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food is pricy, but uses locally sourced ingredients to provide the highest quality dog food.

    • Ideal for puppies
    • Chicken and turkey proteins
    • High in nutrients
    • Antioxidants
    • Probiotics
    • Tasty
    • Grain free
    • Contains egg
    • Pricey

    3. Orijen Regional Red — All Life Stages Formula

    ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    This kibble is formulated for all life stages, including all breeds of dogs. The primary animal ingredients are beef, boar, goat, lamb, pork, and mackerel, which comprise 85% of the food and offer 38% crude protein overall. Other protein sources are lentils, beans, and chickpeas that also offer fiber.

    Fruits and vegetables are always included in Orijen recipes, so you will find plenty in this formula. What makes Regional Red unique is the use of red meat sources with no dairy or other ingredients that can be a potential allergen for some dogs. So, of course, it is grain free too. On the downside, it is pricier compared to the Orijen original formula.

    • Ideal for all life stages
    • No poultry
    • Supports the immune system
    • Promotes digestion
    • High in protein
    • Antioxidants
    • Grain free
    • Pricey

    What Other Users Are Saying About Orijen Dog Food

    Here’s what other reviewers are commenting about Orijen dog food:

    Dog Food Insider:

    Dog Food Insider gave Orijen dog food a five out of five stars, stating, “The bottomline is this is a great food and you should be able to feed it to your dog with confidence.”

    Dog Food Network:

    Dog Food Network reviewed Orijen dog food and rated it a 9.2 out of 10, stating, “ Orijen is truly the best available dog food today.”

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    Orijen dog food offers a dog food that is hard to beat, though the biggest drawback is the price. Everyone is on a budget, and you have to decide what is right for your dog but also fits your lifestyle. Price aside, this food is made with high-quality ingredients.

    Orijen has never had a recall and is committed to providing safe and nutritional food for all life stages, as well as food specifically for puppies, seniors, and weight management. If feeding your dog whole food that is free from grain, byproducts, and controversial ingredients are what you are looking for, then Orijen is a great choice.

    See Also: Orijen Puppy Food Review

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