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Orijen Regional Red Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Our Final Verdict

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


This article focuses on Orijen Regional Red dog food, the original and freeze-dried versions. We offer a review of the ingredients in each, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of feeding this formula to your dog. We know that owners like to know what is in their pet’s food and how it is made. We’ve collected all the information you need to save you time and ease frustration.

Orijen provides dog food that is high quality, grain-free, and packed full of whole foods, from the meat and legumes to the fruits and vegetables. Continue reading to learn more about the company and its Regional Red dog food.

At a Glance: The Orijen Regional Red Dog Food Formulas

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Orijen Regional Red Original Orijen Regional Red Original
  • High in protein
  • Red meat sources
  • Optimal nutrition for all life stages
  • Runner Up
    Second place
    Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried
  • Grain free
  • Whole foods
  • Concentrated nutrients
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    Orijen Regional Red Dog Food Reviewed

    Overall View

    We like Orijen Regional Red because it contains whole foods that are fresh or dehydrated to provide a high amount of nutrients. Orijen doesn’t use artificial supplements, preferring all vitamins and minerals to be provided by the included food. It is a pricey product, but the company keeps safety and quality at the forefront of each product produced.

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    Who makes Orijen Regional Red and where is it produced?

    All ingredients in the Orijen Regional Red are sourced locally in Kentucky and around the United States. Orijen prefers to support local farmers and ranchers. Champion Pet Foods, in Canada, is the parent company of Orijen dog food. However, Orijen has a kitchen in Kentucky that exclusively prepares its food to the highest standards of safety and nutritional integrity.

    Which types of dogs is Orijen Regional Red best suited for?

    Regional Red is ideal for active dogs who require plenty of protein and fat within their diet. It is great for dogs with grain sensitivities or aversions to poultry-based foods.

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

    A dog who isn’t very active or needs to lose weight would benefit from a different brand. One such brand would be Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d, which is lower in protein and fat.

    Some dogs have sensitive GI tracts, and in that case, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN is made specifically for GI needs and may be a good option if recommended by your veterinarian.

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    Primary Ingredients in Orijen Regional Red Dog Food

    Orijen Regional Red is composed of plenty of animal meat and parts, with many legumes, fruits, and vegetables. The wide variety of whole ingredients offers food that is packed full of nutrients that your dog requires to stay healthy and vibrant.

    Orijen Regional Red

    • Meat: This formula uses fresh or raw ingredients, with some dehydrated animal meat to increase the total amount of protein in the food, since fresh meat has a high amount of water. It also adds organs, cartilage, and bone. The main meat sources are beef, boar, bison, lamb, pork, and pilchard.
    • Cage-free eggs: Eggs are easily digestible and contain a high amount of protein. Keep in mind that some dogs can have egg allergies, but most are fine consuming this ingredient.
    • Legumes: There are a variety of legumes added to provide fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Legumes included are red and green lentils, green peas, chickpeas, yellow peas, and pinto beans. Legumes help ensure that your dog’s digestive system remains healthy.
    • Vegetables: There isn’t a shortage of vegetables within this recipe. You will see pumpkin, butternut squash, zucchini, parsnips, carrots, kale, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, and brown kelp. Vegetables add fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and increase the flavor profile of the food.
    • Fruits: Cranberries, blueberries, and Saskatoon berries are great sources of antioxidants that keep the immune system functioning effectively. The addition of apples and pears add more fiber to help with digestion.
    • Misc.: The formula also includes DHA and EPA fatty acids for energy and overall health. Glucosamine and chondroitin are for joint health, while the addition of chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, and rosehips provide further nutrients for optimal health.

    Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried

    • Meat: The animal protein is the same, except it has been freeze-dried to preserve and concentrate the protein and nutrients from the meat. The main meat sources are beef, lamb, boar, pork, flounder, herring, and bison.
    • Vegetables: The freeze-dried version does not contain as many vegetables, but it does include pumpkin, collard greens, kelp, and carrots. All add fiber and antioxidants.
    • Fruits: The only fruit added is apples. These provide small amounts of fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and potassium.
    • Misc.: The formula includes DHA and EPA fatty acids to increase energy, reduce inflammation, and keep the skin healthy.

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    Overview of Ingredients


    Neither formula lacks in the amount of protein provided. By dehydrating or freeze-drying the meat and organs, the brand adds a concentrated source of proteins and nutrients.


    The addition of livers and hearts from the meat sources provides a source of fat. There are no processed oils, such as canola oil; instead, Orijen focuses on providing fat naturally.


    As noted earlier, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables within the original Reginal Red formula. Both provide complex carbohydrates with the use of select fruits and veggies. Orijen does not use any refined carbohydrates, but rather good-quality carbs that provide plenty of the nutrients your dog needs.

    Controversial Ingredients

    Pea Fiber: This is an ingredient in the Regional Red freeze-dried recipe. Some claim that it is a filler, while others say that it is a good source of fiber. If used in low quantities, it is most likely a source of fiber in the food.

    Recalls of Orijen Regional Red Dog Food

    Orijen has never had a food recall, and they have been in business for over 25 years. This is great news for those looking for a safe product, because it shows that the company is serious about the quality of its dog food.

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    A Closer Look at the 2 Best Regional Red Formulas

    1. Orijen Regional Red Original

    ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    This original contains 85% fresh or dehydrated animal protein, including meat, organs, and cartilage. Orijen wants to mirror what your dog would eat in nature to provide optimal nutrition for all life stages. It is a biologically appropriate formula that is tasty and loved by all dogs.

    The grain-free recipe uses beef, boar, bison, lamb, pork, and pilchard for the animal sources. This doesn’t include the wholesome addition of legumes, fruits, and vegetables. This is a great option for dogs who have grain allergies or aversions to a poultry-based formula. On the downside, there is too much protein for dogs with renal issues, and it is not specifically made for puppies or seniors.

    Guaranteed Analysis:

    Crude Protein: 38%
    Crude Fat:  18%
    Moisture: 12%
    Fibre 5%
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.3%

    Calories/ per cup:

    regional red calorie count

    • Grain free
    • Red meat sources
    • High in protein
    • Whole foods used
    • Optimal nutrition for all life stages
    • Not ideal for dogs who require special diets
    • Not specific to a certain age or breed

    2. Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried

    ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food


    Freeze-dried food provides a concentrated source of protein and nutrients compared to using fresh ingredients. It contains meat with organs, cartilage, and bone from beef, lamb, boar, pork, flounder, herring, and bison.

    It does contain pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, and apples, but not nearly the same amount of fruits and vegetables as the regular Regional Red. Keep in mind that it contains no legumes and is a grain-free recipe. On the downside, before you feed your dog, the food has to be reconstituted with water.

    Guaranteed Analysis:

    Crude Protein: 36%
    Crude Fat:  35%
    Moisture: 4%
    Fibre 5%
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 1%

    Calories/ per cup:

    regional red freeze dried calories

    • Concentrated nutrients
    • Whole foods
    • Grain free
    • High in protein
    • Red meat sources
    • Not many fruits and veggies
    • High in fat
    • No legumes

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Knowing what other reviewers are saying can give you further insight into this brand of dog food. Here are what others are saying:

    Pet Food Reviewer:

    A review from Pet Food Reviewer rates Orijen freeze-dried Regional Red a 10 out of 10 and states, “Orijen Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a crunchy yet soft dog food for older dogs, that has no unnecessary fillers (such as corn and other grains) — allowing a senior dog to get direct access to all the nutrients their body needs. It is the best senior dog food you can find if you are looking for natural food with high protein content.”

    Paw Diet:

    This site rates the Regional Red five out of five stars, stating, “Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs.”

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    Orijen Regional Red offers two recipes that feature red meats and select fish. They are both grain free, but the original recipe features a higher amount of fruits and vegetables. The freeze-dried option does not contain legumes and has a higher amount of fat, which would be acceptable for high-energy dogs.

    Orijen is expensive dog food because it uses ingredients that are caught from the wild, free range, or farm raised. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, or fillers within these formulas. The food is made with quality and safety in mind, and if you like to provide your dog with whole-food ingredients, then either formula provides optimal nutrition.

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