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Home > General > Carna4 vs Orijen Dog Food 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Carna4 vs Orijen Dog Food 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dog food can be quite an investment, so it’s important to know you’re choosing the right food for your beloved canine companion. The stakes for premium dog foods are even higher because the price tag can hurt your wallet. Orijen and Carna4 are both premium dog food brands that sell high-quality foods, which can make it difficult to choose between them. To make the decision easier on you, we’ve compared both brands and weighed their pros and cons.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Orijen

Image Product Details
Winner
Orijen Amazing Grains Original Orijen Amazing Grains Original
  • Multiple grain sources
  • Good source of omega fatty acids
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Second place
    Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Food Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Food
  • Great source of omega fatty acids
  • High in protein
  • Good for sensitive stomachs
  • Orijen is a fantastic dog food brand that offers a large variety of flavors and textures. They have foods with grains, as well as grain-free diets. They employ nutritionists and a veterinarian to help formulate their recipes and to ensure their foods meet all the nutritional needs of dogs. Their recipes focus on providing biologically appropriate nutrition through the addition of whole prey and nutrient-dense ingredients. While they are a premium pet food brand, Orijen has a large enough selection that allows them to offer a wide range of prices on their foods for a variety of budgets.

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    About Carna4

    Basic Info About Carna4

    Carna4 is a Canadian dog food company that makes a variety of premium dog foods that lack synthetic ingredients. Their quickly baked air-dried foods are a great alternative to frozen raw diets. They can also supplement your dog’s normal diet during travel, when you forgot to thaw food, or when you’re looking for a simple dog food option. They’re a family-owned company, and all their foods are made in Canada with ingredients produced in the US and Canada. One of the co-owners of Carna4 is also the founder of Sojourner Farms, another pet food brand.

    Marketing

    This is a relatively small company in the US at this time, so they don’t sell their products in the vast majority of pet stores. Their marketing is currently minimal in the US, so you likely haven’t heard of this brand unless you spend time in one of their premium pet food retailers.

    What Makes Them Different?

    All of the foods that Carna4 offers are free of synthetic ingredients, including synthetic vitamins and minerals that are present in a large number of pet foods. Their foods are whole food based and focused on nutrient density and nutritional stability over all else. They quarantine all of their food batches for 2 weeks after manufacturing while they are tested for pathogens like salmonella. Most of their foods are grain-free diets, which isn’t an ideal option for all dogs.

    Pros
    • Lacks synthetic ingredients
    • Safer and more convenient alternative to raw diets and home cooking
    • Shelf-stable foods are ideal for travel
    • All ingredients are produced in the US and Canada
    • Wholefood based recipes
    • Foods are quarantined for testing for 2 weeks after manufacturing
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Only grain free options

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    About Orijen

    Basic Info About Orijen

    Orijen is a company that focuses on biologically appropriate nutrition for pets. They offer a variety of recipes and food textures to meet a variety of needs. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, and Orijen has worked on updating and changing their recipes as new science has indicated a need. Their foods are rich in protein and made with whole-prey ingredients.

    Marketing

    Although Orijen produces high-quality dog food, they do focus on marketing techniques to catch the attention of consumers, primarily through the use of buzzwords. They also use focused advertising through retailers to gain new customers.

    What Makes Them Different?

    Orijen’s focus on providing biologically appropriate nutrition to meet the needs of dogs sets them apart. They also include whole parts of prey animals in their diets, not just muscle meat, which ensures maximum nutrient density. They also have nutritionists and a veterinarian on staff to help ensure their foods are nutritionally sound.

    Pros
    • Biologically appropriate recipes
    • Has been in business for over 30 years
    • Multiple recipes and textures available
    • Foods that contain whole-prey ingredients
    • High nutrient density in their foods
    • Nutritionists and a veterinarian on staff to formulate recipes
    Cons
    • Relies on marketing techniques and buzzwords

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    3 Most Popular Carna4 Dog Food Recipes

    Carna4 Duck Recipe

    Carna4 Duck Hand Crafted Dog Food

    The Carna4 duck recipe food is a good option for dogs with food sensitivities since it features a protein that has a lower allergen potential than proteins like chicken and beef. It’s a moderate fat and protein diet, and it is formulated for dogs at every life stage, including seniors. However, it may not be a good option for active dogs. This is a highly palatable food many people report their picky eaters enjoying. It’s a good source of probiotics for digestive health and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

    Pros
    • Good option for dogs with food sensitivities
    • Moderate fat and protein makes it suitable for seniors
    • Highly palatable
    • Supports digestive health with probiotics
    • Omega fatty acids support skin and coat health
    Cons
    • May not be a good option for active dogs

    Carna4 Easy Chew Fish Recipe

    CARNA4 Easy-chew Fish Formula Sprouted Seeds Dog Food

    The Carna4 Easy Chew Fish recipe is a great option for older dogs and dogs with dental problems, like missing teeth and gum disease. It’s easier to chew than the other varieties of Carna4 foods. The nuggets of food are smaller and lighter than the other Carna4 varieties, making this food more suitable for small breed dogs than the other varieties. The primary proteins are fish, which are typically easier to digest for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

    It contains a variety of sprouted seeds, which allows your dog to absorb more nutrients from their food. It’s a great source of omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Many people report this food having a more pleasant and less fishy smell than other fish-based dog foods. This food is somewhat more expensive than the other Carna4 varieties.

    Pros
    • Easier to chew
    • Good option for small breed dogs
    • Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • Sprouted seeds are easier to digest and absorb nutrients from
    • Good source of omega fatty acids
    • Pleasant smell
    Cons
    • More expensive than most other varieties

    Carna4 Chicken Recipe

    CARNA4 Hand Crafted Dog Food

    If you have a dog that prefers chicken, then the Carna4 Chicken recipe food is a great option. However, chicken has a higher allergen potential than most other proteins, so this food may not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities.

    This recipe contains barley and brown rice, both of which are healthy whole grains that provide fiber and nutrients. It contains multiple sprouted seeds for maximum nutrient absorption, and it contains flax seeds and salmon, both of which are great sources of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Many people report this food decreases itchy skin in their dogs.

    Pros
    • Contains grains
    • Good source of fiber
    • Sprouted seeds are easier to digest and absorb nutrients from
    • Good source of omega fatty acids
    • May decrease itchy skin
    Cons
    • Chicken is a common allergen

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    3 Most Popular Orijen Dog Food Recipes

    Orijen Amazing Grains Original

    ORIJEN Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food

    The Orijen Amazing Grains Original recipe contains multiple whole grain sources, like millet and oat groats. This food contains multiple protein sources, like chicken, turkey, herring, and mackerel. It’s a good source of omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber all support healthy digestion, even for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, this food may not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities since it contains some common allergens, like chicken. This is a high-protein diet that is suitable for active dogs, but the protein content is too high for some senior dogs.

    Pros
    • Multiple grain sources
    • Multiple protein sources for high protein content
    • Good source of omega fatty acids
    • Supports healthy digestion
    • Good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • Good option for active dogs
    Cons
    • Not a good option for seniors and dogs needing moderate protein

    Orijen Freeze-Dried Original

    Orijen Original Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food & Topper

    The Orijen Freeze-Dried Original diet features highly palatable freeze-dried kibble pieces. This food is high in protein and contains multiple protein sources like chicken, turkey, herring, and flounder. This is a grain-free food, so it’s important to discuss this with your vet before transitioning your dog. It can be fed as a primary food source or crumbled on top of food as a food topper. It’s a raw diet that is easier and safer to feed than many other raw foods. It provides a good source of fiber for supporting digestive health and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

    Pros
    • Highly palatable
    • Multiple protein sources for high protein content
    • Can be fed as a primary food or a food topper
    • Safer and easier to feed than many raw diets
    • Good source of fiber
    • Good source of omega fatty acids
    Cons
    • Not a good option for dogs needing moderate protein

    Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Food

    Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    The Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Food is a great option for dogs that love fish or need extra omega fatty acids in their daily diet. It is free of grains and contains legumes, so this should be discussed with your vet before switching your dog to this food. It contains multiple fish protein sources, which makes it a good option for sensitive tummies. Because this food lacks chicken, beef, and other common protein allergens, it’s a great option for dogs with food sensitivities. Each piece of food is coated in raw food for maximum palatability. It contains probiotics to support digestive health.

    Pros
    • Great source of omega fatty acids
    • High in protein
    • Good for sensitive stomachs
    • Free of common allergens
    • Coated in raw food for maximum palatability
    • Good source of probiotics
    Cons
    • Contains legumes

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    Recall History of Carna4 and Orijen

    At the time of writing, neither Carna4 or Orijen have experienced product recalls.

    Carna4 VS Orijen Comparison

    Taste: Tie

    Both Carna4 and Orijen foods are made to be highly palatable. Orijen offers a bigger range of flavors than Carna4 does, but Carna4 offers more exotic taste profiles, like goat. Both foods are gently dehydrated or cooked in a way that allows them to maintain maximum palatability and nutrient density. The Carna4 recipes are quickly baked and air dried, which are offered in either soft chew or normal textures with high palatability. The Orijen foods are available in multiple textures, but some of them are raw coated for added palatability.

    French bulldog eating from a bowl
    Image by: Karsten Winegeart, Unsplash

    Nutritional Value: Orijen

    Both of these brands heavily focus on creating nutrient-dense foods for dogs. However, Orijen takes the lead in this category because they employ nutritionists and a veterinarian to ensure their recipes meet all nutritional needs of dogs. Both companies offer recipes that contain grains, as well as grain-free diets.

    Price: Orijen

    Both of these brands retail for a premium price, so it’s a close call between the two. Orijen is able to win out on better pricing because of their larger food selection. They offer kibble food options, as well as freeze-dried and wet foods. This allows them to have a broader range of pricing to suit more budgets.

    man buying pet food
    Image Credit: LADO-Shutterstock

    Selection: Orijen

    Orijen easily wins out in the selection category. While Carna4 focuses on gently baked and air-dried food recipes, Orijen offers far more options to meet multiple needs. They have dry dog food, wet foods, and freeze-dried foods, as well as treats and other products.

    Overall: Orijen

    Orijen wins out in pricing, selection, and nutritional value. Although Carna4 is a great brand that produces high-quality food, it falls just short of matching Orijen. Both brands create high-quality foods, and both have the health and wellness of your dog at heart with all of the food they produce.

    Hunting dog eating
    Image Credit: Nadezhda Zaitceva, Shutterstock

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    Conclusion

    Overall, Orijen is our top pick among these two brands. Carna4 is a great brand that produces convenient and nutritious quickly baked air-dried foods for dogs. Their foods are formulated with the overall health and longevity of your dog in mind. However, Orijen offers more options and employs professionals to help them balance and update their recipes as needed.

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