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Orijen Puppy Food Review 2023: Pros, Cons, Recalls and FAQ

Orijen Puppy Food Review

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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Orijen Puppy Food ReviewReview Summary

Our Final Verdict
We give Orijen Puppy Food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Are you looking for high-quality food to feed your new puppy? If so, you may have heard of Orijen Puppy Food. This brand is a popular choice for many pet owners, but it’s not without its controversies. In this article, we will take a close look at Orijen Puppy Food and discuss the pros and cons of feeding it to your pup. We will also answer some common questions about the product and provide information on any recalls that have been issued.

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At a Glance: The Best Orijen Puppy Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Winner
Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  • Made with premium ingredients
  • Designed for puppies of all breeds
  • High in protein and fat, ideal for growing puppies
  • Second place
    Orijen Puppy Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Orijen Puppy Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  • High in protein
  • Suitable for large breed puppies
  • Made with premium ingredients
  • Third place
    Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Dry Dog Food Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • High in protein and fat
  • Grain-inclusive for well-balanced diet
  • High in fatty acids, DHA, and EPA
  • Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Grain inclusive
  • Protein packed
  • Suitable for large-breed puppies
  •  

    The Orijen Puppy Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Orijen Puppy Food and Where Is It Produced?

    Orijen Puppy Food is made by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian pet food company that was founded in 1985. The company is headquartered in Alberta, Canada, and has production facilities in both Canada and the United States. Orijen Puppy Food is just one of several brands produced by Champion Petfoods which also produces the Acana pet food brand products.

    Champion Petfoods was founded by Reinhard Muhlenfeld, who is still the company’s CEO today. Under Muhlenfeld’s leadership, Champion Petfoods has become one of the largest pet food companies in the world. The company employs over 500 people and has an annual revenue of $250 million CAD.

    Which Type of Dog Is Orijen Puppy Food Best Suited For?

    Orijen puppy food is best suited for puppies of all breeds, regardless of breed size. They have two general puppy food recipes, one containing grains and one that is grain-free, but they also have two puppy food recipes designed for large-breed puppies. The reason for both general puppy food recipes and large-breed puppy food recipes is that larger breeds may have different nutritional requirements than smaller breeds.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    Orijen puppy food is not recommended for adult dogs, regardless of the breed or size. As dogs grow, their nutrition requirements change, and puppy food does not contain the nutrients that adult dogs need. Also, if your puppy requires a certain type of diet, such as a prescription diet, that is recommended by your vet, then Orijen puppy food may not be suitable for them.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Orijen Puppy Food is made with high-quality meat protein sources as well as healthy fruit and vegetable ingredients to provide well-balanced nutrition for your puppy. The fish ingredients, in particular, provide omega fatty acids which are good for skin and coat health, as well,  DHA which is great for healthy brain development. The fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals for your dog.

    The ingredient list is as follows:

    • Deboned chicken
    • Deboned turkey
    • Flounder
    • Whole eggs
    • Turkey liver
    • Chicken liver
    • Whole Atlantic mackerel
    • Pumpkin
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Carrots
    • Apples
    • Spinach

    Grain vs. Grain-Free

    It’s worth pointing out that two of Orijen’s puppy recipes contain grains while the other two are grain-free. So how do you know which one is right for your puppy? To best answer this question, unless your dog is allergic, most dogs can benefit from having grains in their diet. Grains provide a source of carbohydrates and fiber that can help aid in digestion.

    That being said, some puppies may be allergic to grains. In this case, a grain-free diet may be appropriate. However, the FDA is investigating claims that grain-free diets may be linked to heart disease in dogs because they contain other ingredients such as peas and lentils in place of grains. Orijen was listed among 16 total brands that may have been linked to heart disease in dogs. However, no Orijen products were recalled as part of the investigation. 

    The FDA says they are still investigating the matter and that a recall may be issued in the future if they find a definitive link between the food and heart disease. In the meantime, Orijen Puppy Food remains on store shelves and is available for purchase. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian first before feeding your puppy a diet that is grain-free.

    Price

    Orijen Puppy Food has a high price tag. A 28-pound bag of Orijen Puppy Food costs almost twice as much as popular brands such as Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan. This high cost is due to the fact that Orijen Puppy Food is made with premium ingredients, including meat, organs, and cartilage from free-range, grass-fed animals on small, sustainable farms. Despite the price, Orijen Puppy Food remains a popular choice for many pet owners. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of feeding this food to your pup.

    A Quick Look at Orijen Puppy Food

    Pros
    • Recipes contain lots of nutritious ingredients
    • General puppy and large breed puppy recipes
    • Grain and grain-free options
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Concerns about grain-free diets
    • Recalled in 2012 due to elevated levels of mercury and lead

    Recall History

    Orijen Puppy Food has never been recalled in the United States or Canada. The food was recalled in Australia in 2008, but the recall was limited to that country and was not related to any safety concerns.

    The recall in Australia was due to a problem with irradiation treatment, which is required by law in that country. The company says that the irradiation was never done outside of Australia and that all products sold in other countries are safe. As a result of the recall, Orijen decided to stop selling all pet food products in Australia.

    While Orijen Puppy Food has never been recalled in North America, there have been some recalls of other Orijen products. In 2012, Champion Petfoods recalled several types of Orijen and Acana dog food due to potential contamination with salmonella. In 2015, the company recalled a limited number of Orijen Regional Red dog food products due to possible contamination with E. coli.

    Both of these recalls were limited in scope and did not involve any reports of illness or injury. Overall, the recall history for Orijen Puppy Food is very good.

    Lawsuit

    Orijen was also a part of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2018. The lawsuit accused the company of false advertising and failing to disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their pet foods. 

    The lawsuit is still pending, but Orijen has denied all accusations and says that their food is safe for pets.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Orijen Puppy Food Recipes

    1. Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    ORIJEN Dog Puppy Recipe, 13lb

    Crude Protein: 38% min
     Crude Fat: 20% min
    Crude Fiber: 6% max
    Moisture:  12%max
     Calories: 475 kcal/cup

    Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Food is one of the most popular Orijen Puppy recipes. The main ingredients include chicken, turkey, turkey giblets, flounder, and whole mackerel, which make for a food that is high in protein to help your puppy grow and maintain healthy muscles. This food also contains a variety of vegetables and fruits and 0% grain. The food is also high in fat, which is good for helping your puppy put on healthy weight. Just make sure to follow the feeding instructions carefully.

    The meats in Orijen Puppy Food are free-range and hormone-free. The vegetables and fruits are organic and GMO-free. Overall, the ingredients list for this food looks very impressive. The only true downside is the price. And keep in mind that grain-free diets are not necessary for all puppies.

    Pros
    • Made with premium ingredients
    • Designed for puppies of all breeds
    • High in protein and fat, which is ideal for growing puppies
    Cons
    • Expensive compared to other brands
    • Grain-free is not necessary for all puppies

    2. Orijen Puppy Large Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    ORIJEN Puppy Large Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    Crude Protein: 38% min
     Crude Fat: 16% min
    Crude Fiber: 4% max
    Moisture:  12%max
     Calories: 451 kcal/cup

    This Orijen Large Breed Puppy recipe is the large breed version of their grain-free puppy food. It’s comparable to the recipe mentioned above, but this particular recipe is formulated to better meet the nutritional requirements of large breed puppies. It contains the same amount of protein, but is lower in fat and calories. This is because large breed dogs have a slower metabolism, so they don’t need as much fat and calories to help them maintain a healthy weight.

    The main ingredients in this food are chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, and chicken liver. Otherwise, the ingredients are pretty similar to the food mentioned above. And of course, this recipe is grain-free as well. Keep in mind that although the price is comparable to the food above, large breed pups need more food, and therefore you may be going through food more quickly. This means you could be paying more for this food over time.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Suitable for large breed puppies
    • Made with premium ingredients
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Grain-free is not suitable for all pups

    3. Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Dry Food

    ORIJEN Amazing Grains Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Crude Protein: 38% min
     Crude Fat: 20% min
    Crude Fiber: 4% max
    Moisture:  12%max
     Calories: 528 kcal/cup

    The Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy Dry Food is the grain-inclusive version that is designed for puppies of all breeds. This food has the same protein and fat content as the grain-free version, but is a bit higher in calories due to the added grains. Feeding the proper amount is crucial for helping your puppy maintain a healthy weight. 

    The main ingredients are chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, whole herring, and salmon. That means this food is high in omega fatty acids which promote a healthy skin and coat. This food also contains plenty of DHA and EPA that also come from fish and promote healthy brain development. Like Orijen food and puppy recipes, this food is a bit pricey than other comparable brands.

    Note that Orijen has a large breed puppy version of the Amazing Grains food as well.

    Pros
    • High in protein and fat
    • Grain-inclusive for well-balanced diet
    • High in fatty acids, DHA, and EPA
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Higher in calories, so watch feeding amounts

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    FAQs

    Is Orijen Puppy Food safe to feed my puppy?

    Yes, Orijen Puppy Food is safe to feed your puppy as long as you purchase it from a reputable source. The food was recalled in 2012 due to elevated levels of mercury and lead, but these contamination issues have since been resolved. If you are concerned about the safety of the food, you can always contact Champion Petfoods directly for more information.

    How much Orijen Puppy Food should I feed my puppy?

    The amount of Orijen Puppy Food you should feed your puppy will depend on his or her age, weight, and activity level. The recommended feeding guidelines are listed on the packaging, so be sure to follow those when determining how much food to give your pup.

    Where can I purchase Orijen Puppy Food?

    Orijen Puppy Food is available for purchase from many online retailers and pet stores. You can also purchase the food directly from the Champion Petfoods website.

    How do I transition my puppy to Orijen Puppy Food?

    If you are transitioning your puppy to Orijen Puppy Food from another food, it is important to do so gradually. Start by mixing a small amount of Orijen Puppy Food in with the food you are currently feeding. Slowly increase the amount of Orijen Puppy Food over the course of a week until your puppy is eating only the new food. This gradual transition will help to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

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    The Bottom Line

    While there are some controversies surrounding Orijen Puppy Food, the food remains a popular choice for many pet owners. The food is made with premium ingredients and does not contain any fillers or artificial additives. It is also high in protein and fat, which is ideal for growing puppies. The only downside to the food is its high price tag. A 28-pound bag of Orijen Puppy Food costs almost twice as much as popular brands such as Blue Buffalo and Purina Pro Plan.

    Orijen Puppy Food is a popular choice for many pet owners. It’s the gold standard in pet food among plenty of pet owners. Only you can decide what food is best for your pet and talking with your vet about your dog’s individual needs is your best bet for making sure they’re eating the best possible food.


    Featured Image Credit; Orijen

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