It's not cheap, but experts and dog owners say Orijen is the very best dry dog food you can buy. It's grain-free and made from fresh Canadian meats, eggs, produce and wild-caught fish.
A top-quality dry dog food. Experts say Orijen is as good as dry dog food gets -- and it earns perfect scores from every review site we consulted. Orijen has great meat content: Chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring and turkey (in fact, the first vegetable ingredient doesn't appear until number 16 on the list). The food is grain-free, and carbohydrates come from high-quality sources such as russet potatoes. The one small negative is the use of pea ingredients, which some experts say could cause digestive issues for some dogs -- and that's reflected in a couple of the owner reviews we spotted.
Canadian made, with local ingredients. Orijen dog food is made in the company's own facilities (many dog foods, including some top brands, outsource manufacturing to a third party). Ingredients are locally sourced, and no ingredients made in China are used. Meats and other proteins are certified as fit for human consumption by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the company is based in Canada). Natural preservatives rather than controversial ones like ethoxyquin are used. We found no recalls for Orijen on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website (which tracks pet food recalls back to 2007).
Quality doesn't come cheap. The biggest negatives we've seen are that Orijen is harder to find than some other high-quality dog foods, and that it's fairly expensive. Taste of the Wild High Prairie (Est. $50 for a 30-lb. bag), another well-regarded grain-free kibble costs substantially less, though it has less meat content and a recall record that while good, is not quite as spotless.
Orijen Adult Dog Food Reviews
PetsumerReport.com puts dog foods like Orijen Adult Dog under the microscope, discussing the ingredient lineup, the inclusion of controversial ingredients and more. Pluses and minuses are listed, and a rating is provided. However, the article is available only to subscribers.
Review: Orijen Adult Dog Food Dry, Susan Thixton, Not Dated
Mike Sagman specifically evaluates Orijen Adult Dog, awarding it a perfect 5 stars. He discusses ingredients and how well the food meets the nutritional needs of a dog. Sagman says Orijen is "enthusiastically recommended."
Review: Orijen Dog Food (Dry), Mike Sagman, Updated Mar. 5, 2015
3. Dog Food Guru
Add Carlotta Cooper and Dog Food Guru to the roster of those that have nothing but praise for Orijen. She calls it a great food and notes that the maker has "an outstanding reputation," though she also notes that the previous recipe was just a little bit better still. Nonetheless, it earns 5 stars.
Review: Orijen Dog Food, Carlotta Cooper, Mar. 11, 2014
Orijen makes Mary Straus's list of recommended dog kibbles. She notes the high quality of the ingredients used and says that the dog food is "highly recommended." She adds, "I've heard nothing but good feedback from those who feed Orijen."
Review: Dry Dog Foods (Kibble and Dehydrated), Mary Straus, Updated Feb. 4, 2015
Orijen earns another 5-star rating here. "There is absolutely nothing you can fault this food for," the editors say. The use of fresh ingredients draws special kudos.
Review: Orijen (Adult), Editors of PetFoodRatings.org, April 4, 2013
The quality of the ingredients and lack of any ingredients of low value earn Orijen a spot on this site's list of best dog foods. "Its exclusive use of fresh meats and meals make it one of the highest quality formulas currently on the market," the editors say.
Review: Orijen Dog Food Reviews, Editors of Dog Food Reviews, As of April 2015
Nearly 600 dog owners have largely very nice things to say about Orijen dog food. It earns a 4.8-star rating, with 97 percent saying that they would recommend the dog food to a friend. The small minority of less-pleased owners have varied complaints -- loose stools, an unpleasant smell, cost, or dogs that simply didn't like the food.
Review: Orijen Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Contributors to Chewy.com, As of April 2015
We see less feedback at Amazon.com -- just over 25 reviews -- but satisfaction runs high here as well and it earns a 4.6-star rating. One owner is unhappy with the seller, others have complaints that echo those seen at Chewy.com, but the vast majority award Orijen a 5-star rating.
Review: Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2015