Orijen?
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    Orijen?

    I will be getting a German Shepherd Dog puppy in late December. The breeder feeds Eukanuba puppy, which I have since learned is not a good food. So I have been looking at various pet stores to see what quality food is available in my area. Most of the brands they have are junkfood, but I found a store today that seemed to have a better variety of "natural" options. The clerk, who actually seemed surprisingly knowlegable, recomended Orijen and said that it was the top brand they sold. I had a quick look on this site but didn't find too much information about it, so I have a few questions.

    -Would the large breed puppy formula be a good choice for a GSD puppy?
    -Would the adult formula be suited to a GSD adult?
    -Are there any downsides to a "grain free" diet?
    -Is this food overpriced, or is it reasonable for a quality food? (about $65 Canadian for 13.5kg)
    -How does it compare to "Evo", which seems more popular here?
    -What is the difference between Orijen and Acana (both products made by the same company, as far as I can tell)?
    -Does this provide a "complete and balanced diet"?
    -Would it be beneficial to rotate this food with a couple of others, or is it ok to strictly feed one type if it is good?
    -Is it beneficial to occasionally feed a variety of vegetables and/or fruits in addition to a quality kibble?
    -If I occasionally feed fresh meat in addition to the kibble, what kind is the best? turkey/chicken, beef, other? Or is it best to offer a variety? And, raw or cooked?

    I know it likely varies a lot, but approximately how much per day should my GSD be fed when he's fully grown, assuming he's healthy, and on a quality food with minimal "filler"? Will a 13.5kg bag last a month? Two weeks?

    Thanks in advance for any help regarding any of my questions.

    -Chris

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    Senior Member StellaLucyDesi's Avatar
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    Re: Orijen?

    Hi! Congrats on your new pup! Orijen is indeed great food! I haven't used it yet, but I do have a bag stored away for my rotation after my 3 finish their Eagle Pack Holistic Select. I will try to answer your questions....

    1. The large breed puppy formula should be good for a GSD puppy. I don't know the calcium/phosphorus ratio of Orijen (calcium/phosphorus ratio is important for large breed pups. I can never remember what it should be, but there are other threads on here that have it listed), but I'm sure it is fine.
    2. The large breed adult formula should be good for a GSD adult.
    3. There are definitely no downsides to grain-free food! In fact, they are really preferable. They resemble the meat diets of the dog's ancestors. Dogs do okay on grains, but I feel they thrive on grain-free. I personally am not all that concerned if my dogs do eat a food with grains as long as they are quality.
    4. Orijen is indeed expensive. But, I feel it is worth it! Frankly, good, quality dog food does cost alot. However, some foods like Eukanuba, etc., carry a high price tag, too, and the quality is not as good. Also, since quality dog food is more nutrient dense, you will probably end up feeding less of it, so the price evens out in the long run.
    5. EVO is a great food, too, and if you decide to feed it, that would be great!
    Natura is a good company, as well. I prefer Orijen, tho'. I hope my 3 do okay on it when I use it because they do not do so well on EVO.
    6. Yes, Orijen and Acana are both made by Champion Pet Foods. As far as I can tell, Acana has lower protein. I'm not sure if it has grains or not. Orijen does not.
    7. Orijen definitely provides a balanced diet. You should not need to supplement, but I'm sure if you wanted to add can, or fresh food, that would be fine.
    8. Rotating is a personal preference. I personally believe in it and have done it. There is a couple of websites that might explain it better...www.dogaware.com and www.dogfoodproject.com
    9. Like I said before, you should not need to add anything extra to Orijen, but it would be fine to do so for variety and for the pleasure of your dog.
    10. As for what kinds of meat and whether it should be cooked or raw, I am not really the person to answer this question because I do not add meat to my dog's food. I will occasionally add veggies, or cottage cheese, can food, etc.
    11. On the back of the bad are feeding guidelines, however, they are jus a starting point. You can feed what it says to begin with, then if you notice weight gain cut back or if you notice your dog is too thin add more.

    I'm sure there are others on this forum who are much more knowledgable than me, especially with large breeds (I have small dogs). Good luck, I hope this helps some!

    Oh I forgot the main website that talks about rotating and rating dog food...www.dogfoodanalysis.com
    Last edited by StellaLucyDesi; 11-16-2008 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester966 View Post
    -Would the large breed puppy formula be a good choice for a GSD puppy?
    Yes

    -Would the adult formula be suited to a GSD adult?
    It's well suited for either a puppy or an adult.

    -Are there any downsides to a "grain free" diet?
    No, all sides are up. Did you ever see a dog grazing in a grain field?

    -Is this food overpriced, or is it reasonable for a quality food? (about $65 Canadian for 13.5kg)
    I don't know prices.

    -How does it compare to "Evo", which seems more popular here?
    They are very similar. If I had to feed kibble, it would be EVO or Orijen.

    -What is the difference between Orijen and Acana (both products made by the same company, as far as I can tell)?
    I don't know about Acana.

    -Does this provide a "complete and balanced diet"?
    If there were such a thing, it would provide it.

    -Would it be beneficial to rotate this food with a couple of others, or is it ok to strictly feed one type if it is good?
    It's completely optional. If you decide to, I would rotate with EVO. If you rotate with anything else it would be an inferior product so why would you want to do that?

    -Is it beneficial to occasionally feed a variety of vegetables and/or fruits in addition to a quality kibble?
    Absolutely not. Dogs are carnivores. They have no dietary need for fruits or vegetables.

    -If I occasionally feed fresh meat in addition to the kibble, what kind is the best? turkey/chicken, beef, other? Or is it best to offer a variety? And, raw or cooked?
    I would try chicken first, then you could feed any otehr meat you want to occasionally. Raw of course.

    I know it likely varies a lot, but approximately how much per day should my GSD be fed when he's fully grown, assuming he's healthy, and on a quality food with minimal "filler"? Will a 13.5kg bag last a month? Two weeks?
    I don't know. Usually its a good idea to feed less than you think you should.

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    Senior Member secondchance's Avatar
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    Re: Orijen?

    I just started switching my dogs to Orijen from Eagle Pack. I am finally convinced that high protein is the way to go!

    Orijen has a pdf. document on their web page (http://www.championpetfoods.com/orijen/orijen/ the link to it is in the menu on the left side at the bottom of the list highlighted in blue) that discusses dogs as carnivores not omnivores and it presents the arguments in an easy to read organized way. I plan on using Orijen until I am ready to make the switch to raw because it seems like the next best thing, as RawFedDogs suggested.

    I did also notice that they made that other line.. Acana? When I read the food reviews on www.dogfoodanalysis.com it got a much lower rating and seems to be based on a different feeding model than the Orijen. That kind of concerned me at first because if the makers of Orijen are so convinced that high protein is the way to go and are committed to only make high quality foods why would they even bother with another line that didn't fit in with those principles. But I guess I am over thinking it and they ARE a business and can reach a wider range of customers if they have more products available right??

    As far as price, I did a comparison in the pet store the other day and found that it was on par with all the other high end foods that the store carries (EP, Natural Balance, EVO and more....). And of course if it is such a high quality food then in theory the dog would need to eat less to be nutritionally satisfied (less filler right?) so it would probably last longer than other foods.

    I would be interested in hearing how your dogs do on Orijen and how the switch goes, good luck!

    Just wanted to mention, I just looked Acana up on dogfoodanalysis and at the championfoods website and realized that I was mistaken. It appears to be grain free and gets a good rating, I was mixing it up with a different food I was researching. Sorry!
    Last edited by secondchance; 11-17-2008 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member Wynpyp's Avatar
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    Re: Orijen?

    I don't know a whole lot about Orijen other that what I have read. It is a really good kibble. I may buy some in the near future to try out on my 2 fur-babies.

    I have fed Acana though. Years ago, I fed my pure bred GSD Acana Large Breed and she did very well on it, it has grain in it. Now I feed My GSDx Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream, which is a grain free kibble. It has 25% protien and 15% fat... if I remember correctly lol. He does very good on it. I have also given him the newer Acana Pacifica, which is grain free, and he loves that as well and did very well on it too. It has 33% protien and 15% fat... I think(sorry, I'm too tired to go to the garage and double check lol).

    I buy the largest bag available and it last's about a month or so. Now that I have a new puppy that eats almost as much as my 16 month old, I'm not sure how long it will last lol.

    ETA: The reason I go with TOTW and Acana Pacifica is because they are both all life stages kibble. For me that seems easier since I have a 16 month old GSDx and a Rottie/possibly Dane cross that's 3 months old. And both foods are around the same price where I live. The biggest bad of TOTW was $70 and Acana Pacifica was $65 for the largest bag.
    Last edited by Wynpyp; 11-17-2008 at 01:22 AM.
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    Re: Orijen?

    I forgot to mention, the review of the Orijen formulas at http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ states that "the high protein content makes it suitable for adult dogs only, particularly in the case of large breeds." It is the exact same review for all of the Orijen products - adult, puppy, and puppy large breed - so I might assume that the reviewer had made a mistake and should have removed the comment from the puppy formulas. However, the protein content is at 42% for all of the formulas... so I'm confused! Can anyone clarify this for me as well?

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    Re: Orijen?

    Can anyone comment about the high protein? Is high protein ok for a large breed puppy, or is it not important if the calcium and phosphorus levels are correct?

    Orijen Large Breed Puppy:

    Protein (min.) 42.0%
    Fat 16.0%
    Carbohydrate 18.0%
    Moisture 10.0%
    Fiber 2.0%
    Calcium (min.) 1.4%
    Calcium (max.) 1.6%
    Phosphorus (min.) 1.1%
    Phosphorus (max.) 1.3%
    Omega-6 2.5%
    Omega-3 1.0%

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester966 View Post
    It is the exact same review for all of the Orijen products - adult, puppy, and puppy large breed - so I might assume that the reviewer had made a mistake and should have removed the comment from the puppy formulas.
    Or it might be that the reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about. Don't worry about the amount of animal protein in a kibble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester966 View Post
    Can anyone comment about the high protein? Is high protein ok for a large breed puppy, or is it not important if the calcium and phosphorus levels are correct?
    Here are some URLs for calcium studies for skeleton development
    http://www.petsvetsandyou.com/pcl/ar.../q10000064.htm
    http://www.msu.edu/~silvar/hips.htm
    http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=1089
    http://www.ilovemypet.com/jackart.html
    Last edited by RawFedDogs; 11-19-2008 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Orijen?

    Logan was given orijin puppy formula as his first food (after getting him from the breeder). he's a toy poodle so i wasn't too concerned about the high protein issue. it's a really good quality food but we had to switched to Wellness after a month because he really didn't like it. i would still recommend it though.

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
    Absolutely not. Dogs are carnivores. They have no dietary need for fruits or vegetables.
    Bill (aka RawFedDogs) never stops in his pursuit of insisting his way is best. Bill, just stop.

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Catahoulas View Post
    Bill (aka RawFedDogs) never stops in his pursuit of insisting his way is best. Bill, just stop.
    It IS best. THere is no argument. Do you have some evidence that fruits and veggies are beneficial for a dog to eat? I have LOTS of evidence that they're not. It's more than just "MY" way. It's the science behind the carnivore diet. Science determined that a dog is a carnivore. Dogs have no physical traits of an omnivore.

    I don't try to tell you what you can post and what you can't. Don't try it with me.

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
    It IS best. THere is no argument.
    Actually, Bill, there is an argument or 2 sides to this subject or we would not be discussing this. It's just 2 schools of thought and practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
    Do you have some evidence that fruits and veggies are beneficial for a dog to eat?
    Yes I do and I've emailed you with the facts presented by Ph.D.'s in the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
    I have LOTS of evidence that they're not. It's more than just "MY" way. It's the science behind the carnivore diet.
    You go ahead and present your qualified evidence by university studies.
    Quote Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
    Science determined that a dog is a carnivore. Dogs have no physical traits of an omnivore. I don't try to tell you what you can post and what you can't. Don't try it with me.
    I already did and you lost because you could not and would not learn the details of carnivores after I begged you. Just calm down. Someone actually needs assistance in food and it's best for you not to begin quarreling.

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    Re: Orijen?

    I've been through all this with you before and quite frankly I am quite bored with you. I proved you wrong from several different directions. I proved both that dogs are carnivores using the top scientists in the world to back my side and I proved that dogs have no dietary need nor the ability to digest prlant material using the dog's psysiology and the writings of several biologists. I have no interest in continuing this or any other discussion with you in the future. I have told you that before.

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    Re: Orijen?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Catahoulas View Post
    Actually, Bill, there is an argument or 2 sides to this subject or we would not be discussing this.
    You're not discussing it. You've offered nothing to the conversation so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Catahoulas View Post
    ...Just calm down. Someone actually needs assistance in food and it's best for you not to begin quarreling.
    You're right, I do need assistance. If you disagree with RawFedDogs then that's fine... So, rather than just putting down someone who actually responded to my questions, why don't you offer me your advice?

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    Re: Orijen?

    Jester966;413993 wrote
    -Would the large breed puppy formula be a good choice for a GSD puppy?
    Yes
    -Would the adult formula be suited to a GSD adult?
    Absolutely. Most brands adult formulas are equal to puppy formulas and are known as all life stages

    -Are there any downsides to a "grain free" diet?
    Not really

    -Is this food overpriced, or is it reasonable for a quality food? (about $65 Canadian for 13.5kg)
    It's expensive but pretty close to other high end formulas
    -How does it compare to "Evo", which seems more popular here?
    Seems quite comparable

    -What is the difference between Orijen and Acana (both products made by the same company, as far as I can tell)?
    Compare here http://drydogfood.bravehost.com
    -Does this provide a "complete and balanced diet"?
    Yes it does
    -Would it be beneficial to rotate this food with a couple of others, or is it ok to strictly feed one type if it is good?
    It's always good to rotate back and forth between high end formulas.
    -Is it beneficial to occasionally feed a variety of vegetables and/or fruits in addition to a quality kibble?
    Dogs do benefit from eating nutritious vegetables and fruits. They can breakdown the components in vegetables and fruits. Dogs will eat vegetables and fruits without prompting. They are known to scavenge for avacados in groves in California. Mine eat acorns from a Live Oak. Though not much nutrition there.

    -If I occasionally feed fresh meat in addition to the kibble, what kind is the best? turkey/chicken, beef, other? Or is it best to offer a variety? And, raw or cooked?
    Probably chicken or turkey (and hormone and antibiotic free).

    I know it likely varies a lot, but approximately how much per day should my GSD be fed when he's fully grown, assuming he's healthy, and on a quality food with minimal "filler"? Will a 13.5kg bag last a month? Two weeks?
    That's up to his metabolism. You can determine a good weight by being able to just barely feel his ribs. Your food should have zero filler. All ingredients should have good nutritional value.


    I've was raised with dogs since 1955, a dog owner since the 1970s. Currently own or owned by a Catahoula Leopard and a Catahoula Bulldog. My last dog outlived his breed average lifespan by 3 years.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by 2Catahoulas; 11-21-2008 at 10:11 AM.

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    Re: Orijen?

    Thanks for the responses. I've decided to go with the Orijen.

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    Re: Orijen?

    -Would the large breed puppy formula be a good choice for a GSD puppy?
    *Absolutely. However, switch over slowly, as GSD's are known for gastro issues. I would also recommend the Acana Large Breed Puppy.
    -Would the adult formula be suited to a GSD adult?
    *110% yes, but again, refer to question number one. Acana's Grain Free formulas or Acana Large Breed, or even Prarie Instinct are some other beneficial choices - we believe in rotation in our home.
    -Are there any downsides to a "grain free" diet?
    *Not unless your individual dog has an issue with it. In this case, however, we have found that 99% of them do well on the Acana Grain Free or the Legacy.
    -Is this food overpriced, or is it reasonable for a quality food? (about $65 Canadian for 13.5kg)
    *In Canadian funds, a bag of Wellness is now $66, Merrick $65, Nutro L&R $69 - and none are canadian, grain free, and all require more food daily. Orijen/Acana/Instinct, etc, are all more cost effective in the long run. Not to mention the avoidance of grain-associated health issues.
    -How does it compare to "Evo", which seems more popular here?
    *Evo is only 50% meat. Also, Natura does NOT recommend Evo for large breed puppies. Personally I have found the amount of potato in Evo to cause gastro issues, so we removed it from or rotation years ago. Our cats didn't do well on it either, although many find it does very well for their own personal critters.
    -What is the difference between Orijen and Acana (both products made by the same company, as far as I can tell)?
    *Both are made by Champion Pet Foods. However, Acana was recently completely reformulated and now consists of two lines. One, a dog line considered "low grain" which is 20% oats and 50% meat (with the exception of the Lamb, which is 40% meat). The grain free is dog/cat, and both offer chicken, fish and lamb varieties. It contains 10% less meat than Orijen, however instead of being bound entirely with potato, it is boutnd with potato, peas and pumpkin - this has been a relief for those dogs who have issues with the amount of potato found in the Orijen (not a terribly common problem, but common enough that we're happy it came out. Check out Champion's website to get a good look at their entire lines. Championpetfoods.com
    -Does this provide a "complete and balanced diet"?
    *I hate this term. We don't know everything there is to know about nutrition, so for anyone to say they're providing a "complete and balanced diet," they're assuming they know 100% about nutrition. By standard definition though, yes, it is "complete and balanced."
    -Would it be beneficial to rotate this food with a couple of others, or is it ok to strictly feed one type if it is good?
    *This is a very personal decision, although our own furkids don't receive the same bag twice. In our rotation are Orijen, GF Acana (all flavours), Legacy, Instinct (all three flavours). So far these are the only dog varieties I have found to be worthy - and I have over ten years experience in the industry.
    -Is it beneficial to occasionally feed a variety of vegetables and/or fruits in addition to a quality kibble?
    *ABSOLUTELY. However, if they are not pureed, don't be surprised if they come out the same way they went in. It's not a bad thing, but if you don't break down the cellulose walls, the dog will pass the majority of the veggies. It's kind of like when people eat corn. Lean cooked meats are great too, along with fish oils (we stick to sardine and herring oils as they tend to be lower in contaminants - and we avoid all plant oils). Stay away from fatty meats, which in their cooked form have the potential to bring on pancreatitis. We also occasionally cheat a bit - my dogs get the odd chip, cheetoh, piece of bagel or toast, cracker with almond butter, organic peanut butter on a muffin... we've relaxed a lot over the years. I know vegetarians who jogged miles daily, who dropped dead of a heart attack while in supposedly perfect health, so we indulge them occasionally. After all, food is one of life's great pleasures - but moderation is key. Remember or our mantra - "there is no 'dog food' or 'people food' -- just FOOD." And no dietician on earth would tell you to eat a people kibble and avoid fresh foods.
    -If I occasionally feed fresh meat in addition to the kibble, what kind is the best? turkey/chicken, beef, other? Or is it best to offer a variety? And, raw or cooked?
    *We do NOT agree with mixing raw food and kibble. They are processed very differently, at different speeds. This means speeding up the kibble and not absorbing it correctly, and slowing down the raw meat and removing the exact mechanism that allows them to eat it in the first place - a short, fast digestive tract. If you want to feed a raw diet, I can certainly point you in the right direction, but you can't have it both ways without seriously increasing your risk quotient. A very high volume raw food company has had six cases of salmonella in the past few years - and every case was of a pet owner mixing raw and kibble. As for cooked meat, there's nothing wrong with that, provided it's a lean meat. We don't feed beef in our house, with the exception of beef rec bones, because it's not a ntural food for dogs and high on the allergy scale. Cooked chicken, turkey, fish (sardines are a FAV in our house) some tuna, salmon, tilapia, etc are great for them. When we do add beef, we prefer Evanger's Hunk of Beef canned food. It's a lean cut of beef, hand packed, human grade - smells good enough to eat. You actually have to dig it out of the can with a fork.


    I hope that answers all of your questions --- sorry I was a bit late replying to this - there has been so much confusion surrounding the recent Acana reformulation and I just felt the need to clarify. We are EXTREMELY happy with their new product. We run a rescue, and we also offer free nutritional counselling as well. So far, we've had ZERO complaints about the Acana, and have tried it on every dog in our home - both the low grain and grain free. The Light and Fit has worked on a dog who came into rescue after being on "diet food" for four years and has a permanent rear leg injury and desperately needs to lose weight. His muscle mass is increasing, his inflammation is going down, and his fat level is decreasing. We're ecstatic so far. Everyone is having small, hard poops, and eating very little in relation to their body size.

    BTW - for everyone who keeps commenting on the feeding guides on Orijen being too high, I should point out that these guides are federally regulated by AAFCO and decided using a calculation formulation taking into account protein, fat and carbohydrates. The formulation is archaic, and doesn't take into account ingredient quality or digestibility. The estimations are ALWAYS too high, except for extremely high energy sporting dogs. For example, compare to the bag details - my 85lb retriever eats 1 2/3-2 cups of food a day, and my two cats eat 1/4 cup of food each - the largest is 20lbs (not fat, just the size of a beagle Feed to body condition, not to bag instructions.

    Best of luck with your new puppy!!!

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