I am that pet owner who gives unsolicited advice on pet food. Some would call me a snob. I call myself well-informed. Before I had a dog, I thought a friend of mine was crazy for spending $18 on 5.5lbs of dog food. “Everyone” knows that pet food is pretty cheap. I’ve seen twenty pounds of dog food for $20 at the big stores.
The other guys
Then I did some research.
I couldn’t believe the amount of fillers in dog (and cat) food I saw on most commercials. Corn? Corn gluten? Wheat? Animal digest? Is that chicken poop in the making? Gross. Animal-by-products? What are those exactly, and why don’t they disclose what those by-products are? I looked it up and it’s not pretty. I’ll spare you the gory details, but just know that it’s food unfit for human consumption. What’s worse, is that pet owners are so misinformed. All these commercials depicting happy, healthy pets with tons of protein and veggies…and it’s all SO misleading!
Orijen Dog Food
Enter Orijen. Orijen is the only food I feed my fur babies. The proof is in their mission. ‘Biologically Appropriate’ means mirroring the foods that Mother Nature evolved the animal to eat. In my case, that means feeding my dogs a diet that is very close to the diet of their ancestor, the wolf.
Orijen has a high inclusion of meat ingredients, and for good reason. Ask yourself–when was the last time you saw a wolf munching on corn on the cob? Ridiculous, right? They’re carnivores, and although our domesticated pups can and are willing to eat carbs, that doesn’t mean that their diets should be primarily composed of cheap carbs (wheat, corn, corn gluten, etc.). They have a 30-page scholarly document, The White Paper, backing up their research and philosophy for their dog food ingredients. And yes, this nerd read every single inch of it.
Unlike mass-produced dog and cat foods which are full of fillers, Orijen is produced in small batches from natural, unprocessed ingredients. Never frozen or exposed to heat or chemical preservatives, their fresh meats arrive daily from local farms in Canada. (That means their food doesn’t travel hundreds or thousands of miles before cooking. It’s FRESH!) The kibble is cooked and packaged in their own processing facilities in Alberta, Canada*. Their ingredients and foods are also ethoxyquin-free, a preservative and pesticide. Yuck!
Orijen and Acana, their other line of pet food, are found in small pet boutiques and in online stores in the United States, Canada, and worldwide. In my opinion, since their foods are hard to find, it is a testament to their philosophy of not compromising their ingredients for mass production.
Why Orijen is our food of choice
Here’s the reason I hold this food close to my heart: Chip started limping at 4 months of age. FOUR months! Being a Maltese-mix, I couldn’t understand why such a small and lightweight dog would be limping. Vets wanted $400+ X-rays, to then tell me that he could possibly need surgery and a lifetime of glucosamine + chondroitin supplements. I nearly cried.
Orijen’s high meat inclusion also means that their food is naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin…the stuff people feed senior dogs for their joints. These natural components lubricate the joints of humans and animals alike.
Within one month of feeding Chip the adult Orijen formula and glucosamine + chondroitin supplements, he stopped limping. I stopped giving him supplements, and continued to feed him solely Orijen. He has never limped since*. To be clear, Orijen does NOT claim their foods are a cure for any health problems. This is my personal experience and I will share it with anyone willing to give me a few minutes to share it. I hold Orijen dog food near and dear to my heart.
*Since 2016, Chip started limping again. It took me a while to figure out why, since Orijen had worked so well for him. After reading the product label, I realized that Orijen’s inclusion of glucosamine had dropped from 1,200mg to 800mg per serving in their Adult formula. When Daisy started showing a sensitivity to poultry, I switched to the Red formula, which has 900mg glucosamine per serving. I have had to start adding supplements again, in addition to almost a year of monthly Adequan injections, which have proved to be expensive for me, and stressful and traumatic to Chip.
While I now feed both Chip and Daisy the Red formula, I am open to finding a new food with a high inclusion of glucosamine + chondroitin. The supplement I now give Chip also has turmeric and can be found on Amazon.