We are committed to earning the trust of Pet Lovers everywhere and we know that trust is earned by being open and transparent. That’s why we hope to provide answers to any question you might have about our Biologically Appropriate ORIJEN foods. Looking for more information about where we source our Fresh Regional Ingredients, how our diets are formulated, or food safety procedures in our DogStar kitchen? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn everything you need to know about ORIJEN!
Still have questions or just want to chat about our ORIJEN food? Please contact our Customer Care Team and we’ll be happy to help!
ORIJEN foods and treats
ORIJEN represents the fullest expression of our Biologically Appropriate philosophy. ORIJEN’s recipes reflect diets as close as possible to what our dogs’ and cats’ ancestors found and consumed in nature. Our recipes feature 85%-95%* premium animal ingredients, with a variety of animal ingredients. With high meat inclusions from superior quality meat, poultry, and produce, feeding ORIJEN means feeding your pet the best.*approximate and derived from the pre-processed state of the ingredients
Feeding and transitioning
Q. How do i transition my pet to ORIJEN foods?
Unfortunately, dogs and cats are often fed the same food for a long period of time, which means a sudden food change makes it difficult for their digestive systems to adapt. That’s why it’s important to introduce new food gradually. Going slowly will give your dog or cat time to adjust to their new food and will also reduce the chances of digestive upset.
Start by mixing 25 percent new food with 75 percent old food. Slowly increase the new food proportionately over 10-14 days until you are feeding 100 percent new food.
Check our diet selector. For more specific dietary needs, please contact our Customer Care department.
Q. What is a rotational diet? Can i do this with ORIJEN?
Rotating between ORIJEN formulas prevents your dog or cat from getting tired of eating the same thing day in and day out, while offering them a great variety in proteins and fats. A good place to start is rotating by the bag – when you have finished one formula, you can try a different recipe.
The first time you introduce a new food for rotation, mix the food 50/50 just to make sure your pet transitions well to the new ORIJEN. However, if your dog or cat is more sensitive, do a full transition when introducing a new ORIJEN food – after that you can change at will.
Q. HOW DO I CHOOSE BETWEEN ORIJEN PRODUCTS?
There are so many options! You can mix and match any way you like, so experiment and see what works best for you and your dog. Our ORIJEN dry kibble, freeze-dried foods or canned foods can be fed as a complete meal on their own or used in combination for a delicious meal. Some options to try:
- 100% Dry Kibble: Our ORIJEN Dry Kibble options offer a complete and balanced meal that can be fed just on its own.
- 100% Canned: Does your dog love soft food? Maybe you find that canned is easier for your dog to eat. Whatever the reason, ORIJEN canned food is a great choice to provide optimal nutrition and flavor.
- 100% Freeze-Dried Food: Freeze-dried animal ingredients provide your dog with a rich, concentrated source of protein and nutrients, similar to a raw diet – but in a convenient, dry form. Medallions should be rehydrated with warm water to be fed as a complete meal.
- Canned or Dry Combo:You can feed an ORIJEN dry recipe in the morning, and switch to one of our canned options when the dinner bell rings. This is a great way to keep your dog interested and excited about mealtime.
- Canned or Freeze-Dried Food As a Topper: Do you have a dog that is sometimes a little bit picky and you need to entice them, or do you want to add a delicious mix in to change up mealtime? Feeding ORIJEN dry recipes with a topping of our canned recipes or Freeze-Dried Foods may be a great fit that your dog will thank you for with tail wags galore.
Q. Do you have any feeding tips?
We recommend you feed twice daily. Simply divide the amount suggested on the feeding guide into two meals, spaced eight to 12 hours apart. For example, if the feeding guide calls for 1 cups per day, we recommend feeding ½ a cup in the morning and ½ a cup at night. You may need to adjust portions as you learn your pet’s ideal daily maintenance amount. These amounts may change over time as your pet’s age and activity levels change. Always keep in mind a lean dog or cat is a healthy pet.
Many dogs and cats have large appetites and will eat everything you feed them. As ORIJEN foods are highly palatable, you need to be careful not to overfeed, as this can cause issues such as loose stool or unwanted weight gain.
Q. How many treats should I feed?
We all love to give our pets treats. However, treats should be given in moderation and should represent 10% or less of your pet’s daily food intake. The rest should come from a nutritionally complete feeding program. When using treats frequently, such as during training exercises, try to use small pieces.
Q. What does biologically appropriate mean?
The Biologically Appropriate concept is simple: mirror the quantity, freshness and variety of animal ingredients that dogs and cats are evolved to eat.
Q. What does wholeprey mean?
Nature matched the nutrients in whole animals to perfectly meet your dog or cat’s biological needs. ORIJEN WholePrey incorporates meats, organs, and bone to reflect the natural diet, eliminating the need for long lists of synthetic ingredients.
Q. What is meatmath?
MeatMath is designed to help you assess if your pet food is Biologically Appropriate. Biologically Appropriate foods are formulated to match the eating anatomy of the animal they are intended for. Dogs and cats are evolved as carnivores, which means they require high concentrations of meat, high inclusions of fresh meat, and a rich diversity of meat.
Is your food Biologically Appropriate?
Answer the three meat questions: How Much? How Fresh? How Many?
- How much meat is in a recipe? ORIJEN contains 85%-95%* animal ingredients.
- How much fresh or raw meat is in a recipe? ORIJEN's animal ingredient content contains 2/3 fresh or raw.
- How many meats are included in a recipe? Each ORIJEN recipe contains a minimum of 6 different animal ingredients
*approximate and derived from the pre-processed state of the ingredients.
Q. Are ORIJEN foods supplemented with amino acids, vitamins, or minerals?
ORIJEN foods feature WholePrey amounts of fresh muscle meat, organs, and bone to reflect the ancestral diets and eliminate the need for long lists of synthetic ingredients. Organ meats are a concentrated, natural sources of virtually every nutrient your dog or cat needs to thrive, including all essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and vital amino acids. Organ meats such as kidney, liver, and tripe are loaded with minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and iodine, and provide important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which nourish dogs and cats as nature intended. This is why you will find a majority of our amino acids, or minerals, on the guaranteed analysis or typical analysis but not on the ingredient list.
World's Best Ingredients
Q. Where do you source your ingredients?
We believe making the world’s best pet foods requires using the world’s best ingredients. That’s why we collaborate with a specially curated group of leading farmers, ranchers, and fisheries that we know and trust. Trust is earned by demonstrating an ongoing commitment to quality, food safety, sustainability, and communication.
Our strong network enables us to source only the best, including lamb from New Zealand, fish from Scandinavia, and other premium ingredients from our neighbors. No matter what, every ingredient we choose is selected for its nutritional value, digestibility and superior flavor.
Our commitment to trust and transparency has led to a robust supplier vendor audit approval program and detailed ingredient traceability system.
Click to learn more about our ingredients.
Q. Fresh, raw or dried – what’s the difference?
FRESH: Our fresh ingredients meet the AAFCO standard of refrigeration as the sole method of preservation.
RAW: Our raw ingredients are the same as our fresh, but are frozen at the peak of freshness to preserve nutrients.
DRIED: Dried fish, poultry and meat ingredients are made of flesh, bones and cartilage, and provide a concentrated source of protein, with their bone content providing a very rich source of minerals. Dried ingredients are made by removing water from the meat, bone, and cartilage ingredients through a cooking process.
Q. Who formulates your diets and what are their credentials?
Our talented team of animal food scientists and nutritionists lead the development and research of our pet foods. They possess a wide variety of education and experience including degrees in Doctorates of Veterinary Medicine, PhDs in Animal Nutrition, PhDs in Food Science, Masters of Science degrees in Animal Nutrition, Food Science, Meat Hygiene and Food Microbiology. They also hold Bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science, Biochemistry, and Veterinary Medicine.
We also partner with numerous Doctors of Veterinary Medicine as consultants. We have always created Biologically Appropriate pet foods and are proud of the research we conduct.
Q. Who makes ORIJEN foods and where are they made?
ORIJEN Dried and Freeze-Dried foods are made by Champion Petfoods in our own kitchens. Our canned foods are overseen by our in-house Research & Innovation specialists and produced by a partner with expertise in their field to create only the finest foods for pets. When you choose ORIJEN, you can be confident your dog’s and cat’s food has been prepared with care and attention.
Q. Do you perform any type of animal testing?
Our position on animal testing is simple – we only conduct tests that we would allow our own companion dogs and cats to participate in. We perform various research trials such as palatability tests (taste), digestibility testing (through stool analysis only), and AAFCO feeding trials.
If it’s not OK for our dogs and cats, then it’s not OK for any other dogs and cats.
Q. Tell me about your Quality Assurance Protocol
KIBBLE, FREEZE DRIED FOOD AND TREATS
Built to reflect our commitment to Pet Lovers everywhere, our DogStar kitchen has achieved the internationally recognized Safe Quality Food (SQF) and Safe Feed/Safe Food (SFSF) certifications. Our track-and-trace system tracks ingredients throughout our kitchens at each step in the process. All of this information is stored in databases that link to a finished product lot code, which enables us to trace back to an individual ingredient supplier or any step within our kitchens’ processes.
Our DogStar Kitchen in Kentucky has a comprehensive, industry-leading Food Safety System including a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) program, and our kitchen follows very strict GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) to ensure our foods are made to the highest standards.
Our Quality Assurance department follows testing protocols from the time ingredients enter our kitchen through production and packaging. Our Quality Assurance technicians sample the raw, in-process and finished products according to our risk-based and scientifically-sound protocols. All finished products are subjected to pathogen evaluation before release and shipment. No product is released for shipment until all tests for food safety and quality are confirmed to be favorable.
Every ORIJEN product we make meets our standards for Quality Assurance. For our canned products, Champion chose to partner with an expert in the canning industry. Our Partner holds British Retail Consortium (BRC) food safety certification, which is a Food Safety Management System recognized by Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Our own in-house Quality Assurance team fully audited our partner’s systems and processes so that we can feel confident about their capabilities and expertise.
We receive full nutritional testing for every lot number and subject all our foods to a 10-day hold program prior to shipment. During this time, samples are sent to our own DogStar facility in Kentucky where our Quality Assurance technicians conduct in-house quality testing prior to signing off on shipment release.
Packaging and food storage
Q. Storing your ORIJEN food
KIBBLE, FREEZE DRIED FOOD AND TREATS
Once opened, you can safely store ORIJEN Dry food in its packaging by rolling the top of the bag down after each use. If you live in a humid climate, consider using an airtight container and simply put the entire bag of food in the container. Remember to wash your storage bin whenever you change out your bag of food to ensure food buildup does not occur. Remember, too, to keep the lot number handy.
Refrigeration of ORIJEN Dry Kibble or Freeze-Dried food is not required. Rather than a garage with large temperature fluctuations, the best storage is in your home in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
Once opened, you can safely store ORIJEN Premium Wet food in the refrigerator. Leftovers should be used within 3 days.
Q. Best before dates
KIBBLE, FREEZE DRIED FOOD AND TREATS
Each ORIJEN product is guaranteed until the Best Before Date printed on the package. The Best Before (BB) date is printed on the back of the bag at the top of the ORIJEN package along with our lot number and production information. Our BB dates should be read Day, Month, Year.
Our canned foods have a shelf life of 2 years (24 months). This is shorter than the industry standard and is meant to ensure our vitamin content is optimal over the life of the can.
Q. ARE YOUR CANS BPA FREE?
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that can be found in the lining of some cans and is used in many consumer products. It is now found in very low levels in the environment around us, making it impossible to eliminate it 100%. For this reason, we cannot say the cans our food is packaged in are BPA-free. We can, however, assure you the cans are non-intent BPA, which means BPA is not used in the making of our cans or added to our cans.
Nutrition and health
Q. What is AAFCO?
AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Our ORIJEN diets are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO for cats and dogs. This ensures that our foods provide complete and balanced nutrition.
Q. Are ORIJEN foods appropriate for my overweight pet?
YYes. ORIJEN has a Biologically Appropriate distribution of energy where more energy is supplied from protein and less energy is supplied from carbohydrates. If carbohydrates are provided in excess (as they often are), they convert easily into body fat.
Protein supplies the same amount of energy as carbohydrates but has a very different effect on the body. Unlike carbohydrates, protein is essential for life and is a Biologically Appropriate source of energy.
For overweight pets we would recommend trying our ORIJEN Fit & Trim recipes for cats or dogs.
Q. Is ORIJEN suitable for my senior dog?
Yes. While lower-protein diets have traditionally been recommended for senior dogs, this thinking has been roundly dismissed by recent science. As dogs age, a protein-rich diet is especially important for maintaining peak health.
The relationship between carbohydrates and protein is an important factor in the diets of senior dogs. When protein is high, carbohydrates are low – in other words, high-protein diets are by nature low in carbohydrates. This is great for senior dogs as the last thing they need is an excessive amount of inappropriate carbohydrates, which are simply sugars.
Q. WHERE CAN I FIND CARBOHYDRATE CONTENT IN THE GUARANTEED ANALYSIS?
Due to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) labeling conventions, carbohydrate content is not reported on the guaranteed analysis.
You can usually determine the carbohydrate content of dry foods by adding the protein, fat, moisture, fiber, and ash from the Guaranteed Analysis, and then subtracting this sum from a total of 100%. This gives you an approximate idea of the total amount of carbohydrates present in the food.
Carb = 100 – (protein + fat + moisture + fiber + ash)
Carnivores, like dogs and cats, have no nutritional need for carbohydrates. We focus on producing Biologically Appropriate diets and minimizing the percentage of carbohydrates found in our diets. Our ORIJEN diets feature a carbohydrate content that is 20% or less.
Q. How can i find an ORIJEN retailer?
Our online store locator will help you locate retailers in your area.
Q. Do you offer a frequent buyer program?
Yes. In the US the My Champion Rewards program is offered through select in-store retailers. Simply ask your retailer to sign you up. After the purchase of 12 bags you will receive a 13th bag of equal or lesser value free from your retailer. To be eligible for the free bag, the 12 bags must have been purchased within the last two years at time of redemption. If you have any questions about this program please contact our Customer Care team for more information.