Read this blog post about Orijen and concerning nutrient levels courtesy of Desert Wind Hounds blog. Read the comments too, there is a ton of information there about misconceptions of food allergies and grain free diets. It’s important to evaluate WHY a specific dog should start a unique food like this, which is why I’m posting this here. I truely believe a dogs’ diet should be based on their individual needs, not breed, and not because it’s popular.
I do think Orijen is a well made product and it really, really helped Beebe when I was first dealing with her crazy allergies. It was a great starting point that helped prompt me to feeding raw and learning about the importance of researching what you feed. I fed Orijen to my first two Shibas, and then switched to the lower protein variety Acana when several things started happening.
Firstly, they became horribly gassy, secondly, they became extremely thirsty on this food which is a sign of stress on the kidneys and liver, which I later learned was from the highly concentrated amounts of dried protein in the food. Thirdly, I observed elevated liver and kidney enzymes after starting this food.
So, before feeding this food, please stop and think why the particular dog should have this instead of a more traditional kibble, home cooked, or raw: Is the dog truely allergic or intolerant of grains based on allergy testing and diet trials? Is the dog’s kidneys/liver in great working order based on bloodwork? Is the dog out of the puppy stage (very high levels of calcium and phospherous)? If yes to all of these, Orijen is probably a good choice among many equally good choices of diet. I sincerely believe at this point however, that the best grain free diet is total raw, or something well formulated with lower protein like Acana.