Acana vs Orijen: 20 mini-reviews, and a Comprehensive Guide to Premium Dog Nutrition

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In the vast landscape of dog food, the Acana vs Orijen debate frequently emerges as a focal point for those seeking the pinnacle of canine nutrition. Both Acana and Orijen stand tall as champions of the “biologically appropriate” dog food philosophy. But as we delve into the Acana vs Orijen comparison, what truly differentiates these two titans?

The term “biologically appropriate” signifies a commitment to replicating the diet of a dog’s wild ancestors, emphasizing a meat-rich, protein-centric nutritional profile. Both Acana and Orijen, as stalwarts of this philosophy, ensure our furry friends receive nutrition that’s not merely adequate but optimal for their evolutionary needs.

In our exploration of the Acana vs Orijen narrative, we’ll discover that this philosophy translates to a high meat content, reflecting dogs’ carnivorous instincts. Both brands champion a diverse mix of fresh ingredients, spanning various meats, essential organs, cartilage, and bone, ensuring a comprehensive nutrient profile with minimal reliance on synthetic additives. 

Another shared tenet in the Acana vs Orijen philosophy is the conscious limitation of carbohydrate content, mirroring the natural dietary inclinations of wild canines.

Having dedicated years to the study of canine nutrition, I’ve been privy to the transformative benefits of a “biologically appropriate” diet. Dogs nurtured on such diets frequently exhibit enhanced vitality, radiant coats, robust skin, and an unmistakable zest for life. This embodies the Acana vs Orijen ethos – it’s not merely about feeding but nourishing our pets with unparalleled excellence.

In this detailed guide, we’ll not only delve into the Acana vs Orijen landscape but also embark on a meticulous comparison of their food ranges. We’ll conduct mini-reviews of each product, juxtapose the primary nutritional content of both brands, and evaluate their pricing strategies and reputations. 

Acana’s offerings, from its protein-rich Heritage range to the locally-sourced Regionals, will be weighed against Orijen’s diverse lineup, from the classic Orijen Original to specialized variants like Orijen Six Fish and Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra.

With a rich background in pet nutrition and an unwavering commitment to the “biologically appropriate” approach, I’m here to guide you through the intricate maze of Acana vs Orijen. Trust in my expertise as we journey together, aiming to discern the best nutritional path for your cherished canine companion

Variety of Foods Available in Acana vs Orijen

1. Orijen:

2. Acana:

Mini-reviews:

Orijen


Orijen Original

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole mackerel, Chicken liver, Turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), Whole herring, Eggs, Dehydrated chicken, Dehydrated turkey.
  • Protein Source: Multiple sources including chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, herring, and eggs.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis: Approximately 38% protein and 18% fat, making it a high-protein formula ideal for active dogs. It also contains a mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Pros:
    • Made with fresh, regionally sourced ingredients.
    • High protein content from diverse animal sources.
    • Grain-free formula, ideal for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains no fillers, artificial preservatives, or colorings.
    • Includes a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Cons:
    • Higher price point than some other brands.
    • May not be suitable for dogs with certain protein sensitivities due to the diverse protein sources.
    • The high protein content might not be ideal for less active or older dogs.

Orijen Six Fish

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Whole Atlantic mackerel, whole Atlantic herring, monkfish, Acadian redfish, flounder, whole silver hake.
  • Protein Source: Multiple fish sources including mackerel, herring, monkfish, redfish, flounder, and hake.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis: Approximately 38% protein and 18% fat, emphasizing a high-protein formula derived from various fish sources. It also contains a blend of fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Pros:
    • Made with fresh, regionally sourced fish ingredients.
    • High protein content from diverse fish sources.
    • Grain-free formula, ideal for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains no fillers, artificial preservatives, or colorings.
    • Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, beneficial for skin and coat health.
  • Cons:
    • Higher price point compared to some other brands.
    • The distinct fish aroma might not be appealing to all dogs or pet owners.
    • May not be suitable for dogs with certain fish sensitivities due to the diverse fish sources.

Orijen Regional Red

Acana vs Orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Mackerel, Chicken liver, Turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), Herring, Whole eggs, Dehydrated chicken, Dehydrated turkey

(Note: These are the top 10 ingredients listed, and the actual product contains more ingredients.)

  • Protein Source: The primary protein sources in Orijen Regional Red are chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, and herring. These are quality items, but it’s important to note that raw poultry and fish contain up to 73% water. After cooking, the meat content is reduced to a fraction of its original weight.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 43% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 21% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: Estimated at 28% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • Contains a liberal amount of named meats and organs as its dominant source of animal protein.
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Enriched with chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Contains beneficial components like chicken liver and turkey giblets.
    • Fish sources like flounder, mackerel, and herring are naturally high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
    • No recalls noted for the brand.
  • Cons:
    • Raw poultry and fish ingredients contain a significant amount of water, which reduces the meat content after cooking.
    • Contains various legumes like red lentils, pinto beans, green lentils, navy beans, chickpeas, and peas. While these are quality plant ingredients, there’s an ingredient splitting concern. If combined, these legumes might occupy a higher position on the ingredient list, and they also contribute to the protein content, which might give a perception of higher meat content than there actually is.
  • Overall Rating: Orijen Dog Food, including the Regional Red variant, receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars and is enthusiastically recommended.

Orijen Tundra

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: The primary ingredients in Orijen Tundra include a variety of meats and fish. The first two items listed are chicken and turkey. Following that, there’s flounder and mackerel. It’s important to note that raw poultry and fish contain a significant amount of water, which is lost during the cooking process. This means that the actual meat content in the finished product might be less than what’s listed. Other notable ingredients include chicken liver, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), whole herring, and eggs.
  • Protein Source: The main protein sources in this dog food are derived from chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, herring, and eggs. The dehydrated versions of these meats are also included, which are considered meat concentrates and contain a higher protein content than their fresh counterparts.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Orijen Tundra is grain-free. However, it does contain various legumes like red lentils, pinto beans, green lentils, navy beans, chickpeas, and peas. These legumes are a source of protein and fiber but also contribute to the carbohydrate content of the food.
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 43% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 21% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: 28% (dry matter basis)
    • Fiber: Estimated at 4.5% (dry matter content)
  • Pros and Cons:
    • Pros:
      • High protein content from a variety of meat sources.
      • Grain-free formulation suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
      • Contains beneficial organ meats and whole eggs.
      • Enriched with chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Cons:
      • The presence of multiple legumes can be a concern for some pet owners due to potential ingredient splitting and the recent FDA investigation into a potential link between grain-free diets and canine heart disease.
    • Overall rating: 5 stars

Orijen Fit & Trim

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, chicken liver, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), whole herring, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, dehydrated mackerel, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, chicken fat, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, whole chickpeas, lentil fiber, natural chicken flavor, whole peas, pollock oil, pea starch, chicken heart, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, collard greens, whole apples, whole pears, whole cranberries, dried kelp, salt, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, dried chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, herring, eggs, and various dehydrated meats.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein (Dry Matter Basis): 43%
    • Fat (Dry Matter Basis): 21%
    • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter Basis): 28%
    • Fiber (estimated dry matter content): 4.5%
  • Pros:
    • High-quality primary ingredients.
    • Contains a variety of meats and fish as primary protein sources.
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Contains prebiotics to promote healthy gut bacteria.
  • Cons:
    • The presence of multiple legumes might be seen as ingredient splitting, which can artificially inflate the protein content from plant sources.

Rating: Orijen Fit & Trim receives a top rating of 5 stars.

Orijen Puppy

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, chicken liver, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), whole herring, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey.
  • Protein Source: The primary protein sources are chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, and herring.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 43% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 21% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: Estimated 28% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • Contains a liberal amount of named meats and organs.
    • Above-average protein content.
    • Grain-free, which can be beneficial for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • The presence of multiple legumes can be a concern for some dog owners due to potential ingredient splitting and the protein-boosting effect of legumes.

Rating: Orijen Puppy receives a top rating of 5 stars, indicating it’s an above-average dry dog food. The product is enthusiastically recommended

Orijen Senior

acana vs orijen
  • Primary Ingredients: Fresh or Raw Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, Whole Herring, Chicken Liver.
  • Protein Source: Primarily sourced from fresh or raw chicken, turkey, salmon, and herring.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Crude Protein (min): 38%
    • Crude Fat (min): 15%
    • Crude Fiber (max): 8%
  • Pros:
    • High protein content supports muscle mass.
    • Specifically formulated for senior dogs.
    • Contains 85% animal ingredients.
    • Mimics the natural diet of wild canines.
    • Grain-free, which can be beneficial for dogs with grain sensitivities.
  • Cons:
    • Higher price point than some other brands.
    • Some dogs might take time to adjust to the rich protein content.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Orijen Freeze-Dried Original

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken ground with bone, chicken liver, turkey, whole herring, eggs, pea fiber, turkey liver, turkey heart, flounder, chicken heart, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, whole apples, salt, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, potassium chloride, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement.
  • Protein Source: The primary protein sources are chicken (with ground bone), turkey, and herring.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 29% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
    • Fat: 60% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
    • Carbohydrates: 11% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
    • Fiber (estimated dry matter content): 5.2%
  • Pros and Cons:
    • Pros:
      • High-quality animal-based protein sources.
      • Grain-free formulation suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
      • Contains beneficial organ meats and a variety of wholesome ingredients.
      • Chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Cons:
      • High fat content, which may not be suitable for all dogs.
      • Some dogs might not prefer the taste of freeze-dried food.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Orijen Freeze-Dried Regional Red

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken ground with bone, chicken liver, turkey, whole herring, and eggs.
  • Protein Source: Multiple sources including chicken, turkey, and herring.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 29% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
    • Fat: 60% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
    • Carbohydrates: 11% (Calorie Weighted Basis)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality raw ingredients.
    • Multiple protein sources.
    • Grain-free formulation suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains beneficial organ meats and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Cons:
    • High-fat content, which may not be suitable for all dogs.
    • Lack of detailed ingredient list for the specific “Regional Red” variant.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Venison, duck (ground with bone), flounder, lamb, duck liver, herring, lamb liver, mutton, steelhead trout.
  • Protein Source: Multiple sources including venison, duck, lamb, and fish.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 42% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 35% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: Estimated 15% (dry matter basis)
    • Fiber: Estimated 5.2% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • Contains a diverse range of high-quality animal proteins.
    • Grain-free formulation suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Includes beneficial organ meats like liver.
    • Contains no chicken or poultry by-products.
    • Enhanced with fruits and vegetables for added nutrients.
  • Cons:
    • High fat content, which may not be suitable for all dogs.
    • Some dogs might require an adjustment period when transitioning to this food.
    • Price point might be higher compared to other dog foods.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Acana

Acana Heritage Puppy

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Fresh chicken meat, chicken meal, turkey meal, red lentils, whole green peas.
  • Protein Source: Chicken and turkey.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free.
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein (Dry Matter Basis): 35%
    • Fat (Dry Matter Basis): 19%
    • Carbohydrates (Estimated Dry Matter Content): 38%
  • Pros:
    • Contains a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein.
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Includes a variety of quality ingredients such as fresh chicken, turkey, lentils, and peas.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • Contains multiple legumes which can boost the protein content, making it essential to consider when judging the meat content.
    • Ingredient splitting is present, which can misrepresent the actual content of certain ingredients.

Rating: 5 stars (as per Dog Food Advisor)

Rating: 5 stars 

Acana Wholesome Grains Adult Small Breed

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Kibble
  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, oat groats, whole sorghum.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, and chicken meal.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Inclusive (contains oat groats and whole sorghum).
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 33%
    • Fat: 19%
    • Estimated Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Pros:
    • High meat content with chicken and turkey as the primary protein sources.
    • Grain-inclusive but uses wholesome grains like oat groats and sorghum.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • Contains multiple sources of plant-based protein from legumes.
    • Ingredient splitting observed with the inclusion of various legumes.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Acana Heritage Light & Fit

acana vs orijen

Acana Heritage Light & Fit is designed for overweight dogs. It’s grain-free and uses a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand a 5-star rating.

  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, chicken broth, whole eggs, chicken liver, pollock oil, pea starch, chicken fat, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, turkey liver, turkey heart, whole green lentils, whole pinto beans, whole chickpeas, natural chicken flavor, chicken liver freeze-dried, lentil fiber, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, zinc proteinate, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 33% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 15% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: 44% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality protein sources from deboned chicken and turkey.
    • Grain-free formula suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Cons:
    • Contains legumes which some believe might be linked to diet-induced heart disease in dogs (though this is still under investigation and not conclusively proven).
    • Ingredient splitting with legumes might inflate the protein content from plant sources.

Rating: 5 stars

Acana Regionals Meadowland

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets, chicken meal, catfish meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pollock meal, chicken fat, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, whole blue catfish, whole eggs, rainbow trout, pollock oil, lentil fiber, natural chicken flavor, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, choline chloride, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, zinc proteinate, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, catfish, pollock, rainbow trout.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 33% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 17% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: 42% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • Multiple high-quality animal protein sources.
    • Grain-free formula suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Cons:
    • Contains legumes which some believe might be linked to diet-induced heart disease in dogs (though this is still under investigation and not conclusively proven).
    • Ingredient splitting with legumes might inflate the protein content from plant sources.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Acana Regionals Wild Atlantic

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets, chicken meal, catfish meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pollock meal, chicken fat, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, lentil fiber, whole blue catfish, cage-free eggs, rainbow trout, pollock oil.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, catfish, pollock.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein (Dry Matter Basis): 38%
    • Fat (Dry Matter Basis): 19%
    • Carbohydrates (Estimated Dry Matter Content): 35%
  • Pros:
    • Contains a significant amount of named meats and meat meals as its primary source of animal protein.
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Includes beneficial organ meats like chicken liver and turkey giblets.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Enriched with prebiotics for digestive health.
  • Cons:
    • Contains legumes which some believe can be linked to diet-related health issues in dogs (though no conclusive evidence).
    • Ingredient splitting with legumes might inflate the protein content from plant sources.

Rating: 5 stars

Acana Regionals Grasslands

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets, chicken meal, catfish meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pollock meal.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, catfish, pollock.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 38% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 19% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: Estimated at 35% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • Contains a significant amount of named meats and meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein.
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Includes beneficial ingredients like chicory root which is a natural source of soluble dietary fiber and a prebiotic.
  • Cons:
    • The first two ingredients, chicken and turkey, are raw and contain up to 73% water. After cooking, their content is reduced significantly.
    • Contains legumes like red lentils, pinto beans, and green peas which can boost protein content but are not a replacement for animal protein.

Rating: Acana Regionals Grasslands Dog Food receives a top rating of 5 stars 

Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch

  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets, chicken meal, catfish meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pollock meal.
  • Protein Source: Chicken, turkey, catfish, pollock.
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 38% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 19% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbohydrates: Estimated 35% (dry matter basis)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality animal ingredients listed as primary ingredients.
    • Grain-free formulation suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities.
    • Contains a variety of protein sources, providing a diverse amino acid profile.
    • Chelated minerals for better absorption.
    • Contains prebiotics like chicory root to support gut health.
  • Cons:
    • Contains legumes, which some pet owners may be concerned about due to potential links to DCM (though no direct causation has been established).
    • Ingredient splitting of legumes might inflate the protein content from plant sources.

Rating: 5 stars

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Duck and Pear

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned duck, duck meal, duck liver, sweet potato, whole chickpeas, duck fat, whole lentils, lentil fiber, pollock oil, whole pears.
  • Protein Source: Duck
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 35% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 19% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbs: 38% (dry matter basis)
    • Fiber: 5.7% (estimated dry matter content)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality primary ingredient (duck).
    • Contains beneficial organ meat (duck liver).
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Contains taurine, an important amino acid associated with heart health.
    • Includes probiotics for digestive health.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • Some may consider the legume content (chickpeas and lentils) as a potential protein booster, which might inflate the protein content from non-meat sources.

Rating: Acana Singles Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Pork & Squash

ACANA VS ORIJEN
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned pork, pork meal, whole lentils, pork liver, pork fat, whole peas, lentil fiber, butternut squash.
  • Protein Source: Pork
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 31% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 17% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbs: 44% (dry matter basis)
    • Fiber: 6.7% (estimated dry matter content)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality primary ingredient (pork).
    • Contains beneficial organ meat (pork liver).
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Contains taurine, an important amino acid associated with heart health.
    • Includes probiotics for digestive health.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • Some may consider the legume content (lentils and peas) as a potential protein booster, which might inflate the protein content from non-meat sources.

Rating: Acana Singles Dog Food 5 stars.

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Beef & Pumpkin

acana vs orijen
  • Type of Food: Dry Dog Food
  • Primary Ingredients: Deboned beef, beef meal, whole lentils, beef liver, beef fat, whole peas, lentil fiber, pumpkin.
  • Protein Source: Beef
  • Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive: Grain-Free
  • Nutritional Analysis:
    • Protein: 31% (dry matter basis)
    • Fat: 17% (dry matter basis)
    • Carbs: 44% (dry matter basis)
    • Fiber: 6.7% (estimated dry matter content)
  • Pros:
    • High-quality primary ingredient (beef).
    • Contains beneficial organ meat (beef liver).
    • Grain-free formulation.
    • Contains taurine, an important amino acid associated with heart health.
    • Includes probiotics for digestive health.
    • Contains chelated minerals for better absorption.
  • Cons:
    • Some may consider the legume content (lentils and peas) as a potential protein booster, which might inflate the protein content from non-meat sources.

Rating: Acana Singles Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

Meat Content Comparison: Acana vs Orijen

Orijen:

  • High Meat Percentage: Orijen dog foods boast a remarkable meat content, ranging between 75 and 80 percent. This high percentage ensures that dogs receive ample protein from animal sources, which is essential for muscle development, energy, and overall health.
  • Fresh Meat Inclusion: About half of the meat content in Orijen foods is fresh meat. Fresh meat provides essential nutrients in their most natural and bioavailable forms, ensuring that dogs receive the maximum nutritional benefits.
  • Whole Prey Model: Orijen adheres to a “whole prey” philosophy. This means they include not just the muscle meat but also organ meat, marrow, and cartilage in their formulations. This approach mimics the natural diet of wild canids, providing a balanced intake of all the nutrients a dog would naturally consume.
  • Benefits of Whole Prey Model: Organ meats are nutrient-dense and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Marrow is a rich source of healthy fats, and cartilage provides natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial for joint health.

Acana:

  • Varied Meat Percentage: Acana dog foods have a meat content that varies between 40 and 65 percent. While this is lower than Orijen, it’s still considerably higher than many commercial dog foods on the market.
  • Fresh Meat Inclusion: Acana includes fresh meat in their formulations, but the percentage can vary significantly, ranging from 9 to 30 percent. Fresh meat is a valuable source of protein and nutrients, and its inclusion ensures dogs receive a variety of meat-based nutrients.
  • Limited Whole Prey Ingredients: Unlike Orijen, most Acana foods don’t strictly adhere to the whole prey model. While they do include a variety of meat sources, they might not always incorporate organ meat, marrow, and cartilage to the same extent as Orijen.
  • Benefits of Diverse Meat Sources: Even without the whole prey model, Acana’s diverse meat sources ensure that dogs receive a broad spectrum of amino acids and other essential nutrients. The variety can also cater to dogs with specific dietary preferences or sensitivities.

In summary, while both Orijen and Acana prioritize high-quality meat sources, Orijen leans more towards a natural, ancestral diet with its whole prey model. Acana, on the other hand, offers a diverse range of meat sources, ensuring a balanced and varied nutrient profile. Both brands cater to different preferences and nutritional needs, making them top choices in the premium dog food market.

Protein and Carbohydrate Content Comparison: Acana vs Orijen

Orijen:

  • High Protein Content: Orijen dog foods are renowned for their high protein content, which ranges between 38 and 42 percent. This high protein level is reflective of the brand’s commitment to mimic the natural diet of wild canids, ensuring dogs receive ample protein for muscle development, energy, and overall health.
  • Protein Sources: The protein in Orijen foods primarily comes from high-quality animal sources, including various meats, fish, and poultry. The inclusion of fresh meat ensures that the protein is not only abundant but also of superior quality.
  • Carbohydrate Content: Orijen foods contain a maximum of 25 percent carbohydrates. This relatively low carbohydrate content is in line with the brand’s philosophy of providing a diet that’s closer to what dogs would naturally consume in the wild. The carbohydrates in Orijen foods come from wholesome sources like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Acana:

  • Varied Protein Content: Acana dog foods offer a protein content that ranges between 25 and 35 percent. While this is slightly lower than Orijen, it’s still higher than many commercial dog foods on the market, ensuring dogs receive a substantial amount of protein for their dietary needs.
  • Protein Sources: Acana’s protein primarily comes from a diverse range of animal sources, ensuring a broad spectrum of amino acids and other essential nutrients. The brand emphasizes the use of fresh, regional ingredients, ensuring the protein is both abundant and of high quality.
  • Carbohydrate Content: Acana foods contain between 25 to 30 percent carbohydrates. This range provides a balanced energy source for dogs without being excessively high. The carbohydrates in Acana foods are derived from nutritious sources, including various fruits, vegetables, and grains, ensuring dogs receive essential nutrients and dietary fiber.

In summary, while both Orijen and Acana prioritize high-quality protein sources, Orijen leans more towards a higher protein content, reflecting a more ancestral diet. Acana, on the other hand, offers a balanced protein and carbohydrate ratio, ensuring dogs receive both the protein they need for muscle and tissue repair and the energy they need for daily activities. 

Both brands have formulated their foods based on extensive research and a deep understanding of canine nutrition, making them top choices for pet owners seeking premium dog food.

Price Comparison: Acana vs Orijen

Factors Influencing Price:

  • Ingredient Quality: Both Orijen and Acana prioritize high-quality, fresh, and regional ingredients. The cost of sourcing these premium ingredients, especially in the quantities and varieties they use, can significantly influence the final product’s price.
  • Production Processes: Orijen and Acana are produced in Champion Petfoods’ state-of-the-art kitchens. The advanced processing methods, quality checks, and safety protocols can add to the production costs.
  • Brand Philosophy: Orijen’s philosophy leans towards providing a diet that closely mimics the natural diet of wild canids, which means a higher meat content and a diverse range of fresh ingredients. This can make Orijen products more expensive to produce compared to Acana, which, while still premium, offers a more balanced approach to canine nutrition.

Price Points:

  • Acana: Acana is positioned as a premium dog food brand, but it’s generally more affordable than Orijen. A 25lb bag of Acana Red Meat Formula, for instance, is priced around $70. The price reflects the brand’s commitment to quality while also offering value to pet owners. Acana’s diverse range of formulas also means there’s a variety of price points to fit different budgets.
  • Orijen: Orijen is positioned at the higher end of the premium dog food market. A 25lb bag of Orijen Regional Red, as an example, can be priced over $115, including shipping. The price point reflects the brand’s emphasis on a high meat content, diverse fresh ingredients, and a diet that’s closely aligned with what dogs would consume in the wild.

Considerations for Pet Owners: Acana vs Orijen

  • Cost vs. Value: While Orijen might come with a higher price tag, it’s essential to consider the value it offers in terms of ingredient quality, nutritional profile, and the potential health benefits for the dog.
  • Dietary Needs: Depending on a dog’s specific dietary needs, life stage, and health conditions, one brand might offer a formula that’s more suitable than the other, influencing the purchasing decision beyond just the price.
  • Frequency of Purchase: While the upfront cost might seem higher, it’s essential to consider how long a bag lasts. Higher-quality foods might be more nutrient-dense, meaning you might feed less daily, making the bag last longer.

Reputable Endorsements

Both Acana and Orijen align their formulations with guidelines set by reputable organizations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Such endorsements add a layer of trust when comparing Acana vs Orijen.

Conclusion

acana vs orijen

In the realm of premium dog food, both Acana and Orijen have carved out significant niches for themselves, offering top-tier nutrition tailored to the natural dietary needs of dogs. However, when diving deeper into the specifics, some distinctions might sway pet owners in one direction over the other.

Orijen stands out for its higher protein content, often ranging between 38% to 42%. This makes it an excellent choice for active dogs or those breeds that naturally require more protein in their diet. The brand’s commitment to using fresh, regional ingredients and its whole prey approach ensures a comprehensive nutrient profile without heavy reliance on synthetic additives.

On the other hand, Acana, while still high in protein, offers a slightly more varied range in terms of protein content, making it a versatile choice for dogs with different activity levels and dietary needs. Acana’s diverse ranges, from Heritage to Regionals and Singles, allow pet owners to choose a formula that best matches their dog’s specific requirements, be it a single protein source for sensitive stomachs or a high-protein diet for active pups.

Price-wise, Acana tends to be more pocket-friendly compared to Orijen. For pet owners on a budget but still wanting premium nutrition, Acana might be the more appealing choice.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for the highest protein content and a diet that closely mirrors the wild, Orijen might be the better pick. However, if you’re seeking versatility, a slightly more affordable price point, and still want top-notch ingredients, Acana could be the way to go. As always, it’s essential to consider your dog’s unique needs, activity levels, and any specific dietary requirements when making your final decision.

What’s Next?

What’s Next for Your Furry Friend?

  • Are you impressed with our insights? Delve deeper into the world of canine nutrition with our detailed brand comparison reviews.
  • Are you curious about specific dog food brands? Please navigate through our comprehensive brand reviews to find the perfect match for your pet.
  • Is your dog facing unique dietary challenges? Uncover the ideal solutions with our targeted dog food reviews tailored to specific needs.
  • Are you thinking of enhancing your dog’s meals? Elevate their diet with our expertly curated dog food supplement guides.
  • Want to stay updated? Join our community and subscribe to our newsletter for tips, reviews, and canine nutrition news.

At the core of our philosophy is a simple truth: Good Nutrition is the Foundation of a Happy Dog. When our dogs thrive, it brings unparalleled joy and happiness into our lives. Let’s embark on this journey of optimal nutrition and well-being together

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