Acana vs Orijen Dog Food Comparison

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Just like us, our furry companions deserve the very best when it comes to their meals.

And as dedicated pet parents, I bet you’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect balance of nutrition, taste, and quality for our four-legged friends.

In this comprehensive Acana vs Orijen dog food comparison, we’re pitting two heavyweight contenders against each other to see which brand truly deserves the title of top dog.

We will look at 6 important factors that will help us determine the right one to choose, and hopefully, you will walk away with the information you need to make an informed decision.

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orijen vs acana dog food

Overview: Acana vs Orijen Dog Food Compared

⚠️ Consider the following when choosing dog food:

  • Life stage
  • Size of dog
  • Grain-inclusive or grain-free

What’s most important in choosing the right type of food for your dog is understanding its breed (activity levels) and any existing allergies.

If you need more help, consult your vet or find a veterinary nutritionist at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (AVCM).

Before we plunge nose-first into the nitty-gritty of nutritional analyses and ingredient breakdowns, let’s lay the groundwork by highlighting the key factors that should guide our comparison.

Just like us, every dog is unique, with individual dietary needs, preferences, and sensitivities.

As we embark on this culinary exploration, keep in mind that what works best for one pup might not be the prime choice for another.

Let’s find out more about them in the following sections:

  • Brand Reputation
  • Ingredients
  • Key Nutrients
  • Range of formulas
  • Product Safety and Recall History
  • Price

1. Brand Reputation

Acana

Acana has etched its reputation into the pet food industry with a legacy of trust and commitment.

With a focus on biologically appropriate diets, this brand has garnered a loyal following among pet parents seeking holistic nutrition for their furry pals.

Known for sourcing regional ingredients from trusted suppliers, Acana boasts transparency in its sourcing and production processes.

The brand’s dedication to crafting recipes that mirror a dog’s natural diet has solidified its position as a reliable and respected option in the world of premium dog food.

Orijen

In the realm of premium dog food, Orijen stands tall as a pinnacle of excellence.

Revered for its “whole prey” philosophy, Orijen emphasizes biologically appropriate diets by mirroring the carnivorous diets of dogs’ ancestors.

This commitment to quality extends to sourcing, with fresh, regional ingredients procured from trusted farmers and fishermen.

Orijen’s reputation shines as a brand that spares no effort in delivering nourishment that aligns with a dog’s evolutionary needs.

I feel that with a legacy of consistently high standards, Orijen has earned the trust of pet parents who seek nothing but the best for their furry companions.

2. Ingredients

⚠️ A few points to note about the product label

Product name – tells you the percentage of the main ingredient

  • “Chicken” – at least 70% of the product.
  • “Chicken entree”, “Chicken platter”, “Chicken dinner” – at least 10% of the product.
  • “With chicken” – at least 3% of the product
  • “Chicken flavor” – less than 3% of the product

Ingredients – The first few items listed are the most important and make up the majority of the product (determined by weight).

Meat-meal – Can have much more protein than actual meat. To further understand, refer to this guide by AAFCO.

In this comparison of Acana and Orijen dog food, we will focus on the following dry food product from each company:

Acana

At Acana, they’ve got a unique approach – they don’t freeze the meat they use, and there are zero preservatives in the mix.

What’s pretty cool is that the local meats they get are processed right on the day they arrive. Not your usual deal in the pet food world, right?

Now, this freshness doesn’t just sound fancy.

It’s a big part of why Acana’s food is a hit among our furry buddies.

Ever wondered why some dogs go crazy for their meals? That’s the “extraordinary palatability” Acana brings to the table.

And guess what? This freshness also means it’s easier for dogs to gobble up the goodness.

But that’s not all – the protein sources in Acana’s Dog Food are like a one-way ticket to Digestion Town.

They’re easy on the tummy, soak in like a sponge, and give dogs the boost they need.

Think about it: a strong immune system, that zoomies-level energy, and muscles that even a bodybuilder would envy – all thanks to those quality protein picks.

Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular kibble we are discussing today:

  • Beef
  • Deboned pork
  • Beef meal
  • Oat groats
  • Whole sorghum

Orijen

Orijen really knows how to pick the good stuff for our furry pals.

They gather up top-notch ingredients that match what dogs are naturally made for. They’re all about local farms and trustworthy suppliers – none of that mystery stuff.

What’s seriously cool is how Orijen tosses in the whole animal deal – meat, organs, bones, and even cartilage.

It’s like a feast that hits all the right spots.

And it doesn’t stop there – they sneak in some fruits, veggies, and even those fancy botanicals and minerals. You know, all the things that make for a well-balanced meal.

Hold up, though – no artificial junk in here.

Orijen’s all about keeping it real. No fake colors, flavors, or preservatives. And when they whip up their recipes, they do it with a gentle touch.

Low temperature is the name of the game – keeps the natural goodness of those ingredients in check.

Bottom line? Orijen isn’t messing around. They’re like the chef of dog food, making sure every bite counts for our pup’s health and happiness.

Here are the top 5 ingredients in this particular formula:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Chicken liver
  • Whole herring
  • Whole mackerel
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3. Key Nutrients

Every pet food package is required to display a guaranteed analysis of its nutrients, following guidelines set by AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials).

These rules are pretty strict, ensuring that what’s inside that bag is truly a full-package deal for dogs.

In simple terms, a balanced diet should have all the right nutrients dogs need. And these nutrients have a minimum requirement, which you can find in the “guaranteed analysis” part on the label.

Now, let’s talk numbers. The analysis must prove it has enough crude protein and fat – the good stuff – and not too much crude fiber and moisture – the not-so-good stuff.

Take note: When comparing dog food nutrients percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it a more even comparison.

This is also referred to as calculating its dry matter basis (use this calculator).

This approach is a more accurate way to understand the true nutrient contents of dog food, instead of just relying on the number on the label (which is an ‘as-fed’ basis).

3.1 Acana vs Orijen dog food nutrients comparison

NutrientAcanaDry matter basisOrijenDry matter basis
Crude protein27% min27.27%38% min43.18%
Crude Fat17% min17.17%18% min20.45%
Crude Fiber6% max6.06%4% max4.55%
Moisture12% max12% max
Based on dry adult dog food

Crude protein

To keep your dog healthy and balanced, protein is a must!

It does so much for their body, like building and maintaining muscles and tissues. Plus, it helps with growing new muscles, skin, and hair cells.

And here’s the cool part: protein is also involved in making important stuff like enzymes and hormones.

It even boosts the immune system and gives them energy, just like carbs do.

While dogs can make half of the amino acids they need for protein, they gotta eat the other half. So, make sure they get their protein fix!

In this analysis, you can see that Orijen has a huge advantage, but in actual fact, over 40% protein might be excessive for your dog. This will only work well if you have a highly active one or if your dog needs extra to put on weight!

Crude fat

To keep your dog’s diet balanced, fats and oils are essential.

For regular, healthy adult dogs, a diet with around 10-15% fat (minimum 5%) is ideal.

The only time fat becomes a concern is when animals consume too many calories and fat without enough exercise to compensate for it, like when they indulge in extra snacks or table scraps.

But don’t worry, both brands provide enough fats to meet your dog’s daily needs.

Crude Fiber

Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and aids in the development of strong, well-formed stools by adding mass and absorbing extra water.

Additionally, fiber promotes intestinal pH equilibrium, which prevents the development of harmful bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.

They feel satisfied, which aids in controlling their appetite, and their digestion is improved, which may also help in preventing overeating.

The optimal amount of fiber for dogs is between 3 to 6%, and both these brands have done well here.

4. Range of formulas

If a company provides me with a wide variety of choices compared to another brand of dog food, I will probably go with the first one since I can get everything in one go.

When it comes to these two companies, both companies offer almost identical product ranges, but Acana has a slight edge here.

That said, both have formulas catered to specific needs, such as grain-free options, nutritional sensitivity, and weight control, are available.

Some of their top-selling products are listed below:

5. Product Safety and Recall History

I’m sure you want to know that your money isn’t going to a company that has had any major issues in the past.

I try to update this section as much as possible, but if you find anything amiss, you may double-check on the FDA’s site or its archives for accuracy.

Acana

There has never been any Acana dog food recall.

Orijen

Orijen dog food has never been recalled before.

6. Price

Price is a significant factor, but you shouldn’t make your decision exclusively based on it.

The availability of inexpensive, high-quality goods is limited since a product’s price can be a reliable indicator of both its quality and quantity.

I’ve seen certain dog food brands cost less than others because they contain fillers or inferior materials, which may subsequently create health issues.

So, it might be worthwhile to spend a bit extra on a recognized brand if you want something that will last longer and give you more nutrients.

The cost per pound for the choices covered in this article is displayed in the table below (accurate at time of writing, please check the links above for updaetd prices):

BrandPrice per pound
Acana$2.79/lb
Orijen$4.13/lb
based on similar product packaging; always check for latest prices

In Conclusion: Acana vs Orijen Dog Food Comparison

Now that you know the key differences between Fromm and Orijen, which would you pick?

Of the two, my personal choice would be Acana as it provides plenty of nutrition at a much more cost-effective price.

If your dog is highly active or in need of putting on more weight though, Orijen would be the better choice.

That said, I have switched out of dry kibbles to a fresh diet for my dogs, and now I chose Ollie.

Keep in mind that every dog is unique and that there is no such thing as the best dog diet.

You must always take into account the breed, lifestyle, and allergies of your dog, and this should point you in the right direction.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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