Canidae vs Orijen Dog Food

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.

When it comes to pet food, there are a lot of choices out there.

From the super-deluxe brands that cost more than human food to the more affordable options that offer a pretty decent bang for your buck, it can be hard to know what you’re getting into.

That’s why we’re here!

In this post, we’ll be looking at two popular brands: Canidae vs Orijen dog food.

We’ve done all the research for you and come up with a side-by-side comparison to help you understand what’s going on with these two brands.

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orijen vs canidae Dog Food Comparison

Overview: Canidae vs Orijen Dog Food

Canidae and Orijen are two of the most popular dog food brands on the market right now.

Both are well-known for their high-quality products; however, they also have their fair share of detractors—people who say that these brands use ingredients that aren’t good for your dog or that they don’t offer a wide range of options.

In this post, we’ll be comparing Canidae vs Orijen to help you understand what’s going on with each brand and whether or not it’s worth your money.

Take note though. This comparison guide is meant to give you a big-picture view of the two companies and the selected products. There are other products that have different specifications which might suit your needs better.

The sections below will focus on the following factors:

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

1. Brand Reputation


Canidae is a small, high-end dog food company that was established in the middle of the 1990s by John Gordon and Scott Whipple.

The company has been praised for its commitment to creating safe, high-quality products free of chemicals and preservatives.

The ingredients they employ reflect the commitment to excellence of the business.

They use locally grown food and meat whenever feasible, and the meat they use is hormone and antibiotic-free.

This demonstrates that Canidae dog food products are devoid of ingredients that could be harmful to your dog’s health.

Having received the San Antonio Food Bank’s Hunger Fighter of the Year award in 2021, they have also made significant contributions to the community.


Champions Petfoods, the business that owns Orijen and was recently acquired by Mars, has been producing high-quality dog food for more than 30 years.

It is renowned for its premium ingredients, which include farm-fresh meats and produce that is grown locally.

Orijen has gone from strength to strength in developing high-quality kibble for dogs and has garnered a devoted following of pet owners who swear by its goods.

Its reputation also spreads globally, as evidenced by the numerous awards it has won over the years.

2. Ingredients

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


CANIDAE is well known for the use of pure and fresh ingredients.

All of its recipes start with real meat or seafood and fresh veggies.

They only use quality ingredients and don’t use corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product meals.

As a result, there are no fillers or extra grains that your dog doesn’t require.


Champion Petfoods produces Orijen dog food North Alberta, Canada.

Their formulations are free of grains, fillers, antibiotics, hormones, and preservatives and are made with fresh, whole ingredients and a range of proteins.

A closer inspection reveals that the main elements are protein sources from real meat.

In fact, quite a bit, with the top 5 being whole mackerel, whole herring, whole chicken, whole turkey, and whole chicken liver.

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3. Key Nutrients

AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) laws state that every pet food label must carry a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients.

To ensure that a product is full and balanced for dogs, it has tight standards.

This implies that full and balanced diets must provide the bare minimum of each nutrient required for canines, as stated in the “assured analysis.”

Minimum crude protein and crude fat percentages, as well as maximum crude fiber and moisture percentages, must all be verified by the analysis.

The tables below will show you the data from the two brands.

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 Canidae vs Orijen dog food nutrients comparison

NutrientCanidaeDry matter basisOrijenDry matter basis
Crude protein25% min32.97%38% min43.18%
Crude Fat14.5% min19.78%18% min20.45%
Crude Fiber5% max2.75%4% max4.55%
Moisture10% max12% max
Based on dry adult dog food

Crude Protein

Protein is a key nutrient that is necessary for a dog’s diet to be healthy and balanced.

It is used by their bodies for a number of processes, including the growth and upkeep of muscles and other structures.

Among other things, it is necessary for the development of new skin cells, muscles, and hair.

It also helps in the synthesis of hormones and enzymes, two crucial physiological chemicals.

It produces energy and maintains a strong immune system, just like carbs.

Half of the 22 amino acids needed to create proteins can be produced by dogs; the other half must be obtained from their diet.

AAFCO recommends that the daily requirements for dog diets should contain at least 22% DM (dry matter) for growth and 18% DM for maintenance.

As you can see from the table above, Orijen has a significant advantage over Canidae when it comes to crude protein.

Crude Fat

Dogs need fats and oils in a balanced diet.

The ideal diet to sustain health is one that comprises between 10 and 15 percent fat (a minimum of 5.5%), for average, healthy adult dogs.

Fat in the diet only becomes a problem when animals are allowed to ingest excessive amounts of calories and fat (from extra snacks and table scraps, for example), without getting enough exercise to make up for it.

Both dog foods in question are capable of meeting your dog’s daily fat requirement almost equally.

Crude Fiber

Fiber aids in forming strong, well-formed stools and promotes regular bowel movements by adding mass and soaking up extra water.

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

They feel satiated and their digestive system is improved, both of which may help them control their appetite and avoid overeating.

Each brand’s fiber content is comparable, making the products well-balanced for your dog’s requirements.

4. Range of formulas

I personally prefer to just buy one brand of dog food, so if a company gives me the option, I will likely choose them.

These two companies have done really well in offering a wide range of formulas for dog owners to choose from, including dry and wet versions, from puppies to seniors too.

They even offer formals that are tailored to certain requirements including grain-free alternatives, dietary sensitivity, and weight management.

Here are some of their best-selling items:

5. Product Safety and Recall


There has been one recall in the company’s history, which took place in 2012.

This was due to the manufacturer of their products at that time, Diamond Pet Foods, discovering the presence of Salmonella in their production facility.


Orijen dog food has never been recalled before in the United States or Canada.

6. Price

When selecting dog food, the cost plays a significant role too.

It’s not always the case, but if you’re on a tight budget and have a few dogs to feed, this can add up very quickly.

Even if you have only one dog, you know that buying kibbles frequently makes up a sizeable part of your budget.

Plus, it’s also no secret that costs can differ significantly among brands and kinds, so if you want to avoid spending a fortune, it’s worthwhile to review the prices listed below before making a purchase.

The cost per pound for the choices covered in this article is displayed in the table below:

BrandPrice per pound
based on similar product packaging; always check for latest prices

In Conclusion: Canidae vs Orijen Dog Food Comparison

I trust that the information and specifics in this post have given you a better understanding of the kibbles each of these two businesses can provide for you.

Orijen would be my personal pick between the two due to its usage of more high-quality beef protein and greater nutritional value.

If you are placing a higher amount of weight on pricing, Canidae is a very worthy alternative too.

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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