Dogs and cats are often fed the same food, which means a sudden food change makes it difficult for their digestive systems to adapt, which is why it’s important to introduce the 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% new food with 75% old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next five to seven days by gradually increasing the amount of ORIJEN and decreasing the amount of old food. At the end of this transitioning process, you should be feeding 100% ORIJEN.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DOES BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE MEAN?
The Biologically Appropriate™ concept is Simple: mirror the freshness and variety of meats that dogs and cats are evolved to eat.
WHAT DOES WHOLEPREY MEAN?
Nature matched the nutrients in whole prey animals to perfectly meet your dog or cat’s needs. ORIJEN WholePrey represents the evolution of ORIJEN foods, incorporating meats, organs and cartilage in ratios that mirror the natural diet, and eliminate the need for long lists of synthetic ingredients.
WHAT IS MEATMATH?
Biologically Appropriate foods are formulated to match the eating anatomy of the animal they are intended for. As dogs and cats are evolved as carnivores, that 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 MEAT IS IN THE TOTAL DIET? * HOW MUCH FRESH MEAT? * HOW MANODS CONTAIN BOTANICALS?**
ORIJEN is designed to match the natural diet as closely as is possible in a kibble format. Botanicals are a part of the natural diet for all cats and dogs, and play an important role in bridging the gap between good health and peak conditioning. The botanicals found in ORIJEN are selected by one of North America’s leading Homeopathic Veterinarians.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIJEN AND ACANA FOODS?
While there are many differences between ACANA and ORIJEN, both diets reflect our belief in the importance of providing diets that are Biologically Appropriate™, using ingredients that are Fresh, Regional, and Never Outsourcing any part of the cooking or packaging of our Brands.
When comparing the 2 brands, let’s ask the 3 Meat Questions: 1. How Much Meat? ORIJEN has 85-90% Meat, while ACANA foods have 50-75%. 2. How Fresh? ORIJEN’s foods have 2/3 Fresh meats and ACANA’s have ½ fresh. 3. How Many Meats? ORIJEN foods have up to 10 meats, while ACANA’s foods feature up to 5.
Put simply, ORIJEN and ACANA foods mimic the natural eating habits of your cat or dog with high fresh meat inclusions and low inclusion of carbohydrates. Although slightly lower in protein than ORIJEN, ACANA provides an unbeatable value and price point that makes Biologically Appropriate™ pet foods accessible to a wide range of pet lovers.
WHY DOESN’T ORIJEN SUPPLEMENT THEIR FOODS WITH AMINO ACIDS AND MINERALS?
Organ meats are a concentrated and natural source of virtually every nutrient your dog needs to thrive, including all essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and vital amino acids.
Densely packed with nearly every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins, organ meats such as kidney, liver and tripe are loaded with the minerals phosphorus, 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.
Which is why you will find amino acids, including taurine or minerals like calcium and phosphorus on the guaranteed analysis but not on the ingredient list!
HOW IS IT THAT ORIJEN FOODS FEATURE 15-20% FAT, BUT VERY LITTLE FAT IS ADDED TO THE INGREDIENTS?
ORIJEN’s fresh meat inclusions are very high. The two largest nutritional components of fresh meat are protein and fat. By using large inclusions of fresh meat we are able to minimize the amount of added fat in our ingredient list.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF ORIJEN’S GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROITIN – IS IT SUPPLEMENTED?
Glucosamine and Chondroitin in ORIJEN formulas occurs naturally in fresh meats used to make our foods. ORIJEN’s WholePrey™ concept means fresh cartilage is included in the ratios your dog or cat would consume in nature.
In fact, ORIJEN contains 85-90% meat, poultry and fish ingredients and our fresh meats in particular are a high source of natural glucosamine and chondroitin. That’s why glucosamine and chondroitin are listed on the guaranteed analysis but not on the ingredient list!
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
We choose our ingredient partners carefully, and we set quality and nutritional standards to meet our own food standards. In Alberta, and other areas of Canada we’re connected to regional farmers, ranchers and fishermen whose values match our own, that we are proud to name. These suppliers provide fresh and custom ingredients that are GMO free, and sustainably and ethically produced. Fruit, vegetable and botanical ingredients will be of table quality, and all meat ingredients come from animals deemed fit for human consumption.
HUMAN GRADE - ARE ORIJEN INGREDIENTS HUMAN GRADE?
The fresh meats, meat meals and fat ingredients we use are produced exclusively from animals that have been deemed as fit for human consumption, and are produced in category 3 facilities (human grade facilities, no flushing, and no 4-D animal parts permitted on premises).
All fruits and vegetables used in ORIJEN foods are also passed as fit for human consumption.
FRESH OR RAW? - WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Refrigeration is the only means of preservation for our fresh meats, and our raw meats are flash-frozen at peak season to lock in their natural goodness.
Unlike most commercial pet foods, ORIJEN is made with regional meats that are delivered fresh or raw each day, and are a key factor in the superior palatability and feeding performance of ORIJEN.
DO ACANA AND ORIJEN DOG AND CAT FOOD FORMULAS CONTAIN ANY INGREDIENTS FROM CHINA?
We do not source ingredients from China. There are no ingredients from China used in the preparation of our dog and cat foods, including vitamins and minerals — we are 100% China-free.
ETHOXYQUIN - DOES ORIJEN CONTAIN ETHOXYQUIN?
Champion’s ingredients and foods are never preserved with Ethoxyquin or any other chemical preservative.
Ethoxyquin is typically used as a preservative in fish ingredients, and is commonly found in fish ingredients produced in North America. Champion uses two kinds of fish ingredients – fresh fish, and fish meals.
FRESH FISH. Our fresh fish is caught wild within our region and arrives FRESH – which is defined as ‘never frozen and with no preservatives’. Our fresh fish never contain Ethoxyquin.
FISH MEALS. Ethoxyquin preservatives are common throughout the fish meal supply chain, so Champion works directly with our fish meal suppliers (no brokers or middlemen) and we pay them a premium to have our fish meals preserved with our proprietary blend of Vitamin E and botanical extracts. Our fish meals are never preserved with Ethoxyquin.
Champion’s Ethoxyquin standard is set at true trace level, not to exceed 5 ppm (parts per million) of Ethoxyquin, which is 0.0005%, or one half of one thousandth of 1% – the lower limit of what most certified laboratories are able to detect or measure.
BHA/BHT - DOES ORIJEN CONTAIN BHA/BHT?
Champion’s ingredients and foods are never preserved with BHA/BHT or any other chemical preservative.
Champion never adds BHA or BHT (or any other chemical preservative) to our pet foods or ingredients, and all ingredients and foods are preserved with our proprietary blend of vitamin E with botanical extracts.
As BHA and BHT are typically present in pet food ingredient supply chains (for example, BHA and BHT are often present in the feed fed to chickens, turkey or duck) we work with our suppliers to ensure our ingredients enable Champion’s final product standards.
Champion’s BHA, BHT standard is set at true trace level not to exceed 5 ppm (parts per million) of BHA/BHT, which is 0.0005%, or one half of one thousandth of 1% – the lower limit of what most certified laboratories are able to detect or measure.
WHO MAKES ORIJEN’S FOODS, AND WHERE ARE THEY MADE?
Both ORIJEN and ACANA foods are made by Champion Petfoods. We cook our foods exclusively for pet lovers in Canada and around the world in our NorthStar® kitchens in Morinville, Alberta.
Our Freeze Dried ORIJEN Foods and Treats are produced exclusively in our Freeze-Dry kitchen in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
It’s simple – we don’t allow our foods to be made by anyone else and we don’t make any other foods.
WHAT TYPE OF QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCESSES DO YOU FOLLOW?
At all stages of production and preparation, we utilize both Good Manufacturing Principals – a worldwide system for the control and management of manufacturing and quality testing of foods – and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Analysis (HACCP) – an internationally recognized and systematic preventive approach to food safety.
Our quality management systems extend well beyond our factory – from our distributor partners and to our ingredient suppliers, all of whom we know and trust. All meat ingredients are approved by the Government of Canada and produced exclusively from animals classified fit for human consumption.
Our fresh meats, including chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beef, pork, wild boar, bison and lamb are produced within our region in dedicated, federally approved human grade facilities. Our fresh regional ingredients truly meet the AAFCO definition for “fresh,” where refrigeration is their only form of preservation – no chemicals, heat, or freezing!
But perhaps the best assurance of quality is our international reputation of authenticity. At Champion, our foods are never outsourced. You can be assured that ORIJEN is never produced or packaged in any facility other than our own.
WHY ARE SOME OF YOUR BAGS VACUUM PACKED AND OTHERS NOT?
Contrary to popular belief, our bags are not vacuum packed. To keep our foods as fresh as possible, ORIJEN and ACANA foil lined bags are impermeable to oxygen transfer from the outside to the inside and vice versa. Once the bags are sealed, oxygen transfer is impossible.
Residual oxygen left in the bag when it is sealed depends on the amount of air pushed out by our air evacuation system (not to be confused with vacuum packing). Depending on how food enters the package, food density and ambient temperature, some bags will contain more air and some less.
While some of our packages will appear vacuumed and others not, the food in each bag will be equally fresh.
STORING YOUR ORIJEN FOOD
Once opened, you can store your ORIJEN in an airtight container. Some ORIJEN bags may feature a re-sealable zipper function which can be used as well – if your bag does not have a zipper, then you can also tightly roll up the package to maintain airtight conditions after opening.
Refrigeration of ORIJEN is not required. Store your ORIJEN food in a cool dry place, with no direct sunlight. A storage temperature of 10 – 20 degrees Celsius is ideal. Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures increases oxidation and reduces shelf life.
BEST BEFORE DATES
The best before (BB) date is printed on the back of the bag at the top of the ORIJEN package. We mark ORIJEN bags DAY MONTH YEAR.
From the time the food is made and packaged at our kitchen, there is about 18 months until expiry. Heat, moisture and light have the biggest impact on ORIJEN’s shelf life.
When kept in a sealed or tightly closed bag, ORIJEN will remain stable for months.
IS A HIGH PROTEIN FOOD HEALTHY FOR MY PET?
Of course! As there are so many myths circulating about high protein diets, this is probably one of the most commonly asked questions received at our customer service.
Countless studies published over the last 15 years have roundly debunked the high protein myth (often fueled by multinational and marketing companies that still produce or sell low-protein, grain-based foods).
The truth is simple — high-protein diets are Biologically Appropriate for all breeds of dogs and cats. By better matching the natural diets and anatomical physiology of dogs and cats, higher-protein, lower carbohydrate foods better promote their peak health and conditioning.
Today’s conventional pet foods are lower in protein and high in carbohydrates (40-50%). As carbohydrates are not part of the natural diet, it should come as no surprise that carbohydrates are not nutritionally essential (in any amount) for dogs and cats.
Dogs and cats are evolved to derive their energy from animal proteins and fats, not carbohydrates from grains.
PROTEIN LEVELS - DOES HIGHER PROTEIN STRESS THE KIDNEYS?
No. There is no study in science to show a higher protein diet has any negative effect on the kidneys of dogs or cats.
URINARY HEALTH - DOES ORIJEN PROMOTE URINARY HEALTH?
Yes. Due to the high meat content and low magnesium content, ORIJEN is naturally acidic and helps promote a healthy bladder.
It is important that pets that are prone to urinary tract infections or developing urinary crystals are allowed all the fresh water they can drink to help flush the urinary tract and dilute the urine. As ORIJEN is much higher in protein and highly nutrient dense, more water intake may be needed to facilitate digestion. ORIJEN foods have a pH between 5.5 and 6, which is naturally mildly acidic and well suited to the maintenance of healthy bladder function in both cats and dogs.
OVERWEIGHT - IS ORIJEN APPROPRIATE FOR MY OVERWEIGHT PET?
Definitely yes! ORIJEN has a Biologically Appropriate™ distribution of energy, where more energy is supplied from protein and less energy is supplied from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are an empty calorie, which means they have no essential function in the body and provide only sugar for energy, which converts quickly to glucose in the blood. If carbohydrates are provided in excess (as they often are), they convert easily into body fat.
Protein supplies the same amount of energy as carbohydrate, but has a very different effect on the body. Unlike carbohydrate, protein is essential for life, and is a Biologically Appropriate source of energy.