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Orijen vs Acana Dog Food: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

Orijen vs Acana - Featured Image

Orijen vs Acana Dog Food: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

The Orijen and Acana dog food companies dominate the market with their innovative recipes, developed alongside nutritionists. The formulas keep getting more advanced, working to give dogs a nutrient-rich diet that is best for their bodily systems.

But which brand is better? Here, we do a side-by-side comparison of what these two companies are all about and the quality that you can expect when purchasing their products.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Acana

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Acana Wholesome Grains Acana Wholesome Grains
  • Terrific animal and plant ingredients
  • Contains easily digestible additives
  • Great for everyday nutrition
  • Second place
    Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Diet Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Single protein source
  • Immune and circulation support
  • No harmful fillers
  • We think that Orijen and Acana each has its strengths in the world of dog food, turning corners and making waves. While both companies have thoughtful recipes that raise the standards for pet nutrition, there is a winner.

    Acana has similar ingredients to its Orijen competitor. However, the individual bags vary in price quite a bit. More families can afford Acana, making this company slide into the top spot.

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    About Orijen

    Orijen is a pet food company that has been in business for over 30 years. Since changing its vision to offer raw and fresh freeze-dried dry kibble options, the company has grown exponentially.

    Today, Orijen offers biologically appropriate recipes to puppies, adults, and seniors. It has a series of specialized grain-free and grain options for dogs. It also has various flavors of high-protein biscuit treats.

    Orijen’s products are considered premium and the prices reflect that. Unfortunately, that means it might not be an option for all budgets, but the nutritional benefits can definitely be worth the money.

    Pros
    • Premium fresh and raw ingredients
    • Biologically appropriate recipes
    • Specialized diets
    • High protein recipes
    Cons
    • Not the best option for overweight dogs
    • Pricey

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    About Acana

    Champion Pet Foods owns Acana. Like Orijen, it aims to provide biologically appropriate recipes for canines, which include fresh and raw ingredients. It’s been around for quite a while, developing a good reputation in the dog food industry.

    Acana offers delicious kibbles, wet canned foods, and treats to appeal to canine appetites. It even carries specialized formulas for sensitive diets. It has recently adjusted its formulas to create nutritionally wholesome recipes. It now uses raw and fresh freeze-dried ingredients to give canines a natural dietary experience.

    Acana is a premium dog food and its price reflects that. However, compared to the quality, the price is fair and affordable for most budgets.

    Pros
    • Premium ingredients
    • Excellent source of grain and protein
    • Several recipe choices
    • Fresh and freeze-dried protein
    Cons
    • Pricey

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    The 3 Most Popular Orijen Dog Food Recipes

    Orijen offers several different recipes and a few lines. Here are our favorites.

    1. Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food

    ORIJEN Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, whole herring, whole mackerel
    Calories 490 par cup/3,920 per bag
    Protein 38%
    Fat 18%
    Fiber 4%

    Regarding the best Orijen dog food for everyday nutrition, we love Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food. It is a grain-inclusive recipe that pulls only the best nutrients to the batch. It has just the right combination of ingredients to keep your pup healthiest.

    This is Orijen’s classic WholePrey diet, containing seven meat ingredients before any grains in the recipe. It contains muscle, organs, and eggs to reap the rewards of animal protein sources. Then, to promote healthy digestion, this recipe includes easy fibrous grains like oat groats and millet.

    Each serving contains 490 calories. This is high for most dogs unless they are active. So, be mindful of servings and consider your dog’s energy levels. The fat content is slightly high for an average everyday diet too.

    Otherwise, this recipe is a solid meal choice for any canine with an active lifestyle.

    Pros
    • For active lifestyles
    • Promote healthy digestion
    • Contain high proteins and grains
    Cons
    • Pricey

    2. Orijen Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Beef, wild boar, goat, lamb
    Calories 463 per cup/3,860 per bag
    Protein 38%
    Fat 18%
    Fiber 4%

    When it comes to grain-free food options, we think Orijen Regional Red is an excellent pick. It contains scrumptious, iron-filled protein sources from primal animals like wild boar.

    Each cup has 463 calories, meaning it’s an abundant energy source. In the guaranteed analysis, the protein content is 38.0%, served in raw freeze-dried bits. It also contains lots of nutrient-rich red meats: beef, wild boar, goat, and lamb.

    Rather than using potentially irritating ingredients, this recipe contains lentils and pinto beans. These provide a carbohydrate source without triggering allergies.

    This recipe also caters to gut health, offering over 1 million CFU/lb. of probiotics. It also contains a necessary nutrient called glucosamine to give joint and muscle support.

    All in all, we have to say that these ingredients and the flavor in this recipe score high on the list.

    Pros
    • Extremely high protein
    • Live probiotics
    • Glucosamine for joint support
    Cons
    • Not all dogs need a grain-free diet

    3. Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    ORIJEN Dog Puppy Recipe, 13lb

    Main Ingredients Chicken, turkey, turkey giblets, flounder, whole mackerel
    Calories 475 per cup/3,960 per bag
    Protein 38%
    Fat 20%
    Fiber 6%

    Puppy health is of prime importance. Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food provides a comprehensive diet to feed your dog’s growing body throughout the juvenile stages.

    If you have a pup with boundless energy, they need a meal that will help replenish those burning calories. This recipe contains 475 calories per cup, providing an excellent carb source for optimal energy levels.

    Both fresh and raw freeze-dried meat dominate the recipe, with several healthy protein sources right at the top. Then, it contains DHA, EPA, and glucosamine for healthy immunity, brain development, and joint support.

    Rather than using grains, it is full of nutritious legumes.

    Pros
    • Excellent formula for growing puppies
    • DHA, EPA, and glucosamine
    • No harsh grains
    Cons
    • Not for adult dogs

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    The 3 Most Popular Acana Dog Food Recipes

    Here are our favorite Acana recipes.

    1. Acana Wholesome Grains

    ACANA Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe Gluten-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Beef, deboned pork, beef meal
    Calories 371 per cup/3,370 per bag
    Protein 27%
    Fat 17%
    Fiber 6%

    When it comes to a solid everyday nutrition recipe, we recommend Acana Wholesome Grains. It contains an excellent combination of ingredients to keep your adult dog feeling and looking their best.

    In one serving, there are 371 calories. This is a modest total, ideal for low to moderate activity levels, thus fitting the needs of most domestic dogs. It also contains nutrient-heavy protein sources like beef and deboned pork.

    On top of animal protein, it has phenomenal plant-based additives like butternut squash and pumpkin. This recipe is easy on the digestive tract, balanced, and complete.

    However, if you have an active breed, this formula’s caloric content might be a little low.

    Pros
    • Terrific animal and plant ingredients
    • Contains easily digestible additives
    • Great for everyday nutrition
    Cons
    • Low calories aren’t good for active breeds

    2. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Diet

    ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Pork & Squash

    Main Ingredients Deboned pork, pork liver, sweet potato, whole chickpeas
    Calories 388 per cup/3,408 per bag
    Protein 31%
    Fat 17%
    Fiber 5%

    If you want to check out one of Acana’s grain-free options, this is Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Diet. With pork and squash, it offers a novel protein with easily digestible grains as carbohydrates.

    This recipe has incredible protein content, measuring 31.0% on the guaranteed analysis. In addition to pork, it also contains pork organs and pork fat to provide extra benefits. It only contains a single protein source to avoid triggering allergies.

    One serving has 388 calories, making it suitable for most adult canines. This particular recipe focuses on joint support, circulation, and immune health. It also contains taurine and other important nutrients to keep dogs’ systems moving smoothly.

    This recipe also contains no peas, corn, or isolates.

    Pros
    • Single protein source
    • Immune and circulation support
    • No harmful fillers
    Cons
    • Not all dogs need grain-free diets

    3. Acana Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    Main Ingredients Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal
    Calories 408 per cup/3,575 per bag
    Protein 31%
    Fat 19%
    Fiber 6%

    If you want a well-rounded diet for your puppy, Acana Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is an affordable option containing fresh and raw benefits.

    While it contains chicken, which can sometimes be an allergy trigger, Acana uses the best-sourced ingredients for less chance of an internal upset. The food also has a high amount of protein and fiber for optimal development.

    This recipe contains awesome superfoods that carry all sorts of nutritional benefits. Easily digestible and nutrient-rich ingredients include pumpkin, collard greens, apples, and pears.

    This recipe is a fabulous choice for growing dogs, as it provides a primal recipe with all sorts of top-notch nutrients. But breeds prone to weight gain might not benefit from it.

    Pros
    • Nourishing pumpkin
    • Contains lots of superfoods
    • Great for puppies
    Cons
    • Not suitable for adult dogs
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    Recall History of Orijen & Acana

    We have to say, we’re colored impressed! Neither Orijen nor Acana have ever been recalled. This is a rare occurrence and shows the companies’ integrity.

    Both brands undergo rigorous testing to ensure that their products are quality. This is especially important for raw and fresh diets, as the risks for foodborne illnesses tend to be higher.

    Orijen & Acana Comparison

    To get a thorough understanding of exactly what goes into your dog’s food bowl, let’s compare similar recipes from both brands.

    Recipes

    Orijen Regional Red Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat & Grains
    Main Ingredients Beef, wild boar, beef liver, pork, beef meal Beef, deboned pork, beef meal, oat groats, whole sorghum, whole millet
    Protein Sources Beef, wild boar, pork, fish, lamb Beef, pork, lamb
    Calories 463 per cup 371 per cup
    Protein 38% 27%
    Fat 18% 17%
    Fiber 4% 6%
    Moisture 12% 12%

    Orijen and Acana both have protein-dense recipes with optimal ingredients. But if we break down these two similar recipes, what do we see?

    The protein content in Orijen Regional Red is significantly higher than that of Acana Wholesome Grains, exceeding it by 11%. Orijen contains wild boar, and Acana plays it safe with three standard protein sources.

    Orijen has a much higher calorie count than Acana. While this will liven up the energy levels of some active dogs, it can cause serious weight gain in others. You should steer away from the number of calories in Orijen food if your dog is already overweight or has diabetes.

    Since Orijen offers so many protein sources in the first several ingredients, it’s probably no surprise that it beats Acana in protein content. Acana has a moderate protein level that is still much higher than most commercial brands. While Orijen aims to provide a more primal diet, this food can have too much protein for some dogs.

    Acana contains more fiber, promoting healthy digestion. But Orijen still has a fair amount—more than enough to be sufficient. Both recipes contain the same moisture content. They can also be rehydrated for a tasty textured eating experience.

    dog eating dog food
    Image By: Ayla Verschueren, Unsplash

    Taste

    • Orijen

    Using delicious fresh and raw ingredients, both companies have tasty recipes that canines love. Both take pride in using both novel and common protein, but only the best of the best.

    However, since Orijen has such a large variety of protein sources, it wins the vote for taste.


    Nutritional Value

    • Acana

    We believe that nutrition is the single most important aspect of choosing a dog food brand. Both Acana and Orijin offer superb value to canines. However, they are a bit different.

    Acana uses premium ingredients to cater to the greater whole. Orijen targets high-energy, working breeds.


    Price

    • Acana

    Acana definitely wins the prize here. Orijen is incredibly expensive. However, it uses human-grade ingredients, which are considered pricier to formulate.

    Still, due to Acana having such similar nutritional value at a more affordable cost, we can justify voting for it to be the winner.

    man buying pet food
    Image Credit: LADO-Shutterstock

    Selection

    • Acana

    Both Acana and Orijen have a variety of recipes, but Acana outdoes its competitor here. It has neck-in-neck numbers in wet food and treats, but Acana offers 29 different dry dog food formulas—Orijen has 17.

    Orijen, however, outdoes Acana with treats, offering 12 flavors. Both companies have excellent product lines, though, especially considering allergies and sensitivities.

    Acana
    • 29 types of dry kibble
    • 10 types of canned food
    • 8 types of freeze-dried food
    • 6 types of treats
    Orijen
    • 17 types of dry kibble
    • 10 types of canned food
    • 6 types of freeze-dried food
    • 6 types of treats

    Overall

    We think that Acana will work better in most households. It has valuable nutrition at a fraction of the price of its competitor, Orijen.

    Also, while Orijen has protein-rich recipes, it might be too much for mild to moderate activity levels, causing canine weight gain.

    dogs eating
    Image by: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

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    Conclusion

    Your dogs can benefit from either Orijen or Acana. However, certain factors make Acana the better choice, including its quality raw and fresh freeze-dried ingredients and healthy, versatile recipe choices.

    That said, Orijen aims to provide the majority of animal protein using meat, organs, and other parts for optimal benefits. Active dogs can get the most from these premium recipes.

    See also: 

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