(Closed) Acana and/or Orijen Dog Foods…

posted 9 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We originally fed Eagle Pack’s Holistic Select to our dogs but it became hard to get so we switched to Prairie.  I just didn’t like how congested my dogs were on Prairie so we switched to Orijen (keep in mind, all these switches were over several years time giving each food for at least one year, usually more like 18 months to two years).  Since Orijen had no grain it was supposed to cut back on how much grass they ate but ended up making them eat more because their stomachs were upset easier.  I had more problems with my particular dogs on Orijen than I was comfortable with.  After 9 months on Orijen we found another carrier in our area of Eagle Pack’s Holistic Select and have switched back and are very happy.  My dogs just seem to do best on that particular brand but I know many people swear by Orijen.  It may be a try and see kind of thing for your dog too.

Post # 5
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

View original reply
@stephinPA:  The whole gaining weight thing did become an issue on Orijen for my girls as well.  It is tough to find the right balance with so many choices.  I personally feel as long as I’m feeding a high quality holistic food I just have to hunt and peck until I find the right food for my girls.  Orijen definitely fits the bill . . . it just wasn’t right for my dogs.  Best of luck!!

Post # 6
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I haven’t tried Orijen or Acana so I can’t comment on those but your post reminded me of my hunt.  Not fun.  

Our pit bull is super sensitive but my old dog could eat anything so I was trying to find a food that would work for both of them.  Easy enough, right?  I remember being excited for Canidae because it fit our budget and the needs of both dogs on paper.  The picky pit bull did well and got fat and sleek but the “did well on anything” dog dropped weight and had a terrible coat!  I finally gave up and fed them two different brands.  

I agree it’s so hard to find a food everyone’s happy with.  I didn’t enjoy the search at all.  I found this site too late for myself but it definitely would have helped me narrow down the choices.  They don’t have Acana on there but Orijen has been reviewed.  

Post # 7
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I fed my dog California Natural for a long time, but then she had blood work indicating early renal malfunction – so we switched her to a raw diet.  She would NOT for the life of her just eat raw meat, so after a bunch of tries (including tricks!) we fed her Primal.  She has NEVER been healthier – looking, acting, pooping! – than when she was eating Primal two meals a day.  However, she’s 100lbs and 5 primal patties a day was too expensive.

We’ve been feeding her Orijen in the morning and Primal at night (most nights, when I remember) and it cut our feeding budget and she seems to be doing fine – we got her blood checked, and it was normal.  However, as much as Orijen is supposed to be THE best food on the market, it is a very very rich food.  It’s harder on Lucy’s tummy, definitely, because her #2s after digesting Orijen are much different than after eating her Primal. 

You might not be able to feed both dogs the same thing – this is a very real possibility.  I DO suggest Cali Natural to people who I know have doggie tummy issues. However, I have not purchased/recommended it since Proctor and Gable bought them.  Maybe others can chime in.

That said, I think Primal is the best dog food I have ever bought any pet I’ve owned.  Lucy gets ready to eat every time I go to the freezer because she thinks I’m getting our Primal – that’s how much she loves it.  The moistness is wonderful for  a dog that might need help getting more water (a big dog like Lu) and she looked the healthiest. Too bad my income was not!

Post # 9
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Finding a dog food that works is seriously like finding a BC pill that works for humans. I thought for a long time that my dog had a sensitive stomach, and after trying SO many different types of foods and still having issues I finally realized it was actually a poultry allergy, because she has been fine ever since switching her to a Lamb based food. There are so so many good foods out there, though.

We have had her on California Naturals for quite a while and a few months ago I decided to switch her because of Cal Nat. being bought out by P&G. I looked into Orijen and decided for even a moderately active Standard Poodle, it was just too high in protein for my comfort. Most dogs, unless they are hunting dogs or running around a farm, don’t need that much protein.

I havent looked into Acana, but we ended up switching to Taste of the Wild High Prairie which came highly recommended, and she’s doing SUPER well on it. So much so, that my mom is now switching both of her dogs from Cal Nat to TOTW. It’s grain free, super good quality and is actually cheaper than Cal Naturals.

I’m also a big fan of Fromm but not sure if they have a grain free food? They should.


Post # 10
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I tried feeding this to our Yorkie, but she wasn’t having any of it! She would pretty much starve herself instead of eating it. I’ve recently started feeding her California Natural, which is by the same company (Natura Pet) and she’s really liking that right now. She eats the Herring and Sweet Potato formula!

Post # 11
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

We were feeding our cats Orijen but we found out that it was VERY high in protein so we switched to Acana which is the same ingredients just a little lower in protein and our cats love it.  Also it’s a little cheaper than Orijen which makes us happy! 🙂

Post # 12
21 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

My dog loves Orijen and we love it because it’s low in grain but high in protein/fruits/vegetables.  I found out at the store that Acana is produced by the same company as Orijen but has less protein and more fruits/veggies. 

Post # 13
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have been using Orijen for my dog for the last 3 1/2 years. I have used the Original, the Regional Red, and the 6-fish formula. My dog does the best on the 6-fish formula, his coat is absolutely amazing! 

It is higher calorie, so my 140 pound Newfoundland dog eats a mere 3 cups a day and does awesome on it. With the reduced volume of feeding, we actually saved money when we switched him, as a 30 pound bag lasts over a month! His weight is perfect, he has small, non-stinky, easy to pick up poops. His tummy does really well on it, and we have greatly reduced his number of skin and ear infections since we switched when he was 6 months old (we suspect he has a grain allergy).

Post # 14
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I wouldn’t feel comfortable feeding a food with that much protein, I’ve heard some scary stories.  It might take a bunch of switches before finding the right food, I’m still on the hunt, and I’m really considering raw even though I was totally against it before, but I hear so many good things about it.  I’m just concerned about salmonella and that sort of thing, especially if my dog licks me after eating it, etc, I’m sort of a germophobe!

So far I have been feeding Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream formula… it’s a great food, but the way they preserve the fish concerns me also.  There are a lot of companies that have grain free foods now, but most of them are too high in protein.

Innova is supposed to be a great food.

Post # 15
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

“too much protein” is a myth – in the wild, dogs eat animals and the contents of their stomachs.  It’s not the AMOUNT of protein but the quality.  At first I thought too much was bad, too, especially when learning about my dogs elevated creatinine.  However, after reading about how restricting a dog’s protein intake does not help that, and that it’s the quality, I tried that.  Especially given the total crap food vets try to sell you. 

If some foods were too high protein, raw food wouldn’t be as good for them!  But if you feed just raw meats, be sure you 1) give them bones and organs and 2) buy good meat – no saline injected or anything, which can be hard to find depending on where you live or the stores you shop at.  Lucy wouldn’t eat raw meat – we gave her a chicken quarter – and even seared the skin – and she was like “WHAT THE HELL MOM!!!”  I also thought it was important to be able to have her switch to kibble in case she had someone else watching her, which was one reason we started splitting her meals.  

I will sing Primal’s praises from the tallest roof (but only if they gave it to her for free!).  That said, I have contacted them about the cost and once in a while I get a care package from them with their treats – which she cannot get enough of – and some coupons.  They also have punch cards and some feed shops have their own frequent buyer program. 

Innova was also bought by Proctor and Gamble, FYI. 

Post # 16
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I fed a raw prey-model diet.

I have posts on my blog about both raw-feeding and kibble. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post the links here because that may be considered “blog promotion”, but if you check the Share Your Blog thread you can find the link to my blog. The posts are “My Pet Wolves” in November and “What My Wolves Used To Eat” in December. Those posts go into more detail than I have room to go into here.



Acana and Orijen are both good foods. They fit the standards I looked for when I fed kibble.

  1. High meat content. Preferably at least 2-3 out of the top 5 ingredients be meat or meat meal (first ingredient must be!). Don’t confuse “meal” with “byproducts”. Meal is simply the meat with the water weight removed. So for example, on the ingredient list, “chicken meal” is actually more quantity of chicken than “chicken”.
  2. Higher quality grains, such as barley, brown rice, and oatmeal. No wheat or corn.Or an alternative starch/carbohydrate such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.
  3. No byproducts.
  4. Minimal fillers (brewers rice, beet pulp, etc).
  5. No carcinogenic preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin).
  6. No artificial colorings such as the Red, Blue, and Yellow dyes.
  7. No added sugars (sugar, corn syrup). 
  8. No mystery meats (meats identified only as “meat” or “poultry”.)

Good websites for information on kibble feeding:



If you want to learn more about raw-feeding,

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