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Canidae vs Orijen: Which is The Better Pet Food Brand?

Canidae and Orijen are two of the most established pet food brands in the market. And for this post, we will discuss a Canidae vs Orijen comparison to help you choose what’s best for your pet.

Nutrition-wise, these two pet food brands give each other a run for their money. Both have a wide range of formulations to suit various breeds and life stages.

canidae vs orijen

To help you choose, we will discuss here the brands’ history, nutrient profile, recall history, and more. Read on to know if any of these pet food brands suit your pet’s needs.

About the Canidae brand

The Canidae brand was founded in 1996 by Scott Whipple and John Gordon. The two started selling their pet food bags from their pick-up trucks in Norco, CA.

From there, the company grew into a family-owned business. Nonetheless, they keep batches small to monitor the quality of every food bag.

After more than two decades in the industry, Canidae is now a multimillion-dollar venture. They are now up against the ranks of Whiskas, Pedigree, Friskies, and other big brands.

Nowadays, Canidae can be bought in more than 10,000 stores nationwide. Also, they have 100+ pet food formulations and counting.

Overall, Canidae is continuously expanding and is currently one of the top dogs in the massive pet food industry. They take pride in their AAFCO-approved and filler-free formulas that appeal to thousands of pet owners worldwide.

About the Orijen brand

Orijen is a brand of Champion Petfoods together with the popular pet food label Acana. Overall, Champion Petfoods has been in the industry since 1985, but Orijen was only launched back in 2005.

The word ‘Orijen’ came from a Latin word that means ‘origin’. It’s because the brand aims to provide a biologically appropriate diet for both cats and dogs.

The Orijen brand is driven by the natural and original diet of whole prey animals. This is why most of their pet food products are meat-based, grain-free, and high in protein.

True enough, Orijen trademarked the line ‘biologically appropriate’ as the expression of their brand.

Currently, Champion Petfoods has a facility in Alberta, Canada, and Kentucky, USA. Also, they are now exporting to 80+ countries and can be bought from thousands of stores nationwide.

Canidae and Orijen brand comparison

Formula variants

Both Canidae and Orijen have pet food formulas to cover all life stages. These brands also take pride in their grain-free and natural ingredients suitable for sensitive canines.

Aside from their puppy to senior pet food products, Canidae and Orijen also have weight management formulas. You’ll also get freeze-dried food from them, though it’s only Canidae that offers a grain-inclusive option.

Nutrient profile

While they have a similar product line, Orijen and Canidae differ a lot in terms of guaranteed analysis. This is important to consider since it will affect your dog or cat’s level of nutrition.

For this part, we will break down dog and cat food products separately. We will pick similar products to compare to give you a quick look at the two brands’ formulations.

Canidae Dog Food vs. Orijen Dog Food

For the dry dog food comparison, we’re going to compare the Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food and Orijen All Life Stages Dog Food. We also picked similar flavors of chicken, turkey, fish, with the addition of lamb for the Canidae variant.

Here’s the guaranteed analysis of the two dog food products: 

Guaranteed Analysis Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food Orijen All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Crude protein 24% 38%
Crude fat 14.50% 18%
Crude fiber 4% 4%
Moisture level 10% 12%
Probiotics Yes Yes
Chondroitin and glucosamine Yes Glucosamine only
Calorie content 468 kcal per cup 473 kcal per cup

As you see, Orijen dog food products contain higher protein content. This is mainly due to their biologically appropriate formulation that focuses on meat-based ingredients.

While the entire guaranteed analysis is important, the protein content is often the make-or-break part among dog food products. Canines suffering kidney problems or are already very old will need a low-protein diet like the one from Canidae.

Canidae Cat Food vs. Orijen Cat Food

For the cat food section, we’re going to compare the Canidae All Life Stages Dry Cat Food and the Orijen Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. Both of these formulas are made for all cat breeds and have a combination of poultry and fish ingredients.

Guaranteed Analysis Canidae All Life Stages Dry Cat Food Orijen All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Crude protein 32% 40%
Crude fat 20% 20%
Crude fiber 2.50% 3%
Moisture level 9% 10%
Probiotics Yes Yes
Chondroitin and glucosamine No No
Calorie content 521 kcal/cup 515 kcal/cup

Like their dog food products, Orijen also offers high protein content for their cat food formulations. Nonetheless, both brands satisfy the higher protein and fat requirements of felines.

Recall history

Both Canidae and Orijen have recall histories. Below is a list of recalls and issues that these two pet food brands faced over the years.


There’s only one recall for Canidae, which was back in May 2012 due to potential Salmonella contamination.

Under such recall, Canidae pulled out the following dry dog food products in the market:

  • Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice Dry Dog Food
  • Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
  • Canidae Platinum Dry Dog Food
  • Canidae Lamb Meal & Rice Dry Dog Food

Moreover, the recalled pet food products were manufactured under Diamond Pet Foods in their South Carolina plant. Luckily, the recalled products from Canidae didn’t test positive for salmonella.


In November 2008, Orijen issued a voluntary recall of their cat food products sold in Australia. However, such recall is only precautionary and not due to contamination.

The voluntary recall is due to the fact that they treated their products with Gamma radiation. Such a procedure defeated their claim as a biologically appropriate brand.

Other than this incident, Orijen was never recalled in Canada, the United States, and other countries where they export their products.

Meanwhile, in 2018, a Class Action Lawsuit was filed against Champion Petfoods. This is due to a claim that their brands Orijen and Acana contain harmful levels of heavy metals.

The lawsuit claimed that the company deceives pet owners about the quality of their food. But in 2019, the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence to support the allegations.

Price range

In terms of price, Orijen is the steeper brand. Based on a recent analysis of their dry dog food, Orijen will set you back for $14 per pound, while Canidae only costs $3 per pound.

Nevertheless, the price difference is much relaxed for the cat food products. Orijen costs $7 per pound for the dry cat food variant, while Canidae charges $4 per pound.

Overall, it will cost more to feed your pet with Orijen products. But considering that they have never been involuntarily recalled before, I think the splurge is worth it.

In the end, it’s all about finding the right balance between price and the quality of ingredients. Compared to other brands in the market, I can say that Canidae and Orijen are reasonably priced. 

Which is the better pet food brand?

Both Canidae and Orijen provide high-quality nutrition for pets. However, they suit different dogs and cats based on the pet’s overall health.

If your pet needs a low-protein or low-fat diet, Canidae is a much better choice. However, if you have a growing pup or you need to fatten up a malnourished dog, you can consider Orijen.

If you’re on a budget, Canidae would be a good start. Just remember that not all Canidae food products are grain-free, which is a major consideration for many pet owners.

As for Orijen, I’ll switch to this brand if I wish to upgrade my pet’s diet. Based on my experience, it suits dogs and cats with active lifestyles due to the higher protein and fat content.

Overall, you can rotate or mix dog food products from these two brands. This way, your pet won’t get tired of the taste, especially if you have a picky eater.

In the end, it depends on what works for your pet. You can also ask your dog or cat’s veterinarian for the best dog food option between these two brands.


Both Canidae and Orijen managed to take a bite of the multibillion-dollar pet food industry. True enough, these two brands offer top-notch nutrition for pets.

We hope that this Canidae vs Orijen comparison helped you choose the right brand for your pet. Just remember that beyond the brand, you should also check the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis of the product.

What do you think of these two brands? Share your thoughts below!

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