Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician 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. Learn more about us here.
In this post, I will be comparing the popular dog food brands: Fromm vs Orijen.
As a former vet tech, I have seen firsthand the effects that diet can have on a dog’s health, and I believe it’s super important for dog owners to be informed about the options available to them.
I know that one of the biggest challenges is understanding the differences between the many dog food brands on the market, and how to choose the right one for their furry friend.
This is especially true for premium brands like Fromm and Orijen, which claim to be made from high-quality ingredients and offer numerous benefits for dogs.
In this post, I will delve into the details of these two brands, and hopefully, you will walk away with the information you need to make an informed decision.
- Overview: Fromm vs Orijen Dog Food
- 1. Brand Reputation
- 2. Ingredients
- 3. Key Nutrients
- 4. Range of Formulas
- 5. Product Safety and Recall History
- 6. Price
- In Conclusion: Fromm vs Orijen Dog Food Comparison
Overview: Fromm vs Orijen Dog Food
⚠️ Consider the following when choosing dog food:
- Life stage
- Size of dog
- Grain-inclusive or grain-free
What’s most important in choosing the right type of food for your dog is understanding its breed (activity levels) and any existing allergies.
If you need more help, consult your vet or find a veterinary nutritionist at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (AVCM).
By now, you’ve definitely noticed that there are numerous options when it comes to buying dog food, so much so that it makes you freeze at times.
The thing is, not every one of those choices is the same.
There are always going to be better brands than others, and unfortunately, some products can be downright harmful to your dog.
The good thing is, both Fromm and Orijen are well-established dog food companies in the industry, with good records, and cost-effective kibbles for your dog.
How do you decide then?
We are going to make an analysis of these two brands based on these factors:
- Brand Reputation
- Key Nutrients
- Range of formulas
- Product Safety and Recall
1. Brand Reputation
Fromm will undoubtedly be well-known to American audiences.
It is one of those companies with a lengthy history and a steady reputation.
They have produced high-quality dog food in their home city of Wisconsin for the past 70+ years, ranging from basic kibble to raw foods, but their grain-free formulas have become their most well-known product line.
Fromm’s commitment to comprehensive nutrition helps set it apart from other brands, with a focus on digestibility and nutrient density
Ingredients are carefully chosen from farms around the country to create recipes that taste great and support the growth of your puppy into a healthy adult dog.
Orijen’s manufacturer, Champions Petfoods, which was recently acquired by Mars, has been producing high-quality dog food for more than 30 years.
They continue to do under the new ownership and are now backed by the latest in dog nutrition technology and experts.
The company is renowned for its premium ingredients, which include farm-fresh meats and vegetables that are grown locally.
As such, Orijen has amassed a devoted following of dog owners who stick by its products thanks to the company’s continual development of quality dog kibble.
Ask any dog owner from another country and you will realize that their reputation is equally strong there.
Over the years, they have also won numerous awards including Business Insider’s Best Overall Dog Food.
⚠️ A few points to note about the product label
Product name – tells you the percentage of the main ingredient
- “Chicken” – at least 70% of the product.
- “Chicken entree”, “Chicken platter”, “Chicken dinner” – at least 10% of the product.
- “With chicken” – at least 3% of the product
- “Chicken flavor” – less than 3% of the product
Ingredients – The first few items listed are the most important and make up the majority of the product (determined by weight).
Meat-meal – Can have much more protein than actual meat. To further understand, refer to this guide by AAFCO.
In this Fromm and Orijen analysis, we will be using the following dry food products from each company as a basis for comparison:
Although there are many different options within each company, these should serve as a good base to evaluate the two brands.
Fromm concentrates on using a lot of high-quality components that are supplied by carefully screened businesses.
Due to the fact that they are completely produced in Wisconsin, they were recognized by the Wisconsin Small Business Administration for creating a high-quality, locally sourced product.
And guess what? All that they have done have led to many gushing that they are among the healthiest dog diets available.
They routinely audit operations and test products with third parties to make sure that their kibble satisfies the highest safety standards.
Here are the top 5 ingredients in this particular formula:
- Chicken Meal
- Chicken Broth
- Oat Groats
- Pearled Barley
Orijen dog food is made from high-quality, biologically appropriate ingredients that are sourced from local farms and trusted suppliers.
The brand prides itself on using fresh, whole animal ingredients, including meat, organs, bones, and cartilage in its recipes.
I love the fact that Orijen’s dog food also includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as botanicals and minerals to provide balanced nutrition.
Not only that, but the brand does not use any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors in their dog food, and they use a gentle, low-temperature cooking process to preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients.
Overall, Orijen’s ingredients are carefully chosen and thoughtfully prepared to provide dogs with the nutrition they need to thrive.
Here are the top 5 ingredients in this particular formula:
- Chicken liver
- Whole herring
- Whole mackerel
3. Key Nutrients
AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) regulations state that every pet food label in the US must have a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients.
In order to ensure that a product is balanced and complete for dogs, it has strict requirements to adhere to.
This states that complete and balanced diets must contain the bare minimum of all elements required by dogs, as suggested by the “guaranteed 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 nutrient percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it an 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 Fromm vs Orijen dog food nutrients comparison – Guaranteed analysis
|Nutrient||Fromm||Dry matter basis||Orijen||Dry matter basis|
|Crude protein||25% min||27.78%||38% min||43.18%|
|Crude Fat||16% min||17.78%||18% min||20.45%|
|Crude Fiber||5.5% max||6.11%||4% max||4.55%|
|Moisture||10% max||–||12% max||–|
For a dog’s diet to be healthy and well-balanced, protein is required.
Their bodies need it for a number of processes, such as the growth and maintenance of muscles and other tissues.
Among other things, it is crucial for the development of new skin, muscle, and hair cells.
It also helps with the synthesis of enzymes and hormones, two vital physiological components.
Like carbs, it increases immunity and releases energy.
It’s important to choose a meal that contains the correct amount of proteins because dogs can only manufacture about half of the 22 amino acids needed to produce proteins; the other half must be received from food.
In this analysis, you can see that Orijen has a huge advantage, but in actual fact, over 40% protein might be excessive for your dog. This will only work well if you have a highly active one or if your dog needs extra to put on weight!
An appropriate amount of fat can help your dog live a longer, healthier life as it is an essential nutrient in your dog’s diet.
Active dogs require more fat to fuel their muscles and provide them the energy they require to go around.
Dogs who are fed a high-fat diet have better performance and a greater capacity to burn fat, especially working and sporting dogs.
Again, Orijen does seem to have an advantage here again, but over 20% is considered excessive by most experts. If you have a dog that needs to bulk up and is able to work it off, then this might be suitable.
Fiber increases mass and absorbs more water, which helps to encourage regular bowel movements and the development of solid, well-formed stools.
Additionally, it helps to maintain an intestinal pH level that is balanced, preventing the development of potentially hazardous bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.
Last but not least, it strengthens the health of their digestive system and makes them feel full, which may stifle their appetite and prevent overeating.
Both brands are designed to give an abundance of fiber for your dog, which is recommended to be between 2 to 6% of their diets. Anything too much is not necessary and might cause stomach upsets instead.
4. Range of Formulas
In most cases, dog owners prefer to avoid frequently switching brands. Or at least I know I speak for myself.
This is why it is important for a dog food company to offer a wide range of formulas too.
The good news is that both businesses cater to dogs of all sizes and ages, from little puppies to seasoned seniors.
Orijen covers the essentials, but the selection in Fromm is a little wider because they have specialist diets for things like weight control.
Here’s a look at some of their most popular products:
Most Popular Orijen Dog Food
5. Product Safety and Recall History
You should always be aware of the safety and recall history of your pet’s food.
This is especially important as you want to know that your money isn’t going to a company that has had any major issues in the past.
And obviously, we need to know what we are feeding our dogs is safe!
Fromm issued its first-ever recall in March 2016.
Unacceptable levels of Vitamin D were the reason for the recall of certain cans of dog food.
The recalled cans were “shipped to distributors during the limited time frame from December 2015 to February 2016,” according to the company’s recall announcement.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified Fromm as one of 16 pet food brands that may be linked to heart disease in dogs and cats in late June 2019.
However, none of the 16 brands have been recalled as a result of the agency’s ongoing investigation.
Orijen dog food has never been recalled before in the United States or Canada.
Although price matters, you shouldn’t base your choice only on this factor.
That said, the truth is that there aren’t many affordable yet high-quality products available.
I’ve seen that certain dog food brands are less expensive than others because they employ inferior ingredients or fillers, which could lead to health problems.
If you want something that will last longer and provide more nutrients, it might be a good idea to spend a little bit more on a reputable brand.
The cost per pound for the choices covered in this article is displayed in the table below:
In Conclusion: Fromm vs Orijen Dog Food Comparison
Now that you know the key differences between Fromm and Orijen, which would you pick?
Of the two, my personal choice would be Fromm Adult Gold as it provides plenty of nutrition at a much more cost-effective price. If your dog is highly active or in need of putting on more weight though, Orijen would be the better choice.
That said, I have switched out of dry kibbles to a fresh diet for my dogs, and now I chose Ollie.
Keep in mind that every dog is unique and that there is no such thing as the best dog diet.
Always take into account the breed, lifestyle, and allergies of your dog, and this should direct you in the right direction.
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.