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Home / Why Orijen / Our Mission / Biologically Appropriate
Our Biologically Appropriate Philosophy
Dogs and cats are built like their ancestors. We believe they should eat like them too.
Evolved as hunters, the physical structure of their teeth, jaws and digestive system scientifically classify dogs and cats as carnivores, evolved over thousands of years to operate on an almost exclusively meat-based diet.
The Biologically Appropriate™ concept is simple: Mirror the richness, freshness and variety of meats that dogs and cats would naturally hunt in the wild and for which they are evolved to eat.
That’s why ORIJEN foods feature exceptionally high inclusions of fresh whole meats, plus richly nourishing liver, tripe, cartilage and marrow — all in ratios that mirror the natural diet, while excluding high-glycemic carbohydrates and plant proteins that simply don’t belong in the diets of dogs and cats.
ORIJEN WHOLE PREY is the evolution of our Biologically Appropriate™ mandate; incorporating richly nourishing fresh meats, organs, cartilage and marrow in ratios that truly mirror the natural diet.
Our 5 Biologically Appropriate™ Principles
FROM GREAT DANES TO CHIHUAHUAS, ALL MODERN DOGS CARRY THE SAME EVOLUTIONARY ORIGIN AND GENETIC MAKE-UP AS THE GRAY WOLF.
By all scientific standards your dog is a domesticated wolf. So it’s no surprise that dogs of all breeds are not only capable of eating the food of their ancestors, but actually require it for peak health.
Just like their wild cousins, our companion dogs and cats are evolved as carnivores, equipped with sharp teeth and anatomical features adapted to metabolize proteins and fats from meats — not plant and grain derivatives.
That’s why Biologically Appropriate™ ORIJEN features a full 80% of nourishing meats, over half of which are delivered to our kitchens fresh each day to more closely mirror the foods Mother Nature evolved dogs and cats to eat.
CONSIDER THE VARIETY IN THE NATURAL DIET: A NEST OF EGGS TODAY, A DUCK OR GOOSE TOMORROW, FRESH FISH THE NEXT. MOTHER NATURE PROVIDES A DIVERSITY OF PROTEINS AND FATS ESSENTIAL TO THE PEAK HEALTH OF DOGS AND CATS.
Unmatched by any other pet food, Biologically Appropriate™ ORIJEN features FRESH WHOLE MEATS—including organs, cartilage and marrow from a diversity of cage-free poultry, nest-laid eggs, free-range red meats and wild-caught fish.
Yet this variety is lost in conventional pet foods, which typically feature a single animal ingredient, such as chicken or lamb, that’s highly processed and seldom fresh.
ORIJEN features an unmatched diversity of cage-free poultry, nest-laid eggs, ranch-raised red meats and wild-caught fish to mirror the natural diet and nourish your dog or cat completely.
AUTHENTICALLY FRESH POULTRY, EGGS, FISH AND MEATS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE™ FOODS.
That’s because fresh meats are in a natural unprocessed state, and provide the diversity of richly nourishing proteins and fats needed for peak conditioning, as well as the natural flavors dogs and cats instinctively crave.
Unmatched by any pet food maker, our authentically fresh ingredients mirror the natural diet, supplying essential nutrients in their most natural, complete and nourishing form.
PET LOVERS ARE OFTEN UNAWARE OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROTEIN AND CARBOHYDRATES IN THEIR FOOD. YET IT’S QUITE SIMPLE: IF ONE GOES UP, THE OTHER GOES DOWN.
The more protein in the food, the less room for carbohydrates. And that’s good. Because while protein is essential, dogs and cats have no requirement for carbohydrates. In fact, for dogs and cats, carbohydrates are ‘empty calories’ that provide little nutritional value beyond their controversial energy potential.
While carbohydrates are recognized as a leading cause of obesity and diabetes, conventional pet foods often exceed 50% carbohydrate of total content!
THE GLYCEMIC INDEX | WHY CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY
SOME CARBOHYDRATES ARE DIGESTED QUICKLY CAUSING BLOOD SUGAR TO RISE RAPIDLY, WHILE OTHERS ARE DIGESTED SLOWLY CAUSING BLOOD SUGAR TO RISE LESS. ENTER THE GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI), A SCIENCE-BASED SYSTEM OF RANKING CARBOHYDRATES FROM 0 TO 100 BASED ON THEIR EFFECT ON BLOOD SUGAR.
HIGH-GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES such as rice or corn are associated with obesity and diabetes because they digest quickly, causing blood glucose to spike and fat storage to increase.
LOW-GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES like lentils and chickpeas enter the blood stream slowly, promoting stable blood sugar levels and reducing the potential for fat storage.
Biologically Appropriate™ ORIJEN features lentils, chickpeas — carbohydrate heroes with GI ratings of 21 and 32 respectively. Compare these to rice at GI 70, corn at GI 65 or sweet potatoes at GI 55.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT CARBOHYDRATES
The National Research Council’s Committee on Animal Nutrition (2012) reports; “There appears to be no requirement for carbohydrates provided enough protein is given”.
IN PLACE OF CEREAL GRAINS THAT SPIKE BLOOD SUGARS (SUCH AS RICE OR CORN), ORIJEN FEATURES FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND BERRIES THAT ARE DELIVERED FRESH AND WHOLE FROM LOCAL PRAIRIE FARMS AND BRITISH COLUMBIA’S INTERIOR ORCHARDS.
While conventional pet foods feature high inclusions of grains or potato and a fraction of fruits and vegetables (usually in powdered form and of unknown origin), ORIJEN features fruits and vegetables that arrive freshly picked from Okanagan and Fraser valley orchards, or plucked from our black prairie soils so they’re loaded with natural goodness
WHEN LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES, COMPANION DOGS AND CATS INSTINCTIVELY SEEK OUT CERTAIN WEEDS AND PLANTS THAT ENHANCE THEIR LIFE-FORCE.
ORIJEN’s botanicals mimic the natural diet and serve as tonics and builders to help strengthen organs and tissues in specific parts of the body, and aid in digestion. Botanicals also help the body eliminate toxins by stimulating physiological processes like the cleansing of the liver.