Nourish as Nature Intended
Our biologically appropriate philosophy is simple: mirror the quantity, freshness, and variety of meat that dogs and cats have evolved to eat.
The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is the ancestor and closest relative of all domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiarius), sharing 97% of their DNA, while the Near Eastern wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) is the closest relative of domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus).
Despite years of breeding, the internal workings and anatomical capabilities of domestic dogs and cats remain the same as their wild cousins, so it’s no surprise their food requirements remain the same too.
The Eating Anatomy of Carnivores
JUST LIKE THEIR ANCESTORS, MODERN DOGS AND CATS HAVE ANATOMICAL FEATURES DESIGNED FOR A MEAT-BASED DIET – A FUNDAMENTAL FACT OFTEN OVERLOOKED. THESE INCLUDE:
- A wide mouth for swallowing chunks of meat whole, with a single-hinge jaw that lacks side-to-side chewing ability (unlike plant-eaters that chew extensively, meat-eaters seldom chew their foods).
- Sharp, pointed teeth for grasping and shredding meat (not for grinding plants).
- The saliva of plant-eaters contains the digestive enzyme amylase, which mixes with food through chewing. Since meat-eaters don’t chew, they are not adapted to digest carbohydrates from plants.
- Meat-eaters swallow chunks of meat whole; the purpose of their saliva is to lubricate the throat – not predigest food.
- In nature, carnivores seldom eat every day – sometimes as little as once a week. That’s why they have a large, single-chambered stomach suitable for gorging and digesting meat later.
- Because meat is easily digested (relative to plants), dogs and cats have a short, simple gastrointestinal tract (compared to plant-eaters like cows, who have four stomach chambers and eat constantly).
- Carnivores have a high concentration of stomach acid to break down meat quickly and kill bacteria associated with raw meat.
Our Five Biologically Appropriate Principles
JUST LIKE THEIR WILD COUSINS, MODERN DOGS AND CATS ARE EQUIPPED WITH SHARP TEETH, A SHORT DIGESTIVE TRACT, AND A BODY EVOLVED TO METABOLIZE MEAT. Biologically Appropriate ORIJEN mirrors the evolutionary diet, nourishing your dog or cat as nature intended, with unmatched fresh and raw meat inclusions plus smaller amounts of fresh whole vegetables, fruit, and botanicals. That’s why ORIJEN features:
- 85% QUALITY ANIMAL INGREDIENTS | Unmatched by any other dry foods and about three times more than conventional dog and cat foods, ORIJEN’s rich meat inclusions nourish the way nature intended.
- 38-44% PROTEIN | ORIJEN is rich in protein and quality animal ingredients, making our foods Biologically Appropriate.
ORIJEN’S Fresh regional ingredients mirror mother nature, supplying nutrients in their freshest, most natural and nourishing form.
- FRESH | 2/3 of the meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are FRESH or RAW, so they’re brimming with protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals in their most nourishing form.
- DRIED | 1/3 of the meat and fish ingredients are dried, providing a concentrated form of nourishing protein in a highly bio-available form.
When We Say Fresh We Mean It!
MANY NORTH AMERICAN PET FOOD MANUFACTURERS RECONSTITUTE MEAT POWDER BY ADDING FOUR PARTS OF WATER, WHICH THEY LABEL AS ‘FRESH’. ORIJEN is different. Our three classes of meat ingredients are :
- FRESH: Refrigeration is the only way we preserve our fresh poultry, eggs, fish, and meat.
- RAW: Just like our fresh ingredients – only frozen at peak season to preserve natural goodness.
- DRIED: Meat and poultry ingredients are dried to provide a concentrated source of protein – no chemical preservatives.
Consider the variation in the natural diet: fish today, a duck or goose tomorrow, fresh eggs the next. A rich variety of fresh meat is a key principle in our foods, providing a diversity of essential protein and fat to nourish dogs and cats completely.
This variety is lost in conventional dog and cat foods, which often feature a single animal ingredient, such as chicken or lamb, that’s highly processed and seldom authentically fresh. ORIJEN is different. Loaded with up to eight different fresh or raw meats, ORIJEN provides a richly nourishing diversity of protein and fat that naturally support peak health.
IN NATURE, THERE IS NO NEED FOR VITAMIN OR MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS, AS WOLVES AND WILDCATS DERIVE THEIR COMPLETE NUTRITIONAL NEEDS NATURALLY BY CONSUMING WHOLE ANIMALS. ORIJEN’s WholePrey philosophy mirrors the foods dogs and cats have evolved to eat, incorporating a nourishing balance of fresh meat, organs, and cartilage or bone in ratios that deliver nutrients naturally. ORIJEN foods provide almost every nutrient your dog or cat needs, in highly bio-available forms, so there’s no need for long lists of synthetic additives.
Superfood for Dogs & Cats
ORIJEN INCORPORATES MEAT, ORGANS, AND CARTILAGE OR BONE IN RATIOS THAT MIMIC MOTHER NATURE, CREATING A POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITIONAL GOODNESS. THAT’S WHY YOU WON’T FIND LONG LISTS OF SYNTHETIC SUPPLEMENTS IN ORIJEN FOODS.
- MEAT provides protein, fat, vitamins A, B, D, and K, copper, chromium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc – all in highly bio-available forms.
- ORGANS liver, kidney, tripe, and heart provide a richly concentrated and highly bio-available source of virtually everything dogs and cats need to thrive – including essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and amino acids.
- CARTILAGE AND BONE provide a rich source of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – all in natural and easily absorbed forms.
DOGS AND CATS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO BIOLOGICAL REQUIREMENT FOR CARBOHYDRATES. Pet Lovers are seldom aware that most foods exceed 50% carbohydrates. Worse still, conventional foods feature fast carbohydrates, such as rice, potato, tapioca, and starch – compounds that are quickly absorbed by dogs and cats, and do not feature the nutrients your dog or cat needs to thrive.
Carbohydrate Versus Protein
The relationship between protein and carbohydrates is simple: if one goes up, the other goes down. That means the more protein there is in the food, the less room there is for carbohydrates. That’s good news for carnivores. While protein is essential, carbohydrates are empty calories that provide little nutritional value beyond their controversial energy potential.