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Taste of the Wild vs. Orijen: Who Wins? [2024]

Written by: Arlene D.
Arlene A. Divina, a resident of the Philippines, is a devoted fur mom to two adorable dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Beagle. With a passion for animals and storytelling, Arlene has channeled her love for dogs into her career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. Her writing captures the essence of the bond between humans and their furry companions, offering insights, tips, and heartfelt stories to a wide audience of dog enthusiasts. Read more
| Published on January 2, 2024

Taste of the Wild and Orijen are renowned brands in the dog food industry, each boasting unique attributes and offerings. This article dives deep into a head-to-head comparison, evaluating both critical parameters such as ingredients, their quality, protein content, overall value for price, and past recall histories. Join us as we unpack the strengths and shortcomings of each to help you make an informed choice for your canine companion.

Taste of the Wild Vs. Orijen: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison


Taste of the Wild Pros: Ingredient Breakdown

1. Diverse Protein Sources: Taste of the Wild is known for its unique protein sources, ranging from bison and wild boar to salmon and venison. This diversity caters to dogs with specific protein preferences or allergies.

2. Fruit & Vegetable Inclusions: Ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas, and various berries are rich in antioxidants and provide essential vitamins and minerals. They also add to the taste profile, often making the food more palatable.

3. Probiotics & Prebiotics: Many of Taste of the Wild’s recipes incorporate proprietary K9 Strain Probiotics, which are specifically developed for dogs and help support a healthy digestive and immune system.

4. Grain-Free & Grain-Inclusive Options: With the ongoing debate over grain-free diets and potential links to DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy), offering both options gives pet owners the flexibility to choose based on their dog’s dietary needs.

Taste of the Wild Cons:

1. Less Meat Content: While Taste of the Wild does focus on meat-rich formulas, it might not have as high a meat content as brands like Orijen.

2. Use of Meal: While meat meals can be a concentrated source of protein, they are processed more than whole meat sources. Some consumers might prefer whole meat due to its less processed nature.

3. Broader Sourcing: While Taste of the Wild emphasizes quality ingredients, they might not be as regionally and ethically sourced as Orijen’s.


Orijen Pros: Ingredient Breakdown

1. High Meat Inclusion: Orijen dog foods typically contain 85% quality animal ingredients, ensuring a protein-packed diet that aligns with the dietary needs of ancestral dogs.

2. Fresh and Regional Ingredients: Champion Petfoods, Orijen’s parent company, is known for its “Biologically Appropriate” philosophy, which means their foods closely resemble the diet dogs would naturally consume. This results in a significant portion of fresh, refrigerated, or raw ingredients.

3. Whole Prey Ratios: Orijen includes meat, organs, cartilage, and bone in ratios that naturally provide essential nutrients, reducing the need for synthetic additives.

4. Transparency in Sourcing: Orijen is transparent about where they source their ingredients, emphasizing local farmers, ranchers, and fishers.

Orijen  Cons:

1. Higher Price Point: Orijen’s commitment to high-quality, fresh, and regional ingredients does come at a higher cost, making it one of the pricier brands on the market.

2. Limited Grain-Inclusive Options: Orijen primarily focuses on grain-free formulas. While many dogs thrive on grain-free diets, some owners might be looking for grain-inclusive options due to the aforementioned concerns around DCM.

3. Richness: The high protein and fat content in Orijen can be too rich for some dogs, especially if they are not accustomed to such a diet. Transitioning too quickly or not being the right fit might result in digestive upset.


Comparison Summary:

Both Taste of the Wild and Orijen bring quality ingredients to the table, with distinct philosophies guiding their formulations. Taste of the Wild provides a balance of unique protein sources, beneficial plant ingredients, and both grain-free and grain-inclusive options, catering to a broad audience. Orijen, with its intense focus on high meat content, fresh and regional ingredients, and a biologically appropriate philosophy, appeals to those seeking a diet that closely mirrors what dogs might eat in the wild.

While ingredient quality is a significant factor, individual dog needs, activity levels, and any specific health concerns should also guide food choice. Some dogs might thrive on the high-protein richness of Orijen, while others might prefer the diverse protein options provided by Taste of the Wild. As with all dietary choices, consultation with a veterinarian can provide invaluable guidance.

 

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Orijen

Brand
Orijen 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Recalls & Lawsuits: Taste of the Wild Vs. Orijen

When assessing the safety and trustworthiness of dog food brands, considering their history of recalls and any significant lawsuits can be telling. Here’s how Taste of the Wild and Orijen stack up in these areas:

Taste of the Wild Recalls & Lawsuits:

Recalls: In 2012, Taste of the Wild was affected by a voluntary recall due to a potential salmonella contamination. The affected products were produced in a Diamond Pet Foods facility, which also produces several other brands. It’s essential to note that recalls can occur in even the most reputable brands, and proactive recalls can indicate a brand’s commitment to safety.

Lawsuits: In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Taste of the Wild, alleging the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and BPA in their dog food. However, it’s critical to note that the lawsuit didn’t claim these levels were above established safety standards. The outcome was a heightened awareness of pet food ingredients and their sources.

Orijen Recalls & Lawsuits:

Recalls: As of this section’s last update, Orijen has not had any recalls in the U.S. Their commitment to quality control and sourcing local ingredients plays a significant role in maintaining their recall-free record. However, it’s worth noting that in 2008, there was a recall in Australia. The reason wasn’t due to the quality of Orijen’s products directly but because of irradiation treatment required by Australian regulations, which negatively affected the food.

Lawsuits: There haven’t been any significant lawsuits directly targeting Orijen for the quality or safety of their dog food. Their brand reputation remains robust, with many pet owners praising their commitment to transparency and high-quality ingredients.

Comparison: Both Taste of the Wild and Orijen have faced challenges. While Taste of the Wild had to manage a recall and a lawsuit, their proactive approach to the recall and transparent handling of the lawsuit concerns indicate responsibility. Orijen’s Australian recall is an isolated event tied more to import regulations than the food’s innate quality. Their lack of recalls in the U.S. and absence of major lawsuits are commendable.

In the realm of pet food, it’s crucial to remain updated on brands’ recall histories and any emerging concerns. Consumers should always monitor their pets for any adverse reactions to food, regardless of the brand’s history.

 

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Orijen

Brand
Orijen 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Our Verdict –Taste of the Wild Vs. Orijen: Who Wins?

When comparing Taste of the Wild and Orijen dog foods, several factors come into play. Based on protein content, both brands prioritize high-protein recipes derived from quality meat sources. In terms of ingredient quality, Orijen slightly edges out with its commitment to fresh, regional ingredients. Reflecting on recall history, Orijen has maintained a virtually spotless record in the U.S., whereas Taste of the Wild faced a recall in 2012. Taking these elements into account, we lean towards Orijen. However, both brands offer exceptional quality and nutritional value, and the final choice should cater to an individual pet’s needs.

 

Taste of the Wild vs. Orijen: Frequently Asked Questions


1. Where are Taste of the Wild and Orijen manufactured? Taste of the Wild is produced in the United States by Diamond Pet Foods. They have plants in California, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Orijen, on the other hand, is manufactured by Champion Petfoods based in Alberta, Canada, though they also have a kitchen in Kentucky for the U.S. market.

2. What is the primary protein source in both brands? Both brands emphasize meat-rich formulas. Taste of the Wild incorporates a variety of proteins such as bison, salmon, and lamb. Orijen uses a diverse range of fresh, regional meats including free-run poultry, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs.

3. Are grains used in any of their formulations? Taste of the Wild offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive options, catering to a wider audience. Orijen strictly focuses on a grain-free approach, emphasizing high protein and low carbohydrate formulas.

4. Which brand is more expensive? Generally, Orijen tends to be on the pricier side when compared to Taste of the Wild. This is due to Orijen’s commitment to premium, locally sourced ingredients and its high meat content.

5. How do the two brands approach ingredient sourcing? Orijen takes pride in sourcing its ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and fishers, ensuring freshness and quality. Taste of the Wild also prioritizes quality ingredients, though their supply chain is broader and not as regionally focused as Orijen’s.

6. Have there been any recent recalls associated with these brands? Taste of the Wild had a recall in 2012 due to salmonella concerns. Orijen has maintained a strong record in the U.S., with no significant recalls to date.

7. Which brand offers a wider variety of formulas? While both brands provide a diverse range of recipes, Taste of the Wild has a slightly broader spectrum of flavors and formulations, including specific life-stage and dietary requirement options.

8. Are there specific life-stage formulas available for puppies or seniors? Yes, both brands offer life-stage specific recipes. Orijen provides puppy, large breed puppy, and senior dog formulas, among others. Taste of the Wild also offers puppy and senior options in various protein flavors.

9. How do the brands compare in terms of carbohydrate content? Orijen dog foods tend to have a lower carbohydrate content, consistent with their biologically appropriate philosophy. Taste of the Wild, while also offering low-carb options, has a slightly higher carbohydrate content in some of its recipes.

10. Are there vegetarian or vegan formulas available? Neither Orijen nor Taste of the Wild offer vegetarian or vegan formulas. Both brands emphasize meat-rich diets in line with a carnivorous dietary philosophy.

11. Can I find formulations tailored for specific health concerns, like joint issues or sensitive stomachs? Taste of the Wild offers some formulas with specific ingredients beneficial for certain health concerns, like salmon for skin health. While Orijen doesn’t market condition-specific recipes, the quality and variety of their ingredients can cater to many health needs.

12. Which brand is more environmentally conscious? Orijen emphasizes its commitment to sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients. Taste of the Wild also promotes sustainability, but Orijen goes the extra mile with its regional and biologically appropriate sourcing philosophy.

13. Do these brands offer wet food options? Yes, both Taste of the Wild and Orijen offer wet/canned dog food options, allowing pet owners to introduce more variety and moisture into their pet’s diet.

14. How do the two brands fare in palatability tests? Both brands generally receive high marks from pet owners regarding palatability. However, individual preferences can vary, so what one dog loves, another might not find as appealing.

15. Can I find these brands in major pet stores? Taste of the Wild is widely available in many pet stores across the U.S. Orijen, while also available in many pet stores, is a bit more selective in its distribution, emphasizing independent retailers.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Orijen

Brand
Orijen 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

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