Dog Food Insider

Orijen Puppy Large Breed Review

Dog Food Ingredients Analysis

Dog Food Insiders Rating

5 Paws



Compare Our Origen Puppy Large Breed Review To These Reviews From Puppy Owners


Product Overview

Champion Petfoods and Orijen are known for producing “Biologically appropriate pet foods from Fresh Regional Ingredients.” They operate on the principle that dogs should eat a diet that contains foods similar to what they would eat on a natural diet in the wild. The food contains lots of meat protein. Orijen foods have 75 to 80 percent meat and they contain 38 to 42 percent protein. This is more than most dog foods. They only have 18 to 22 percent carbohydrates which is very low. They are made with up to 40 percent fresh meats which is virtually unique. And they use a minimum of five fresh meats in each formula. There are really no other foods, especially kibbles, that are similar to Orijen.

NOTE: For additional information such as manufacturing processes and past recall information, check out our full Orijen Dog Food Review.


Compare Our Origen Puppy Large Breed Review To These Reviews From Puppy Owners


Ingredients In Orijen Puppy Large

Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, chicken liver oil, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium. 


* DELIVERED FRESH, preservative-free and never frozen.


If you look at the ingredients and guaranteed analysis (shown below), there is very little difference between Orijen’s Puppy and Large Puppy dog foods. The ingredients in the two foods look virtually identical. They have simply been moved around a little which indicates there’s a little more protein in the Puppy food and a few more carbs in the Large Puppy food, but they’re very similar. If you look at the percentages in the guaranteed analysis the two foods are very much alike. Even the calcium to phosphorus ratio is identical which is surprising since this ratio is usually lower in good quality large breed puppy foods. However, Orijen already reached an ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio with their Puppy food. There are some studies which suggest using a slightly lower ratio for large breed dogs but Orijen has not done that here. They have used exactly the same ratio for their Large Puppy food that they used in their Puppy food. Frankly, I’m not sure if the levels should be lower for large puppies or not so I can’t really fault Orijen. There’s a good article written by someone who specializes in large breeds and how to feed them. But at least the calcium in the Large Puppy food is on the low side and it’s in proper balance with the phosphorus in the food.

Calcium And Weight Management For Large Puppies

It’s important to be careful with with calcium for all puppies since too much can lead to skeletal problems such as osteochondrosis and hip dysplasia. But it’s particularly important for large breed puppies. Encouraging fast growth in these puppies can lead to many health problems not just while they’re puppies but later in life. It’s also important to keep large puppies lean. Good quality protein can be beneficial but you don’t want to give them more fat than they can use up in energetic playing. You don’t want to have fat puppies as that can also lead to later health problems. A food for large puppies should aim for slow growth and keep the puppy lean and active.

At one time many breeders recommended feeding a puppy food for the first few months of a puppy’s life and then changing over to an adult or all life stages food when the puppy was six to nine months old. This was done to cut down on some of the calories and other ingredients the puppy was getting in the puppy food and to try to slow the puppy’s growth so he wouldn’t experience some of the skeletal and other health problems that come from rapid growth. However, puppy foods are typically better now and it’s usually a good idea to continue to feed your puppy a good puppy food until he’s about a year old or until he reaches most of his adult growth.


Compare Our Origen Puppy Large Breed Review To These Reviews From Puppy Owners


First 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The top 5 ingredients included in Orijen Large-Breed Puppy Dog Food are: Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, and boneless turkey. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:

Boneless Chicken – Listing a fresh source of animal protein at the top of the ingredients list is a very good thing for this Orijen Large-Breed Puppy Dog Food. Orijen uses free-run cobb chicken in their formulas so you can rest assured that it is hormone- and antibiotic-free. Plus, it is an excellent source of protein for your large-breed puppy.

Chicken Meal – Chicken meal is made from the same meat as boneless chicken, but it has already been cooked to remove moisture. This means that chicken meal is a much more highly concentrated source of protein than boneless chicken which makes it a valuable addition to this formula.

Chicken Liver – This ingredient provides your large-breed puppy with protein but more important is its nutrient content. Chicken liver is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin D, various B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, and folic acid.

Whole Herring – This ingredient is an excellent source of protein, like the three ingredients before it. Because this ingredient comes from fish, not meat, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids which is good for a puppy’s skin, coat, nervous system, heart, and other systems.

Boneless Turkey – Like boneless chicken, boneless turkey is an excellent source of animal protein. It is important to remember, however, that fresh meats like turkey contain up to 80% water so they will contribute less to the finished product in terms of protein volume. Because there are so many protein sources included in this recipe, however, this isn’t a problem.

Additional Ingredients

Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Orijen Large-Breed Puppy Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include turkey meal, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken cartilage, chicken liver oil, lentils, peas, and various fresh fruits and vegetables. Like chicken meal, turkey meal, herring meal, and salmon meal are all highly concentrated sources of protein. These ingredients also contain some valuable fats, though chicken liver oil is a more concentrated source of essential fatty acids. In addition to several types of meat and meat meals, this formula also contains a variety of animal organs and cartilage. Organ meats are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals in addition to providing protein.

This formula contains several types of lentils as well as chickpeas, peas, and fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure that your puppy’s needs for dietary fiber are met. The fresh fruits and vegetables in this formula also provide antioxidants as well as various vitamins and minerals. All of Orijen’s fruits and vegetables are regionally sourced and delivered fresh and whole. This Orijen Large-Breed Puppy Dog Food also contain botanicals which may or may not be useful to your dog, digestive enzymes which may or may not be useful, vitamins, and chelated minerals which do help your dog absorb the minerals in the food better.

Much of the fat in the Large Puppy food is supplied by the chicken fat(preserved with mixed tocopherols). This is a good named source of animal fat and most dogs do well with it. You should note that this ingredient also appears in the Puppy food but it is much higher in the ingredient list in that food. The Large Puppy food has 4 percent less fat than the Puppy food.

The remainder of the ingredients are also similar to the Puppy food. They feature several more good protein sources, berries as antioxidants,botanicals which may or may not be useful to your dog, digestive enzymeswhich may or may not be useful, vitamins, and chelated minerals which do help your dog absorb the minerals in the food better.


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Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude protein (min.) ….. 38%
  • Crude fat (min.) ….. 16%
  • Crude fiber (max.) ….. 3%
  • Moisture (max.) ….. 10%
  • Calcium (min./max.) ….. 1.5 / 1.7 %
  • Phosphorus (min./max.) ….. 1.2 / 1.4 %
  • Omega-6 (min.) ….. 2.6%
  • Omega-3 (min.) ….. 1%
    • DHA (min.) ….. 0.6%
    • EPA (min.) ….. 0.3%
    • AA (min.) ….. 0.12%
  • Carbohydrate (max.) ….. 25%
  • Ash (max.) ….. 7.5%
  • Taurine (min.) ….. 0.35%
  • Glucosamine (min.) ….. 1400 mg/kg
  • Chondroitin (min.) ….. 1200 mg/kg
  • Microorganisms (min.) ….. 120M cfu/kg
  • pH ….. 5.5

Metabolizable energy for ORIJEN PUPPY LARGE BREED is 388 kcal per 8 ounce cup

ORIJEN PUPPY LARGE BREED is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for ALL LIFE STAGES.


Orijen Puppy Large Breed looks like a good food for large breed puppies. It has slightly less protein (2 percent) and 4 percent less fat than Orijen’s Puppy food. The calcium and phosphorus amounts are the same which are a 1.21 to 1 ratio. The Large Breed food also has 25 percent carbs compared to 20 percent carbs for the Puppy food. This slight increase in carbs will probably lower the amount of calcium absorbed a little which is a good thing for large breeds. This foods looks like it will provide good energy and help large breed puppies grow slowly.

Orijen Puppy Large dog food has received our highest rating of 5 paws.


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