Friday, January 9, 2015

Food Friday: Orijen Six Fish

Orijen Six Fish is a very high quality kibble that is poultry-free, egg-free, and awesome. When someone asks me what the best kibble available is, this is my answer. Unfortunately, Orijen only makes this one food that Brisbane can eat. I always liked the Regional Red variety, but unfortunately it contains eggs. So tragic.
The ingredients list for every Orijen food basically reads like this: meat, meat, meat meal, meat, meat meal, organ meat, meat meal, more meat, fat, meat...There are some plant ingredients in there, but those are way down the list and usually after at least a couple of named meat meals. They recently added a new variety, Tundra, which uses primarily goat, but also duck meat. No Tundra food for Brisbane. Such disappointment.

Orijen Six Fish is made from 80% fish ingredients, and uses both fresh fish and fish meals so we know they're not cheating by using enough of one type of fresh meat to put it first on the ingredients list when the food is actually based on a completely different type of protein. Those six fish are: salmon (fresh and meal), herring (fresh and meal), Pollock (meal only), flounder (fresh), walleye (fresh) and northern pike (fresh). The fish are all caught in northern Canada or in the coastal waters off Vancouver, British Columbia. This regional sourcing means that half the ingredients don't even need to be dried, ground, or stored before they are used to make the food.
Questionable Claims
Orijen's website makes heavy use of the "whole prey model" of feeding, with lots of references to wolves and their anatomy. Too bad there's not any actual scientific study verifying this method of feeding. Still, it certainly appears to make sense, and a low-carb, low-glycemic diet is probably good for most dogs.

Following the Trail

Orijen makes their own food in their own facility. They source all of their ingredients themselves, acquire them all from domestic Canadian sources, and do not make food for anyone else. There is no shady co-packing, and surprisingly little marketing. This food is so good, it sells itself based largely on its reputation.

The Good Stuff
It's all good stuff. Orijen food is awesome. The problem is that they pack so many different types of meat into their foods that they inevitably include chicken, turkey, duck, or eggs. Six Fish is the only variety that Brisbane can eat. This is a nutritionally dense food, with 478 kcal per cup. I find it to be reliably sourced and believe it would be a good choice of kibble if I had to pick just one thing to feed my dogs. It rates five stars on Dog Food Advisor, of course. I'm not crazy about the smell, though. It really, really smells like fish.

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