PRODUCT TESTING: Orijen Dog Treats

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 15.43.14As you might already know, I have been feeding Chloe Orijen dog food since she’s been a puppy. When we got her she was being fed Burgess dog food, but after doing some research I switched her to Orijen, as the food is higher quality (85% meat ingredients, and 15% veggies/fruits/botanicals) and is better for her overall wellbeing. Due to the richness of the food, we used the Orijen kibble for most of her basic training. However, as the training progressed we realised that we needed a little bit more variety, particularly we found there was an absence of “high value treats” in the pet stores. This when my hunt for the best treats started.

I actually confess that I didn’t realise that Orijen did a treat range until Chloe was about a year old. I came across it when I was frantically Googling some quality, high value treats that I can carry around in my treat bag. I found that using real chicken and meat is such a pain to carry around and have easy access to because the moistness stains materials easily, you have to remember to prepare it and store it properly and it greases your fingers so whatever you touch after is going to get stained. Not ideal.

What primarily sold me about Orijen treats was not only that I had good experience with their dog food for about a year at that time, but also because of the ethos that they carried across to their range. Their mission statement (yes, not many other brands can say they have this!) is to make biologically appropriate dog food, from fresh regional ingredients. This is like music to my ears.

I think a few of you might be wondering what biologically appropriate actually means. Is this some fancy wording for something else? The answer is no, it means what it is. Orijen believes that dogs are built (inside and out!) like their ancestors. Meaning that dogs are natural hunters and the physical structure of their body and digestive system reflects that.

As carnivores, they eat a meat-based diet all their lives, and your dog is no different. This is why the food they eat needs to mirror the richness, freshness and variety of meats that dogs would hunt for and eat in the wild. What they don’t need is food that is primarily made up of cereals, sugars and slaughterhouse leftovers, which is sadly the main components of today’s dog food.

I didn’t know this until recently, but dogs don’t actually need carbohydrates in their diet, they just need protein (in the wild primarily comes from meat). Likewise, if they fill themselves up on one, they don’t have room for the other. This means if you pump your dog full of carbs, then there won’t be room/storage for the protein. This is another reason why high protein diets are so important for your dog to have in order to remain healthy. Leave the carbs out of it!

So, looking back at their mission statement, they also genuinely source the best (none of the bulk buying that typical dog brands do) and fresh (actually means fresh, so not exposed to freezing, heating, chemicals or preservatives) ingredients for your dog; nothing artificial, nothing that doesn’t need to be there. If you are interested in learning more about where they actually get their ingredients from, and how they are able to use fresh ingredients, I highly recommend reading their thorough breakdown and explanation on their website here. They are completely forthcoming about all and any information you might about their treats or food. I challenge you to find a brand that does the same!

When I took a look at their treat range in more detail, I was once again pleasantly surprised. The first thing that I always do is look at their ingredients, and guess what, I was able to pronounce and understand all the ingredients listed! This is exactly the sort of treats I was after.

They also have a large variety of different types of treats, depending on what your dog needs. Their flavours are Original, Six Fish, Regional Red, Tundra, Angus Beef, Romney Lamb, Free-Run Duck, Wild Boar and Plains Bison. I’d thought it beneficial, just for this post, to just focus on 4 that I use most often, Original, Regional Red, Tundra, and Free-Run Duck.

Original

orijen-chloe-post-7.jpgYou can’t go wrong with this one, which is made of free-run chicken, turkey and wild-caught flounder. I was really surprised that these are the only ingredients, growing up being told that they need to put something in it to preserve the taste and ingredients. But Orijen uses freeze-drying technique to keep the treats fresh, without needing to add any other preservatives. Freeze-drying is seen as the golden standard of food preservation as the food is able to retain it’s natural contents (the only thing removed is water!) more than when you use other forms of processing, such as cooking, or baking which can reduce the number of nutrients in the food.

Regional Red

DSC_1167This one is packed with some delicious meats, containing fresh Angus beef, Romney lamb, wild boar and Yorkshire pork. I think it’s so important to have a variety of flavours on hand when you train your dog, as I know Chloe can get tired of the same treats over and over again. This is especially true with high value treats like these. I want her to be able to distinguish a good job versus excellent. With this much variety in the types of meats, I do find that it keeps her attention for longer. She never knows exactly what each treat will taste like. For her health benefits, each of those types of meats are able to provide her with different, and necessary vitamins and minerals to keep her mind and muscles strong. This, in turn, means less visits to the vets!

Tundra

Orijen Chloe post 8For this flavour, we’ve got fresh wild boar, boer goat and Canadian venison paired with Artic char from Canada’s Northwest Territories. I do love how they combine meat with fish in this one and in the Original mix, it’s such a nice change from the standard one type of meat option for treats (i.e. chicken, turkey and beef). Fish have a lot of important vitamins for your dog and I was actually really surprised at the benefits. Fish are relatively low in saturated fats and empty calories, and so it’s easier to digest. Also, due to the high level of Omega-3 Fatty acids in fish, it is a natural anti-inflammatory to the body.

Free-Run Duck

orijen-chloe-post-2.jpgCan you imagine what the ingredient list is for this one by now? That’s right, 100% fresh duck of which 70% of it is fresh duck and 30% of it is fresh duck liver. I did some more research into duck and it’s benefits for your dog and it’s pretty amazing. Duck is rich in iron and it provides your dog with lean and easy-to-digest protein. This is a great option for those dogs that might have sensitivities or allergies to other meats such as chicken or turkey. Liver in particular is a delicious treat for your dog as it has a large amount of iron, coQ10, vitamin A, several B vitamins, and trace minerals. So you really can’t go wrong with this one!

I think by this point you have an idea of why I think these treats are so amazing for dogs. I understand that treats can get expensive, but high value treats should be handed out sparingly and therefore should be able to last you a while. Each of my packets (42.5g standard size ones) tend to last me a month.

Food is the foundation of a physically healthy dog, so if you give your dog poor food/treats, they’re going to lack nutrition and you are likely going to have health issues in the future, which will end up costing you a lot more than a couple of packets of healthy treats.

With Orijen’s honesty and openness about their intentions and priorities, it’s easy to trust the brand and likewise to have a better/true understanding of what you are putting into your dog. This is why they are mine and Chloe’s favourite dog treat brand! If you want to try some Orijen dog treats you can buy them directly on the Orijen website or you can try PetPlanet as well.

If you have any questions about the treats I use or need any help just get in touch and I’d be happy to answer your questions 🙂

 

2 thoughts on “PRODUCT TESTING: Orijen Dog Treats

  1. These look great! Love finding training treats.
    Sev & Lily are crazy for treats too, but I actually because of that high value treats aren’t really needed when training. However chews and long lasting things for other times through the day, or when we’re out at a cafe etc, are always much needed. So i’m Always on the look out for natural and healthier chews as they get through a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really interesting, and must be great for you that they love all treats! We’ve been told by our dog instructor that it’s good to have a variety of treats, flavours, textures, values, because it makes you less predictable which in turn keeps the pups more interested. We’ve definitely found that if we just use one brand/flavour, Chloe takes a bit longer to do what we ask her to. She’s a cheeky monkey. I’m also glad to hear that you mentioned chews – I am genuinely writing a blog post all about her favourite chews next Thursday! 😀 😀

      Like

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