fromm vs orijen

Fromm Vs Orijen: Choosing the Perfect Food for Your Furry Friend

What distinguishes a good dog kibble from an overpriced one? It’s the consideration for the dog’s health over cost cuttings.

When comparing Fromm Vs. Orijen, we’ll see exactly what the difference looks like. Both of these brands are popular among customers in their own right.

If you give careful consideration to your dog’s health over the mindless production of dog food, we will see who does it better?

Let me walk you through what makes for healthy dog food in this comparison between Fromm and Orijen.

Owned byPrivately owned family businessMars Incorporated
HeadquartersMequon, Wisconsin1985
Launched In19041950
Special FeatureHands-on production processBiologically appropriate
Intended forAll dogsAll dogs

Fromm Dog Food

Fromm Dog Food

4.5 Overall Editor Rating

Fromm Dog Food

  • Romm uses fresh ingredients and high-quality 
  • Dog Food contains Duck, chicken meal, chicken, brown rice
  • Fromm Family Gold food for Dogs
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It’s unusual to see owners of private companies ever being involved in the on-ground process of manufacturing. That’s why it comes as a shock that the owner of Fromm Family Pet Food, Tom Nieman, is simultaneously an owner, president of the company, and also a chef.

It all started with his grandmother Erna Fromm, who started this company back in 1904; since then, the family has kept the business going for five consecutive generations, amounting to over a century of making pet food.

Tom Nieman proudly boasts about being an understudy to a big name in the dog food industry, Dr. Willard Roberts, Ph., while doing his chemical engineering degree at the University of Wisconsin. He is involved in formulating all the pet food recipes at the Fromm plant.

Orijen Dog Food

Orijen Dog Food

3.5 Overall Editor Rating

Orijen Dog Food

  • Romm uses fresh ingredients and high-quality 
  • Dog Food contains Duck, chicken meal, chicken, brown rice
  • Fromm Family Gold food for Dogs
Check Price

*We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

This has been a fan favorite for a long time, and for good reason. The selling point of the food is that it is “biologically appropriate.” While that term is not officially recognized in the pet food industry, it simply means that the food contains fresh ingredients that cats and dogs have biologically evolved to eat.

Orijen is the only company that can say that it contains at least six different meats in each recipe. Orijen was previously owned by the Canadian company Champion Pet Foods and its sister brand, Acana.

As of 2023, both Orijen and Acana have completed their acquisition by Mars Incorporated, a giant pet food company in the USA. The change in ownership has sparked controversy as customers have started to see a decline in the quality of ingredients used.

Fromm Vs. Orijen: The Four-Factor Analysis

Fromm Vs Orijen: The Four-Factor Analysis

This review gives a four-way comparative study of the two brands based on their product lines, ingredients, nutrients, and recall history. So sit back with your four-legged family and enjoy the detailed ride.

1. Recipes

Here are some selected recipes from both brands to understand the range of life stages and issues both tackle.



The Gold Food from Fromm contains the following:

  • Red Meat
  • Comes in chicken, beef, turkey, and fish varieties
  • Grain-free

All the recipes in this product line are categorized based on the animal’s life stage.

Fromm claims that the Gold version differs from any regular Fromm product because it contains very intentionally selected proteins for each life stage.

This line has 12 different recipes to choose from.

Gold tries to take a holistic approach with its recipes, and while it does not have as many meats as the other lines, it still has more than enough protein, at least by AAFCO standards.


The following are some of the things going in favor of the Four-Star product line from Fromm:

  • Digestion-friendly
  • High Protein
  • Interchangeable

The four-star product line by Fromm is specifically designed to cure the food fatigue that your dog may be suffering from, as they are all interchangeable with each other and not in a way that’ll make your dog’s stomach have some problems.

This product line has the most meat, fresh veggies, and fruits percentage compared to any of their other recipes.

Fromm Classic
  • Original recipe
  • Probiotics
  • Skin and joint health

This is the recipe they started out with, but Fromm Classic’s product line has kept up with the times and always adjusted the recipe according to AAFCO guidelines.

This product line has only three recipes– one for puppies and the other two for adult and mature adult dogs(senior).

The recipe is based on three primary ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, eggs, and brown rice.

Author’s note: So they don’t do feeding trials. They just formulated it. We’d like a feeding trial rather than just following a formula. Still, at least they followed a formula to meet the nutritional levels by AAFCO for gestation, lactation, and growth, including the growth of large-sized dogs, 70 pounds or more. So there, they’ve got the correct definition here.


Orijen Original
  • 85% animal ingredients
  • Five fresh or raw meats
  • All dog breeds
  • All life stages

It’s the original recipe that Orijen started with.

It contains chicken, turkey, salmon, whole herring, and various human-grade parts from these animals.

This means it contains only the succulent and high-protein parts that are safe even by human standards.

Orijen Senior
  • 85% animal ingredients
  • Five fresh or raw meats
  • Immune health
  • Healthy Weight

Orijen Senior helps your senior dog maintain its muscles even as it ages due to the high-quality protein in this diet.

It favors fiber instead of fat, so your dog can maintain a healthy weight even if it doesn’t move around as much in old age.

Orijen Amazing Grains Puppy
  • 90% premium animal ingredients
  • No legumes
  • Five fresh or raw meats

Don’t be fooled by the name because even though it says ” amazing grains,” this recipe has 90% animal ingredients.

It contains free-run chicken, wild-caught fish, and turkey for starters.

Having no legumes in grain-inclusive dog food is a wise choice because legumes in a dog’s diet have been linked to poor heart conditions.

Coming to the grains, all of the grains are super high quality. They have included quinoa, millet, chia, and oats.

2. Ingredients

The ingredients that a food contains are undoubtedly its true test of quality! So, let’s find out what are the ingredients that these brands have.



While most of the recipes contain chicken, all parts of the chicken cooked down, they also contain chicken meal, which is usually not received well by customers.

The chicken meal contains the parts of the chicken that contain intestines, beaks, and tests, basically things that you wouldn’t want in your food.

Many recipes also contain chicken broth, which is an important taste enhancer as well as an antioxidant.


The recipes do not lean heavily towards vegetables. Still, some vegetables you see mentioned are potatoes, alfalfa meal, and dried tomato pomace.

Potatoes are usually not seen in dog food; sweet potatoes are used instead. Potatoes can be extremely starchy and do not provide high nutritional value. Still, they can make your dog feel full.

Alfalfa meal is considered a greatly beneficial plant food for humans. But, not much research has been done on its effects on dogs.

Dried tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient in dog food. Tomato pomace may contain more residual pesticides and similar chemicals than actual tomatoes.


Many recipes contain both brown and white rice. While the nutritional significance is similar in both, brown rice is better for digestion.

Moreover, many recipes include various forms of oats, and they can add essential minerals, zinc, iron, and Vitamin B to a dog’s diet.

Author’s note: They have ingredients that I would not feed my dog. The ingredients split at least three times. They did this with rice, barley, pearl, whole barley, and potatoes by adding sweet and regular potatoes. Frankly, I’m also not a big fan of oat groats. When paired with so many other lower-quality filler ingredients, this high-ingredient deck just loses its goodness.



Orijen dry dog food is like a treasure chest of different kinds of meat. It contains over 85% of meats in almost all recipes, including chicken, turkey, lamb, salmon, and more.

On the label, it says that at least five meats that are present in the single recipe are either fresh or raw. Also, Orijen is often very transparent about the origins of the meat with labels such as “wild-caught” and “free-run.”

All of this adds up to the food engineers at Orijen’s understanding that the variety and quantity of protein matter and where it is sourced from also plays a huge role.

Vegetables and Fruits

I know what you’re thinking: dogs are not biologically developed to digest veggies well, but you have to consider that after 85% meat, the amount of vegetables and fruits is very little.

You can find all sorts of fresh produce in the mix, such as apples, berries, pumpkin, turnips, kale, and many more. It does amount to a very luxurious meal.

In my opinion, adding a bunch of supplements for the lack of nutrients should be avoided if you can incorporate them into the food naturally, which is exactly what Orijen does.


It’s one aspect where Orijen leaves us very disappointed. All kinds of lentils and peas are present in a lot of the recipes.

This is worrisome because while grain-free dog food tries to make up for grains by adding legumes(beans, peas, lentils), it ends up causing more harm than good. After all, it has been linked to heart disease in dogs.

While a serving or two won’t do much, legumes can be fatal for dogs in the long run. Orijen should get on with the times and stop using legumes in dog food.

3. Nutrition

Let’s jump into the analysis. These values were calculated using expected figures from ingredient databases.


So protein should be between 20 and 32. Check. A fat content of 14.8 is slightly higher than what we would like in the fat department. Fiber – they didn’t list that standard on that, so I don’t have that. Ash is a different parameter that we are not going to go into.

The big things are going to be the calcium and the phosphorus. The calcium at 1.35 is slightly higher than necessary, and the phosphorus at 1.02 is fine. So I would say we are just a tiny little bit over on the calcium content.

Calcium is one of those parameters where even small changes in percentage points, even tenths of a percentage point, can be quite significant. So we’re looking at it and saying, ‘Okay, 1.35, that’s just a little smidge away from 1.2,’ but that can be significant.

So they didn’t feed this food to dogs to see if it performs the way they say it does. Still, they did follow the ingredient database, and they did perform lab analysis to make sure that it falls in those ranges.

They have to do that legally, so I won’t say they went above and beyond, but they followed the law at least. So that’s good.


Let’s take a look at the origin now. The protein is between 30 and 38, which is really good, to be honest. You know that your dog is getting enough protein, so we can check that box.

I also expected fat to be on the higher side, but it’s between 14-18, which is undoubtedly high. But compared to the protein, it’s a good ratio.

We also have a very healthy amount of fiber, which is 5-6 percent. Going by the amount of fiber, I must admit they have put thought into optimal digestion.

For carbs, it can be anywhere around 26-30. Dogs do not need that many carbs as it isn’t their primary energy source.

Overall, Orijen gives good numbers, but all the heightened nutritional value may only be suited to some dogs.

Ask your vet for advice if you’re unsure about these numbers.

4. Recalls


Fromm has had plenty of time to make and correct mistakes because it has existed since the 19th century. But so far, it has been recalled only once.

In 2016, many Fromm pet food cans were recalled due to “unacceptable levels of Vitamin D.” The recall lasted a few months.

I would also like my readers to know that in 2019, Fromm was listed among one of the dog foods that are linked to causing heart disease by the FDA.


Orijen had one recall in November 2008 that was only for some products in Australia.

Unfortunately, according to the FDA, Orijen was among the 16 brands that may be linked to heart disease.

Highlights of the Two Dog Food Brands

Fromm Dog Food

  1. A family-owned business now in its fifth generation
  2. Owned by Tom Nieman, a chemical engineer
  3. Has been said to be linked to heart disease by the FDA
  4. Primarily contains meat and meat products

Orijen Dog Food

  1. Five different types of meat in each recip
  2. 85% meat content
  3. Originally from Canada
  4. Recently acquired by Mars Incorporated
  5. Contains a lot of legumes
  6. Has been linked to heart disease
  7. Transparent about ingredient sourcing

The Winner: Fromm Dog Food

The Winner: Fromm Dog Food

Orijen takes the cake here. We know Orijen could improve a lot of things in its recipes, but its food is of exceptional quality, and it shows that someone put a lot of thought into it. We hope it stays on that path even if Mars Incorporated is the new owner.

Orijen beat Fromm fair and square simply because Orijen goes the extra mile for its consumers while Fromm still seems to be doing just what is required.

Fromm used to be highly respected in the pet nutritionist community. Now, is this brand the worst one on the market? Of course not. Is it one of the ones that I would initially gravitate to? No.

Some of the pros of this food are that it’s family-owned, made right here in the US out of Wisconsin, and is a pet-focused brand, not only profit-driven, based on my personal research.

Here are some pros and cons of Orijen so that you may decide for yourself if you’d like to buy a pack:


  • High protein
  • Multi-protein
  • Transparent sourcing
  • Multiple vegetables and fruits


  • Contains legumes
  • New owner
  • High in carbs


What does Orijen mean?

Orijen is a play on the word Origin, and it means going back to our roots and feeding our pets as nature intended.

Where is the Headquarters of Orijen located?

Orijen headquarters is located at 301, 1103 95 Street SW, Edmonton, AB T6CX 0P8, Canada.

Does Orijen ship outside of the US and Canada?

Orijen dog food does get shipped to a few other countries, but because of taxes, you’ll see heightened prices

Some Last Words

I believe that any dry dog food can be flawed, but I respect brands that at least try to reach that goal and come as close as they can. We’ve all had enough of marketing gimmicks and getting away with doing just what is required to fall into the AAFCO guidelines.

Orijen undoubtedly does a better job at taking customers into consideration than Fromm, even though it may have its flaws.

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