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Orijen dog food

terig
November 5th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Just started feeding my dog the adult formula food from Orijen. I noticed that the protein level is 43%. I remember when I raised pure bred Newfoundland dogs, 30% was considered high. Is this not way too high? Can anyone give me advice on this. My dog is ten years old and I don't want to put a load on her liver. I was previously feeding her Natural Choice for Seniors but she seemed to be getting itching skin from it (or it could be my birds, anyone here of a dog being allergic to birds?). So I though I would try this, but I am concerned about the level of protein. Thanks so much. Teri

luckypenny
November 5th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Hello Terig, welcome to the forum :) .

I believe that Orijen is a much higher quality food than Natural Choice. If the protein your dog is receiving is from quality meat ingredients (highly digestible and easily absorbed), such as in Orijen, I wouldn't worry too much about the higher levels.

mummummum
November 5th, 2007, 08:27 PM
Protein percentages are important I agree but please notice the lesser amount of cup recommened per weight of dog.

My dogs eat it it and I can't recomend it eough.

Tommysmom
November 5th, 2007, 08:31 PM
My mom has a 15 year old chihuahua who's on Orijen now, and she loves it - she's doing very well on it, too (mom finally had to get it for her since she fell in love with it at our house, LOL). So our 14 month old JRT is on it and mom's 15 year old is on it and so far it's fantastic for everybody.

satchelp
November 5th, 2007, 09:23 PM
It may have been a coincidence, but I believe the high protein levels elevated kidney values in my 10 year old dog. The blood test was done after being on it about 3 weeks. I took him off and he was re-tested a month after the first test and one was back to normal and the other one had fallen to very close to normal level. If you want to feed grainless, but are concerned about protein and fat values, you may want to take a look at Wellness Core.

crazydays
November 6th, 2007, 06:46 AM
Hi terig-

I am not a nutritionist and my answer to you is based only from my point of view.
My opinion comes from-my Vet, the Merck Vet Manuel on nutrition/protein levels, and factors such as age, exercise,breed. I would careful about introducing a 42% protein based food to your senior dog that has never has this before. I tend to take a middle of the road approach.

There are many good foods out there appropriate allergy sensitivities that do not have this formula. If you value your Vet, ask the question about the protein and about the apparent allergy.

terig
November 6th, 2007, 08:54 AM
Hi terig-

I am not a nutritionist and my answer to you is based only from my point of view.
My opinion comes from-my Vet, the Merck Vet Manuel on nutrition/protein levels, and factors such as age, exercise,breed. I would careful about introducing a 42% protein based food to your senior dog that has never has this before. I tend to take a middle of the road approach.

There are many good foods out there appropriate allergy sensitivities that do not have this formula. If you value your Vet, ask the question about the protein and about the apparent allergy.

Thank you, I did speak to my vet and he did say that 42% protein was way too high regardless of high digestible it is. Especially for a senior dog. He suggested no more than 23% protein and 8 - 10% fat. The orijin has 42% protein and 16% fat. Way too much for my almost ten year old girl. She was on Purina Pro Plan for Seniors before and she did well, but I tried first the natural Choice and then the Orijin as my husband is really into organic foods now, but I think it is no good for her. She has developed itchy skin and the vet strongly believes it is due to the high protein or allergies to some of the protein ingredients in the formula. He basically told me if it isn't broken, don't fix it. She did fine on the Pro Plan, was never sick a day in her life and is still very healthy, so i think I will switch her back. I would never forgive myself if I screwed up her kidneys because of something that I thought was good for her. Thanks for your input. Teri

diandpat
November 6th, 2007, 10:29 AM
TeriG, there is also Orijen for Seniors that is available to us around here. Don't know about your neck of the woods. My 13 yr old Golden is on that and my six yr old mix is on the six fish. Occassinally, the older one gets some of the six fish mixed in. Seems to be working for her. It has been about six months and just had her blood tested last week and all results were great.

Just an FYI

terig
November 6th, 2007, 12:25 PM
TeriG, there is also Orijen for Seniors that is available to us around here. Don't know about your neck of the woods. My 13 yr old Golden is on that and my six yr old mix is on the six fish. Occassinally, the older one gets some of the six fish mixed in. Seems to be working for her. It has been about six months and just had her blood tested last week and all results were great.

Just an FYI

Sounds interesting! What is the percentage of protein in the Seniors formula? I will try to find it around here. Thanks Teri

terig
November 6th, 2007, 12:38 PM
TeriG, there is also Orijen for Seniors that is available to us around here. Don't know about your neck of the woods. My 13 yr old Golden is on that and my six yr old mix is on the six fish. Occassinally, the older one gets some of the six fish mixed in. Seems to be working for her. It has been about six months and just had her blood tested last week and all results were great.

Just an FYI

Hi, just checked and they do have it, but it is still 43% protein! I went on their web site and they say that the formula is made to mimic what they would eat in the wild, but our domestic dogs do not have the stressed lifestyles of a wild animal, nor do they burn up anywhere near the amount of calories needed to process that level of protein. My vet said that it is way too much so I am not going to take a chance, but thanks for your info anyway. Teri

terig
November 6th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Hi, just checked and they do have it, but it is still 43% protein! Teri

Just in case the woman in the store is mistaken, please let me know what the percentage of protein is on your bag of Senior dog food. It is most probably, less fat, but if the protein is the same, it is still too high. You know, trying to feed our domestic dogs like wild ones is similar, to us going back to eating raw red meat and berries! Wild dogs, wolves or whatever eat sporadically at best and are so stressed, they need a high protein diet. Our dogs eat one or two meals every day and are highly pampered. I am glad it is working our for you, but I do not want to take a chance. As per my vets suggestion, my next dog, I will try making my own formula, cooking my own dog food, much easier to control the protein and fat contents! Take care and once again, thanks for your input. Teri

Ford Girl
November 6th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Hi, I also feed Orijen and love it, when I researched it I have found as much info supporting the protien levels as I did saying it was too high. Most regular vets say it's too much and they push other not so natural brands, but if you talk to a vet that specializes in nutrition, they say it's ok, more natural then corn as a base, corn isn't a natual food for canines yet dog food is packed with corn and taters and rice. My point is there is as much info on both sides to be found, Orijen is a good food, and there are other brands lower in protien that are great too. What ever works for your critters, you can research the heck out of this and still be confused.

I just switched my 13 year old cat to Orijen after we tried several vet recomeneded foods, lower in protien - to the point that there was hardly any meat in the food, Orijen was too high protien, my vet would never agree that I should try it - my vet had the same concerns as you stated, and after tests upon tests and months of throwing up and significant weigh lost and hundredds of dollars spent on very expensive low protien foods - nothing worked, I made the descion to switch him to the same brand my dog ate, Orijen, from a vet recccomended food - all his problems gone, hasn't thrown up since. My vet still wouldnt agree that Orijen was the solution. It's been 5 months barf free. And I swear it was the food and the quality.

Just my story on vets/protien/old critters. :)

geisha
November 6th, 2007, 07:51 PM
I had my senior samoyed on Orijen Senior briefly. Soon after she started scratching and it became apparent that she was allergic to chicken. I believe it is a good quality food however it didn't agree with my dog. I currently have her on Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue. It is a grainfree fish based food with a lower protein percent. I alternate between Go! Salmon & Oatmeal, and California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato. Timberwolf is not organic but it is a high quality food. According to www.dogaware.com some senior dogs need higher protein. Remember it is what your dog does best on. Good luck.:thumbs up

terig
November 7th, 2007, 08:36 AM
I had my senior samoyed on Orijen Senior briefly. Soon after she started scratching and it became apparent that she was allergic to chicken. I believe it is a good quality food however it didn't agree with my dog. I currently have her on Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue. It is a grainfree fish based food with a lower protein percent. I alternate between Go! Salmon & Oatmeal, and California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato. Timberwolf is not organic but it is a high quality food. According to www.dogaware.com some senior dogs need higher protein. Remember it is what your dog does best on. Good luck.:thumbs up

Thank you, my dog also starting scratching but this was with the Natural Choice dog food, which is also supposed to be pure meat products. I have not fed her long enough on the Orijen to know if her scratching will stop, but I still am afraid of too much protein. When raising my Newfoundlands, I even had my puppies on adult dog food, cause Puppy food was too high. Newfies grow at a tremendous speed as it is, and the puppy food pushed them even faster, causing them to occasionally have panosteitis, which causes the bone to grow faster than the sheath covering it, temporary but very painful. Also, my daughter bought a young Quarterhorse who was diagnosed with kidney stones at the age of 20 months. We brought him to St-Hyancinthe Teacher's Animal Hospital (which is the equivalent of Guelph only in Quebec) and they said they had never seen it in such a young horse and that the most likely cause was too much protein (which the breeder had given him to bulk him up!). They gave him a year to live, but with great care, he lived another five. I think it is like the saying, too much of a good thing can be bad, and in this case, I do believe vets when they say that too much protein is not good. I will look into the other foods that you mentioned. People are right, dogs were not meant to eat corn. But, if you want to go back far enough, man also had a much higher protein diet, but our lives were much different then. Now they tell us, too much red meat is bad for us! Dogs, the same as us, no longer live the same kind of life style. I am less concerned about the grain in the foods, than about them being organic or not. It is all the chemicals that scare me. Anyway, enough babbling on. Thanks for your input, and I will look into the other foods. Teri

geisha
November 7th, 2007, 10:50 AM
California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato might be the food for your pup. www.naturapet.com is their website. It claims to have fewer nasty ingredients. It also comes in a Lamb & Chicken formula. If your dog has the itchies you might want to try Wild Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil or Coconut Oil. How active is your pup?

geisha
November 7th, 2007, 10:54 AM
I wasn't able to edit my post for some reason:wall::laughing: however I forgot to mention that Wellness made by Old Mother Hubbard is also a good kibble based food. It comes in Fish & Sweet Potato, Lamb Super 5 Mix, & Super 5 Mix Chicken.

mika140
November 7th, 2007, 09:43 PM
I just recently switched over my 9 yr old GSD to a new kibble. After doing a ton of research, I feel like I've completely screwed up on food for her the last 4 years. She had been started on Iams and then when I got her I put her on Science Diet (I thought because vets recommended it....which it even says on the bag...that it was one of the best out there). :sick:

Then when she hit 6 yrs old I believe, I switched her to Science Diet large breed senior (which is the age the bag was marketed for). It had lower protein and fat, but also had some glucosamine and I thought I was doing wonderful. :cry:

Since then I've learned that while some senior foods out there are good for our senior pups, not all of them are so great. The most recent research seems to show that senior dogs need the same amount of protein they had in adult kibbles, if not slightly more, since they don't use it as efficiently. Some senior kibbles out there have taken this into account; others haven't. And the glucosamine levels in kibbles are rarely to a therapeutic amount....so if your dog needs some, it should be supplemented anyways.

I've also considered Orijen Senior, but not sure yet if it would be too much of a jump for my 9 yr old dog to suddenly start now. Plus it's much more costly than what she's on.

For now, I've settled on Eagle Pack Holistic Senior. My dog has been doing great on it. I supplement it with a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM chewable (she has mild arthritis); virgin coconut oil; and seapet gold 200 (fish oil + vitamin E). In the future, I might also rotate her to Innova Large Breed senior, or maybe a California Natural adult kibble. I don't think it really matters if it is even a senior kibble - a regular adult kibble is fine....you just adjust the feeding amount for your dog.

geisha
November 7th, 2007, 09:47 PM
Some senior foods reduce the fat as well as add extra carbs. I would recommend a good quality adult kibble and add your own glucosamine/MSM/condroitin. Good luck

terig
November 8th, 2007, 08:05 AM
California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato might be the food for your pup. www.naturapet.com is their website. It claims to have fewer nasty ingredients. It also comes in a Lamb & Chicken formula. If your dog has the itchies you might want to try Wild Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil or Coconut Oil. How active is your pup?

Up until several weeks ago, she did not have an active life. We live in an apartment and she gets walked three times a day, but she is in good health and weight. (I make sure that she does not get fat) At one point, she was 5 pounds overweight, but she has since lost that when I switched her to senior dog food. She is a border collie/lab cross and her ideal weight is 55 lbs. Lately though, my husband has been taking her to his studio (he is an artist) where she runs on 4-1/2 acres with two other dogs so she is in doggy heaven! If I see her losing some weight because of the increase in activity, I will increase her food intake somewhat. She is presently getting about 2 - 3 cups per day in two meals. I have put her back on Purina Pro Plan, but I am still researching other foods. I did have her on Natural Balance, but it made her skin itchy. She was not on Orijen long enough for any effects, as I took her off of it, when I saw the 43% protein. While my vet definitely says, it is too much protein, I have an open mind and will research further into a good food. Thany you everyone for giving names of new products to try! Thanks Teri

terig
November 8th, 2007, 08:08 AM
Some senior foods reduce the fat as well as add extra carbs. I would recommend a good quality adult kibble and add your own glucosamine/MSM/condroitin. Good luck

Not sure if anyone has heard of this, but I also add a little bit of "Oudo", which is a mineral supplement, to her food and also, some fish oil, so hopefully she is getting everything she needs. We also feed her left overs (meat mostly) to give her a little extra protein. Teri

SuperWanda
November 9th, 2007, 01:04 PM
Hi terig - I have been feeding Orijen (Chicken and now Fish) since it first came out. I have two dogs - 50-60 lbers.

Unlike your experience, my vet supports the higher protein and I have had no problems. Like others have said here, you will find a lot of contradictory information about protein levels but I decided to give it a try and go with the idea that higher protein is better for aging dogs (older dogs tend to start loosing muscle mass so extra protein is good). I don't think there has been any study to indicate that higher protein diets effects the kidneys in a negative way but actually improves kidney function. Because the carbs are low - it creates a more acidic environment - good for the bladder. As long as there is no kidney disease already, kidney's are amazing organs and can process a lot of protein - the more the better. Just like when you exercise your heart - strengthens it the more you use it.

That being said - I would experiment and try to find something you are comfortable with and that your dog is happy and healthy on. I have one dog with allergies so it took some time to find something that agreed with her however she still has some seasonal, environmental allergies.

It can be difficult to find what may be causing the itchiness. My hairdresser had her dog tested and he is allergic to everything under the sun - including birds so that is a possibility.

Good luck! I know it can be pretty confusing when you are searching for a new food.

KimandAutumn
November 12th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Autumn has been on Orijen since she was 6 months old and she's now 16 months old and she's a Great Dane. She has had no developmental or growth problems with it but I am careful to make she sure doesn't overconsume and she's at a good weight and body condition.