Food & Nutrition

One of the attributes we value most highly in the brands we carry is transparency. Transparency allows for customers to feel confident that the brand choices that they are making for their pet are the right ones. In this guest blog post, Champion Foods, maker of ORIJEN dog and cat food and treats, answers some frequently asked questions to keep that integrity alive. 

This is a Guest Post by Champion Pet Foods, maker of Orijen and Acana Pet Foods. Ideas, views, and claims are not representative of Homes Alive Pet Centre.

Is ORIJEN’s protein content good for my dog?


As there are so many myths circulating about high protein diets, this is one of the most commonly asked questions. Countless studies published over the last 15 years have roundly debunked the high protein myth. The truth is simple — high-protein diets are Biologically Appropriate for all breeds of dogs and cats. By better matching the natural diets and anatomical physiology of dogs and cats, higher-protein, lower carbohydrate foods better promote their peak health and conditioning.

Today’s conventional pet foods are lower in protein and high in carbohydrates (40-50%). As carbohydrates are not part of the natural diet, it should come as no surprise that carbohydrates are not nutritionally essential (in any amount) for dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are evolved to derive their energy from animal proteins and fats, not carbohydrates from grains.

Want more information?

Please see our White Paper, pages 26, 27 – Protein myths. Or check the “Myths of High Protein” study published by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.


Is ORIJEN suitable for Large Breed Puppies?


Yes. ORIJEN PUPPY LARGE BREED is formulated specifically for the growth requirement of Large Breed Puppies. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) states that growing large breed puppy diets should have a moderate energy intake and an ideal mineral ratio. Our ORIJEN Large Breed Puppy diet is formulated with these specific needs in mind:

  • The energy content in ORIJEN Large Breed puppy is lower than our regular Puppy diet to prevent an excess of energy (calories) and improper growth. Low glycemic carbohydrate sources promote peak conditioning and help manage body weight
  • Calcium is a minimum of 1.2% and a maximum of 1.5%
  • The ratio of calcium and phosphorus is within what is defined as optimal for growing large breed puppies (1.2:1-1.4:1)

If you would like to read more about the needs of growing large breed puppies please visit our Library. http://


Is ORIJEN suitable for Senior Dogs?


Absolutely yes! While lower protein diets have traditionally been recommended for senior dogs, this thinking has been roundly dismissed by recent science. As dogs age, a protein-rich diet is especially important for maintaining peak health.

The relationship between carbohydrates and protein is an important factor in the diets of senior dogs. When protein is high, carbohydrates are low. In other words, high protein diets are by nature low in carbohydrates, and that’s great for senior dogs as excessive amount of inappropriate carbohydrates (which are simply sugars) – are that last nutrient needed in any senior dog’s diet.

Please see our White Paper for more information on this subject. [link]

Can I feed ORIJEN to my overweight dog or cat?


Definitely yes! ORIJEN has a Biologically Appropriate distribution of energy, where more energy is supplied from protein and less energy is supplied from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an empty calorie, which means they have no essential function in the body and provide only sugar for energy, which converts quickly to glucose in the blood. If carbohydrates are provided in excess (as they often are), they convert easily into body fat.

Protein supplies the same amount of energy as carbohydrate, but has a very different effect on the body. Unlike carbohydrate, protein is essential for life, and is a Biologically Appropriate source of energy.

Will too much protein make my dog or cat hyper or aggressive?


Your dog or cat is likely to be excited about the taste of ORIJEN and ACANA, however Excess energy causes hyperactivity, and carbohydrates and protein both contribute the identical amount to the energy expenditure (4 kcal/gram). A high protein diet would produce as much energy as a typical high carbohydrate diet.

High quality foods like ACANA and ORIJEN provide cats and dogs with all of the nutrients they need to reach their full potential, however, a food cannot cause a dog or cat to be hyperactive or cause activity levels to increase beyond what the animal’s potential is.

Can too much protein be too rich for my dog?


Meat based, protein rich diets are what dogs and cats are evolved to eat. If you find that you are having issues with stool consistency, consider the amounts that you are feeding. ORIJEN and ACANA are nutrient dense foods, often having a higher caloric value than conventional foods.

Overfeeding can cause loose stool, and most people do not adjust for the higher calorie content when they move to our diets. You could try reducing the feedings slightly, by about 10% daily.

What is the Biologically Appropriate philosophy behind your foods?


Evolved as hunters, the physical structure of their teeth, jaws and digestive system scientifically classify dogs and cats as carnivores, evolved over thousands of years to operate on an almost exclusively meat-based diet.

The Biologically AppropriateTM concept is simple: Mirror the richness, freshness and variety of meats that dogs and cats would naturally hunt in the wild and for which they are evolved to eat.

That’s why ORIJEN foods feature exceptionally high inclusions of fresh whole meats, plus richly nourishing liver, tripe, cartilage and marrow — all in ratios that mirror the natural diet, while excluding high-glycemic carbohydrates and plant proteins that simply don’t belong in the diets of dogs and cats.

Why do you focus on using fresh, regional ingredients?


We believe that in today’s world of marketers, knowing who’s making your food and where the ingredients are from has taken on new importance. That’s why we never buy commodity ingredients of unknown origin. Instead, we focus on local ingredients raised by people we know and trust in a sustainable and responsible fashion.

What does Never Outsourced refer to?


At Champion Petfoods, we’ve been making our award-winning dog and cat foods in our own kitchens for over a quarter century.

We’re passionate about our foods, and we make every product ourselves under our own roof where we control and perform every detail of production-from where and how our ingredients are farmed or fished, to every cooking, packaging and quality process.

We are developer and producer of ORIJEN and ACANA foods. We own our own kitchens and make our own foods, so you can have confidence knowing where your pet’s food really comes from.

We don’t make foods for other companies and we don’t allow our foods to be made anywhere else. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We believe you wouldn’t either.



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Posted by Amy Dyck

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