Nutrition

Fromm vs. Orijen: Which Food is Better For Your Pup?

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 23, 2020 | 10 min read

Comparing Fromm vs. Orijen Dog Food brands for your pup?  Like many other high-end brands we’ve compared, both Fromm and Orijen are both excellent choices for your pup, even if it ends up being more expensive because of the quality.  

Because these brands are highly thought of, it’s quite common they get compared against each other.  Orijen is often compared to Taste of the Wild or Acana, both also high-quality food brands.  Other brands like Purina are also well thought of, but don’t have as many grain-free options.

Fromm and Orijen both make high-quality foods that go way beyond the basics set by AAFCO. We will look at what’s in their food, whether one brand is better than the other, and which is better value. In conjunction with your pup’s personal dietary requirements, you’ll be able to make a decision about which brand is best for you and you pooch. So, let’s get stuck into the Orijen vs. Fromm debate.

Foods Comparison at a Glance: Fromm vs. Orijen

Fromm Gold Puppy: Puppy Duck Chicken & Lamb
Orijen Puppy: Orijen Puppy free-run Chicken & Turkey
Fromm Gold Adult: Adult Duck Chicken & Lamb
Orijen Original Adult: Free-run Chicken & Turkey
Fromm Gold Senior: Senior Duck Chicken & Lamb
Orijen Senior: Senior Chicken Fish & Egg

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Amazon.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Comparing Brand Histories

Fromm and Orijen Brand History
Fromm and Orijen are both considered high quality food manufacturers.

Before you can get in and really compare the brands, it’s important to understand and compare their histories. Both these food manufacturers are focused on quality and are considered a more “premium” dog food.

Orijen is one of our top picks for several different dog breeds, including food for the Golden Retriever and Food for the Husky.  Fromm is also a popular pick for many different dog owners and is considered more of a boutique food choice which you’ll see in the cost comparison.  Let’s look at the brand histories in more detail so we can analyze the value coming from each.

Fromm

Fromm family foods is a family business born in Wisconsin in 1904. What started out as a dream to breed and farm the most beautiful Silver Foxes the world had ever seen soon developed into a tradition of research and development of animal health and nutrition products.

In the 1930’s Fromm developed the first canine distemper vaccine after much research into vaccinations for their farmed foxes. Then by 1949 they had produced their first premium dry dog food that cooked meat and grains together to produce a high-quality kibble.

The current controlling family members are the fourth and fifth generation of Wisconsin Fromm’s that continue to embody the values that they started out with over a hundred years ago. Namely, to do what is best for the customers, the employees and the business, and their promise has led to industry awards and high popularity amongst pet owners.

Orijen

Orijen, pronounced the same way as the Latin word ‘origin’, was created in 2005 and is so called because the food embodies the meaning of the word. The Orijen brand and products are created by Champion Pet Foods LP. Their ethos is creating recipes as ‘biologically appropriate’ as possible, and how a dog would eat in the wild, including meat, organs and cartilages. They do this by working with farmers, fishermen and ranchers all over Canada to source local natural ingredients.

To date, Champion is a world leader in terms of quality and market share. Their flagship HQ in Canada and their second in Kentucky, between them, house three kitchens exporting to over 80 countries and still rising. Their winning formula for success has been attributed to their strict approach to creating, cooking and packaging inhouse and to never outsource. This means they deliver quality and integrity of their products from factory to customer.

Nutritional Value Comparison

For both us and our pooches, nutrition is the cornerstone to nourish and maintain our bodies and keep our minds healthy. Only good quality food can do this for Fido, so we need to know what his body requires and whether we can find it in the food we feed him. Different dogs have different requirements, be that dictated by their size, health or age, and before choosing a kibble we must ensure that we understand their unique needs first.

From there, we think the best way to feed your pup well is to simply buy the best food you can afford. The challenge with this approach is knowing the difference between good food and overpriced food. Not something that is easily spotted by just looking at packaging and the somewhat fabricated taglines they carry. You must have a keen eye for what constitutes a good quality ingredient versus a good sounding ingredient.

The table below compares the guaranteed analysis content of the nutritional components, protein, fat and fiber.

 
Fromm Puppy
Orijen Puppy
Fromm Adult
Orijen Original Adult
Fromm Senior
Orijen Senior
Protein
27%
38%
26%
38%
23%
38%
Fats
18%
20%
16%
18%
12%
15%
Fiber
5.5%
5%
5.5%
5%
5.5%
8%
Kcal/Cup
351
391
340
356
320
398

Now to recap as to why each component is so important for your pup and which brand offers the best balance of each.  Below we are going to look at protein content, fat content and fiber content.

Protein Content

Protein is an integral part of your pup’s growth and repair routine. It supplies amino acids essential for building and repairing muscle after exercise, of which the canine body cannot make enough of naturally. It is also critical for energy, cellular regeneration, healthy hair, skin, and ligaments. Without enough protein our fur babies would soon suffer from malnourishment, have a dull and lifeless coat and a plethora of skin conditions.

In the protein stakes we can see that Orijen win hands down. Their protein comes from an abundance of meat sources and in very high quantities, meaning every cup of food will nourish and help your pooch’s body be super healthy and lean.

Fat Content

Fat, the unfairly dreaded ingredient, vilified for all the bad things it can do to our body and our doggos in turn. The reality is that fat is a major player in the health of our pooches, the reason being that certain fat-soluble vitamins are delivered to the body by healthy fats, so he needs fat to stay healthy.

The advised protein to fat ratio is universally agreed to be approximately 2:1 in favor of protein. So, the closer we get to this ratio in the food we feed Fido the better. Food with the wrong ratio can mean the body will absorb more energy and less nutrients, leading to weight gain. The quality of the fat source in foods is an important consideration, but if it’s natural, it’s usually good, such as Chicken or Pork fat, vegetable oil, and fish oils.

Again, we can see a clear winner here in the Orijen recipes. The balance of protein to fat is pretty much spot on the 2:1 golden ratio. We can also see that Orijen reduces their fat content for seniors. By reducing the fat content but not the protein, they still provide the much needed amino acids whilst reducing unnecessary energy.

Fiber Content

Fiber is the key to satiating your pup’s hunger as well as promoting good digestive health and regular bowel movements. Like us humans, not enough fiber in Fido’s food can lead to bowel troubles like constipation and lack of vitamin absorption. This is because fiber is the key player in vitamin absorption whilst food is in the gut and intestine. 

Fiber is also used to support weight loss by reducing the calorie count without reducing the amount of food they consume. In doing so it keeps your pup feeling fuller for longer and reduces snack scavenging. On the fiber front both brands offer a good amount around the 5% mark, so there is no clear winner here.

Flavors

Dogs can become fussy eaters, seemingly bored with what’s on offer, turning their nose up and not touching it for hours. Sometimes we are quick to offer an alternative, normally something of the human variety, leftover meat or a bit of cheese and sometimes a few dog treats as a solution. But we really shouldn’t!

If the usual tricks don’t work, such as adding warm water or meat juices, you can try rotational feeding with a few different flavors from the same product line. On that front, Orijen have a handful of flavors to choose from in the same line, such as the Original, Regional Red, and Six Fish to name a few, whereas Fromm have just the one flavor in their Gold range.

Cost

As we said earlier it is best to buy the highest-quality food you can afford, and this is often the most important drive in people’s buying process. Cost is a variable that knows no bounds, ranging from bargain basement to outright ridiculous, and whilst quality ingredients come at a price sometimes the price can be attributed to branding and not quality. Sometimes the most expensive kibbles still use poor quality ingredients, so be sure to research and compare them before purchasing.

By choosing the product that gives you higher quality food for less money, you can be sure that you aren’t paying too much for your chow. This table offers a quick comparison of the average cost of both brands:

 
Fromm Puppy
Orijen Standard Puppy
Fromm Adult
Orijen Original Adult
Fromm Adult
Orijen Original Senior
Bag Size (Lbs.)
33 Lb.
25 Lb.
33 Lb.
25 Lb.
33 Lb.
25 Lb.
Average Cost/Lb.
$2.06
$3.56
$1.91
$3.64
$2.15
$3.56
Average Cost/Kcal
.12
.18
.11
.20
.13
.18

Quite clearly on a pound for pound comparison Orijen are significantly more expensive across the board. As mentioned earlier this was to be expected due to the higher whole meat content that their foods provide. Usually in our comparisons we find that the difference in per lb. levels out when we compare the cost per calorie.

As we can see the price difference does narrow somewhat due to the slightly higher calorie content on the Orijen food but there is still a large gap between the two, but this is to be expected considering Orijen is of much higher quality.

Pros and Cons

BrandProsCons
FrommQuality ingredientsLow flavor count
Great valueLack of grain free options
Source ingredients internationally
OrijenHigh quality ingredientsExpensive by comparison
High quality foodSome flavors can be too rich
Brand Popularity

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading a comparison the information and numbers often lead to a few extra questions, here the most common to do with these two brands and their food:

Q: Is Fromm Grain Free?
A: Fromm Classic and Gold is grain inclusive, but Fromm do offer grain-free recipes in their other ranges, but these ranges are somewhat limited regarding size and life-stage. They do, however, stipulate on their grain free products that they are packaged in the same manufacturing plants as their grain inclusive recipes, and as such there may be traces of grains in all their food, which is worrying for many owners.

Q: Does grain free food cause heart problems?
A: The heart issue people talk about when discussing dog food and grains is Dilate Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and is mostly genetic. Recent claims have been made that a grain-free diet can increase the risk of DCM in any dog. The FDA is investigating this claim but to date can find no reasonable link to suggest it is true. Preferred advice from Vets is to still feed quality commercially produced dog food to your pets as it is regulated, balanced and safer than homemade diets that may lack nutrients, be that grain free or grain inclusive.

Q: Are these brands healthy?
A: It goes without saying that both brands produce good quality nutritional foods that are great for your pooch. This is backed up by third party sites, such as dogfoodadviser.com, who rate Fromm and Orijen 4/5 and 5/5 respectively.

Q: Are there any options for joint health?
A: While all of these options have a decent amount of glucosamine in them, we’d recommend sticking to a dog food specifically formulated for joint support if you have an older dog.

Q: Are there any senior formulas?
Yes, Orijen offers formulas that are tailored specifically for older dogs.

Final Thoughts

Both companies have an incredible mindset when it comes to creating dog food that quality ingredients are best. This shows in their recipes, while Orijen lists real whole deboned meats and vegetables, Fromm lists real meat and protein-boosting ingredients that have real nutritional value, not just good protein numbers. Plus, both brands add extra health-boosting ingredients such as flaxseed, Salmon oil and brewer’s yeast rich in vitamins and minerals. These all-encompassing ingredient lists are what a lot of dog food creators strive for but fail to hit.

Overall, Orijen is of better quality and the premium brand of the two, so if it falls within your budget range we would advise Orijen, and they are rated 5/5 for very good reason. If not, Fromm also delivers exceptionally high-quality kibbles compared to other brands available, and they offer good value for money.

So, either one of these brands would be a superb choice for your pup to keep them energetic and healthy, but for us, this choice ultimately falls down to budget.

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