This is a question we’re asked a lot, and our position on animal testing is simple - we conduct only those tests in which we would allow our own companion dogs and cats to participate. 

If it’s not OK for our dogs and cats, THEN IT’S NOT OK FOR ANY OTHER CATS AND DOGS. 

We perform only non-invasive tests, which including palatability (taste), urine pH and digestibility (the latter through stool analysis only). These tests are never performed with dogs or cats kept in a laboratory environment (cages). 


NO. All our products are shipped directly from Canada to NZ then trucked direct to our facility in Whangarei where we are Biosecurity certified to unpacked it ourselves in-house.  MAF do not require ORIJEN or ACANA products be irradiated or treated in anyway what-so-ever and are completely safe for your pets.


All of our local poultry, fish, red meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables are passed fit for human consumption by the Government of Canada before arriving at our kitchens fresh each day. Our poultry, fish, lamb and beef meals, fats and oils are produced only from animals passed fit for human consumption by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – something few producers can claim.

Despite our lofty standards, we never claim our that our ingredients are "human-grade". That's because once ingredients leave the producer or processor and enter the pet food processor, they lose their "human-grade" classification. We encourage pet lovers to contact the producer of their food and ask whether they can actually verify their claim of "human grade". 

BHA/BHT - Does ORIJEN contain BHA/BHT?

Champion’s ingredients and foods are never preserved with BHA/BHT or any other chemical preservative.

Champion never adds BHA or BHT (or any other chemical preservative) to our pet foods or ingredients, and all ingredients and foods are preserved with our proprietary blend of vitamin E with botanical extracts. 

As BHA and BHT are typically present in pet food ingredient supply chains (for example, BHA and BHT are often present in the feed fed to chickens, turkey or duck) we work with our suppliers to ensure our ingredients enable Champion’s final product standards. 

Champion’s BHA, BHT standard is set at true trace level not to exceed 5 ppm (parts per million) of BHA/BHT, which is 0.0005%, or one half of one thousandth of 1% – the lower limit of what most certified laboratories are able to detect or measure. 


There are no ingredients from China used in the preparation of our dog and cat food formulas, including vitamins – we are 100% China-free. Our focus is on fresh ingredients supplied regionally. All our products are made exclusively within our own award-winning factory here in Alberta, Canada. 


Yes. Although our fish come from our clean northern lakes and the Canadian North Pacific, our suppliers provide heavy metal and mercury test results, and we also test our final foods before shipping. 

Our fresh fish are passed fit for human consumption, meet all Government of Canada food regulations for daily consumption, and provide a world-class source of DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids. 


We don't buy the bulk commodity ingredients found in conventional pet food, and each of our diets starts with fresh local meats that are certified free of antibiotics and artificial growth hormones. 


Champion’s ingredients and foods are never preserved with Ethoxyquin or any other chemical. Ethoxyquin is typically used as a preservative in fish ingredients produced within the United States. We use two kinds of fish ingredients: fresh fish and fish meal. 


No. We make ACANA and ORIJEN in our own kitchens and don’t make foods for other companies. 


The recent Diamond Pet Foods recall does not involve Champion Petfoods’ ORIJEN and ACANA brands in any way. 



Dogs are often fed the same food, which means a sudden food change makes it difficult for their digestive systems to adapt, which is why it’s important to introduce the new food gradually. Going slowly will give your dog or cat time to adjust to their new food and will also reduce the chances of digestive upset. 

Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next five to seven days by gradually increasing the amount of ORIJEN or ACANA and decreasing the amount of old food. At the end of this transitioning process, you should be feeding 100% ORIJEN OR ACANA. 


About 70 percent of your dog (or cat’s) body is made up of water, which is vital for cell function and tissue lubrication. In fact, water is more important to your dog or cat than any other nutrient.  

When it's hot, or if your dog is sick, especially with diarrhea, water is even more important. So make sure water is always available, and make sure it’s FRESH and CLEAN! 


Many dogs have large appetites and will eat all you feed them. As ORIJEN & ACANA foods are highly palatable, you need to be careful not to overfeed. 

Obesity at any age can cause serious health issues. While all of our foods have feeding guidelines printed on the package, every dog is different and these guides really are just a starting point. 

Keep a close eye on your dog or cat’s body condition. If he or she looks too thin, feed a little more. If he looks like he is carrying too much weight, scale back a little at a time. 

While your dog or cat may act hungry, their body condition is the best gauge of how much to feed. If you’re having problems, just call us. 

FRESH CHICKEN - Where are our chickens from? Are they free-run?

Our fresh chicken is 100% free-run and comes from Canadian chicken producers in Alberta’s prairies and British Columbia’s beautiful Fraser Valley. 

Raised in an open-concept, weather-sheltered barn environment where they are free to roam, feed, roost, and nest,  our chicken is table grade and arrives FRESH EACH DAY so it’s never frozen and arrives without any preservatives. 

FRESH EGGS - Where are our eggs from? Are they whole eggs?

All eggs in ORIJEN & ACANA are from Canadian egg producers in the Alberta prairie and British Columbia's beautiful Fraser Valley farms.

Our whole eggs are table grade eggs that are 'fit for human consumption' and arrive FRESH each day so they're never frozen and arrive completely preservative free.


Fresh means an ingredient has never been frozen and contains absolutely no preservatives. Raw means an ingredient has not been cooked, but has been preserved by freezing, chemical preservatives, or a combination of both. 

ACANA pet foods are made with poultry, eggs, fish, red meats, fruits, and vegetables that are delivered to our doors authentically fresh each day. 

GLUCOSAMINE/CHONDROITIN - ORIJEN is very high in glucosamine and chodrotin. What's the souce?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin in ORIJEN formulas occurs naturally from the large quantities of meat ingredients included in the food.  

That’s why glucosamine and chondroitin are listed on the guaranteed analysis but not on the ingredient list!  

ORIJEN contains 75-80% meat and fish ingredients and our fresh meats in particular are a high source of natural glucosamine and chondroitin.  


Many high protein diets contain excessive amounts of calcium and phosphorus due to the high inclusions of meal ingredients such as chicken or lamb meal. Unlike meat meal ingredients (which are high in ash from bone), fresh meats are boneless, which means they are low in calcium and phosphorus and help keep ORIJEN’s minerals in a perfect natural balance. Depending on the formula, our Calcium and Phosphorus levels have either dropped slightly or remained the same. 


ORIJEN 80.20 features higher meat content and, in particular, a substantial increase in FRESH MEAT content. Never frozen or exposed to heat or chemical preservatives, our fresh meats arrive daily and have nutritional properties superior to any other meat ingredient form, such as rendered or dried. 

MEAT VARIETY: To better express the diversity of a natural diet, ORIJEN 80-20 features ‘Top Five’ ingredients that are entirely animal-based.    

ORIJEN ADULT DOG: *Boneless chicken, chicken meal, *boneless salmon, turkey meal, herring meal… 
ORIJEN 6 FISH DOG: *Boneless salmon, salmon meal, herring meal, *boneless herring, *boneless walleye… 
ORIJEN CAT & KITTEN: *Boneless chicken, chicken meal, *boneless salmon, turkey meal, *chicken liver, herring meal… 


IODINE - ORIJEN contains organic kelp. So is ORIJEN high in iodine?

No. ORIJEN diets contain between 4.0 mg/kg and 6.0 mg/kg of iodine from Kelp – close to the lower limits for iodine established by AAFCO. The kelp in ORIJEN is rich in 64 minerals that are in a highly bioavailable organic form.  

LARGE BREED DOGS - Does high protein affect joint health?

Research into the growth of Great Danes (Nap RC, The Netherlands,) has shown that the protein level of a diet has no significant influence on skeletal development. High protein intake does not result in increased risk for OCD or HD, and there is no effect on the development in the longitudinal growth of the bone." Additionally, while protein does not cause orthopedic problems, other nutrients can. 

It is not excess protein that causes joint problems, but over feeding dogs can contribute to arthritis and orthopedic problems. Please note that most orthopedic and joint problems are inherited, but puppies and dogs that are overweight have a greater chance of an increase in pain and discomfort, and the potential of developing orthopedic problems as younger animals and arthritis later on in their life.  

LARGE BREED PUPPIES - Is ORIJEN suitable for my large breed puppy or dog?

Yes. The main dietary concerns for large breed puppies and dogs are assuring appropriate calcium and energy levels in the food. 

CALCIUM: The ideal calcium content for large breeds is thought to be between 1.0 and 1.4% on an “as fed” basis, and it is also believed that calcium in excess of 3% on a dry weight basis can predispose to significant skeletal abnormalities.  

When formulating for large breeds it is also important to keep in mind that certain vitamins (Vitamin D) can increase absorption of dietary calcium (to possibly excessive levels). ORIJEN is formulated to meet these calcium ideals. 

ENERGY: If too many calories are supplied and consumed on a daily basis rapid growth can result and the excess mass that must be supported on an immature skeleton can result in damage to skeletal tissue, with subsequent malformation and or malarticulation of joints. 

There are 3 sources of energy in commercial pet foods; protein, fat and carbohydrate. ORIJEN is moderate in fat, high in protein and, importantly, very low in carbohydrate. 

Carbohydrate has no essential function in the body of a dog or cat, and as it converts to sugar quickly and easily, carbohydrate is the most common dietary cause of excess weight.  

Restricting carbohydrate in the diet is ideal for promoting peak physical conditioning in all dogs, including large breed puppies and dogs. 

ORIJEN and ACANA Differences...

While there are many differences between ACANA and ORIJEN, both diets reflect our belief in “Biologically Appropriateness, and “Fresh Regional Ingredients”.

Five of the main points of difference are summarized below:

1. MEAT CONCENTRATION: ORIJEN is made with 75-80% meat, while ACANA has between 40 to 65%, depending on the for mula.

2. PROTEIN: ORIJEN diets range between 38% and 42% protein, while ACANA features protein levels of 27-34%. 

3. CARBOHYDRATE: ORIJEN diets range from 18-22% of carbohydrate, while ACANA diets are typically in the 28-30% carbohydrate range. 

4. AMOUNT OF FRESH MEAT: ORIJEN is made with up to 40% of fresh meats, compared with ACANA which ranges from 9-15% of fresh meats. 

5. FRESH MEAT VARIETY: ORIJEN features a minimum of 5 fresh meats, compared to ACANA which contains 3 different fresh meat ingredients. 

Put simply, we believe ORIJEN is the best dry dog or cat food worldwide. Although lower in protein and total fresh meat content than ORIJEN, ACANA provides unbeatable value and a price point that makes Biologically Appropriate pet foods accessible to a wide range of pet lovers. 

OVERWEIGHT - Is ORIJEN appropriate for my overweight pet?

Yes. ORIJEN has a Biologically Appropriate distribution of energy, where more energy is supplied from protein and less energy is supplied from carbohydrate. 

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, but when present in excess protein is NOT stored in the body as fat; it is simply removed from the body through natural elimination functions. 


As there are so many myths circulating about high protein diets, this is probably one of the most commonly asked questions received at our customer service. 

Countless studies published over the last 15 years have roundly debunked the high protein myth (often fueled by the multinational and marketing companies that still produce low-protein, grain-based foods). 

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 required (in any amount) by 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 which explains why today’s traditional veterinarians know so little about the subject of high-protein and companion animal nutrition.

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. 

PROTEIN LEVELS - Does higher protein stress the kidneys?

No. There is no study in science to show a higher protein diet has any negative effect on the kidneys of dogs or cats. In fact, scientific studies show quite the opposite; dogs with poor kidney functions or dogs that had only one kidney showed improved health on higher protein diets. 

PROTEIN LEVELS - Will ORIJEN cause my pet to gain weight?

As ORIJEN is rich in protein, dogs and cats typically an increase in lean muscle mass after a month or so, which may actually increase their overall body weight.  

However, as ORIJEN is low in carbohydrate, most cats and dogs will actually LOSE BODY FAT when fed ORIJEN. 

SENIOR DOGS - Is ORIJEN suitable for my senior dog?

Absolutely yes! While lower protein diets have traditionally been recommended for senior dogs, this thinking has been roundly dismissed by recent science. 

As dogs become less efficient at metabolizing protein as they age, a protein-rich diet is especially important for maintaining their 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. 



Ideally, ORIJEN & ACANA should be stored indoors in a re-sealable container constructed of an inert material such as plastic. The ORIJEN & ACANA package will also work well provided it is tightly rolled up to maintain airtight conditions after opening. 

Refrigeration of ORIJEN & ACANA is not required and a storage temperature of 10 – 20 degrees Celsius is ideal. Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures increases oxidation and reduces shelf life. Exposure to light also contributes to oxidation. A cool dark storage is preferable. 


The best before (BB) date is printed on the back of the bag at the top of the package. We mark the bags DAY MONTH YEAR. 

From the time the food is produced and packaged at our factory, there is 15 months until expiry. Heat, moisture and light have the biggest impact on the foods shelf life. Once opened please keep your ORIJEN or ACANA airtight in a container or roll the package up and store is a cool dry place with no direct sunlight (see Storing your ORIJEN & ACANA above). 

When kept in a sealed or tightly closed bag, ORIJEN & ACANA will remain stable for months. 

TAURINE - ORIJEN contains lots of Taurine. What's the source?

ORIJEN cat foods list Taurine in the Guaranteed Analysis but not in the Ingredient Panel. This is because ORIJEN is very rich in meats (in which Taurine is naturally present) and therefore no supplementation is required. Most foods do not contain sufficient Taurine in natural form (from meat) and so must supplement with a Taurine ingredient.  

URINARY HEALTH - Does ORIJEN promote urinary health?

Yes. Due to the high meat content and low magnesium content, ORIJEN is naturally acidic and helps promote a healthy bladder. 

ORIJEN foods have a pH of about 5.5, which is naturally mildly acidic and well suited to the maintenance of healthy bladder function in both cats and dogs.  


We are committed to the wellbeing of you and your companion cats and dogs. 

At all stages of food production we apply Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Analysis (HACCP) — an internationally recognized and systematic preventive approach to food safety. We also use supplementary systems, including Good Manufacturing Principals (GMP) — a worldwide system for the control and management of manufacturing and quality testing of foods. 

Prior to releasing any foods to market, we extensively test each of our diets at a Government of Canada accredited laboratory, including tests for bacterial contamination of enterobacteriaceae, salmonella and listeria. 

In the unlikely event of a recall of any of our foods, we promise timely and honest communication and we voluntarily participate in the First Alert Pet Food Recall Program. 


We operate our own award-winning Kitchens in Morinville, Alberta Canada and take great pride in never outsourcing our products. That means we make every morsel of ORIJEN and ACANA foods ourselves in our own kitchens. 


We do. We operate our own award-winning Kitchens in Morinville,  Alberta Canada and take great pride in never outsourcing our products. That means we make every morsel of ORIJEN and ACANA foods by ourselves in our own kitchens. 


Our pet foods are designed to mirror the natural diet. Botanicals are an important part of the natural diet for all cats and dogs. Our botanicals are selected by one of North America’s leading homeopathic veterinarians. 

What our customers say

"About three or four years ago we watched with great interest a discussion that was held on the
NZ Show Dogs Internet Forum Group. This discussion was on the benefits or not of various dog foods ..."


Shirley & Leo Rolfe


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