Taste of The Wild vs. Orijen: Pros & Cons of Each Brand

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 11 min.

The concerns that pet owners have when comparing premium brands like Taste of the Wild (TOTW) and Orijen are quite valid. If you have a fur baby, you will want to provide them the very best nutrition available so they will live a happy, healthy life. The pet nutrition niche is abundant with different food brands, so comparing the Taste of the Wild and Orijen against each other can help you decide which is the best choice.

The pros and cons of Taste of The Wild and Orijen will depend on what your focus is. Orijen has a higher protein content, while TOTW is notably cheaper. Available flavors, cost, and nutritional value can be essential aspects of your pet’s food.

It can be hard to break down and compare high-quality brands to find the best choice, so we have constructed a simple list to help you make your decision. The ability to compare each premium brand against each other in simple terms is a great advantage that can save you time and money. Feel free to skim through and find what factors are important to you for your pet.

Taste of the Wild

This premium brand is an affordable option for your pet, as it is based on protein sources that are in your animal’s natural ancestral diet. Utilizing real meat, fish, and fowl, Taste of the Wild aspires to produce a better-tasting food that your pet will love to eat.

Taste of the Wild is a family-owned business located in the United States. Exclusively manufactured in the USA, they have five production facilities located in South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, and California.

Taste of the Wild incorporates many above-average protein sources. These come from approved suppliers in North America, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, and China. The primary ingredients used in their products are:

  • Angus Beef
  • Bison
  • Venison
  • Wild Boar
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Fowl

If you are looking for a high-quality food brand that your pet (and your wallet) will love, Taste of the Wild is an excellent brand to consider. Producing dry and wet forms, grain inclusive, and grain-free blends, TOTW has a formula for any pet’s specialized diet.

Taste of the Wild caters to all stages of life for your pet by including food options for puppies, kittens, pregnant or nursing mothers, and adult animals. Providing your pet the essential vitamins and nutrients they need during all stages of their life is essential to a long, healthy life.

Taste of the Wild has three lines of products for your dog or cat:

  • Taste of the Wild (this is their primary line)
  • Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains
  • PREY Limited Ingredient

Each of these product lines has a specific diet and blend for your pet based on their nutritional needs. It is vital to explore what each blend contains and how it can benefit your animal before making a choice.

Taste of the Wild’s mission is to provide a high-quality pet food option that is affordable for pet owners. Aspiring to give your animal the same flavor that their ancestors had, TOTW produces complete nutrition based on their specialized animal descendants.


Orijen is located primarily in Canada, but they also have a manufacturing plant in Kentucky, USA, in addition to Alberta, Canada. There are some minor differences between the product blends in Canada and the USA. This variance is mainly due to the differing local sources for ingredients in those areas.

Partnering with local farmers around Canada and the US, Orijen’s suppliers grow and raise superior ingredients to incorporate into their nutritional blends. Available in regular and freeze-dried forms, their primary protein sources include:

  • Beef
  • Bison
  • Venison
  • Goat
  • Boar
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Quail
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Mackerel

Utilizing these superior ingredients along with naturally farmed fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals, Orijen aims at providing the very best choice for your animal through any stage of their life cycle or dietary needs. The numerous blends they provide are:

  • Grain-Free
  • Limited Ingredients
  • Small Breed
  • Large Breed
  • Weight Loss
  • Healthy Weight

Orijen follows five “biologically appropriate” principles to bring your pets the very best nutrition available. Offering a wide variety of foods rich in protein with fresh and raw meat inclusions, they include the entire prey to mirror the diet of your animal’s ancestors. Fresh vegetables and fruit are also essential components of Orijen, without adding carbohydrates that so many other pet foods have included.

Note: The phrase “biologically appropriate” is one coined by Orijen. I know that sounds a bit intimidating, so let’s discuss what that really means.

The concept of “biologically appropriate” is what allows Orijen to provide exceptional pet food to their consumers. Each blend of Orijen products has a minimum of six different types of meats, including whole food products, to give a two-thirds ratio of fresh or raw meat to your pet. This exceptional amount is the key to a healthy, well-rounded animal diet.

Pros and Cons

When examining what foods will be best for your beloved pet, consider the disadvantages or limitations as well. By doing your research, you are sure to choose the very best option for your animal based on their dietary needs in their life cycle.

Potential consumers find it helpful to easily compare these two high-quality brands together, which is why we have created this informative pros and cons list for you. There are many factors to consider when deciding on the perfect food to feed your animal.

There are many similarities between Taste of the Wild and Orijen, which makes the comparison a little more tedious, as you have to compare the specific ingredients and percentages of nutrients included. Both of these superior brands are protein-based pet foods that focus on the ancestors’ primitive diets for their blends.

The combination of protein, fat, and fiber is an essential part of your pet’s well-rounded diet, and both Taste of the Wild and Orijen provide this. The amount of each of these included factors will vary between the company’s products.

There are so many product options to choose from, all of which depend on your animal’s breed size and dietary restrictions, to the price and flavors, Both Taste of the Wild and Orijen pride themselves on manufacturing high-quality ingredients for your pet. Alternatively, pet owners like yourself can also be concerned with other contributing factors, such as how the ingredients are sourced and the manufactured location.

Companies today need to ensure they are operating globally responsible and efficiently as well as following current FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines for production. Not only do you want food that provides essential nutrients to your pet, but also safe products that are free from contamination or hazards.

Both Taste of the Wild and Orijen are diligent organizations that pride themselves on manufacturing high-quality food safely.

Pros of Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild provides 32.0% of crude protein per serving in their dog food products. When examining their cat food products, the numbers are at 38.1%.

This percentage is an exceptional amount of protein when you compare it to regular store brands and other popular dog food blends. Although it is slightly lower than Orijen, 32.0% and 38.1% of protein is a significant amount to provide to your pet in their regular diet.

Taste of the Wild utilizes pea and potato flour to replace traditional wheat and rice flours in their many blends. Added potatoes and lentils make up the missing grains to ensure their ped foods are grain-free for animals with sensitivities or allergies.

For a premium pet food brand, Taste of the Wild is an attractive price compared to its competition. It can be hard to find the balance between a high-quality pet food within your budget, but Taste of the Wild can provide exceptional food options for a fraction of what Orijen lists for their pet food products.

Comparing the two brands, TOTW comes in at averaging under $2 per pound (0.45 kg), while Orijen costs a total of over $4 per pound (0.45 kg)

There are no preservatives in this well-liked pet food brand, making it a fresh and high-quality option for your pet.

Taste of the Wild is widely available online and through numerous pet stores, pet retailers, and pet daycares. Having a product readily available like Taste of the Wild is a big positive for a pet food product. You can also find TOTW in specialty grocery stores, veterinary clinics, and hardware stores, giving it exceptional exposure that Orijen does not have.

Cons of Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild uses a total of 7 different protein sources in their pet food blends. When comparing them to other store-brand food options, this is exceptional, but looking at Orijen, this number falls short. Taste of the Wild has limited flavors when utilizing these available protein sources and can be a challenge for those picky eaters to find a blend they love.

When examining the ingredients of Taste of the Wild, it is apparent there is a lack of whole foods. While Orijen boasts organ meat, cartilage, and bone in their blends, Taste of the Wild does not include these essential aspects to their product line at all. This shortfall can be a huge factor when deciding on a high-quality pet food brand for your animal.

Taste of the Wild does not provide a specific product blend for the senior pet in your life. The absence of a specialized diet enhanced with nutrients for older animals can be a deciding factor for many pet owners.

Numerous animals in their senior years need additional nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Taste of the Wild does provide a limited ingredients line for seniors that do not need as many calories as regular adult animals.

There are some included ingredients that some pet owners have concerns with, including canola oil, additional carbohydrates, and tomato pomace.

Taste of the Wild uses locally sourced ingredients and relies on international suppliers, including China, for some components.

There was one product recall in May 2012 for a salmonella contamination incident at their South Carolina manufacturing plant. The only product affected was their dry food blend. The situation was rectified to ensure no further issues could arise later in production.

Pros of Orijen

When examining the crude protein in Orijen’s many products, it may surprise you. Topping up at 42.7% for dog foods and 45.8% in cat foods, Orijen has a more significant amount of essential protein than TOTW provides. This exceptional quantity mirrors what your pet’s ancestors found in nature, giving them the premium quality food they deserve.

The numerous types of protein included in the Orijen blends are considerably more diverse than that of Taste of the Wild. Orijen incorporates 14 different protein sources in their food blends, which is double what TOTW offers, sitting at only seven available protein sources for their pet foods.

A wider variety of protein produced by Orijen can help those pets who are picky eaters find a blend they will love and encourage them to eat these exceptional foods.

Orijen has a product blend for animals in any stage of their life cycle. This availability is a prominent advantage over Taste of the Wild, as they do not have a specialized senior animal product line at all. This availability means that pet owners can stay with this one pet food brand the entire life of their pet rather than transitioning to another later on in life or seeking out additional vitamin and nutrient sources.

The addition of ingredients such as pumpkin, spinach, and kale give your animal the boost of superfoods they require each day. Using beans, lentils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, Orijen more than makes up for the lack of grains in their recipes.

Orijen has additionally included glucosamine and chondroitin into their blends, partnered with higher-than-average fatty acids. These additives are a crucial aspect for many pet owners whose animals suffer from joint pain from arthritis or are regularly extremely active dogs.

Cons of Orijen

Orijen has had no past product recalls in the United States or Canada of any kind, but one selected recall issued in November 2008 was for cat food sold in Australia. There was also a contamination lawsuit filed back in March 2018. This claim, consequently, was dismissed in February 2019.

Orijen does not include any traditional carbohydrate sources in their pet food blends. They have specifically mentioned on their website that “carbohydrates are empty calories that provide little nutritional value.”

While Orijen is adamant that these carbohydrates are unnecessary, others believe they are an essential part of a well-rounded diet for your pet. If you feel that carbs are fundamental for your animal’s feeding routine, this lack is a negative factor of Orijen.

For pet owners on a budget, Orijen can be priced significantly higher than its competitor brands. These exceptionally high-quality food products do come at a price, and pet owners can see that on the shelf when comparing Orijen to other brands like Taste of the Wild.

The availability of Orijen is not as diverse as Taste of the Wild. Orijen is available at many pet stores but consequently has limited availability in retail stores or online pet retailers. It is not available at hardware stores, or grocery stores like its competition.

How Does a Pet Owner Choose?

Choosing a pet food brand for your beloved animal can be tedious, but hopefully, you can narrow down your options with the help of these comparisons. Your first deciding factor when exploring brands of pet foods is the type of pet you have.

The nutritional needs of a Labrador Retriever will be substantially different from that of a Beagle. Your pet’s activity level will also help determine the ingredients you need to focus on when providing for your animal. You’ll also need to factor in their age, health conditions, and taste preferences.

If you have any questions about the ingredients or lack thereof, in Taste of the Wild or Orijen brands, you can talk to your veterinarian or pet store specialist for guidance. They have a great deal of information regarding the many types of pet foods and supplements that your animal needs throughout their life. You can use these professionals as a resource to help you make a final decision on your pet’s dietary food choice.


When breaking down and comparing these two pet food brands, Taste of the Wild and Orijen, many pet owners consider all the factors. Admittedly, your final decision will most likely come down to two distinctive components: ingredients and price.

If you want only the very best for your pet and don’t have any budget concerns, Orijen will be the best product for your animal. If you are concerned about price but are still committed to finding a high-quality food brand for your beloved pet, then Taste of the Wild is the obvious choice.