A lot of dog food – especially dry dog food – is made with more than 45% carbohydrates. While this may not sound like a big deal, it really is. Your dog has virtually no need for carbohydrates and they are merely fillers!
One of the most important things a pet parent can do is make sure they are proving their furry friend with the right kind of food. A proper diet can mean extending your pets life, as well as avoiding any possible nutrient deficiencies.
Champion Petfood’s take on creating a high-quality dog food is a “Biologically Appropriate”. If you’re not exactly sure that’s okay – it simply means that it is the food that your dog or cat should be eating based on the needs they developed before being domesticated.
Dog’s (and cat’s too) have been eating a high protein diet for thousands of years – and just because we decided to domesticate them into furry family members doesn’t mean their dietary needs have changed!
Your dog – if living in the wild – would be eating most likely small game animals such as rabbits, squirrels and the like. Depending on how large of a dog they may even go after much larger prey.
Think about what a wolf eats in the wild – anything he can hunt, right? Now think about the ingredients on your most recent bag of dog food. Were there even more than two types of actual meat mentioned within the first five ingredients?
Let me tell you – if it wasn’t listed in the first five ingredients, it’s not on that list.
Champion Petfood recognized this problem among commercial dog foods and decided to take their hand at putting the right kind of food on the market. The two brands of dry food made by Champion are Acana and Orijen – made with all natural, locally sourced foods.
What Makes These Dog Foods Better?
Being a Biologically Appropriate dog food there is a lot that Acana and Orijen can do for your pet that other dog foods simply can’t. These foods were both made with your dog’s needs in mind and with ingredients that you simply can’t beat.
These foods use far higher quality ingredients than many manufacturers – including fresh and locally sourced, hormone free meats (including chicken, beef, duck, turkey, fish, beef, bison and more) as well as whole fruits and vegetables instead of grains.
Overall, this is the most “natural” diet you can get for your dog short of taking him on a hunting trip or feeding him a raw, homemade diet (which usually still needs supplements to cover all nutritional needs).
What’s the Difference between the Two?
Seeing as both Acana and Orijen are made by the same company it can be difficult to know which one to go with. Acana is definitely the less expensive of the two brands – however, there is a good reason for the price difference.
While they are both made to replicate your dog’s dietary needs with the proper ingredients, Acana is a slightly higher in carbohydrate formula than Orijen. While these formulas do still have carbs, the carbohydrates used are low-glycemic.
Low-glycemic carbs (chickpeas, lentils, etc.) enter the bloodstream slowly, which helps to maintain proper blood sugar. High-glycemic carbs (rice, potato, corn, etc.) release into the bloodstream suddenly and all at once, which is why they can cause diabetes.
Which is better for Your Dog?
All the differences are slight between the two brands. Here’s a quick break down in the differences between the two formulas…
Acana has roughly 25-28% low-glycemic carbohydrates, where Orijen is slightly less at 20-25%.
Acana has roughly 60-65% meat concentration, where Orijen has more at 75-80%.
Acana has protein levels of roughly 32-35%, where Orijen has 38-42%.
Acana has 3 different fresh types of meat in each formula, while Orijen has a total of 5 different fresh portions of meat in each formula.
To get the most out of a food like this you should definitely consider Orijen above Acana.
On the other hand, if you have been feeding your dog a cheap commercial brand – or a generic brand – even Acana is a huge step up for your dog’s overall health!
Are They Worth the Money Compared to Other Top Brands?
I’m going to do a quick comparison of Acana and Orijen VS Purina Pro Plan, one of the leading commercial brands.
For the sake of keeping it as fair as possible, I’ve chosen the Adult Large Breed formula by Acana and Purina PP, and the closest match Adult Dog by Orijen.
Here I’ve listed the first five ingredients for each formula:
According to those first five ingredients, Orijen is definitely the best food to be feeding your dog.
Each of the first five ingredients was some form of meat.
Acana is not far behind Orijen with two meat products and (mostly) low-glycemic carbs.
Purina, however, is poorly far behind considering it claims as to be the perfect diet for your dog. The only meat ingredient in those first five is a protein or meat at all!
The others are cheap, high-glycemic fillers that will give your dog no nutritional value whatsoever.
My ruling on this one is that if you have been feeding your dog a generic dollar store brand of food you should at least be stepping it up to something more like Pro Plan.
If you can afford it, however, I can truly say I think Acana or Orijen are two of the best dry food options around.