Fromm vs Orijen Dog Food: 2020 Comparison

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fromm vs orijen

Comparing dog foods shows you a side-by-side comparison so you can decide which one fits your expectations. This article is about Fromm and Orijen dog food. We go over ingredients, company info, and what type of dogs the food is best suited for. Each brand has certain advantages as well as disadvantages. So, let’s look deeper into both of these well-known brands.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner:

The winner of this comparison is Fromm dog food because there is a greater variety of choices with this brand. We love the Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food for Small Breeds that is formulated specifically for a small dog’s metabolism.

The winner of our comparison:


About Fromm Dog Food

Fromm is an independently-owned family company based in the United States. The company has been in business for over 100 years, producing gourmet dog food that is nutritionally sound. All of its products have a satisfaction guarantee, and every bag of food is made by the Fromm company in one of its two Wisconsin factories.

Each package of food is tested at an outside lab for pathogenic bacteria to ensure the safety and quality of the food. Fromm believes that dog food should be wholesome and unadulterated. Even though it offers a wide variety of recipes, you won’t find any geared toward specialized diets, such as those recommended for diseases like renal failure or diabetes.

Fromm Dog Food Varieties

There are three lines of dry dog food offered by Fromm:

Fromm Four Star Surf and Turf Dog Food

Fromm Four-Star: These formulas use a variety of meats, fish, and vegetables to create a nutritional and tasty meal. Recipes are either grain free or include whole grains with game-birds or lamb as the main protein. Since the company is based in Wisconsin, you will find cheese as an ingredient in many recipes.

Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food – Small Breed Formula

Fromm Gold: This line offers a holistic approach geared toward each stage of life — there are formulas for puppies, large and small breeds, and seniors. You can find grain-free options, and each recipe contains tons of vitamins and minerals that meet nutritional standards.

Fromm Family Foods Classics Adult

Fromm Classic: This is an original recipe that dates back to 1949. The primary protein is high-quality chicken with brown rice and eggs. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy at each stage of life, from puppy to senior. All recipes in this line include grain.

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Primary Ingredients in Fromm Dog Food


Even though fresh chicken is common, chicken meal is added for extra protein. Other proteins used are fish meal, lamb, beef, duck, and pork, and all their ingredients are locally sourced. The Four-star line offers the highest amount of protein.


Chicken fat and beef liver are used in most of the recipes, and you may see other oils, such as salmon oil, that are added to increase the fat content.


Many of their recipes are grain free, so they use lentils, chickpeas, or other legumes as a source of complex carbohydrates. The Four-Star line includes more vegetables and fruit, which improve the taste and provide more antioxidants and minerals. The use of whole grains provides fiber for healthier digestion.

Controversial Ingredients

Tomato Pomace: You will find this in many dog food recipes added as a source of fiber. Lower-quality foods may add it as a filler.

Alfalfa meal: This is high in protein, and lower quality products may use this as a primary protein. Fromm lists this farther down their ingredients list, so you know it is not being used as the main protein source.

Cheese: This ingredient is fine in dog food as long as your dog isn’t lactose intolerant or has an allergy. According to the AKC, cheese is best given in moderation because it is high in fat.

  • Family owned
  • Meets AAFCO requirements
  • Grain-free options
  • Variety of recipes
  • Manufacture their food
  • Uses some controversial ingredient
  • No prescription foods for health issues


About Orijen Dog Food

Orijen formulates dog food to emulate what your dog would eat if living in nature. Whole meats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are the primary ingredients. There are no artificial supplements used, and every ingredient is either locally sourced, wild-caught, ranch raised, or cage free from around the United States. It is a pricey dog food, but the high-quality ingredients ensure that it is optimized for complete nutrition.

Champion Pet Foods in Canada is the parent company for Orijen, but the DogStar Kitchen in Kentucky prepares the food. Two lines of dry dog food are made by Orijen: the original kibble and the freeze-dried dog food. Many of the formulas are for all life stages, but there are formulas catered to puppies and seniors. The biggest downside to Orijen is that all the formulas are grain free and have a large amount of protein that isn’t suitable for all dogs.

Orijen Dog Food Varieties

ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Meat, Dry Dog Food

Orijen Dry Dog Food: All nine varieties are biologically appropriate for all life stages, small breeds, puppies, large breed puppies, seniors, or weight management. This means the food is formulated to mirror your dog’s evolutionary diet to remain healthy, though it contains vegetables, fruit, and legumes for antioxidants and fiber.

Each recipe has a high amount of animal protein, organs, cartilage, and bone that add ideal nutrition for your dog. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids are added for healthy skin and coat, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Probiotics round off the ingredients list to aid in healthy digestion.

Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried

Freeze-Dried Food: The foundation for freeze-dried food is a variety of raw meat animal proteins (including meat, fish, organs, cartilage, and bone) that constitute 90% of the food. Fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, apples, and kelp total 10%.

All Orijen formulas are grain free and do not have synthetic supplements, preferring to provide nutritional needs through whole-food ingredients.

Primary Ingredients in Orijen Dog Food


You will be hard-pressed to find another dog food that offers such a high amount of protein. The use of dehydrated meats adds a concentrated source of protein to supplement the use of fresh meat. Animal organs, cartilage, and bone are also added for protein sources and other nutrients. The average amount of protein is greater than 36% for each formula. Such a high amount of protein is great for active dogs, but not ideal for normal or low-energy dogs.


A variety of livers and hearts from animals are used in the formulas, providing a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. There are no processed oils such as canola oil; instead, Orijen focuses on providing fat naturally. The average fat content is 18%, which is suitable for active dogs.


There are plenty of complex carbohydrates in each recipe. With all the legumes, fruits, and vegetables that are used, your dog receives the needed energy for the day. Orijen does not use any refined carbohydrates, but rather good-quality carbs that provide a great deal of nutrition.

Controversial Ingredients

You won’t find any controversial ingredients in Orijen food. Eggs are added for their nutritional value, but this relates more to being an allergen than a debatable ingredient.

  • Whole food ingredients
  • High protein for active dogs
  • Locally sourced
  • High-quality ingredients
  • No controversial ingredients
  • Manufactures food in Kentucky
  • Pricey
  • No specialized food
  • Too much protein for normal or low-energy dogs
  • Not as much variety

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The 3 Most Popular Fromm Dog Food Recipes

1. Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food – Small Breed Formula

Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food Small Breed (5 Lb)
  • Adult dog food made for small breeds
  • Taurine helps heart and eyes

This is developed specifically for small breed dogs to suit their metabolisms. It is enhanced with probiotics and whole grains to aid digestion and salmon oil for a healthy coat. The main ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, chicken broth, oat groats, and pearled barley.

The inclusion of tomato pomace, eggs, and brewer’s yeast may be controversial or could be viewed as additional sources of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. There are plenty of whole fruits and vegetables added for flavor and nutrients, and it meets nutritional standards set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles.

  • Formulated for small breeds
  • High meat protein
  • Easy to digest
  • Antioxidants
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Includes probiotics
  • Not ideal for those with allergies
  • Contains tomato pomace

2. Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food

Fromm Family Foods 727520 Gold Nutritionals Adult...
  • Only The Highest Quality Ingredients Available Are Used In Fromm Pet Foods
  • Many Variety'S Available From Puppy To Senior

Ideal for normally active adult dogs, Fromm Gold is made primarily with chicken and offers 25% crude protein. The rest of the protein comes from chicken meal, dried egg, oat grouts, pearled barley, and brown rice; the grains are a great source of fiber.

Added probiotics and chicory root help with digestion, and the salmon oil is great for your dog’s coat. It contains vegetables that provide minerals and vitamins to keep your dog healthy and vibrant. The downsides to this formula are that it contains controversial ingredients like tomato pomace and alfalfa meal, and the added eggs, cheese, and brewer’s yeast are potential allergens for some dogs.

  • High-quality meat protein
  • High in protein
  • Ideal for normally active adult dogs
  • Aids in digestion
  • Nutritious
  • For all breeds
  • Contains potential allergens
  • Contains controversial ingredients

3. Fromm Gold Puppy Food

Fromm Family Foods 15 Lb Gold Puppy Food (1 Pack),...
  • Only The Highest Quality Ingredients Available Are Used In Fromm Pet Foods
  • Many Variety'S Available From Puppy To Senior

This formula is ideal for puppies and pregnant or nursing mothers; it is formulated with 27% protein and 18% fat for maximum growth and nutrition. It is a chicken-based recipe that uses whole chicken, chicken broth, and chicken meal.

Grains such as oat groats, pearled barley, and brown rice not only have protein but also fiber to aid in digestion. It contains brewer’s yeast, dried egg, and cheese, all of which can be allergens for some dogs but are present for their nutritional value. Vegetables are prevalent for their vitamin and mineral content, and salmon oil helps ensure a healthy, shiny coat.

  • Ideal for puppies
  • Whole food
  • Nutritious for nursing or pregnant females
  • High in protein
  • High in fat
  • Aids in digestion
  • Contains potential allergens

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The 3 Most Popular Orijen Dog Food Recipes

1. Orijen Original All Life Stages Formula

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Biologically...
  • ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from...
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological...

This popular recipe is biologically appropriate for all life stages and all breeds. The flavor profile of the chicken, turkey, and fish with added liver provides a delicious taste that dogs love and a 38% protein level within this formula, making it high in animal protein that is sourced from raw or dehydrated ingredients. The cartilage, bone, and eggs provide the rest of the needed nutrients and protein.

The use of lentils and navy beans provide more fiber for a healthy digestive system. On the downside, it contains eggs, which can be an allergen to some dogs. However, this is a grain-free formula that contains 15% vegetables and fruits that provide plenty of antioxidants, and the company does not believe in using synthetic ingredients.

  • Whole animal protein
  • Grain free
  • Lots of fruits and vegetables
  • High in fiber
  • No synthetic ingredients
  • High in antioxidants
  • Includes dried egg

2. Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food — Biologically Appropriate

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Biologically...
  • ORIJEN Puppy dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from...
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological...

The puppy formula offers complete and balanced nutrition to support the active lifestyle of your pup. Most of ingredients are poultry and fish, such as deboned chicken and turkey, flounder, eggs, and mackerel, as well as chicken and turkey pieces like the heart and liver.

Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are great sources of complex carbohydrates, and the taste is one your dog will enjoy. The total protein is 38%, with fiber at 6% and fat equaling 20%, so you know your puppy is receiving adequate nutrition for growth. The addition of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants help keep the immune and digestive systems healthy and functioning properly.

On the downside, this is a pricey puppy food, but Orijen uses locally sourced ingredients to provide a high-quality product.

  • Ideal for puppies
  • Plenty of nutrients
  • Tasty
  • Grain free
  • High in fat
  • Supports immune and digestive system
  • Pricey
  • Contains eggs

3. Orijen Regional Red — All Life Stages Formula

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Regional Red, Biologically...
  • ORIJEN Regional Red dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from...
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological...

This dry food is suitable for all life stages, including all breeds of dogs. The primary animal ingredients are beef, boar, goat, lamb, pork, and mackerel, which comprise 85% of the food and offers 38% crude protein overall. Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber that keep the digestive system healthy.

What makes this one unique from other Orijen formulas is that it uses red meat sources with no dairy, grain, or other ingredients that can be a potential allergen for some dogs. On the downside, it is pricier compared to the Orijen original formula.

  • Ideal for all life stages
  • Whole foods
  • Grain free
  • High in protein
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Pricey

Recall History of Fromm and Orijen Dog Food

Fromm: In 2016, three varieties of canned dog food were recalled due to potentially high levels of vitamin D. No pets were reported to be affected by this recall.

Orijen: There have been no recalls associated with this company.

Fromm and Orijen Comparison

Now that we’ve looked at each brand separately, let’s compare them side by side to make it easier to see the differences.


Both companies use quality ingredients, but Orijen prefers to use higher amounts of whole animal protein. Fromm adds vegetables, but not many fruits in their formulas. On the downside, Fromm has more controversial ingredients and potential allergens in their food, and Orijen doesn’t offer any formulas that contain grains.

Fromm recipes are lower in protein, which may be an advantage to some dogs who can’t tolerate high-protein diets. There are also options for owners who want to feed their dogs whole grains.

If you want dog food with a higher amount of protein, then Orijen wins in that aspect.


Orijen is the more expensive brand, but it sources their ingredients from farm-raised meat, wild-caught fish, and free-range poultry. Fromm is pricey but overall, the more cost-effective option.


If you want a wider variety to choose from, then Fromm is the winner because you can find grain and grain-free versions, formulas for different breeds, and formulas for puppies. Orijen does make its recipes for all life stages (with the exception of a few).

Customer service

When you are on the Fromm website, there is the option for a live chat with a customer service rep if you have questions, and the website is full of information about the business operations, as well as the ingredients.

Orijen is easy to contact and responsive to customer concerns. In this respect, both companies win in the customer service category.

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It’s nice to know the difference between two gourmet dog food companies, especially when they both offer a great product. You can’t go wrong with either brand. However, we picked Fromm as the top choice because you can find more products within their dog food line, so it caters to a wider variety of tastes and preferences.

We love that Orijen uses whole foods and high-quality ingredients, but they are also pricey and each one has a high amount of protein that isn’t suitable for some dogs. Finding a dog food that fits your expectations can be a difficult task. Hopefully, this review between two high-quality brands provides you with plenty of information to decide which one is right for you and your dog.