Orijen Vs Merrick 2024: Both are great, But which is Paw-some?

Orijen Vs Merrick

About 300 pet food manufacturers and distributors in the United States produce over 7 million tons of pet foods annually making the pet food industry one of the largest class of processed foods in the market.

This means that every pet owner, vet, and breeder has more than 3,000 pet food products to choose from ranging from dry, semi-moist to canned food types as well as treats, kibbles and biscuits.

Of these three thousand pet food products, the products of Merrick and Orijen have stood out for providing exceptionally nutritious, delicious, highly recommended and sort-after meals.

During the course of this article, all your questions will be answered, you will learn the fundamentals of picking the right pet food for your pet and we will teach you what to look out for in every can or bag of pet nourishment.

So, let critically look at the features of the Merrick and Orijen brand.

After you are done with this awesome comparison check out Merrick and Orijen here to see the different flavors and pricing.


πŸ€” Merrick vs Orijen FAQ

What is guaranteed analysis?

The concept of guaranteed analysis on pet food products is to assure purchasers of the precise nutrient content of each consumable. Emphasized by AAFCO, guaranteed analysis by food labels must meet certain requirements such as an exact value for the minimum percentage of crude protein and fat, as well as the maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture on the basis of dry matter obtained. All of the percentages that I use in this comparison are averages of dry matter basis. Learn about dry matter basis here.
Which one has more protein?

The Orijen brand guarantees 5.14% and 3.58% more protein than the Merrick brand for dry dog foods and cat foods respectively. While Merrick is also known for high protein levels, adequate for pet development.

Which one is cheaper?

Merrick offers cheaper dry dog foods whereas the dry cat foods are more expensive than Orijens.

Which one has more flavors?

Merrick provides more flavors (206 flavors) for all food types while Orijen offers only 28 flavors for dry dog and cat foods as well as treats.

Which one has received more recalls?

While the Orijen brand has been recalled just once, the Merrick brand has been recalled 5 times for the same reason and once for hormonal related problems.

Check out the current prices, recipes, and flavors for Merrick and Orijen

βš–οΈ Merrick and Orijen Pros and Cons

Merrick Pros:

Merrick Cons:

Orijen Pros:

Orijen Cons:

😻 Types Of Pet Food

Product (Dog Food)MerrickOrijen
Dry Food37 recipes8 recipes
Wet Food65 recipes❌
Treats38 treats9 recipes
Product (Cat Food)  
Dry Food13 recipes5 recipes
Wet Food51 recipes❌
Treats2 treats6 recipes
😻 See all Merrick recipes😻 See all Orijen recipes

While the Merrick brand offers a wide variety of recipes and treats across all food types, the Orijen brand offers only dry dog and cat foods plus treats.

πŸ₯• Nutritional Value Comparison

As required by the professional body, AAFCO, protein, fat, fiber and moisture percentages must be clearly and comprehensively indicated on the guaranteed analysis of every pet food product because they are vital and compulsory nutritional requirement of dogs and cats.

The amounts of these nutrients vary by brand and it is indicated on the product label of the pet food, so let’s see how Merrick and Orijen differ on the basis of their nutritional value.

Product (Dry Dog food)MerrickOrijen
Crude Protein37.2%42.3%
Crude Fat16.8%23.9%
Crude Fibre4.3%6.3%
Product (Dry Cat food)  
Crude Protein42.2%45.8%
Crude Fat15.8%21.1%
Crude Fibre5.1%4.0%
πŸ₯• See more Merrick infoπŸ₯• See more Orijen info

However, other nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, that most articles do not pay much attention to, are needed to make the diets of our companion animals complete.


Carbohydrates that are used for pet foods are usually gotten from plant and they are 100% natural and digestible, examples of these carbs sources are corn, rice, barley, and oats.

Our pets usually derive sugars, starches, and fiber when they consume carbohydrates and this food group powers tissues and cells as well as improves the intestinal health of our dogs and cats.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are required by our feline and canine companions in varying quantities depending on their personal health status and nutritional requirements as prescribed by the vet or a qualified nutritionist.

Vitamins and minerals are particularly needed for the chemical reactions that occur in the bone, muscular tissues and teeth of our pets. Dogs and cats do not need to consume vitamin C, this is because they synthesize it in their bodies naturally.

If you provide your pets with balanced and nutritious meals, they really do not need to consume vitamin and mineral supplements because these supplements are could become dangerous to their health.


Water is so important in our pets’ diet so much that if about 10% of their body fluid is lost or withheld, they could die but give them back that 10% and remove all the fat and half the protein content of their diet, they would survive.

It is imperative to always provide clean and fresh water for our feline and canine friends even when their meals contain some amount of water.

πŸ’° Price Comparison

Dog FoodMerrickOrijen
Per pound$5.84$13.65
Per calorie$0.0034$0.0023
Cat Food  
Per pound$7.74$6.94
Per Calorie$0.0045$0.0038

πŸ’° See the best Merrick prices

πŸ’° See the best Orijen prices

From the comparison table above, pet owners will have to pay more if the decide to purchase Orijen dog foods instead of the Merrick dog foods and less if they prefer the Orijen cat foods to Merrick cat foods.

It is important to note that the average cost-per-kcal calculates only the dry matter on the meal while the average cost-per-lb calculates the cost of the pet food on the basis of both its dry matter and moisture content.

🀀 Ingredients and Flavors


The Merrick brand has 206 flavors of dog and cat food as well as treats.

The ingredients responsible for these flavors includes , chicken meal, , peas, , oatmeal, chicken fat, pea protein, , salmon meal, carrots, apples, salmon oils, quinoa, barley, chicken liver, brown rice chia sees, deboned chicken, blueberries, salt, and others.

Popular flavors

  • Grain-free real chicken
  • Real duck and sweet potato
  • Lamb and sweet potato
  • Rascally rabbit stew


The Orijen brand offers a total of 8 flavors of dry dog food, 5 flavors of dry cat foods, nine and six flavors of dog and cat treats respectively.

This brand uses ingredients such as
deboned bison, chickpeas meal, beef tripe, freeze-dried pork liver, carrots, red delicious apples, dried lactobacillus, natural pork flavor, navy beans, sarsaparilla root, chickpeas, and others to produce the irresistible meals whose aroma fills the room every time you feed your pet with their product.

Popular Flavors

  • Six fish formula
  • Kentucky bison formula

Check out the current Merrick and Orijen recipes here.

🏑 About Merrick and Orijen

Merrick Information

The Merrick brand manufactures bites, dentals chews, bistro, ingredient diets and other meal types for dog and cats.

The brand was found by Garth Merrick who resided in Hereford, Texas in 1988 and Garth’s first product was a treat named Flossie. The Merrick Pet Care company which owned the brand has been acquired and presently been managed by Nestle Purina PetCare Company.

The company under the Merrick brand name presently offers products like Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipes, Grain Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe, Limited Ingredient Diet with Real Salmon & Chickpeas recipe, and others

Orijen Information

This brand produces scientifically tested and trusted, protein-rich and grain-free meals and treats for dogs and cats.

This pet food brand manufactures its pet foods in three strategic locations in the United States yet it distribution and marketing points are scattered all over the world cutting across 70 countries. It owned and operated by the Champion PetFood company.

Some of the brand’s product that give other competitors a run for their money includes the new Orijen Tundra, Orijen Original, Orijen Fit Trim, Orijen Tundra Freeze-dried food, Orijen Regional Red Freeze-dried food, Orijen Senior, Orijen Six Fish Dog, and others.

πŸ™€ Product Safety and Recalls through History

Companies make scheduled recalls on products that may have a foreseen defect or safety issues. The importance of a recall is to conduct further safety tests in order to effect changes to product to ensure that it is safe for use.

Merrick Recalls

  • 2nd July, 2010 – Salmonella Contamination
  • 3rd August, 2010 – Salmonella Contamination
  • 13th August, 2010 – Salmonella Contamination
  • 28th January, 2011 – Salmonella Contamination
  • 8th August, 2011 – Salmonella Contamination
  • 23rd May, 2018 – Raised levels of beef thyroid hormones

Orijen Recalls

  • 22nd November, 2008: Complications from Irradiation Treatment

πŸ† Merrick Vs Orijen: And the winner goes to…

Judging by product cost, number of flavors and food types, Merrick seem to be the brand of choice for pet owners whose preferences are cost and variety.

However, if you desire a brand with more protein, less recalls and you are not so bothered about variety or increasing your pet care budget, then you should opt for the Orijen brand.

As far as this comparison goes, I would safely say we have a tie. So whether you choose the products from Merrick or Orijen brands, be rest assured that you are getting exceptional quality.

Pet food FeaturesBrand Choice
High Protein contentOrijen
Grain and gluten freeMerrick and Orijen
Fruits and vegetable rich mealsOrijen
Prebiotic and probiotic rich meals Merrick
Best recipes for puppies and small breedsOrijen
Best recipes for senior dogs and cats Merrick
Best recipes for growing petsOrijen
Best recipes for recovering dogsOrijen
Best recipes for Large BreedsMerrick




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