Food Philosophy Food Philosophy

Our Food Philosophy

We specialize in making foods that are Biologically Appropriate to nourish as nature intended, and we believe in doing whatever it takes to help pets thrive and reach the peak of their natural potential for a lifetime.


We pioneered Biologically Appropriate, which means every one of our recipes is crafted with purpose and reflects our commitment to mirror the diet nature and evolution intended dogs and cats to eat. ...
For meat eaters, that means higher amounts of protein from animal sources and fewer carbohydrates. We also introduced WholePrey ingredients to give pets the most succulent, nourishing parts of the animal, including meat, organs and bones. Fresh or raw meat, poultry or fish are always the lead ingredients in ORIJEN® and ACANA® recipes to provide pets with peak nutrition, optimal nourishment and ultimate flavor.
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World's Best Ingredients

The world’s best recipes come from the world’s best ingredients. That’s why we collaborate with a specially curated group of leading farmers, ranchers, and fisheries that we have had relationships with for decades. ...
Our strong network enables us to source quality ingredients, including lamb from New Zealand, fish from Scandinavia, and other premium ingredients from our neighbors. No matter what, every ingredient we choose is selected for its nutritional value, digestibility and superior flavor. Our commitment to trust and transparency has led to a robust supplier vendor audit approval program and detailed ingredient traceability system.
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Our kitchens are some of the most advanced in the industry. They are purpose-built and custom-designed specifically for our unique recipes that take advantage of significant inclusions of fresh and raw ingredients. We locate them in agricultural heartlands so they can be closer to many of the sources of our ingredients. ...
As we grow and innovate, in addition to our own kitchens, we’ll work with trusted supplier partners who are experts in their field to create only the finest foods for pets. With food safety, quality, and employee health and safety at the core of our designs, our kitchens exceed many of the standards set in the human food industry – which explains the pride we take in them and why they are spotless and safe at all times.
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Our Kitchens  careers

ORIJEN® and ACANA®pet foods are thoughtfully crafted in our state of the art kitchens in Acheson, Alberta and Auburn, Kentucky. As some of the most advanced in the industry, our kitchens are purpose-built and custom-designed specifically to craft unique recipes with plenty of fresh and raw ingredients.

careers careers


Our pet nutrition experts continually pursue the advancement of nutrition and wellness for pets. By leading and implementing the latest developments in science, our experts create nutritious food dogs and cats need to thrive. ...
Pets are members of our families and we want to support their long-term health with the most advanced ingredients and optimal recipes possible. Beyond meeting all applicable international pet nutrition guidelines, ORIJEN® and ACANA® recipes go through an additional validation process to meet our superior standards—the Champion standard.

The Champion standard ensures our recipes push the boundaries of what optimal nutrition for dogs and cats can be. By working with academic institutions around the world, our team of experts have access to the best researchers and diversified thinking to support the most advanced pet nutrition possible.
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Our Pet Nutrition Experts

Our Pet Nutrition Experts

We have 20 Pet Nutrition & Food Experts on staff who craft our premium foods. Champion has assembled this team to include strong expertise in food science, animal health and product development.

Research & Bulletins

ACANA® and ORIJEN® Blogs

Get access to our amazing articles and resources for Pet Lovers on our ORIJEN® and ACANA® blogs.

Explore ORIJEN® Blog Discover ACANA® Blog

Insights From Our Experts

Learn about what AAFCO is and what must happen during a typical AAFCO feeding trial. This bulletin explains how we expand upon this to ensure the safety, health and nutritional adequacy of our foods. We’ve custom designed an enhanced AAFCO canine and feline feeding trial and this shares information regarding the additional metabolic and health measurements we choose to look at.

Download AAFCO Feeding Trials.pdf

Palatability is essentially how much a dog or cat prefers a texture, odour and flavour of a finished product. Through palatability testing we can measure the performance of a diet. This bulletin explains the findings of an industry standard two-bowl test comparing two different recipes to see which diet cats and dogs prefer.

Download Palatability Bulletin.pdf

At Champion Petfoods we make award-winning Biologically Appropriate foods that are trusted by Pet Lovers everywhere. That means our foods are rich in meat and protein, and subject to rigorous nutritional validation and industry leading food safety standards.

We believe that describing heavy metals as “contaminants” in pet foods confuses Pet Lovers on the origin of these elements as well as their safety limits for dogs and cats.

As the maker of ORIJEN and ACANA dog and cat foods, Champion developed this paper to:

  • discuss the source of heavy metals in pet foods;
  • publish the maximum tolerable limits (MTLs) for dogs and cats; and
  • discuss the results in comparison to animal health to help bring clarity and restore confidence.

Download Champion Petfoods White Paper-Heavy Metals

At Champion Petfoods, we understand DCM is a concern for some pet lovers. We’ve broken down the top five myths using factual evidence.

Download Palatability Bulletin.pdf

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Research

In 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement that grain-free diets may be related to the development of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In some FDA case reports, dogs diagnosed with DCM consuming grain-free diets also had low concentrations of plasma or whole blood taurine. While there is a known relationship between low taurine status and DCM, there are few studies published to evaluate the relationship of commercial grain-free diets and taurine status in healthy large-breed dogs.

The following study, published in the journal Translational Animal Science, determined the effects of feeding a commercial grain-free diet to large breed dogs on taurine status and overall health. The study, which was fully funded by Champion Petfoods, evaluated a small cohort of Labrador Retrievers during a 26-week feeding trial. The results suggest that the grain-free diet tested improved taurine status in this group of Labrador Retrievers. While this demonstrates that taurine status is not negatively impacted by feeding this grain-free diet, more research is required to fully understand the multifactorial etiology of DCM.

Research followed the recommendations of the Association of American Feed Controls Official (AAFCO) Canine Feeding protocols. Other factors that may contribute to the etiology of DCM should be explored.

Download Translational Animal Science Paper

In 2018, the FDA first reported a potential association between canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and diet. The FDA has never recommended that Pet Lovers change their pets’ foods and did not request any recalls from pet food manufacturers. To date, review of available scientific literature and research on DCM has found there is no definitive, scientific link between DCM and our foods or grain-free diets. Currently, researchers attribute many factors as possible causes for DCM in dogs, including genetics, breeding and lifestyle.

The following article, which appeared in the Journal of Animal Science, provides an overview of the scientific literature on the issue.

Download Journal of Animal Science article on DCM

High-protein, grain-free extruded dog diets are increasing in popularity, but few have compared the digestibility of these diets to others containing different ingredients or nutrient concentrations.

Research Update: Amino Acids