Frequently Asked Questions


We work hard to earn the trust of Pet Lovers everywhere, and know it is earned by being transparent. If you’re looking for information about where we source our ingredients, how our food is made, or food safety in our kitchens, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Interested in learning more about ORIJEN and ACANA? Visit or to find out more. Still have questions or just want to chat about Champion Petfoods? Please contact our Customer Care Team and we’ll be happy to help!

Champion Petfoods

We are an award-winning pet food maker that has been crafting cat and dog foods since 1985. Today we serve nearly 100 countries, providing the highest quality nutrition to pets worldwide and earning the trust of Pet Lovers.

Our two brands are ORIJEN® and ACANA®. Learn more about our ORIJEN or ACANA dog and cat foods.

We have long been recognized for making some of the most nutritious food you can feed your pet, with a focus on using fresh, high-quality ingredients, from trusted suppliers, and using exceptional food safety and quality standards. ORIJEN and ACANA are carefully crafted with high meat, poultry and fish inclusions according to our philosophy of making foods that best meet the nutritional needs of your beloved cat or dog.

Heavy Metals

Consumers represented by the same group of plaintiffs’ lawyers brought numerous class action lawsuits alleging that the heavy metals in Champion’s ORIJEN and ACANA dog food was deceptive or misleading. Champion does not add heavy metals into its food as an ingredient, or otherwise. Heavy metals are naturally found in the environment and the ingredients in Champion’s pet food. Every court that has considered this issue has found that the naturally-occurring heavy metals in Champion’s pet food are present at a low, safe levels that are not dangerous or toxic to pets.

Champion, the manufacturers of ORIJEN and ACANA, has tested its dog and cat foods for heavy metals at independent laboratories, using the Official Methods of Analysis by Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC). The results show that the presence of naturally-occurring heavy metals are well below the National Research Council’s maximum tolerable limits, which are the limits that the FDA uses for guidance and are the most widely used scientific guidance available to veterinary toxicology and nutrition experts for determining what are considered to be safe levels of heavy metals in dog food.

“Biologically Appropriate” Pet Food

At least eight federal courts have dismissed, or affirmed the dismissal of, lawsuits arguing that the term “biologically appropriate” was deceptive or misleading. These courts found that the term implies the food is suitable for dogs and cats to eat.

The term ‘biologically appropriate’ refers to pet food that mirrors the natural diets which cats and dogs have evolved to consume, aligned with their digestive anatomy. Studies have shown that the fundamental physiology of modern dogs and cats has experienced minimal change through domestication. Despite present day domestication, our beloved pets evolved from hunters, which is evident in their digestive mechanisms. Dogs and cats have short gastro-intestinal tracts. This indicates that the digestive tract is designed for breaking down protein and fat from meat, rather than plants or grains.

Therefore, in the context of dogs and cats, “biologically appropriate” food would typically consist of fresh or raw meat, offering high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content. It's worth noting that substantial amounts of grains and carbohydrates are not considered biologically appropriate for your pets, which is why our food is low in carbohydrates, unlike many other ‘premium’ pet food brands.

Our Food Philosophy

When pet foods began to be mass produced, the focus was on creating food that was convenient. Kibble made it easy for people to add pet food to a shopping list, bring it home and store it in a pantry or shed. The ingredients used were grain-based, cheap, plentiful, and easy to store in large amounts. The result? Food that even today is far away from what nature intended.

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.

If you are interested and want to learn more, please see our Library for additional materials.

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 only the best, 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.

Click to learn about our ingredients.

Award-Winning Kitchens

We exclusively own and operate two of the world’s most advanced pet food kitchens where award-winning ORIJEN and ACANA foods are made.

Located on the vast Canadian prairies at the heart of Alberta’s dynamic agricultural community, our NorthStar Kitchen has been making food for pets and Pet Lovers worldwide since 1985.

Conventional pet food facilities produce vast quantities of food in short periods of time using dried ingredients that are mixed with water. Our kitchens allow us to use more animal ingredients and more fresh and raw ingredients.

We opened our custom-built DogStar Kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky, USA. In 2017, DogStar was awarded the first-ever Global Markets Award from the Global Food Safety Initiative, an international award that represents one of the highest food safety achievements in both the human and animal food industries.

In December 2019, we opened our new NorthStar kitchen, in Acheson, Alberta. Our new kitchen demonstrates our passion for making Biologically Appropriate pet foods. Within two weeks of opening, this Kitchen achieved European Union certified status from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, recognizing our ongoing commitment to make our foods the best they can be, with the highest quality ingredient sourcing and most robust food safety systems. Plus, NorthStar recently received Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification, a voluntary and rigorous process that highlights our high food safety standards, in less than a year of operation.

Every ORIJEN and ACANA product we make meets our standards for Quality Assurance and are made with industry-leading Food Safety Systems.

Regardless of where our foods are made, our commitment to the highest quality food in the industry remains the same. Our Research & Innovation specialists have crafted all our Biologically Appropriate ORIJEN and ACANA recipes. We’ve chosen the best ingredients; our specifications for Quality Assurance and Food Safety are followed, and we have oversight of all finished products.

As Pet Lovers feeding ORIJEN® and ACANA® foods to our own dogs and cats, we accept no less.

Our talented team of animal food scientists and nutritionists lead the development and research of our pet foods. They possess a wide variety of education and experience including degrees in Doctorates of Veterinary Medicine, PhDs in Animal Nutrition, PhDs in Food Science, Masters of Science degrees in Animal Nutrition, Food Science, Meat Hygiene and Food Microbiology. They also hold Bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science, Biochemistry, and Veterinary Medicine.

We also partner with numerous Doctors of Veterinary Medicine as consultants. We have always created Biologically Appropriate pet foods and are proud of the research we conduct.

Corporate Responsibility

We are passionate about the health and happiness of cats and dogs and provide support and care to our local community of pets and Pet Lovers through valued partnerships with animal shelters, rescues, and other charitable organizations. To find out more about our programs and partners, please click here.