Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Desmond vs. Orijen: A Review

at the end of this blog post, you will find a 10% off promo code for the Mr. Chewy website. if you want to skip right to that, i won't hold it against you--but only because if you make a purchase with my code, $10 goes to Bideawee, and i can't be mad about that!

recently, i was approached once again by Mr. Chewy's people, to see if we'd be interested in trying out and reviewing some Orijen dog food. my ears perked up (desmond's did not; he does not have access to my email)...

(Photo credit: AdvenPet)

Orijen, did you say? the protein party-in-a-bag that's always been too far out of my price range to be willing to take a chance on? why, yes, i would love to get my hands on some of that stuff and see if desmond likes it enough (and it likes him back) that i can warrant taking out a second mortgage to fund repeat delivery of said stuff. 

Mr. Chewy told me to pick any flavor. i thought i'd make Orijen work for its review by picking desmond's least-favorite flavors: seafood & poultry.

sniff sniff sniff

now, just to be clear, desmond loves him some chicken jerky (made in the USA) and freeze-dried chicken treats (yay, Stella & Chewy). he does not, however, seem to like any sort of chicken dry dog food or dry treats. and no one in this household was happy about the whitefish dry dog food we tried--not because it was bad food, but because desmond didn't like it and the humans couldn't take the smell of it. blech. i swore i would never again purchase any kind of doggie seafood stuff, because i am not, in fact, interested in my house smelling like i am running an aquarium business on the side. (in the interest of full disclosure, desmond does love the BB lamb food.)

so then, as you can imagine, i wasn't necessarily expecting things to be wonderful upon the Orijen food's arrival. 

my expectations, however, are useless.

"mom, i don't wanna take pictures of the food. i wanna eat the food."

sniff sniff

"maybe if i sniff hard enough, the food will come out..."

desmond was interested in the food from the moment we brought the package into the house. once we got it open, he got all antsy and drooly, which is not his typical style. he does love to eat, but when it comes to mealtime, he's fairly bored by things (he's far more into treats than he is breakfast and dinner). it's funny, because his reaction was somewhat similar to his reaction to the first time he tried the Stella & Chewy chicken treats
"i know you're torturing me for fun, and i do not approve."

"do you or do not you see me licking my chops?"
"finally, lady. sheesh!"

of course, when it came time for dinner, we had to add a small amount of the Orijen to his regular food, but he went absolutely nuts for it. he usually waits nicely a couple feet away from his bowls while we prepare his dinner in another room. this time, he was following me around, shoving his face into the bag/bowl, and practically barreling me over as i walked with the full bowl back to the dining room. he could hardly contain himself and didn't want to sit as far away from the bowls as he normally does (although he did not break his "leave it"). and then he went to town on his dinner, which he rarely does (due to his boredom with the food).

trying to get as close to the food bowl as he can without breaking his  "leave it"

(btw, we are not depriving him of water--we were just refilling the bowl while this was going on)

shortly after this pic was taken, the bowl was empty--even his vitamin that was in there with the food was consumed.

so far, so good. Orijen 1, Desmond 0.

at this point, although i was happy for desmond's excitment and enjoyment of the food, i was still a bit of a non-believer, because he often gets himself all riled up whenever we are switching his food. he's like me--always looking for something newer, better, different. i thought he might get bored with the Orijen soon enough.

he's now been eating it since the 15th, and you know what? the dog is still all pumped up over it. he has stopped trying to knock me over when i'm walking from the food bag to the bowl area, but otherwise it's all the same.

so, technically, it's now Orijen 2, Desmond 0.

we're up to a 50-50 mix of old and new food, and i plan to keep it that way, since we got only a small bag of the food to review (we're not switching him over to Orijen for real, as there simply isn't enough to do the switch both there and back).

this isn't really problematic other than the fact that i won't be able to give the most complete review possible since i won't see him on only Orijen food. it does, however, give his stomach ample opportunity to react to the food. he's pretty sensitive about things, and even though he's on a probiotic daily, he often has issues anyway.

most of the time, his issues stay outside of the house (if you know what i mean), but depending on what he has eaten treat-wise or human-food-wise, he will sometimes have in-the-house issues.

and i don't mean he's having accidents.

do you follow?

my dog has a really stinky butt sometimes.

usually we're able to pinpoint the problem food and eliminate it forevermore, plus we often get a good laugh out of it (we're 12), but sometimes it's bad. i mean really, really bad.

Orijen 2, Desmond 1.

yup, although desmond loved the poultry and seafood delight, the delight surely is not loving him back. it also doesn't love our sense of smell or our desire to be in the same room as our dog. Orijen is making desmond stinkier than ever before. it's truly awful. thank goodness it's intermittent. i mean, my husband and i literally have to vacate the area when this happens. poor desmond.

on a similar note, this food actually does not smell all that great itself anyway. it's not nearly as bad as that whitefish smell--at all--but it's still pretty strong. what point value is that? .5?

Orijen 2, Desmond 1, Humans .5

in the end, i can pretty safely say that i do not think we would buy this food in the future. it's really not that the food itself is bad or anything--the quality is outstanding. the combination of stinky dog butt and price point are what do us in, though. as much as desmond loves the food, we like our oxygen, and the other flavor of Orijen that we'd be interested in for des is actually more money than the poultry and seafood variety. womp womp.

all that being said, if your pup does not have a sensitive stomach, i definitely recommend trying Orijen. the ingredients are stellar, and for those of you who are already feeding premium dog food, the prices aren't really that much higher (maybe $10 or so--i'm basing this on the BB prices we tend to pay at PETCO and Pet Supplies Plus), but the quality of the food is likely worth it. desmond is salivating over it like i'm holding out a salmon and a turkey in front of his face.

as a reward for you for reading all this, please feel free to use the following promo code on mrchewy.com anytime for 10% off your order and  a $10 donation to Bideawee: DESM8618

so far, $150 has gone to Bideawee through the use of the Life With Desmond promo code. that's freakin' pawsome! so THANK YOU & let's keep it going!

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