American Journey is a newer dog food brand, and it’s Chewy’s own line of food, similar to the Kirkland brand for Costco. For such a short time on the market, they have earned some very high ratings, even here in this American Journey dog food review. They have many different recipes, and their dog food is generally catered to “all life stages” with dry dog food for senior dogs, kibbles for puppies, and formulas for dogs that need to lose weight. They also have different formulas that are diet-specific, including a limited ingredient formula, which is slightly pricier.
American Journey is well thought of by most dog owners that use it, and it rivals some more expensive brands. Some of their recipes are grain-free, and other recipes are not, so you’ll have a wide variety to pick from. They also has several different flavors of wet dog foods, which can be great to add as a topper to dry food for your pup. Their wet foods are also well thought of, with most pups having no gastrointestinal issues when consuming it. It’s also more budget-friendly than other wet foods.
American Journey’s flagship foods are for adults, and these are labeled “all life stages.” They do have puppy formulas, but none specifically for toy breed puppies that need a smaller sized kibble to fit in their mouth. If you own a toy breed, you’ll want to consider at some smaller sized dry kibbles created for small breed puppies. Adult toy breeds should be fine depending on their size, but as with everything, we recommend you test it with your pup. Below you’ll find out more about American Journey, the ingredients they use, their flavors, and as well as our favorites in each category. Let’s dig in!
Food Review at a Glance: American Journey Formulas
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Brand History & Recalls
While we weren’t able to find an actual date for when the brand started, we are fairly certain that it’s new. A quick trademark search of the USPTO.gov website shows that the trademark was filed in April of 2017, and looking at the Chewy.com website, you can see that 2017 was when the first reviews started coming in about the food. This tells us it’s been around for about 3 years now, making it a newer food brand when compared to some of the older brands.
We do know that American Journey’s food is produced in Kansas, and their Limited Ingredient Grain-Free formula is produced in California. We also know that they source from reputable suppliers both in the US and worldwide. It’s likely that depending on the scenario, some of the meat from their products could come from a different country.
Based on our research, we are unable to find any recall data for any of their foods. This means that since the brand has been established, they haven’t had a single recall, which is impressive for such a newer dog food brand. This is especially impressive for one that’s not as hard on your budget!
The biggest thing to note is that chewy does not use any by-product meat meal (used by some cheaper brands) and does not use any wheat, corn or soy. Some of their recipes are grain-free, which has come under investigation by the FDA in recent years, but the data on that study is still inconclusive. Based on the sheer amount of positive reviews and lack of recall data, most pups are fine to eat American Journey dog food without any issues whatsoever.
Once we pass the sniff test on meat, now we move onto what else the foods include. Their dog food recipes are also fortified with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that naturally occur in blueberries and other vegetables. It also has a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids and slow-burning carbohydrates in the grain content. The grains in most of their recipes are derived from brown rice or from sweet potatoes which is a primary ingredient in many of their formulas. You can also find other fruits like blueberries and cranberries on the menu.
American Journey Dog Food Comparison
Below, we break down thier top foods based on food type, as well as the few foods that they produce specifically for your pup’s life stage. Most of their food is “all life stages” with more of a one-size-fits-all approach, meaning you’ll manage your pup based on their weight and size rather than their age. Let’s take a look at each formula, starting from youngest in age, and ordered from most popular to least.
American Journey Grain-Free Puppy Formula
American Journey has three popular puppy formulas, that come in a few different flavors. They offer two grain-free foods for puppies, as well as one that includes grain. The food that includes grain is cheaper than the grain-free, which is typical because it’s harder to produce. All three formulas get equally great results, it just depends on how sensitive your dog’s stomach is. Their puppy formulas can be used to feed large breed puppies as well as smaller breeds.
When considering a puppy formula, you’ll want to take into account the breed type, their expected size, and the quality of food they will eat. Puppyhood is an extremely crucial time for a dog’s development, so going the cheaper route for a dog food during puppyhood is something we don’t recommend.
American Journey’s foods have an excellent nutrient and antioxidant profile, which includes Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids. All 3 recipes above include fruits and vegetables to help provide additional nutrients and minerals. The top ingredient in each formula is deboned fish or meat, so no by-product has been used in any of them. The grain-free foods are gluten-free, whereas the brown rice & chicken formula is not. Most puppies will do fine on a gluten inclusive diet, but pups with sensitive stomachs will do better without it.
Adult Grain Inclusive
American Journey Grain-Free Adult Formula
The Adult formulas are for “all life stages” whether they have grain or they don’t. These foods are meant for adult dogs and should be safe to feed your pup at around 1 year of age, carrying them all the way through their old age as seniors. Some dogs can actually stay on an “all life stage” indefinitely, once they have transitioned over to that particular food. While puppies can survive on an “all stage” food, we recommend that your pup start with food specifically meant for puppies, and transition over to an “all life stage” formula at 12 months.
American Journey’s with-grain formulas come in four different popular flavors. This food is cheaper than the grain-free recipes, and we’d recommend looking at these if your dog has no stomach problems or are on a budget. There’s no problem feeding a grain-free food to a perfectly healthy dog, but some people can’t afford it, and some take issue with the FDA’s investigation into grain-free foods and would rather just avoid that discussion.
This grain-inclusive formula includes whole ingredients with the primary being meat and not a by-product. There are no fillers used in this food. These foods have an excellent amino acid profile, supply complex carbs to your dog, and have a nice antioxidant profile due to the fruits and veggies. The increase in fiber in this dog food should help ensure that your dog also stays regular.
American Journey Grain-inclusive Formula
The grain-free “All Life Stages” dog food is American Journey’s flagship. They offer multiple grain-free flavors that can do well with even the pickiest dogs. Each one of these will do well with your dog, no matter the size, breed or size of your pup. You control the food intake based on your dog’s activity levels.
We recommend grain-free formulas for all pups that have a sensitive stomach, or if your budget can afford it. And always make sure that when you switch to grain-free food, you’ve received the blessing from your vet. If your vet feels that your dog isn’t a good fit for that diet, they may provide you with other alternatives. Most dogs should do just fine on a grain-free food, however.
Since this is the most popular dog food in American Journey’s lineup, it should come as no surprise that not only do we see the same level of high-quality nutrients. Not only do we get an antioxidant boost, high-quality protein, and Omega 3/6 fatty acids, but we also have a DHA boost which helps support brain and vision development in your dog. American Journey’s grain-free adult formula is one of our favorites. It holds up well compared to other brands. This includes even some premium brands like Taste of the Wild.
Limited Ingredient Formulas
American Journey Limited Ingredient Formula
- Grain-free Formula.
- Short ingredient list.
- Single form of animal protein.
- Omega 3’s to nourish coats and skin.
- Includes flaxseed for fiber.
- Made with sweet potatoes and peas.
- Great for sensitive stomachs.
Limited ingredient formulas are becoming more and more popular as people start to move away from artificial flavors and ingredients. The idea behind this is that the fewer ingredients a food has, the purer it is. This idea permeates a lot for humans as well, the smaller the label it is, the better it is for you. So it makes sense that the same logic would apply for your dog.
The only issue with limited ingredient dog food is that it costs more to produce. Because of that, the cost is then passed on to you, the consumer. American Journey has some fantastic limited ingredient formulas. The price gap between their limited ingredient foods is actually much closer than other brands.
It’s only about a 10% difference in price for you to take the plunge into limited ingredient foods for your pup. Because some of the ingredients are similar to their other foods, your pup may transition relatively well to a limited ingredient formula instead of suffering the usual 2-3 week stomach impacts of changing foods.
American Journey Senior Formula
American Journey does have three senior formulas. Their selection includes two grain-free senior recipes and one with grain formula. The grain-free salmon and sweet potato is going to be the priciest of the lot, with the grain inclusive chicken and brown rice being the cheapest of the three. All of them are highly rated by dog owners that have used them and will make a great option for your senior dog. American Journey isn’t as well known as other brands, however when it comes to Senior recipes.
Migrating to a senior formula can be tougher, just due to the fact that as your pup ages, they will need nutrients that support their bones and joints. Usually, you are looking for a dog food that increases levels of glucosamine in addition to fortifying it with additional vitamins and minerals. All three of these foods do that, making each of them an excellent choice to help preserve the health of your dog. While there are plenty of other senior formula dog foods out there, and they do a solid job of competing in a tougher category with bigger brands like Nutro.
Weight Loss Formulas
American Journey Healthy Weight Formula
American Journey’s healthy weight dog food is not only reasonable price-wise, but it’s widely used and makes a great formula for pups that need to lose some weight. This formula is grain inclusive, so you’ll need to consider that if you own a dog that has an extremely sensitive stomach. There are other weight loss dog food options out there if your pup needs to stick to a grain-free diet while trying to shed a few pounds.
This food isn’t broken down by breed like we see Science Diet do, so you’ll need to monitor and regulate your dog’s food intake based on their size and the recommended foods on the chart. You should likely be monitoring your dog’s food intake closely anyhow if they are regularly overeating and gaining weight.
American Journey Wet Dog Food
Didn’t think we’d only be looking at dry kibbles did you? Let’s take a look at a few of American Journey’s high-quality wet foods as well. These make for a great topper on regular dry kibble. We never advocate your dog eating wet food as their only source of nutrients for many reasons. Specifically, it’s very poor for dental health to only have one soft food. Dry kibbles help to keep your dog’s teeth clean, so it’s almost essential that your pup has that in their diet if you aren’t feeding raw, where they have access to bones and other raw ingredients to keep teeth clean.
Wet food can make a great sidekick though, and American Journey’s formulas do very well when comparing them to other wet dog foods. Like their dry kibbles, their wet food formula hasn’t had any recalls that we can see. Mixing up a half a can of wet dog food on your pup’s dry kibble is a great idea that will make mealtime a lot more interesting for your pup.
The American Journey poultry and beef variety pack is the highest rated, and the first ingredient like their dry kibble is always meat. These meals are also crafted in the USA and only packed in BPA free cans. They have an excellent amino acid profile to help support any dry kibble you feed your pup. It also contains no corn, wheat, or soy to prevent your dog from food sensitivities.
As you’ve found in this American Journey review, it’s a budget-friendly option for people that would rather order online without making their way to the grocery store to lug home 24-pound bags of dog food. It’s also a brand that most dogs will enjoy, without many stomach issues. All of their food options are quality, with some standing out slightly more than others. While there are plenty of other options on the market to feed your dog, we highly recommend American Journey due to cost, quality, convenience and nutrient profile.