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American Journey vs. Taste of the Wild: Which Dog Food is Better?

Looking at Taste of the Wild vs. American Journey for your pup's next meal? We compare both brands, including cost, quality, recall history & more.

Emma Braby

Last Updated: October 31, 2020 | 10 min read

American Journey Dog Food in Bowl

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Are you wondering which dog food brand is better between American Journey vs. Taste of the Wild? These two brands are well-known and offer great products. But just like us humans, not all dogs are the same. And one brand might be the slightly better option for you and your dog. 

There are multiple variables to consider when choosing a food brand for your dog. Age, nutrient needs, ingredient sensitivities, and flavors will all play a part in what your dog eats. Both American Journey and Taste of the Wild have several options here that are worth considering, no matter what age your pup is.

Here in this guide, we will compare these two highly-rated brands against each other to help decide which one is the better choice for you. We look at brand history, the quality of the ingredients they use, what formulas they offer, and much more. All to help you make your decision. So, let’s pit them against each other and take a closer look at these two great dog food brands.

Taste of the Wild Puppy Formula High Prairie
Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Taste of the Wild Puppy

View at Chewy.com
American Journey Grain Free Adult Food
Our Rating

Best For Adults

American Journey Grain-free

View at Chewy.com
American Journey Senior Dog Food Formula
Our Rating

Best For Seniors

American Journey Senior

View at Chewy.com

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Chewy.com, where you can get additional product information and customer feedback. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Brand Histories

Dog Food in Picture
Both American Journey and Taste of the Wild have solid brand reputations.

Good food starts with a good brand. Before you can feel confident about what goes in your dog, you have to feel good about where it comes from. Therefore it’s always important to look at the company itself. Below we look at both American Journey and Taste of the Wild in greater detail.

American Journey

American Journey is a new pet food brand. Because they do not have their own website yet, information is a little limited. Although this is disappointing, don’t let this put you off them! American Journey is Chewy’s house brand, and records show that they have been providing pet food since 2017. 

All pet owners out there have heard of the online market Chewy, and so their food is fast becoming popular. They offer high-quality food but at budget prices. They are bringing competition to the pet food arena and proving to be a big hit with their customers. So they are high up in our recommendations for our readers.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild is an established dog food brand that is owned and manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. Diamond Pet Foods was founded in 1970, and they created the brand in 2007. Before this, Diamond Pet Food had a sticky history, and Taste of the Wild was their chance to earn the trust of their consumers once again with a healthier and more premium line.

Their ethos is to provide premium pet food at affordable prices. Taste of the Wild is only marginally more expensive compared to American Journey. Also making them good value for the money compared to other similar brands out there.

Recalls

American Journey vs Taste of the Wild Recall
Both brands have very good recall histories compared to other manufacturers.

Here we are going to take a look at each brand’s recall history. This is an excellent indicator of how seriously a brand takes the safety of our beloved pooches. To do this, we have researched the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) websites. So, let’s take a look.

American Journey

Although they have only been around since 2017, American Journey has a clean bill of recall health, with no recall records whatsoever. This is brilliant for a budget brand, and it also leads us to believe that they take the health of our pooches very seriously.

We’ve compared them to several other major manufacturers as well, including comparisons against Purina Pro, against Nutro, and again against Blue Buffalo.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild has 10 extra years of operation to their belt when compared to American Journey. But, records show that there is only 1 record of a product recall. This recall occurred in May 2012, but it’s important to bear in mind that this was not limited to Taste of the Wild, and other brands were affected.

After investigation, some batches of pet food made at certain facilities owned by Diamond Pet Foods were contaminated with Salmonella. Unfortunately, thousands of pets across America became ill, but thankfully there hasn’t been anything since. When comparing this to other higher-end brands, Taste of the Wild also holds a good safety record. 

Food Ingredients

Dog Food Ingredients for American Journey and TOTW
Both American Journey and Taste of the Wild use natural ingredients in their dog food formulas.

Now to one of the most vital sections, what ingredients do each brand put into their formulas? Some brands promise to only use high-quality ingredients with no added colors or preservatives. Whereas some do not make this promise. Your own ethos and what you want to feed your pooch might determine which brand you pick. So, let’s inspect each brand’s promises and ingredients lists.

American Journey

When it comes to meat protein, American Journey always promises to use deboned meat as their first listed ingredient. They also never use meat by-products, which is a lower quality ingredient.  This is usually a guarantee that only premium brands offer, so for a budget brand to promise this is terrific. Their favored proteins are chicken and salmon, with a few other meat options for variety.

Although American Journey offers a seemingly high protein content for a budget brand, the ingredients list shows that they split pea ingredients. This is common amongst budget brands to boost the protein content to make them seem meatier than they are. This makes it difficult for consumers to determine the true meat protein content. They separate peas into 4 sub-ingredients.

American Journey primarily offers grain-free options, but they also recognize that some of their consumers want grain inclusive options. When it comes to their grain-free options, they use ingredients such as sweet potato and lentils. Which are wholesome and a great source of fiber and healthy carbohydrates.

When it comes to their grain inclusive formulas, they stick to gentle grains such as brown rice and oatmeal that are known to assist with digestion. Unlike other budget brands, they promise never to use any corn, wheat, or soy. These are known to be hard to digest for dogs with sensitive guts. Budget brands tend to stick to cheap grains and fillers, so again, this is promising.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild uses a wider variety of meats compared to American Journey. These include beef, bison, wild boar, fish, fowl, lamb, and venison. They, too, offer a high protein content for a somewhat budget brand. They also ensure that meat by-product ingredients are never used.

The majority of their formulas are grain-free, and they replace them with ingredients such as sweet potato, legumes, and peas. They have a limited grain inclusive offering, but here they use ancient grains, such as chia seeds, quinoa, millet, and sorghum. Similarly, they also do not use cheaper corn, wheat, and soy, which is good to know that they put your pooches health over profits.

Taste of the Wild always uses ingredients that are known to be easily digestible. Ingredients such as chicory root offer prebiotic fiber for regular digestion. Probiotic ingredients such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bacillus subtilis are listed. These help to promote friendly bacteria in your pooch’s gut. They also guarantee live microorganisms in every pound of kibble.

Like American Journey, they also split pea ingredients, but they only typically use 2 compared to 4. This makes them less guilty of the ingredient splitting tactic. This also probably means that it is meatier than American Journey, but it is difficult to say for sure. 

Range of Formulas

Taste of the Wild Dog Food in Bowl
Both brands have a wide variety of different formulas and flavors.

Dogs have different dietary needs. Because of this, brands need to offer a range of formulas to cater to the wider doggy market. Dog food formulas will range widely, and usually, get distinguished by dog age.  There are different formulas within each age range, so let’s take a quick glance at each brand’s dog food offerings.

American Journey

The American Journey brand offers a total of 3 product lines. Their product lines include their standard kibble, a limited ingredient line, and their Landmark line which has higher protein content. When it comes to grain inclusive vs. grain-free, American Journey’s standard kibble offers both grain-free and grain inclusive options. However, the two other lines are grain-free only.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild has two different product lines. They are their standard kibble formula, and then their Prey line. Prey is their limited ingredient line of food. They offer both grain-free and grain inclusive recipes, but their limited ingredient line is only offered in a grain-free version. Their grain-free formulas are the most popular with many dog owners, especially those with sensitive stomachs.

Puppy Formulas

Taste of the Wild Puppy Formula

Taste of the Wild Puppy Food HP
  • Top pick for puppies.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Made with bison and venison.
  • No corn, wheat, or fillers.
  • No artificial flavors.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Puppyhood is thought to be the most critical nutritional period in a dog’s life because the right nutrition sets the foundations for a healthy body. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you start them off on the right paw. Both American Journey and Taste of the Wild have different formulas, some of which are better for Large Breed puppies, and some of which are better for Small Breed puppies. 

American Journey

In total, American Journey offers 6 puppy formulas. There are 2 formulas specially designed for large puppies that limit the calcium and phosphorus content. Sadly, there are no choices for small breed puppies. Overall, there are grain-free and grain inclusive options in their standard kibble range, as well as a choice of meat flavors.

Taste of the Wild

There are a total of 2 puppy specific formulas, each with a different meat source. The Pacific Stream puppy formula is free from chicken and egg ingredients, which most brands do not offer at the puppy stage.

They are both grain-free and state that they are suitable for all puppies. Although Taste of the Wild states that they are for all puppies, it is unlikely that the kibble pieces are small  enough for small breed puppies and their compact mouths.

Winner

Taste of the Wild is a widely panned favorite when it comes to puppy food. Unfortunately, if you have a small breed pup neither of these brands cater to them. But overall we crown Taste of the Wild the winner here due to their history and user satisfaction when it comes to their puppy formulas. It’s worth noting that if you are on a strict budget, American Journey will be the better pick.

Adult Formulas

American Journey Grain-free Adult

Grain Free Adult Food American Journey
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Omegas for skin & coat health.
  • Fiber-rich veggies for digestion.
  • Free of corn, wheat, and soy.
  • 390 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 14% Fat, 5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

During adulthood, his kibble should provide a well-balanced diet. It is also essential that you ensure your pooch’s own individual needs are catered too. Which is why it is important for brands to offer a range of kibbles. Your pup will likely be eating this food for the majority of their life, so it’s important to pick a brand that functions well nutritionally and also won’t break the bank.

American Journey

American Journey offers a total of 22 adult kibbles. 8 of these kibbles are grain-free recipes, and 7 are grain inclusive recipes that use brown rice as their main grain ingredient. There are also 2 high-protein offerings. As well as 5 limited ingredients recipes for those who need fewer ingredients.

American Journey caters to large dogs with 4 formulas specifically designed for them. Unfortunately, there aren’t any options for small breed adults. And they also provide 3 diet management kibbles for those who need to lose a few pounds. 

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild offers a total of 16 adult kibbles across both of their lines, all with different flavor offerings. 4 of these formulas are made using ancient grains, and 12 of them are grain-free. 3 of these are from their Prey line, which is created with just 4 ingredients for those who need simpler diets.

Overall, none of their adult kibbles are designed for small breeds or large breeds. This is more of an issue for toy breeds who cannot eat standard-sized kibbles. There aren’t any healthy weight management food options here either.

Winner

Both brands are very well thought of in the dog food industry, but American Journey gets the slight edge here because of the different flavor and dietary preferences they offer for adults. If your pup is a picky eater, there’s certain to be a flavor that your pup will enjoy in American Journey’s food offerings. The grain-free salmon recipe is a fan favorite that we recommend.

Senior Formulas

American Journey Grain-free Senior

Grain Free Senior Dog Food American Journey
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Antioxidant blend for immune health.
  • Glucosamine boost for joint health.
  • MCT’s help with brain function.
  • Free of wheat, corn, and soy ingredients.
  • 355 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 11% Fat, 7% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

As a dog ages, his bones and joints begin to weaken, and they need extra glucosamine and chondroitin for support. It is also essential that he gets extra vitamins and minerals to keep his aging immunity healthy. As well as easy to digest formulas with fewer calories.

American Journey

In total, there are 3 formulas designed with senior dogs in mind. 2 of these are grain-free, and the other is grain inclusive. They aren’t size-specific, but for all seniors. They do have a lower calorie content which is vital for inactive seniors who need far less energy.

Looking at the glucosamine content, one of their options is exceptionally high for a budget brand. This is their salmon and sweet potato recipe. The grain inclusive formula offers a much lower content.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild does not offer any senior-specific food options. Instead, they state that their adult, or ‘all life stage’ kibbles as they refer to them, are suitable for seniors. Although they wouldn’t have any problems with this as such, this isn’t ideal. As they do not have increased levels of glucosamine or lower calories, which seniors need. 

Winner

Senior dog food can be tough! Some brands create senior specific dog food, which we feel is a plus, but other brands will say their food should be good enough for all age ranges. Because American Journey has a dedicated senior line that offers a higher dose of glucosamine, we give the nod to American Journey wins this round.

Wet Foods

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Wet Food

TOTW High Prairie Formula Wet Food
  • Grain-free formula wet food.
  • Made with real beef.
  • Natural antioxidants from real fruits & veggies.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 322 Calories per can.
  • 8% Protein, 3.5% Fat, 1% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Wet foods are a fantastic way to add flavor and moisture to dried kibbles. Many pooches would much rather eat chunks of meat, whereas some find it challenging to eat dried kibble alone.

American Journey

In total, American Journey offers a total of 7 wet foods. Here your pooch will find a variety of flavors and limited ingredient formulas to choose from. Unfortunately, their wet foods are grain-free only, and there aren’t any small breed, puppy, or senior wet formulas.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild provides 5 wet food options. They are all grain-free and simply offer 5 different meat flavors. They are for all dogs, with no size or age-specific formulas. Some dog owners like the simplicity here, while others want something specific to their dog’s size or age.

Winner

When it comes to wet food offerings, American Journey offers more. However, Taste of the Wild has several grain-free options, and several different highly regarded flavors. Taste of the Wild’s wet food is focused on high quality ingredients, specifically for pups with sensitive stomachs. We give Taste of the Wild a win this round.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a total overview of each brand and what they offer. Both American Journey and Taste of the Wild are highly rated by other dog owners and provide high-quality products. But overall, it’s difficult to declare an outright winner, because it depends on both yours and Fido’s individual needs and wants.

If you have a smaller budget, or your pooch has specific dietary needs which American Journey caters to, then we think that they are the winner. They also offer a high-protein range which is something that Taste of the Wild does not.

But, if your pooch has an unusual flavor preference that is not offered by American Journey, or your pooch needs a diet that focuses on easy digestion, we would suggest Taste of the Wild. They also offer a chicken and egg free option too which some pooches cannot do without.

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