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Purina Pro vs. American Journey: Which Food is Better For Dogs?

In this dog food brand comparison, we look at American Journey vs. Purina Pro. We evaluate brand history, recall history, budget & more!

Emma Braby

Last Updated: June 18, 2020 | 9 min read

Purina Pro and American Journey Dog Food

Comparing American Journey vs. Blue Buffalo for your new puppy’s food? Or maybe Purina Pro has always been your four-legged friend’s firm favorite? But now you’re wondering what all the American Journey hype is? Or maybe your pooch is turning his nose up at his food, and you can’t choose between American Journey and Purina Pro?

Well, here in this food guide, we are going to compare these two food brands to help you choose which one is the best for you and your pooch. From their brand history to their current dry kibble and wet food offerings, we will look at everything that you need to know.

We will also look at their food recall history to discover whether they take your pooch’s health and safety seriously. Without further ado, let’s dive straight into their food! 

Purina Pro Puppy Food Formula
Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Purina Pro Puppy

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

Best For Adults

American Journey Adult

View at Chewy.com
American Journey Senior Food
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 reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Brand Histories

Purina Pro dog food in bowl
Both Purina Pro and American Journey are well-respected dog food brands.

The brand behind the product is sometimes just as important as the food itself. Because if they are an unknown brand, untested, or rated poorly as a company, you should steer well clear of them.  Both American Journey and Purina have excellent brand histories. Both brands are well thought of in the dog food industry, with Purina having started their journey a long time ago.

American Journey

American Journey is one of the newest pet food brands, and their products were available from 2017 onwards. Although they do not have their own website, and information about them is a little limited, they are Chewy’s house brand. American Journey is becoming well-known as a pet food brand.

Following a recent and big online promotion for their products recently, their products are proving to be a big hit. They are quickly becoming known as a quality product but at a budget price. American Journey as a brand is definitely one to watch out for, and they are giving well-known and premium brands a run for their money (and yours for that matter!). They are now being compared to bigger brands like Blue Buffalo, and versus Wellness.

Purina Pro

Purina began their journey in 1894 in the farm animal feeding business. Their business grew from strength to strength, and by 1956 they created the first-ever dog kibble. In 2001 Purina was acquired by the global industry Nestle, and they are now known across the world as one of the leading dog food brands.

Purina has 7 dry kibble lines and an additional line for their wet foods. Purina Pro is one of their lines that uses real meat as the first ingredient. It was created in 1986 and was the first brand to use real meat, and has been a big hit ever since.

Recalls

Recall History
Both American Journey and Purina Pro have fairly clean recall histories.

Looking at a brand’s history of recalled products is helpful in understanding how seriously they take the safety of their food. Let’s take a look at how many recalls each brand has had. Websites such as the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) are excellent sources of recall information.

American Journey

There has been no recorded product recalls for American Journey. This is encouraging for a new brand, especially one who does not charge a premium for their products.

Purina Pro

After our research using the above websites, it appears that Purina Pro has only had one recall:

March 2016 – Purina Pro voluntarily recalled a batch of their wet Savory Meal foods (along with products from a few other lines). After an investigation, they were found not to contain the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals stated. Although this didn’t cause any issues for dogs, it was not up to the standard Purina promised.

Research shows that Purina as a whole brand has had one other recall, which was in their One line. For a brand that has been around since 1894 and produces the sheer amount of food that they do, we say that their one recall is very impressive when compared to other brands.

Food Ingredients

Dog Food Ingredients
Both Purina Pro and American Journey use natural dog food ingredients.

It is also essential to consider the ingredients that each brand uses. Some brands go down the all-natural route. And some brands prefer to use a mixture of natural and scientifically beneficial ingredients that are not all natural.

Some brands use premium products such as real meats, whereas some brands use questionable meat sources and fillers. Ultimately this is down to owner preference and your pooch’s own nutritional needs, so let’s take a closer look.

American Journey

American Journey promises to use deboned meat as the first listed ingredient in every product. Other similarly priced budget brands don’t always guarantee this. Chicken and Salmon are their primary flavors, with a few Lamb, Beef and Turkey offerings. They also never use meat by-products, which is a much lower quality meat source.

American Journey also uses a mixture of grains and non-grain ingredients for differing nutritional needs. With their grain inclusive recipes, they promise never to use any corn, wheat, or soy. They favor gentle and wholesome grains such as brown rice and oatmeal. Budget brands tend to stick to cheaper grains and fillers.

On the downside, American Journey is guilty of ingredient splitting, commonly using pea ingredients. By splitting pea into four types of pea, they can list these ingredients further down the list after meat. But in reality, if the 4 pea ingredients (pea protein, pea fiber, pea starch, and whole peas) were combined, pea would probably be the first ingredient. This makes it difficult for consumers to determine the real meat protein content. 

Purina Pro

Purina’s Pro range is marketed as one of their premium product lines. They claim that this line provides “outstanding nutrition for those that want the absolute best for their dog”. Their formulas always start with real meat as the first ingredient.

They provide some grain-free options, but many of their recipes are grain inclusive. Purina also uses gentle grain ingredients such as brown rice and oatmeal as the primary grains. They also sometimes use wheat, corn, and soy ingredients in their formulas unless otherwise stated. These ingredients are common food allergens in sensitive dogs. Still, they have a handful of recipes that are free of these ingredients for those that are allergic to them, which is helpful.

Purina Pro also uses meat by-product meals. Purina claim that their meat by-product meals are organ-based and do not include animal parts such as feathers, beaks, and teeth. Although we do not usually like or promote meat by-products, if they are just the organs as Purina claims, these are full of amino acids and nutrients that are beneficial. What we do not like, however, is that Purina sometimes states ‘meat’ or ‘poultry’ by-products. This generic labeling is not helpful for those pups with specific intolerances and need to know what they are eating.

Range of Formulas

Dog Food Formulas
Both brands have a variety of different formulas by age group.

Not every dog is the same, which is why brands need to offer a variety of different formulas for their wide range of canine customers. Both brands have a wide variety of food formulas, as well as meats, vegetables and other ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at the product lines that each brand offers. 

American Journey

American Journey has a total of 3 product lines. They are their standard kibble, a limited ingredient line, and their Landmark line. American Journey’s standard product line offers both grain-free and grain inclusive options. There are 3 healthy weight options too. Unfortunately, the Limited Ingredient line and Landmark are limited to grain-free options only. 

Purina Pro

Purina Pro has 4 product options. Savor, which is designed for picky eaters and has optimal flavor. Focus for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Sport for energetic or working dogs. And Bright Minds for seniors that are aged 7 and up. There are grain inclusive and grain-free options across each range. As well as options for porkier pooches who need to lose a few pounds.

Puppy Formulas

Purina Pro Puppy Formula

Purina Pro Dog Food Puppy
  • Top pick for puppies.
  • Prebiotic fibers for digestion.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin health.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • 468 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 18% Fat, 3% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Ensuring that your puppy gets the right nutrition during puppyhood is so important because it sets the foundations for a healthy body. Let’s take a look at what each brand offers during the puppy stage.

American Journey

There are 6 puppy formulas available. There are grain inclusive and grain-free options in their standard kibble range that also come in a variety of flavors. Two of the puppy formulas are specifically designed for large breed puppies and their different nutritional needs. There is also a protein-rich option too. Unfortunately, there are no options for small breed puppies.

Purina Pro

Purina Pro offers 10 puppy formulas across their different ranges, but with only 1 grain-free option for puppies. There are a few large breed options, one puppy formula for small breeds, and one option for toy breeds. There are also 2 options for puppies with sensitive skin.

Winner

Overall, Purina Pro caters to all breed sizes, which is something that American Journey fails to do. They also have options for those with sensitive skin, which many brands don’t offer at the puppy stage. Overall, Purina Pro win the puppy round.

Adult Formulas

American Journey Grain Free Adult

Grain Free Adult Food American Journey
  • Top pick for adults.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Made with fruits and vegetables.
  • Antioxidants for immune health.
  • Sweet potatoes & peas for carbohydrates.
  • 390 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 14% Fat, 5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Adulthood is all about a well-balanced diet. As well as ensuring that his own specific needs are catered to.

American Journey

In total, there are 22 adult kibbles available. There are 8 grain-free recipes and 7 grain inclusive recipes that use brown rice as their primary grain. American Journey offers 2 high-protein options and 5 limited ingredients recipes for those with sensitive digestive systems.

There are 4 formulas specifically designed for large breeds as well as 3 diet management kibbles. 

Purina Pro

Purina Pro offers 35 options for adults. 5 of these are grain-free options, with the rest using grains such as brown rice and oatmeal. Some of them do contain corn, wheat, and soy, so always be sure to read the ingredients list for yourself if your pooch is intolerant. There are also kibbles for those with sensitive skin and digestive tracts. As well as pea-free recipes and weight management kibbles.

There are 4 large breed options and one for giant breeds, which again is another option that many brands do not offer. There are 6 small breed options and 1 option for toy breeds. So, every breed size adult is covered.

There are also 3 kibbles that are designed with sporting or working breeds in mind.

Winner

Although American Journey has much more variety in the adult stage, they have still forgotten about small breed dogs. Purina Pro beat them again, covering dogs of all sizes and dietary needs. With that being said, American Journey is cheaper and has great user reviews. We’d call this one a tie, giving the slight edge to American Journey based on consumer feedback.

Senior Formulas

American Journey Senior Dog Food

American Journey Senior Formula Grain Inclusive
  • Top pick for seniors.
  • Antioxidant blend.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • No wheat, corn, soy, or any by-products.
  • Glucosamine boost for joint health.
  • 307 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 11% Fat, 7% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Senior dogs need a well-balanced diet, with extra vitamins and minerals for his immunity and glucosamine for his joints. Seniors require less energy as they are less active, as well as easy-to-digest dog food formulas for their slowing digestive systems.

American Journey

There are 3 American Journey options for senior dogs. 2 options are grain-free, and the other is grain inclusive. The glucosamine content is very high in one of their recipes, which is their Salmon and sweet potato recipe, at 800 mg/kg. The grain inclusive formula offers a much lower content.

Purina Pro

Purina Pro offers 4 senior options. 1 option is for small breeds, 1 option is for large breeds, and the other is for seniors with a sensitive stomach.

The glucosamine content is 500 mg/kg for each of their senior kibbles, which is an average content across similar brands. Unfortunately, they list poultry by-product in every senior recipe, and being an unnamed meat source is problematic for those with a sensitive digestive system. 

Winner

American Journey offers 1 recipe less than Purina Pro, and they also miss out small and large breeds again. But their quality is much more superior compared to Purina Pro’s senior options. Their meat sources are always named using real meat, and the glucosamine content is much higher. So, American Journey wins this round.

Wet Foods

Purina Pro Wet Food

Purina Pro Savor Formula
  • Top wet food pick.
  • It can be used as a topper or actual food.
  • Real beef is the first ingredient.
  • Omegas for skin and coat health.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 435 Calories per can.
  • 9% Protein, 6% Fat, 1.5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

If your pooch is struggling to eat his dry kibbles, or he is a fussy pooch who wants juicer food, wet foods are a great way to mix things up. So, what do each brand offer here? Let’s take a look.

American Journey

American Journey offers a total of 7 wet foods. There are a variety of different flavors and limited ingredient formulas too. Unfortunately, there aren’t any grain inclusive options. There aren’t any small breeds, puppies, or seniors options either.

Purina Pro

There are 41 wet food options across the bright mind, focus, and savor lines. They cover a variety of dietary needs, such as a sensitive digestive system, weight control, grain-free, and pea-free needs. There are also options for small and large breeds, as well as puppies and seniors.

Winner

Overall, American Journey’s wet formulas are limited, and Purina Pro caters to a much wider audience. Therefore we crown Purina Pro as the winner in the senior round.

Final Thoughts & Winner

We like both brands, and they are clearly popular with dog owners across America and the rest of the world. Although Purina Pro is the more premium brand of the two, we do not like the fact that they use unnamed meat sources. For a superior brand, there is no reason not to be more transparent about what ingredients they are using.

However, Purina Pro does offer much more variety for dogs out there. American Journey does not cater at all for small breeds, which is a large portion of the market. They also do not have options for those with sensitive skin or digestive systems.

Overall, if your dog has a specific dietary requirement, or he is a small or toy breed, then Purina Pro is your only option. But if your dog falls into the categories that American Journey caters to, then we would pick American Journey products. Not only do they match Purina’s quality (sometimes better it), they are also much better value for money too.

Winner based on budget and quality: American Journey

Winner based on food variety: Purina Pro

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