A Comprehensive American Journey Dog Food Review for Dog Lovers

Many pawrents are familiar with Chewy’s private brand, American Journey, for being a quality and affordable option for their beloved pooches.

Established in 2017, it is a relatively new brand but is already giving older and more expensive brands a run for their money.

Find out why American Journey Dog Food is quickly becoming an American favorite and learn which dog food is the best for your fido!

Quick Top Picks: Best American Journey Dog Food Recipes in 2021

What makes dog food great? Is it the price point? The quality ingredients?

For us, it’s the nutritional value that your dog gets. One great thing about American Journey is that they never use any by-products in their dog food, and the first ingredient is always high-quality animal protein.

American Journey dry dog food has been making its rounds as trustworthy and lacking in fillers, but we’ve scoped out the complete range and have decided on these as the winning formulas:

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    • Best value for money
    • Filled with real protein.
    • Formulated with limited ingredients, which makes it an excellent choice for dogs with food sensitivities

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    • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for better joint mobility
    • Naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids for healthy coat and eyes
    • Suitable for all dog breeds.

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    • Optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus to support healthy joint development
    • Arachidonic (ARA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA) for cognitive growth
    • Fortified with antioxidants for a strong immune system

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    • Added L-Carnitine for metabolizing fat and developing lean muscles
    • Glucosamine and Chondroitin inclusive for joint health
    • Suitable for picky eaters

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    • Includes coconut oil with medium-chain triglycerides for cognitive health
    • Contains antioxidant blend for a strong immune system
    • Blueberries and mineral-rich marine algae give your dog naturally sourced nutrition

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Reviews of the 8 Best American Journey Dog Food Formulas

We have broken down American Journey’s best dog food for all life stages, and all dog breeds below.

Best Puppy Food for Small Breed

It might be surprising for you to learn that small dog breeds need more calories than large breed puppies. Due to their tiny stomachs, this means that the kibble has to be calorie-rich in every bite.

Best for Small Puppy
American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas.

Boasting 30% protein and 12% fat, your puppy should have all the nutrition they need in order to grow steadily. Fiber is also important to a small breed puppy’s digestive system, and you can be assured that this formula has 5% fiber.

At 380 kcals a cup, your small breed puppies should have no trouble chowing down on the small round 10 x 5 millimeters kibbles.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs have thrived on this formula
  • Include omega fatty acids such as DHA for healthy eye and brain development
  • Fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants sourced from whole fruits and vegetables

Cons:

  • Fiber is slightly higher than the recommended 2 - 4%
  • Includes peas which aren’t the best for sensitive digestions

Small Breed Puppy Food Runner’s Up:

Best Puppy Food for Large Breed

Large breed dogs are especially prone to hip dysplasia and require specific levels of calcium to phosphorus ratios to grow well.

Larger dogs are also prone to scarfing down their kibble, which isn’t great for their teeth or digestive system, so larger kibble that encourages chewing is recommended.

Best for Large Puppy
American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas.

Salmon is the first ingredient in this pet food, offering quality amino acids for the development of lean muscles.

Salmon oil is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. With kibbles measuring 1 centimeter in size at 352 kcals a cup, this dog food has a higher protein and fat content at 32% and 14%, respectively.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus to support healthy joint development
  • Arachidonic (ARA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA) for cognitive growth
  • Fortified with antioxidants for a strong immune system

Cons:

  • Does not include probiotics which can aid immature digestive systems
  • Fiber is slightly higher at 4.5% than the recommended 2 - 4%

Large Breed Puppy Food Runner’s Up:

Best Dry Dog Food for Small Adult Dogs

Small breed adult dogs could also benefit from small-sized kibble. However, now that they are older, their metabolic rate will have slowed down.

American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas.

Being on the higher end of the price spectrum, we have the Salmon formula suitable for all dog breeds, including your small adult dog.

A grain-free recipe with no corn, wheat, or soy and featuring 32% protein, 14% fat, and 5% fiber. At 390 kcals per cup, it’s a wonderful option for high-performing dogs that lead an active lifestyle.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • High-quality amino acids and omega-3 from salmon
  • Feature fiber-rich complex carbs for longer satiation
  • Contains prebiotics for healthy digestion

Cons:

  • Contains pea protein which is considered a low-quality ingredient

Best Budget
American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe)
Top Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas.

If you’re looking for an affordable and high-quality kibble for all dog breeds, you should give this a try. Similar to the salmon formula, it has a nutritional value of 32% protein, 14.0% fat, and a maximum of 5% fiber.

It also contains 390 kcals a cup and includes nutrient-dense ingredients for sustainable weight maintenance.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for better joint mobility
  • Naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids for healthy coat and eyes
  • Kibble size suitable for small jaws

Cons:

  • May not be suited for dogs with skin allergies as it contains chicken meal and chicken fat

Best for Adult Dogs
American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe)
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes.

At 315 kcal per cup, this option is specially crafted for dogs that require a little less.

Although the calories are reduced, the formula doesn’t skimp on animal-based protein, which many low-fat dog food does. You will find 30% protein, just 9% fat, and higher levels of fiber at 9% in this formula.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Added L-Carnitine for metabolizing fat and developing lean muscles
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin inclusive for joint health
  • Suitable for picky eaters

Cons:

  • May increase bowel movement due to high fiber content

Best Dry Dog Food for Large Adult Dogs

Large dog breeds should have considerable levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. Depending on their activity level, they should also be getting adequate nutrition instead of empty calories.

Best for Large Adult Dogs
American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe)
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas.

This highly rated dog food is well-loved by many furry companions, meeting the nutritional requirements for large breed dogs at 30.0% protein, 12% fat, and 5% fiber.

It also has optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus to ensure the continued development of healthy joints.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Highly recommended by owners of picky eaters
  • Long-chain DHA, omega-3, and 6 fatty acids for shiny coats
  • Naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin

Cons:

  • Kibble sizes could be bigger
  • Might not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities

Large Breed Adult Dog Food Runner Up:

Best Wet Dog Food for Adult Dogs

Wet dog food is likely to excite every dog because it’s much more palatable than dry kibble. It’s also easier on the stomach, less saturated with fillers, and protein-rich.

Best Overall
American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Sweet Potatoes.

Formulated for all breeds, this pate-type wet food will whet any dog’s appetite and at 9% protein, 7% fat, and 1.5% fiber, which translates to 40.91% protein if converted to dry matter.

However, at 460 kcals per can, you might need to use it sparingly with less active dogs.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Easy to open lid
  • Filled with real protein
  • Formulated with limited ingredients, which makes it a great choice for dogs with food sensitivities

Cons:

  • Some owners noted it needs more gravy

Wet Adult Dog Food Runner’s Up:

Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

Senior dogs do best on low-fat diets with slightly higher fiber to aid their digestion. Protein should be sourced from real meat.

In addition, regardless of whether they are a large or small breed, they will benefit from heart, brain, and joint-supporting supplements.

Best for Senior Dogs
American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas.

Boasting 30% protein and 12% fat, your puppy should have all the nutrition they need in order to grow steadily.

Fiber is also important to a small breed puppy’s digestive system, and you can be assured that this formula has 5% fiber.

Price:
Our Rating:
Pros:

  • Includes coconut oil with medium-chain triglycerides for cognitive health
  • Contains antioxidant blend for a strong immune system
  • Blueberries and mineral-rich marine algae give your dog naturally sourced nutrition

Cons:

  • Kibble size isn’t all-breeds friendly
  • Might cause weight gain in sedentary pets

Senior Dog Food Runner’s Up

American Journey Dog Food Recipe Comparison

Top 8 Dog Food Recipes Protein / Fat / Fiber AAFCO Our Rating Price
American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 30% / 12% / 5%  Growth 4.4 $$$
American Journey Large Breed Puppy Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 32% / 14% / 4.5% All Life Stages 4.4 $$$
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 32% / 14% / 5% All Life Stages 4.4 $$
American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 32% / 14% / 5% All Life Stages 4.4 $$
American Journey Healthy Weight Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 30% / 9% / 9% Maintenance 4.5 $$$
American Journey Large Breed Adult Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 30% / 12% / 5% All Life Stages 4.3 $$
American Journey Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food 9%/ 7% / 1.5% N/A 4.5 $$
American Journey Senior Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 32% / 10% / 7% Maintenance 4.5 $$$

American Journey Dog Food Review Buying Guide

Whether you’re searching for a brown rice recipe with high protein content or if you’re on the lookout for novel proteins such as venison or large breed salmon, American Journey has all the quality protein and complex carbohydrates under one roof.

An Overview of the American Journey Dog Food

You won’t find American Journey on Amazon. American Journey products are only listed on Chewy and PetSmart. Being able to cut out the middleman ensures that they can keep their products at an affordable price.

American Journey Company Information

American Journey is owned by Chewy, Inc – an American company dedicated to providing affordable and quality products to their customers.

Who Makes American Journey Dog Food and Where is it Produced?

American Journey’s pet food is all manufactured in the United States and headquartered in Kansas, MI.

Why Choose this brand?

Aside from having an exceptional nutrition profile, it’s also easy on the wallet and convenient to purchase from Chewy. There is also a wide range of products suitable for just about any dog, lifestyle, and budget.

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What formulas does American Journey have?

The majority of American Journey’s dog food is catered to adult dogs. There are various formulas, ranging from weight control, gluten-free, grain-free, limited ingredient, and high-protein.

American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Limited ingredient recipes are the perfect option for dogs with food sensitivities. There are close to zero fillers in limited ingredient formulas, and it can also help you determine what your dog is allergic to.

American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

While grain-free food has gotten a bad rep recently, it’s primarily due to the use of excessive legumes in the recipes in an attempt to replace grains.

Therefore, it’s essential to clear with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any diets with peas and chickpeas, which is a common ingredient in American Journey dog food.

American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

AJ’s wet food doesn’t have the same controversial ingredients, despite also being grain-free.

Catered to sensitive doggos, American Journey’s canned dog food is a great choice for all dogs as it’s the closest thing to the natural diet of a wild dog.

American Journey Landmark

Landmark by American Journey is specially catered to high-activity dogs. With zero carbohydrates, your dogs will be sourcing all their energy from protein.

This diet is rich in protein and contains a premium blend of vitamins and minerals.

American Journey Active Life Formula

Active Life offers a high-protein recipe at an affordable price. A well-rounded diet for dogs of all sizes and ages. Rich in antioxidants and wholesome whole grains.

American Journey Dog Food Ingredients Breakdown

The USA-based company understands how important pets are to their families and want to offer nothing but the best with the help of wholesome fruits and ingredients to support your dog’s health.

However, there has been some controversy surrounding two of their more popular ingredients: dried plain beet pulp and pea protein.

While it is a source of natural dietary fiber, dried plain beet pulp is believed to be an inexpensive filler. Reasonable amounts of beet pulp are acceptable in dog food, especially since it also proven to be beneficial to health.

While pea protein might not be as essential to dogs as amino acids, it can boost protein to dogs that are allergic to common animal protein.

It is also one reason why they feature menhaden fish meal and grain-free options for dogs that need a special diet.

American Journey also employs superfoods like kelp, flaxseed, and cranberries in their formulas while rejecting the use of artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and preservatives.

American Journey Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis

The general caloric breakdown of American Journey Dog Food is made up of 36% carbs, 33% fat, and 31% protein.

American Journey Dog Food Recall History

As far as we are concerned, American Journey has never been recalled, something that has happened to giants like Blue Buffalo or Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is American Journey dog food?

All American Journey dog foods offer a good value for the price. While it’s not the cheapest brand out there, we believe you get what you pay for. American Journey only uses high-quality ingredients, and all products are made in the USA.

For American Journey’s dry dog foods, the average price per cup ranges from $0.90 to $1.67.

While the average price per canned/wet food ranges from $1.07 to $1.28, and the average price per can is $1.75. Do note that this calculation is based on an adult dog’s nutritional needs.

We selected American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe) which is $42.99 for a 24 lb bag to represent the other AJ dry dog food for the calculation below.

Take a look at our table below for a better idea of how much dog food your furbaby would consume:

Weight of adult dog, lb/kg Recommended Daily Feeding (Cup) Price per day How long does it last approx.?
3 / 1.35 ⅓ cup / 0.33 $0.30 4 ¾ months
10 / 4.5 1 cup $0.90 1 ½ month
15 / 6.75 1 ⅓ cup $1.20 1 month and 1 week
30 / 13.5 2 ¼ cups / 2.25 $2.03 3 weeks
50 / 22.5 3 ¼ cups / 3.25 $2.93 2 weeks
60 / 27 3 ⅔ cups / 3.67 $3.30 2 weeks
80 / 36 4 ½ cups / 4.5 $4.05 1 week
90 / 40.5 5 cups $4.50 1 week
100 / 45 5 ⅓ cups / 5.33 $4.80 1 week

What do customers say about American Journey?

“My pups are picky eaters, and they love this one! They come running for it! I love American Journey. You can tell the ingredients are great. #ChewyTeamRated” – Jenny, Chewy.com

“Our dog loves this food more than any other brand we’ve tried. Our SIL recommended this food to us because her dog trainer said it was the best.

We are on our third large bag and plan to continue purchasing in the future. We’ve even decided to switch our cat to the American Journey brand as well.” – Shantel, Chewy.com

Watch how these two pups gobble down their American Journey dog food:

What do other people dislike about American Journey?

“My dog refuses to eat it until he’s super hungry right before he goes to bed. I hate writing bad reviews, but my dog eats literally anything. Except this food.” – Pancho, Chewy.com

“The ingredients seem fine, but my dog isn’t a fan. The food sits for hours before she’ll try it.” – KCRL, Chewy.com

How about vets? Do they recommend American Journey?

Dog owners have been warned about the dangers of feeding a high-legume and grain-free formula to their dogs by vets.

However, unless your dog has an actual allergy to grain, there’s no reason to risk putting a dog on a grain-free diet due to the complications that it may cause.

Aside from that, we haven’t seen any vets disapprove of American Journey dog food.

Which types of dogs might do better with a different brand?

Small dog breeds might do better on a different brand, especially puppies.

While the nutrition provided by American Journey satisfies the FDA’s recommended nutritional profile, small dog breeds require more calories, which American Journey has neglected to provide in their small breeds formula.

Verdict: Is American Journey a good dog food brand?

Affordable and made with real meat, which is more than you can say for many dog food products, there isn’t anything to nitpick about American Journey.

It’s a quality dog food that pet owners on the hunt for a new doggo diet should try. You can go for their Active Life formulas for high-performance dogs or their grain-free dog food for pooches with grain sensitivities.

On a scale of one to five, American Journey is a solid 4.5 for quality ingredients and being great value for money.

The only downside is that while they have an extensive range of products, they still have some room to grow!

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