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American Journey Dog Food Review

Dog Food Nutrition April 1, 2020

American Journey Dog Food Review

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American Journey dog food is the private label brand for Chewy.com, the online pet food and products retailer. It’s also sold at PetSmart, the company that owns Chewy.com.

American Journey offers grain free dog foods, limited ingredient diets, some foods with grains, kibbles and canned foods, as well as treats. American Journey is positioned to offer premium dog food at a lower price because it is owned by Chewy.com.

American Journey Dog Food – Top 5 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood Type Protein kcal/tray
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodDry25%390 kcal/cup
American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog FoodDry25%365 kcal/cup
American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog FoodDry25%345 kcal/cup
American Journey Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog FoodDry25%304 kcal/cup
American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog FoodDry30%380 kcal/cup

Brand Score

American Journey Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • American Journey makes foods for dogs of different ages, sizes, and lifestyles
  • Their foods have no corn, wheat, or soy
Cons
  • Peas galore in many of American Journey’s foods
  • Some people have reported that Chewy.com has removed their negative reviews of American Journey products; this experience has been happening since the brand debuted and it raises questions about all of the reviews on Chewy.com
  • Chewy.com refuses to reveal any information about who makes the dog foods for them
Pros
  • American Journey makes foods for dogs of different ages, sizes, and lifestyles
  • Their foods have no corn, wheat, or soy
Cons
  • Peas galore in many of American Journey’s foods
  • Some people have reported that Chewy.com has removed their negative reviews of American Journey products; this experience has been happening since the brand debuted and it raises questions about all of the reviews on Chewy.com
  • Chewy.com refuses to reveal any information about who makes the dog foods for them
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve examined American Journey dog foods closely and graded the brand according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

About American Journey

American Journey is owned by Chewy.com. It was introduced in 2017.

American Journey has no web site so information about their foods has to be obtained from the Chewy.com site. That means that some information that is normally available about other dog foods is not available for American Journey.

Information about the brand also changes. For example, when the brand was first introduced the company said that they did not use ingredients from China. Now it says that they will use them, depending on the market.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

American Journey’s dog foods are made in the United States from ingredients that are sourced from all over the world. Some ingredients may come from China, depending on the global market.

According to the company, their foods are made through a third-party manufacturer located in Kansas. Chewy refuses to release the name of this manufacturer. This lack of transparency bothers many pet owners.

There is speculation about who makes foods for American Journey in Kansas but it’s only speculation. American Journey representatives have also posted in the past on the Chewy.com web site that their brown rice dog foods were made in California but there is no more information on that subject.

Recall History

We didn’t find any recalls for American Journey, though the brand has only existed since 2017

What kinds of dog food does American Journey offer?

American Journey offers the following kinds of dog foods:

  • Dry foods, wet foods, treats, toppings
  • Special diets (no corn, wheat, or soy; grain free; high protein; limited ingredient diet; gluten free; pea-free; weight control; sensitive digestion)
  • Various flavors
  • Various textures
  • Lifestage (adult, puppy, senior)
  • Breed size (Extra small and toy; small; medium; large; giant)

American Journey: Top Recipes Reviewed

We’re taking a look at five of the top-selling American Journey dog foods as found on Chewy.com so you can have a good idea what some of these different formulas are like.

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max

Ingredients:

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is the top selling American Journey dog food on Chewy.com.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Menhaden Fish Meal, Blueberries, Carrots, Salt, Salmon Oil, Dried Kelp, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

As a brand, American Journey debuted a few months before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating a possible link between grain free dog foods and a dietary form of dilated cardiomyopathy. As far as we can tell, most of American Journey’s formulas are grain free and rely on peas to replace grains in their foods.

Even their formulas with rice, which may not be technically grain free, still contain peas. Just to be clear, the FDA has not advised pet lovers to stop feeding grain free dog foods.

However, it has recommended that people should be careful about feeding foods that contain peas, lentils, or legumes in the first 10 ingredients (the “main ingredients”) of a dog food, at least until the situation with the dietary form of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is resolved.

According to the dry matter basis (DMB), this food has 35.6 percent protein, 15.6 percent fat, and 5.6 percent fiber. This formula has an estimated 34.4 percent carbohydrates. It has 390 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 15% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max

Ingredients:

American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog Food is American Journey’s bestselling brown rice formula.

Here are the ingredients in this food:

Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice,Peas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rice Bran, Brewers Rice, Barley,Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Dried Plain Beet Pulp,Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Potato Protein, Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, L-Threonine, Blueberries, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Dried Chicory Root, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, DL-Methionine, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Alfalfa is another member of the legume family. If you look online you will find that many owners and veterinarians were raising questions about seeing this ingredient in dog foods years ago.

This food has 27.8 percent protein and 16.7 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 6.7 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 40 percent, DMB. It contains 365 kcal per cup.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars.

American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max

Ingredients:

American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food is a limited ingredient dog food which relies on salmon as its source of animal protein. Limited ingredient diets are often recommended for dogs with sensitive digestion or allergies.

You can take a look at the ingredients:

Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Peas, Pea Starch, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Choline Chloride, L-Threonine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Dogs with allergies sometimes need to avoid common ingredients, especially meat proteins and carbs. If your dog has food allergies you might have no choice but to feed a food that uses peas.

There are some dog foods that use less common carbs such as tapioca and other things, so look around if you are trying to avoid peas.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 27.8 percent protein, 13.3 percent fat, 6.7 percent fiber, 41.1 percent carbohydrates (estimated), and 345 kcal per cup.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

American Journey Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 9% Min
  • Fiber – 9% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max

Ingredients:

American Journey Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog Food is a weight control dog food.

You can take a look at the ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Brown Rice, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Barley, Brewers Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Pea Fiber, Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Pea Protein, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Powdered Cellulose, Salt, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Chicory Root, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Per Chewy.com: “Powdered Cellulose is a plant-based fiber. It’s a safe food additive that acts as a legitimate source of dietary fiber without any caloric costs, and provides a number of benefits to food production, storage, and quality. It has no known health side effects other than those associated with its statu s [sic] as an insoluble fiber.”

It’s still a wood fiber.

This food is very low in fat in and very high in fiber. Your dog will probably lose weight but you might expect some toots, along with a lot of poop.

The reviews on Chewy.com don’t say this, but there is no way your dog can eat a food that’s more than 40 percent carbs and 10 percent fiber without producing a lot of poop.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 27.8 percent protein, 10 percent fat, 10 percent fiber, 45.6 percent carbohydrates, and 304 kcal per cup.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars

American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max

Ingredients:

American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food is grain free with no corn, wheat, or soy. It’s high in protein and it’s gluten-free. American Journey doesn’t specify any certain size of puppy for this food so it looks like it can be fed to puppies of all sizes.

You can take a look at the ingredients:

Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes, Tapioca Starch, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Menhaden Fish Meal, Blueberries, Carrots, Salt, Pea Protein, Dried Kelp, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Taurine, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

This puppy food has plenty of protein for growing puppies. However, it still has peas and chickpeas in the first ten ingredients.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 33.3 percent protein, 13.3 percent fat, 5.6 percent fiber, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 380 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

How much does American Journey Dog Food cost?

American Journey foods are priced lower than most other premium dog foods.

What do customers think of American Journey Dog Food?

Many customers on Chewy.com have good things to say about American Journey dog foods. However, as mentioned earlier, we have seen people report that they had posted negative comments about the foods on the site and Chewy.com had removed them.

This is very troubling since it raises questions about all of the reviews on the site and whether Chewy.com removes negative comments about other brands.

Overall, is American Journey Dog Food a good choice?

All of American Journey dog foods appear to include peas in the first ten ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has specifically suggested that it’s not a good idea to feed your dog foods that contain peas, lentils, or legumes as a main ingredient (one of the first ten ingredients) – at least while they are investigating the dietary form of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

It’s hard to ignore this advice. As consumers, you can buy whatever dog food you like for your dog. However, we can’t be responsible for recommending foods that might be harmful, even if only a few dogs out a thousands might become sick.

This is probably a brand that should be revisited at a later time.

Where is American Journey Dog Food sold?

You can buy American Journey dog foods from Chewy.com and from PetSmart.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.