American Journey is the house brand for Chewy.com, the online pet food and products retailer. American Journey is Chewy’s first foray into selling their own pet food brand. The brand is only available at Chewy.com. It is currently available only for dogs (no cat foods or cat treats yet) and we only found dry food on the Chewy site – no canned foods at this time. There are seven grain free formulas four limited ingredient grain free foods; and six formulas with rice. The foods include some formulas for puppies and large breed dogs. American Journey also has four grain free, oven-baked dog treat recipes and a wild Alaskan salmon oil supplement for dogs and cats. The products are American-made without any poultry by-product meal, wheat, soy, or filler ingredients, according to Chewy.
We didn’t find a web site for American Journey. All of the information about the food comes from the Chewy.com site so some information that’s available for other dog foods is lacking for this brand. On the other hand, since this is Chewy’s private label brand, the company regularly offers deep discounts for trying the food.
While American Journey foods are made in the United States, some of their ingredients are sourced from outside the U.S. Per numerous e-mails to customers found online and a response from Chewy on their site, ingredients are sourced in the United States “depending on availability.” “If sourcing in the U.S. is not available due to any reason, they look at Mexico (Menhaden Fish Meal), China (Choline Chloride and L-Threonine), Chile (Deboned Salmon), Canada (Debon ed [sic] Salmon, Dried Kelp, Fish Oil and Flaxseed), New Zealand (Lamb Meal), Austria [sic – probably Australia] (Lamb Meal), Netherlands (Potato Protein), Germany (Potato Protein), and Switzerland (Vitamin E Supplement).” L-Tryptophan and Taurine appear to come from outside the U.S., too.
Numerous customers have asked Chewy customer service for information about who is making or co-packing American Journey for them. The most common response from Chewy is: “American Journey is manufactured through a third-party facility in Kansas so any information such as their name, for example, belongs solely to them. We’re unable to share the facility’s name due to their independent ownership.” Which, of course, is hogwash. Lots of companies use co-packers and they are able to provide the information to customers. This is a serious lack of transparency which bothers many pet food customers.
According to our research, the company most likely co-packing American Journey for Chewy is probably Mars Petcare, the parent company of Iams, Eukanuba, and Royal Canin. Those three brands are some of the few companies that use fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – a prebiotic/carbohydrate and natural sweetener from plants. Lots of companies use prebiotics but not many use this form and list it on the pet food label as such. You’re much more likely to see chicory or inulin listed. American Journey’s foods also use this less common ingredient. Mars has a pet food plant in Galena, Kansas. But this is only a guess. CJ Foods and Ainsworth both have dry pet food plants in Kansas which would meet the SQF Level 3 Certification that Chewy says American Journey’s manufacturer has. CJ Foods has their company headquarters in Bern, Kansas and they manufacturer a lot of private label pet foods so they could certainly be the manufacturer of American Journey. Ainsworth is less likely since they only recently purchased their dry pet food plant in Kansas. Simmons has a wet pet food plant in Kansas but American Journey doesn’t currently have any wet/canned foods. Hill’s and BigHeart Pet Foods (Natural Balance, Milk-Bone) also have pet food facilities in Kansas but we don’t know if they do co-packing for other brands.
American Journey Recalls 2018
We did not find any recalls for American Journey foods in the FDA database. These products have only been sold for a few months at this time so it’s not too surprising that there haven’t been any recalls. There are various comments online from buyers that they had to stop feeding the food because their dog had some gastrointestinal distress but you can find similar comments for many dog foods.
American Journey Dog Food Coupons 2018
American Journey foods are moderately priced compared to other premium dog foods. Their grain free foods come in 24-lb bags and cost about $40 on Chewy.com. There is a $4 cost savings if you use the autoship. The LID (limited ingredient diet) formulas are similarly priced. The American Journey foods with rice come in 28-lb bags and they are slightly less expensive. They cost about $30 with a $3 cost savings if you use autoship. Smaller bags are also available for most of the American Journey kibbles. An 8-ounce bag of grain free, oven-baked treats is about $3, with a 30 cent discount for using autoship. (The treats are buy one, get one free at the time of this writing.) American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Liquid Dog & Cat Supplement is about $14, with 40 cents off for autoship. Chewy has it for 50 percent off the first bottle at the moment. These are all current sale prices. Chewy often offers deep discounts for trying American Journey kibbles such as 50 percent off your first bag. Just sign up to receive e-mails from Chewy about sales.
American Journey Reviews
There are currently several hundred reviews for most of the American Journey foods and treats on Chewy.com. Many people give positive reviews but some people don’t. We do caution you that it is not uncommon for commercial web sites like Chewy.com to post some cheerleading reviews for their house brands. In other words, some of the glowing reviews on the site may be fake, meant to encourage people to buy the food. Some of the happy reviews may be perfectly legitimate but companies do post fake reviews sometimes.
We also don’t know how Chewy is handling negative reviews. We found at least one person online who says she gave a negative review about American Journey and it wasn’t posted on Chewy.com. Instead, she received a pleasant message from them. But this raises the question of whether Chewy is posting all of the negative reviews about the brand.
From our searches online, we found a lot of people who are unhappy about Chewy’s lack of transparency about who is making the food for them. Some people are unhappy about the sourcing of ingredients. As for the food itself, we found some reports that people liked the price and they thought the ingredients looked good. They bought the food and tried it but, for whatever reason, they had to discontinue feeding it. In some cases their dogs loved the food but later vomited. In other cases, the dogs started out liking the food but then refused to eat it. This does not refer to everyone who bought the food. Some people and their dogs really seemed to like it and compared American Journey favorably to Taste of the Wild.
(Full disclosure: I bought a bag of the food a few months ago and tried it with my dogs. They seemed to like it and we had no problems but I didn’t like it enough to keep buying it. We went back to our regular dog food.)
Is This Food Good For My Dog?
When considering whether any food is good for your dog you need to think about several different factors. First and foremost, you should determine your dog’s nutritional needs. His basic dietary needs will be affected by his health, age, size, and other unique traits. Then you need to consider the dog food. Are the ingredients high in quality? Does the company have good quality control measures? Do you know much about the manufacturing processes? Does the company have a history of recalls? The company’s reputation also comes into play, along with how the dog food is marketed. Be careful, however, that you don’t allow brilliant marketing to convince you that a mediocre food is a great food. At the end of the day, there are only a couple of things that really matter: 1) Does your dog like the food and eat it willingly? And, 2) Is the food nutritious for your dog? It doesn’t matter if your friend’s dog loves the food and thrives on it. Your dog is the one that matters to you.
American Journey Dry
At this time American Journey’s dog foods only consist of dry foods or kibbles but they do include two different kinds of grain free diets and a line of foods made with rice. One of the grain free lines is categorized by Chewy as “high protein.” These foods have crude protein of 32 percent and feature a whole named protein along with several named meat meals in the first several ingredients. (Note that the large breed and puppy formulas have 30 percent crude protein.) They have no corn, no wheat, and no soy. They do use pea protein which boosts the protein percentage. These are all life stage dog foods with the exception of the puppy foods which are formulated for growth and reproduction.
American Journey Grain Free High Protein
- American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Large Breed Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
American Journey has four limited ingredient diets (LID). These formulas are also grain free with no corn, wheat, or soy. They are each made with a single source of animal protein and with carbohydrates that are easily digestible, per Chewy. They have no poultry by-product meals or artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. The foods are said to be good for dogs with sensitive digestion. These LID foods have 25 percent crude protein. The ingredient list does include peas, pea starch, and pea protein. The pea protein can boost the protein percentage of the food. Note that the LID lamb & sweet potato formula has 22 percent crude protein. These are all life stages dog foods.
American Journey Grain Free Limited Ingredient
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain Free Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain Free Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
American Journey also has six dog foods made with rice. These foods are not considered to be grain free. They have 25 percent crude protein along with brown rice, rice bran, brewers rice, and barley. They also include pea protein which is often used to boost the protein percentage in dog foods. Note that the lamb & brown rice formula has 23 percent crude protein while the large breed formulas have 24 percent crude protein.
American Journey Dog Foods with Brown Rice
- American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Beef & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Large Breed Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Large Breed Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
American Journey Treats
American Journey treats are grain free and oven-baked. They currently have four recipes that come in 8-ounce bags; three of the treats are also available in 16-ounce bags. The treats are 15 percent crude protein and each biscuit contains between 12 and 14 calories. No corn, wheat, or soy. No chicken by-product meal. No artificial flavors or preservatives. Along with meat protein, these treats contain veggies and fruits, including sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, blueberries and apples. These are crunchy treats. Lamb is sourced from Australia and New Zealand. Sweet potatoes, chickpeas, cane molasses, chicken fat, carrots, pumpkins, apples, and blueberries are from the United States. Rosemary extract is from the United States, Argentina, Netherlands, Italy, or France. None of the ingredients in the treats are sourced from China.
American Journey Grain Free Oven-Baked Dog Treats
- American Journey Lamb Recipe Grain Free Oven-Baked Dog Treats
- American Journey Chicken Recipe Grain Free Oven-Baked Dog Treats
- American Journey Salmon Recipe Grain Free Oven-Baked Dog Treats
- American Journey Turkey Recipe Grain Free Oven-Baked Dog Treats
American Journey Supplements
Last but not least, American Journey also offers American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Liquid Dog & Cat Supplement. This salmon oil is a good supplement for your pet’s skin and coat. It’s made with wild-caught salmon, according to Chewy, which has long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA which are good for your dog’s skin. It comes in a squeeze bottle with a drip-free cap so it’s easy to use. Plus, most dogs love the flavor of salmon oil. Great for pets with dry or itchy skin.
American Journey Supplements
- American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Liquid Dog & Cat Supplement
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Review
According to Chewy.com, American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food is their most popular American Journey dog food. It’s available in 4, 12, and 24-lb bags. This food contains no corn, wheat, or soy. It’s an all life stage dog food manufactured in the U.S. from domestic and imported ingredients.
The first five ingredients in the food are: deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and sweet potatoes. You can see that the food has a lot of animal protein from fish and poultry. Per Chewy, they use wild-caught salmon when possible. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid. Whole salmon is great for your dog. This ingredient would be placed lower in the ingredients after cooking, when the moisture is removed, however. Chicken meal and turkey meal both contain lots of animal protein. They have already had most of the moisture removed before cooking.
With these first three animal protein ingredients, this food does have lots of good protein for your dog. American Journey considers these grain free foods to be high protein dog foods with 32 percent crude protein and we see no reason doubt this designation. The food does contain pea protein as the 7th ingredient and pea protein can boost the protein percentage of pet foods, but most of the protein in this food probably comes from the chicken and turkey meals.
The food contains peas and chickpeas. Peas in dog foods usually refer to field peas – either yellow split peas or green split peas. Field peas (including split peas) are a kind of legume. They provide various vitamins and minerals. They have more protein than corn. But they also have some potential drawbacks including phytic acid and anti-nutrients. Small amounts of peas and chickpeas in a dog food should not be a problem but you should make sure that your dog can digest the food. Some dogs are more sensitive to these ingredients than others. We can’t be sure about the amount of peas and chickpeas in the food so if there is a lot of these ingredients more dogs could have problems with the food.
This food also contains sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are often used as a carbohydrate in grain free dog foods. They are high in carbs with about 7 percent protein and a small amount of fat. They have lots of vitamins and minerals and they are a good source of dietary fiber so they can help keep your dog regular. Many dogs like the taste of sweet potatoes in dog foods and treats.
Other ingredients of interest in this food include chicken fat as a good named source of fat; dried beet pulp as a good source of insoluble fiber. The food also has menhaden fish meal which is a source of omega-3 fatty acid. Flaxseed adds more protein and fiber – but it’s not a good source of omega-3 for dogs since they can’t convert plant sources of omega-3. The food also has salmon oil – more omega-3 that’s good for your dog’s skin and coat. And it has Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a good probiotic from plant sources that adds sweetness to the food.
Otherwise, the remaining ingredients in the food are similar to what you would find in most premium dog foods. There are chelated minerals which are minerals bound to proteins so they are easier for your dog to absorb them. The food uses natural preservatives and antioxidants such as mixed tocopherols (forms of Vitamin E) and rosemary extract.
According to Chewy, “Here’s a list of the imported products contained in this food along with their sourcing. Keep in mind that we only outsource these products depending on availability in the U.S. The chickpeas come from the U.S. and Canada. The dried kelp from Canada, the menhaden fish meal from Mexico, the flaxseed from the U.S. and Canada, the fructooligosaccharides from Belgium, the pea protein from Norway, the peas from the U.S. and Canada, the salmon oil from Chile, the tapioca starch from the U.S. and Thailand, and the yucca schidigera extract from Mexico.”
Here is the guaranteed analysis for American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food:
|Crude Protein||32.0% min|
|Crude Fat||14.0% min|
|Crude Fiber||5.0% max|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||0.1% min|
|Zinc||140 mg/kg min|
|Selenium||0.35 mg/kg min|
|Vitamin E||150 IU/kg min|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids||2.5% min|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids||0.7% min|
|Glucosamine||600 mg/kg min|
|Chondroitin SulFate||500 mg/kg min|
|Calorie Content||3,580 kcal/kg, 430 kcal/cup|
The dry matter basis for this food comes to an estimated 35.6 percent protein; 15.6 percent fat; 5.6 percent fiber; and 35.6 percent carbohydrates.
Based on what we found in American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food and the other American Journey dog foods, we think the high protein grain free American Journey foods look good. The limited ingredient grain free foods, with less protein, have more pea protein than we like, along with peas and pea starch in the first few ingredients. The brown rice formulas also contain pea protein along with peas, rice bran, and brewers rice in the first several ingredients, so we like them even less. We are happy to recommend the high protein grain free foods but we have some reservations about the other formulas. These comments are only based on the ingredients and nutrient percentages in the foods. It would certainly be helpful if Chewy.com was more forthcoming about their co-packer so consumers could find out if there have been recalls in the past.
American Journey’s high protein grain free foods are recommended. Their limited ingredient grain free foods and brown rice foods have less meat protein and some lesser quality ingredients.
Good Meat Content in the high protein formulas
Easily available through Chewy, often at a discount
Lack of transparency from Chewy
A lot of pea protein in some of the formulas