Joy Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Joy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Joy Dog Food product line includes ten dry recipes. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Joy Super Meal
  • Joy Puppy Food
  • Joy Special Meal
  • Joy Special Chunks
  • Joy Basic Blend 21/9
  • Joy Maintenance Plus
  • Joy High Performance (2 stars)
  • Joy Professional High Energy 24/20 (2 stars)
  • Joy Professional Adult Formula 26/18 (2 stars)
  • Joy Professional Performance Formula 32/18 (2 stars)

Joy Special Meal was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Joy Special Meal

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), corn gluten feed, dried beet pulp, flaxseed meal, natural flavors, salt, calcium propionate (preservative), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate monohydrate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, D-activated animal sterol (source of vitamin D3), vitamin E supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%13%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%29%45%

The first ingredient in this dog food is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The second item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient includes animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is corn gluten feed, a by-product from the manufacture of cornstarch and corn syrup. However, corn gluten feed should not be confused with corn gluten meal.

That’s because corn gluten feed contains just half the protein of corn gluten meal. And when compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins lower in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

It’s unusual to find this feed item in a commercial dog food. As its name suggests, corn gluten feed is primarily used as an ingredient in cattle feeds.

The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Joy Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Joy Dog Food looks like a below average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten and soybean meals and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Joy Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of meat and bone meal, chicken or chicken by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

02/16/2011 Original review
04/03/2011 Added 3 new recipes
11/24/2011 Review updated
05/25/2013 Review updated
05/25/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • William R Cooper

    LT you are so freakin dumb. This crap is the worst rated dog food on the planet. Your dog would be healthier eating cigarette butts and excrement. Your dear old grandpappy was a crook and snake oil salesman just like you LT. Anything for profit, lie, cheat steal and murder are your families motto LT.

  • William R Cooper

    I agree Facts are Facts Bryan who gives a crap about the family tree of these losers. Time to move on Chip & Russ and LT. The world has changed you old foggies and they are 100 brands 10x better than their lousy Joy dog food. Hopefully pappy will be sued for murder and these product will be yanked off the market. Complete garbage, you find higher quality ingredients in the city sewer

  • William R Cooper

    This food is total garbage and toxic regardless of what good ol boy chip or Russ say. They are killers only looking for profit at the expense of innocent animals. Drop dead Evans310.

  • William R Cooper

    God who cares LT. The food sucks and no one gives a crap about your family tree. So stupid, this food makes dogs sick and die. Nothing to be proud of LT or your stupid hick pappy who served up road kill. Go away and live out your life munching joy kibble I am sure on a steady diet of this garbage you will pass away quickly…at least we hope.

  • curtis

    I do not understand the science of dog food and I have not owned a dog in 15 years- until today- that’s when 2 puppies arrive here by plane for my 8 & 10 year old sons
    Prior to this (15 years ago) I raised Treeing Walker hounds and hunted them as much as 300 nights per year- I still remember how well they did on Joy Dog Food. My hounds were picky eaters but they ate Joy well from automatic feeders-they had the best developed muscle, bone and coat you could ask for- they were very impressive dogs for the breed. They always had energy and were never ill- what I liked also that feeding Joy cut the amount of stool to clean up to less than half of what other brands delivered. I liked JOY so much that I had to have it trucked in special because there was no dealer in my area-I was REALLY sold on it-not from reading about it- BUT from FEEDING it
    This morning I am on line looking for a source of JOY for puppies when I cam across this article. I do appreciate the article and all the work that went into it- BUT I have to wonder “Has the formula changed in 15 years?’…if not then I will chose it for my pups despite the article because I have fed it for years- I know how well the dogs do on it and they actually like it-Thanks and hope this is helpful

  • LabsRawesome

    Sorry, just kidding. :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    Some of us(myself included) do have a strange sense of humor.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m the opposite – I don’t eat meat much but I really only like beef and pork. Whenever I eat chicken or turkey all I can think of is dog food and it turns my stomach – because I feed my dogs chicken and turkey RMBs so often lol. I can only stomach poultry if it’s mixed into a pasta dish or something.

  • L. T.

    Just in case this person is still reachable, you are right about the changes. There’s a bunch of info I’ve put on here about the history. The newest owners, since 2011, said they have not changed the formulas but are planning to do gluten-free.

  • L. T.

    Now you’re just “being fresh” as my Mother would say.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Who is your grandfather????? Edit: never mind, found it: Ab.

  • L. T.

    Actually, it was ONLY my Grandfather. Russ was the salesperson and was the marketing, May was the family that hired my Grandfather to help them and HE is the one who developed it in my Grandmother’s kitchen. I can tell you that those men never stepped foot in that house. My Grandmother would have shot this one guy if he’d tried. lol Kohsers were important to get it out and known, for sure. Grandpa even studied through Penn, Rutgers and Purdue so even though they were working together in the late ’40s, the food wasn’t ready until 1953. The original facility was in Oakdale, PA where my Dad worked.

  • L. T.

    Look at the website. They got that information from Chip. My Grandfather is the one who invented it. Russ was a salesman and so was Chip. It was not in 1945, it was 1953 that it was first put out.

  • L. T.

    They have different formulas now. The top is their “Professional”, according to what I was told. When my family was involved, it was adult and puppy. Period. That wasn’t in it.

  • LabsRawesome

    To tell you the truth, I don’t really even like Blue Buffalo dog food. My 2 dogs eat 5 star grain free canned food, fresh eggs, sardines, whatever is on sale in the meat dept. And grain free dry dog food. I don’t eat steak, I don’t really like red meat. I’m more of a Chicken and Turkey person. Oh and when I cook a whole entire Turkey, my dogs get a lot of that too. I do give small amounts of fruit and veggies too.

  • Shawna

    PS — we don’t eat T-bones and new york steaks ourselves on a regular basis so we can afford to feed our dogs a higher quality food.. :)

  • Shawna

    Many of us on here feed home cooked or raw. My dogs had eggs and beef for breakfast and venison, with canned sardines as a topper, for dinner tonight. They will also get venison tomorrow. I have salmon thawing in the fridge for Saturday.

    I do feed “species appropriate” amounts of carbohydrates as well — fruits and veggies — no corn or soy or wheat though.

    Some would like to feed raw but can’t afford it. Those folks often feed a higher end kibble and add raw or home cooked toppers to their quality kibble. Others have no desire to feed raw or home cooked but they still opt for higher end kibbles..

    When kibble is exposed to air and light the “mixed tocopherols” protecting the fat begin to break down and then the fat becomes rancid. Free feeding, for that reason, is a bad idea…

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yummy!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    So Evans couldn’t spell his/her own name?

  • Betsy Greer

    Not that I’m at all remotely interested in this product, but I was putzing around their website, wasting time more than anything, and I came across an ingredient that spooked me: D-Activated Animal Sterol (a source of Vitamin D3).

    This is the very first time I’ve ever seen this ingredient, so I was trying to figure out what exactly the heck it was and came up with this answer: “Animal sterol is a substance found in fat and skin, and D-activated means the animal sterol was treated with UV radiation to form vitamin D. So basically scientists created a substance in the laboratory that duplicates the end product of what happens when people or animals go outside on a sunny day and their skin synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight; it’s basically a lab made vitamin supplement.”

    A byproduct of irradiated fat and skin to create a source of Vitamin D3? How risky does that sound?

  • Betsy Greer

    Sounds like it was a team approach between Albert Shiffler, Russ Kohser and Milton May…

    From the about us page of the Joy Pet Foods site; source: “When the company was started, it was the marketing genius of Albert Shiffler (known as Ab to almost everyone) and the hard work and drive of men like Russ Kohser and Milton May that made Best Feeds thrive.”

    http://www.joypetfood.com/aboutus.aspx

  • L. T.

    Even Blue uses other sources. Are you willing to serve “high quality” to your dog several times a day? Doubtful that you would give your dog your t-bone, NY steak or other meat on a regular basis. I believe most people can’t afford to feed their dogs that way.
    Wolves eat some vegetation. They are not complete carnivores either. Cats on the other hand, according to the ASPCA, can not be fed like a dog. They quickly become malnourished. Even dogs who have not ever been given table food have been known to eat their owner’s garden — tomatoes, corn, squash, etc. and why would they teach vets about pumpkin and beans. Yes, facts are facts but the scientific community can’t make up their mind so it’s still theory or conjucture. Our dog is a Lab and she’s been at her perfect weight for 5 years, she free feeds and does not overeat at all.

  • L. T.

    yes, IF they are allowed to get away with it. You do not know if ANY company keep s a close eyes on things. Read the review for Blue where he comments about the chicken content. Deboned chicken doesn’t mean it’s breast meat and it doesn’t mean it’s not gristle, etc. Only making it yourself will make sure it has only certain things in it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Unfortunately a lot of dog foods have gone that way. Profit became more important than quality. I think there is room for both. Consumers are getting more educated about their buying power and hopefully the demand for better quality foods will be heard and some of these companies will “go back to their roots.”

  • L. T.

    It was, absolutely a good food. The NY PD used it and the Beagle Assoc. promoted it as well. I do know that there are people who are still very loyal to the brand and the price is definitely reasonable. We tried all sorts of vet recommended for our dog and they all were terrible. Making it for her was the cheapest and best but not convenient. Since we just barely found out it is available here, we may try it and see how she does. I made recommendations about their labeling and will mention what you said in your e-mail and try to help if I can. We’ll see how serious they are. I believe you have good intentions. Back in the day, no one had a comparable formula. I would like to see it “rise from the ashes”.

  • LabsRawesome

    Of course they can. Look at what they are allowed to put in human grade food, Now just imagine what they can put in dog food, especially the cheap, low grade ones.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I don’t think Shawna is arguing about the fat going rancid. She’s arguing about that preventing them from using it. There is no law saying they can’t use rancid fat.

  • Pattyvaughn

    So who is Russel Khosher to you? A year ago someone named Evans claimed that his father made this food.

  • L. T.

    Not if they are under contract and are checked on. I’m not going to argue with anyone on here. Think what you like, believe what you will. When I talked to the owner’s son today, he said the same thing “if the meat isn’t fresh, the fat goes rancid”. It doesn’t matter to me if it isn’t on an agency’s website when people in the business know.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My grandfather would NEVER have fed something like this to his dog. The dogs ate the chicken heads, feet, and other parts as soon as the bird was butchered. They probably got the blood too. He was a farmer and they ate what their own farm produced. It was a rarity for them to have any cash at all, so buying dog food would have been right out. Nevermind, if he made it he wouldn’t have to buy it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    LT said his/her grand was Ab Shiffler, maybe it’s really Cindy who created this dog food.

  • LabsRawesome

    Actually it was my grandfather. Lol. Or maybe it was yours, or Betsy’s?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Maybe Evans is LTs daddy.

  • Betsy Greer

    So now I’m confused, was it L.T.’s grandfather that started manufacturing Joy dog food ~ or was it this guy’s?

  • Shawna

    Hee hee, I figured that was the case.. :)

  • LabsRawesome

    L.T. I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as “high quality” meat and bone meal, corn, wheat, soy or animal fat. Dogs are carnivores, and need real meat protein, not incomplete plant proteins. Facts are facts.

  • LabsRawesome

    I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as “high quality” meat and bone meal, corn, wheat, soy or animal fat. Dogs are carnivores, and need real meat protein, not incomplete plant proteins. Facts are facts.

  • Shawna

    Yes it was the EPA

    “Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal. Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants. Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.” http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch09/final/c9s05-3.pdf

    “Meat and bone meal” can be anything including dead shelter animals… If a company wants the informed consumers money, they better name the protein source of their food.. I prefer foods without corn, grains in general actually, too…

  • Shawna

    “You can’t use roadkill or old dead animals because the fat goes rancid. Most renderers’ products are only good for fertilizer and it is not used in dog food.”

    Apparently the government isn’t aware of this information L.T. From the FDA’s very own website they state

    “*CVM is aware of the sale of dead, dying, disabled, or diseased (4-D) animals to salvagers for use as animal food. Meat from these carcasses is boned and the meat is packaged or frozen without heat processing. The raw, frozen meat is shipped for use by several industries, including pet food manufacturers, zoos, greyhound kennels, and mink ranches. This meat may present a potential health
    hazard to the animals that consume it and to the people who handle it.*” http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074712.htm
    There’s also government documents (from the EPA I think it was) that states euthanized animals from shelters are rendered into dog food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    L.T.,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m certain that at the time your grandfather produced this dog food in 1982, it was probably a very high quality product.

    However, our reviews are based upon the formulation as it appears in the marketplace today.

    So, when I last visited Joy’s website, the ingredients and nutritional content were exactly as I describe here in my review.

    For that reason, I stand by my current rating of this product line. Thanks again for taking the time to share with our readers the history of this dog food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    L.T.,

    You said, “…the person who started this website was contacted by the owners and they explained what they use and how it’s made and he refuses to listen or do anything different”.

    Unfortunately, that is not true. No one from Joy has ever contacted me to explain anything.

    Please understand our reviews are based strictly upon the information published on the company’s own government regulated pet food label — and nothing else.

    If the company uses a different ingredient in this product, then it is required by law to inform the public by placing the correct information on the label.

    By the way, our description of “meat and bone meal” as posted in this review is based upon the official definition as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the reference notes as linked.

  • InkedMarie

    Dr Mike, who’s website this is, can only go by what is on the bag of food/website for information. It’s not that it doesn’t matter how it’s made but he is impartial about reviews and he needs the info from bags/websites in order to determine it’s rating.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You obviously don’t have a clue. It the manufacturer actually used better ingredients they would be the first to make sure it was on the label, because it would sell more food. And working more is NOT a cure for dogs who don’t tolerate corn gluten. That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard, and I have heard some really big ones. Don’t ever believe everything that someone who is trying to sell you something tells you. DUH!!
    There is NO actual meat in this product. It IS garbage.

  • L. T.

    You don’t have a clue. For your information, they don’t have the specific meat and bone meal animal listed because they use beef in OH and pork in UT and the bags are not printed separate. Also, they buy their corn from the growers instead of the elevators.
    I called them and questioned the owners very specifically about this food is being made.
    The original JOY was made for working dogs and when you feed a dog gluten, they have to be able to burn off the carbs. So just an FYI to anyone who has a dog they claim can’t have gluten, you’re not working them enough AND if you are paying for gluten-free food, they are taking you for a ride. It does not cost anymore to make the gluten-free.
    AND FINALLY, the person who started this website was contacted by the owners and they explained what they use and how it’s made and he refuses to listen or do anything different. SO the review is as useless as your claim the dog food is.

  • L. T.

    My Grandfather happens to be the person who originated the dog food and my Dad was the QC person. My Grandfather was very good at what he did and he was determined to make it a great product. The State of PA was very hard on them about keeping their ingredients high quality.
    This review doesn’t take in consideration whether the company still uses the high quality ingredients that my Grandfather insisted on. They used to use a meat and bone meal place in Pittsburgh which only used good meat. You can’t use roadkill or old dead animals because the fat goes rancid. Most renderers’ products are only good for fertilizer and it is not used in dog food. There are government entities which hound them. Joy Dog Food was actually field tested and the dogs using it actually had more energy than the others. It was very popular with breeders and show people, especially up in New York. IF IT WASN’T HIGH QUALITY, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE BOTHERED.
    My Dad used to take a sample of corn from each railroad car up to a farm for the pigs to check. If the corn wasn’t good, the pigs would snub it.

    There are a couple of things that weren’t in the original recipe. As of 1982, they did not use flaxseed or menadione sodium bisulfite complex.

    The FACTS aren’t necessary being totally utilized and I believe that if you would like to test it, go ahead and buy some and let your dog try it and within a short period, you will know if it is good or not.

    If you have specific questions, contact the company at P.O. Box 305 Pinckneyville, IL 62274 Phone 800.245.4125 Fax 618.357.3651 and ask them if they are still using the high quality ingredients that Ab Shiffler used in his original formula. Ask if they have big breeders or show people who have champion dogs using their products.

    I agree with the person who said that you can’t believe everything you read. I have wanted to use Joy with our dog for years and couldn’t get it out west. FInally, it is available and I’m excited! We’ve been using Rachel Ray Just 6 which has been really good for her but I’m really excited to see if Joy will be as well.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Trish Schroll
    If you had read very much here you would have discovered that nobody is selling anything here  We are all discussing different dog foods and solutions for our pets needs  this is a blog, not a manufacturer.  And I agree with you, this food is only fit for the garbage  Read some more here and you’ll learn what to look for on the label before you ever leave the store.  Good luck. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001564387185 Trish Schroll

    work with ur people & COME UP WITH A BETTER RECIPE,B ON THER ASS TILL U GET IT RIGHT .RISE UR PRICE A LITTLE,NOT ALOT .OVERSEE ALL THE TIME,SO THEY STAY ON THEIR TOES….I NO U CAN DO IT .GOOD LUCK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001564387185 Trish Schroll

    Ihave 2 little yorkie who i love with all my heart.i have been ,researching all kinds of dry dog food 2 find the best 1 /4them & i just couldn’t belived the junk out there.it is really discussing.these ppl thinkthey can sell u any thing  & we r stupid enough 2/by here. u gave me a bag 4/my babies.hey loved it ,i got on line & looked upwhat is was made from,i was so shocked,it is filled w / garbage & dead animals.the really bad part is thats it got ppls beloved pets that they had put down ground up in the dog food . plus all fillers that r no good four them to eat.just thinkabout that.i would think that if u have something in yr store some body wants somebody 2/ sell i really would think u should really investigated it before u tell these ppl how great the product is,u should really c what they r saying,its disqusting.i wouldnt buy ur dog food & give it to the shleter.my bag went in the trash.ur rating is a 1 star,wright up there w/wal-mart o”roy.a very dissatisfied customer .i wonder how many beloved pets u have killed.

  • BryanV21

    This isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s looking at the facts. The facts are this food is full of bad ingredients. Meat and bone meal, corn, wheat, “animal” fat…. what’s good about that? I don’t care who makes it, or for how long they’ve made it… it’s full of junk. Junk in means junk out. That’s not an opinion… that’s a fact.

  • Evans310

    if you have questions about y these ingredients are used call chip kosher the grandson of the founder of joy dog food back in 1945 he knows everything about dogfood. like russ kosher used to say our costomer is the dog not the dogs owner. think about it he said it for a reason. and joy’s products are just about the same formulas as they used to be and i feel that it is a very good dogfood dont believe everything you see on the internet its not always true.

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  • Robert

    try a pet food company called Sunshine Farms.  Excellent value and grain-free.  

  • Evans310

    my pap invented the original joy dog food in 1945 his name was russel khosher later owned by chip khosher

  • Michelle

    Uriah, Please stop feeding your dog/cat Joy foods. Please read the above review for this food. It really doesn’t have one good ingredient. I have no idea if it was ever good back in the day, but now it is total garbage. Walmart in my area, has begun to carry Evolve cat food, and it is very reasonably priced at like $4.97 for a three pound bag. The first few ingredients are Chicken, and Chicken meal , brown rice, and egg. If you have a Costco in your area they have pretty decent dog/cat food there. It is called Kirkland Signature.The 20lb bag is $13.79 and has good ingredients, it is a 4* food, and is reviewed on this site.

  • Uriah

    Joy isn’t the same as it used to be. That’s ALL we fed our dogs back in the 70s-80s-early 90s before I got out of it (coon hunting). A coon dog works pretty hard, and that’s really true in the mountains. At our hunting club, that’s about all everybody used was Joy. Back then you had to buy it at a small place somewhere, we got ours at a lawnmower (Stihl dealership) back then. Never found it at K-Mart or whatever.

    Pro-Pet has owned Joy the last 15 years or so, and I think another company is fixing to buy them. Don’t know if the quality/pricing is going up/down or whatever.

    I still feed my nonhunting (don’t hunt anymore) dog & sometimes cat Joy with no problems. It’s not priced as it once was at the top of the market with so many more expensive brands out there, it’s easier to find then it once was, my pets are used to it since that’s all they’ve ever had and that’s good enough for me.

    I’m curious about the company history now since I’ve been a long time user.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Patrick — Thanks to your suggestion, I’ve finally completed my review of Boots and Barkley. And like you said, it ain’t pretty. Hope this helps.

  • Patrick

    Hi Mike, no problem. Yes, I believe that is correct. Thanks.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Patrick… You’re right. I’ll try to get to that one soon. Dog Food Ninja sent me some photos of the packages a while back. Do you know if Target’s Boots & Barkley is made in just 2 recipes: Adult and Puppy?

    Thanks for the reminder. :)

  • Patrick

    Mike – Did you ever find a list of ingredients for Boots & Barkley dog food sold at Target? Just concerned because I think many people buy this stuff not knowing that the ingredients, from what I saw, are terrible…..Similar to Ol’ Roy. I just want people to be informed on this great website! Thanks.

  • ceci

    Joy Dog Food/ Best Feeds, has changed hands at least twice in about ten years. I have a feeling the formula probably changed too. The original was highly thought of, and I believe it came from a recipe created for the owner by Penn State extension scientists. I wish someone would research this, and find out if the second and third owners are cutting corners.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    Jimmy, the ingredients to the Lamb and Rice formula came right off Joy dog food’s website… is this the food you’re talking about?

    http://www.joypetfood.com/lambmeal.html

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    No problem, Jimmy. Just be sure the two you’re referring to aren’t already listed near the top of this review. In that case, I would already have included my opinion of these two products in the overall summary you see here.

  • Jimmy

    I know their two new products has corn free listed on their bag. Next time I am at the store I will snap a pic of ingredients and type them here to see how their new products stack up.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    Oh, and as Sandi already mentioned, rice is a grain. But even worse than that, so is Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Wheat, Wheat Middlings, and corn gluten feed, those last two being some of the very lowest quality ingredients I have ever sen in a dog food.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    Oh, and here’s the “high energy” formula…

    Meat And Bone Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Wheat, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken By-Product Meal, Natural Flavors, Fish Meal, Flaxseed Meal, Canola Oil, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol (Source Of Vitamin D3), Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement).

    GA
    Protein 24%
    Fat 20%
    Fiber 3%

    Sorry, dude, but you’ve been feeding your dogs complete trash. :-(

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    Jimmy, here is the “Lamb and Rice” formula you are talking about above…

    INGREDIENTS
    Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat Middlings, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Feed, Natural Flavors, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flaxseed Meal, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin (Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol (source of Vitamin D-3), Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite) .

    GA
    Protein 23%
    Fat 14%
    Fiber 4%

    That’s all just awful. Really. There is one single “good” ingredient in this food, the lamb meal, and there is precious little of that.

  • sandy

    Jimmy,

    If is has rice, it’s not grain free.

  • Jimmy

    Mike—I have fed Joy High Energy 24-20 to my hunting dogs my entire life. I have never had a problem with it whatsoever. Given that Special Meal sells for around $16.50 and the High Energy 24-20 is $24.50 for both 50lb bags I do not see how reviewing Special Meal does any justice to the whole JOY brand. Also, Joy has a grain free Chicken/Rice and grain free Lamb/Rice product that is very similar to what YOU have rated 4/5 stars in other brands products.
    These are rather new products but I do not even see them listed above.

    I enjoy your site and have gained much knowledge of pet foods by reading your reviews. However, I just do not agree with labeling an entire brand based on one product.

    Joy is a small company that makes pet food for people in all walks of life not just the overly rich. In doing so, they make some lower quality products as well as high quality products which allows their feed to fit into anyone’s finances. I apologize for calling the review a joke but its frustrating to see a whole brand down talked based off the review of one single product, but thats a problem for you to fix and not me I assume.

    Just my $0.02……

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jimmy… I’m sorry you feel this review is a joke. For I was dead serious when I wrote it. Contrary to your claims, Joy Special Meal was chosen precisely because it is indeed a typical representative of the entire product line. Most Joy Dog Food recipes are made with the same low quality generic ingredients… like inexpensive cereal grains and anonymous meat by-products. Not to mention one of the lowest quality ingredients used in some of the lowest quality dog foods in our 2,000+ dog food database… anonymous animal fat.

    It even contains meat protein substitutes like soybean and corn gluten meals. Unfortunately, based upon the quality of its ingredients, the Joy product line deserves the low rating it has received.

  • Jimmy

    Joy Special Meal is NOT a good indicator of the JOY Brand. This site does nothing but bad talks the JOY Brand based on ONE product chosen from a list by an individual (most likely) supporting or working (on the payroll) for a large pet food company. I do not understand why this is listed as Joy Dog Food (the brand) rather than Joy Special Meal (the actual product being reviewed). If you were going to choose one product for the whole brand, its typical someone would choose one of their LOWER quality products… Complete JOKE of a review….

  • melissa

    Oh, I agree Jonathan on the ‘snarky dismissal” and I again agree that you can spot these people a mile away. I too have a problem with them, as well as those that are well dressed, driving a nice car and obviously can afford to do better by the canine family member. But, that is when you see them in person, not over the internet. For all we know, we could be reading a post by someone using the local library internet access who literally knows that $5 is all the difference in the world. SSI etc only goes so far especially for elderly owners, and I am often amazed that they can afford dog food, no matter what the brand or quality.

    I do however understand where you are coming from as well : )

  • Jonathan

    Point well taken, Melissa. Sorry I didn’t get back to this long ago, but that was right around when the idea of having two babies was getting REAL and we started preparing the house… lol

    Anyways, I understand what you are saying about people with a dog who lose their job. Certainly, that does not make them bad pet parents, because losing their job wasn’t their fault and they already had the dog. But I think the guy above that I was referring to originally is just a guy that is tight with money and doesn’t place any importance on nutrition. I mean, how else could some one come to this site, see the above review, and then just complain about $5 bucks? Obviously he wasn’t moved about the quality of the product his dogs are eating. I meet people like that all too often that roll their eyes at the idea of a pet food costing more than $15 bucks. You know, the “they’re just dogs” kind of people. You can’t tell ‘em anything because their immediate stance on pet nutrition is snarky dismissal.

  • melissa

    Jonathan-

    I agree-if someone can not afford a pet, you do not go out and get one. WHEN you can not afford a pet. There are, unfortuently many people today that had good jobs etc(and therefore had those pets already) who suddenly lost their jobs-they can barely afford to cover their bills(many can’t hence the foreclosure spurts) and they just do not have that extra $5 a month. Prior to job loss, they did rather well and could afford those pets. What do they do now? Dump that possibly unadoptable pet on rescue or pts? I have to think not. Rather, they do the best they can and hope the situation changes.

    I am not saying that ALL people who feed crappy food are doing it because of necessity, but many do, and I do not believe we can judge by such a wide brush stroke.-Course, if they can afford online service perhaps that is something to give up to squeeze that budget a bit tighter : )

  • Jonathan

    Hey Melissa. When I typed that statement, I knew someone was going to call me on it. I know that times are hard. Trust me, I know. With a 3-year-old daughter and twin boys on the way, and a wife in school, I know. And I know that I do get discounted food and, occasionally, free food for my dog. But if I had to pay regular market price right now for dog food for my 70lb lab, I’d AT THE LEAST buy her Pro Pac at $28.99 for 33lbs, or Perfectly Natural at $37.99 for 30lbs. That, to me, is no question. Sadie will never eat a food lower than 3-stars. She will never eat a food with generic meat products or agricultural rejects. She will never eat a food with artificial color or chemicals. Even if I have to sacrifice a little here and there, I won’t make my girl eat recycled trash. She eats about 30lbs of food a month. Now, the difference between $15 a month and $20 a month is like the difference of buying 5 sodas or cups of coffee in a month’s time. $5 dollars in a month is negligible. I don’t see HOW a 50lb bag of terrible food going from $15 bucks to $20 bucks is going to break anyone. Now the point I was getting at with the vet visits was simply that if you can afford that, but not a semi-decent food, or if you can’t even afford the vet visits, then there is a problem with having a pet. Having a dog or cat can be taken by some too lightly. Some people do not realize there is a lot of expense that comes with a pet. These same people are a big part of the reason animal shelters are overrun and millions of doggies and kitties are euthanized every years. My ultimate point was, if there isn’t an extra $5 bucks a month available to you that could be spent on pet food, maybe you would be better off not having a pet. $5 bucks we are dealing with here. In America. I have stated my financial situation above, yet I find an extra $5 a week to bring home the occasional canned food or treat. I can see some one having to drop back from some $60 a bag food to a $30 a bag food because of hard times… but again, we are talking about a 50lb bag for $20 bucks. That is insane. Assuming that Sadie wouldn’t need to eat more of this food (which she probably would) one 50lb bag would last me almost 2 months. There is no way that buying food that cheap can possibly be healthful for your beloved dog. Anyone who thinks that this crap is just fine can go on and feed their kids McDonald’s and Oreo’s every day until they are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes at age 13. Such is the sad shape of our culture. Nutrition takes a back seat to prescription drugs, synthetic vitamins, and yummy, empty, nutritionally deficient, processed calories.

  • melissa

    I had to google this food to find out the cost-I found prices online that seem to range from $19.75 for a 50 lb bag up to 29.90 for a 35 lb bag of the lamb/rice-

    Vic-I do not know how many or what size dogs you are feeding, but I don’t think I honestly know of a much cheaper dog food that you could possibly buy-this seems ‘bare bones’ at the 40 cents per lb.

    Jonathan-re taking dogs to the vet. Everyone should be having their dogs vetted yearly, even if just for an exam, but not everyone can afford that in these economic times. I know I just spent close to $1200 this week for three senior dogs to have senior workups done(bloods,xrays, exams and rabies) Everything turned out wonder and I am not complaining, just pointing out that not everyone may be able to financially provide the same level of vet care(or food) as the next person.

    While I do understand where you are coming from re your comment “if you can’t afford 40 cents a lb perhaps you should not own dogs”, unless you know Vic Murdy and his circumstances, you can not judge. In these economic times things can change quickly and the “haves” can quickly become the “have nots” through no fault of their own.

  • Antonio

    Yup, I agree as noted in my previous comment when I said the other formulas are not 5 star foods either, I was only commenting that it was possible the OP could have been using one of the slightly better formulas as oppose to the one reviewed here on DFA. But your right,, for the most part the other formulas are similar to the one you reviewed.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Antonio… I never select any recipe because it’s an “outlier”… a product that’s intentionally at one extreme or the other relative to the line. I do my best to choose a recipe that best represents its product line.

    By the way, this is something that isn’t always so easy to do.

    I first create a spreadsheet with multiple cells to compare ingredients. And then I choose a reasonable example.

    This particular food (Joy Special Meal) was selected because it’s fairly typical for the group. Some recipes are better. And some are not. This one is right in the middle of the range for protein content.

    And if you study the others, these ingredients are fairly typical, too.

    With Joy Dog Food, I’d be hard pressed to find anything greater than 2 stars in the group. Most look a lot like this one. One star.

  • Antonio

    Maybe he was feeding one of the other formulas and not this one that Mike reviewed you think? I’m not saying the other formulas are 5 star foods, but they are not as poorly formulated as this particular formula that was picked for the DFA review.

  • Jonathan

    Ummm, Joy dog food? Like the bags they sell at Piggly Wiggly? It’s, like, $15 or 20 bucks for a 50# bag? Are we talking about the same dog food here?

    Now, I usually don’t say this, but if .40 cents a pound or less for dog food is “too much for your budget”, maybe you really shouldn’t have a dog. Or maybe you should rethink your budget. Do you buy a soda every day? Or a cup of coffee? Eat out at fast-food places? Have cable TV? How many dogs do you have? Do you take them to the vet every year? How often?

    And besides, did you read what this food is made from? It is recycled trash. How can any sensible person read the ingredients list and defend such crap? I don’t mean to be harsh, but come on man. This is a cheap food, but at least it is also cheap price-wise… Tell you what. Go find Sportmix. It’s a two-star food that costs $13.99 for 40lbs.

  • vic murdy

    Joy dog food is in my opinion the best dog food you can buy bar none. I have been feeding joy dog food for over 20 years. my dogs have always been healthy and parasite free. The problem is this, in this economy they have priced themselves out of my budget. I can no longer afford to feed this to my dogs. I hope the manufacturer will take this to heart, because I really like their product.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Patrick… Thanks to your suggestion, I’ve added Boots and Barkley to my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before we get to it. Thanks again for the tip.

  • Patrick

    Looks like there is another “hot pile of trash” dog food out there. It’s called Boots & Barkley and is sold, of all places, at Target. Have fun reviewing that one if you can find its list of ingredients! Looks to be in the same category as this stuff and other 1 star foods…..

  • Susan

    have always had good luck with it but all of a suden our working dogs became short of breath and unable to preform the dog food man wont even return our calls Im thinking this stuff is toxic. We have switched feed and they seem to be coming around a little. Hope they arnt not telling all about this product and if it has been recalled would be nice to let the public no.

  • Jonathan

    They have this trash at Piggly Wiggly. It’s quite cheap, and quite gross. There’s nothing “Joyful” about it.

  • Bob K

    j – What are you paying for this stuff? Who sells it?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi J… Since our last update on 2/16/2011, Joy has evidently added 3 more recipes to its line. So, I’ve now added them to the review as well as the brand averages. Thanks for the tip.

  • j

    well you don’t have all the information. I purchase the lamb and rice and you don’t even have that listed.