American Journey Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The American Journey Grain Free Limited Ingredient product line includes 5 dry dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Duck and Sweet Potato [A]
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato [A]
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Salmon and Sweet Potato [A]
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Lamb and Sweet Potato (3 stars) [A]
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison and Sweet Potato (2.5 stars) [A]
American Journey Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
American Journey Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, peas, sweet potatoes, pea starch, pea protein, dried beet pulp, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed, fish oil, sunflower oil, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, mixed tocopherols (preservative), l-threonine, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, l-tryptophan, riboflavin supplement, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||13%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||29%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fifth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of pea product:
- Pea starch
- Pea protein
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making peas (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, we note the use of sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
American Journey Grain Free
Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, American Journey Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food looks like an above-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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
American Journey Limited Ingredient is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
American Journey Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to American Journey. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
08/14/2019 Last Update