Review of Joy Dry Dog Food
Joy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Joy Dog Food product line includes the 10 dry recipes listed below.
Each formula includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Joy Super Meal Performance Plus Premium 30/20||4||A|
|Joy Puppy Food 32/18||4||A|
|Joy Special Meal||2.5||A|
|Joy High Performance 26/18||4||M|
|Joy Maintenance 22/12||2.5||A|
|Joy Ultimate Chicken Meal and Rice||4||A|
|Joy Ultimate Lamb Meal and Rice||2.5||M|
|Joy Adult Performance 26/18 Chicken Meal and Rice||4||A|
|Joy High Energy 24/20||2.5||A|
|Joy Pure Grain Free||4||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Joy Ultimate Chicken Meal and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Joy Ultimate Chicken Meal and Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, oat groats, pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried peas, dried beet pulp, brewers rice, rice bran, turkey meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, dried egg product, fish meal, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfate complex, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), l-lysine, dl-methionine, vegetable oil, lecithin, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||18%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||37%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The third ingredient is barley, a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. This item is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The next ingredient lists dried peas, which are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth item 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 seventh ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The ninth ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
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 7 notable exceptions…
First, we find dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
Next, we note the use of fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
This recipe also contains 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, this recipe includes vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
We also note that the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher 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.
Based on its ingredient panel, Joy Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Which means this Joy product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas and flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Joy Dog Food
Joy offers both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods using a notable amount of named meat and named by-product meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
However, those concerned about the presence of menadione in this recipe may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for a different product. Or consider using diet rotation to reduce the risks associated with feeding the same dog food… continuously, for a lifetime.
Has Joy Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Joy.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
06/18/2021 Last Update