Joy Dog Food isn’t here to impress you with human-grade ingredients and fleeting pet food trends. This is a company that believes, “Our customer is the dog, not the dog’s owner.” Joy has built a solid reputation by producing nutritionally sound, traditional dog food at a reasonable price. If the thought of a small company that sources and produces its pet food in the U.S. appeals to you, read on.
Note: Joy Dog Food should not be confused with “Dog Joy” treats, which are produced by Fresh Pet.
Click to skip ahead:
- Joy Dog Food Reviewed
- At a Glance: The Best Joy Dog Food Recipes
- Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
- Pros & Cons
- Recall History
- Reviews of the 3 Best Joy Dog Food Recipes
- What Other Users Are Saying
At a Glance: The Best Joy Dog Food Recipes
Out of all of Joy’s formulas, we think these three recipes stand out.
|Our Favorite||Joy Dog Food Special Meal||
|Joy Dog Food High Energy 24/20||
|Joy Pure Grain Free Dog Food||
Joy Dog Food Reviewed
Who Makes Joy Dog Food?
Three businessmen who worked in the farm and feed industry came together to create their own dog food recipe. Albert Shiffler, Russ Kohser, and Milton May developed Joy’s first dog food in 1953. The trio collaborated with Cornell and Penn State Universities to ensure their food was nutritionally sound. Hi-Standard Dog Food bought Joy in 2011.
Where Is Joy Dog Food Produced?
Wade Graskewicz, the owner of Hi-Standard, states he outsources production to U.S. facilities. The company’s contact address is in Pinckneyville, IL.
Which Type of Dog Is Joy Best Suited For?
Joy has three lines of dog food: Performance, Ultimate, and Grain Free.
The recipes in the Performance line were created for hunting and working dogs. The Ultimate recipes are geared toward your average pet dog.
Joy’s sole grain-free recipe is for dogs who cannot tolerate corn, wheat, and other grains. Talk to your vet before switching your dog to a grain-free diet. Grains provide vital nutrients, and most dogs tolerate them. Protein allergies1 are more common in dogs.
Which Type of Dog Might Do Better with a Different Brand?
Joy doesn’t have a recipe specifically for senior dogs. Bil-Jac Senior Select Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food has similar ingredients in the same price bracket.
What Size Bags Does Joy Dog Food Come In?
Joy comes in larger bags, and most packages are in the 30 to 50-pound range. The larger bags help keep the price per pound low but can be difficult to carry and store. You could also waste a lot of money if your dog doesn’t care for the food.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Many of Joy’s recipes contain beef meal, chicken meal, ground yellow corn, dried beet pulp, and “natural flavor.”
Beef meal and chicken meal2 consist of animal tissues that have been dehydrated and rendered into powder. Meals are easier to store and transport than fresh meat. Unlike Joy, lower-quality dog food may contain “meat meal” without specifying the protein source.
It’s a myth that ground yellow corn is simply a filler in pet food. Corn provides your dog with the fiber and carbohydrates3 they need to stay healthy.
Dried beet pulp is what is left after the sugar extraction process. It is an excellent source of fiber4 that would otherwise go to waste.
“Natural flavoring” is one ingredient we’d wish was more transparent. The FDA defines “natural flavor” in pet food5 as a derivative of “a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products.” Recipes containing this ingredient are not suitable for dogs with food allergies since it’s impossible to know the source of the flavoring.
A Quick Look at Joy Dog Food
We searched the FDA’s database for pet food recalls. There are no recalls of Joy Dog Food in the current database, which dates back to January 2017.
Reviews of the 3 Best Joy Dog Food Recipes
We’ve researched three of Joy’s most popular recipes. Below is our review of each one.
1. Joy Dog Food Special Meal – Our Favorite
Joy Dog Food Special Meal is our favorite because it’s Joy’s original recipe and is suitable for all life stages. This is the recipe to buy if you have a multi-dog household. The first five ingredients are beef meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal. As mentioned above, we don’t like the vagueness of “natural flavor.” Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate are ingredients you typically only find in higher-priced dog food.
2. Joy Dog Food High Energy 24/20 Formula
Hunting and working dogs have unique dietary needs. This 24% protein/20% fat recipe provides energy for the active dogs. The main ingredients are beef meal, yellow corn, wheat, animal fat, and corn gluten meal. Chicken by-product meal and fish meal are additional protein sources. “Natural flavor” is further down the ingredient list. Joy Dog Food High Energy 24/20 Formula contains 505 kcal/cup. Your vet may recommend that you switch to a lower-calorie formula if your dog’s activity level decreases.
3. Joy Pure Grain Free Dog Food
The main ingredients in Joy Pure Grain Free Dog Food are chicken meal, dried peas, dried potatoes, chicken fat, and dried sweet potatoes. “Natural flavor” is further down the ingredient list. This recipe is one of the more affordable grain-free dog foods on the market.
It also contains ingredients you’d expect from higher-priced dog food, like probiotics, omega 3, and omega 6. Dried peas, dried potatoes, and dried sweet potatoes provide essential carbohydrates and fiber. The protein content is high (27%) without exceeding the recommended 30%. Consider this formula if your vet recommends a grain-free diet and your dog enjoys the taste of chicken.
What Other Users Are Saying
Curious what other dog owners have to say about Joy dog food? We’ve found these reviews helpful and hope you do, too.
- Facebook Review– “We use Joy for everything from my son’s coonhounds to my daughter’s Goldendoodle! Healthy coats, clean kennels, and great energy for them all.” (Heather Michaelis on June 25, 2022)
- Amazon – As fellow dog owners, we always double-check Amazon reviews before we buy something. You can read Joy Dog Food reviews by clicking here.
- Facebook Review – “Excellent feed for hunting dogs and puppies. I have raised beautiful pups by feeding the ‘puppy’ feed to the mothers and pups.” (Chris Harley on July 26, 2022)
Joy Dog Food has been in business since 1953 and was purchased by Hi-Standard Dog Food in 2011. The company sources and produces all of its food in the U.S. Their Performance line is formulated for hunting and working dogs, while the Ultimate line is for pets. Joy also offers one grain-free recipe. The brand has built a reputation as being affordable, high-quality, and no-frills.