Iams dog food is one of the more popular dog foods that you’ve probably seen on your grocery store shelves or sold via affiliate links, but how do its dog foods stack up to other pet food manufacturers? Dog parents rate most of Iams’ recipes between 4 and 4.5 stars, but where does it stand when it comes to things like the main protein source and balance of vitamins and minerals? Let’s take a look at everything there is to know about Iams to see if it’s the one for you.
About the Brand
Paul Iams founded the dog food company in 1946. At this time, people made homemade food for their pets as commercial pet food was not yet sold in stores. Paul Iams was an animal nutritionist who studied at Ohio State University. He started his pet food business in a small feed mill near Dayton. Iams was quite progressive in his ideas, developing the first animal-based-protein dry dog food and cat food in 1950. In addition to Iams, Paul Iams also developed the well-known Eukanuba brand.
Iams had some financial difficulties in the 1970s. President Nixon issued a nationwide wage and price control freeze. The cost of the meat and bone meal needed to make its recipes increased three-fold, but the company could not raise prices. Rather than sacrifice the quality of its dog food products, the company took the loss and nearly lost everything. Clay Mathile bought the brand in 1982, expanding sales to an impressive $900 million in 1999 before selling Iams to P&G that same year. In 2014, P&G sold Iams and its sister brand, Eukanuba, to Mars, Inc.
Dog Food Reviews
In our Iams dog food review, we’re going to take a closer look at the brand’s products to help you determine if this is the right brand for your dog. Let’s start our dog food review off with a look at the brand’s dry dog foods. We’ll take a detailed look at some of the formulas’ ingredients then break down the analysis of every dry dog food available from Iams.
This Iams Proactive Health adult recipe is Iam’s basic adult dog food formula, and it’s loaded with the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. This whole-grain recipe uses chicken and eggs and includes nutritional support for heart health. With omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and L-carnitine for a healthy metabolism, this recipe is anything but basic. It contains 25 percent crude animal-based protein, 14 percent crude fat, and 380 kcal/cup.
The full ingredient list is as follows: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, L-Carnitine, Sodium Selenite, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Ascorbic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Rosemary Extract, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid
This Iams Proactive Health Adult Minichunks dog food recipe uses and offers the same balanced nutrition as the previously mentioned recipe. It contains 25 percent crude animal protein, 14 percent crude fat, and 382 kcal/cup.
The complete ingredient table of contents is as follows: Lamb, Chicken By-Product Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Brewers Yeast, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, L-Lysine Hydrochloride, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Citric Acid (preservative), Rosemary Extract
Next in our Iams dog food review is its adult small breed recipe meant for pups 20 pounds or less. This recipe uses real ingredients, including farm-raised chickens, grains, and veggies. It has 27 percent protein, 17 percent fat, and 393 kcal/cup.
The top ingredient list includes Whole Chicken, By-Pro Meal, and Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed.
Proactive Health adult large breed dry dog food is meant for adult pups greater than 50 pounds. It’s formulated to support strong joints and healthy bones. Proactive Health large breed dog food contains 22.5 percent crude protein, 12.5 percent crude fat, and 353 kcal/cup.
The top ingredient list includes Poultry, Ground Whole Grain Barley, and Whole Grain Ground Corn.
Dog owners who are looking for something other than poultry for their big dogs should check out this large breed lamb and rice dog food recipe. It’s nutritionally balanced for large breeds and contains 22.5 percent crude protein, 12.5 percent crude fat, and 334 kcal/cup.
If you’re looking for dog foods for your active dog, check out Iams Proactive Health adult dry dog food with poultry. This Iams dog food has plenty of omega 3 fatty acids and for skin and coat health as well as essential nutrients to protect your active dog’s heart, bones, and joints. This dog food recipe contains 25 percent crude proteins, 14 percent crude fat, and 337 kcal/cup.
Next up in our dog food review is Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy. It’s formulated with everything your puppy needs to grow strong and healthy, including DHA for brain development. It includes 29 percent crude protein, 17.5 percent crude fat, and 399 kcal/cup.
Analysis: 30 percent crude proteins, 18 percent crude fat, 453 kcal/cup
The top ingredient list includes Chicken, Ground Whole Corn, Poultry By-Pro Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Beet Pulp
Analysis: 27 percent crude protein, 14 percent crude fat, 375 kcal/cup
Top ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Corn, Poultry By-Pro Meal, Ground Whole Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal
Analysis: 24 percent crude proteins, 10.5 percent crude fat, 350 kcal/cup
Top ingredients: Chicken, By-Pro Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Corn, Ground Whole Sorghum
Analysis: 26 percent crude proteins, 11 percent crude fat, 346 kcal/cup
Top ingredients: Poultry, By-Pro Meal (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Grain Corn
Analysis: 20 percent crude proteins, 9 percent crude fat, 326 kcal/cup
Top ingredients: Ground Whole Corn, By-Pro Meal, Ground Whole Sorghum, Chicken, Dried Beet Pulp
Analysis: 22 percent crude proteins, 9 percent crude fat, 325 kcal/cup
Top ingredients: Ground Whole Corn, By-Pro Meal (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Sorghum
Next up in our Iams dog food review are its wet dog recipes. These wet dog foods from Iams are for adult pets. They come in two varieties, pate and chunky. The main difference between the two types of dog food is that the chunky versions have a larger, meatier texture than the pate. The Chunky wet dog food recipes also have large pieces of vegetables you can see.
Analysis: 8 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 425 kcal/serving
Top ingredients: Poultry, Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat By-Pro, Beef, Brewers Rice, Flax Seed
Analysis: 9 percent crude protein, 8 percent crude fat, 468 kcal/serving
Top ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Poultry, Meat By-Pro, Brewers Rice
Analysis: 8 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 390 kcal/serving
Top ingredients: Chicken, Sufficient Water for Processing, By-Pro Meal, Lamb, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Flax Seed
Analysis: 8 percent crude protein, 3 percent crude fat, 350 kcal/can
Top ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat By-Pro, Wheat Flour, Beef, Wheat Gluten
Analysis: 8 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 425 kcal/can
Top ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, meat by-products, animal by-products, brown rice, barely
Analysis: 8 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 390 kcal/can
Top ingredients: Meat By-Products, Sufficient Water for Processing, Liver, Lamb, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice
What Dogs Should Eat Iams Dog Food?
Although its dog food product line is somewhat limited, Iams does cater to a wide variety of dogs.
This is one area that Iams has covered. It has specific dog food formulas for puppies, adults, and senior dogs.
Iams has a variety of recipes for small dog breeds, including puppies.
The dog food company has plenty of options for large breeds, too, including puppy, senior, and weight management formulas.
There are two Iams Proactive Health recipes for mature dogs from Iams, including one specifically for large breeds.
Iams dog food has healthy-weight recipes for adult and large breed adult dogs.
What Dogs Should Not Eat Iams Dog Food?
Iams doesn’t have a large variety of flavors and uses chicken in all of its formulas, which makes it inappropriate for some pets.
Dogs with allergies should stay away from Iams. Poultry and grains are common causes of food sensitivities and every Iams recipe contains both, sometimes as the first ingredient.
There are a lot of reasons that some are picky eaters. If they have an aversion to poultry, Iams is not the best choice. Chicken is the main meat in most of its products. That said, some of the wet dog foods from this dog food brand may do the trick.
Iams Dog Food Recalls
According to the FDA, Iams has had some recalls, including one in 2010 and two each in 2011 and 2013 for a total of five in a three-year period. The 2010 recall and one from 2013 were due to suspected salmonella contamination. Others concerned elevated levels of aflatoxin in puppy food and mold growth.
How Does Iams Dog Food Measure Up?
Dog owners seem to love Iams Proactive Health dog food. Most of its dog foods get ratings between 4 and 4.5 stars. But when it comes to pet foods, we tend to shy away from those that use poultry by-product meals and are loaded with grains. In fact, the first ingredient in some of these Iams dog food recipes is corn. Meat or poultry meal is always preferable to a by-product meal and many pet food companies consider grains like corn and wheat as fillers with minimal nutritional value. The bottom line is that Iams is an affordable dog food product line with a decent amount of nutrition, but if you’re worried about grains and high-quality meat, there might be other dog food brands for you.