Iams Puppy Food Review

Iams Puppy Food Review

When it comes to choosing the right food for your new young puppy, it’s not always easy to know which one is the best. Puppies and adult dogs have very different nutritional needs, but do you have to use a puppy formula? Why are adult formulas not good for puppies? What about those recipes that say they are for all life stages?

Iams is a well-known dog food brand that has many types of recipes, including those for various puppy breed sizes. In this dog food review, we’re going to take a closer look at the brand itself and learn more about its puppy-specific formulas. These foods are available in multiple lb bag sizes and formulate for small, medium, and large breed puppies.

About the Brand

Iams is a well-known pet food company with an extensive history that goes back to the 1940s. At that time, pet foods were not available in stores. Most house pets were fed homemade food that consisted largely of table scraps. Paul Iams, an animal nutritionist, founded the Iams Company in 1946. In 1950, he developed the first dry dog food recipe in the world that used an animal-based protein called Iams 999. Then, in 1969, Iams went on to develop another dog food recipe called Eukanuba.

Iams is a well-known pet food company

A few years later in 1973, costs for the ingredients used to make Iams pet food, like bone meal and meat, tripled due to the Arab oil embargo. At the same time, President Nixon ordered a nationwide wage freeze and price controls. Throughout this time, Iams did not change the recipe for its dog food. It wanted to maintain the quality it was known for. The company’s ingredient costs tripled but it could not charge more for its product. The company nearly went broke because of its commitment to using quality ingredients.

In 1970, Clay Mathile joined Iams. He bought half the company in 1975 and became the sole owner and president in 1982. Mathile expanded the company and, by 1999, Iams made $900 million in revenue. Mathile sold the company to P&G in 1995. In 2006, P&G reorganized, placing Iams and its sister company, Eukanuba, into its pet food division P&G Pet Care. In 2014, P&G sold Iams and Eukanuba to Mars, Incorporated.

Today, Iams has many dog food recipes, including many adult recipes and a handful of options tailored specifically for puppies. Before we get into those, though, let’s take a closer look at the differences between puppies and adult dogs and why puppies need their own type of food.

Can a puppy eat adult dog food?

Generally, no, a puppy cannot eat adult dog food. There’s nothing poisonous in adult dog food that will hurt a puppy. A nibble every now and then isn’t going to hurt. But, as far as long-term nutrition goes, puppies have different needs than adult dogs. They need something like Iams puppy food to support them as they grow. A puppy that is fed adult food instead of puppy food is at risk of having significant health issues.

What are the differences between adult dogs and puppies?

Puppies and adult dogs are different. For the most part, their bodies need the same types of nutrients, but in different amounts and proportions.

The main reason for this is because puppies are small. They lose body heat faster than adult dogs. A puppy’s body works harder to maintain its body temperature than an adult dog does. The smaller the dog, the faster it burns calories. This means that puppies need more calories per pound to support their metabolism. (The same is true for small and large breed sizes. Small breed adult dogs require more calories per pound than large breed adult dogs.)

Another big difference between puppies and adult dogs is that adult dogs have stopped growing. Not only are puppies are still growing, but they are growing fast. Most breeds reach their adult size by the time they are two or three years old. They need enough calories and nutrients to support this growth. Specifically, they need more amino acids to build proteins and muscle.

How are puppy food and adult dog food different?

Because puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional requirements, it makes sense that recipes like Iams puppy food are formulated differently than adult dog foods.

The biggest difference is that puppy food should have at least 22.5 percent crude protein. In contrast, most standard adult dog food contains about 18 percent. That said, there are some high-protein adult formulas out there. But, these recipes are for active and athletic dogs and can lead to weight gain in a dog that isn’t active enough.

As mentioned, proteins are made of amino acids. Puppy food and adult dog food use different amino acids. For example, puppy food contains nearly twice as much arginine, leucine, threonine, and isoleucine as adult dog foods.

Puppy food also contains more fat than adult dog food. Guidelines stipulate that adult food should have 5.5 percent crude fat. On the other hand, puppies should have at least 8.5 percent to increase the energy density. Fats have more calories per pound than carbs and protein. Puppy food has more fat to ensure that puppy food provides the energy puppies need to grow and maintain body temperature.

The mineral content of puppy food and adult dog food differ, too. Puppy food contains more. calcium and phosphorous to support healthy bone growth.

If a puppy eats adult dog food instead of puppy food, it will have developmental problems as it grows because it not getting the right amount of nutrients it needs to be healthy.

What about dog food for all life stages?

It is safe to feed dog foods formulated for all life stages to puppies. To be safe for all life stages, dog food must meet the requirements for puppy food and food that is acceptable for pregnant and lactating mothers. So, food for all life stages is essentially puppy food. You have to be careful when feeding this type of food to an adult dog as the higher protein and fat content can lead to weight gain.

Iams Puppy Food Review

Now that you know a little more about the Iams brand and why choosing the right puppy food is so important, let’s take a closer look at the available options of Iams puppy food. We’re going to include the top 10 ingredients for each recipe to give you some idea of what makes up these puppy food recipes.

Dry Dog Food

The Iams brand does not have a very big selection of puppy foods. But, it does have dry dog food for any size puppy.

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy

This Iams dry puppy food, ProActive Health Smart Puppy, features real farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient. It is formulated for the nutritional needs of average-sized breed puppies. In addition to having premium protein as the first ingredient, this recipe includes 22 key nutrients to support your pup’s healthy growth. These include omega 3 DHA for healthy brain and eye development.

This chicken flavor recipe includes 399 kcal/cup and has a guaranteed analysis of 29 percent crude protein, 17.5 percent crude fat, and 4 percent crude fiber. It’s available in a 15 and 7 lb bag.

Top 10 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Ground Whole Grain Corn
  3. Chicken By-Product Meal
  4. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
  5. Dried Beet Pulp
  6. Natural Flavor
  7. Chicken Fat
  8. Brewers Dried Yeast
  9. Dicalcium Phosphate
  10. Fish Oil

Iams ProActive Health Smart Small Breed Puppy Food

Iams Proactive Health Smart Small Breed Puppy Food is similar to the original ProActive Health Smart Puppy, but it contains a special balance of ingredients that small and toy breed puppies need to thrive. Farm-raised chicken is the number one ingredient and an important protein source.

Iams ProActive Health Smart Small Breed Puppy Food

In addition to this high-quality animal protein, this Iams dog food Smart Puppy recipe includes 22 key nutrients that provide the same nutrition that your pup would get from its mother’s milk, including DHA to support eye and brain health.

This recipe includes 453 kcal/cup and has a guaranteed analysis of 30 percent crude protein, 18 percent crude fat, and 4 percent crude fiber. It’s available in a 7 lb bag.

Top 10 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Ground Whole Grain Corn
  3. Chicken By-Product Meal
  4. Corn Meal
  5. Dried Beet Pulp
  6. Chicken Fat (with mixed Tocopherols)
  7. Natural Flavor
  8. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
  9. Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
  10. Brewers Yeast

Iams ProActive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Food

Iams ProActive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Food

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Puppy gives your large breed puppy everything it needs to grow to its full potential. This Smart Puppy large breed formula contains 22 key ingredients that large breed puppies need to grow slowly and strong, including omega 3 DHA for brain and eye development.

This Smart Puppy Large Breed recipe includes 375 kcal/cup and has a guaranteed analysis of 27 percent crude protein, 14 percent crude fat, and 4 percent crude fiber. It comes in a 31.7 lb bag.

Top 10 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Ground Whole Grain Corn
  3. Chicken By-Product Meal
  4. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
  5. Corn Meal
  6. Dried Beet Pulp
  7. Natural Flavor
  8. Fish Oil (with mixed Tocopherols)
  9. Dicalcium Phosphate
  10. Potassium Chloride

Wet Dog Food

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy with Chicken and Rice Pate

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy with Chicken and Rice Pate

Iams Proactive Health Puppy with Chicken and Rice pate is the brand’s wet puppy food. This Iams ProActive Health recipe is great as a topper or fed as a meal. With real broth, natural ingredients, and a nutritious mix of vitamins and minerals, this Iams ProActive Health wet dog food is for puppies between one and 12 months old. It contains vitamin E for immune system support and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

This recipe includes 468 kcal/serving and has a guaranteed analysis of 9 percent crude protein, 8 percent crude fat, and 1.5 percent crude fiber.

Top 10 Ingredients:

  1. Sufficient Water for Processing
  2. Chicken
  3. Meat By-Products
  4. Brewers Rice
  5. Meat Protein Isolate
  6. Dried Egg Product
  7. Dried Tomato Pomace
  8. Flaxseed
  9. Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
  10. Minerals

Transitioning to Adult Food

Generally, dogs under a year are considered puppies, but other factors determine when it’s time to switch from puppy to adult food. These include the breed, size, and age of the dog.

Small to medium-breed puppies reach their adult size when they are about a year old. On the other hand, toy breed puppies might be fully grown at around nine months. Small breeds weigh 20 pounds or less when they’re adults and medium-sized breeds weigh between 20 and 50 pounds.

Large and giant breed puppies are different because they have so much more to grow. They take significantly longer to mature with many of them still growing until they are two years old. Large breed puppies can usually be switched to adult dog food between 18. and 24 months of age.

Knowing when to transition to adult dog food isn’t straightforward and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Talk to your vet to make sure you’re making the switch at the right time for your pup.

When it’s time to change, the transition from puppy food to dry dog food slowly. Start by adding a little of the adult dry dog food to a bowl of puppy dry dog food. Add more and more each day while adding less puppy dry dog food to the mix. Over the course of a week or so, you should be able to make the switch to adult dog food completely.

Adult Dog Foods from Iams

One of the nice things about using Iams puppy food for all breed puppies is that Iams has so many dog food options for adults. This makes the transition a little smoother because your pup is already used to the type of ingredients that the Iams dog food company uses.

Medium breed size dogs can go from the general puppy food to many other Iams recipes, including Adult Mini-Chunks and Mature Adult dry dog foods. There are many wet dog food options, too. Some of these use different animal proteins, including beef and lamb, which is ideal if your dog has a sensitivity to chicken.

For small breed puppies, choose from Adult Small Breed and Adult Mini Chunks with chicken 1st ingredient and lamb and rice Mini Chunks for a different flavor. There are also many wet dog food options to use as toppers or meals to mix things up a bit.

For large breed puppies transitioning from Smart Puppy Large Breed, Iams has several options, including Adult Large Breed and Mature Adult Large Breed, which use real chicken and the first ingredient, and Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed, which uses ground whole grain corn.

How Does Iams Proactive Health Puppy Food Measure Up?

You might have noticed that the ingredient list for each of these Iams ProActive Health dog food for puppies is that they contain chicken by-product meal. This ingredient is a bit controversial. People have a lot of opinions about it, regardless of the lb bag size you choose.

On the one hand, animal protein meals are not bad. A meal is essentially the animal protein with the water removed, resulting in concentrated protein. So, a food with a chicken meal would use chicken protein with the water removed.

That said, by-product meals are a bit of a different story. Animal protein by-products are everything that’s left after the real meat is removed, including organ meats and other things that are just fine for your pup. But it also includes things like feet and beaks, which have limited nutritional value and that you might not want your dog to eat.

By-product meal contributes a lot of protein to the nutritional breakdown. But keep in mind that they might not be from sources that you want your dog to eat. Chicken meal and chicken by-product meal are two very different ingredients, and chicken meal is a much higher quality option.

To counter that, the first ingredient is real chicken, which no one would argue is a high-quality protein. After cooking, though, real chicken loses a lot of water, which means that there isn’t actually that much chicken left after cooking. In some way, real chicken is the opposite of a by-product meal. Chicken is high quality but mostly water. By-product meal is lower quality but higher protein.

Cornmeal is another ingredient that shows up high on the list. Cornmeal isn’t the best ingredient, and corn can cause food sensitivities.

These recipes also include sorghum, a starchy grain, and dried beet pulp. Beet pulp is a by-product of beet processing and adds a lot of fiber to the recipe. Some people believe that it’s nothing more than filler, but it also helps support GI health and regulate blood sugar, so it does have its benefits.

Each Iams puppy food recipe uses chicken as the main protein, which is fine. Although chicken causes food allergies in dogs, this usually doesn’t happen until the dog has been exposed to the same protein for a long time. So, puppies are unlikely to be affected by sensitivity to chicken.

That said, if you want to stick with the same brand into adulthood, Iams doesn’t have that many novel proteins to offer. If your dog does develop a sensitivity to protein over the years, you don’t have many options in adulthood if you stick with Iams.

Ultimately, we think that Iams puppy food is a middle-of-the-road option. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy has an acceptable amount of crude protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and they have balanced appropriately, with the higher protein and fat content that puppies need and fewer carbohydrates.

Some of the ingredients are a little controversial, but the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbs is actually a little better than dry dog food from other dog food brands. If you’re okay with a corn-based kibble with chicken by-product, this is a good option. If you want something with ingredients of exceptional quality, you might want to look elsewhere.

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