Last updated: 25 Jun 2020

Iams Dog Food Review

Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food

Healthy Naturals with Farm-Raised Chicken and Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

Iams Healthy Naturals Dry Dog Food

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Destin Benoit
Published 11:34 am

IAMS dog food is a popular brand of canine pet nutrition that boasts of the right blend of nutrients to promote healthier skin and coat, stronger bones and muscles, more efficient digestive tract, more optimized metabolism, and greater mobility of the joints. A number of IAMS dog food reviews consider the brand to be at par with some of the best canine diets in the market, although there are those who seem to disagree. In this review we’ll try to determine whether or not you should consider giving your pet this brand of nutrition.

Iams Dog Food Review


Formulated to give your large breed adult dog the kind of well-balanced nutrition that it needs to maintain its all-important physiologic processes, this IAMS Proactive Health dog food is simply perfect. It’s enriched with two of the planet’s most renowned substances for strengthening the joints in addition to the right amounts of calcium and phosphorus.

Your pet will enter its golden years feeling strong at the knees and elbows as ever, allowing it to enjoy its canine existence a lot longer. While it does include corn in its IAMS adult dog food formulation you’ll get a sigh of relief that it doesn’t include wheat or soy. Instead, the formula puts in more of the wholesome grains like barley and sorghum while topping it off with a mix of botanicals, veggies, and fruits. These IAMS dog food ingredients are perfect for maintaining the health of your pet’s coat, skin, digestive tract, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system as it lives its adult years.

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Calorie content per serving: 350 per cup

Crude protein content (minimum): 22.5%

Crude fat content (minimum): 12.5%

Crude fiber content (maximum): 5%

Moisture content (maximum): 10%

5 main ingredients: chicken, whole grain sorghum (ground), whole grain corn (ground), chicken byproduct meal, and whole grain barley (ground)

Enriched with chondroitin, glucosamine, phosphorus, calcium, l-carnitine, and omega 6 fatty acids

  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10171587
  • Weight: 30 pounds


Four-legged little bundles of joy will surely love the real chicken flavor of this IAMS smart puppy formulation. It’s especially formulated for puppies of large dog breeds, however. The IAMS puppy food comes with the right blend of nutrients including DHA, calcium, and phosphorus to make sure that your young pet’s journey towards adulthood will be more than fruitful.

The calorie content of the IAMS Smart Puppy is higher than the other formulations of the brand, highlighting its understanding of the unique energy requirements of young hounds. As rambunctious as they can be they’ll be able to utilize this substantially higher energy content for their playtime and exercise activities. The IAMS Smart Puppy presents a healthy dose of micronutrients to go with its high protein and moderate fat content, ensuring optimum development for all of your young dog’s organ systems.

Calorie content per serving: 399 per cup

Crude protein content (minimum): 26%

Crude fat content (minimum): 14%

Crude fiber content (maximum): 4%

Moisture content (maximum): 10%

5 main ingredients: chicken, whole grain sorghum (ground), whole grain corn (ground), chicken byproduct meal, and corn grits

Enriched with DHA, essential fatty acids, calcium, selenium, vitamin E, and phosphorus

  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10171672
  • Weight: 30.6 pounds


Senior dogs or those that are nearing their golden years will require lower calories and fat while slightly increasing their protein consumption compared to the maintenance requirements of an adult dog. As such one can always consider the IAMS senior dog food to be spot-on. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for an animal protein as its first ingredient, this IAMS dog food puts ground whole grain corn and sorghum at the top 2 with chicken byproduct meal coming in at a distant third.

The formulation might come as a big question since pet parents know that an animal protein should always be the first ingredient. But given the fact that it doesn’t include wheat and soy in the formula, it still makes for a senior dog-friendly diet. You’ve got the delicious goodness of egg, beets, and chicken, too. The first 2 ingredients may be worrisome, but it sure can provide a well-balanced diet for your aging pet.

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Calorie content per serving: 333 per cup

Crude protein content (minimum): 24%

Crude fat content (minimum): 10%

Crude fiber content (maximum): 5%

Moisture content (maximum): 10%

5 main ingredients: whole grain corn (ground), whole grain sorghum (ground), chicken byproduct meal, chicken, and whole grain barley (ground)

Enriched with beta-carotene, l-carnitine, vitamin E, and omega 6 fatty acids

  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10171583
  • Weight: 29.1 pounds


Featuring farm-raised chicken into its IAMS adult dog food recipe, the Healthy Naturals is the brand’s answer to the growing clamor of pet parents for more natural pet nutrition. With the right proportion of fats and proteins sourced from high quality chicken, your canine friend will surely be pawing its way to a much healthier life. It’s like giving your pet the full bounties of the farm including freshly-harvested vegetables and fruits to give your pet the kind of nutrition that is guaranteed to help strengthen its immune and cardiovascular systems while also allowing the skin and coat to really flourish.

This IAMS dog food is perfect for maintaining the health and nutritional needs of growing pets, enabling them to reach their golden years on a more positive note. There is no corn, wheat, or soy that can make you worry about your pet’s tummy or even artificial flavorings, preservatives, and colorings that can undermine your pet’s health. It’s plain old good dog nutrition.

Calorie content per serving: 364.95 per cup

Crude protein content (minimum): 25%

Crude fat content (minimum): 14%

Crude fiber content (maximum): 4%

Moisture content (maximum): 10%

5 main ingredients: chicken, whole grain barley (ground), whole grain sorghum (ground), chicken meal, and brewer’s rice

Enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus

  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10161912
  • Weight: 25.6 pounds


Tired of the same usual stuffy you’re giving to your furry pal? Well then how about you give this IAMS Proactive Health dog food product a try. It lists grass-fed lamb as its primary ingredient making it suitable for pooches that have clearly grown tired of the taste of chicken. At the very least, you’ll still be giving your pet the same high quality proteins including the essential amino acids that go with it.

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There’s a bevy of prebiotics for improving your pet’s digestion by providing the much-needed food source for probiotic organisms already present in your pet’s intestines. No artificial ingredients are included in the formula giving you the peace of mind you require. It’s especially made for normally-active hounds, turning each mealtime into a delectable feast that your canine friend will never forget. The l-carnitine should also help your pet in burning fat more efficiently so it won’t grow into a big fat dog.

Calorie content per serving: 333 per cup

Crude protein content (minimum): 25%

Crude fat content (minimum): 14%

Crude fiber content (maximum): 5%

Moisture content (maximum): 10%

5 main ingredients: grass-fed lamb, chicken byproduct meal, whole grain sorghum (ground), whole grain barley (ground), and brewer’s rice

Enriched with omega-6 fatty acids, selenium, l-carnitine, and vitamin E

  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10144759
  • Weight: 26.2 pounds

Iams Dog Food Buying Guide

Company Information

Founded in 1946 by Paul Iams, IAMS is a brand of pet food that is widely known in the dog food industry as the pioneer in animal-based proteins in dry dog foods. Paul Iams then established Eukanuba in 1969, forming two of the world’s easily recognizable brands of high quality dog food. Since the company placed emphasis on using animal proteins in their formulations, they faced bankruptcy during the 1973 Arab oil embargo because the prices of meat and bone meals more than tripled. This was worsened by the price control measures instituted by the Nixon presidency at the time. The company was using very expensive ingredients in their formulations, but cannot raise their prices because of the price freeze.

When the IAMS Company was bought by Clay Mathile in 1982, the brand slowly regained its footing. By 1999, the brand was already making $900 million before finally selling it Procter & Gamble. In 2006, the conglomerate reorganized both Iams and Eukanuba to form Procter & Gamble’s Pet Care Division. In 2014, P&G sold its pet nutrition line to Mars, Inc. except its European market which it sold to Spectrum Brands. As such, European markets are served by Spectrum while the rest of the world is covered by Mars.

The brand is well-known for producing two different types of pet dog food formulations: ProActive Health and Healthy Naturals. This is in addition to the brand’s Minis and Chews. The formulations are based on specific breeds, special canine needs, and life stages of dogs. The company believes in the best pet nutrition that is especially tailored to bring out dogs’ unique best.

Sadly, there have been product recalls in the brand’s history, although most of these were done on a voluntary basis. Proctor & Gamble recalled IAMS and Eukanuba products in 2010 because of the salmonella scare that affected the whole industry. In 2011, the brand recalled a single production lot of its ProActive Health Smart Puppy formulation because of possible aflatoxin toxicity. In 2013, some production lots of Shakeables Turkey and Lamb dog treats were recalled for fear of mold growth. Also in 2013, the company recalled certain production lots due to risk of salmonella contamination.

Why Choose this Brand?

Pet parents who are looking for a kind of dog food that puts emphasis on the importance of nutrition that is tailored to the specific needs of dogs with due consideration for their breed, size, and life stage will find IAMS dog food products to be a worthy choice. Each formulation comes with the right blend of nutrients that matches well with the unique requirements of dogs in various life stages and with different health conditions.

Dog owners who are wary about wheat and soy will also love the IAMS brand as it doesn’t contain these two ingredients. However, do take note that many of its formulas do contain corn, mostly as ground whole corn. Nonetheless, based on the experiences of pet parents who seem to be very satisfied with the pet food one can say that the inclusion of corn in its blend doesn’t really matter that much.

Each IAMS dog food is carefully formulated to adhere to the requirements set by veterinary nutrition authorities. While it isn’t the best when it comes to providing your dog with the highest possible amounts of easily digestible proteins, it isn’t low either. As a matter of fact, there are even pricier dog food products that have much lower protein content. Furthermore, the proteins used in IAMS products are guaranteed to be of the highest possible quality.

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Ingredient Analysis

A review of IAMS dog food ingredients reveals the following details.

  • Moderate amounts of proteins

When taken on a dry matter basis, IAMS dog food contains about 27.8% protein which is slightly lower than the average of other dog food brands that come with dry protein matter of about 32 to 42 percent. Still, it is a lot better than other similarly-priced dog food formulations.

What is quite considerable is that the brand strives to put high-quality animal proteins in its IAMS dog food ingredients. From the usual chicken to more novel proteins like lamb, it follows in the tradition of using animal proteins as the principal ingredient in its products. However, when compared to some specialty dog diet brands there’s really still much to be desired.

The brand also makes sure that its proteins are named, unlike some that put ‘poultry’, ‘meat’, or even ‘fish’ instead. This conforms to one of the fundamental requirements of leading veterinary nutrition experts to always go for food products that have clearly identifiable animal proteins.

  • Moderate amounts of fats

The average crude fat content of IAMS dog food is 13% which is equivalent to about 14.5% when it comes to its dry matter content. This is considered to be moderate since the minimum requirement by AAFCO is 5.5% for maintenance purposes and 8.5% for growth and development goals.

Some might consider it too low, others may look at these levels as being high. Regardless, the mere fact that the brand also integrates good sources of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids should help improve a variety of physiologic processes in dogs.

  • Moderate amounts of carbs

When you consider the dry matter content of both proteins and fats and subtract the moisture content, you’d get moderate amounts of carbohydrates at about 47 to 48 percent. This is a lot better than some products whose carbs can be as high as 70%. Although canine nutrition experts have not put any standards as to the minimum and maximum amount of carbs that can be given to dogs, one only needs to look at dogs’ ancestral diets.

There is one aspect of IAMS that is stirring quite a debate. Its formulations are devoid of wheat and soy yet includes corn in many of its products. Corn is largely believed to be as allergenic as wheat and soy so there might be an issue in this instance. This is also what has led some pet parents to believe that IAMS dog food products actually contain a lot of fillers, especially corn.

On a more positive note, IAMS uses wholesome grains like barley and sorghum in almost all of its products. These are combined with fresh vegetables and fruits to help improve the nutrient profile of such products.

  • Micronutrients

Because of its use of high quality meats as main ingredients in almost all of its products plus the inclusion of vegetables, fruits, and other botanicals one can always depend on the exceptional array of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. In some instances, special substances like chondroitin, glucosamine, and essential amino acids are added to beef up the product’s case-based formulation.

dried food for dogs

Pros & Cons

  • High quality named meats and meals sourced from reputable suppliers
  • Above-average protein content, the majority of which is animal-based
  • Unless otherwise specified, the first ingredient is always an animal protein
  • Majority of formulations do not contain wheat, soy, and other allergenic grains, although many do contain corn
  • Uses natural preservatives and flavors in each formulation
  • Includes healthier versions of wholesome grains in addition to fruits and vegetables
  • Meets veterinary requirements for optimum canine nutrition at various life stages
  • Some formulas are highly specific for certain canine conditions like obesity and joint problems
  • Friendly price considering the emphasis put into animal proteins
  • Ground whole corn may not sit well with pet parents who are wary about such ingredients
  • Some dog food products have whole grains as the principal ingredient, not an animal protein
  • History of voluntary product recalls

IAMS dog food contains moderate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that create a more or less well-balanced formulation for dogs. Just like what many IAMS dog food reviews have noted about the brand, it fares well among pet parents who are looking for a good-quality dog food that will never hurt their pockets.

Destin Benoit
Destin Benoit
A former Special Forces Canine Handler, Destin Benoit has extensive knowledge and experience with military canine training. He has worked with multiple military dogs in the most stressful places and situations in the world. Currently, Destin is a SOC Canine Handler, aiding in the protection of the US diplomats abroad.
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