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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.