Iams pet products have been around for over 70 years, and the company had its ups and downs. Today we're going to nit-pick the ingredients list, go over buyer complaints and possible side effects to answer your most pressing questions:

Is Iams good dog food?

Will it work for your pooch?

Where to buy Iams dog food?

How much does it cost?

Who Makes Iams Dog Food?

The company was created in 1946 by Paul F. Iams, who looked for new ways to formulate and manufacture pet food. Innovation remained at the core of the brand's identity for decades, and Iams was the first to treat dogs as carnivores by introducing animal protein into their diet. Over the years, the range of Iams products broadened to include dry and wet food for dogs and cats, as well as occasional pet treats.

So who owns Iams dog food brand now? The company changed hands several times but is now a proud part of Mars Inc, the largest global pet food manufacturer and one of the biggest US enterprises. As a result of the ownership change, the Iams dog food production is now spread across several countries, but the bags sold in the US are manufactured in-country using locally-sourced ingredients. Still, some of the vitamins and supplements that go into kibble and wet food are imported. China is among the suppliers, though the quality of imported ingredients is rigorously tested and checked according to California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.

Iams Dog Food Reviews

Iams Dog Food Reviews

Iams products are beloved by pet owners the world over because of their balanced chicken-based recipes. While none of the current offers is grain-free, there's little to no evidence of allergies or digestive issues caused by corn or barley in Iams formulas. Moreover, many dog owners notice increased energy levels, shinier fur, and reduced skin irritation.

The company relies on a few tried-and-true ingredients, but their combinations differ between products. So before you skip to a specific Iams dog food review, here's a quick overview of the eight products on my shortlist.

Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken is No1 on the ingredients list
  • L-carnitine, glucosamine, and chondroitin inside
  • Plenty of large bag options for bulk orders

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed

  • Lower fat-to-protein ratio
  • Healthy joints thanks to glucosamine and chondroitin
  • L-carnitine to boost canine metabolism

Iams Proactive Health Mature Adult Dog Food

  • Reduced protein and fat for weight control
  • Fiber and prebiotics combo for clockwork digestion
  • Immunity-boosting antioxidants in every bite

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks

  • High-protein chicken-based formula
  • Plenty of Omega 3 & 6 to make the coat shiny
  • Kibble size tailored to small breeds

Iams ProActive Health Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Packed with protein for tiny energizers
  • L-carnitine to support high metabolism
  • Tiny kibble pieces for extra small breeds

Iams ProActive Health Adult Minichunks with Lamb & Rice

  • Lamb-first recipe with 25% protein
  • Enhanced with Omega 3 & 6
  • Kibble is the size of a green pea

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • Reduced protein and fat content
  • L-carnitine to promote weight loss
  • Grain-heavy formula with corn and sorghum

Iams Proactive Health High Protein Chicken & Turkey Adult Dry Dog Food

  • 30% protein and 18% fat content
  • Farm-raised chicken and turkey inside
  • Great for energetic pups who are always on the move

Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

This kibble has everything your cuddly giant needs to protect his bones and joints while keeping weight gain in check and providing energy for your daily walks and energetic games.

Iams mastered the art of balancing the dog's diet ages ago and now provides an ideal combination of nutritional value and delicious flavor for your pooch. The classic chicken formula is enhanced with eggs, veggies, and flaxseed to provide building blocks for muscles and keep the coat shiny and lustrous.

The grains are present in every Iams large breed dog food, so there's no going around this. While whole grain corn and wheat provide energy-dense carbs and digestion-improving fiber, some consider them fillers with little to no nutritional value for dogs. While it's up to you and the vet to choose between grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes, some reviewers note this kibble causing digestive issues, like gas and bloating which could be caused by grains.

Despite the recipe controversy, this product comes highly recommended by large dog owners, some of whom have been using Iams for over a decade. You should start with a 15-pound bag if you want to give it a try. The smallest package is only around $20 on Amazon or Chewy.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 353 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 22.5% min
  • Crude fat: 12.5% min
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Large and giant breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 15, 30, 38.5, 40 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Animal protein from chicken and egg
  • Naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin
  • L-carnitine controls weight gain
  • No artificial flavors and preservatives

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • May cause bloating and gas in some dogs
  • Some picky eaters avoid this kibble

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Help your pooch shed those extra pounds with this lite version of the ever-popular chicken-based kibble supplemented with L-carnitine, chondroitin, and glucosamine.

This Iams ProActive Health dog food is tailored to the needs of overweight large canines who need to get rid of a couple of extra pounds. The formula is lighter on fat and calories than other Iams products but no less nutritious with chicken and egg-derived protein, beet pulp and veggie fiber. I only wish corn wasn't the first on the list of ingredients, even if it's whole grain and ground for better digestion. Coupled with barley and sorghum, the grain content is a bit much for canines and might cause allergic reactions for dogs with sensitive tummies.

The naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin are well-placed in this kibble, as they protect joints and keep them strong and flexible. And the L-carnitine supplement helps oxidize fat and shed weight faster.

While this product is designed for large and giant breeds, the only packaging option available is 29.1-pound. Even with careful portion size control, large pups can go through the bag in a couple of weeks, so you need to stay on top of your pet food order or buy a few bags at a time. Hopefully, Iams will introduce a larger packaging some time soon.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 325 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 22% min
  • Crude fat: 9% to 11.5%
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Large and giant breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 29.1 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health
  • L-carnitine helps uphold high metabolism
  • Fat content is much lower than other Iams kibble
  • Kibble size tailored to large breeds

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Single bag size option doesn’t last long
  • Corn-first recipe

Iams Proactive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

This kibble addresses the senior dogs' needs by keeping their weight in check, providing plenty of protein, and keeping their joints and tummies happy and healthy.

Aging doesn't treat canines kindly, despite our best efforts. Finding the right food for a mature pooch is a sure way to stretch out his life expectancy and keep him healthy. Iams' formula comes packed with protein, necessary to support muscle tone even with the decreasing activity level. And the minimal fat content, along with L-carnitine, keeps the dog in perfect shape. Finally, fiber and prebiotics ensure healthy digestion, though the whole grain corn, barley, and sorghum may cause allergic reactions. Expect bloating and some gassiness, even if your old boy or gal is used to grain-inclusive kibble.

There's no accounting for taste, and picky eaters can turn their noses up even on the most expensive kibble. Any new food will require an adjustment period. However, if your pup is on the small side, kibble pieces might be just a tad too big for comfortable chewing. If you're unsure, start with the smallest 7-pound bag. It's only $12 (or less if you find a discount coupon).

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 350 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 24% min
  • Crude fat: 10.5% min
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Mature
  • Weight: 7, 15, 29.1 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Low fat content to keep weight in check
  • Fiber and prebiotics promote healthy digestion
  • Infused with antioxidants for strong immunity

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Kibble pieces may be too large for small breeds
  • Picky eaters will be picky

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Iams' most popular recipe is beloved by pet owners and canines alike for its delicious flavor, high protein content, and plenty of health goodies, like L-carnitine and Omega fatty acids.

This formula is a best-seller among Iams small breed dog food for good reason, though medium and large dogs fall in love with Minichunks just as quickly. The recipe includes the same basic building blocks as most Iams products, but the bite-sized pieces make it more palatable for most pooches. And the combination of chicken and egg protein along with grain-powered carbs keeps the canines energetic and lean without inducing unfortunate weight gain.

The Omega 3 and 6 will keep your pup's fur luxuriously soft and gleaming, and the skin sensitivity issues will stay in the past. Prebiotics and fiber should keep the digestive issues at bay, though bloating and gas could occur within the first couple of weeks after the kibble switch.

The only point of contention is kibble size. Minichunks aren't actually microscopic, and they don't fit the toy and extra small breeds' mouths. Small and medium breeds love this Iams dry dog food, though there's no guarantee it will entice a picky eater.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 380 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 14% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Small breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 3.3, 7, 15, 30, 38.5, 40, 50 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Protein-rich formula with chicken and eggs
  • Lustrous coat and clear skin thanks to Omega fatty acids
  • Digestion-enhancing prebiotics and fiber
  • Comfortable kibble size for small breeds

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Kibble pieces are too large for extra small and toy breeds
  • Picky eaters may ignore this formula

Iams ProActive Health Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Tiny, energizing kibble pieces are perfect for tiny energetic pups who need extra protein, fat, and calories to support their high metabolism and keep their skin and coat healthy.

It can be impossible to find the right kibble for toy and extra small breeds. Some of the furballs are simply too picky, while others can't handle large kibble pieces. Iams nutritionists offer their take on the small breed food with a formula built around the farm-raised chicken and egg protein. There's enough of it to support the high metabolism of tiny canines. And the fat content is increased too, though it's coupled with L-carnitine to prevent uncontrolled weight gain.

According to Iams dog food ratings and reviews, this kibble is great for battling skin irritation. The formula keeps skin and coat healthy and doesn't cause any digestive issues worth mentioning. Some buyers complain about picky eaters ignoring the kibble, and others feel that pieces could be smaller. The only objective downside is that the largest packaging available is only 15 pounds, so you might need to set up an auto-ship not to run out of kibble at the most inopportune time.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 393 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 27% min
  • Crude fat: 17% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Extra-small, toy, and small breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 7, 15 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Increased protein and fat content
  • Farm-raised chicken is at the top of the ingredients list
  • L-carnitine supports healthy metabolism
  • No artificial flavors and preservatives

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Kibble size may be too large for toy breeds
  • Only two packaging options

Iams ProActive Health Adult Minichunks with Lamb & Rice

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Lamb-first recipe is chock-full of protein, along with vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3 & 6, making it a delicious, exciting, and healthy alternative to boring old chicken kibble.

This time, Iams dog food nutritional information is to die for. Farm-raised lamb is the first on the ingredients list, closely followed by other healthy protein sources and whole grains. The combination of delicious flavors and healthy supplements, like L-carnitine and Omega fatty acids, makes this recipe an instant hit with pets and their parents. Even the presence of barley, corn, and sorghum isn't enough to deter most canine lovers. And according to reviews, most dogs have zero digestive issues and allergic reactions when it comes to this kibble.

The only recurring complaint is kibble size. The name suggests it's best suited for small and medium breeds, but the label promises the food to fit all dogs. In reality, the pieces of Iams Lamb & Rice dog food are too small for large breeds and too big for toy and extra small furballs. The Minichunks are the size of a green pea, so think carefully if that's the right kibble format for your dog before you buy a 30-pound bag.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 382 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 14% min
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 3.3, 7, 15, 30, 38.5 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Farm-raised lamb is No1 ingredient
  • High protein and fat content
  • Includes Omega fatty acids for healthy fur and skin
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Kibble size isn’t universal

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Low-fat and low-calorie kibble is an excellent choice if you want to stop your pooch from gaining more weight and return him to his lean and energetic self in a few short months.

Use Iams weight control dog food to help your pooch become lean and active again after too many days on the couch and a treat or ten every day. Instead of reducing serving size, you can stick with low-calorie kibble that comes with reduced fat and just enough protein to support muscle tone. The L-carnitine supplement doesn't hurt one bit, as it encourages healthy metabolism and speeds up fat oxidation to return your pup to a healthy weight in no time flat.

For all its advantages and positive reviews, the first ingredient in this kibble is whole grain corn. Even when ground, it doesn't bring much nutritional value to the table, and it is often considered a filler, though Iams claims this product comes with 0% fillers. If you give this kibble a try, keep an eye on your pooch's reaction to the grain-heavy formula. Though fiber promotes trouble-free digestion, some canines can come down with allergic reactions.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 326 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 20% min
  • Crude fat: 9% to 11.5%
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 7, 15, 29.1 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Reduced fat content to promote weight loss
  • Lower caloric value than other Iams products
  • L-carnitine promotes healthy metabolism
  • Zero artificial preservatives and flavors

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • More corn than chicken inside
  • Transition to new kibble may be challenging

Iams Proactive Health High Protein Chicken & Turkey Adult Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

This kibble is packed with chicken and turkey-based protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your active pup happy and healthy for years to come.

Among all the Iams adult dog food, this product comes with the highest protein and fat content, making it a perfect fit for energetic dogs with a significant activity level. The nutritional value is high enough to keep the muscles toned and the bones and joints - strong and flexible. Besides, unlike other Iams formulas, chicken is higher on the list of ingredients than grains, meaning a more carnivore-appropriate diet for your pup.

Minerals and vitamins make this kibble healthy, and so does the lack of artificial preservatives and flavors. But without that chemical enticement, picky eaters might find the recipe unappealing. It might take a few weeks for your pup to adjust to the new food. And some dogs would rather starve than eat new kibble, though that's not on Iams. I wish they'd make larger bags, though, as a German shepherd can go through a 22-pound bag in a blink of an eye.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 416 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 30% min
  • Crude fat: 18% min
  • Crude fiber: 5% max
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Dried Beet Pulp

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 5, 12, 22 lb bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • High-quality animal protein from chicken, turkey, and eggs
  • Balanced protein-to-fat ratio
  • Varied vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Free of artificial flavors and preservatives

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Limited packaging options
  • Finicky eaters may need some convincing

Iams Wet Dog Food

As of the time of writing, the Iams canned dog food lineup includes six products, though only four of those are aimed at adult dogs, while puppies and senior pooches get one wet food variety each:

  • Iams Proactive Health Puppy With Chicken And Rice Pate
  • Iams Proactive Health With Beef, Rice, Carrots And Green Beans Flavor In Sauce Chunks In Gravy
  • Iams Proactive Health With Lamb And Rice Pate
  • Iams Proactive Health With Beef And Rice Pate
  • Iams Proactive Health With Chicken And Whole Grain Rice Pate
  • Iams Proactive Health Senior With Slow Cooked Chicken And Rice Pate

Every can of Iams wet dog food is 13 oz and around 400 to 430 kcal per can. With an average protein content of 8% and a fat content of 3% to 6%, these products are great for supplementing kibble and providing balanced nutrition.

Iams Dog Food for Puppies

Aside from the single wet food option, you can treat the puppies to one of the three kibble varieties, designed for small, medium, and large breeds:

  • Iams Puppy Small Breed
  • Iams Puppy
  • Iams Puppy Large Breed

Though these Iams dog food for puppy options share similar ingredients, their nutritional value varies. The company takes the metabolic differences into account and provides the highest caloric value, protein (30%), and fat (18%) content for small breed puppies. Large breed pups get the least calorie-dense kibble with only 27% protein and 14% fat.

Iams Senior Dog Food

There isn't much variety to the brand's offers for pooches of 7+ years. Besides the Slow Cooked Chicken and Rice Pate wet food, you can choose between two options:

  • Iams Mature Adult
  • Iams Mature Adult Large Breed

Both Iams mature dog food products are crafted with senior pups' needs in mind. The kibble is infused with antioxidants, L-carnitine, and fiber. The average caloric value is 350 kcal per cup, while the protein content is between 24% and 26%, and fat concentration is around 11%.

Iams Dog Food Recalls

Unfortunately, the Iams dog food recall history is far from spotless. Mass manufacturing takes its toll, and, at some point, the products were removed from the shelves almost every year.

For instance, in 2010, the company recalled all sizes and varieties of Iams Veterinary Dry Formulas, as they were potentially contaminated with salmonella, though no related illnesses were reported. The same issue reoccurred in 2013 and resulted in a larger-scale recall of several Iams products, including Iams Dog Food Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Large Breed Senior Plus, Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Small Breed Puppy. And 2011 saw the Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy recall due to the aflatoxin level exceeding acceptable norms.

Apparently, Iams tightened the manufacturing safety protocols, as I couldn't find any mention of a recall since 2013. Still, within the last decade, the company removed several popular products from its lineup. The list includes Iams Sensitive Stomach dog food and all Iams Grain Free dog food products. And you won't find Iams salmon dog food, as it was removed from circulation after the company decided to focus on chicken-based formulas.

Conclusion

After analyzing Iams dog food ingredient lists, reading hundreds of reviews, and researching the recall history, I have to admit it's a respectable choice for any canine. The limited product range has its advantages, as you're less likely to get lost among dozens of options. And the straightforward formulas with chicken or lamb as the primary animal protein source are customized to fit the needs of puppies, adult, and mature dogs of small and large breeds alike. Despite the ever-present grains and controversial ingredients, like beet pulp, Iams is an excellent choice of healthy and affordable dog food.

FAQs

Is Iams a Good Dog Food?

Its definitely better than the cheapest options out there, like Chappy or Pedigree. However, the recall history and some of the ingredients leave much to be desired, so its not perfect.

What Are the Ingredients in Iams Dog Food?

Animal protein sourced from chicken or lamb is a staple of every formula, along with beet pulp for digestive health and fish for supplementing Omega fatty acids. However, all recipes include grains, such as corn and barley, which are sometimes considered filler ingredients, though theres no hard evidence for or against their use in dog food.

What Country Is Iams Dog Food Made in?

Iams products are manufactured globally, but the dog food sold in the US is manufactured at the facilities located in North America.

How Much Protein Is in Iams Dog Food?

Iams kibble has an above-average protein content. Some products include up to 30% of protein, while others (aimed at large breeds and mature pooches) come with around 22% to 24% protein.

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