There is no way for you to choose the wrong dog food brand because you understand that this is an investment in your pet’s health in the long-term perspective. So, as you are wondering which dog food is better, Iams or Purina One, and still have no clue what brand to choose, let us help you.

You might be misled by the popularity of these two brands and assume that they are pretty much the same. Is it really the case, or are these two completely different food options? You’ll see it very soon.

We’ve put out a comparative review of Purina vs Iams dog food to equip you with constructive and fact-based pieces of information about these brands. By the end of this article, you’ll get to know which dog food will work better for your pet. We will have a close look at the ingredient profiles of the company’s recipes, compare their nutritional values and price ranges. You’ll also learn some safety issues or get to know about the recalls of both these dog food manufacturing companies.

So, what brand ends up on top? Keep on reading, and you’ll find the answer below.

About Iams

Iams is part of Mars Inc., but it wasn’t this way all the time.

Iams started its route in the food manufacturing business back in 1946, when Paul F. Iams cooperated with Kentucky Chemical, which had its own idea of what pet nutrition should be like.

The first dog recipe was launched in 1950 and made a revolution in the pet food industry. Even though Paul Iams wasn’t the first to introduce high-protein and low-grain dog food, he probably was the pioneer of the high standards in pet food manufacturing. They started manufacturing puppy recipes because they revealed that adult canines and puppies have different nutritional needs, which was innovative at that time.

The Iams company was in the ownership of several people and organizations, including Clay Mathile and Procter & Gamble Company. Under the ownership of P&G, the recipes have undergone serious changes for the sake of the price reduction. In 2014, the Mars giant took possession of Iams, committing to stick to the same quality principles.

Our Iams Top Picks

Iams company offers recipes for canines of different ages, sizes, breeds, and dietary needs. We’ll give quick overviews of best-selling recipes that are loved by pet parents and their four-pawed friends.

Iams Adult Minichunks Dry Food Recipe

This recipe with chicken flavor is packed with the essential nutrients to fuel your active canine for new adventures. This small-sized kibble would help your pet take care of its oral health while staying easy enough to chew. This formula is packed with 25% protein derived from chicken, eggs, and plants to ensure lean muscle maintenance. The blend of vitamins and minerals promotes healthy digestive and immune systems and heart functioning. Your pet will also consume enough Omega 6 acids for a lustrous coat. Some undesirable ingredients like corn, by-products, and colors spoil the ingredient label because they give no nutritional value to the dog.

Iams Mature Large Breed Dog Dry Food Recipe

For those large canines that have been living in this world for more than 7 years, Iams has designed a special formula. This recipe with real chicken is meant to support large aging dogs and prolong their lifespan. It is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to maintain the immune system of your pooch. As large dogs mature, they tend to develop joint issues, so this formula is packed with essentials that reduce the risk of suffering from joint pain. Just like the previous recipe, this one also includes by-products and cheap fillers that allow the company to make this food affordable almost for everyone.

Iams Proactive Health Canned Dog Food with Lamb and Rice

Consider this Proactive Health recipe with lamb and rice if your furry companion is crazy about patés. Real chicken, chicken by-products, lamb, brown and brewers rice have been blended to the consistent texture to please your pet with a soft and delicious dinner. Wholesome grains are great sources of carbohydrates, while chicken meat delivers quality proteins and fats. The nutritional profile of this formula is enhanced with a combo of supplements that will nourish your four-pawed buddy inside and out. As with any low-budget recipe, this one has by-products, carrageenan, fillers, and artificial colors.

Iams Pros

  • Recipes have real meat as the first ingredient
  • The formulas are enriched with supplements
  • The product lineup is rich enough to target the needs of different canines
  • The price for Iams food is more than affordable
  • Iams dog foods could be easily found on shelves of your favorite grocery or pet stores

Iams Cons

  • The company uses by-products and cheap fillers
  • Not all ingredients are natural and healthy

Read our full Iams Dog Food Review.

About Purina One

We gathered here to compare Purina to Iams dry dog food, so let’s stick to the plan and see what stands behind Purina One company.

Purina One is owned by Nestlé Purina PetCare, but the company's history takes its roots back in 1893 when Ralston Purina founded an organization for producing farm animal feed and cereal. Ralston named his company after his surname with the belief that it would represent the purity of the food the organization manufactured for pets.

Purina holds several pet food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, ALPO, Bella, Dog Chow, and many more. All of them are meant to make good meals for canines of different sizes, ages, and dietary needs.

Purina ONE (ONE means "optimal nutrition enhancement") is described as a premium-quality pet food brand that relies on real meat and some other functional ingredients. The motto of the Purina One brand is that these recipes are able to make a visible difference in the canine’s health.

Our Purina Top Picks

Purina One has a great variety of dog food. In this section, we’ll go over three popular recipes we believe are worth your attention.

Purina ONE SmartBlend Joint Health Formula Adult Premium Dog Food

If your dog is prone to developing joint issues, you’d better think of ways to support joint health in advance. This Purina One formula is aimed at maintaining joint health and mobility. It contains glucosamine and fish oil for enhanced joint maintenance. Even though protein content looks good (27%), very little amount of it is obtained from real meat. The lack of animal protein is compensated with the use of plants that are not as nourishing for canines as meat. The company adds a lot of fillers like corn, wheat, and soy that are poorly digestible by dogs. You’ll also find by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives in the ingredient list.

Purina ONE True Instinct High Protein with Real Chicken & Duck Dog Food

If you’ve been looking for a high-protein formula for your puppy, working or sporting dog, pregnant or nursing canine, this Purina One True Instinct recipe is what you should consider. It’s made with real chicken as the first ingredient and is enhanced with chicken meal that contains 30% more protein than meat. It means that this dog food is packed with quality animal proteins as essentials for lean muscle development and a strong immune system. It still contains soy flour, wheat, and corn, but in smaller amounts.

Purina ONE SmartBlend Beef & Brown Rice Entrée Classic Ground Wet Dog Food

This Purina One Entrée with beef and brown rice flavor is a great stand-alone meal or a topper to your pet’s favorite kibble. It contains a lot of meat, including beef, chicken, liver, pork lungs that make the greater part of the recipe. It is also enhanced with wholesome grains like oatmeal and brown rice to be a quality source of carbs. You’ll also find veggies like carrots and spinach that deliver essential nutrients to enhance canine’s health. This formula’s nutritional value is increased due to the use of vitamins and supplements that target the pet's body and support the overall well-being. This is indeed a decent recipe packed with animal proteins and vitamins.

Purina Pros

  • A wide range of flavors and formulas to meet different dietary needs
  • Available both through online marketplaces and locally
  • Won’t make a hole in your pocket
  • The ingredient list is not that bad

Purina Cons

  • The company still uses by-products and artificial colors
  • There are too many fillers like corn, soy, wheat in the recipes
  • Recipes change too often, which might require adaptation

Read our full Purina One Dog Food Review.

Types of Dog Food from Purina and Iams

No Purina One vs Iams review would be complete without a comparison of food types these brands offer.

Both brands have dry and wet food varieties, but you can see from the chart below that Purina One offers more products to pick from. But let’s be honest, the number is not critical if you take functionality into account. What we mean here is whether all the recipes target the nutritional needs of canines that might need to stick to a different diet due to the age, size, or health condition.

Dog food type

Purina One


Dry dog food

18 products

11 products

Wet dog food

18 products

6 recipes

Dog treats

4 products


Purina One pledges to provide all the furry companions, regardless of their age, flavor preference, or size, with delicious meals they will love. And the company sticks to its promise as there are formulas for puppies, adult canines, or senior pets. You’ll also find recipes for weight control, digestive health, or joint support. Purina One also offers a selection of recipes that are meant to nourish small or large breed dogs, providing them with a perfect amount of nutrients and vitamins.

Iams have the same variety of dog food. They do great with covering the nutritional needs of all canines. The company offers special puppy recipes, including options for small, medium, and large dogs under 2 years. Adult formulas include special products for small and large breeds, as well as diets for healthy weight management. Mature dog formulas will provide your pet with the essentials they need as their activity levels diminish, ensuring more happy family years together.

To sum it up, Purina One is a winner for us in terms of variety because it offers more products and, what is more important, more variety to satisfy canines at any age and with any health condition.

Nutritional Value Comparison

Without any doubt, all recipes have their unique nutritional value. For example, puppies need more proteins, fats, and carbs to build tissues, keep skin and coat healthy, and get enough energy for games. Senior canines might need some added elements like glucosamine for joint health and would benefit from the reduced amount of carbs and fats in their diet.

Anyway, in the chart below, we have defined an average percentage for all Iams vs Purina One formulas, both dry and wet, to see if there’s any difference in the nutritional profiles of these brands.


Purina One

Dry food













Wet food













In general, these two brands have a similar nutritional profile. The figures might deviate because of the peculiarities in the recipes. There’s no definite winner here since fluctuations are not that dramatic. But we have to give the edge to one brand, so let it be Purina One because of a slim lead.

Ingredients and Flavours Comparison

Would your canine enjoy Purina One or Iams dog food more? There’s no way for us to answer this question, but if you know the flavor preferences of your pet, you can check which of these companies has the most attractive offer by comparing flavors and ingredients.

So, let’s see what Iams has prepared for us at first. In terms of flavor variety, Iams is a complete underdog. The brand offers only chicken flavors in the dry dog food category, except for one lamb recipe. Wet formulas are also not numerous, and they include chicken, lamb, and beef patés in combination with grains and vegetables.

Iams top ingredients include:

  • chicken
  • chicken by-product meal
  • ground whole-grain corn
  • ground whole-grain sorghum
  • dried beet pulp

These ingredients are found in all Iams recipes. Others include brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, flaxseed, caramel color, carrots, and some more. The first ingredient in all the formulas is chicken, but you might not like that dog’s food also contains by-product meal, corn, and other poor quality fillers along with artificial colors and preservatives.

When comparing Iams versus Purina One, it’s worth mentioning that Purine One has a greater assortment of flavors. There are chicken, salmon, beef, lamb, turkey, and even bison tastes. There are two grain-free formulas in the True Instinct series.

Purina One top ingredients include:

  • chicken, lamb, turkey, beef
  • rice flour
  • corn gluten meal
  • whole-grain corn
  • chicken by-product meal
  • whole-grain wheat
  • soybean meal

Meat is always the first ingredient in Purina One dry recipes. The company also adds brewers rice, dried carrots, dried peas, liver flavor, caramel color, and some more. These ingredients are far from being great and are used as low-budget fillers to stuff your pet’s belly with some food.

In this battle, Purina One gains victory because of a more sophisticated product line. In terms of ingredient quality, these brands are much alike. They rely on real meat as the core ingredient but then overuse fillers like corn, soy, wheat, and by-products.

Price Comparison

The price might be a defining factor when you are picking the most suitable dog food brand. So, when wrecking your brain about Purina One or Iams from the perspective of pricing, we should say that would be a tall order.

Both dog food brands have roughly the same prices for their products. Just check the chart, and you’ll see it.


Purina One

Dry dog food

Per pound



Per calorie



Wet dog food

Per pound



Per calorie



Product Safety and Recall History

What is the safest brand: Iams or Purina One? Let’s figure it out by investigating the recall history of each brand.

Purina One was involved in two recalls only. The first recall of Purina One was in July 2011 due to possible salmonella risk. In August 2013, one recipe of Purina One Beyond underwent recall for the same reason.

Iams has a richer recall history, counting 7 recall cases. The first one happened in March 2007 as the result of melamine contamination. Some batches of Iams cat food were recalled due to low levels of thiamine in June 2010. Two other recalls in July 2010 and August 2010 were also related to cat recipes because of salmonella infection. Some bags of puppy dog food were recalled because of aflatoxin in December 2011. In March 2013, some Iams formulas were recalled due to potential mold contamination. And, finally, several dry dog foods were put out of distribution for the reason of salmonella infection in August 2013.

Given the companies’ recall history, which brand looks more attractive to you: Purina vs Iams? We find Purina One more appealing because of fewer recall cases.

Iams vs Purina Dog Food: Which Should You Choose?

Wow, that was a tough battle. The counterparts stood strong, shoulder to shoulder, and that was hard for us to pick the winner.

In all the aspects we estimated these two brands, they were almost identical. The product variety was almost similar; they used pretty much the same ingredients and were both within a low-budget price segment.

Just like Iams, Purina One formulated balanced diets for puppies, large dogs, and senior pets that need specific nutritional profiles. Purina One offers more products, including recipes for canines with digestive and joint issues.

These two brands use real meat as the main ingredient but also add a great number of by-products, fillers, and artificial flavors or colors. But that’s compensated by the price, as it’s affordable for almost every dog parent.

Is Iams better than Purina One? In our humble opinion, Purina One appears to be the winner in this battle. But does it mean that Iams is worse? No, these are awesome cost-effective brands that have their advantages. Iams is great for pets that don’t like frequent changes in their diet and would better stick to one flavor they truly love. But Purina One has outperformed Iams in terms of product variety.

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