review of iams dog food

IAMS Dog Food Review

IAMS Dog Food Guide

About IAMS

Ever stumbled upon an IAMS dog food critique? Bet you’ve wondered if IAMS truly stands up as top-notch chow for your furry friend and who’s behind this brand. Guess what? The tale begins way back in 1946, all thanks to a visionary named Paul IAMS who dreamed up a fresh approach to dog diets.

Who is Paul Iams?

Paul Iams was a businessman and a self-taught animal nutritionist who founded the IAMS food company in 1946. During the Great Depression, he worked with his father as a dog food salesman in a grain company. In his experience working with his father, he realized dog owners will keep paying for pet foods even during the worst worldwide economic regression.

When he left his current work, he worked next selling soap for Procter & Gamble, then soon after joined the Navy during World War II and left after four years of serving. Later on, the IAMS food company was started in 1946 by Paul Iams to produce premium quality dog foods with higher protein content.

IAMS Proactive Health Dry Dog Food, Small & Toy Breed

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The first product ever made by IAMS dog food came out in the 1950s, and it was known as IAMS 999. IAMS 999 was the first dog food where they chose to use animal-based protein as its main source of protein. It set the standards for modern dog food formulas we see on the pet store shelves today.

The brand kept advancing and renovating itself throughout the 1960s when more attention was paid to making the dog food as digestible as possible by focusing on intestinal health. The paw print logo we now know to associate with IAMS was first presented to the public in the 1970s, and it still remains the same today. IAMS pet food reviews weren’t really a thing back in those days, but IAMS dog food ratings would have most likely been high if it had.

IAMS is one of those dog food brands that changed the dog food industry. In the 1980s, they introduced a puppy formula – being one of the first (and possibly the first) to offer dog food recipes based on the different life stages. Around this time, they started making cat food, and about 10 years later, their lines of natural pet food hit the market.

IAMS used research showing the connection between healthy skin and coat and the fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, and they began to incorporate these in their recipes. DHA was added to all their puppy formulas in the 2000s to aid with healthy brain development. In the last few years, the company has surprised dog owners with one new product after another. Looking at their impressive history, it is clear they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

They may have fallen behind a little regarding all-natural and grain-free dog foods, which have become popular lately. Still, you can’t deny the revolutionary aspect of the past products they have put out.

Currently, IAMS is owned by one of the world’s largest pet food manufacturers in the United States, Mars Incorporated, after being sold by P&G in 2014. Mars Incorporated bought both IAMS/Eukanuba Pet Food brand and Natura Pet Food brands from Procter & Gamble.

Unfortunately, Natura didn’t prove to be a good investment for Mars Inc. because a year later, the brand was discontinued. While the IAMS Pet Food remains its grand reputation as their food became the 5th most popular dog food product in the US with IAMS Proactive Health.

About IAMS Dog Food

IAMS Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Chicken Flavor Dry

IAMS Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Chicken Flavor Dry

So, how does IAMS dog food rate and is IAMS dog food healthy? On Dog Food review sites, IAMS is classified as an average or slightly above average dog food, and it has received a rating of 3.5/5. This means that it is currently not the best dry dog food, but it is a good option for dog owners on a budget, as it rates higher than many other grocery store brands. This makes IAMS dog food good or bad depending on what you compare it to, and on what your budget is for buying food for your four-legged friend.

Related; Affordable Dog Foods Review.

The first ingredient in many of the IAMS products tends to be meat, which is considered a quality ingredient. However, there are still concerns about this because the meat ingredient is believed to have high water content. Each ingredient is put on the scale before the water is removed. Meaning the food probably contains a lot less actual meat than what the ingredient list might make it seem like.

The second ingredient in their IAMS ProActive Health Adult Chunks is corn, and corn is proven to have very little (if any) nutritional value for dogs. Corn is not harmful to dogs, but the canine body cannot process corn to use its nutrients. Therefore, it has become known as a cheap filler in the dog food business.

Fourth is animal by-product meal, yet another indicator of low protein content due to animal by-products being classified as low-quality protein sources. It’s basically leftovers and waste products from meat coming in slaughterhouses. Sometimes it contains parts of an animal that can’t be sold for human consumption. There’s no absolute guarantee for how much protein it contains.

IAMS’s greatest weakness is its questionable protein sources, and it’s hard to know how much quality protein it contains. It is the main reason why IAMS dry cheap dog food reviews will often hold back on the rating. The ingredients, in general, are not bad or lacking. And if it wasn’t for the possible lack of quality protein, it would have probably scored a higher rating in some IAMS dog food reviews.

IAMS dog food has different varieties giving you many options to find something that works for your dog. Some of the available options are (but are not limited to):

+ IAMS ProActive Health Senior Plus
+ IAMS ProActive Health Mature Adult
+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult Chunks
+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks

IAMS Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Chicken Flavor Dry

+ IAMS ProActive Health Senior Plus Large Breed

+ IAMS ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult Large Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult Optimal Weight
+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult Small and Toy Breed

+ IAMS ProActive Health Adult Optimal Weight Large Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Small and Toy Breed
+ IAMS ProActive Health Sensitive Skin and Stomach Grain Free with Real Salmon and Lentils

When it comes to pet nutrition, having a wide selection is incredibly beneficial. It gives you the chance to truly adapt your choice to the needs of your dog. The brand offers senior dog food, weight loss dog food, food for growing puppies, and a good selection of flavors.

Related: Orijen Dog Food Review

IAMS Dog Food Recall History

iams dog food recall history
Images from Unsplash

Let’s have a look at the IAMS Healthy Naturals dog food recall history. There was one IAMS dog food recall in 2010, two IAMS recalls in 2011, and two in 2013. This makes a total of 5 registered IAMS dog food recalls in only a few years, which might be cause for concern.

The 2010 incident was due to suspected contamination with the bacteria that causes salmonella. One 2011 recall was connected with the discovery of elevated aflatoxin levels (it only involved one lot of puppy food). The other was an odd case where a grocery store change alerted about the recall, but there was never any confirmation from IAMS, and the recall notice was later removed.

In 2013, IAMS Shakeable treats were recalled due to possibilities for mold growth. Later that year, there was another recall for possible salmonella contamination (again). There have been no other known incidents since then. There was no registered IAMS dog food recall 2017, nor was there an IAMS dog food recall 2018, so it is safe to say that the brand has been recalling free since 2013 at the time of writing.

IAMS proactive health dog food reviews do not generally seem too concerned about the brand’s past recall history. It continues to be a decent choice for dog owners with a tight dog food budget.

It is easy to be put off by a dog food company with recalls, but if you look at the bright side – the company reports these potential issues themselves rather than letting them slide while hoping for the best. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and IAMS food company seems to share this belief.

Which Dogs Can Eat IAMS Dog Food?

types of dogs that can iams dog food
Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Is IAMS dog food right for my dog? You probably asked yourself before ending up reading this IAMS dog food review, and it’s a question that could be hard to answer.

There is a food product designed to fit every dog and their needs. Based on the wide selection of dog foods that IAMS offers, this brand can provide nourishment to different dogs in different life stages. However, it’s not the most protein-rich dog food, so it might not be ideal for highly active dogs with an increased need for energy and protein.

Related: Best Large Breed Dog Food

Our IAMS Dry Dog Food review can help you find the ideal fit for your fur friend, so read on. Choose the product that best represents your dog’s age, weight, and physical activity level. How good is IAMS dog food? Find out for yourself in this top 5 list of IAMS dog foods.

Top 5 List of Best IAMS Dog Foods

1. IAMS Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Chicken Flavor Dry

IAMS Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Chicken Flavor Dry

IAMS’s pet foods are one of the most popular dog food brands worldwide, and their IAMS Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Chicken Flavor is a testament to why that is. This amazing recipe comes in mini-sized kibbles filled with essential nutrients and prebiotics to maintain your pooch’s overall health. Support your dog’s active and happy lifestyle by feeding them this delicious treat perfect for adult dogs with small mouths. It’s also highly recommended for dogs who need to go on a weight loss diet because it’s supplied with L-carnitine that helps in burning fat and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Why Do We Like It: We particularly like the mini chunks design of this food because small breeds will have no problem swallowing the kibbles. The most enjoyable part is that it’s at an affordable price with quality ingredients that give proper nutrition to your pup.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,646 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup
Crude Protein25.0% min
Crude Fat14.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max


+ #1 ingredient is real quality chicken
+ Premium animal protein to support healthy and strong muscles
+ With Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
+ Suitable for small breeds because of its mini chunks design
+ Recommended by veterinarians
+ Promotes healthy digestion with natural fiber and prebiotics


– Not recommended for dogs allergic to grains
– Not suitable for dogs with digestive disorders

2. IAMS Proactive Health Dry Dog Food, Small & Toy Breed

IAMS Proactive Health Dry Dog Food, Small & Toy Breed

IAMS Dog Food for Small & Toy Breeds Chicken Recipe is great for small and toy breeds 20 lb. or less. Ready to deliver quality protein with real, farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient to promote lean muscles for your pup. This product from IAMS has highly digestible dog food ingredients perfectly made to support your small or toy breed’s overall well-being.

Why Do We Like It: If you’re looking for breed-specific dog food for your toy breed that provides complete and balanced nutrition, this IAMS Dog Food for Small & Toy Breeds Chicken Recipe is one of the best options.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,773 kcal/kg, 393 kcal/cup
Crude Protein27.0% min
Crude Fat17.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max


+ First ingredient is real chicken for quality animal protein
+ Promotes healthy skin and coat with Omega-6 fatty acids
+ Includes antioxidants for a strong immune system
+ Veterinarian recommended
+ Made to satisfy the nutritional needs of adult small/toy breeds


– Non-resealable packaging
– Not recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs

3. IAMS ProActive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food

IAMS Mature Adult Dry Dog Food is fit for a senior or adult dog’s wellness by providing them with antioxidants for a healthy immune system. This formula strengthens your canine’s bones and joints with glucosamine and chondroitin, so you can keep your dog active with sports and activities.

IAMS Mature Adult Dog Food takes away concerns for your dog becoming overweight because they contain L-Carnitine to help in healthy metabolism and fat burn. Ensure that your senior pooch leads a happy and healthy lifestyle with this IAMS product suitable for all breed sizes.


+ #1 ingredient is chicken
+ With DHA gold for promoting visual and mental sharpness
+ No artificial preservatives or flavors
+ Formulated with fiber blend and beet pulp to support digestive health
+ Complete and balanced diet for adult dogs


– Not recommended for dogs with digestive disorders
– Not suitable for dogs with a grain allergy

Why Do We Like It: A complete and balanced diet is exactly what adult dog needs to maintain their health. With IAMS Mature Adult Dry Dog Food vitamin and minerals supplement is not necessary because this product provides all the required nutrition for senior dogs. It’s also vet-recommended, which means it’s a reliable food product line for dogs.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,435 kcal/kg, 349 kcal/cup
Crude Protein24.0% min
Crude Fat10.5% min
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture10.0% max

4. IAMS Proactive Adult Health Large Breed Dry Dog Food

IAMS Proactive Adult Health Large Breed Dry Dog Food

The IAMS Proactive Adult Health Large Breed Dry Dog Food is formulated to support the adult lifestyle of large breed dogs. Specifically tailored to meet the nutritional needs of your adult large breed dogs to provide healthy energy and strong bones. See a fascinating improvement with your dog’s skin and coat supported by Omega-6 fatty acids. This IAMS Adult Health Large Breed formula is a 100% complete and balanced diet made from real wholesome ingredients like farm-raised chicken, whole grains, carrots, chicken fat, and beet pulp.

Why Do We Like It: Maintain your pup’s health using this formula, and you’ll guarantee they’ll live happily and satisfied with their food. What’s great about this is that it helps in your pup’s digestive health and is enriched with vitamins and minerals to keep them nourished while living an active life.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,529 kcal/kg, 351 kcal/cup
Crude Protein22.5% min
Crude Fat12% min
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture10.0% max


+ #1 ingredient is real chicken
+ Premium source of protein for muscle and heart health
+ With essential minerals and glucosamine to support healthy bones and joints
+ Includes L-Carnitine great for weight management
+ Vet-recommended


– Not for sensitive stomachs
– Non-resealable bags

5. IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

Specially made with healthy and tasty kibbles, your puppy will not resist this delightful treat. The IAMS Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is good for developing your pup’s physical and overall well-being. It promotes lean muscles and strong bones and joints because premium real chicken is the number one source of protein. This formula from IAMS will make your puppy grow stronger and smarter, making them equipped for training.

Why Do We Like It: What’s so likable about this food is it provide the essential nutrients specifically designed for puppies to support their optimal growth. Providing your pooch with a complete and balanced diet will benefit their wellness for the future.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,586 kcal/kg, 373 kcal/cup
Crude Protein27.0% min
Crude Fat14% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max


+ First ingredient is real chicken, a quality protein source to build strong muscles
+ Contains Omega-3 DHA fatty acids for healthy brain and eye development
+ No artificial preservatives or flavors
+ Promotes optimal growth and balanced nutrition
+ Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
+ Rich in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system


– Not recommended for dogs with sensitive tummies

Amazon’s IAMS Dog Food Review

review of amazon's iams dog food
Image by Alexa from Pixabay

IAMS food company is one of the leading pet food companies worldwide known for their IAMS Proactive Health product line. They have served pets and dog owners with quality products for decades now, making them one of the most established companies in the pet food industry. That’s why it’s no surprise that based on Amazon’s IAMS dog food review, they receive outstanding ratings for their dog foods. The top 5 IAMS dog foods listed above have an average global rating of 4.7/5 stars. IAMS Pet Foods has continuously proven itself worthy of being one of the leading pet food brands worldwide.

IAMS Discount Coupons & Promo Deals

iams discount coupons & promo deals
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

The easiest way to get a discount when shopping for this brand is to keep an eye on different IAMS ProActive Health dog food reviews online, but you can also go directly to your favorite retailer to see what is new and available. Free shipping is almost always offered by more prominent websites. If you sign up for auto-shipment – you might be eligible for an additional percentage off.


It is important to remember that not everyone has the financial means to provide their pups with expensive grain-free and high-quality dog food, and that’s okay. For those hoping (or needing) to pay a little less – IAMS is a good option. It has flavor dogs seem to like and a large variety of products for dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds. Another benefit is how easily accessible the dog food is, as you can find it almost anywhere – both in stores and online.

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