If you ever owned a cat or dog, I am sure you are familiar with the Iams brand. In this article, I will take an in-depth look at Iams Dog Food and provide some further insight and information regarding this product. In this review, we will look at the story behind Iams, the company’s philosophy, nutrition, pros and cons, and my final summary.


Iams Dog Food

Iams … What’s It All About?


The company itself has been around since 1946 when it was established by a gentleman by the name of Paul F. Iams. From the start, it was Mr. Iam’s belief and philosophy that nutrition was the key in the production of quality pet food. Furthermore, the nutritional difference in Iam’s pet food is based upon the number of years of research to provide pets with a wholesome, nutritional diet.


In addition, the Iam’s company was the first to look at the notion of feeding our pets (dogs and cats) as carnivores which included an animal protein-based recipe. In essence, the company believed what was good for our pet ancestors living in the wild should also be beneficial to our current pets.


To be fair, there are a number of pet owners, vets, and other dog food manufactures who will dispute this claim. The company was also the first to introduce recipes targeted at specific life stages. (Puppy to Senior)



Nutritional Value … What’s In It For Your Pooch?


Through research, the Iam’s Company has established a core set of beliefs in the production of their formulas. By providing a nutritional diet, the company believes our pets will benefit in a number of ways including:two dogs


  • Weight loss (If desired)
  • Healthy digestion
  • Boosting immunity
  • Maintaining muscle mass
  • Alleviating tartar buildup
  • An increase in energy level


As you can see from the list above, all of these things can page huge dividends in keeping our pets healthy and happy. Obviously, not all of our four-legged companions need to lose weight or perhaps worry about tartar, but Iams has specific recipes aimed to assist and treat these unhealthy issues.


Iams Dog Food … What’s Inside These Recipes?

As mentioned earlier, the Iams’s company prides itself on providing nutritional formulas to our pets and offer a number of products to accommodate specific needs. So what does the Iam’s company use that makes them so confident in the production of their formulas? Let’s take a look at a few of the essential ingredients you will find in their recipes.


  1. Chicken

  2. Beet Pulp

  3. Corn

  4. Fruits and Vegetables

  5. Wheat

  6. Salmon and Oceanfish


These are the first five to six ingredients you will find in the majority of the Iam’s formulas. For those wanting to see a list of the entire ingredients, I have used the Iam’s Healthy Naturals Chicken & Barley Adult Recipe to illustrate. Take a look:


Ingredients (Full List)

dog eating from bowlChicken, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Monosodium Phosphate, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Tomatoes, Spinach, Green Peas, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Apple Pomace, Dried Blueberry Pomace, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.


Pros And Cons


Like any product, Iam’s dog food comes with a wide range of reviews, some good, some bad. Below I have listed a number of pros associated with the dog food as well as some of the cons from various pet owners. Let’s take a look at these below and give you some feedback as it relates to this product.

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Pros of Iams














Before we continue further, let’s take a closer look at a few of the ‘cons’ mentioned above to find out why these items are listed here. By doing so, you will hopefully gain further insight and decide for yourself if Iams Dog Food is suited for your pet.


Corn as an Ingredient –  There has and still is a huge debate when it comes to dog food which contains corn as an ingredient. For many pet owners, they view corn as something that may be harmful to pets. One of the major concerns has to do with food intolerance or sensitivity to corn contained in the dog’s diet. Specific grains, including corn, are seen as the main culprit and viewed as an ingredient that may lead to digestive issues in our pets.


Others, including some pet food companies, would argue that corn is actually an ingredient that provides benefits to our dogs. Proponents of corn found in pet food actually serves as a vital source that provides protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids and antioxidants that all provide a healthy source of nutrition. In addition, the proponents of corn would argue that this ingredient has little to do with digestive issues or intolerance within our four-legged companions.


Recalls – There has been a number of recalls associated with Iams dog food throughout the company’s existence. In 2007, Chinese manufacturers supplied Iams with corn gluten meal that had been tampered with and subsequently resulted in a recall. In 2011, the FDA issued a recall for Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy dry food as a result of aflatoxin contamination. Two years later, certain lots of specific Iams dry dog food were recalled for the potential of salmonella.


Iams Dog Food … A Wide Variety


As mentioned above, Iams offers a wide selection of both dry and wet food recipes. Formulas and recipes can be found for specific life stages as well as various health issues your pooch may be experiencing. For your convenience, I have listed a number of these recipes below. Simply click on each image to obtain further information as well as finding a platform to purchase. Let’s take a look:





1.) Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy

Description: This formula is intended for the puppy in your family with essential DHA for strong brain development during the first year. Formula provides antioxidants to bolster pup’s immune system as well as essential minerals to build strong bones. Protein supplied with chicken and egg.


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2.) Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy For Large Breed Dogs

Description: Formula is targeted for the large breed dogs who will reach 50 to 120 pounds with maturity. Made with farm raised chicken with wholesome grains and vegetables. Digestion is easily obtained with ingredients providing a strong immune system, healthy coat and strong bones. Omega-3 DHA supports healthy brain development.

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3.) Iams ProActive For Small and Toy Breed Adult

Description: This formula is made for the small and toy breed adult dog. The first ingredient is chicken which provides a healthy protein which supports strong muscles and healthy metabolism. Fruits (Apples,Blueberries) and Vegetables (Carrots, Peas) supply healthy nutrients and carbohydrates to help promote a healthy immune system and overall health. Bite-sized kibble makes digestion much easier.




4. ) Iams Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks

Description: Farm raised chicken is the first ingredient in this recipe which supplies a quality protein. Fiber and prebiotics aids in healthy digestion. Recommended by veterinarians as this formula contains real ingredients. The crunchy kibble is great for oral health, scrubbing your dog’s teeth with each bite reducing tartar and bad breath.

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5.) Iams ProActive Health Adult Dog Food

DescriptionVeterinarian recommended and made with real ingredients. First ingredient includes chicken with wholesome grains and veggies. Formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for healthy joints. Digestible ingredients provide your dog with a strong immune system; healthy skin, coat, and metabolism; and strong bones. Produced with the large breed dog in mind.

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6.) Iams ProActive Health Lamb & Rice Adult

Description: Dog having issues with sensitive skin? If so, this formula may be right for your pet. Farm-raised lamb provides a nutritional form of protein combined with omegas helping to achieve a healthy, shiny coat. Recipe includes a blend of prebiotics and beet pulp for healthy digestion. Promotes overall health.

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7.) Iams ProActive Senior Plus

Description: Formula designed for dogs eleven and up. Made with real chicken as the first ingredient, plus naturally sourced chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, recipe is designed to promote lean muscles and nourish healthy joints. Wholesome grains provide essential nutrients and carbohydrates for increased energy.


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(Recipes For Specific Needs And Health Concerns)


1.)  Adult ProActive Optimal Weight

DescriptionFor less active or overweight dogs. Made with 16% less fat , with L-carnitine helping to burn fat and promote a healthy metabolism. Fortified with essential nutrients to help support strong bones and nourish heart health. Made with real chicken with no wheat, soy, artificial ingredients or preservatives. Ideal for those dogs who need to lose a little weight but still receive a nutritious meal.

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2.) Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach (Grain Free)

Description: Formula is a mixture of high-quality protein with fruits and vegetables to help keep your dog healthy for a lifetime. Easily digestible ingredients provide your dog with healthy skin, a healthy coat, and strong bones. Grain free recipe is ideal for those pooches with sensitive skin and stomach.

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Does Iams Have Your Breed Covered?


Not only does Iams provide dog food for specific needs and health issues, they also have a few recipes that are directed for specific breeds. Some of these breeds are very common in households throughout the world and ones you might see in your neighbor’s back door. Let’s take a look at which breeds Iams has formulated for these specific four-legged companions.

The Iams company seems to have an understanding that various breeds of dogs will have specific nutritional needs and as a result has produced formulas to cater these needs. These breed specific recipes are intended for the adult dog which you can find below. Here is a quick look at these breeds below:


Yorkshire Terrier (Adult)

yorkshire terrier

Description: Recipe has high quality protein sourced from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of your Yorkie’s small body. Plus, this no soy, no wheat, and no fillers recipe is formulated to satisfy picky eaters. This Yorkie dog food promotes healthy digestion and has an antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system. Promotes healthy skin and coat.

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Chihuahua (Adult)


Description: Formula contains a healthy protein source from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of your dog’s small body. No soy, no wheat, and no fillers. This Chihuahua dog food promotes healthy digestion and has an antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system, which is important for small breeds. Promotes healthy digestion for your small breed dog.

chihuahua product



Dachshund (Adult)


Description: High quality protein sourced from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of your Dachshund’s long body. No soy, no wheat, and no fillers recipe is formulated for the unique bone structure of Dachshunds. This Dachshund dog food promotes healthy digestion and has an antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system.




Labrador Retriever (Adult)

labrador retriever

Description:  Protein source from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of this large breed dog. No soy, wheat, and no fillers recipe is formulated with essential minerals to help your highly active Lab maintain strong bones and healthy joints. This uniquely tailored Labrador dog food has a blend of wholesome fiber and natural prebiotics for healthy digestion and includes L-Carnitine to help maintain an optimal weight.

lab retriever


Bulldog (Adult)


Description: High quality protein sourced from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of both English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs. No soy, no wheat, and no fillers. Recipe contains essential minerals to help your dog maintain strong bones and healthy joints. L-Carnitine helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and to aid with weight management. Keep your Bulldog’s skin healthy, coat soft and shiny, and heart strong with IAMS Proactive Health Adult Bulldog Dry Dog Food—for nutrition as unique as they are.

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German Shepherd

german shepherd

Description: This formula contains high quality protein sourced from chicken and eggs to support the strong, firm muscles of this large breed working dog. No wheat, soy, or fillers. Formulated with essential minerals to help your dog maintain strong bones and healthy joints. Recipe was made for German Shepherds’ sensitive digestive systems and for healthy digestion.  Keep your Shepherd’s skin healthy, coat soft and shiny.

german shepherd product




As mentioned above, the Iams Company has been around for a long time providing pet owners with a variety of quality recipes.  Dog owners throughout the world have a great deal of trust with the Iams product and are quite happy with the benefits these recipes provide their furry friends.

The DogFoodAdvisor, a respected source of information, completed a review on a specific recipe (Iams ProActive Health Adult Mini Chunks) and gave this product a 3.5 out of 5 stars. This rating took into account the ingredients making up this recipe and found it to be an average dog food.

Like any product, you will find conflicting opinions regarding the Iams product. There will be those who swear by this product, and others who have had a negative experience. With that said, you simply can’t refute the number of years this company has been in business which suggests that the company and its products have been beneficial to many pet owners.

Many dog owners find the variety of products offered by Iams appealing as well as the affordability. Iams Dog food, offering recipes for life stages from puppy to senior make this product very popular amongst dog owners. In addition, those dog owners on a limited budget find the Iams product to be cheaper in cost than some of the other name brands on the market.

Finally, I have used the Iams product myself with one of my dogs and had no issues with the product. My dog seemed to enjoy the taste and had do health issues when consuming this diet. My dog’s skin and coat looked healthy, her energy level was high, and the cost was something I was comfortable in paying. I did upgrade to what I felt was a better nutritional diet but really encountered little issues regarding the Iams product. My final review can be found below.

I hope I have answered some questions you may have had regarding Iams Dog Food and hopefully have provided you with further insight. I have also provided you with products that you view at your leisure to decide for yourself if Iams would suit the needs of your four-legged companion. Thank you for stopping by, and I wish you and your pet the best! Look for my review on Iams Canned Dog Food coming soon.




Iams Dog Food









  • Healthy Protein
  • Affordability
  • !00 % Money Back Guarantee


  • Ingredients
  • Difficulty In Digestion
  • Byproducts and Fillers
Categories: Iams Dog Food


Hello there dog lovers! My name is Luke, a retired school administrator and professional baseball player. Like you, I am a passionate about the well-being of my pets. As a result of this, I have spent years of research in finding the best dog food products to ensure my dogs are receiving a healthy, nutritional diet. I actually enjoy the research, and want to share my findings with you, dog owners like myself. I am in no way an expert, but through my research, have knowledge as it relates to the benefits of a natural dog food.


Jeff · June 27, 2018 at 1:40 am

Hello Luke,
I am sure most dog owners has heard the brand Iams if they have not tried it for their dog, I do like how they have been providing nutritious dog food for 50 years. The only thing which bothers me is they use corn and wheat in their dog foods, I have found both of these bother my dog’s digestive system. I was wondering do you know if they make a gluten free product, if not I would not be surprised if one day they do.


    Luke · August 22, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Yes, the Iams diet can be tricky. To my knowledge, Iams does not offer a gluten free product which is very popular these days. I stay away from any product that contains wheat and corn. Thanks for stopping by Jeff.

Cath · July 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm


I enjoyed reading this review and also your candid take on the Iams dry dog foods — pros/cons, etc! It is quite an informative article.

In the past, I had given one of my dogs the Iams dry dog food with no problems noted. I believe it was the formula that was easy to digest; it may have been lamb kibble. My dog loved it and it seemed to improve her digestion.

What I like about Iams is that they offer a wide range of formulas to suit your dog’s breed and specific needs. Another plus is that this company has been around for many years.

It is always a pleasure to stop by and read your articles! Thank you for providing this information for pet owners.


    Luke · August 22, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Thank you Cathy, happy to hear you like the articles!

    Mll · August 23, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    GSD food has been discontinued.

      Luke · August 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you Cathy.

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