Iams Dog Food Review: Ingredients, Recalls, Ratings [TOP 5]

iams dog food review

The list of famous pet foods brands cannot be complete if Iams is not mentioned. The brand has been around for so many years and has gained a lot of popularity. That is why it is time for us to have our own Iams dog food review.

As usual, we won’t give out only the good or the bad about Iams dog food.

We will make sure to give both views, as the brand enough of die hard fans and very angry ex-customers.

Our review is based on experts opinion first, and customers feedback second.

We will keep the review unbiased as we try to give each side enough space.

However, it is only fair to let you know before hand that some of Iams products are considered to be the best sellers in stores including Amazon right now.

They have premium quality dog food in all types.

So, is Iams Dog Food as good as it is believed to be?

Let’s find out in our Iams Dog Food review.

About Iams

Iams is as old as 1940. The first owner, Paul Iams, founded the company after graduating as a specialist in pet nutrition.

There wasn’t any pet food industry at the time and pets were fed human food (goes to show that human food is not bad for pets, no matter what companies would want you to believe).

After creating the first ever dry dog food as well as many firsts in the industry, Iams almost went broke in 1973.

Paul Iams sold half of his company to Clay Mathile who a few year later purchased the other half.

By 1999, Clay Mathile had turned the company into a $900 million strong business and sold it to Procter & Gambler.

Skipping all the bought-and-sold business, Iams is now owned by Marc, Inc worldwide except for Europe where Spectrum Brands owns it. Why? That’s a business question I don’t really know the answer to.

Iams Dog Food

The Positive Feedback on Iams

Being one of the first pet food companies, Iams has seen a fair share of feedback from both sides of the aisle.

They are still a big name brand today, and that is for many reasons.

Various Product Lines

No matter what type of dog you have, there is a recipe that would be as close to the ideal for him.

There are many products lines from Iams, and we’ll get to them soon enough.

The point is that as a dog owner, you have a lot of choices.

Therefore, finding the right recipe for your dog is very possible.

a smiling brown small dog

I’m excited to hear more good stuff about my favorite dog food.

Known Animal Protein Sources

Iams uses named protein sources for all their products.

This helps in building trust between the brand and their customer base.

Companies that tend to be vague about their animal protein source are less trustworthy.

That is why many dog owners will always believe in the quality of the dog food recipes produced by Iams.


Iams is available all over the world.

The chances are that wherever you are, you will find a pet store that sells Iams dog food products.

This availability encourages dog owners to feed their dog Iams products.

That allows them to travel with their pet freely.

And even if they ever have to travel, they don’t have to change their dog’s diet.

Iams Dog Food Recalls

Although there is a lot of love for the Iams dog foods, there are a lot of concerns around Iams.

As we have given enough space for all that is good about the brand’s products, it is only fair we let you know about the dark side of their products.

Product Recalls

2007 is the year that all famous pet food brands hate with a passion. Especially those that used and still outsource ingredients from China, and Iams is definitely one of them.

The storm of pet food recalls hit Iams first and took a lot of brands with it afterward.

It turned out that the Chinese manufacturers provided Iams and other brands with corn gluten meals that were tampered with.

This caused a lot of health problems to hundreds of pets, some led to death.

This is the part of Iams history that they want you to forget, although they’ll never forget it themselves.

a puppy pug sad

Not too happy about this.

Recent Reported Health Issues

The storm never really gone away.

Many recalls have happened since 2007, but they were minor recalls.

However, every now and then, there are reports that dog owners are suing (or at least contacting) Mars. Inc for food poisoning.

Reading through the comments of hundreds of verified Iams previous customers, there are many horrifying stories.

Some report kidney health problems, some excessive diarrhea, throwing up, and a lot of other issues.

No one really knows what causes these health problems.

It could simply be that the dog’s body rejects the food because they are not used to it.

However, it could also be something more serious as in poisonous ingredients.

The Main Dog Food Product Lines from Iams

Being a famous dog food brand, Iams has many product lines that are designed to be a healthy and affordable option for every dog and their owner in the whole world.

Because of all the debacles that Iams went through in 2007, Iams has vowed to provide quality products at a good price no matter what.

That’s why they have more than 100 different quality checks in place before they send out any formula to the market.

So, what are those dog food product lines? Let’s find out!

Iams Proactive Health Canned and Dry Dog Food

What’s great about this dog food line (Canned and Dry Dog Food) is that there are around 25 different formulas, each one is specific for a certain type of breed, age, and health.

Therefore, whatever dog you have and whichever health issue he may have, there is definitely a formula that fits you within Proactive Health line.

However, Iams Proactive Health uses a lot of grains in their ingredients.

That’s in addition to many controversial other ingredients, namely meat and chicken by-products.

It is for this reason that the dog foods in Proactive Health are considered an average quality dog food.

They receive an average of 3 stars out 5 from DogFoodAdvisor. Read more about that here.

Iams Premium Protection Dry Dog Food

Although the product’s line sounds appealing to you, you should be very cautious.

It is easy to fall for the name; who’s out there not looking for a premium protection for their dog?

Premium Protection uses as their first ingredient chicken by-products, while the chicken is the 8th ingredient listed. It is not the usual, nor is it recommended, to trust a product that has an unspecified protein origin as their first ingredient.

Although Iams promises that the sources are natural and have a high nutritional value, i.e. protein, it is still not safe to trust the product blindly.

There are many dog owners who recommend the dog food formulas in this line.

DogFoodAdvisor still gives Premium Protection Puppy 4 stars even though the first ingredient remains unspecified.

Iams Veterinary Formula Dry Dog Food

These formulas are not available in stores.

You can only get it from certified vets.

You can purchase one of the three formulas after consultations with your vet.

There is no rating for these dog foods as only vets can attest for their quality.

Make sure that your vet is not legally contracted to sell you only Iams products.

If so, a consultation with another vet can save your dog’s life.

Iams Grain Free Naturals Dry Dog Food

Possibly the best line of products from Iams is the Grain Free Naturals.

DogFoodAdvisor proudly rates it at 4 stars, and the reviews elsewhere are also that positive.

That is very understandable once we talk a closer look at the first 5 ingredients in this line.

Iams Grain Free Naturals uses chicken as their first ingredient as well as chicken meal.

That means that there is probably more protein in the Grain Free formulas than all others.

Also, the name suggests that there are no grains in the ingredients used and that is true.

No corn, wheat, or soy is used, so your dog is not eating just filler dog food when you buy him a formula from this product line.

Iams Healthy Naturals Dry Dog Food

There is nothing too special about Healthy Naturals. It is an average dog food, with average quality ingredients.

Although its name may throw you off, it is not as healthy as it sounds.

In fact, except for the use of chicken as the first ingredient, there is nothing that stands out, unless you notice the excessive use of by-products and grains.

The product line has earned a 3 stars rating on DogFoodAdvisor, which is indicative of its average quality.

Although it feels like a generous rating, the same website gives a formula from this line 4 stars. So, there might be something there.

But it gives another one 2.5 stars. Something’s there too.

Iams So Good Dry Dog Food

Honestly, it is just not worth it.

The first 5 ingredients used to make the formulas in this line are known to be unhealthy for dogs.

In fact, the first ingredient is CORN! They are also using chicken by-product, which makes it even worse.

And the list of unhealthy ingredients is just as long as the list of the ingredients used in the formula itself.

It is perfectly normal that DogFoodAdvisor gives this line of dog food product a poor 2 stars rating. Quite frankly, they could have gone lower, and I wouldn’t complain.

Now that you have an idea of what to expect from each Iams dog food line, it is time to review the 5 very best products of the brand.

In our review, we take into consideration overall rating from DogFoodAdvisor, DogFoodInsider, Amazon reviews and other reviews found on the internet.

We think that these are the best 5 products that Iams have to offer to their customers. So, let’s find out how good these products actually are.

Another good formula from Iams, Healthy Naturals Chicken and Barley is actually one of the few that has earned a 4-star rating on DogFoodAdvisor.

That can be attributed to the quality of the ingredients used in this formula.

As it is the case most of the time, the ingredient starts off with chicken as the first ingredient.

However, there is a strong reliance of grains as fillers in this formula.

That is why we are skeptical of the overall dog food quality.

Here are the pros and cons:


  • Chicken and chicken meal in the first five ingredients
  • No corn used in the recipe


  • Reliance on grains as fillers
  • Preservatives of dry dog food

The pros and cons balance the scale, but we have to take the quality of this dog food with a grain of salt. That is why we will give it a 3-star rating.

Although the product line is premium, the formulas can be troubling.

However, you should keep in mind that each formula was created with a certain type of dog in mind.

That’s why Proactive Health Adult Small and Toy Breed still gets high praise even though the ingredients used are controversial.

In fact, the first five ingredients are Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Dried Egg Product, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum.

We don’t like the corn as the first ingredient, but the other 4 ingredients are really good.

So, here are the pros and cons:


  • High protein from chicken meal and dried egg
  • Perfect formula for small dogs


  • Use of corn as the first ingredient
  • A lot of grains

It is tough to ignore the fact that corn is the main ingredient, but it is somewhat justified.

That is why we have chosen to give Proactive Health Adult Small and Toy Breed a 3.5-star rating.

We recommend it, but with an understanding of its ingredient. Here’s a breakdown from DogFoodInsider.

It is no surprise that we have more than one product from Proactive Health in our list of the best 5 Iams dog foods.

The product line has more 25 different formulas and their quality differs depending on which dog they were made for.

ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks is considered an above-average dog food thanks to its list of ingredients.

Chicken is used first while chicken by-product meal appears as the 4th ingredient.

This instantly makes the food high in protein, and therefore, high in quality.

However, corn is also part of this recipe.

Thus, bringing the overall quality of the food a few notches down.

Here are our pros and cons:


  • High in protein
  • Chicken as the first ingredient


  • Use of corn

As always, corn is a turn-off as it is hard to digest for dogs.

That is why we always point it out as an ingredient that brings down the overall quality of any recipe.

We rate ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks at 3.5 stars, the same as DogFoodInsider.

Iams best product, at least, according to what we found in our research, is one of two formulas from the Grain Free Naturals line.

The chicken and garden pea recipe is actually as good as it sounds.

The product is one of notable quality as the ingredients used in this formula makes it highly recommended.

For Iams to achieve this level of quality, they had to use Chicken, peas, pea starch, chicken meal, menhaden meal.

These 5 ingredients will make your dog happy and healthy at the same time.

However, nothing in Iams is perfect. Here are the pros and cons:


  • Chicken and chicken as main ingredients
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Highly recommended by almost everyone


  • Use of preservatives
  • High price

Iams Grain Free dog foods are quality dog foods. The only issue comes from the preservatives that have to be used to enable any dry dog food to last as long as possible.

That is why we will give Iams dog food a 4-star rating.

A smart puppy from a large is a handful, and Iams knows that very well.

That is why Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed is the ideal food for the dog they were designed for.

Both DogFoodAdvisor and DogFoodInsider give this formula a 4-star rating.

It is a highly recommended dog food, and that’s understandable when you look at the ingredients.

In fact, the first two ingredients are Chicken and Chicken By-Product Meal, which provide a good amount of proteins.

However, the ingredients include also corn and grains, which can be hard to digest.

So, here are the pros and cons of this dog food:


  • Chicken and chicken by-product are the first ingredients
  • High in protein


  • Excessive use of corn and grains
  • Use of Preservatives

Although the corn is controversial, the rest of the ingredients are good quality. That is why we also recommend this dog food and give a 4-star rating.


Iams Dog Food has been around for a long time.

They have been keen on quality since their worst nightmare happened in 2007.

Although there have been a few setbacks since then, Iams still tries their best to provide the best quality.

Let us know what you think about them down below!

Iams Dog Food
  • Value for Money
  • Overall Ingredients
  • Meat Content
  • Price
  • Availability


In our Iams dog food review, we can come up to the conclusion that Iams is not what it used to be. However, the food is still trusted by thousands of dog owners and recommended by many vets.

The ingredients are still good for your dog, and you can find the food almost everywhere.

About the Author Youness Bermime

Hi, there! My name is Youness, a professional content writer and marketer. I love dogs, and I think Huskies are, for most of the time, better than humans. I am, also, the owner and editor of WritersDo. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post because I enjoyed writing it. Don't forget to share it with your friends!

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