- What is Iams Dog Food?
- Iams Dog Food Recalls
- What Formulas Does Iams Have?
- Ingredients in Iams Dog Food
- What Dogs is Iams Best Suited For?
- Which Dogs Would Do Better on a Different Diet?
- What is the Average Price of Iams Dog Food?
- How Long Does Iams Dog Food Last?
- Iams Dog Food Ratings
As dog parents, we always want what’s best for our dogs in terms of health and happiness. A huge part of that wellbeing is the food we give them, so we have to choose their meals wisely.
Iams dog food is one of the most popular pet food brands out there, but that doesn’t automatically make it the best choice for your dog. So, how do you know if you should serve your dog Iams or not?
What is Iams Dog Food?
Iams is one of the most popular and most well-known dog food brands. They focus their recipes primarily on your dog’s specific age and size, along with a few special diet formulas and wet food recipes too. They also have a wide selection of products for cats as well.
Iams was founded back in 1946, with a goal to create dog and cat food with a superior quality. Over the years, Iams gained its popularity as a known company in the pet food industry.
Iams Dog Food Recalls
As of May 2020, Iams has had a total of 7 recalls. Here are the details for each recall:
- March 2007: The FDA issued a recall for three of the dog and cat canned food formulas. This was due to potential melamine contamination.
- June 2010: The FDA recalled the canned cat food due to low levels of thiamine.
- July 2010: The FDA recalled one of the cat dry food formulas because of a potential salmonella contamination.
- August 2010: Once again, the FDA recalled some of the cat dry food because of potential salmonella contamination.
- December 2011: The FDA recalled one of the dry Puppy food formulas because of potential aflatoxin contamination.
- March 2013: Iams voluntarily recalled their dog treats due to potential mold growth.
- August 2013: The FDA recalled 6 formulas of their dry dog food due to potential salmonella contamination.
What Formulas Does Iams Have?
Iams has a total of 14 dry dog food formulas and 6 wet food formulas, which is a typical amount for a popular dog food brand.
Iams Adult Dog Food
Iams has 5 different formulas specifically for adult dogs. 3 of the formulas are for adults of specific sizes while the other 2 are made with unique flavors. The green bags are for dogs of different sizes, which includes a small breed formula, a large breed formula, and just a regular adult formula. The red bags are flavored differently with a lamb and rice formula and a beef and rice formula.
The size-specific formulas use chicken as the primary protein, along with wholesome grains and vegetables. The red bags have similar recipes, just with beef or lamb as the primary protein instead. Chicken is a common protein allergy for dogs, so the beef and lamb recipes are better choices for dogs with poultry sensitivities. All these formulas also have ingredients that can give your dog a healthy coat, boost their immune system, and strengthen their bones.
The beef and lamb recipes have 25% protein and 14% fat in them. Then, the size-specific formulas vary to best suit the breeds they’re made for. The small breed formula has 27% protein and 17% fat, the regular formula has 25% protein and 14% fat, and the large breed formula has 22.5% protein and 12.5% fat.
Iams Puppy Dog Food
These 3 formulas are designed specifically for puppies, ideally under 1 year old. They are also size-specific formulas with a recipe for small breeds, large breeds, and regular puppies. They are designed to support important puppy health aspects like brain development and strong bones. All three of these also use chicken as the primary ingredient, and unfortunately, there are no puppy formulas with a different protein.
The fat and protein percentages in these recipes are higher than the amounts in the adult formulas in order to support healthy puppy growth. The small breed puppy formula has 30% protein and 18% fat, the regular formula has 29% protein and 17.5% fat, and the large breed formula has 27% protein and 14% fat.
Iams Mature Adult Dog Food
The Mature Adult formulas were crafted for senior dogs, ideally ages 7 and up. Like the adult and puppy formulas, there is a recipe for small breeds, large breeds, and senior dogs in general. These recipes include ingredients and nutrients that can benefit older dogs and keep them healthy even though they might not be as active anymore. All three of these formulas have chicken as the primary protein.
These recipes have a lot less fat than the adult formulas since senior dogs are less active and lazier. The small breed formula has 28% protein and 15% fat, the regular formula has 24% protein and 10.5% fat, and the large breed formula has 26% protein and 11% fat. Some of the beneficial ingredients found in these formulas can assist with joints, immune systems, and metabolism.
Iams Special Diets Dog Food
While most Iams recipes are focused on dogs of a specific size, there are 3 formulas that are designed for certain diets. There are 2 diets to help dogs maintain a healthy weight and 1 formula with high protein for active dogs. All 3 formulas use chicken as the primary protein, but it’s important to note that healthy weight formulas don’t have a meat source as the first ingredient, which typically indicates low-quality food.
The High Protein formula has 30% protein and 18% fat in it. However, healthy weight formulas have much lower percentages in order to prevent dogs from gaining weight. The regular healthy weight formula has 20% protein and 9% fat while the large breed healthy weight formula has 22% protein and 9% fat.
All 3 formulas have beneficial ingredients to help with joints. Then, the high protein formula also has ingredients to promote high energy while the healthy weight formulas have ingredients to assist with a healthy metabolism.
Iams Wet Dog Food
Iams has 6 unique wet food formulas, which have more protein variety than dry foods. There are 3 chicken formulas, 2 beef formulas, and 1 lamb formula. Therefore, even if your dog is sensitive to one protein, they have other options to choose from. They have savory flavors that dogs are likely to prefer over dry food. All the recipes also have ingredients to benefit your dog’s skin and coat as well.
All of the canned formulas have 8% protein except for the puppy formula, which has 9%. Then, they all have varying amounts of fat, ranging from 3% to 8%, once again with the puppy formula having the highest percentage.
- Beef, Rice, Carrots, and Green Beans Flavor in Sauce Chunks in Gravy
- Lamb and Rice Pate
- Beef and Rice Pate
- Chicken and Whole Grain Rice Pate
- Puppy with Chicken and Rice Pate
- Senior with Slow-Cooked Chicken and Rice Pate
Ingredients in Iams Dog Food
Most Iams formulas have about the same ingredients, only varying slightly for different life stages and sizes. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of some of their common ingredients.
Good Ingredients[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#008000″ text_color=”#008000″ target=”self”]Chicken[/su_icon]
Chicken is a quality protein source that appears in most of the Iams formulas. A few recipes also include either beef or lamb. The only problem with using these meats is that when they’re raw, they are over 70% water. So, after they get cooked, most of that moisture is lost. Therefore, the amount of meat listed on the bag is actually much less than you’d expect.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#008000″ text_color=”#008000″ target=”self”]Ground Whole Grain Sorghum[/su_icon]
Sorghum is a starchy grain similar to corn, but it provides a bit more benefits than corn does. It can improve your dog’s energy and give them smoother blood sugar, but it’s not an essential ingredient.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#008000″ text_color=”#008000″ target=”self”]Dehydrated Egg Product[/su_icon]
This is a dehydrated form of eggs with no shells. These eggs have a high biological value and they are easy for dogs to digest. The only problem is that the quality of these eggs can vary. If they come from a low-quality hatchery, they might even come from eggs that failed to hatch.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#008000″ text_color=”#008000″ target=”self”]Flaxseed[/su_icon]
Flaxseed is a plant source that is great for dog food because it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit your dog’s skin and coat. They are also rich in soluble fiber. It does contain a high amount of protein though, so too much flaxseed could cause the recipe to have more plant protein than meat protein.
Controversial Ingredients[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#ff0000″ text_color=”#ff0000″ target=”self”]Chicken By-Product Meal[/su_icon]
Any by-products are usually a cheap alternative to a beneficial ingredient. Chicken by-product meal is the product of slaughterhouse waste. This means that whatever is left over on a slaughtered chicken is put into your dog’s food. The good thing about this ingredient though is that it contains 300% more protein than regular chicken.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#ff0000″ text_color=”#ff0000″ target=”self”]Ground Whole Grain Corn[/su_icon]
Corn is commonly used in dog food, but it’s actually an inexpensive grain. It can help boost your dog’s energy, but it has very little nutritional value. It wouldn’t be so controversial if it was lower on the list, but most of the formulas list it in the top 3 ingredients. In the healthy weight formulas, it actually comes before the primary protein.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#ff0000″ text_color=”#ff0000″ target=”self”]Beet Pulp[/su_icon]
While beet pulp is high in fiber, it’s a by-product of sugar beet processing, making it an inexpensive filler. In small amounts it’s okay, but it’s pretty high on the list for most formulas.[su_icon icon=”icon: plus” color=”#ff0000″ text_color=”#ff0000″ target=”self”]Caramel Color[/su_icon]
Caramel is used in dog food simply to give the food a golden-brown color. While the FDA states that caramel is okay, there’s no need for coloring in dog food. In fact, the concentrated version of it is extra controversial because it has been reported to cause cancer for laboratory animals.
What Dogs is Iams Best Suited For?
Iams dog food is geared specifically toward dogs of different ages and sizes. If you are looking for generic puppy, adult, or senior food that’s catered to your dog’s specific size, then Iams is a good choice for you.
However, there is very little variety beyond that. If you plan to feed Iams to your dog, you’ll need to make sure that they don’t have any specific diet needs, any allergies, or any pickiness. It’s really just a generic brand that is suitable for dogs with no special requirements when it comes to food.
Which Dogs Would Do Better on a Different Diet?
Unfortunately, most dogs would probably do better with a different brand. Not only is Iams full of controversial ingredients, but it also has very little variety. Even though they have food for every life stage and size, they don’t have very many diet-specific formulas and they very rarely change up the recipe.
So, if your dog has any allergies or sensitivities, especially if it’s a poultry or grain allergy, they should find a different brand. Chicken and grains can often cause reactions for sensitive dogs, which is why most brands have special “grain-free” or “poultry-free” products. However, this brand doesn’t even have grain-free choices, let alone limited ingredient diets.
Picky dogs should also choose a different brand. When most dog parents serve their dogs kibble, they often switch up the flavor every once in a while, just to give their dog variety. However, Iams doesn’t really have much flavor variety at all. Most formulas are chicken, and there are a few that have lamb or beef instead. That doesn’t leave dogs with much to try, even though there are plenty of other protein sources out there like fish, pork, turkey, and duck. Picky eaters will likely get sick of this food in no time.
What is the Average Price of Iams Dog Food?
Iams dry dog food comes in a wide range of sizes, ranging anywhere from 7 pounds to 40 pounds. The exact price depends on the size you purchase and the retailer you get it from, but here are some estimates on how much Iams usually costs.
The Iams 7-pound bags are usually between $8 and $10. Then, there are 15-pound bags that range from about $15 to $19. For a 30-pound bag, the price is usually between $30 and $35. Finally, the largest possible size, which is 40 pounds, is usually $40 to $45, but not all formulas come that large.
Overall, Iams dog food is much cheaper than most dog food brands. It makes sense because a lot of the ingredients are cheaper and lower quality, but that just means it’s a good choice if you’re on a budget.
How Long Does Iams Dog Food Last?
If dog food can last for a long time, that makes the price even better. For this example, we will use the 40-pound bag of the Iams Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food to see how long it would last for dogs of all sizes. For this calculation, we’re estimating that 1 pound is approximately 2 cups.
- 3 pounds – A 3-pound dog is recommended to eat about ⅓ cups per day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last about 8 months.
- 10 pounds – A 10-pound dog is recommended to eat between ¾ cups and ⅞ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 3 to 3 ½ months.
- 20 pounds – A 20-pound dog is recommended to eat between 1 ¼ cups and 1 ½ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 1 ½ to 2 months.
- 30 pounds – A 30-pound dog is recommended to eat between 1 ⅔ cups and 2 cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 1 month to 1 ½ months.
- 40 pounds – A 40-pound dog is recommended to eat between 2 cups and 2 ⅓ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last a little over 1 month.
- 50 pounds – A 50-pound dog is recommended to eat between 2 ½ cups and 2 ¾ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last about 1 month.
- 60 pounds – A 60-pound dog is recommended to eat between 2 ¾ cups and 3 ¼ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 24 to 29 days.
- 70 pounds – A 70-pound dog is recommended to eat between 3 ¼ cups and 3 ⅔ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 21 to 24 days.
- 80 pounds – An 80-pound dog is recommended to eat between 3 ½ cups and 4 cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 20 to 22 days.
- 90 pounds – A 90-pound dog is recommended to eat between 3 ¾ cups and 4 ⅓ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 18 to 21 days.
- 100 pounds – A 100-pound dog is recommended to eat between 4 ¼ cups and 4 ¾ cups each day. Therefore, a 40-pound bag would last 16 to 18 days.
Iams Dog Food Ratings
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
About half the ingredients listed for this brand could be considered controversial, and they often include by-products for protein sources. Plus, many of the filler ingredients are listed toward the top of the ingredient list. If fillers are used at all in dog food, they should be in the smallest amounts possible, not as one of the main ingredients.
Iams has a variety for dogs of all different sizes and life stages, but they don’t have much beyond that. The majority of the choices are chicken flavors with the same mediocre ingredients in most of them. Most dogs, especially picky eaters and dogs with allergies, would do much better on a different brand that has more flavors and options.
The best aspect of Iams dog food is the price. The bags of dog food are much cheaper than other popular brands, and it will also last a long time for a reasonable price. Even the largest bags of Iams are under $50, which means you can save a lot of money by serving this to your dog.
Protein Content: 3
For most of the formulas, the first ingredient is a source of animal protein such as chicken, beef, or lamb. These first ingredients are real meat instead of a by-product, however, there are still by-products included later in the ingredient list. Also, there are some formulas that list a grain for the first ingredient instead of an animal protein, which is not ideal for dog food. Dogs need high percentages of meat in their diet, so animal proteins should always come first. Oftentimes, even the second and third ingredients should also be a meat source since most of the meat’s weight is lost after the kibble is cooked.
Not only are the ingredients full of cheap fillers and controversial items, but the food is also colored to make it look more appealing. On top of that, Iams has had 7 recalls so far, which puts them on the list of most recalled pet foods. Only one recall was voluntary, and the rest were issued by the FDA. The best dog foods should have enough quality control to prevent this many recalls from happening.