Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Iams ProActive Health (Dry)

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity dry dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest rating of two stars.

The Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity product line lists three dry dog foods… each designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

  • Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity
  • Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity Large Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity Small and Toy Breed

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity dry dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 54%

Ingredients: Corn meal, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain sorghum, dried egg product, dried beet pulp, chicken, chicken flavor, ground whole grain barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, sodium hexametaphosphate, flax meal, caramel, fructooligosaccharides, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), dl-methionine, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, vitamins (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), l-lysine monohydrochloride, beta-carotene, l-carnitine, citric acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%11%54%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%25%50%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn meal. Corn meal is a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Now, contrary to what you may have heard, corn isn’t necessarily a bad ingredient.

On the other hand, although there’s no way to know for sure here, the corn used in making many pet foods can be similar to the kind used to make feed for livestock.

And that can sometimes be problematic.

What’s more, corn is commonly linked to canine food allergies1.

For these reasons, we rarely consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal… a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

This stuff can contain almost anything… feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs… anything (that is) but skeletal muscle (real meat).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is dried egg product… a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries… from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The fifth item is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient… a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth item mentions chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably occupy a lower position on the list.

Following the chicken flavor, we notice barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.

The ninth ingredient includes chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken… a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid… an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is a quality ingredient.

The tenth ingredient lists brewers dried yeast. Although it is a by-product of the beer making process, brewers yeast contains about 45% protein… and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.

With two notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics… friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity
The Bottom Line

Now, judging by its ingredients alone, Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity appears to be a below-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 54%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

Average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs… as compared to a typical dry dog food.

With no evidence of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing an average amount of meat.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include chicken by-product meal in its formulas. Without this lower quality item, we’d be inclined to award this product our next higher rating.

Bottom line?

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity is a corn-based dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand two stars.

Not recommended.

Those looking for an adult kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Iams ProActive Health Adult dry dog food.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

01/30/2010 Original review
09/04/2010 Review updated
06/04/2012 Last Update

  1. White, S., Update on food allergy in the dog and cat, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Vancouver, 2001
  • Lexi Blevins

    This is the ingredient list for the Prohealth formula for Small and Toy breeds. It starts with chicken. The bigger dog food starts with corn, but according to the label the small dog formula is formulated differently.

    Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Flax Meal, Caramel, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), 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), Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Rosemary Extract.