Iams ProActive Health (Dry)


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Latest Report May Not Be Current
Unable to Locate Complete Label
Data On Iams Website1

Iams ProActive Health Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Iams ProActive Health product line includes 15 dry dog foods.

Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Chunks
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original
  • Iams ProActive Health Senior Plus Over 50 lb
  • Iams ProActive Health Senior Plus Under 50 lb
  • Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Lamb Meal and Rice
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Small and Toy Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Weight Control (2.5 stars)
  • Iams ProActive Health Adult Weight Control Large Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed
  • Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Small and Toy Breed

Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Iams Proactive Health Adult Large Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 25% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), ground whole grain barley, dried beet pulp, chicken flavor, dried egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, salt, dicalcium phosphate, caramel, flax meal, choline chloride, fructooligosaccharides, 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), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), calcium carbonate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, dl-methionine, l-tryptophan, l-carnitine, citric acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis23%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis25%17%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%36%43%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 43%

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) 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 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.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (conventional meat).

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

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient 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 and blood sugar 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.

After the chicken flavor, we find 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 ninth ingredient is 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 actually a quality ingredient.

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 affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, flaxseed meal contains one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Iams ProActive Health looks like 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 25%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers dried yeast and flax meal, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Iams ProActive Health is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken, chicken by-product meal or lamb meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.


Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Iams Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

07/27/2015 Last Update

  1. As of 7/27/2015
  2. Wikipedia definition
  • Crazy4dogs

    Because everyone loves a deal? 😉

  • DogFoodie

    To get you to buy it and get your dog hooked on it.

  • Gabriel Hart

    Anyone know about the main reason why dog food companies sometimes package food in larger bags for same price as smaller, like: a normal 30lb bag in 40lb size for a limited time? My reason for asking is I am wondering why they give so much food away for “free”? Is it possibly older or an unwanted batch?

  • Skye G

    We fed our deceased at 15 family dog Iams her whole life and were pretty pleased w it. One of the higher quality “grocery store” brands available. Not too bad a food.

  • Pitlove

    I thought you fed V-dog because you couldnt stand to feed meat to your animals as you yourself are a vegan?

  • Pitlove

    You were feeding Blue so you probably have the budget for a higher priced, but better quality food than Blue. Check out Orijen. Sourced and manufactured in Canada and none of the worries that the below poster mentioned. Visit their website and they give you a list of local (to them) farmers they use and that their meats are delivered fresh daily. My 68lb pitbull did very well on this food. And you would still be able to feed a species appropriate diet which a vegan diet is not for a carnivore.

    edit– try adding wet food to his dry food or adding water to the dry food. My dog would eat the kibble soaked in water for a while when he was young, but then he started demanding a more quality diet, so I added canned food and now he eats no problem.

  • Roanne Ting Thompson

    Hahaha. Glad someone is on the same page! Thank you!

  • el doctor

    Hi Roanne

    Are you sure you’re not me, using a different avatar? Just sayin

    Welcome to DFA, I hope you don’t mind my sense of humor. Good luck with the V-Dog!

  • Roanne Ting Thompson

    I’m about to switch to V-dog (http://v-dog.com) and highly suggest it. It has a vegan option that my family and I like because we have read about all the horrible things that occur to animals for human and pet consumption. What’s worse is that there are other things going into our pet foods: pelletized or canned slaughter house waste products, the bodies of dogs and cats, moldy grains, flea collars, euthanasia solution, hormones, chemical preservatives, pesticides, livestock antibiotics, and toxic levels of heavy metal like lead and mercury.

    There is another option that Petco and some grocery stores carry called Halo. They claim to have natural foods.http://www.chewy.com/dog/food-treats-332/halo?gclid=Cj0KEQjww42tBRCO-sfEiO3DvYMBEiQAHeqMKOiTFifDF7ZexffZaj7ntO-TvHesxRZRkVCpwjfEco4aAu8D8P8HAQ

  • bklynsteph

    Hon I’ve have four and I’m on a budget. I feed them this when I can’t buy expensive brands and it’s fine. It doesn’t have wheat so they don’t get allergies from it. I also make an inexpensive cheap cut chicken, veggies and rice and bean stew for some variety and health benefits in their diet. It keeps costs down, and they love it. They are rescues as well. Youtube has many dog food budget friendly suggestions and recipes. Avoid dry brands that have wheat or soy.

  • Polo And Cody

    I have a puppy that does the same thing. I switch dog food a lot, and my puppy doesn’t like the dry variety, so what I do is if I’m on a budget I will buy some Iams woof wet dog food (tubs) or any other brand and i mix it with the dry dog food. If that doesn’t work mix it win some warm water or add a egg (slightly cooked).
    Hope I helped!

  • Joanna Mallon

    My dog was eating Blue Wilderness up until this week and now he won’t touch it. I tried giving him a different flavor but he still just spits it out. For some reason he will he Iams but I know it’s not the best quality food. Does anyone have any suggestions? He’s a 65 lb lab mix.

  • Bobby dog

    Check those sites for store locators you never know; sometimes some garden supply stores sell decent and reasonably priced foods too.

    As for brands at Petsupermarket, Nutro might fit your needs. Join their VIP club for discounts, look for sales & store coupons/specials, and use this site to help choose a food if you buy from them. I think they may even honor coupons and sale prices from other local pet stores, not positive.

    Look at how many calories are in a cup of your current dog food as a starting place to find other foods to try.

    Sometimes it’s helpful to stay close to the protein, fat, and fiber percentages of the food you’re currently feeding when transitioning to other foods if your dogs aren’t used to eating different foods. If any of them get loose stools during a transition I have had luck feeding a couple spoonfuls of pure canned pumpkin (not pie filling) for a few days.

    I am not sure what your weekly/monthly budget is or how much food you buy at one time, but chewy.com charges $4.95 for orders under $49, free shipping for anything over. Petflow.com is $5.95 under $49 free for anything over. I believe Petco.com and PETsMART.com offer similar deals. All offer discounts for Auto-Ship orders too.

    This is how I shop for pet food most of the time. Good luck in school and with your pet food budget. Stop back if you need anymore suggestions!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Bobby dog gave you some good choices and suggestions. A lot of the online dog food have free shipping if you spend $50 and no tax, so you could order food for the month or so and it might work out cheaper.

  • maria

    I’m closer to a petsupermarket and Walmart so those brands don’t sound familiar . And it’s so expensive to ship online but I will definitely search along those lines and the rest of your advice for coupons and how many cups usually feed the big ones 2 1/2 and the smaller lab 1 1/2 she won’t more then that . Thank you very much

  • Bobby dog

    Hi maria:
    Sounds like you have your hands full! One way to make the most of your pet food budget is to figure out the calories each dog needs to maintain their health. Sometimes spending a little more per bag on a kibble that is calorically dense can end up costing you less than feeding a kibble that comes in a large bag that costs less. However, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way because each dog will have different nutritional needs and may maintain weight/health better on foods with different ingredients. If or when you figure out how many calories each dog needs you can contact companies and ask how many cups are in a bag to calculate the cost of serving each food. Something to keep in mind.

    Look into frequent buyer programs, sign up for e-mail promotions from dog food companies, and checkout the coupon threads on the forum side of DFA. Check out feed and hardware stores for food, sometimes you can find better prices at these places.

    Look into rotational feeding. This works well for my dog and cats. Some benefits are you can take advantage of sales, if there is ever a recall, if you can’t find or your usual food or it’s discontinued, they change the recipe and your dogs don’t like it anymore you always have a food you can feed. Here’s some more info:

    Here’s a thread about foods with decent ratings available at Wal-Mart:

    Check out these foods: Pro Pac, Sportmix Wholesomes, Exclusive, Infinia, Fromm, Precise, Nutrisource, Blue Seal Life Stages, Southern States Naturals, Hi Tek Naturals, Victors, and 4Health grain free Beef or Turkey recipes from Tractor Supply Company.

  • Susan

    Hi a few people feed Victor & say its healthy & cheap

  • maria

    I have 5 dogs
    5 year old small lab mix
    2 year old American bulldog
    1 year old pitbull
    2 year old pitbull
    5 month old Rottie mix

    I rescued them trying to find them homes but nobody ever inquired about them so I kept them I refused to send them to the shelter or streets. So I don’t have a lot of money iam college student live with my parents and were hitting rough times I used to feed Dog Chow but I stopped then I started feeding Kirkland but I didn’t have membership card and I moved far from my friend who used to take me then I did purine one and I changed that then I did purina pro plan but they didn’t seem to like it so I changed it back to Kirkland but it was Hassel to get to Costco so I just bought Iams to see how they would do I don’t want to buy them crap food either but I need a big bag of food that will last me for a while without it hurting my parents wallet

  • Cathy Theiss

    My neopolitan mastiff mix has been eating Iams since he was a puppy and has been severely itchy for years from what vets thought was a flea allergy. Nothing has worked. I am now looking into other food options as well. I’ve heard grain-free can help with itchy dogs if it happens to be from a grain sensitivity

  • dave

    Iams and Eukanuba are made by the same company

  • Lynne Tighe-Boland

    If you’re happy then you are happy. You asked if there was a better quality kibble for similar price and so this is what I had found. Iams is certainly not a bad brand. Check out the reviews on all three brands and then decide from there. It’s up to you. My dog thrived on a food that I though was good, but turns out “dumb and happy” isn’t always a good thing. Go with what works for you.

  • Ed C.

    They both seem to be thriving on Iams.

    Ed C.

    *Executive V.P. @ Gypsum & Limestone Supply Company (on FB & LinkedIn) “High Quality Gypsum for Ag and Industrial uses.”

    Sent from My iPhone…

  • Lynne Tighe-Boland

    I agree with Carrie that Pure Balance is highly rated (4) and it’s in store at Walmart or can be shipped from walmart.com. Also for the price we found Hi-Tek Naturals (chicken and rice rated a 4, also) which we have found at on line retailers. Just found this web site and decided to switch from our dogs current food as we were appalled with the review and description. Bought Pure Balance as we could switch immediately and our dog loves it. Hi-Tek contains a probiotic which this review board says it not listed on Pure Balance. Both about the same price as Iams and both better rated. Check them out.

  • Debby Tompkins Walsh

    I had two dogs, one a lab/multi-breed mix and one a lab/great dane mix. I fed them both Iams Proactive Large Breed all of their lives. They both died of cancer between the ages of 9 and 10. :-( I don’t blame the dog food, but I’m looking for different options for the new little guy my daughter has requested. (I still love my BIG guys!)

  • Geoffreyfriedberg

    My girl Rottweiler lived to 12 on nothing but IAMs and cooked burger. This OLD for a Rottweiler.

  • Crazy4dogs

    How much are you feeding?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Runny stools on new food is often because you are feeding too much. Did you do a slow transition? 25% new, 75% old 3-4 days, 50/50 3-4 days, 75 new, 25 old 3-4 days.

  • Carrie

    Some dogs need awhile to transition to a new dog food, mixing the old food with a little of the new at first. I feed 3 cups to a 65lb dog. You can also try canned pumpkin, about a teaspoon mixed with the food.

  • Ed C.

    Hi Carrie I tried the Pure Balance and they got runny stools. Maybe I fed too much? They are 62 and 70 lbs.

  • Carrie

    Ed, Pure Balance sold at Walmart is a 4 star food. Victor Select Hi-Pro Plus is a 5 star food and comes in 40lb bags at a good price. I feed both these brands, and the dogs do great on them.

  • Ed C.

    Thank you C4D!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Ed C. If you are feeding a grain inclusive dog food, Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice and ProPac Ultimates Chicken and Brown Rice get 4 star ratings and are the same or actually cheaper to feed than Iams. I am sure there are many others as well. You can check out the ratings on Dog Food Advisor and just google to see the online prices. The interesting thing that you should also take into consideration that the higher priced and better foods actually can cost the same or less to feed. With more nutrition in the food, you would actually feed less while providing the dog with more bioavailable nutrition. My 80 lb lab eats 2.5 cups and my 64 lb lab eats 2 cups per day. They are very active and walk 1.5 miles per day. I do add wet food to the mix, but you still feed much less than the low rated brands.

  • Ed C.

    Our Rhodesian Ridgeback/SharPei mix (2) and Blue-Nose Pitt Bull (1) are doing fine on Iams. But, what are better quality kibble for the same price, anyone know?

  • Stephanie Smith

    Exactly do your own research is my motto.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    My vet told me to stick with Hills, Purina, Royal Canin and Iams. He told me i can’t go wrong with any of those foods. Now that i know better i would never feed those foods.

  • Stephanie Smith

    If there was such an issue with IAMS I am pretty sure vets would not be recommending people feed it to their dogs. Are you serious?

  • Bob K

    d&k – Iams is a popular pet food but nothing special for what you are paying for. You can get some 4 and 5 star rated foods for the same price. Genetics and breeding are certainly major factors in a dogs health as is diet and exercise. How about getting a better food for the same money or perhaps less. Better Kibble – less money. Remember to transition slowly to a new kibble.

  • derek&kacy

    My wife and I have a great pyrenees(41/2), an english mastiff (4) and a house cat (9). All eat iams pet foods. We have never had a health problem with any of them…no weight or allergy problems. I had a house cat before my wife and fed him royal canin. I had alot of health issues with him…..he eventually died from diabetes at age 6. My parents have had 5 saint bernards and have fed them nothing but eukanuba. One died at 5 from cancer, another at 4 from kidney failure, another at 9 from cancer and 2 at 11 from natural causes. I’m not an expert of any kind, but seems to me that it depends on the animal and whatever pre-existing conditions they may have. My opinion is that iams has been a great food for my animals and will continue to feed them iams. Good luck to the rest of you in your search.

  • Stephen Myers

    Where is it imported from?

  • http://batman-news.com Kathleen Barton

    Both of my Mastiff puppies have had problems with this product. One is digestive and the other itches non-stop. Looking for another option.

  • http://antiskinproblems.com/truth-about-proactive-reviews/ Deasia Johnathan
  • Riah

    Used to feed this to both my dogs. One did well on it for years, but the other was constantly sick. Switched both to a higher quality food and they are both happy and healthy. I will never feed a dog this junk food again. Especially because there are price comparable foods that contain much better ingredients.

  • http://antiskinproblems.com/truth-about-proactive-reviews/ Deasia Johnathan
  • Avram Cohen

    Wow Sam,, you really are ignorant!

  • Avram Cohen

    Your a idiot! Keep poisining your friend?

  • Avram Cohen

    Agree! their sure is a bunch of Bozo’s on here thinking that if my dog isn’t sick then it’s ok!? Iams is poison for your dog in my book!

  • Avram Cohen

    And Monday morning you have to clock in back to work,, the Iams factory lol! Iams is garbage for your pet!

  • Avram Cohen

    Do you work for Iams.. Iams is junk and full of garbage by products and grains!?

  • Faith Fleming

    BOYCOTT IAMS !!! Protor & Gambel – They do cruel experiments on dogs! view link above!

  • Joe Bito

    Hi Linda I know everyone here will disagree with u. But I think you’re 85% correct. I think most dog food are ok. Its the owners job to pick which food their dog do well on since every dogs are different. With that said I would stay away from a breeder who feeds Pedigree..

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are right, but I can’t help but wonder if you think my reply was in response to Hound Dog Mom instead of realizing it was to Linda. The science definitely shows that protein is not the issue. Science also shows that artificial colors and certain preservatives are bad. That’s what I was referring to, that some foods are bad because of the ingredients in them, not the GA. They are not all the same.

  • Academic

    But at last the data are science driven as opposed to somebody “said”. Of course pets are different, but the data show it isn’t the food protein content that s affecting kidney disease generally.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Linda –

    Feeding high levels of protein does not “cause” kidney disease – that’s a myth.

    “Robertson et al., [97] studied the effect of increased protein intake on hyperperfusion and the progression of glomerulosclerosis in dogs that were 75% nephrectomized. After four years of feeding diets that were either 56, 27 or 19% protein, no association between diet and structural changes in the kidney were observed.”


    “Older dogs have a higher incidence of chronic renal disease than young dogs, and restricting protein intake in these dogs has been advocated as a renoprotective maneuver. In a study designed to test this hypothesis, experimental dogs 7 to 8 years of age were divided into two groups. Dogs in both groups had uninephrectomy performed to in- crease vulnerability of the remaining kidney to any protein effects. One group was fed a low protein diet, and the other group received a high protein diet for the subsequent 4 years. Results of this study indicated that there were no adverse effects of the high protein diet and mortality was actually higher in the low protein group. A similar study was conducted in another laboratory, and, like-wise, no adverse effect of high protein diets was detected.”


  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s like saying all people foods are the same. Ingredients matter. Processing matters.

  • Linda

    I have had 7 dogs over the past 20 or so years (usually a pair at a time, though once I had 3 dogs) and have fed them a variety of food brands from garbage grocery brands to high end brands sold only at vets and top price ones. All my dogs died at the same age; 13-14 years and had about the same health. In my book pretty much all dog food brands on the market are ok. Some brands heavy on protein that are considered so great here have been vetoed by my vet. Too much protein= kidney problems later on. My breeder feeds Pedigree to her kennel and says dog foods are all virtually the same.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Smart dog!

  • James Stewart

    I bought a bag of this dog food. My dog all but refused to eat it. Within a couple days she started having reactions, drippy eyes, scratching ears. I tossed the bag in the trash.

  • BCCBMe

    I’ve got a Border Collie as well, just won in her agility class on the East Coast. Been feeding her Iams Mini Chunks (the one with the BC on the bag) and every vet we’ve taken her to says that’s a ringing endorsement for the brand. Initially we started her off on Blue Buffalo, Nutro, all natural. Everything made her coat awful and her stomach hurt. Funny how thecheapest option turned out to be the best one.

    Melissa, 2x Champion

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, this food is bad, just read the ingredient list and the GA.

  • GSDs are awesome

    Is you vet qualified in pet nutrition? Not all are. My pet’s vet has a PHD in pet nutrition.(or so the paper says) Sometimes the vet only recommends the food they happen to sell or are being paid to reccomend. (Not ALL vets do this, just some) This food isn’t bad, but it’s not normally what I would feed to my pets.

  • Holly77

    I have had 2 vets only recommend 2 different brands f dog food to me. One was the brand they sell right in their office and the other is IAMS. If there was such an issue with IAMS I am pretty sure vets would not be recommending people feed it to their dogs.

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  • JellyCat

    If money is consideration but you want to do better for your dog, try asking questions. There are many more affordable quality foods. One example Kirkland (costco) brand kibble. It is cheap and high quality. However, you may have to keep an eye for recalls.This is also true for Iams though.

  • Yaya

    I inherited my mom’s Peekapoo a year ago. At that time she was on an expensive type chow that she barely ate and when she did, would frequently throw up. She also frequently had uti’s, loose stools indoors and was chronically constipated.

    When she came to live with me and her chow ran down, I, not having lived with dogs for 35 years, went to buy her some. I found myself reading ingredient lists for acceptable sources of protein and consciously avoided any formulas containing sugar. Based on this criteria I was sold on the Rachel Ray formula, but I couldn’t bring myself to commit to spending that much on an ongoing basis. My next choice was Iams.

    Went with Iams and she wasn’t very keen on it. Still isn’t, so I top it with either frozen peas or hard-boiled egg, drizzle with a teeny bit of water, and she cleans her bowl twice a day. Her potty breaks are like clockwork, her stools look great and her teeth are bright white. No indoor accidents, and no health probs. I’m telling you, she’s a different dog because of Iams.

    I may still upgrade to the RR at some point, but for the time being I think we’ll stick with Iams. Having read the thoughtfully articulated article above, however, I think I’ll start letting her lick my empty yogurt container more often 😉

    PS: Iams recall limited to East US and I’m in the NW. I checked.

  • stevelng67

    Not knowing better I fed my dog Iams for years. She was over weight and she was beginning to have joint problems. I switched to blue buffalo and she lost 7 lbs. and the inflammation in her hips went completely away. Iams should be taken off the market or forced to change there formula.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    To add to the discussion : A heads up to those who are feeding their dogs lines of the ProActive Iams : there has been a massive recall – please go to the following link to protect your furry friends. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm365154.htm

  • Jules

    This food is crap caused bloody stools in my puppy.

  • JellyCat

    Costco Nature Domain grain free is cheaper and healthier. Even though there have been recalls in the past the same is true about Iams. I would definitely feed Nature Domain vs Iams. However, there are other food available in USA for a good price. Others should be able to help identify these :)

  • BarnGoddess

    I’d love to know which foods are cheaper and healthier than Iams. I thought I was feeding my dogs the best for my budget.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Look for NutriSource. It is easy to switch to and relatively inexpensive. And most importantly, good food.

  • Sam

    We tried Iams dog food when we first got our Jack Russels and it made them poop bloody jelly type stuff and it didnt stop until we switched brands. We use Beneful now and they love it but after I read whats on this site about beneful I will be changing to something else very soon.

  • JellyCat

    According to your logic nobody should see a doctor until they have an obvious health issue or go to a dentist unless their teeth start rotting.

    We should not exercise unless obese. All of us can smoke unless we have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer. And of course we can eat fast food unless we have a cardiac disease.

    There are actually cheaper or same price foods that are a lot healthier than Iams.

  • Tiger Carlone

    I was feeding my border collie Nutro dry dog food until the summer of 2009. I don’t know what happened to their food but all the sudden I’d come home and find he’d had diarrhea all over the house. Not a nice mess to come home to when you have a 7 month old in the house. So I made the switch to Iams. He has not had any diarrhea, he’s healthy, he’s active, he does everything a border collie should (and lots that he shouldn’t!) do. My theory? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. My dog and Iams get along great. Is it the best thing out there? Probably not but I’m also someone who once bought a brand new car with 30 miles on it and had pistons replaced at 20,000 miles yet bought a used car with 156,000 miles on it and have replaced nothing but normal wear and tear items (it now has 256,000+ on it). So…more expensive doesn’t always mean better in every case.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Some of the good grain inclusives are definitely more expensive than some of the not so good grain frees, but when you compare good to good, grain free is usually more, after all meat costs more.

  • InkedMarie

    Yep, Patty is right, that is what I meant to say. Now that I think of it, that may not always be the case. Annamaet makes food with grain and it could be more expensive than some cheap grainfrees.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I think she meant with grain will be cheaper.

  • Pam

    I thought food without grain is more expensive?

  • InkedMarie

    I’m going to be blunt: I think it’s the same crap quality it’s always been. If you’ve been feeding Iams, I don’t want you to go into shock with some of the food prices so I ill say to look at Fromm, Earthborn, Dr Tim’s, Annamaet for good foods, from good companies, with good price points. All make foods with and without grain, without grain will be cheaper.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sheesh!! I didn’t even know that they had goat food. I’m glad my goats get a little feed straight from the mill and a whole lot of forage!!

  • Ellen

    Do you have a farm supply store in your area? They sometimes have pet food, if you do a little research you may find something there. =)

  • Ellen

    I also read that their goat food actually kills goats, it lacks a necessary ingredient for goat health. They know of the problem but choose to do nothing. I read a petition online regarding this. Having used Iams for 20 plus years I can tell you that the quality has definitely gone downhill.

  • Ellen

    I have used Iams for years and years but have been noticing that it doesn’t seem to be the same quality it was before. Doing research to find something better for my pets.

  • diana


  • diana

    Sam not to be mean but reading your comments you are full of excuses. These nice people here have been giving you options but you are too stubborn. Have you thought of writing to walmart and asking them to supply different brands? The part you said that you had the best mother in the world, well it sounds like she spoiled you because you don’t like accepting new information. You feel as though someone is attacking you which is sad. You are either going to continue feeding your dog iams or feed a better grade of food, simple as that so I’m not sure why you keep commenting about the same thing.

  • diana

    It’s not about whether the dog gains weight or not, It’s whether the dog food you were giving him contains ingredients known to be harmful to dogs. If you want your dog to gain weight you can feed him good 4 or 5 star dog food made to increase weight with ingredients like duck for example.

    That will help him gain weight. As long as the food you’re giving him now does not contain corn, corn meal, animal by products, and other harmful ingredients then its fine no matter what the price is but if this less expensive dog food contains those ingredients then I would strongly suggest switching to a better grade dog food, It will be better for the dog in the long run.

  • LabsRawesome

    Probably because the less expensive brands contain mostly if not exclusively, grains. You should try a 4 or 5 star food that simply has a higher calorie per cup. This number can vary significantly. You can go from foods containing only 300 or so calories per cup, to one containing 500 to 600 calories per cup. Which wouldn’t really cost all that much more, because you would feed less than the cheaper brand. Or in your case maybe the same amount, since your particular dog seems to have a higher metabolism than most.

  • Pattyvaughn

    When dogs are fed something long term their bodies adjust to it. When you switch they sometimes need help readjusting or they don’t get everything out of the food they are eating. If you ever decide to try for quality again, then find a digestive supplement to give your dog for a while to help with the transition.

  • 2 Stars Schmoo Fars

    I have a thin dog, and my vet jumped down my neck every time I came in. I bought Blue Buffalo for months and fed my dog the double dose, and he only gained about four pounds the entirety he was on it. I went to the vet, and he still was telling me I should switch to a higher quality food like BB, forgetting that he was already on it. Bottom line, just because one of these foods is rated higher due to not having corn, etc, doesn’t mean it’s any better than the other foods because it depends on your dog. I went back to feeding less expensive brands and my dog is doing just great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    pretty much, yes you did. because you shot down everyone’s suggestions. if the only place you can shop is walmart, then get pure balance by ol roy. however, i’m sure there are other places you can shop, including the internet.

  • Pingback: what do you feed your dog? - Page 2()

  • InkedMarie

    glad the puking stopped. Continue to feed Iams, it appears thats what you want to hear

  • LabsRawesome

    Rachael Ray has a new grain free food, that is way better than Iams. It’s made by Ainsworth, and available pretty much everywhere. I would say RR GF is a 4 star food. http://nutrish.rachaelray.com/products/nutrish-zero-grain-dog-food

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sam, My Walmart sells this food. It is Grain-free. Your dogs tummy trouble *could* be a grain intolerance. It’s called Natural Life GF. http://www.nlpp.com/natural_products/dogs/dry_food/grain_free_chicken_and_potato

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sam, do you have a Tractor Supply, Costco, Petco, or Petsmart in your area?

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Did I say that?? I can not help that my Walmart is small and those are my options.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    It has been 5 days since he has puked. I will maybe try pure balance, I like Iams right now though, I don’t like that there are mean to animals, but all I Support is the dog food.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sam, No I’m definitely not saying that Iams is good. Iams is bad. What I meant was the foods I listed in my previous post only cost around $20 and are much higher quality, with real meat ingredients. Do you have a Tractor Supply store in your area? I saw that you shop at Walmart. I would agree with HDM, that the best food they carry at Walmart is Pure Balance, dry and canned. Also the last time I was at Walmart, I noticed that they are carrying a new grain free. It’s made by the same company that makes Lambaderm. Btw, It is really not normal for your dog to be puking so often. My 3 year old dog has only thrown up twice in his whole life. He got carsick once, as a puppy. And the other time was after his puppy vaccinations.

  • JellyCat

    You can gradually transition to new food. Just mix IAMS with better food.

  • JellyCat

    If I were you, I would make my own food and feed my dog raw. Making your own food means getting a grinder and some meat from grocery store. This will be the best you can do for your dog.
    Another option is getting food online. You are in USA! People will be able to provide you with pet store links.

    I personally would never feed foods you mentioned. That’s my honest opinion without being judgmental.

  • JRT

    Good god people just do some research, Ingredients are ingredients period. Just because a certain dog “tolerates” a food doesn’t mean its good.
    Expensive in no way = good food, and just because its in a supermarket does not automatically mean its bad. For example, Wallmart sells Actrium (Holistic Blend in USA)
    It and all it’s ingredients are made locally in Canada its $32.00 for a large 16 kg bag. It rates 4 to 5 stars here and “Highly” recommended.
    So tell me again why you buy a ‘pretty bag’ ‘seen on TV’ 1-2 star dog food with many bad ingredients for more than twice the price!

  • Johnandchristo

    I’m glad to hear that.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    A representative from Whole Dog Journal visited Proctor and Gamble’s pet health and nutrition (testing) center last year and had only good things to say. I think things have improved a lot.


  • Johnandchristo

    It is true Iams does tests on animals.

    Iams: A Recipe for Cruelty
    A nine-month investigation into the pet food giant reveals dogs and cats fed a steady diet of loneliness, suffering, and neglect in their laboratory cages.Support Companies That Don’t Test on AnimalsCaring consumers might never guess that lonely animals are confined to tiny barren cages in laboratories for years on end to test dog and cat food. PETA has contacted hundreds of companion-animal food companies to find out whether they conduct laboratory tests on animals. Numerous companies responded to let us know that they do not.
    Learn more »Talk to Your Local Shelter About IamsIf you volunteer at, donate to, or live near an animal shelter, please urge the shelter to stop buying and/or promoting Iams products until the company ends its cruel laboratory tests on animals. Click here for Iams literature to give to the shelter.

    Animal shelters across North America are joining the Iams boycott. Let us know if your local shelter is one of them.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Sam – if you are on the US, in addition to the Pure Balance HDM suggests, there are lots of sites you can order online from (wag.com, petflow, etc) and they have free shipping within the US. With regard to still having 20lbs of Iams on hand, though, you can always mix in the Iams with the Pure Balance or whatever you get shipped in (if you choose to go that route), so you can use up the Iams and still provide better nutrition for your dog. Hope this helps!

  • Sam The Pembroke

    But thank you so much I like that you seem to be a nice person, :) I like that.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Sounds good, but 1, I have about 20 pounds of Iams, 2, my dog does great on it, 3, I just switched to Iams..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s made by ‘Ol Roy, but it’s a pretty good food. It’s ‘Ol Roy’s entry into the “holistic” segment of the petfood industry. The dry is rated 3.5 stars and the canned hasn’t been rated yet but judging by the ingredients and protein levels I’m certain it will get at least 4 stars. I’ve heard good things about it so if you’re shopping at Walmart it would be worth checking out.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Hey how are you doing hound dog mom? So is that a ol’roy food?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Walmart is carrying a new food called Pure Balance that is rated pretty well – it’s also budget friendly. Around $30 for a 30 lb. bag and the canned food is $1 per can.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    What do you say I should do then? Feed him Ol’roy, purina, pedigree, or the Iams… My walmart sucks, they have those three. I have no close pet store, I have to drive about 2 hours away to get you opinion of good dog food.

  • JellyCat

    Hey Sammy, they are also known for doing a lot of cruel animal research and unethical practices that seriously hurt the environment.
    Don’t be fooled. When company like this “does good” for shelters – it’s pure marketing so that people like you would say “but wait a minute, they do good for animals so they must mean good and their food is not that bad”. It’s like as if Exxon Mobil donated 0.0000001% of its profit to a “clean streams ecological foundation” and made it public on its gas stations. It’s a joke!

  • Pattyvaughn

    What is the company known for? Isn’t Iams owned by P&G? They are known for cleaning products, not good dog food. Every since they bought Iams, they have replaced good ingredients with cheap ones, but they haven’t reduced the price. They took a good name food and turned it into something else, but are able to keep selling it because of the name. If your satisfied with that, good for you, but at least be educated on what you are getting for your money.

  • InkedMarie

    I never said the company was bad. I said that just because they do good for shelters doesn’t make it a good food. It’s a similar thing to people who buy Nutrish (Rachel Ray), Halo (Ellen), Natural Balance (Dick van Patten). People think its a good food because a celebrity has their name on it

  • InkedMarie

    You need to do some research, right here on DFA, on what ingredients make a good dog food and what ones don’t. It’s wonderful your dog is doing great on Iams, that doesn’t mean the food is a quality food. Well, it is, just not good quality. No one is attacking you, on the contrary, you’ve called people names and told “us” to shut up and I see a couple of your comments have been removed. Not mine.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Just because it might not be the best food does not mean the company is bad!

  • Sam The Pembroke

    But the thing is they are not recommending, they are coming out and being like “Oh Iams sucks, Iams is junk, I would never feed my dog that.” Well everyone like I said has a opinion, but stop attacking me! I don’t mind getting opinions, matter of fact that’s why I came here! But when people are attacking, in a “little” kids words, me no likie… I like when people are like, “Hello sam! How are you doing? So you feed your dogs Iams? Mostly people don’t like Iams is because it has corn and wheat. But anyway out of pedigree Purina Ol’roy and Iams? Well I would say Purina one, Yeah defiantly.” I like when people come at you nicely, I don’t know, maybe it’s from having the best mom in the world that I am like that….

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Well it has to go somewhere! if he cant digest it then he pukes it up! and jumping for joy?? Who wouldn’t be! He would puke over, and over and over, now he pukes like never so back off would you?? Everyone has a opinion so stop trying to change mine!

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Oh man, did you read what i said??? I said the company does good things for animal shelters, they give animal shelters dog food and cat food, ! wish you would stop being so weird, everyone has a opinion! so stop attacking me!

  • Sam The Pembroke

    You are a idiot! go choke on a cats tail!

  • JellyCat

    Sam you’re epic. I simply told you that you feed c**p to your dog. This has nothing to do with price of food. There are many foods for similar price that are better, especially if you live in USA.
    Food in Canada is much more expensive and I don’t have a luxury of ordering food online. It’s simply not an option here. So I probably spend a lot higher % from my income on my pets food then you do. Consider also the price of living in Vancouver, BC. My car insurance is 140$ a month for instance. So, you must be the snob!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    i see where you’re coming from sam. and i agree that no way needs to tell you that you arent doing good enough for your dog. but honestly, this site’s whole purpose is to figure out not only which foods are the best but also which foods the best value so if you’re feeding iams then ppl are going to want to recommend a higher quality food that costs the same price to you. simple as that. no one’s judging you or being a snob, theyre just trying to help you since its assumed that if youre on this site you care about what youre giving your dog.

  • Pattyvaughn

    non sequitor

  • InkedMarie

    About what?

  • InkedMarie

    Doing good things or animal shelters has nothing to do with the quality of the food. Want a food that is good quality, good price AND the owner, who is a vet, donates 1000 pounds to the local shelter? Order Dr Tim’s.

  • InkedMarie

    You’re right,I’ve never had to clean up ol Roy barf. Never will, my dogs will never eat it. If your dog is vomiting and has stool problems, he needs a vet checkup. If he’s healthy then the food is not working for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    obviously you want to feed iams to your dog so by all means feed iams to your dog. its a midlevel food. it beats ol roy, purina, beneful, kibbles n bits and pedigree. it is equal to eukanuba and science diet. and it is worse than most of the rest of the brands.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    I just don’t like people being mean about a good brand, it my not be the BEST food but they do a lot of good things for animal shelters.

  • Melissaandcrew

    How does vomiting Old Roy have anything to do with his pooping problems? It sounds like he has a sensitive digestive system. And for the record, vomiting “less” is not something to jump for joy about. Its impossible to say what is a good food and what isn’t-every one has their own definition, their own “deal breakers” etc. The ratings on this site rate the ingredients and the protein content-its up to the owner to decided what works for them, and is within their own price point.
    I love Champion products. If you were to ask me, that is the answer I would give-doesn’t mean its within your budget, or that it would work for your dog. If Iams is the only food in your price range and your happy, then asking others “whats better” is really a moot point.
    And, how about being a little nicer to the posters here? It never ceases to amaze me how those who can not or choose not to buy pricier foods suddenly want to disparage those that can by calling us snobs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would be very unhappy if it affected the progress we’ve made with my dog with issues. Or if the different food caused digestive upsets with my dogs. I’ve had it happen in a good way with horse food. I got several bags of Pat Parelli’s custom mix at regular food prices once. The only down side was that I liked it so much and they wouldn’t let me special order it after that.

  • InkedMarie

    That would pi** me off if tht happened to any food I bought. That’d be the end of me buying it

  • Sam The Pembroke

    As far as I know you didn’t have to clean up Ol’roy that your dog barfed! guess what! I switched to Iams, barely any more barf, I might have to clean it up once a week, AT THE MOST! he acts more happy, and he plays more. and BTW! he barfs because he has pooping problems!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Try Ol’ Roy’s new food Pure Balance.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    Oh man, you are barking up the wrong tree!

  • InkedMarie

    You’re funny, telling people here to be nice and also telling them to shut up. I saw the price of Iams; for what I saw you can buy a better quality food. Obviously, you don’t want a better quality food. Your choice.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    But my walmart if VERY SMALL all that i can buy is IAMS Purina pedigree and ol’roy..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    no what they are saying is that iams isnt good and you can get far better food for the same price if you have a walmart, sam’s club, costco, tractor supply, petco or petsmart nearby. if you don’t, you still can, either through the internet or from another store.

  • Sam The Pembroke

    So are you saying Iams is good? I live in a small town so all the foods you listed they do not sell where I live… Btw I can get a 15 pound bag of Iams for about 17 dollars…

  • Sam The Pembroke

    I feed Iams to my corgi and he does AWESOME on it, I wish you food snobs would shut up! if this is the most people can spend on there dog and the best they can buy for there dog, this is THE best for them so be nice! some people like me are poor! there are people that want the best for there dog but stop being such a snob about it. it is VERY rude, and I do not like to see people nag other people about what they feed there dog. I am glad your collie does good on it Jeffrey :) my dog loves Iams and I am sure he will for the rest of his life!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sometimes kibble manufacturers get the wrong product in the bag.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    i think iams does it on purpose. its like the different pieces in beneful or kibbles n bits but not as extreme. i think its a marketing ploy meant to convince the owner that the food contains more flavors and more nutrients.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sam, You really don’t have to spend any more money than you’re
    already spending to get a higher quality food. Many manufacturers spend
    their money on better ingredients instead of advertising. Petco sells
    Whole Earth Farms it’s rated 4 stars and is around $22 for an 18lb bag.
    Tractor Supply has 4health dry grain free and grain inclusive at the
    same price point/bag size, it’s rated 4 stars. And 4health canned is 4
    stars and only .99 cents. Petsmart has Authority dry and it is also in
    the $20 dollar range for 18lbs as well. Walmart has Pure Balance, same
    price/bag size. Some Walmarts also sell Evolve dog food in the same
    price range/bag size as well. All of the foods that I listed are
    recommended on this site.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tripper.3950 Jack Tripper

    out of purina, pedigree, ol roy and iams, iams is the best. however, as others have stated you can get much better food than iams for the same price. nutra nuggets lamb & rice ($26 for 40lbs) or nature’s domain ($32 for 35lbs) at costco, authority grain-free ($19 for 15lbs) at petsmart or pure balance ($32 for 30lbs) at walmart are all similarly priced.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sam, You really don’t have to spend any more money than you’re already spending to get a higher quality food. Many manufacturers spend their money on better ingredients instead of advertising. Petco sells Whole Earth Farms it’s rated 4 stars and is around $22 for an 18lb bag. Tractor Supply has 4health dry grain free and grain inclusive at the same price point/bag size, it’s rated 4 stars. And 4health canned is 4 stars and only .99 cents. Petsmart has Authority dry and it is also in the $20 dollar range for 18lbs as well. Walmart has Pure Balance, same price/bag size. Some Walmarts also sell Evolve dog food in the same price range/bag size as well. All of the foods that I listed are recommended on this site.

  • JellyCat

    Iams is highly not recommended. Besides, it is overpriced for what it is. Don’t be tricked that this food is good if your breeder uses it. Of course P&G would send you a bag in hopes that you’ll continue getting this poor quality food.

  • Jeffrey

    Have used Iams products with no problems. I just started this food for my new 9 wk. old Collie pup. she does have lots of energy. especially the part of using me as the chew toy. also P&G was nice enough to send me a nice big green Iams grocery bag. The breeder that I got her from uses Iams as well.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Iam’s Simple & Natural Chicken, Rice & Barley (blue bag). No by-product or corn or coloring.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Ol’ Roy’s new food Pure Balance is a good bit better.

  • Sam the Pembroke

    Hey everyone! I feed my corgi Iams proactive Health wight control. I see lots of you being kind rude, but think of it this way, what if you can only buy Iams or lower quality??? I just want to here this… What is better? Purina, Pedigree, Ol’roy, or the Iams I told you I am feeding my corgi, that’s all I would like to know…. Thanks a bunch!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If the food is a different color than normal you may want to contact the company. It may be nothing, but it’d be worth looking into just in case something is wrong with the food. If nothing is wrong with the food she may just be getting picky with age. Often, dogs get picky when they’re older. It may be due in part to the fact that their senses of smell and taste don’t work as well. You may want to try to mix some canned food in with her dry food. You may also want to check out Iams Sensitive Naturals – this line is rated a bit higher than the Proactive Health and a change in food make catch her interest.

  • Sassy puppy

    My dog is 17 years old and healthy. She has been on Iams all her life. She is now on Senior Mini Chunks. They have two shades of nuggets. Sassy picks out all the dark nuggets and leaves them on the floor. Wondering what is in them that she does not like. Don’t like throwing out half her food. Any ideas?

  • Cigar13

    I have an 8 year old Sheltie. He has been on Iams since he was a puppy. He is healthy and always has firm stools. Recomended!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I guess they are trying to increase the iron in the food.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.l.allan Victoria Lynn Allan

    I found two large pieces of metal machinery parts in Iams intestinal formula wet food.. I pat $39 a week for food to keep my dog from prolapsing,, Not sure metal chunks are part of the program?????

  • JellyCat

    My rescue dog was fed low quality foods (like Iams) and he looked “absolutely stunning” according to my vets and myself. After I adopted him he is on good and premium quality foods. After just 3 weeks the difference in his appearance and energy is enormous. It used to be very good and now it is amazing.

  • JellyCat

    What exactly do you value in P&G (or did you just won a free supply of a dog food for a year and feed this food because it is free)? I thought it is just another multinational consumer goods company that doesn’t have a very good ethical record. Ingredient list is self explanatory. What rationale P&G uses when adding caramel to a dog food?

  • Bob K

     Peej – The ingredient is Chicken By Product meal – not chicken by products, this is not gizzards, hearts, livers, etc…..  Please read the detailed review above.  It is also the fourth ingredient in the formula.  It still is rated 2.5 stars which is lots better than a 1 star formula.

  • Peej

    Pretty funny.  Chicken by-products are not good addtions because they contain non organ and non skeletal meat.  And of course, dogs only would eat that normally.

    Except for the fact my dog has caught two birds in the last few months, and except for a few feathers lying around, has swallowed them whole.   He also got a rabbit a hawk partially ate…. and he didnt seem to mind the ‘by products’.


  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m sure that Iams is an upgrade for the dogs that end up in rescue, but that doesn’t change the ingredients in Iams, which are less than optimal at best.  You can’t make a judgement on what is the best if you haven’t tried many other foods and Iams used to be a better food than it is now, P&G has ruined it.  I’m glad you have found something that works for you, but I hope the dogs you rescue have a chance at an even better food when they move on to their forever homes.

  • Caringhearts1

    I must say I am surprised to see that Iams was given a 2.5 score on this site. In doing rescue work as well as having my personal dogs, I have rescued nearly 400 dogs of all ages, health levels, and personalities and behavior patterns. I have always used Iams and have seen it do wonders on health and behavioral issues. One would never guess the condition many of these dogs were in prior to my taking them in and feeding them Iams. It’s the best in my book.

  • 1toomany

    Hey, I just wanted to say that I love your site :) I was also wondering if you were planning on doing a review of Lifetime Pet Foods? 

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have a JRT that we always thought had a little bit of a flea allergy, not to bad, she just scratched her armpits alot and chewed around her tail.  Fast forward, I have a Border Collie puppy that got very ill from grain filled products that the vet would have wanted to put him on steroids and antibiotics for life.  Instead I switched him to grain free and my other dogs as well.  He is fine with no need for drugs and low and behold, my JRT suddenly no longer has a “flea” allergy.  I’m not carried away with grain free, but I am concerned with grain inclusive.

    By the way, vets are saying that due to the drought this past summer, conditions are perfect for aflatoxin growth on the grains going into animal feeds right now and that this is a great time to go grain free.  But to each his own.

  • annie

    My mom has a jack russell/Rat terrier mix and she was feeding him purina dog chow as he is a picky eater. But while eating that he was constantly scratching and losing his hair, always eating and stayed skinny, and was so nasty looking. She switched him to Iams lamb and rice and now he’s full and looks so much better, his hair has grown back and no itching. I also had trouble with food for my 10 mos old boston terrier nothing seemed to do him any good so i put him on Iams puppy food and what a difference. One food may work for some dogs but not others. People are getting carried away with all this grain free stuff.

  • EvesHumanMom

    Hi, Pam
    Prices will vary depending on the dealer and location, but here is a link to a chart that was posted on DFA awhile back and reflect prices in 2011 at PetFoodDirect.com.  The one on the right lists foods from least to most expensive.  Hope this helps.

  • Pam Casira

    Yeah it was a double post, but I realized I had a mistype. Something was going on with the thread and my first post temporarily disappeared.
    Thank you for the suggestions :). Going to get her to buy the pumpkin tomorrow.
    Convincing her to switch dog foods won’t be as easy though. She’s quite frugal when it comes to “unnecessary” expenses. I can’t exactly tell her Iams is crap without sounding offensive.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Okay gotcha – I see you changed it from strains when he eats to strains when he poops. For that I’d recommend adding a couple tablespoons of canned pumpkin to his meals, the fiber might help him out a bit.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Pam –
    This can be frustrating. I have a 2 year old female bloodhound and it seems that no matter how much I feed her she’s thin as a rail. After I switched her to a high fat raw diet her weight did stabilize a little bit but she’s still very slim. Aside from home-preparing food specifically tailored to the dog’s needs I honestly think Abady granular would be the best food for putting weight on a skinny dog. It’s super calorie-dense and high in fat (about 800 kcal. per cup, where a food like Iams only has about 330 kcal. per cup). You can order it on doggiefood.com, it is a little pricey though – but not as expensive as it seems when you consider it has nearly twice as many calories per cup as most foods. Some other calorie-dense/non-diamond suggestions I’d have that are reasonably priced would be Native Energy Level 4 (petflow.com $50.00 for 40 lbs. about 600 kcal. per cup), Nutri Source Super Performance ($55.99 for 40 lbs. petflow.com 530 kcal. per cup) or Pro Pac High Performance (572 kcal. per cup, about $40 for 33 lbs.). I’d also suggest supplementing with a probiotic and enzyme supplement to ensure he is digesting his food as efficiently as possible. Another thing to check out would be recipes for “satin balls” – they’re high calorie treats you can make to put weight on not so easy keepers. Here’s one recipe here: http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition/Satinballs/satinballs.html  (I know of people that have had a lot of luck putting weight on dogs with satin balls).

    Also, what do you mean by “strain when he eats”?

  • Pattyvaughn

    He may be thin because of his age.  A lot of Labs stay lanky until 2-2 1/2 years old.  But a better food might help.  NutriSource and Fromm are two foods off the top of my head that are reasonably priced and good quality.  Others will suggest more.

  • Pam Casira

    My sister has been feeding her 1.5 yo, 45 lb yellow lab mix iams lamb meal and rice. I think he’s been on iams for most his life. He’s a little skinny with his ribs showing no matter how much she feeds him. He eats(at night) slightly over 3 cups but sometimes he gets 4-4.5 c.

    He doesn’t look like he’s starving but he looks like he definitely could use more food. The vet has commented on his ribs but other than that he’s healthy…he doesn’t have worms. He looks like he might strain when he poops.

    ***Any ideas on why this is happening or what food to switch him to? I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced food that isn’t manufactured by Diamond. Right now she pays about $1/lb. Vets are usually unhelpful when it comes to suggesting foods. They’re usually vague or they’re clearly pushing a specific brand…ie science diet or royal canin.

  • Pam Casira

    My sister has been feeding her 1.5 yo, 45 lb yellow lab mix iams lamb meal and rice. I think he’s been on iams for most his life. He’s a little skinny with his ribs showing no matter how much she feeds him. He eats(at night) slightly over 3 cups but sometimes he gets 4-4.5 c.

    He doesn’t look like he’s starving but he looks like he definitely could use more food. The vet has commented on his ribs but other than that he’s healthy…he doesn’t have worms. He looks like he might strain when he eats.

    ***Any ideas on why this is happening or what food to switch him to? I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced food that isn’t manufactured by Diamond. Right now she pays about $1/lb. Vets are usually unhelpful when it comes to suggesting foods. They’re usually vague or they’re clearly pushing a specific brand…ie science diet or royal canin.

  • BryanV21

    If somebody refers to me as a “snob” I don’t take that as a kind-hearted thing, I take it as an insult. Unless that comment came from a friend that I knew was just “messing around”, but that doesn’t seem to be the type of person mentioned.

    The comment had nothing to do with grocery store brands being junk, or any other generalization about dog food.

  • BryanV21

    I have yet to hear you use the term “dog food snob”, so not sure why you felt the need to reply like that.

  • Mike P

    Bryan I don’t take it as frustrating at all. I truly believe alot of well meaning dog owners just don’t know. These expensive 2 star foods are everywhere and easy to get while grocery shopping.Millions spent on advertising these foods so they can’t be bad,right? I fed the worst garbage to my last 2 dogs but what did I know? Dog food is dog food.I stumbled on DFA  researching Boxers and cancer and boy I’m glad I did.A coworker of mine joking called me a dog food snob.She switched her dog to fromms. Mission accomplished…

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Bryan,
    I’m not sure if the reason is laziness so much as it might be defensiveness. They know, deep down that you’re right… They just don’t want to admit it. Wether its because the food they’re currently on is cheaper or whatever their “reason” for denigrating you. JM2¢

  • aimee

    Hmmm… I’m feeding Iams right now. I don’t consider myself ” too lazy to actually do some research”  : )

    Rather what I value in a food company may well be different than what another person does, so I choose differently.

    I can respect the food choices people make, without assuming that they are uneducated or lazy, even though they may well be feeding a diet I wouldn’t choose.

    At her last exam the vet said my dog was “absolutely stunning” !!

  • BryanV21

    People use the term “snob” in these situations because they are too lazy to actually do some research and see that people like you are right. It’s pretty frustrating.

  • EvesHumanMom

    This summer, when he wasn’t eating much,  I got my friend’s dog some Avoderm  (he was being fed Pedigree) to try after he started getting stomach upsets on top of or maybe because of not eating.  He seemed to like it, so I explained about the named protein source and no corn, but instead of continuing with the Avoderm, they are feeding Iams :-(  I suppose it is a step up from Pedigree, though.

  • InkedMarie

    We’re twins! LOL

  • Mike P

    I have talked to so many people I meet at the park walking their dogs.We chat and always I bring up food and ask what they feed.I get alot of people say Iams and Science Diet.They are very well meaning as price wise these are not cheap foods and they think they are doing the best for their companions.I gently refer them to DFA and ask them to give it a look see.I have been thanked by 3 people for helping them switch to better food.All my family and a few friends that I have actually showed DFA site to have all switched foods.I have been called a dog food snob.Call me what you want as long as one dog eats better I don’t mind.I just love dogs to much to care.

  • Cheriem269

    Your right Kwyre I have tried expensive and would not eat it so I tried Iams and they love it and 1 is a diabetic and did like prescrition food so my vet suggested Iams and both dogs love it Thanjs Iams

  • Kwyre

    Raise dogs for conformation and have used premium, top of the line expensive food and got very ill dogs. Switched to Iams-everyone healthy! Proof is in the poop, people.

  • Wingmaster01

    IAMS has some new products that I would like to see reviewed. LARGE BREED PUPPY and their SPORTDOG Formulas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/investigatorkch Kc Heller

    14 year old beagle has been doing great all her life on Iams… can’t be all bad

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Daisy’s Momma –

    If you’ve been feeding your dog a low quality food like Iams for a long time and switch to a high quality food, loose stools and gas are to be expected. Also depending on how “high quality” the food was you may have needed a mid-quality stepping stone food in between. Pumpkin and a digestive supplement can help as well. Despite appearing to do well, Iams is what it is…slaughterhouse waste and corn…no argument can be made in favor of an ingredients list like this.

  • Daisy’s Momma

    I’ve always fed both of my beautiful labs Iams and they’ve never had a problem. They’ve maintained a healthy weight, good muscle, a gorgeous coat, and overall tip-top health. I switched my youngest to a ‘holistic’ brand which was by far more expensive and claimed to be one of the best. She poo-ed her brains out and had the worst gas. :( It gave her stomach upset and slowed her down. In my book, Iams is the way to go. I freely admit that the product just doesn’t do well with some dogs. But that can happen with any food. Like how some people can eat spicy foods and others can’t. Just my thoughts, thanks. :)

  • Higherelement67

    Same her my dog is eleven I fed him iams for hate to say eight yrs until his hair was almost all gone and had vet run numerous tests, on my own switched dog food he has 3 times energy, hair grew back full in 5 weeks ,eyes clear,so much happier but I feel bad, my other dog had a hole in his face that wouldn’t heal for mths and its gone totally only thing is these dogs are wearing me out they just wanna play im not sure what it has but its something I’ve had 3 friends switch and same results , one of her dogs got pancrease problems , but not now totally healthy .

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Quacks05,

    Based upon this list of ingredients as provided by Iams on its website and recently confirmed on June 4, 2012, there are no chelated minerals in this recipe.

    If you check back with the company, ask the agent to show them to you.

    Hope this helps.

  • LabsRawesome

     I doubt it. If the minerals were chelated it would say Copper proteinate, Zinc proteinate ect.  :)

  • Quacks05

    YOu say that the minerals appear to not be chelated. I contacted the company and they said that they ARE chelated.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Celita Turner,

    I would suggest looking into a 4 or 5 star food with limited ingredients. Some choices are: Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet, The Honest Kitchen’s Thrive, Wellness Simple, Nutro Natural Choice Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet, or Blue Buffalo Basics. You may also want to check out some 4 or 5 star lamb and rice foods as dogs with digestive issues often do well with the easy to digest lamb and rice formulas. Whatever you decide to feed I’d suggest adding a spoonful of plain pumpkin and a high quality digestive supplement with enzymes and probiotics – this often helps as well.

  • Celita Turner

    I recently rescued a dog.  I’m thinking he’s a Shih-Tzu/Pekinese mix.  He weighs about 9lbs.  The lady who was fostering him fed him Cesars canned food (not a fan) and I’ve tried to get him onto dry food.  I got Iams ProActive for small breeds and every few days he will get sick and puke all over the place and have mild diarrhea – its mostly puking though.  I’ve red the reviews for Iams and I’m thinking I need to try something else but I’m at a loss as to what to try.  Any suggestions for a dry food that I can give him that maybe mild and help digestion?  Thanks!    

  • Higherelement67

    You know my dogs did the same thing,but just mix it but you have to get your dog off iams this is crap i used it for years i cant believe the difference in energy my maltese almost died becuase this crap and my other one his hair fell out it been only a month his hair is back and eyes are clear and he runs like a puppy get your dog off if you love him.

  • Higherelement67

    Iams made my dogs hair fall out we couldnt figure it out but after several tests and stoped useing it and went to purina one his hair has started growing back and he is really running around again and just a total 360 degree turn around wow i bought that crap for years ..

  • AJ

    My german shepherd was eatting this from her previous owner and shes was wondering why the dog was losing its hair. I did a lengthy research and it was from the corn meal. It causes her to itch and she loses her hair. So i had to go to an all natural dog food called taste of the wild.

  • Clint

     I have been doing lots of research about dog foods.
    I have a 5 year old pug and 8 year old lab. Pug is a very picky eater and got a taste for beniful after eating some at someones house and only would eat that. for the last few years we have been feeding them that. So this week i have been doing alot of reading on food. We settled on Costo’s (Kirkland Signature) Nature’s domain. Upon further research i found out that it IS ToW.(just different name on the outside of the bag) Manufactured at the same plant, same ingredients, same everything. Here in Canada ToW at the pet store is $72.00 for a 30lb bag and the costco stuff is around $35.00 for a 35lb.  Costco = SAVINGS. 1/2 the price, and more food. 2 bags pays for the costco membership.

  • Kevintbriggs

    Hi, everyone:

    I fed our boxer Iams products for all nine years of her life. When she got sick and suddenly died it was because she had two rumors on her stomach and the passage between her stomach and the rest next part of her digestive track was gnarled and basically damaged beyond repair.

    This was from 2001-2009, so hopefully Iams has improved since then. I just wish I had researched foods better at the time because she may have lived to at least 10 or 12, the upper range of a boxer’s life expectancy. Instead, I feel like I killed her by feeding her the equivalent of McDonalds her whole life. The poor girl ate what I put out for her twice a day and it mangled her insides.

    We just recently adopted a two year old lab who is a total sweetheart. He was fed Iams for the first two years of his life, so I transitioned him off of it over three weeks. I have him on Taste of the Wild now and he is doing great. His energy picked up, poops slowed down a bit, dandruff went away, eye goop gone, and he loves the taste. I also try to incorporate plain boiled chicken, an egg, plain steamed vegetables, and other healthy foods as we have them. ToW is his main diet, but I will supplement with random healthy foods.

    The other thing is, ToW is only like three or four more dollars than Iams. There is no reason to feed bad food to our little loved ones. They completely rely on us and will eat whatever we put out for them. We owe it to them to give them the best we can afford. Plus, feeding them better food will rest in lower vet bills and other fees, because their bodies will be in good shape.

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  • melissa

    This review does include the lamb and rice-still a 2 star food based on Mike’s criteria. If your dog does great on it, then its a higher “star” food for you : )

  • Ladygwenwyvar

    I was feeding my Shelties Iam’s Lamb & Rice formula, until stories of food recalls prompted me to do further research on my pets’ food. I visited a local holistic pet food store (Hollywood Feed, if you want to search for one in your area), where they suggested FROMM. I mixed the Fromm with some of the Iam’s to gradually introduce the new food and avoid stomach upset in my dogs. My dogs actually nosed the Iam’s Lamb & Rice formula OUT of their bowl! And after just a week of feeding, I am already noticing a difference in the fullness of their coats. You may want to do a bit of research yourself. 😉

  • Lamb and rice?

    I wish this included the lamb and rice formula, as from what I know of about dog food and my own experience in feeding it to golden retrievers, is that it would be scored much higher than 2 stars. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the helpful replies–another friend recommends California Natural. Of course she has a little terrier. Our boy is an 80 pd blk german shepherd.

  • melissa


    there are many brands out there that may help your dog-try looking at the various foods for a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet. What works for one, may not work for another-and Iams is not going to “make the cut” for your dog’s itchy skin : )

  • Toxed2loss

    If you want to go right to the top, put him on Brother’s allergy. Yes it costs more, but you’ll save more in veterinary care. It will be worth it!!! In addition, eliminate environmental toxins, which can also cause skin itching, as well as other serious health issues. Those would be pesticides, like flea and tick, lawn and garden, ant and roach, mosquito; petroleum products and derivatives, (in shampoos, lotions and ointments) toxic cleaning solutions, and fragrance. Fragrance contains pesticide, petroleum solvents and addictive excitotory neurotoxins. Please read all your labels, if you don’t know what it is, don’t put it on you or your dog. He licks you, so he’ll lick it off and ingest it. That’s the short list. Take it one bite at a time. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Left out from previous post that Natura Brands (Innova) acquired by P&G.  I am not sure if mass produced/large brands = lower quality? I only note this as someone on an early thread seemed to imply this.

  • Anonymous

    We just switched to Iams, on advice of a family member who has raised his border collie on it–So far, after mixing with his old dry dog food (Pro Plan) we are noticing flatulence. We did some research and was surprised that most major food brands are in premium dog food market- Iams/P&G, Nutro/Mars, Nature’s Recipe/Heinz.  I really wanted to move to an entirely grain-free brand due to our boy’s scratching.  Just to see if it would help him–but we became overwhelmed at all the contradictory info out there.  So we just went word of mouth. 

  • Rskuhn

    Elizabeth – All kibbles are mass produced.. Iams has dog foods rated as high as 4 stars. Another consideration is cost and availability, are you getting your money’s worth for what you pay for Iams?

  • Rskuhn

    Rebecca – Transition slowly to a new food. If your dog is on a 1 or 2 star chicken and rice food transition to a 4 or 5 star chicken and rice dog food over 2-3 weeks. Don’t go from chicken and rice to salmon and sweet potato as the ingredients are very different. Iams also has 3 and I think 4 star foods too that may be a star or 2 higher

  • Rebecca

    I need advice on how to respond to someone. They said, “I have to say that with my 10-year old dog, every time I venture away from Iams and into a higher priced, more natural and nutritious dog food, she vomits. It seems just too rich for her. I am careful to transition her from one to the other, but ultimately I just go back to Iams because my dog just can’t seem to tolerate the richness of these premium brands.”

    Should I ask if they have tried raw dog food? Is it any less likely to cause vomiting?


  • elizabeth

    Iams is GARBAGE mass produced by P&G…..I’d go broke before feeding Iams to any of my 6 babies!! =(

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Love yor attitude Mary! You Rock!

  • lynda

    Some dogs do very well on Iams due to the beet pulp fiber in the food and don’t do well on other foods. If you are concerned about the quality you can always add some canned quality food such as Blue Buffalo etc to balance things out. I had one dog that had major stomach issues on any base kibble except Iams and for us it was a godsend. We did add some canned food or bits of meat and he lived a long healthy life.

  • Mary

    Just wanted to say that not all vets regurgitate what the large well-financed pet food corporations want us to (like Purina, Hill’s, Iams, etc.). I am a vet in Missouri and I never recd these foods unless it is the prescription form that I (sometimes reluctantly) have to use due to a condition a patient has. Even then, I cringe at the ingredients. For all healthy dogs and cats, and especially those with skin issues, I only recd the top quality diets such as Blue, Solid Gold, Merrick, Wellness, just to name a few. Take heart people, we vets are becoming less like sheep and are thinking for ourselves when it comes to nutrition. At least I am, and I have managed to change the perception of the people I work with, including the owner of the practice; thanks to me we now carry Blue in our clinic.

  • Maggs D

    OMG I switched to IAMS for the last year thinking I was giving my beautiful 13 years goldies a premium dog food. They are two males from the same litter, and unfortunately one is very susceptible to allergies and does chew his feet, culminating in him requiring anti-allergy medications – very expensive. I live in Lancashire, which is in the UK.
    They have been on several different diets to try and fix this problem without any effect, those previously tried are Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved, Burns, Hills. I dont know what to do now after reading this report, as I do not recognise most of the other Brands mentioned, but thanks for the info !

  • Diane in Arkansas

    Thanks, Bob K. Will investigate further, perhaps order on line. I don’t want to buy Hill’s from the vet. We have 3 grocery stores, including Walmart – the other two don’t have much variety. Boredom may be the problem, as you suggested. This dog is so different from our Jack Russell that lived to be 17. She was an extremely picky eater. Will keep working on the situation.

  • Bob K

    Diane – There are many stores that have dog food. Menards, Tractor Supply (TSC), Farm & Fleet, and many arm co-op stores to name a few. Also some grocery stores carry 2 and 3 star foods like Purina One and Rachel Ray. Time to go shopping or make a few phone calls. You can find out the ratings on this website. Best of luck. I would not be too worried about the kibble size most Jacks Russell’s can chew just about anything.

    Sometimes dogs want to eat because they are bored. Many people love to eat too and they too will gain weight. The exercise will do you all well.

  • Diane in Arkansas

    We adopted a Jack Russell (mostly) from a rescue shelter in January. She’s about four years old – a taller one, about 22 lbs. They were feeding Iams pro-active mini-chunks which is sold at Walmart so we continued. If we change to something not sold at Walmart, we have to drive about 50 miles to the nearest pet store. However, she’s gaining weight on a cup of food (divided into 3 small feedings) plus 2 or 3 Milk Bone treats a day but she’s still hungry. She goes to her food supply wanting more after she’s eaten. I need something that will satisfy her hunger but not make her gain weight. We have a big back yard for her to run in but we need to take more walks for exercise. That might help her weight but won’t solve the problem of her hunger. She’s been thoroughly checked by our vet and does not have worms.

  • http://www.petvalu.com Annie

    I have been working at Pet Valu for over 2 years now and gaining the experience and knowledge over the past years I’ve come to know that this food is the worst you could give your dog. I mean, I don’t need to explain myself because if you have read up above it tells you right there.. and I don’t know about you but I love my dogs and I want to give them the best food out there. I don’t care if your dog has been doing well on it or not, it’s the simple fact that it has animal by product meal.. meaning it’s a range of different animals blended together that is not “unfit for human consumption” a.k.a slaughterhouse waste! (rats, puppies & kittens from the humane society, racoons, cow heads etc…) come on guys.. it pains me to see my customers come in to buy this food and not even think to read the ingredients themselves.. Please take a second and rethink what you’re feeding your animals. They are supposed to be apart of your family right, treat them like it and please make a change! :)

  • MochasMom

    For many years Iams was a top pet food. Our pets were getting a quality food and we got what we were paying for healthy animals. But the last few years as the price of a 20lb bag of food has nearly doubled And without any mention the 20lb bag became a 17lbbag, The quality of the food is barely equal to the quality of Friskies. Oh wait aren’t they both owned by the same company? My animals health is no longer a priority, how the company can get richer taking advantage of my years of trust in them is.

  • Robert Glenn

    We fed our 14 year old Shih Tzu this food for many years. We assumed it was the best dog food available at the grocery store. She constantly scratched and itched for many years, driving herself and us crazy. Her skin often developed sores.
    Various vets said that Iams was fine. No suggestions were ever made to try better quality dog foods. Since I discovered this wonderful site and switched to 4 and 5 star dogfoods her itching and sores have completely resolved. She smells better , looks better and has a better quality of life. Also our 7 year old Min Pin, a resuce, no longer chews his paws all day. We have another rescue, a mix of Lab, Golden Retriever and Chow , and his coat is beautiful on our new dogs. My dogs and our family thank you!

  • Bob K

    Bright – Please read the detailed analysis of this dog food. Its not all that bad but there are many less expensive foods that are much better. You are paying a premium for a big name brand that is a 2 Star food. that means more nutrition better food for your dog and more money in your pocket, a win for bith you and your dog. Look at some of the 4 star foods there are many that provide better nutrition than IAMS for less money. Diamond Natural, Kirklands (Costco), 4 Health (tractor Supply) Premium Edge, Eagle Pack to name a few.

  • Bright Masih

    Hello, my two beagles Molly & Peggy were switched to this food after trying Harrington’s which was absolutely horrible. Big loose stools and very flatulent. They love Iams and the difference in the stools is amazing, very small and very dark and firm. They absolutely love it too which is a bonus. Do not believe all the negative comments, try it yourself you will be very surprised. The one they have is the small medium dog proactive.

  • Meagan in Iowa

    My 25# border collie mix has had all the crap 1 or 2 star foods the first six years of her life. I feed her in the morning and the evening. Most of the time her food would still be in her bowl when I looked at noon. Last fall I swithced her from RR to Blue Buffalo Lamb and Rice. Now she eats her food as soon as it is put in the bowl! I think she knew that all those other foods were crap. I am so happy that my little girl loves to eat now. I have now switched both my dogs from BB to Diamond Naturals for the better price, but I have no doubt in my mind they will get BB again someday. She is still eating right away even with the new food. Plus I am now topping there evening meals with different flavors of canned food. They both wait at my feet. My big one drools/drips until I get the food put down.
    Just some experience if your dog is not eating this food well.

  • Jonathan

    Woody, your assessment that “protein is protein” is not really true. Shoe leather is protein, but I rather doubt that any animal’s stomach can use it as efficiently as chicken meat. That is where by-product meals can have lower bio-available proteins because of all the useless protein in the nails and beaks. Plus, these meals tend to have a higher ash content, making them rougher on the system.

    Also, speaking about mammals as a group is entirely too broad to have one set of correct protein/carb requirements. A lion and a Zebra are both mammals, yet I assure you, there are no Lions living off of anything other than dead animal meat. Here are some other mammals… dolphins, bears, mice, bats, deer, wolves, whales… see? there is no dietary constant among these various animals.

    Also, various mammals have various different intestinal pH’s. Not to mention that animals evolved to efficiently use plant material have longer intestines with different chambers, and amylase is present in different areas of the digestive track. Some animals can produce certain amino acids. Other animals that can’t must eat the animals that can. No where on earth for the last 100-200 million years have any type of canine eaten a significant amount of carbs until maybe the last 200 years or so.

  • Woody M

    I’m trying to understand why most review rarely give any useful information that is evidence based. Ok, this one gives, at best, subjective information. First, Protein is… Protein! in a pH of 2.0 (which is stomach acid pH) Protein is converted to amino acids- I dont care if its chicken, beef, or human- its going to be converted to amino acids and absorbed in the intestinal tract. 25-28% protein is what an active mammal usually need to have to restore a healthy aerobic cellular activity. Second, most mammals need about 60% of its diet to be readily available energy to keep an aerobic cellular metabolism. So Iams 50% carbohydrate level may be to low (for an average mammal ) and the fats… since most dogs live in a home with heat and air, their diets need minimal amounts of fats, Lipids are found in all vegetables and sorghum has plenty of beneficial lipids. I believe that what makes a good dog food is a minimal amount of artificial colors, flavors, and chemicals added. Yes some of the products put in dog food are just plain…. disgusting (for a lack of better words). But over all, if the animal will eat it and has no hypersensitive reaction- feed em! Some foods out there should be taken off the shelves! A big pile of poo is a bad thing! A small pile compared to what they have eaten is a good indication that it is being digested and leads to healthy animals.

  • greg prindle

    We have a 6 year old Sheltie, who has been on Iams from 8 weeks old. He is very healthy, never had any health problems. His stool is always firm. I recomend Iams.

  • Bob K

    Its easy – 1.) You buy your food there 2.) They have great choices 3.) I see the big names like Purina and Iams 4.) Cost 5.) I am already shopping there so why not 6.) They are uneducated and I am sure there are many more good reasons. The bigger question should be A.) Why don’t the large retailers carry better brands B.) What are the better dog food mfgs doing to educate the retailers. Not everyone buys on price. There is a huge market for for all the better foods, if there wasn’t they would be out of business and fewer brands available.

  • Dusty

    I’m still trying to figure out why people shop for pet food at grocery stores?!

  • Don

    Bella our 4 year old female German Shephard had been eating Iams kibble food for most of her life according to the German Shephard rescue organization. We rescued Bella about 9 months ago and had fed her the same food as the rescue group with no problems. Recently we find that there is only the Iams Pro Active Adult food availabe and she has devloped cases of diarrhea and loose stools. We believe that the change in formula to the Pro-Active formula is the cause. Any comment?

  • Melissa


    We fed both-to dobies and a rescue Iggy that was bordering on neurotic. In all fairness, we went through several of the top brands figuring the protein was the way to go, and some lower protein foods-BB, TOTW, Eagle Pack Holistic Select. For a short period we fed Iams, and I will admit they gained weight,(dobies) but I was not happy with feeding them that. The Iggy could not/would not consume enough to maintain weight, and the dobies ate huge amounts of food to maintain.

    We settled on a combination of Native Level 2, mixed with Merrick canned which worked for all of the dogs. When we could not get Native in this area, we went to TSC 4health Performance for the high energy ones and regular 4health for the less active-this worked great for over a year, until suddenly we have had huge issues with the food. We are in the process of moving them back over to the Native now that it can be found in our area once again, and already the dogs are gaining back the recently lost weight(on the tsc brand) and firm bowel movements again. The key I found with the Iggy is to feed him 3- 4 very small meals a day(can and high calorie dry) but to keep the protein at around 26 percent with 16-18 percent fat.

    Friends of mine feed the Blue Buffalo and have great luck with it-then again, other friends feed the Iams/Euk and rave about it. For my crew, neither was the right choice.

  • Cathy

    I’m curious Melissa – to know if you fed your active dogs the Blue Buffalo Life Protection or the Blue Buffalo Wilderness? The BB Wilderness (high protein, HIGH FAT, low carb, no grain) works superbly for my big active dog. Actually, when I fed my dog the BB Life Protection until a couple of years ago, he was slightly overweight which I attributed to the unnecessary grains.
    What do you feed that works for you?

  • Melissa

    We did not have any luck with Blue Buffalo. It seemed to work as an ‘adkins” diet on my active dogs, causing them to loose sufficient amounts of weight.

  • Jonathan

    Also, Cathy, the amount of glucosamine in a dry food is usually negligible. The way they list it on the bag makes it look like there’s more than there really is. 300mg/kg seems good because most people over look the “/kg” part, which means per kilogram. That means there isn’t a lot. 300 mg is what you would want to give a dog under 40 pounds all at once, and over 40 pounds you would want double that. But per kilogram, it would take several meals to get that 300 mg. If the concern is with getting glucosamine at a therapeutic level for the dog, Zukes and Blue Buffalo both make treats with 300 mg per treat. The amount they can get in dry food can be a nice addition to a real supplement, but on it’s own, doesn’t do much.

  • http://www.rawadvantagepetfood.com/ Cathy

    My ‘verdict’ is that you will be doing your dog a fabulous favor by switching to Blue Buffalo from Iams. BB Large Breed is great, but BB Wilderness is superior.
    This is how I’ve fed my 80# Lab Mix (active, male, neutered) who just celebrated healthy birthday #6:
    Year 1 – Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Chicken
    Year 2 through 4 – Rotation of Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Chicken, BB Longevity Adult Fish, BB Longevity Adult Lamb
    Year 5 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken (this was the low-grain formula before the grain-free was available)
    Year 6 – Rotation of Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free Duck, Salmon, Chicken – MIXED WITH Raw Advantage meals, most of which are organic grain-free (online ordering). Or I mix some of my own concoction of organic raw chicken necks, turkey necks, veges, fruits, yogurt, flaxseed, pumpkin, other table scraps, etc. We have minimal food ‘garbage’; either we eat it, our dog eats it, or it goes in our compost pile in the back yard – which fairly quickly turns to pure dirt, often called Black Gold!
    Doing some research on glucosamine, I find that some dog foods have glucosamine naturally-occurring in certain ingredients (animal connective tissue, meat marrow, and shell fish exoskeletons) but regulations prohibit the manufacturer from listing this component unless it’s been added as a separate ingredient.

  • Dena

    Wondering if anybody could help suggest a good verdict for dog food brand. I have found many mixed information on many sites about what brands of dog food are the “best”. This site is helpful but I still am confused as to which dog food would be best suited for my 7yr old neuterted male Rottweiller Bear. I have been siding towards changing him from Iams Large Breed (this is what he’s been on since we adopted him ~5yrs ago) to Blue Buffalo Large Breed Chicken & Brown Rice. My main concern is with his total nutrition, making sure his joint needs & the fact of being a large breed are met. Plus he seems to have a lot of gas from his current food. He has been given a clean bill of health from his vet & is up to date on all vacinations. If anyone could help with suggestions from experience or otherwise, I would greatly appriciate it!

    Thanks, Dena & Bear

  • Scott

    Wow, I stumbled upon this site today trying to find reviews for Kirkland dog food (Costco). We just received a membership to Costco and was curious about the quality of their store brand. I’m quite surprised at the low rating given to Iams. We’ve fed Iam’s to our cats for years and that’s all our dog has eaten since we brought him home. He scratches all the time and it doesn’t appear to be fleas or mange so maybe this is the culprit. The Kirkland brand was given four stars so I will definitely look into switching our animals off of Iams. Thanks for a great site.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Donna… After checking the Iams ProActive Health website I find the ingredients to be a perfect match. This can only happen if (1) the company has changed the formula but failed to update their website or (2) if you are using an out-of-date package of food. Thanks for the tip.

  • Donna

    These are not the ingredients on my bag of Iams ProHealth mini chunks. Have you checked recently?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Patsy… Our ratings should not be used to determine the “healthiness” of a food. For a better idea of how we review and rate our dog foods, please be sure to read our article, “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews“. Hope this helps.

  • patsy

    OMG, I actually fed the Iams lamb and rice adult kibble to my two dogs: the two grocery stores were out of my regular food so I subsituted
    this for it…I was using Lassie’s Lamb and Rice at the time, a 3 star rating but now have switched to Blue Buffalo, of course gradually introducing new food each time :) Anyway, while on the Iams dog food, I noticed my westie’s bowels were very soft and discolored, not healthy looking. They were never like that on Lassie dog food!!
    And now I see you gave this food only 2 stars. Not to mention that Iams is twice the price of Lassie dog food and it wasnt as healthy. We are now very happy with Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice! Thanks for all your information, your website helped me make a better choice for my dogs!

  • Pat

    Hi, I have a yorkie that will be 18 years old on Halloween! She has eaten Iams dog food(mini-chunks mostly) her whole life and is doing quite well…I have never had a problem with the Iams products and I use their dog bones (puppy) and really love the the bones too. I really have had no problems with this food over the years!