Iams Naturals Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

The Iams Naturals product line includes four dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Iams Healthy Naturals with Lamb and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Iams Healthy Naturals with Lamb and Rice Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 54%

Ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain sorghum, ground whole grain barley, chicken meal, lamb, fish meal (source of fish oil), brewers rice, dried beet pulp, chicken flavor, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, carrots, tomatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), choline chloride, spinach, peas, dl-methionine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide), monosodium phosphate, vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), dried apple pomace, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis22%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%13%54%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%29%49%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 49%

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 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fifth ingredient is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 sixth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The seventh ingredient includes brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth 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.

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, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, apple pomace includes the pulpy solids that remain after pressing apples to extract the juice. It is most likely used here for its fiber content.

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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 Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Iams Naturals looks like an above-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 24%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 54%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Iams Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

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.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

03/19/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials