Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Iams Naturals Dog Food

Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control dog food gets the Advisor’s second-lowest rating of two stars.

Iams Healthy Naturals Adult Weight Control dog food is designed for adult weight loss and meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 22% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 59%

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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis20%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis22%11%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%25%54%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 54%

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

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

And that can sometimes be problematic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fifth ingredient is dried 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.

The sixth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice represents the small grain fragments left over after milling whole rice.

This is an inexpensive cereal grain by-product and not considered a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.

The eighth 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.

After 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.

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

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

With three notable exceptions

First, 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.

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

And lastly, the minerals 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 Healthy Naturals Weight Control Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Like most weight loss dog foods, Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control appears to lower its calories by reducing its animal-based content… and raising fiber.

This design concept should become more apparent as we now turn our attention to the product’s nutrient percentages.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 22%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

Low protein. Low fat. And high carbohydrates… when compared to a typical dry dog food.

With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control is a grain-based dry dog food using a modest amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand two stars.

Not recommended.

Those looking for a standard adult kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Iams Healthy Naturals Dog Food.

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.

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Notes and Updates

01/31/2010 Original review
09/06/2010 Review updated (new recipe)

06/05/2012 Last Update

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