Iams has been an established pet food brand for decades and is owned by the large pet food conglomerate Mars Petcare.
However, while it is now owned by Mars, it was originally founded by Paul F. Iams in 1946, which makes it one of the oldest pet food brands in the United States.
Between 1999 and its sale to Mars Petcare in 2014, Iams was owned by Procter & Gamble, which is another well-known conglomerate.
Iams is probably best known among pet owners for featuring on the shelves of grocery stores rather than pet food stores. Walmart, in particular, is a massive seller of Iams pet food products, which you would have seen if you’d browsed their pet food aisles.
While it is not widely known, Iams is one of a select number of pet food brands that meet the WSAVA Guidelines. While we will not go in-depth into them here, they require brands to invest in professional staff and commit to detailed trials and testing.
You can read more about these guidelines in our article Best WSAVA Approved Dog Food.
For those of you who are concerned with where Iams pet food is produced, based on our research, Iams recipes are produced in facilities owned by Mars Petcare in the United States in locations such as Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina.
While it may be a trait they are known for, Iams isn’t just available from large retail stores like Walmart and Petsmart. Some of the other large pet food stores also stock their recipes, as well as some smaller stores.
Iams Product Range
Despite being one of the best-known dog food brands, Iams has a relatively moderate range of dog food products. This range includes the typical mix of dry dog food recipes and wet/canned dog food recipes.
However, unlike many of the more premium dog food brands, Iams only produces grain-inclusive dog food recipes and does not have a grain-free range.
Lastly, despite its moderate size, there are some niche recipes within the Iams range, such as those for puppies, small breed dogs, and large breed dogs.
Given that Iams has consistently offered food for both types of pets, the cat food range from Iams is of a similar size to the dog food range and also contains the industry-standard mix of dry cat food and wet/canned cat food.
That isn’t the only similarity and similar to their dog food range; there are only grain-inclusive cat food recipes offered by Iams and an absence of grain-free recipes.
While the size-specific recipes found in the dog food range may be missing, there are a number of niche cat food recipes produced by Iams, such as those for Kittens, Senior Cats, and Indoor Cats.
Nutrition is definitely a topic worth discussing regarding Iams, and based on our research, Iams dog food recipes typically provide nutrition that is average when compared to other similar brands.
The nutritional profile of their recipes usually includes average proportions of protein and fat and a somewhat excessive proportion of carbohydrates.
To help you visualize this, below is an example of the nutrition profile provided by an Iams dry dog food recipe.
As you can see, the protein and fat proportions are not minor but only make up around 57% of the overall nutritional value, with 43% coming from carbohydrates.
Sadly, this kind of nutritional profile is not ideal for many dogs, especially those that are more active and so have a higher protein and calorie requirement.
If you’d like to learn more about canine nutrition, including a more detailed explanation of the importance of protein, fat, and other nutrients, head on over to our Dog Food Guide.
For those of you interested in the nutrition offered by Iams’ cat food recipes, our research has found that the nutrition offered is similar to their dog food range and is average when compared to other similar cat food recipes.
The nutrition profile of most Iams cat food recipes consists of average proportions of protein and fat and proportions of carbohydrates that are excessive for a cat.
You can see an example of the nutrition profile offered by an Iams dry cat food recipe below.
While the proportion of protein and fat in this recipe may be higher than seen in most of the dog food recipes, they still only sum up to 65%, with 35% of the nutrition coming from carbohydrates.
It is critical that cats do not consume too much plant matter in their diet as they are obligate carnivores. Instead, cats will excel on a diet high in animal and fish-based ingredients and the protein and fat that come with them.
If you are interested in learning more about feline nutrition, including a more detailed explanation of what it means to be an obligate carnivore, check out our Cat Food Guide.
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
While some brands choose to use a much large range, Iams uses a small range of high-quality meat and fish ingredients in its recipes.
All of these ingredients are staples of the pet food industry and are used by the majority of pet food manufacturers as primary ingredients.
Meat ingredients like Chicken, Turkey, and Beef are chosen over alternatives as they are affordable, highly nutritious, and easy to source at scale.
Other Notable Ingredients
However, Iams doesn’t just use whole meat ingredients like Chicken but also includes By-products like Chicken By-Products.
Chicken By-Products are found in many Iams recipes and are an intimidating ingredient to many pet owners. By-Products are essentially the less desirable cuts of a Chicken that would not normally be eaten for human consumption.
While they may not be as visually pleasing, they can still provide valuable nutrition in the form of protein and fat, which is why pet food manufacturers make extensive use of them.
Iams makes use of a wide range of grain ingredients in its recipes, such as Corn, Sorghum, and Brown Rice. Grain ingredients can be a controversial addition to pet food recipes, with many pet owners refusing to feed their pets recipes that make use of grains.
Regardless of your side, grain ingredients can provide valuable nutrition in the form of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and select micronutrients.
Moving onto some of the more minor ingredients, some of Iams’s recipes make use of Dried Beet Pulp. Beet Pulp is used in a huge number of pet food recipes as a supplementary source of soluble fiber.
Dietary fiber can be crucial to some dogs and cats to ensure that they keep regular digestion and stools, which is why manufacturers supplement their recipes with ingredients like Beet Pulp.
However, outside of this fiber content, ingredients like Dried Beet Pulp provide very little additional nutrition.
If you’d like to learn more about Dried Beet Pulp, including where it comes from and its alternatives, take a read of our article Dried Beet Pulp In Dog Food.
Another ingredient worth mentioning is Chicken Fat which is a regular addition to pet food recipes, including those made by Iams.
The primary purpose of Chicken Fat is to enhance the flavor of a pet food recipe and boost the overall levels of animal-based fat.
Chicken Fat is chosen for this task over alternatives as it is highly appealing to dogs and cats and thanks to its relatively low cost and high availability.
If you’d like to learn more about Chicken Fat, including whether it can trigger a Chicken allergy, take a moment to read our article Chicken Fat In Dog Food.
Flaxseed is well known among pet owners as an excellent plant-based source of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and Iams is one of the hundreds of brands to utilize it.
These fatty acids are believed to provide several health benefits to dogs and cats, and an example of a benefit could include an improvement in the condition of a dog’s skin and coat.
However, what most do not realize is that Flaxseed has several more benefits outside of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which you can read about in our article Flaxseed In Dog Food.
Brewers Yeast is a much less common ingredient to find in pet food recipes, but it is used by some brands in tiny quantities.
Its presence is largely due to the vitamins and minerals it contains and its supposed health benefits. An example of some of these vitamins and minerals include high levels of several of the B Vitamins.
However, some are skeptical of the true benefits of Brewers Yeast, especially in tiny quantities. You can learn more about Brewers Yeast in Brewers Yeast In Dog Food.
Iams Animal Testing
At this time, we have no information on whether Iams participates in invasive or laboratory testing of animals.
However, based on our research, we can be confident that Iams does participate in a significant amount of research and development as well as feeding trials.
This is one of the reasons that Iams is among a select few brands to meet the WSAVA Guidelines.
Many smaller brands choose not to disclose any detailed information around their testing and feeding trials as they fear customer backlash.
However, experts in the industry are concerned by this and fear that some pet food recipes may not have been properly tested for long-term consumption.
We strongly believe that laboratory or invasive testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice. We hope that in the future, it will be eliminated.
In particular, our research has shown that Iams has undergone a large number of over the last two decades, far more than most other pet food brands, including the below.
In August 2013, Iams underwent a large recall due to the potential for salmonella contamination in some of its recipes.
Salmonella is a serious concern among pet food manufacturers and can cause adverse effects to both dogs and their owners. This recall affected the following recipes:
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31884177, best by Nov. 7, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31904177, best by Nov. 9, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31924177, best by Nov. 11, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31934177, best by Nov. 12, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31944177, best by Nov. 13, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 2.9 lb., Lot #31944177, best by Nov. 13, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 25.7 lb., Lot #31884177, best by Nov. 7, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 25.7 lb., Lot #331894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 25.7 lb., Lot #331904177, best by Nov. 9, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 25.7 lb., Lot #331914177, best by Nov. 10, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 25.7 lb., Lot #331934177, best by Nov. 12, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 5 lb., Lot #31904177, best by Nov. 9, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult, 5 lb., Lot #31914177, best by Nov. 10, 2014
- Iams Healthy Naturals Weight Control Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams Premium Protection Chicken Adult, 12.1 lb., Lot #31894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Mature Adult, 30 lb., Lot #31884177, best by Nov. 7, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Senior Plus, 13.3 lb., Lot #31934177, best by Nov. 12, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Senior Plus, 26.2 lb., Lot #31934177, best by Nov. 12, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Large Chunks Adult, 15 lb., Lot #31944177, best by Nov. 13, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #1874177, best by Nov. 6, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 13.3 lb., Lot #31924177, best by Nov. 11, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 3.1 lb., Lot #31874177, best by Nov. 6, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 3.1 lb., Lot #31894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 5 lb., Lot #31874177, best by Nov. 6, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 5 lb., Lot #31894177, best by Nov. 8, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Adult, 5 lb., Lot #31924177, best by Nov. 11, 2014
- Iams ProActive Health Small Breed Puppy, 5 lb., Lot #331904177, best by Nov. 9, 2014
In March 2013, Iams underwent a smaller recall due to the potential of mold in some of its recipes.
Mold is a less common cause of recalls in the industry but is still very concerning and shows a lapse in safety and quality processes during production.
This recall affected the following Iams Shakeables recipes:
- Turkey — first 4 digits of the lot number are: 2342, 2325, 2331, 2332, 2341, 3016, 3017, 3018 or 3046
- Lamb — first 4 digits of the lot number are: 2338
We could also find evidence of a small recall from Iams that occured in December 2011 and was caused by Aflatoxin being found in the dog food.
This recall affected the following lots of ProActive Health Smart Puppy recipes that had best-by dates of Feb 5 or Feb 6, 2013.
- 7 lb. bag, Lot #12784177I6
- 8 lb. bag, Lot #12794177D2 or 12794177D3
- 17.5 lb. bag, Lot #12794177K1 or 12794177K2
In August 2010, a very small recall took place of a single lot of Iams Indoor Weight Control With Hairball Care dry cat food due to the potential for Salmonella contamination.
As mentioned earlier, Salmonella contamination can be a serious threat to both animals and humans.
The lot number for this particular recall for Salmonella contamination was #02304173.
In July 2010, there was yet another recall for potential salmonella contamination. This recall affected Iams Veterinary Formulas of dry cat food, including all sizes and varieties.
The lots affected by this had best-by dates between July 1, 2010, and Dec 1, 2011.
In June 2010, we found evidence that there was a recall due to low levels of Thiamine. If cats continually consume low levels of Thiamine they can be prone to a Thiamine deficiency which can lead to symptoms like weight loss, vomiting, and decreased appetite.
This recall affected all varieties of Iams ProActive Health canned cat and kitten food with best-by dates between September 2011 and June 2012.
The last Iams recall on record was during March 2007 and was due to the potential presence of Melamine.
This recall was widespread throughout the pet food industry and hit almost every major pet food brand or group. It also affected thousands of pets across the United States, injuring and killing many of them.
This large recall due to Melamine is largely why most pet food owners in the United States do not trust pet food from China or other foreign countries.
The Iams Melamine recall affected a range of canned and pouch pet food recipes. We have listed all these below:
Iams Select Bites Cat Food, 3 oz. pouches:
- Adult With Beef in Gravy
- Adult With Chicken and Wild Rice in Gravy
- Adult With Chicken in Gravy
- Adult With Turkey in Gravy
- Adult With Salmon in Sauce
- Adult With Tuna in Sauce
- Kitten With Chicken in Gravy
- Weight Control With Tuna in Sauce
- Active Maturity With Chicken in Gravy
- Variety Pack With Beef, Chicken & Turkey
- Variety Pack With Salmon and Tuna
- Variety Pack With Chicken and Turkey
Iams Slices Cat Food, cans:
- Slices With Turkey in Gravy, 3 oz. and 6 oz.
- Slices With Beef in Gravy, 3 oz. and 6 oz.
- Slices With Chicken in Gravy, 3 oz. and 6 oz.
- Kitten Slices With Turkey in Gravy, 3 oz.
- Variety Pack Slices With Chicken and Beef in Gravy, 3 oz.
Iams Flakes Cat Food, cans:
- Flakes With Tuna & Ocean White Fish in Sauce, 3 oz. and 6 oz.
- Flakes With Salmon in Sauce, 3 oz. and 6 oz.
- Variety Pack Flakes With Tuna & Ocean White Fish and Salmon in Sauce, 3 oz.
Iams Select Bites Dog Food, 5.3 oz. pouches:
- Puppy With Chicken in Gravy
- Adult With Beef in Gravy
- Adult With Beef, Potatoes and Carrots in Gravy
- Adult With Chicken in Gravy
- Adult With Turkey in Gravy
- Adult With Lamb and Wild Rice in Gravy
- Weight Control With Chicken in Gravy
- Active Maturity With Beef in Gravy
- Variety Pack With Beef, Chicken, Lamb and Rice
- Variety Pack With Beef and Chicken
Iams Small Bites Dog Food, 6 oz. cans:
- Puppy With Beef & Chicken in Gravy
- Small Dogs With Chicken in Gravy
- Small Dogs With Beef & Vegetables in Gravy
- Variety Pack for Small Dogs With Beef & Vegetables and Chicken in Gravy
Iams Chunks Dog Food, 13.2 oz. cans:
- Beef & Vegetables in Gravy
- Chicken in Gravy
- Active Maturity With Beef in Gravy
- Weight Control With Beef in Gravy
- Puppy With Beef & Chicken in Gravy
- Variety Pack With Beef & Vegetables and Chicken in Gravy
- Multipack With Beef & Vegetables in Gravy
- Multipack With Beef & Chicken in Gravy
- Multipack With Chicken in Gravy
We always suggest that pet owners remain vigilant of any future recalls of Iams or any other pet food brand to ensure that their pet’s remain healthy and safe.
Best of Iams
Iams Proactive Health High Protein Chicken & Turkey Adult
Our favorite recipe from their range is the High Protein formula. This recipe contains the highest portion of meat, which translates into 30% protein and 18% fat.
It is critical that dogs, regardless of activity level, consume a considerable portion of meat and fish ingredients.
This large portion of meat is a mix of Chicken and Turkey ingredients. These poultry ingredients are regularly combined and provide extremely comparable nutrition.
The recipe also includes grain ingredients like Sorghum and Corn. Another inclusion in the formula is Brewers Yeast, which we mentioned briefly earlier.
It is included as it can provide some beneficial vitamins and minerals that many believe can improve a dog’s health and wellbeing.
You can learn about this in our article Brewers Yeast In Dog Food.
ProActive Health With Chicken And Whole Grain Rice Pate Review
Chicken and Rice recipes are a staple of the industry and have been given to dogs for decades.
Iams has a standard offering of Chicken and Rice in canned form which can be seen above.
While the recipe does contain a mix of Chicken and Chicken By-Products, it also contains Meat By-products which is typical of an Iams recipe.
Brown Rice is the primary grain ingredient which is a fantastic choice, and the recipe also uses a mix of Barley, and Oatmeal to supplement this.
ProActive Health Healthy Adult With Salmon Review
Salmon is a fantastic addition to a cat’s diet and Iams has a dry cat food recipe with a strong focus on Salmon.
Salmon is the first listed ingredient which means it is in plentiful supply. Salmon is an excellent source of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which can improve the condition of a cat’s skin and fur.
However, there are also some Chicken ingredients present such as Chicken By-Product Meal and Chicken Meal which supplement the protein and fat provided by the Salmon
The recipe uses grain ingredients like most of Iams recipes and these include Corn, Sorghum, and Rice. These provide a portion of carbohydrates and fiber.
Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Cuts In Gravy – Chicken Review
Most cats find wet cat food extremely appealing and the above offering from Iams is likely to be no different.
The recipe uses a large portion of Chicken which takes up the majority of the formula. This is a mix of Chicken and Chicken Liver.
Organ meat such as Chicken Liver is an excellent addition and can provide additional protein and fat, along with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
The recipe has minimal plant-matter but does contain a small portion of Tapioca which is used as a binding agent to hold the food together.
Iams Featured Articles
Best WSAVA Approved Dog Food – The WSAVA guidelines are becoming a popular discussion topic among knowledgeable pet owners as they look to select a tried and tested food.
While some are aware of brands like Purina and Royal Canin, many are unaware that Iams is a brand that meets this guideline.
Best WSAVA Approved Cat Food – Similar to the above, some cat owners are also now attempting to follow the WSAVA Guidelines.
For cats, there are even fewer brands that comply with the guidelines, but Iams still manages to make an appearance.
Iams Full Product Range
Dry Dog Food
Adult Small Breed
Adult Large Breed
Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe
Puppy Small Breed
Puppy Large Breed
Mature Adult Large Breed
Adult Healthy Weight
Adult Healthy Weight Large breed
Adult High Protein
Wet Dog Food
ProActive Health With Beef, Rice, Carrots And Green Beans Flavor In Sauce Chunks In Gravy
ProActive Health With Lamb And Rice Pate
ProActive Health With Beef And Rice Pate
ProActive Health With Chicken And Whole Grain Rice Pate
ProActive Health Puppy With Chicken And Rice Pate
ProActive Health Senior With Slow Cooked Chicken And Rice Pate
Dry Cat Food
ProActive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Care With Chicken & Turkey
ProActive Health Healthy Adult With Chicken
ProActive Health Healthy Adult With Salmon
ProActive Health Hairball Care
ProActive Health Adult Sensitive Digestion & Skin
ProActive Health Urinary Tract Health With Chicken
ProActive Health High Protein
ProActive Health Healthy Kitten
ProActive Health Healthy Senior
Wet Cat Food
Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Pate – Chicken
Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Cuts In Gravy – Chicken
Perfect Portions Indoor Cuts In Gravy – Tuna
Perfect Portions Indoor Cuts In Gravy – Salmon
Perfect Portions Indoor Cuts In Gravy – Chicken
Perfect Portions Healthy Kitten Cuts In Gravy – Chicken
Perfect Portions Healthy Senior Cuts In Gravy – Chicken
Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Pate – Tuna
Perfect Portions Indoor Pate – Salmon
Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Pate – Salmon
Perfect Portions Healthy Kitten Pate – Chicken
Perfect Portions Indoor Pate – Turkey
Perfect Portions Optimal Metabolism Pate – Chicken