The Best Iams Puppy Foods: Recalls, Pros, Cons, And More

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Updated: January 31, 2023
© Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall Iams puppy food is Iams ProActive Health Puppy Large Breed.
  • When shopping for the best Iams food for your puppy, keep the following factors in mind: price, guaranteed analysis, and quality.
  • There are pros and cons to dry, wet, and breed-size puppy foods.

Iams is a well-known dog food brand that has started as a family-owned business in the 1940’s and eventually expanded to selling a variety of dog and cat foods worldwide. The company makes an extensive range of puppy foods that can provide your puppy with balanced nutrition to keep them healthy and support their growth and development.

Iams high-quality puppy foods are best suited for puppies below one year of age and are available in either kibble or wet dog food recipes. They’re made with healthy ingredients and have high-protein levels to provide your puppy with energy and to support lean muscle growth.

If you are wondering what Iam’s puppy foods have to offer your puppy and what are the best options to choose from, this review will give you all the information you need to make an informed purchase!

  1. IAMS ProActive Health Classic Ground Chicken & Rice Puppy Food
    • For small breed puppies
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Pate meal made with chicken
    • Coked in a tasty broth
    Check Chewy
  2. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    • Contains high-quality protein
    • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers
    • Support muscle and bone development
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Iams ProActive Health Puppy Small & Toy Breed
    • Features small kibble designed for tiny mouths
    • Chicken is the fist ingredient for lean protein and amino acids
    • Includes a variety of whole grains for fiber and a healthier digestive system
    • Provides nutrients that puppies need, including omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, which improves healthy brain development
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Iams Puppy Foods

#1 Best Overall: Iams ProActive Health Puppy Large Breed

Iams ProActive Health Puppy Large Breed is our choice for the #1 Best Overall puppy food. This veterinarian-recommended food is formulated for large puppy breeds and it features chicken as the main ingredient. The farm-raised chicken helps to promote strong muscle growth and development, and is coupled with essential minerals to help puppies build strong bones. It contains 22 nutrients that are found in a mother dog’s milk, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to support a puppy’s immune system.

This is a kibble dry puppy food, and it has complete and balanced nutrition for puppies. This food contains the specific ratio of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that large breed puppies require for optimal growth. It is high in protein at 27% and has a moderate level of fat and fiber.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude protein: 27%
  • Crude fat: 14%
  • Crude fiber: 4%

While 92% out of  9,751 Amazon reviews were positive, some reviewers reported that their puppies experienced diarrhea after eating this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Health Puppy Large Breed

ProsCons
This veterinarian-recommended food is formulated for large breed puppies.Some reviewers reported that their puppies experienced diarrhea after eating this food.
The first ingredient is chicken for protein, which promotes strong muscle growth and development.
It contains essential minerals to help puppies grow strong bones.
It also includes 22 nutrients found in a mother dog’s milk, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to support a puppy’s immune system.
This kibble features the specific ratio of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that large breed puppies require for optimal growth.
It is high in protein at 27% and has a moderate level of fat and fiber.
Best for Those on a Budget
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Made for large-breed dogs under two years old
  • Main protein source: chicken
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Cost-effective
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2.  Best Wet Food: Iams ProActive Health Puppy With Chicken & Rice Pâté

Iams ProActive Health Puppy With Chicken & Rice Pâté is a wet dog food formulated for puppies under a year of age. It features a pâté made with chicken as the first ingredient (after “sufficient water for processing) alongside other animal proteins. It includes a specific blend of vitamins and minerals to support your puppy’s immune system and encourage healthy growth and development. Omega fatty acids are included to nourish your puppy’s skin and coat, and DHA for healthy brain development.

This pâté is cooked in a tasty broth to ensure that the food is kept moist. This food has no fillers and lots of supplements that can benefit your puppy. However, it does contain meat by-products. It is very high in protein and contains ingredients such as animal liver, fish oil, brown rice, and dried egg product.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude protein: 9%
  • Crude fat: 8%
  • Crude fiber: 1.5%

Most reviews for this canned puppy food were positive, but a few said that their puppies had diarrhea and vomiting after eating it.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Health Puppy With Chicken & Rice Pâté

ProsCons
The first ingredient in this pâté (after “sufficient water for processing) is chicken.It includes animal by-products.
It is enhanced with a specific blend of vitamins and minerals to support your puppy’s immune system and encourage healthy growth and development.Some reviewers said that their puppies had diarrhea and vomiting after eating it.
It also includes omega fatty acids for skin and coat health and DHA for healthy brain development.
It’s high in protein and contains ingredients such as animal liver, fish oil, brown rice, and dried egg product.
Best Wet Food
IAMS ProActive Health Classic Ground Chicken & Rice Puppy Food
  • For small breed puppies
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Pate meal made with chicken
  • Coked in a tasty broth
Check Chewy

3.  Best for All Breeds: Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food

Chicken is the first ingredient Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food, which provides puppies with complete and balanced nutrition regardless of their breed size. It’s formulated with high-quality proteins along with nutrients found in a mother dog’s milk, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that support a puppy’s muscle and bone development. It has no artificial preservatives, flavors, and fillers. This food contains no potentially harmful ingredients and can be fed to puppies as a staple food until they reach one year of age.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude protein: 29%
  • Crude fat: 17.5%
  • Crude fiber: 4%

A few reviewers reported that their puppies had diarrhea after eating this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Chicken is the first ingredient in this food, which is formulated for puppies under a year old.A few reviewers reported that their puppies had diarrhea after eating this food.
It contains high-quality proteins plus nutrients found in a mother dog’s milk, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s free from artificial preservatives, flavors, and fillers.
Best for All Breeds
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Contains high-quality protein
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers
  • Support muscle and bone development
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4.  Best For Small Breeds: Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy and Toy Breed Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Puppy Small & Toy Breed is formulated to support the nutritional requirements of small and toy puppy breeds and contains farm-raised chicken as the number one ingredient. The high protein percentage in this dry food (29%) helps your puppy to grow and develop strong muscles. It contains omega-3 fatty acids to support cognition development. It’s fortified with the vitamins and minerals your small or toy breed puppy needs to thrive.

It has a moderately high-fat percentage and a good fiber percentage. This food does include fillers in the form of ground whole corn; however, it contains no potentially harmful ingredients.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude protein: 29%
  • Crude fat: 17.5%
  • Crude fiber: 4.0%

A few reviewers reported that their puppies had diarrhea after eating this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Health Puppy Small & Toy Breed

ProsCons
This recipe is formulated for small and toy puppy breeds.It includes ground whole corn (a filler).
Chicken is the first ingredient and this food has a high percentage of protein (29%) to help your puppy grow and develop strong muscles.A few reviewers reported that their puppies had diarrhea after eating this food.
Omega-3 fatty acids support cognitive development.
It’s enriched with vitamins and minerals.
It’s moderately high in fat and has a good percentage of fiber.
It’s free from harmful ingredients.
Best for Small-Breed Puppies
Iams ProActive Health Puppy Small & Toy Breed
  • Features small kibble designed for tiny mouths
  • Chicken is the fist ingredient for lean protein and amino acids
  • Includes a variety of whole grains for fiber and a healthier digestive system
  • Provides nutrients that puppies need, including omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, which improves healthy brain development
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When choosing the best Iams puppy food, there are three factors you need to consider, such as price, guaranteed analysis, and quality. Here is how to consider the best Iam’s foods for your puppy according to each of these factors.

Price

Overall, Iams puppy food is quite affordable. The price will vary somewhat depending on the type of puppy food you are purchasing and the volume (amount) of food. Though a larger bag costs more than a smaller one, the price per ounce will typically be lower. Iams wet food is priced slightly higher than their dry foods.

Guaranteed Analysis

When choosing a puppy food, it is important to look at the guaranteed analysis of the food so that you can analyze the percentage of protein, fat, and fiber. Most Iams puppy foods have a high protein content, between 25% to 30%, which is excellent for growing and developing puppies. The fat and fiber content of this brand’s puppy foods seem to be standard. Iams has also placed the vitamin and mineral content of some of their ingredients on the label so that you can see the amount of each nutrient in the food.

Quality

Iams is known for producing standard-quality pet foods, and their puppy foods seem to meet those standards. The quality you pay for is the quality you receive when it comes to dog foods, and Iams typically has a low number of fillers and by-products in their puppy recipes, with no potentially harmful ingredients. The main protein in puppy foods seems to be the most high-quality ingredient in the food.

The Different Types of Iams Puppy Foods: Pros and Cons Compared

  • Dry puppy food: This is a kibble-based puppy food that contains animal-based proteins. It can be purchased in various bag sizes and the price can vary according to the type of Iams dry puppy food you purchase.
  • Wet puppy food: This is a form of canned puppy food that is stored in a broth to help the chunky food retain moisture.
  • Breed-size puppy food: Iams has a range of puppy foods that are either suitable for small, medium, or large dog breeds. They also have toy dog breeds available.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of food

Dry Puppy Food

Pros:Cons:
High in proteinOnly available in one flavor
A small-kibble size that is easy for puppies to chew 
The more affordable option 

Wet Puppy Food

Pros:Cons:
High moisture content to help hydrate puppiesMore expensive option
Enticing flavor and aroma 
Has a high protein content 

Breed-Size Puppy Food

Pros:Cons:
Contains specific nutrient ratios for certain dog breeds according to their sizeOnly suitable for certain dog breeds
Available for toy puppy breeds 
Affordable 

Next Up

Find out what other pet foods the Iams brand has to offer your dog and cat through these articles.

About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

The Best Iams Puppy Foods: Recalls, Pros, Cons, And More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long should my puppy eat Iams puppy food?

Iam puppy food bags recommend that you feed these recipes to puppies until they’re a year old.

Large and giant breed dogs take longer to mature than smaller breeds. We recommend that you consult your veterinarian for guidance on how long you should feed Iams puppy food to your large or giant breed dog.

 

Has Iams dog food ever been recalled?

None of the Iams puppy foods featured in this review have been recalled per the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Recalls & Withdrawals website.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.