Iams: Brand Review. Recalls, Pros, Cons, and More

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Published: July 7, 2022

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Iams is one of the oldest and most popular brands of dog and cat food on the market that aims to provide healthy foods for your pets by ensuring that each batch of food is high in quality and nutrition. The Iams pet food companies’ belief is that advanced nutrition in the industry leads to innovation and improvement of the quality of pet food worldwide.

This brand was founded by Paul Iams in 1946 and has since expanded its brand. Paul Iams was an animal nutritionist who had a goal in mind to create pellet-based dog food that contained animal-based protein making this brand one of the first to create a carnivorous diet for dogs. In 1969, Iams then released a new range of products under the name Eukanuba, and the company was then sold to Mars Inc. in 2014.

As pet lovers, it is important to understand the different pros and cons along with any other necessary information about a certain brand before you decide to feed their products to your dog, which is why we have carefully researched the Iams pet food brand so that you can get more insight as to what the brand stands for and the quality of the products they produce.

Iams pet foods sell a wide range of different products and include an all-natural line of products, along with dog foods for all life stages (puppy/kitten, adult, senior), and veterinarian-based recipes. Most Iams dog foods are protein-based, however, they also use a lot of by-products and fillers such as corn in their ingredients.

The Healthy Naturals line from this brand seems to offer the highest quality nutrition out of the dog foods this brand sells when it comes to the benefits of the ingredients and nutrition. Over time after Iams had established their protein-based dog foods, they then extended their range to cats as well. Iams has a variety of different dog and cat foods which each have specific ingredients to target specific health conditions your dog or cat may have.

Let’s look at some of Iams most popular pet foods:

  • Iams Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Best Dry Dog Food
Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Real, farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Maintain your Shih Tzu’s skin and coat health with omega-6 fatty acids
  • Contains antioxidants to support their tiny immune systems
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
Check Chewy Check Amazon
  • Iams Proactive Health Adult Cat Food Weight & Hairball Care
Best Fiber Kitten Food
Iams Indoor Weight & Hairball Care
  • Formulated for indoor cats
  • Helps to control obesity and hairballs
  • The first two ingredients and chicken and chicken by-product meal
  • Contains fish oil for omega-3 fatty acid
  • Each cup contains 332 calories
Check Chewy Check Amazon
  • Iams Proactive Health Wet Dog Food
Best Wet Food
Iams ProActive Health Adult With Lamb & Rice Pate
  • Includes natural ingredients slow-cooked in real broth
  • The first few ingredients are chicken, chicken by-products, and lamb
  • Features brown rice for healthy carbohydrates, nutrients, and fiber
  • Also includes flaxseeds, which provide omega-fatty acids that improve skin and coat health
Check Chewy Check Amazon
  • Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food
Best for Strong, Lean Muscles
Iams ProActive Health Salmon Recipe
  • Formulated for kittens and cats of all ages
  • Complete and balanced dry cat food
  • Provides nutrients to maintain a healthy weight
  • Particularly convenient for multi-cat households
  • Contains L-carnitine to maintain strong, lean muscle
Check Chewy Check Amazon
  • Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
Best for Indoor Cats
Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free
  • Formulated specifically for indoor cats
  • Includes high levels of vitamin E for immune system support
  • Also includes additional antioxidants
  • Made in the U.S. from ingredients sourced globally
  • Comes in an easy-peel tray
Check Chewy
Best for Medium and Small Dogs
Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein
  • Smaller kibble is designed to be chewed and digested easily
  • Affordable
  • Helps to remove tartar and plaque
  • Contains farm-raised chicken for muscle-maintaining protein
  • Contains antioxidants, fiber, and prebiotics
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Key Features

  • All their pet foods are made without artificial preservatives or flavors.
  • The first brand to develop a protein-based kibble food.
  • Their product lines are affordable.
  • This brand has pet foods for different health conditions and life stages.
  • Iams has very few recalls in comparison to other brands that have been around for much shorter.

What type of Animals/Breeds are Iams best suited for?

Affordability

Iams is known for being the best budget for nutrition pet food because most of their dog and cat foods are relatively affordable for the type of nutrition the food can provide your pet. Most pet owners will choose Iams as pet food for their low prices and decent nutritional content. The volume of food you get for the price is much better in comparison to other pets’ foods that are lower in quality for the same or slightly higher price.

Health Conditions

Iams has a range of different pet food lines, but the proactive health line has formulas that are suitable for dogs and cats with certain health conditions. This can include foods that help cats with weight management, hairball control, and even urinary tract problems. The Iams proactive health line contains added fruits and vegetables into the recipes to provide dogs with vitamins and antioxidants, as most of the health condition formulas are targeted towards cats as Iams produces different pet food recipes for both cats and dogs.

Life Stage

Iams also produces recipes that are suitable for dogs and cats of different life stages. They have formulas available that can be specifically fed to kittens or puppies as the nutritional value and ingredients will be more beneficial to a growing and developing kitten or puppy than the adult or senior recipes will be. Iams most popular pet food is usually the adult versions, but they also have a senior recipe available from their pet food lines for both older dogs and cats.

Iams: Where to Buy

Iams pet food has become quite established in several different countries. This makes it easy to purchase this dog or cat food from your local pet stores or online. You will find Iams dog food on online websites such as Chewy or Amazon, but this brand can also be bought at many stores in over 70 countries. You will also find this brand of pet food on other smaller websites that ship products within your area.

  1. Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
  2. Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
    • Real, farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient
    • Maintain your Shih Tzu’s skin and coat health with omega-6 fatty acids
    • Contains antioxidants to support their tiny immune systems
    • No artificial preservatives or flavors
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Iams Indoor Weight & Hairball Care
  4. Iams Indoor Weight & Hairball Care
    • Formulated for indoor cats
    • Helps to control obesity and hairballs
    • The first two ingredients and chicken and chicken by-product meal
    • Contains fish oil for omega-3 fatty acid
    • Each cup contains 332 calories
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Iams ProActive Health Adult With Lamb & Rice Pate
  6. Iams ProActive Health Adult With Lamb & Rice Pate
    • Includes natural ingredients slow-cooked in real broth
    • The first few ingredients are chicken, chicken by-products, and lamb
    • Features brown rice for healthy carbohydrates, nutrients, and fiber
    • Also includes flaxseeds, which provide omega-fatty acids that improve skin and coat health
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Iams ProActive Health Salmon Recipe
  8. Iams ProActive Health Salmon Recipe
    • Formulated for kittens and cats of all ages
    • Complete and balanced dry cat food
    • Provides nutrients to maintain a healthy weight
    • Particularly convenient for multi-cat households
    • Contains L-carnitine to maintain strong, lean muscle
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free
  10. Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free
    • Formulated specifically for indoor cats
    • Includes high levels of vitamin E for immune system support
    • Also includes additional antioxidants
    • Made in the U.S. from ingredients sourced globally
    • Comes in an easy-peel tray
    Check Chewy
  11. Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein
  12. Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein
    • Smaller kibble is designed to be chewed and digested easily
    • Affordable
    • Helps to remove tartar and plaque
    • Contains farm-raised chicken for muscle-maintaining protein
    • Contains antioxidants, fiber, and prebiotics
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Iams Recalls & Controversies

The Iams Brand Controversies

In an undercover investigation from 2002 to 2003, this pet food brand was accused of animal cruelty by a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) investigator. During this time, PETA claims that a hidden camera inside Iams contracted testing facility showed that most of the dogs were allegedly being neglected and abused.

Since this incident, PETA has said that Iams is making progress after the boycotting that took place and has stopped or changed some of its practices that involved cruelty and neglect. This controversy over the Iams brand soon lost its appeal once the brand took accountability and made changes regarding its testing on animals.

Some other minor controversies with this brand were the quality of their food. They have had many ingredients and formulas changed over the years which has upset some pet owners who were not happy with the changes in the recipes. Many loyal customers who have had their dog or cat on a certain Iams brand of food for a long time had to switch to a different food because the guaranteed analysis and new or removed ingredients didn’t appeal to their dog or cat’s needs anymore.

Recall History

Since Iams is a brand of pet food that has been around for a long time, they are guaranteed to have a few recalls over the years. The first documented recall happened in September 1997 following the death of a small dog. Upon further investigation, a small blue and greenish seed was found in the dog’s food and turned out to be rat poison. Other Iams products were tested to see if the foods were contaminated as well, but it turned out to be an isolated incident and most likely involved someone tampering with that specific bag of dog food before it was purchased.

In March of 2007, various batches, and types of Iams dog food were recalled because of potential melamine contamination, a total of 43 Iams and 25 Eukanuba products were recalled, which is considerably higher than other pet food brands.

Other recalls happened in December of 2011 when a small production of Iams dry dog food was recalled due to the batch’s aflatoxin levels exceeding the safety limit. In 2010, a few bags of cat food from Iams were recalled because of salmonella and low levels of thiamine (which is an essential nutrient that cats need to stay healthy.

There was another recall in August 2013 due to potential salmonella contamination and Iams dry dog food lines were being recalled, particularly the Healthy Naturals range.

Products For This Review

Bottom Line

Overall, Iams seems to be good pet food for its affordability, even if they do produce average-quality pet foods that are slightly high in by-products and fillers. Iams offers both dogs and cats several product lines with an assortment of natural and veterinarian-based recipes for all dog and cat breeds of various life stages.

The brand also seems to be moving into health-targeted pet foods, especially with cats. This brand offers both wet and dry foods, although they specialize in dry dog foods which have become the most favored foods from this brand.

If you are searching for affordable and standard-quality dog food that undergoes lots of testing for food quality and safety, then this is definitely a brand to check out!

Next Up…

Now that you have discovered what Iams pet food has to offer your dog and cat, you can take a look at the type of pet food recipes that Iams has to offer!

About the Author

I am a big animal lover that not only enjoys owning and getting to care for them, but also to write about them! I own many fish, along with shrimp, hamsters and a docile tarantula. Writing has become my passion and I am grateful to be able to write about the animals I love so dearly so that I can share my knowledge and expertise in the articles I write.

Iams: Brand Review. Recalls, Pros, Cons, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Iams High Quality Food?

Iams pet food is considered to be affordable for the quality of the food you receive. They might not have the best ingredients or a good balance of fillers and beneficial ingredients, but Iams seems to have a very good reputation for producing standard dog and cat food but they are not considered to be a high-quality pet food brand when it comes to certain ingredients in their recipes.

This brand is recognized by worldwide veterinarians and animal breeders, which is why it can be seen in many specialist stores, so it is not considered to be low-quality.

Who Owns Iams Dog and Cat Food?

The Iams pet food company has had many ownership changes throughout the years that it has been around. Iams is currently owned by Mars, incorporation who has agreed to purchase this brand of food from Procter and Gambles.

Is Iams A Good Dog Food?

Iams is best known for their extensive range of dog food. They sell both wet and dry dog foods made for dogs of different life stages. They are considered to be good dog food if you are looking for an affordable option and do not mind the extra fillers and by-products in the ingredients.