The Top Iams Dog Foods: Read This First

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: February 6, 2023
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Iams dog food provides those on a strict budget with affordable dog food. In fact, many people consider this dog food to be extremely inexpensive — more so than many other options on the market.

However, this food still remains pretty high-quality. Most Iams recipes include high levels of meat, making them great for most dogs. Still, they do cut some corners by including higher-than-average levels of grain, which helps them keep production costs down.

Still, if you’re looking for budget dog food, you can’t get much better than Iams. For everything you need to know about this dog food, keep reading below.

  1. Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food
    • Contains real farm-raised chicken
    • Fibers and prebiotics for healthy digestion
    • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Iams Adult Large Breed Real Chicken High-Protein
    • Features larger-sized kibble
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Includes whole grains such as barley, corn, and sorghum for fiber and other nutrients
    • Formulated specifically to provide bone and joint support for large dogs
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
    • Real, farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient
    • Maintains skin and coat health with omega-6 fatty acids
    • Contains antioxidants to support tiny immune systems
    • No artificial preservatives or flavors
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
    • Formulated to help attain and maintain a healthy weight
    • Includes chicken for lean protein
    • Features a high level of whole grains for extra fiber so dogs feel full longer
    • Also includes L-carnitine to improve your dog's metabolism
    • Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent a variety of serious health issues
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Iams Advanced Health Adult Healthy Digestion Chicken
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • This food contains all the amino acids your dog needs
    • Extremely digestible formula
    • Includes whole grains for fiber and other nutrients
    • Fortified with antioxidants to support your dog's immune health
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  6. IAMS ProActive Health Classic Ground with Lamb & Whole Grain Rice Adult Wet Dog Food
    • 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

The Top Iams Dog Foods: Ranked and Rated

#1 Best Overall: Iams Adult MiniChuncks High Protein Dry Dog Food

For most dogs, we highly recommend Iams Adult MiniChuncks High Protein Dry Dog Food as our #1 Best Overall choice. As you’d expect from this brand, the company priced this food far lower than most of the competition. However, chicken is the first ingredient, providing your canine with lean protein and all the amino acids they need to thrive. It also includes a blend of fibers and prebiotics to support your dog’s healthy digestion.

Beyond that, this food also includes high levels of whole grains. These whole grains provide extra fiber, as well as other nutrients.

This food features a smaller kibble size, which makes it suitable for small and medium breed dogs as well as those with dental problems. We like that it includes high levels of antioxidants, which reduce oxidative damage.

Some reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food. A few said that their dogs experienced digestive issues after eating this food, including diarrhea and gas.

Pros and Cons of Iams Adult MiniChuncks High Protein Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Chicken is the first ingredient in this affordable recipe for lean protein and the amino acids your dog needs to thrive.Some reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food.
It also includes a blend of fibers and prebiotics to support healthy digestion. A few said that their dogs experienced digestive issues after eating this food, including diarrhea and gas.
It includes high levels of grain, which provide extra fiber and other nutrients.
It features a smaller kibble size that is appropriate for small and medium breed dogs as well as those with dental issues.
Best Overall
Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food
  • Contains real farm-raised chicken
  • Fibers and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers
  • Made in the U.S.A.
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Large Breeds: Iams Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Iams Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food is ideal for large breed dogs that need both bigger kibble and different nutrition than smaller dogs. It features chicken as the first ingredient. Most dogs do great on chicken since it’s digestible, easy on the stomach, and full of amino acids. The company also added whole grains to this formula, including whole-grain barley, whole grain corn, and whole-grain sorghum.

While refined grains aren’t always the best choice for dogs, whole grains provide fiber and other nutrients.

The company made this formula specifically to improve bone and joint support. If you have an active, larger dog, this extra support remains vital to prevent arthritis and other joint and bone diseases and conditions.

Some reviewers reported that their dogs didn’t like this food. Others said that their dogs had diarrhea and/or vomiting after eating this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This dry dog food is formulated specifically for large dogs and has larger kibble, too.Some reviewers reported that their dogs didn’t like this food.
Chicken is the first ingredient.Others said that their dogs had diarrhea and/or vomiting after eating this food.
Whole grains provide fiber and other nutrients.
It provides the bone and joint support that active, larger dogs need to help prevent arthritis and other joint and bone diseases and conditions.
Best for Large Breeds
Iams Adult Large Breed Real Chicken High-Protein
  • Features larger-sized kibble
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Includes whole grains such as barley, corn, and sorghum for fiber and other nutrients
  • Formulated specifically to provide bone and joint support for large dogs
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Small Dogs: Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dog Food

Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the wellness and nutritional needs of small and toy breed dogs. It features chicken as the first ingredient to help build strong muscles and omega-6 fatty acids to support your little dog’s skin and coat health.

This recipe also includes antioxidants in the quantity required to support small breed dogs’ immune systems.

Some reviewers said that the kibble size was too large for tiny toy dogs. Others said that their dogs didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dog Food

ProsCons
This recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional and wellness needs of small and toy breed dogs.Some reviewers said that this kibble was too large for tiny toy dogs.
Chicken is the first ingredient to help build strong muscles.Some dogs didn’t like this food.
Omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health.
Antioxidants provide immune system support.
Best Dry Dog Food
Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Real, farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Maintains skin and coat health with omega-6 fatty acids
  • Contains antioxidants to support tiny immune systems
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Weight Loss: Iams ProActive Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

If your canine has a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, we recommend Iams ProActive Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food.

Excessive weight gain may lead to all sorts of health problems, which can be a serious issue for many dogs. This formula includes chicken to provide lean protein and plenty of amino acids. It also contains a high level of whole grains, which provides extra fiber. This fiber may help keep your dog full longer, which can reduce the number of calories your dog eats.

Iams added L-carnitine to this recipe, which may improve your dog’s metabolism. While this won’t help them lose tons of weight, it can provide some encouragement for very overweight dogs.

The majority of negative reviews were from customers whose dogs didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This recipe is formulated to help dogs reach and maintain a healthy body weight.Some dogs didn’t like this food.
It features chicken for lean protein and amino acids.
It includes a high level of whole grains for extra fiber that can make your dog feel fuller longer, which can reduce the number of calories they eat.
L-carnitine may improve your dog’s metabolism.
Best for Weight Loss
Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated to help attain and maintain a healthy weight
  • Includes chicken for lean protein
  • Features a high level of whole grains for extra fiber so dogs feel full longer
  • Also includes L-carnitine to improve your dog's metabolism
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent a variety of serious health issues
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion Dog Food

Overall, Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion Dog Food contains very similar ingredients to the other formulas on this list. For instance, the ingredient list includes chicken first. This animal protein provides all the amino acids your dog needs, while also being extremely digestible. Therefore, chicken remains a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Whole grains provide plenty of fiber and other nutrients. This fiber, combined with prebiotics and guaranteed live probiotics, may improve your dog’s digestive health, as it works to regulate the digestive system. Plus, Iams has added antioxidants to help improve your dog’s immune health and an optimal ratio of omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health.

Some reviewers reported that their dogs didn’t like this food. Others said that their dogs had diarrhea after eating this kibble.

Pros and Cons of Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion Dog Food

ProsCons
This recipe is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs.Some dogs didn’t like this food.
Chicken is the first ingredient to provide the highly digestible protein and amino acids your dog needs.Some dogs had diarrhea after eating this food.
Whole grains provide fiber and other nutrients.
Prebiotics and guaranteed live probiotics may improve digestive health.
Antioxidants help improve immune health and omega fatty acids support skin and coat health.
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Iams Advanced Health Adult Healthy Digestion Chicken
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • This food contains all the amino acids your dog needs
  • Extremely digestible formula
  • Includes whole grains for fiber and other nutrients
  • Fortified with antioxidants to support your dog's immune health
Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best for Large Breed Puppies: Iams ProActive Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

If you have a large breed puppy, Iams ProActive Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food will provide the special nutrition it needs to help prevent heart and joint conditions later on. The formula works, in part by controlling the amount of calories large breed puppies consume so they don’t grow too fast for their joints.

Like practically every dog food on this list, this formula includes chicken as the first ingredient. It provides lean protein for your puppy, which helps them grow healthy muscles. Plus, it includes all of the 22 key nutrients found in mother’s milk that your puppy needs. One such nutrient is omega-3 DHA, which promotes healthy cognition and retinal function.

Several reviewers said that their puppies experienced diarrhea after eating this puppy food.

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This recipe provides the special nutrition that large breed puppies need to help prevent heart and joint conditions later in life.Several reviewers said that their puppies experienced diarrhea after eating this puppy food.
Chicken is the first ingredient for the lean protein your puppy needs to grow healthy muscles.
It includes the 22 key nutrients found in mother’s milk, including omega-3 DHA for cognitive and retinal health.
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

7. Best Wet Food: Iams ProActive Health Lamb & Rice Pate Canned Dog Food

Lots of dogs simply do better when eating wet dog food like Iams ProActive Health Lamb & Rice Pate Canned Dog Food. This formula includes natural ingredients that the company cooks slowly in real broth. For instance, the ingredient list includes chicken, chicken by-products, and lamb as the first few ingredients.

Iams has also added brown rice to this food, which adds carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients to the formula. This food is also quite high in flaxseed, which provides extra omega fatty acids to the wet food to help improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

You can feed this canned food to your dog as a complete meal, mixed into their dog’s dry food as a “topper,” or by the spoonful between meals as a reward or treat.

Some pet parents said that their dogs didn’t like this wet food. Others reported that the texture and/or smell was “off.”

Pros and Cons of Iams ProActive Health Lamb & Rice Pate Canned Dog Food

ProsCons
This recipe includes chicken, chicken by-products, and lamb as the first few ingredients.Some dogs didn’t like this food.
It also includes brown rice for carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients.Some owners reported that the texture and/or smell was “off.”
Flaxseed provides extra omega fatty acids to help improve skin and coat health.
You can feed this wet food as a complete meal, as a topper, or between meals as a reward or treat.
Best Wet Food
IAMS ProActive Health Classic Ground with Lamb & Whole Grain Rice Adult Wet Dog Food
  • 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

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

While Iams dog food may all look rather similar on the shelf, there are key differences between the formulas. When deciding what food to get your canine, keeping these differences in mind is vital.

You should consider each food’s price, protein source, grain inclusion, and added ingredients. Let’s take a look at these key points below:

Price

Most dog owners are on a budget. While we would all like to ignore pricing, our financial situations usually don’t allow this.

Luckily, Iams prices their dog food lower than most options. Therefore, we recommend it for owners on a budget. Still, different formulas cost different amounts, so be sure to check the price of the specific formula you’re considering.

Protein Source

Dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats. However, they still need to eat plenty of protein, which is usually added to food through meat sources. Most Iams dog food includes chicken as the primary protein source.

Usually, dogs do fine on chicken, though it can be a common allergen. If your dog is allergic to chicken, you will obviously need to find a chicken-free formula.

Grain Inclusion

Grains remain a bit of a controversial subject among dog owners. However, scientists have discovered that dogs have evolved to consume grain. Furthermore, the FDA is currently researching grain-free foods and their potential associated with certain health conditions.

Therefore, we typically recommend a grain-inclusive formula for most dogs. The only exception to this recommendation is dogs with grain sensitivities, though these are rare.

Added Ingredients

While Iams makes generalized dog foods, most include added ingredients that make them better for certain dogs. For instance, their weight management formula includes specific nutrients that can help dogs lose weight.

For this reason, you’ll need to consider these added ingredients when selecting the best food for your dog.

The Different Types of Iams Dog Food: Pros and Cons Compared

Iams dog food does make a few different types of dog food. Primarily, these are dry dog food and wet dog food. Let’s take a look at each of these types, in turn, to help you choose an option for your dog.

  • Dry dog food — Most dog owners feed their canines kibble, since it’s easy to feed and has a long shelf life after opening.
  • Wet dog food — Many dogs benefit from wet dog food because of its increased moisture content.

Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
InexpensiveOften higher in carbohydrates
Available in most storesCan contain a lot of filler ingredients
Long shelf lifeLess enticing to picky dogs
Wide range of formulas availableMust consider kibble size
Can be left out after openingCan be difficult for some dogs to chew
Dental benefits
Doesn’t create a mess

Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
Easier to eatExpensive
Smells to entice picky dogsCan cause digestive problems for some dogs
Often tastierCannot be left out after opening
Higher fat and protein content

Verified Reviews: Users’ Experiences

Usually, most customers praise this company due to their lower pricing. Compared to other dog food brands, Iams costs much less. Therefore, they are a great option for those on a budget.

Furthermore, most owners found that this food keeps their dog perfectly healthy. One poodle owner reported that the mini chunks recipe kept their dog’s coat shiny and looking well cared for.

Many owners also liked that this food is made in the U.S.A. They seemed more inclined to choose any Iams recipe for this reason.

Most complaints involved the grain-heavy ingredient list. While there are some dogs that are sensitive to grain, this is quite rare.

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

The Top Iams Dog Foods: Read This First FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does Iams make good dog food?

Is Iams considered to be high-quality dog food?

Iams is known for making a wide variety of dry and wet dog food recipes for dogs of different sizes and life stages. These formulas are considered to be good quality, as long as you don’t mind the fact that many contain extra fillers, including more grains than some other brands, and some include animal by-products.

 

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