Iams Proactive Health Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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iams proactive health review

Our Final Verdict

We give Iams Proactive Health Dog Food a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Iams Proactive Health was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1946 by Paul F. Iams, who sought to develop an innovative dog food. As a pioneer in the dog food market, Iams Proactive Health has helped set the standard for modern dog food recipes.

Today, Iams Proactive Health is a widely available product that’s affordable and versatile for nearly every dog owner. As a company, Iams Proactive Health continues to provide good quality dog food in a variety of recipes customized to your dog’s age and size, specialized dietary needs, and breed.

For its committed dedication, we recommend Iams Proactive Health dog food and rate it three and a half stars out of five. While some brands may top Iams Proactive Health in ingredient selection and overall performance, with Iams Proactive Health, you can feel confident that you’re feeding your dog a solid quality product at a budget-friendly price.

Which Iams Proactive Health dog food is best for your dog? We’ve listed the top five recipes, provided you with a few in-depth reviews, and compared ingredient lists with other brands available.

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At a Glance: The Best Iams Proactive Health Dog Food Recipes

Dog FoodPriceFlavorSizes Available
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Dry
Iams Proactive Health Minichunks & Adult Dry Dog Food(Our Favorite)

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Chicken3.3 lbs
7 lbs
15 lbs
& more
Iams Dry Proactive Health Mature Food for Dogs, Small & Toy Breed
IAMS Proactive Health Senior Dry Dog Food

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Chicken7 lbs
15 lbs
29.1 lbs
Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry, All Breed Sizes
Iams Proactive Health Puppy Chicken Dry Dog Food, All Breed Sizes

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Chicken15 lbs
30 lbs
& more
Iams Dry Proactive Health Large Breed
Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

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Chicken15 lbs
30 lbs
38.5 lbs
Iams Proactive Health Small Breed Dry
Iams Proactive Health Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food - Chicken

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Chicken7 lbs
15 lbs

Iams Proactive Health Dog Food Reviewed

You may have heard of Iams Proactive Health dog food, but how much do you know about it? In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the Iams Proactive Health company and the dog food varieties that they offer. From the ingredient selection to the overall quality, we’ll cover what you need to know when deciding if Iams Proactive Health dog food is right for your dog.

Who Makes Iams Proactive Health and Where Is It Produced?

When founder, Paul Iams, retired in 1982, he sold his company to his business partner, who in 1999, was bought out by Proctor & Gamble. In 2014, Mars Incorporated took over the business, with the European portion of the company being run by Spectrum Brands. Iams Proactive Health is made in the United States and has manufacturing plants in three locations: Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina.

Which Types of Dogs Is Iams Proactive Health Best Suited For?

Iams Proactive Health offers a wide selection of specially formulated dog foods, both dry and wet. In theory, it has a dog food that’s suitable for any dog. You can find Iams Proactive Health dog food for every age of development, from puppy to senior. These life-stage dog foods are further narrowed down by your dog’s size. Iams Proactive Health also addresses common health concerns by offering dog food for maintaining a healthy weight, grain-free diets, and a high-protein formula. Iams Proactive Health also makes breed-specific recipes for Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever, Bulldog, and German Shepherd.

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Why Your Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

Your dog may require a high-protein diet or a grain-free formula. Iams Proactive Health has only one recipe for each. If your dog doesn’t care for the taste or if your dog experiences stomach upset, you may be out of luck with this company. Also, if buying organic ingredients for your dog is important to you, unfortunately, Iams Proactive Health does not offer an organic option.

For a high-protein diet, you may want to try Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food.

If your dog requires grain-free food, consider purchasing Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken.

For an organic option, we recommend Evanger’s Pet Food.

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What Are the Primary Ingredients in Iams Proactive Health?

According to the Iams Proactive Health official website, Iams Proactive Health lists six main ingredients that can be found throughout all its recipes. These are beet pulp, chicken, corn, fruits and vegetables, salmon and ocean fish, and wheat. While each of these ingredients has benefits, there are also concerns you may want to consider, depending on your dog’s specific needs.

What’s Beet Pulp and Is It Healthy?

When all the sugar has been extracted from beets, the beet pulp remains. Iams Proactive Health adds this ingredient to increase its fiber content. On the upside, beet pulp is thought to be helpful with your dog’s colon and intestinal health by adding bulk to stools, creating better absorption of nutrients, and promoting energy. However, studies cannot support these claims, and some dogs may experience gastrointestinal stress. Beet pulp is a processed food, making it a byproduct and an unnatural ingredient.

Protein Sources in Iams Proactive Health Dog Food: Chicken and Fish

Chicken is one of the main ingredients in most Iams Proactive Health products. Keep in mind that many of the recipes feature chicken by-product meal, which is a lower-quality ingredient. Still, chicken is an excellent source of protein and contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which promotes joint health.

Salmon and ocean fish offer the other type of protein source found in certain Iams Proactive Health recipes. While it may be listed as fish meal, which is a lower-quality byproduct, your dog will still benefit from this good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which encourage healthy skin and a lustrous coat.

Grains: Corn and Wheat

Iams Proactive Health relies on corn and wheat ingredients as its source of grains in its dog foods, except for its grain-free recipe. Corn and wheat are moderately beneficial choices. They have their merits for providing carbohydrates and promoting energy. However, your dog may not easily digest the corn or the wheat. In the end, these may act as more of a filler than a nutritional source.

Fruits and Vegetables

Iams Proactive Health adds fruits and vegetables to its recipes to enrich its dog food with antioxidants and vitamins. They’re also a good energy source. Along with beets, Iams Proactive Health uses some or many of the following fruits and vegetables in its formulas: blueberries, spinach, green peas, and other fresh produce.

A Quick Look at Iams Proactive Health Dog Food

Pros
  • Trusted company for over 70 years
  • Wide selection of formulas
  • Recipes for puppies through mature dogs
  • Formulas for dog size, health concerns, and specific breeds
  • Adequate nutrients to promote your dog’s overall health
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Only one high-protein and one grain-free recipe
  • Made with byproducts
  • Lower in meat content
  • No organic option
  • Lacking formulas for a large number of dog breeds

Recall History

Over the last decade, Iams Proactive Health has issued a few recalls. Fortunately, the last recall occurred in 2013, and there hasn’t been a recall since. Beginning in 2011, the FDA issued a recall of Proactive Health Smart Puppy dry food due to aflatoxin contamination. In 2010 and 2013, Iams Proactive Health issued a recall related to salmonella contamination. 2013 was not a good year for Iams Proactive Health. Earlier that year, Iams Shakeable treats were recalled due to potential mold growth.

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Reviews of the 3 Best Iams Proactive Health Dog Food Recipes

1. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Chicken Dry Dog Food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Minichunks Small...
  • Contains one (1) 30 pound Bag of IAMS Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food Chicken
  • Veterinarians recommend IAMS; we’ve got your dog’s diet down to a science

This recipe is the top-rated Iams dry dog food on Amazon. It earns its high dog owner approval from its first ingredient of farm-raised chicken. This formula promotes muscle strength, encourages healthy digestion, and boosts your dog’s immune system and metabolism. Most dogs like the taste, and many dog owners agree that this dry dog food supports their dog’s overall health. Some dogs experienced gastrointestinal stress. This dog food does include byproducts.

Pros
  • Top rated on Amazon
  • Real chicken is first ingredient
  • Promotes muscle strength
  • Encourages healthy digestion
  • Boosts immune system and metabolism
  • Many dogs like the taste
Cons
  • Some dogs had stomach upset
  • Includes byproduct ingredients

2. Iams Dry Dog Food Chicken Proactive Health Mature Food for Dogs, Small & Toy Breed

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Mature Adult Dry Dog Food...
  • Contains one (1) 29.1 pound bag of IAMS Proactive health mature adult dry dog food chicken
  • Veterinarians recommend IAMS

For mature dogs, Iams has created a specially formulated recipe designed to promote your aging dog’s wellness and nutritional needs. With real chicken as the first ingredient, Iams also packs this recipe with antioxidants to strengthen your senior dog’s immune system, key nutrients intended to help with bone and joint care, and fiber and prebiotics to aid digestion. Most dog owners agree that this formula benefits their older dogs. A few dog owners described some stomach upset with this recipe. Keep in mind that this dog food contains lower-quality byproducts.

Pros
  • Specially formulated for mature dogs
  • Real chicken is first ingredient
  • Antioxidants, nutrients, fiber, and prebiotics
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Encourages bone and joint care
Cons
  • May cause stomach distress
  • Contains byproduct ingredients

3. Iams Proactive Health Puppy Chicken Dry Dog Food, All Breed Sizes

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry...
  • Contains one (1) 30.6 pound Bag of IAMS Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food...
  • Veterinarians recommend IAMS, so you can feed like a pro

Iams created this formula with your growing puppy’s specific nutritional needs and overall wellness in mind. Iams developed this formula to contain all 22 key nutrients that are found in a mother’s milk. Most dog owners appreciate that it contains omega-3 DHA, which enhances cognition for smarter puppies who are easier to train. With protein provided through real chicken as its first ingredient, your puppy can build strong muscles and develop healthy joints. This recipe contains lower-quality byproducts. Some puppies suffered from diarrhea after consuming this dry dog food.

Pros
  • Created for your puppy’s growing needs
  • Contains 22 key nutrients
  • Omega-3 for cognitive development
  • Protein supplied through real chicken
Cons
  • Contains byproducts
  • Some puppies experienced diarrhea

What Other Users ARE Saying ABOUT Iams Proactive Health

HerePup: “IAMS is a respected brand, as it should be. It’s one of the most well-known in the industry and one of the most veterinarian-recommended.”

Dog Food Guru: “If you’re a dog owner who values your dog’s health and nutrition, then you’d be better off splurging on a better brand that has higher meat content and more wholesome ingredients.”

Amazon: “I’ve been feeding my dog Iams for several years. He is 8 years old and has experienced no health issues at all. The price point is decent in comparison to other similar items.”

Amazon: “While it’s a safe bet that Iams doesn’t match the nutritional value of some of the more expensive brands out there, at least compared with the low cost competition (including Nestles/Purina), they do seem to use quality ingredients and are healthier for pets. For those on a budget but who still care about their pets, Iams is a good alternative.”

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Conclusion

Iams Proactive Health is a well-known, trustworthy dog food brand. While there are better options available, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you’re buying from a dependable company recommended by many veterinarians. For an affordable price, Iams Proactive Health offers a wide variety of recipes that are well suited for a range of dogs.

There’s a dog food for any age and size and common health concern. However, keep in mind that the ingredients in Iams Proactive Health dog food are of average quality and are lower in meat content. Byproducts and fillers prevent Iams Proactive Health from being higher rated.


Featured image credit: Iams Proactive Health Minichunks & Adult Dry Dog Food, Amazon