Iams ProActive Health Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Iams ProActive Health product line includes 15 dry dog foods, twelve claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and three for growth (puppies).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- ProActive Health Senior Plus
- ProActive Health Mature Adult
- ProActive Health Adult Chunks
- ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks
- ProActive Health Senior Plus Large Breed
- ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed
- ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed
- ProActive Health Adult Large Breed (3 stars)
- ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original (4 stars)
- ProActive Health Adult Optimal Weight (2.5 stars)
- ProActive Health Adult Lamb Meal and Rice (3 stars)
- ProActive Health Adult Small and Toy Breed (4 stars)
- ProActive Health Adult Optimal Weight Large Breed (3 stars)
- ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed (4 stars)
- ProActive Health Smart Puppy Small and Toy Breed (4 stars)
Iams ProActive Health Adult Chunks was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Iams ProActive Health Adult Chunks
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Protein = 28% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 49%
Ingredients: Chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal, dried beet pulp, chicken flavor, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, flax meal, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, fructooligosaccharides, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide), l-lysine monohydrochloride, brewers dried yeast, dl-methionine, l-carnitine, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||16%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||33%||43%|
Protein = 24% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 43%
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.
The fourth ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.
In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
After the chicken flavor, we find chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With four notable exceptions…
First, we find flax meal, which contains one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.