Iams vs Purina One May 2022

One of the best and popular dog food brands on the market today are IAMS and Purina. These brands offer several variations of pet supplies in different leading stores worldwide. Even your nearest grocery stores or pet shops will offer you these brands for your choices.

But how many benefits can you get from them? Which of the two brands works best for your pet? 

How much of it is real and how much of it is false advertising?

Generally, if you look at the two brands, it seems like they are similar in nature, but that is not the case. Let us dig deeper into their products, manufacturing practices, and other necessary details with a dog food review.

IAMS vs Purina Dog Food Quick Review

These are the main differences between IAMS and Purina Dog Food:


  • Main ingredient: Chicken and Ground Whole Grain Corn
  • Fiber content: 5%
  • Protein content: 22.5%
  • Price: $1.05/lb


  • Main ingredient: Chicken and Rice Flour
  • Fiber content: 3%
  • Protein content: 26%
  • Price: $0.92/lb

What dog food is better: Iams or Purina?

We have to dig deeper into several important factors like the ingredients, nutritional value, price, selection, and more. As you read more, you will come across the difference between IAMS and Purina and see which brand offers the best diet. Also, we have compared some of their popular dog food products in the market. Now, check these comparisons between the two

Nutritional value

Protein, fats, and fiber belong to the macronutrient profile that is to be highly considered when buying dog food. These three nutrients should pass your dog's minimum requirement for optimal health, which is prescribed by the veterinarian. 

Moreover, the top three ingredients listed say a lot about the quality of food. It will give you an idea about what ingredient majorly comprises the food. Fruits, vegetables, and real meat should be the top ingredients of a dog food recipe. This makes it good for a healthy skin and suited towards a large breed dog.

With that, Purina is much higher in nutritional value since their premium foods are composed of high-quality ingredients. While IAMS contains a good food lineup too, but they cannot compete with Purina's.


Mostly, both products use similar ingredients, especially at the lower range of product prices. Purina's real meat ingredients on its premium recipes are tastier compared to IAMS since it uses more artificial flavors. Basically, by quality and taste wise, Purina is better than IAMS. 

However, remember that every dog has different preferences, so it varies from food to food recipe. But on the average - both do have wholesome ingredients.


As stated above, Purina is obviously cheaper than IAMS. The latter's kibbles cost roughly around $1.05/lb while Purina costs $0.92/lb. 

If your budget is not an issue for you then you surely have the freedom to choose whatever product regardless of the price.


Purina has a staggering offering of recipes and formulas, which can certainly give you different choices for your pet's needs. 

While IAMS have limited choices for you. So, this category definitely goes to Purina since it gives several and even tailor-made choices for your pets.

Recall History

IAMS has recorded two recalls over the decade. The first recall history it has was in 2011, wherein they issued a voluntary recall due to the dry food that contains aflatoxin levels that surpassed the acceptable limit. In other words, they were concerned about molds in their products.

The next recall happened back in 2013 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered numerous of their recipes to be recalled due to the concerns of having possible Salmonella contamination. But results have not proven that there were animals harmed because of the said reason.

For Purina, it also had two recalls over the decade. The first was in 2013 because of Salmonella contamination too, but it was proven to be limited to single bag contamination only. The second was in 2016 due to some wet foods that were labeled incorrectly with many vitamins and minerals. However, the food was not believed to be dangerous for consumption.

About IAMs

IAMS is a subsidiary company of Pedigree Petcare, a popular pet care company around the world. Moreover, IAMS is one of the distinguished and oldest pet food companies that most of the consumers know.

In 1946, Paul F. Iams started his pet food company with the vision that his innovation will lead to the superior quality of products enhancing the health of every dog and cat.

In the 1950s, the first IAMS™ product - IAMS 999 - is launched as the first pet food to use animal-based protein as the primary source of protein in pet food. In those times, mass-produced kibble started to exist in the market but didn't initially make it since pet owners prefer to feed their pets with table scraps.

In fact, IAMS was the very first company to specialize in formula or dog foods. In the 1980s, they created a formula specifically made for puppies resulting in an acknowledgment that dogs have different nutritional needs that varies according to their life stages. From there, dog foods for adult and senior dogs followed as well. Now, it's clear who to give credit for the life-giving dog foods we have now.

Until the 1960s, after 11 years of research, IAMS researchers launch IAMS™ Plus giving the importance of the pet's intestinal health through beet pulp. Years after, several products were launched following their thorough research.

Several years later, the company almost went bankrupt due to a refusal to lower its manufacturing standards while facing a dilemma about a continuous increase in meat products. Bt Clay Mathile acquired the company and turned it into a dog food behemoth. He then sold the company to Procter & Gamble, who then eventually sold it to Mars, Inc., the major owner of Pedigree PetCare.

Until then, IAMS' persistence in innovation has halt throughout the years. It may be because of Pedigree's different values and product strategy. But still, IAMS dog food has long been in competition with several brands though it doesn't contain premium ingredients as it did before. It belongs to the recent trend in dog food, which is to create a little to zero quality ingredients.

Today, high-end brands go more in nutritional value than IAMS. But it still remains as a decent food at a low cost for your pets. Given that it is available in any store plus, it is a considerable choice for pet owners who have a limited budget for pet supplies.

IAMS Pros and Cons


  • Very affordable compared to other brands
  • Has a long and distinguished history
  • Good value for the price
  • Offers good recipes


  • Uses cheap fillers and animal by-products
  • Contains preservatives

About Purina Pet Food The Company 

For more than 90 years, Purina has maintained its belief that pets and people are always better together. That is why the company still stands until the present time and has been continuously patronized for its products.

Purina rises as the second biggest pet care company in the world next to Pedigree. Currently, it has three primary product lines:

  • Purina Dog Chow
  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Purina One

Moreover, they have acquired several smaller dog food companies, too.

It started in the United States and remains to have its production there as well. Its processing plants are located in the Northeast and Midwest parts of the country to provide pet food in all stateside. The brand continues to provide all kinds of pet supplies including an array of different pet food recipes and formulas intended for the different life stages and nutritional needs of the pet. And while IAMS started this innovation, Purina was able to continue its specialization and remained top in the production.

Purina's product lines differ in quality depending on the needs and preference. Its Purina Dog Chow stays to be the most affordable but has several controversial ingredients just like other low-grade brands make. However, their two remaining product lines, Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan, have recipes and formulas that range from middle to high-end. If you carefully observe its difference, it has a variation when it comes to the quality of ingredients as well as the prices.

You can purchase some Purina recipes at a very affordable price but doesn't guarantee huge benefits to your pets. Also, some of its products contain grain-free and premium ingredients, which will cost you more from your pocket yet ensures several improvements and benefits. As a pet owner, you like to look for some natural ingredients from a pet food brand - and there are some used - like purina puppy chow also.

Purina's Pros and Cons


  • Offers a wide range of recipes
  • Uses quality ingredients
  • Offers a 28-day money-back guarantee


  • Overly advertised product
  • High-end products are expensive

Is Purina Dog Food Better Than IAMS?

66% of Dog Owners Surveyed Said Yes.

Let us take a look at their top popular products:

IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
IamsCheck Latest Price
This Proactive Health Dry Dog Food from IAMS is made largely from chicken and created to perfectly meet the specific nutritional needs of large breeds, especially their need for protein content to help strengthen their muscles and repair the damaged ones. It is also specially formulated for larger dogs that need joint and bone support for their active lifestyle. Moreover, this dog food promotes healthy digestion and a healthy immune system through its ingredients such as fiber and prebiotics. This recipe is quite similar to the rest of the products but the only difference is this is lower in fat and protein content.

Also, the glucosamine content found in the ingredients comes from animal by-products, which may cause allergies to your dogs. But the best thing that this product offers is that it is made of larger, crunchier kibbles that can cleanse the teeth.

IAMS Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Recommended for weight control
  • Contains a good amount of glucosamine

IAMS Cons:

  • Uses more fillers and animal by-products
  • Contains less meat
IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food
minichunks dog foodCheck Latest Price
IAMS Adult Minichunks Small Kibble Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken is packed with protein that comes in smaller kibble size to give your pup just the right amount of food during mealtime. It also contains flaxseed and chicken fat that is full of omega fatty acids; carrots for vitamin K; and dried beet pulp for high energy and fiber.

Though it has real chicken as the first ingredient, it cannot be denied that it also contains poor quality of cheap grain or corn as well as artificial colors, and animal by-products. Overall, this recipe belongs to the middle range in terms of protein, fat, and fiber (25%, 14%, 4%). But this can be considered as a good deal since it is quite cheaper than other products.


  • Contains chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Supports the immune system


  • Has animal by-products
  • Uses low-cost ingredients
  • Has artificial colors
Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dry Dog FoodCheck Latest Price
This dog food is perfect for those pets who are struggling to control their diet and lose weight. This Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dry Dog Food is made from scrumptious kibbles with real chicken (farm) and contains 17% less fat than the products listed above. This recipe supports a healthy metabolism through its L-carnitine content, plus chondroitin and glucosamine to help maintain your dog's bone and joint health.

However, this recipe contains whole grain corn as the first ingredient and most sources of protein come from animal by-products which contain less to zero nutrients. Though it compensates in low fat and low calorie for weight loss, unfortunately, it is low in nutrients and contains low-quality meat. But fret not, it has flaxseed and carrots for added vitamins. So, this product is not necessarily bad for your dog. It still has a positive benefit though.


  • Contains less fat
  • Recommended for weight management
  • Low-calorie content


  • High in salt
  • Uses low-quality meat
Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance
Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages PerformanceCheck Latest Price
If your dog is too active, then this Purina Pro Plan Sport dog food is perfect. This is specifically formulated for working dogs, performance athletes, sporting dogs, or highly active canines regardless of their life stages. This recipe contains more calories to support your dog's active lifestyle and has a balanced ratio of protein (30%), fiber (5%), and fat (20%). It is also made to optimize oxygen metabolism to support your dog's endurance during exercises and activities.

However, if your pup is too lazy for running and chooses to be a couch potato all day, then this food isn't for him. This can be too much and can lead to obesity since it is too calorie-dense and has a lot of fuel for exercises. Also, this recipe contains dried egg ingredients, which can trigger allergies to your sensitive dog. But other than that, there's nothing much to argue about this product.


  • Contains fish oil for omega fatty acids
  • Has more fiber, protein, and fat
  • Ideal food for active dogs
  • Perfect for all life stages (puppy, adult, senior) and breeds (small, medium, large)


  • Expensive
  • Calorie-dense for overweight dogs
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult
Purina Dog Chow Complete AdultCheck Latest Price
Purina Dog Chow Complete Dry Dog Food is considered as their most basic kibble and generally the cheapest product they have. This is made for those who intend to have a low-cost meal for their dogs. If you check on the packaging, it contains whole grain corn as its first ingredient, which is a cheap product and considered as a filler. Also, it has beef and bone meal as its first source of protein instead of having real meat as a premium source of the said nutrient.

However, there's also a lot of important ingredients in there. One of which is the beef fat, which adds omega fatty acids and glucosamine to support energy and a healthy immune system for your four-legged best friend. Plus, it claims to have 23 vitamins and minerals to help support strong, lean muscles for your dogs.


  • Made with real chicken
  • Very affordable
  • Contains beef fat for Omega 6 fatty acids


  • Uses corn as the first ingredient
  • Has fillers and animal by-products

IAMS vs Purina FAQs

What's Important When Choosing a Dog Food?

The important factors to consider are your dog's specific needs like activity level, size, health, and activity level. Most of the dog food products are made according to the life stages and sizes of the dogs. The premium products go beyond the usual offerings since they can offer you specific needs like dog food for sports, specific breeds, etc. Moreover, there are other secondary factors in choosing a dog food like the price, ingredients, or your dog's taste

Who makes Purina Pro pet foods?

Nestle Purina Petcare makes the Purina Pr products. It was acquired by Nestle back in 2001 after the merging of Ralston Purina and Nestle.

Are Iams and Purina the same company?

No. They are from different companies. IAMS is owned by Procter and Gamble while Purina is owned by Nestle.

Do vets recommend IAMS dog food?

Yes. IAMS is one of the trusted and recommended dog food brands along with several others that veterinarians usually approved of.

Do vets recommend Purina dog food?

Yes. It is most likely recommended by vets, especially the Purina Pro Plan since it is made of premium quality ingredients that give so many benefits to the dogs.

What dog food is better Iams or Purina

Is Iams better than Purina ONE

Is it better to buy Iams or Purina dog food - Purina is good for large breed puppy, senior dogs will Iams does have an edge on small dog offerings and wholesome grains.

Julia is an animal volunteer and a Vet Tech she helps us with research and product evaluation. She also have worked in technical roles that help her sift through the marketing smoke screen. She is passionate about all animals and often helps out at shelters.