Iams vs Natural Balance

Iams vs. Natural Balance

In this comparison article for Iams vs Natural Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Iams and Natural Balance, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Natural Balance vs Iams comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Iams Review Page or Natural Balance Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Natural Balance vs. Iams

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Iams Dog Food vs. Natural Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Iams Natural Balance
Crude Protein 27.4% 26.6%
Crude Fat 14.6% 12.9%
Crude Fiber 5.1% 5.4%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Iams Natural Balance
Crude Protein 42.0% 38.8%
Crude Fat 24.0% 19.1%
Crude Fiber 5.8% 7.1%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude protein. For wet dog foods, Iams typically provides a little more protein (about 3.15% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Dietary fats serves a multitude of roles in the proper development and function of our canine companions. Here are some of the benefits (not exhaustive):

  • Help produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among other critical functions.
  • Aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve skin and coat health
  • Improve the palatially of your dog's food

As you can see, Natural Balance and Iams guarantee a similar amount of crude fat. For wet dog foods, Iams provides more fat (about 4.85% more).


Iams and Natural Balance both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet dog food, Natural Balance and Iams also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Iams Cat Food vs. Natural Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Iams Natural Balance
Crude Protein 36.2% 37.1%
Crude Fat 16.8% 14.3%
Crude Fiber 4.3% 5.6%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Iams Natural Balance
Crude Protein 50.5% 47.4%
Crude Fat 19.0% 19.1%
Crude Fiber 14.7% 6.9%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude protein content of the two brands. For wet cat foods, Iams typically provides a little more protein (about 3.18% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve the health of skin/coat
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Slow the development and spread of certain type of cancers.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure

According to our average data, Natural Balance typically provides less fat than Iams. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. For wet cat foods, Natural Balance and Iams provide roughly the same amount of fat.


Iams Pet Food Ingredients vs. Natural Balance Pet Food Ingredients

Iams and Natural Balance both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Beet Pulp
Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Poultry Giblets

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Iams.

Liver
Caramel
Corn Meal
Corn Grits
Iron Oxide
Canola Meal
Fish Digest
Ground Corn
Wheat Gluten
Vegetable Oil
Feeding Oatmeal
Beef By-Products
Corn Gluten Meal
Meat By-Products
Ground Yellow Corn
Powdered Cellulose
Chicken By-Products
Dried Meat By-Products
Chicken By-Product Meal
Ground Whole Grain Corn
Poultry By-Product Meal
Soybean Protein Isolate
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Poultry Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Natural Balance.

Giblets
Dried Tomato Pomace
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Lactic Acid)

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Iams and Natural Balance both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Iams.

Blue 2
Red 40
Corn Oil
Yellow 5
Yellow 6
Ethoxyquin
Added Color
Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite

Product Safety: Recall History of Iams & Natural Balance?

Iams has been recalled 2 times.

  • Aug. 14, 2013: Salmonella
  • July 30, 2010: Salmonella

Natural Balance has been recalled 5 times.

  • July 21, 2007: ofbotulinum toxin
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • June 18, 2010: Salmonella
  • April 27, 2007: Melamine
  • April 17, 2007: Melamine

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Iams Natural Balance
Per Pound $1.39 $2.60
Per Calorie $0.0008 $0.0017
Dry Cat Food Iams Natural Balance
Per Pound $2.13 $3.30
Per Calorie $0.0013 $0.0021
Wet Dog Food Iams Natural Balance
Per Pound $1.67 $4.87
Per Calorie $0.0034 $0.0099
Wet Cat Food Iams Natural Balance
Per Pound $4.81 $6.32
Per Calorie $0.0102 $0.0149

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Iams or Natural Balance, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Iams or Natural Balance will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Iams and Natural Balance. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Iams Pet Foods

You can purchase Iams pet foods from the following stores:







Where To Buy Natural Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Natural Balance pet food products from these retailers:










Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Iams Natural Balance
Dry Dog Food 28 Recipes 27 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 10 Recipes 31 Recipes
Dog Treats 33 Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 14 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 31 Recipes 39 Recipes
Cat Treats 2 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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