Iams Proactive Health Review
Smart Puppy Large Breed
Review of Iams Proactive Health
Smart Puppy Large Breed
This product is manufactured by Mars Petcare Inc..
According to our data, this Iams recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for growing puppies. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growing puppies.
We'll begin this review of Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is chicken. Although chicken is an excellent protein source, raw chicken contains more than 60% moisture. After cooking, the relative meat contribution of chicken is dramatically reduced. Therefore, it's important to ensure that other meat sources are included within the first few ingredients to ensure the product derives most of its protein from meat.
The second ingredient is ground whole grain corn. Ground whole grain corn contains the entire corn kernel (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in dog food.
Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.
In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.
Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.
The third ingredient is ground whole grain sorghum. Ground whole grain sorghum is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. This cereal grain also provides a modest amount of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.
The fourth ingredient is chicken by-product meal. Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.
Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.
The fifth ingredient is corn grits. Corn grits are made from ground corn and as discussed earlier, corn is a very controversial ingredient in dog food.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed are not as important as the first five ingredients.
However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Iams recipe.
Next we have brewers rice. Brewer's rice is the small fragments of rice kernel that are separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. The fragments do not contain the same nutrition profile of the whole kernel and therefore brewer's rice is a lower quality grain. Brewer's rice is typically regarded as an inexpensive and low quality filler.
The next ingredient is dried beet pulp. Dried beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.
We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.
Then we have fish meal. Fish meal is defined by AAFCO as "the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cutting, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil." Since the specific type of fish is not mentioned, we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as tuna meal, salmon meal, catfish meal, etc.
Moving on, we have natural flavor, which is likely included to improve palatability.
Moving on with this review, we have fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Fish oil is defined by AAFCO as "the oil from rendering whole fish or cannery waste." It is typically rich in omega-3 fatty acids and therefore a good fat source. However, the specific fish used to obtain the oil is not specified and therefore we cannot make any specific claims.
The next ingredient in this review is chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Chicken fat is typically collected while cooking chicken using a process called rendering. Chicken fat is a relatively high quality source of essential fatty acids. In particular, chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an important omega-6 fatty acid.
Our next ingredient is dried egg product. Dried egg product consists of shell-free eggs which are easy to digest and contain high quality protein. Egg protein is often given the highest biological value (BV). The BV metric measures the usability of the ingredient's protein.
dried brewers yeast is the next ingredient in this recipe. Dried brewers yeast is a by-product of the brewing industry. Brewers yeast is rich in various minerals and contains a notable amount of protein.
Next on the list is potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is a potassium supplement.
The next ingredient in this recipe is caramel color. Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.
Next we have salt. Salt is an important mineral for both humans and dogs. Depending on the quantity of salt used (which we cannot determine), salt may or may not be a nutritious addition in the recipe.
The next ingredient is choline chloride. Choline chloride is member of the B-vitamin complex (vitamin B4).
Then we have calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a naturally occurring mineral supplement. Although it's often used as a dietary calcium supplement, it can also be used as a preservative or color retainer.
Moving on, we have carrot. Carrots are an excellent source of dietary fiber and minerals. In addition, carrots are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant which is a precursor to vitamin A.
Moving on with this review, we have tomato. Tomatoes are naturally rich in various vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. You may have heard that tomatoes are toxic to dogs, but these claims are about the tomato plant, not the actual tomato.
The remaining ingredients in this Iams Proactive Health recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.
Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs. In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.
In summary, we recognize that this product contains anonymous meat ingredients. These are not necessarily always negative; however, they are typically low quality and inexpensive additions. If the particular anonymous meat ingredient is controversial or low quality, it should have been discussed earlier in this review. Otherwise, it is safe to assume the anonymous meat ingredient is an acceptable addition.
The official PawDiet rating for Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed is 2.0 out of 5.