purina one vs iams

IAMS Vs Purina Dog Food: In-Depth Comparison [2023]

I am a dog owner and well aware of how tricky it is to find the right food. You have to consider so many things. These include ingredients, quality, and even the brand or manufacturer before making the final choice.

And with so many options available these days, the selection is difficult. However, the two names that will pop up are Purina and IAMS.

Are you confused between the two brands? Are you wondering if you should buy Purina Dog Food or IAMS? Here is a detailed comparison for you.

In this guide, I will take you through the length and breadth of both these famous pet food brands, from their history to an in-depth comparison, and help you make the right choice. Let’s dive right into it and find you the best food for your furry friend!

FactorsPurina Dog FoodIAMS
Owned ByNestle, PurinaMars, Incorporated
Launched In18941946
Special FeatureQuality meat makes it rich in proteinSpecifically formulated products
Number Of FormulasOver 140 recipes13+ recipes
Intended ForAthletic dogs with a high energy requirementDogs with digestive issues

All About Purina Dog Food

Purina ONE

4.7 Overall Editor Rating

Purina Dog Food

  • High protein dry dog food for skin and coat care
  • Highly digestible
  • Omega-6 fatty acids,
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Purina is a global brand that is synonymous with dog food for most people who have pets. This has made it the second-largest pet care company globally.

Besides owning a few small dog food companies, Purina offers 3 different product lines – Purina One, Purina Dog Chow, and Purina Pro Plan.

No matter what your canine’s dietary requirements are, I’m sure Purina has ace up its sleeve to take care of it. The brand has an extensive range of dog food recipes, and each will target a different life stage or health issue.

Did you know that Purina is a huge global brand headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA? Well, I didn’t either, until recently. The brand started way back in 1894, thanks to William H. Danforth’s bright idea.

At first, they were in the animal feed business with some other partners known as the Robinson-Danforth Commission. But then, they decided to get into pet food, and that’s when Ralston Purina was born. Their focus was on creating nutritious and wholesome food for our furry friends.

And guess what? They’re the ones who came up with the concept of ‘kibble’ that we all know today! They called it extrusion, and they developed this fancy technological process. Since then, Purina has become super popular and experienced in the pet food industry.

Purina ONE is just one of their many product lines. It’s pretty neat because it was the first all-natural dog food they introduced. And to top it off, it’s budget-friendly too! So, they’ve got something for everyone and every pet.

All About IAMS


4.8 Overall Editor Rating


  • Builds strong muscles with quality protein
  • Promotes healthy digestion with a tailored blend
  • Veterinarians recommend IAMS
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I am sure you have heard the name IAMS. But do you know it is a big player in the world of pet care? It’s a subsidiary of Pedigree PetCare, the largest pet care company in the world. Impressive, right? IAMS even has its own amazing story to tell.

The company was started by Paul Iams in 1946. And let me tell you, they’ve been ahead in the game since day one! Science and research have been the key to developing pet food.

IAMS has had different owners, but currently, it’s under the wing of Mars, Inc. Even with the change in ownership, they’ve produced good quality and consistent products.

The brand’s all about providing great value and well-balanced food to pets all over the world. So, you know you can trust them to keep your furry friends happy and healthy!

Purina Dog Food Vs IAMS: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

Purina Dog Food Vs IAMS: A Detailed 4-Factor Comparison

As pet owners, we all know that to keep our dogs healthy and happy, the best thing we can do is give them the right nutrition. And you must already know how to do that. Yes, finding the right food can only ensure that.

I have mulled between these two brands for a long time. So, I am comparing the two brands based on 4 crucial factors to help you find which one suits the needs of your pooch. So, let’s begin!

1. Ingredients

I have noticed that IAMS and Purina both use a wide range of different ingredients. However, I’ll discuss only the primary ingredients used by them.

Purina Dog Food

First, let’s discuss the ingredients of Purina Dog Food.

  • Real Meat

Purina uses real meat as the primary ingredient in all of its dog food recipes. The brand also adds a variety of animal meats (chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, salmon, duck, and even meat by-products). This is done to ensure that the dog gets the right nutrition.

  • Fruits and Vegetables

Purina Dog Food is not just high in protein. It has a unique mix of fruits and vegetables. These offer the needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the health and wellness of dogs.

  • Soy and Wheat

Some of the recipes even have corn, wheat, and soy. Are they tough on your pup’s tummy? Well, that’s not always the case.


Now, let’s discuss the ingredients of IAMS.

  • Meat

Similar to Purina, IAMS also uses meat as the first ingredient, which indicates quality, but not always. A majority of IAMS recipes include chicken as a protein source, with only two lamb-based recipes for adult dogs.

  • Meat Byproducts

IAMS recipes tend to include meat by-products, which is controversial among pet parents. Although you may believe that it’s a low-quality ingredient, the quality will depend on what the manufacturer adds to this ingredient.

Since IAMS doesn’t specify what goes into by-products, it turns out to be a controversial ingredient.

  • Grains

IAMS is known to be a grain-inclusive brand. Whether you want to incorporate grains into your pooch’s diet or not depends on the dietary requirements. However, by offering grain-inclusive recipes only, IAMS limits the doggy audience.

Who Won?

Purina Dog Food wins as it offers a wide variety of recipes with essential ingredients. It becomes a well-balanced diet for your pet dog. On the contrary, IAMS contains a few controversial ingredients that might not suit all dogs.

Purina is the only contestant in this debate if you require a grain-free diet.

2. Recipes

Is your dog a picky eater and tends to get bored of the food quickly? Well then, you might want a brand that offers a range of formulas you can switch between.

Well, in this case, you will be relieved to know that both brands offer recipes for canines of every age and size.

Life StagesPurina Dog FoodIAMS
Puppy Formula2 recipes3 recipes
Adult Formula14 recipes7 recipes
Senior Formula1 recipe2 recipes

Who Won?

You need a brand that can take care of the nutritional requirements of all three stages of a dog’s life. IAMS takes the lead here as it offers a wider variety of recipes for dogs across multiple age groups!

3. Nutrition

IAMS and Purina both aim to produce balanced and nutritious recipes for dogs. Their product labels include a detailed nutrient analysis to help you make the best decision.

Let’s compare the two brands keeping in mind your dog’s requirements.

Purina Dog Food

When it comes to nutrients, Purina Dog Food contains an abundance of essential ones that can benefit canines. It stands at 30% of protein, 20% fat, and 3% of fiber.


The dry dog foods offered by IAMS come with a balance of essential nutrients needed by your dog to be healthy and happy. It contains 27.6% protein, fat at 14.9%, and crude fiber of 5.2%

Who Won?

If you’re wondering which one of the two is better for you, let’s compare the nutritional value. You know what’s kind of surprising? When it comes to their basic kibbles, both brands have almost the same nutritional value, and that’s not exactly a good thing, right?

But here’s the deal. Purina’s got a higher ceiling because its premium foods are loaded with top-notch ingredients. IAMS does have some good stuff in their lineup too, but let’s be real; they just can’t quite measure up to the best of the best from Purina.

4. Recalls

As a pet parent, I understand that safety will be an important factor in helping you choose a brand. And product recall history will help indicate that.

It will not only allow you to know how often the brand has recalled its products but also how it dealt with them.

Purina Dog Food

Purina Dog Food has had two product recalls within the last decade. The first one happened in 2013 due to possible salmonella contamination, and in 2016 over concerns that the food didn’t have the exact amount of vitamins and minerals the label indicated.


Over the years, IAMS has had 2 recalls. In 2011: the aflatoxin levels of the dry food were beyond the acceptable limit. In 2013 due to salmonella.

Who Won?

It’s a tie between IAMS and Purina since both brands have had 2 recalls during their recent history. However, both of them quickly noticed and took action to recall their products from the market, reflecting their interest in ensuring your pup’s safety.

Highlights of the Two Dog Food Brands

Before I announce the winner of this fierce competition between the two famous labels, let’s have a quick look at the key factors of both dog food brands:

Purina Dog Food

  • Purina is a well-established and reputed dog food brand
  • A majority of the manufacturing takes place in the USA
  • Offers a range of formulas and flavors
  • Offers high-end dog foods made from quality ingredients


  • Comes with a history that is long and distinguished
  • Offers quite affordable options
  • You can get good value for your money

The Winner: Purina Dog Food

The Winner: Purina Dog Food

While both IAMS and Purina are good dog foods that can benefit your pup and have a neck-to-neck competition, Purina takes the lead for me. If you’re wondering why, let me tell you, it’s the wider range of recipes that makes it stand out.

You can pick from a variety of wet foods and kibble that cater to pups of different ages, breeds, sizes, dietary requirements, and ailments.


  • High moisture will keep your pup hydrated
  • Quality ingredients take care of nutritional needs
  • Affordable food option
  • A high amount of minerals and vitamins


  • The protein level is not much compared to other dog food brands
  • Can contain filler ingredients like corn

What Led to IAMS Losing?

Even though IAMS is a great, easily accessible dog food brand, I don’t think it can fight the technology that the new brands are using. And due to this, IAMS also doesn’t rank high in terms of nutrients and ingredients, although it would make up by being affordable.

Are you looking for dog food that doesn’t break your bank account? Or maybe a brand that is distinguished and highly reliable? You can go for IAMS. You should remember that it might not give your pooch a lot of nutritional value, but it is still an affordable option!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Purina Better Than IAMS?

Yes, I believe Purina is better as compared to IAMS in terms of ingredients and the level of nutrients present in it.

Do Vets Recommend IAMS Dog Food?

Vets recommend IAMS food to the canines that require quality protein to build strong muscles.

Why Is Purina Expensive?

Dog foods from Purina are expensive due to the high cost of the premium ingredients used by the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

IAMS and Purina Dog Food are quite identical in a lot of ways, but the few things that set them apart will make all the difference for a concerned pet parent like you. If you want dog food with more nutrients and better ingredients, you must pick Purina.

However, make sure you consider your dog’s breed, size, age, and health situation before deciding on one. If it sounds too tedious, you can always consult a vet to help you reach the best choice!

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