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Iams Premium Protection Mature Adult Dog Food Review

Yorkshire Eating Dog Food

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4 Paws


You can find detailed information about Iams Dog Food, made by Procter & Gamble (P&G), in our main Iams Dog Food review. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control.

Iams produces a tremendous range of products for all ages, sizes of dogs, and dogs with different health needs. They emphasize nutrition in their foods but many people who look at ingredients will balk at the corn and other grains used in them. Some of their foods are popular grocery store brands and others can be found in pet stores or bought online. The veterinary formulas have to be purchased through veterinarians.

Eukanuba is the sister company of Iams. Ingredients in the two foods can differ and Eukanuba is generally sold online or in pet stores but the two companies rely on the same nutritional research.

Find Out What Dog Owners Are Saying About This Food


Ingredients in Iams® Premium Protection™ Mature Adult

Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Dried Beet Pulp, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Chicken Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Flax Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Salt, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Chicken Cartilage (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (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), Beta-Carotene, L-Carnitine, Marigold, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract


Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first five ingredients in this food are: Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley and Chicken. These ingredients are found in many other Iams foods, though in a different order. They indicate the presence of meat protein (chicken by-product meal and chicken), as well as plant protein and carbohydrates. We like the chicken better than the chicken by-product meal, but both are good sources or meat protein. Obviously, if you don’t like grains for dogs, you will need to avoid this food but we think that if there is good meat protein in the food, some carbs from grains are acceptable. This food looks similar to many of Iams’ foods and we will need to see the rest of the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis to learn more.

According to Iams:

The Most Advanced Iams Nutrition for a Lifetime of Love.

Iams is deeply committed to enhancing the well-being of dogs and cats for a lifetime of love with your pet. It is this commitment that inspired Iams nutritionists to work closely with veterinarians and create the ultimate Iams food for all your dog’s nutritional needs. The result is Iams Premium Protection.

The nutrient-rich chicken by-product meal in Iams Premium Protection is an excellent source of protein. It naturally contains minerals and amino acids essential to dogs. Our products contain only highly refined chicken by-product meal, which has enhanced quality and nutritional value.

This Iams Premium Protection formula has PreBiotics that work inside the digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and strong defenses.

Iams Premium Protection Senior Dog Features:

Premium Protection is precisely formulated using only our highest-quality ingredients, further enhanced with:

  • Advanced 2-part fiber system, includes FOS and beet pulp, for healthy digestion
  • Beta-carotene and vitamin E, to help boost the immune system of your older dog to healthy adult levels
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
  • Iams Daily Dental Care™ to reduce tartar buildup by up to 50% (as tested in Iams Proactive Health Chunks)
  • High levels of protein for muscle maintenance for older dogs
  • Enhanced with L-Carnitine to help burn fat and keep dogs at a healthy weight

Premium Protection is Iams’ Most Advanced Nutrition, Built from Iams’ Highest-Quality Ingredients.

Iams Dog Foods offer a 100% guarantee.

Recommended For: Adult Dogs 7+ years

We can substantiate most of the claims made by Iams in these statements. The food does contain prebiotics that are good for healthy digestion. It also has the protein described above as well as the antioxidants, fiber, and sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. The food also has the ingredient Sodium Hexametaphosphate which Iams uses for dental care. It’s been shown in studies to help reduce tartar build up.

One claim that we would question is the statement that Iams uses no artificial preservatives since they do use fish meal that is preserved with ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin doesn’t have to be listed on the label because the fish meal is preserved with with this ingredient before it reaches the pet food plant so, technically, Iams doesn’t add the ingredient. Many pet food companies use this “out” when discussing ethoxyquin or other ingredients. But this preservative is still in the food that your dog eats, though Iams defends its use.

Another claim that might be questioned is the statement about using no fillers in the food. Iams uses brewers rice in this food and many people consider this ingredient to be a filler. However, the pet food industry defends the use of such fillers in some cases. You can read more about the benefits of using some kinds of filler ingredients, such as brewers rice, following the discussion of that ingredient below.

Find Out What Dog Owners Are Saying About This Food

Feeding Mature Dogs

Many times people don’t even realize when their adult dog moves from the prime of life into what are often called the “mature” years. In humans this would be the equivalent of middle age. The age at which this occurs can vary, depending on breed and the size of your dog. Small dogs generally have longer lives than other dogs so their “mature” years may not begin until they are 9-10 years old, for example. On the other hand, giant breeds often have shorter life spans so their mature years can start when they are 5-6 years.

This mature time of life for dogs is often marked by a tendency to gain weight more easily, even if the dog continues to exercise regularly. Aches and pains may start to appear. If the dog has any joint problems or other health issues, they may begin to show up. This mature time can continue for several years before the dog becomes a senior dog so changes may be gradual. The owner may not notice them at first. This is especially true since dogs often mask any physical problems. You may wake up one day and simply notice that your dog no longer seems as young as he once did.

Mature dog foods typically continue to provide good protein. This is important since these older dogs are still active and they still need protein to build hair, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, as well as muscles. Protein also plays an important role in producing hormones and enzymes to help regulate their basic daily functions. None of that changes just because a dog gets older.

However, mature dog foods usually have a reduced fat percentage because of the older dog’s propensity to gain weight. Some mature dog foods will add supplements or nutraceuticals such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in an attempt to help possible joint problems. You may find other supplements added to the food as well.

You should note that there are always exceptions to these generalities. You could have a mature dog who begins to lose weight as he gets older or a dog who shows no sign of gaining weight. In these cases, a mature dog food would not be appropriate for your dog. You would need to find a food that suits your dog’s condition or even continue to feed the food you are currently feeding. Remember that every dog is an individual and feed him accordingly.

Any dog who loses or gains weight rapidly, especially as he gets older, should see a veterinarian. These can be signs of illness and a vet would need to do some tests to find out for sure what is happening with your dog.

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Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

Chicken by-product meal is the first ingredient. Later in the food we find chicken as the fifth ingredient. We always like to see meat protein as the first ingredient in a food. Chicken is about 80 percent protein and it’s a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium. Chicken is more desirable than chicken by-products. Obviously the chicken would appear lower in the list if the moisture were removed but the chicken by-product meal already has most of the moisture removed so it contains a lot of protein. AAFCO defines chicken by-product meal as: consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.” There are some good parts in chicken by-products and chicken meal supplies concentrated animal protein, but it’s a mix and it’s not the same high quality protein as chicken meat. However, it should be noted that it’s definitely chicken. It’s not by-products from some unknown animal. So, it might not be chicken breast but it’s not so bad. Many people who feed raw like to give their dogs chicken necks and other parts that would be called “chicken by-products.” As mentioned, chicken by-product meal is a good source of chondroitin and glucosamine which are good for the joints. The food also has Dried Chicken Cartilage – a natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine.

The second ingredient is corn meal. According to one source, there are 27 different corn or corn-derived products listed in the AAFCO manual that are all by-products of the various corn milling operations which make human food products. Iams says that corn meal is used in their food as a high quality source of carbohydrates for energy. We are uncertain about the nutritional information for the corn meal used in dog food. Assuming that it is similar to corn meal sold for human cooking, then it has about 10 percent protein, 14 percent fat, and 76 carbohydrates. However, we’re not sure if this is the same as the corn meal that’s used in dog food. If you have additional information about corn meal in dog food, please let us know. If these figures are correct, the corn meal would provide a source of plant protein and a lot of carbs in the food.

The third ingredient is ground whole grain sorghum. While sorghum is currently touted as having a lot of health benefits for humans, such as being gluten-free and helping with some health issues (which haven’t been proven), it’s usually associated with livestock feed. Sorghum is about 3 percent protein, 8 percent fat, and 89 percent carbohydrates. It contains some B vitamins and a few assorted minerals, but not large quantities of anything, although it does have a lot of omega-6 fatty acid. One species of sorghum is the source of sorghum molasses. Other kinds of sorghum are used for grass/fodder and grains for animals.

The fourth ingredient is ground whole grain barley. Barley is about 90 percent carbohydrates, 3 percent fat, and 7 percent protein. It’s a good source of dietary fiber and Manganese. Whole grain barley is considered to be a good grain for regulating the body’s blood sugar.

We’ve already discussed chicken as the fifth ingredient.

Overall, these first five ingredients provide some good sources of meat protein with the chicken by-product meal and chicken, and some plant protein and carbs. There is nothing here that is very exceptional (good or bad), especially in an Iams food.

Additional Ingredients of Interest

The next ingredient is Fish Meal (source of fish oil), a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acid. Farther down the list we also find Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E). Fish oil is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 is good for your dog’s skin and coat, among other things. We do note that the fish meal that Iams uses contains ethoxyquin, an artificial preservative, so if this concerns you, you should avoid this food. Iams defends the use of ethoxyquin here.

The food also contains dried beet pulp. There are some misconceptions about beet pulp, probably because of the name. Dried beet pulp is a natural, fermentable source of fiber. It is a wonderful addition to dog food to help move fecal matter along in the intestines, for one reason because it soaks up a lot of moisture and keeps things moving. It also acts as a pre-biotic to help good bacteria grow in the gut. Dried beet pulp is not a source of sugar for dogs. It does not make dogs hyper. The sugar has already been removed. “Despite being a byproduct of sugar beet processing, beet pulp itself is low in sugar and other non-structural carbohydrates, but high in energy and fiber. Among other nutrients, it contains 10 percent protein, 0.8 percent calcium and 0.5 percent phosphorus.” Dried beet pulp is part of the fiber content that Iams discusses for the food.

The food also contains brewers rice. Brewers rice should not be confused with brewers dried yeast or other ingredients. Brewers rice is a by-product of the rice milling industry. According to AAFCO it is “the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.” Brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice thus reducing the quality. It is often used in pet foods. Brewer’s rice is used as a source of fiber in dog foods. Used in moderation it can add structure and texture to pet food – but not nutrition. It is often considered to be a filler ingredient. Note that the pet food industry defends the use of some filler ingredients, especially if a formula achieves its purpose and the company wants to add more bulk to the food without adding more calories or changing the formula. Sunday, December 08, 2013

“Fillers: Are they incorrectly vilified?” By Greg Aldrich, PhD

“Real utility to fillers: There is another little-discussed and not-well-understood need that a “filler” might play. If we adopt the working definition that a filler is used to fill or make full, then in the world of formulation, a filler could help us achieve a full measure-100%- once the targeted ingredients are included to meet the required nutrient parameters. What most people don’t realize is that there is always room leftover in a commercial formula once we meet the animal’s essential needs.

“In dry foods, we commonly use some type of carbohydrate (starch or fiber) and in canned foods it is often water that fills this gap. In either case it is important that we use some type of ingredient that does not disrupt the delicate nutrient balance we have worked hard to achieve.”

The food also contains chicken fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E). Chicken fat is a good named fat which is good for dogs. Mixed tocopherols are a form of vitamin E and they act as natural preservatives to keep the fat from spoiling. Chicken fat is also a good source of Omega-6 fatty acid.

Dried egg product is a good source of animal protein. Eggs offer high bioavailability for mammals like dogs.

The fifth ingredient is chicken flavor. This ingredient probably contains little nutritional value but it’s better than “natural flavors” which are sometimes added to dog foods and which often feature monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Brewers dried yeast (not to be confused with brewers rice) is a yeast that is leftover from making beer (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and it has a lot of nutritional uses. It provides biotin and B complex vitamins, as well as protein. It’s considered to be very good for your dog’s skin and coat, for example. Many people add brewers yeast to their dog’s diet as a supplement to discourage fleas. It supports the nervous system and helps keep the skin, hair, eyes, and liver healthy. It’s a source of the antioxidant nutrient selenium.

Sodium Hexametaphosphate is a very interesting ingredient in the food. It’s not usually found in pet foods. It’s added to pet food to help remove tartar buildup and there is research to support its effectiveness.

The food contains the natural sweetener Fructooligosaccharides which is 30 to 50 percent as sweet as other commercial sweeteners/syrups. It is usually derived from fruits and vegetables but it can come from grains and cereals. Dogs don’t really need sugar added to their diet. However, fructooligosaccharides (FOS for short) has some other benefits. It’s becoming popular as a prebiotic, for example, helping to increase gastrointestinal health. According to some sources, it may also help prevent yeast infections. According to some studies, FOS, together with inulin (which is not present in this particular dog food) promotes the absorption of calcium in animals (and in people). The microflora in the lower gut is able to ferment FOS which leads to a reduced pH. Since calcium is more soluble in acidic conditions, the intestines are better able to digest foods that contain calcium and transfer it to the bloodstream. FOS can also be considered a small dietary fiber with a low caloric value.

The food also contains the essential fatty acid Methionine. Methionine is related to aging and there are ongoing studies about how it affects people and animals. However, it usually seems to be added to dog food because it can keep dog urine from leaving burned patches in the grass.

We also note the presence of inositol in the food. Inositol is a component of the B vitamin complex. It can be found in plant and animal tissue and it is necessary for the growth of yeasts and other fungi. It’s especially important as a part of a phospholipid found in the brain.

Beta carotene is a carotenoid that usually comes from various foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s a red, orange, or yellow pigment – you’re probably familiar with it in carrots. It provides lots of vitamin A and it’s an antioxidant so it can act as a natural preservative. Beta carotene has many suggested benefits. One of them is strengthening the immune system.

The food also contains the compound L-carnitine. L-carnitine comes from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It helps the body turn fat into energy, among other things.

This food also contains Marigold. Theoretically, marigold in dog food is a source of lutein. Lutein is normally found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and in carrots. Most animals obtain it, directly or indirectly, from plants. Marigold is said to exhibit anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, stimulating production of white cells and strengthening the immune system. However, most pet food experts suggest that the addition of marigold is used as a gimmick in order to appeal to owners and that marigold isn’t present in a large enough amount in any food to actually be beneficial.

Rosemary extract is an antioxidant that acts as a natural preservative. It’s a common ingredient in many dog foods but if your dog is prone to seizures you will probably want to look for foods that do not contain rosemary since this ingredient has been linked to them. The food also contains citric acid which is used as an antioxidant and natural preservative.

Most of these ingredients are found in other Iams dog foods as well, though the percentages may be different. We do note the absence of caramel from this food which is typically found in many of Iams’ other dog foods. Caramel is an artificial coloring/flavor so we think this is an improvement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein, minimum ….. 28.00 %
Crude Fat, minimum ….. 11.00 %
Crude Fat, maximum ….. 13.50 %
Crude Fiber, maximum ….. 4.00 %
Moisture, maximum ….. 10.00 %
Vitamin E, minimum ….. 300 IU/kg
Beta-Carotene, minimum ….. 12 mg/kg*
L-Carnitine, minimum ….. 40 mg/kg*
Docosahexaenoic Acid, minimum ….. 0.05 %*
Omega-6 Fatty Acids, minimum ….. 1.59 %*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, minimum ….. 0.27 %*
Glucosamine, minimum ….. 400 mg/kg*
Chondroitin Sulfate, minimum ….. 40 mg/kg*

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Click here more information about glucosamine and chondroitin. These supplements do not prevent joint problems but if your dog has arthritis or other joint problems, glucosamine and chondroitin may be able to help. It’s debatable whether the amounts found in pet food are enough to help a dog, so you might have to add your own additional supplements.

Calories Content

336.16 Kcal/cup calories per 8 oz cup

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

Iams® Premium Protection™ Mature Adult dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

Dry Matter Basis

On a dry matter basis, this food contains 31.1 percent protein and 12.2 percent fat. Fiber makes up 4.4 percent of the food. The food contains 43.3 percent carbohydrates. These figures are similar to Iams’ other mature dog food, Iams® ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Dog.


We like many of the ingredients in this food as well as the guaranteed analysis as it relates to mature dogs. This food looks like it would be a good dog food for mature dogs.

Iams Premium Protection Mature Adult Dog Food has received our 4 paw rating.


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