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Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed Dog Food Review

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2 Paw Rated Dog Food 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.



Ingredients in Iams ProActive Health Adult Active Maturity Small & Toy Breed

Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Chicken, Dried Beet Pulp, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharides, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, 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), Vitamin E Supplement, DL-Methionine, Beta-Carotene, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid.

Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first five ingredients in this food are: Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken, and Dried Beet Pulp. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:

According to Iams:

This Iams ProActive Health formula has PreBiotics that work inside the digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and strong defenses. Healthy inside. Healthy outside.

Designed for dogs 7+ years and up to 20 lbs at maturity, Iams Active Maturity contains an exclusive antioxidant blend to help keep the immune system of your older small or toy dog at healthy adult levels. Vets recommend this premium dog food’s concentrated nutrition, which is formulated for the unique energy needs of smaller dogs.

Iams Daily Dental Care™ reduces tartar buildup by up to 50%.* Protein from chicken and egg helps build strong, firm muscles while seven essential nutrients nourish the heart. It’s 100% complete and balanced nutrition that’s 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

*as tested in an Iams Adult Formula

Recommended For: Small Breed Dogs (up to 20 lbs.) – 7 years and older.

We normally raise questions about dog foods that say they reduce tartar but in the case of this food it actually contains an ingredient – Sodium Hexametaphosphate – that has been proven to reduce tartar when it coats dog food (read more here). You can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy by giving him dental chews and treats that have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) or a similar organization.

We don’t have a problem with most of the claims made by Iams here. The only question we really have would be how Iams defines and evaluates the “unique energy needs of smaller dogs.” This food does have a higher protein and fat percentage and more calories than most of their other Proactive Health formulas, including their Adult formulas. Please see below for more information about feeding small breed dogs.

Feeding Older Dogs

Older dogs can have different nutritional needs from younger dogs but determining those needs can be tricky for owners. Not every “mature” dog ages in the same way. For some dogs, their metabolisms start to slow and they will begin to put on added weight. They might need fewer calories and/or more exercise. Other mature dogs (by chronological age) can continue to stay fit and lean long past the age at which you begin to think they might slow down. In these cases it’s usually best to continue to feed them their regular food until they show any signs of physical change. And some mature dogs might even start to lose weight. This is especially true as a dog reaches an advanced age and his system can begin to have problems digesting some foods. In these cases a mature dog might need more calories and more of everything.

What’s not true is that mature dogs should have less protein than other adult dogs. Unless your mature dog has been diagnosed with kidney problems which require him to eat less protein, he will continue to need as much or more protein in his diet as always. Ideally, this protein should come from good quality sources of meat.

One thing that’s often overlooked with mature dogs is their dental care but it can be vital to their continued good health. It’s not unusual for an older dog to refuse food and start to lose weight. Owners often assume this means that their dog isn’t hungry and has lost interest in life. They might even make the decision to have their dog put to sleep. In actuality, many older dogs refuse to eat because they have a bad tooth or some other dental problem and they can’t eat without pain. If your dog stops eating or only eats a few bites when you offer him food, the first thing you need to do is take him to the vet and ask the vet to check your dog’s teeth. It could save your dog’s life. Having a rotten tooth removed is a relatively easy surgery and it often means that your dog will be home eating dinner in no time. You should have your mature dog with you for many more years.



In case you’re wondering, one of the top signs of a dog with dental problems is extra bad breath so if your dog has breath like something died in his mouth, take him to the vet for a check-up. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly throughout his life and you can avoid some of these issues but it’s still a good idea to have your vet check your dog’s teeth regularly.

If your older dog is showing less interest in his food and his teeth are fine, you can try warming his food, adding a little warm water to make a gravy, or putting something yummy on top of his kibble (like some canned food) to make it more appealing. Most older dogs start to have some of their senses dull as they get older so they can’t smell or taste things as well as they did when they were younger. Just make the food a little tastier for your dog and he should go back to eating it.

Feeding Small Breed Dogs

As mentioned, we’re not precisely sure what Iams has in mind here when they refer to the unique energy needs of smaller dogs. However, it is true that small dogs usually need to eat more calories for their body weight than larger dogs. Smaller dogs usually have faster metabolisms and will burn off energy at a faster rate than larger dogs. For example, a Pomeranian needs more than twice as many calories per pound as a Great Dane.

It’s also true that smaller dogs have smaller stomachs. Your small breed dog can’t eat a lot of food at one time. Dog foods designed for small dogs are usually rich in calories and dense in nutrients. They often have more protein and fat for the extra energy small dogs need. They should also have carbohydrates that are easy to digest as well as extra B vitamins for the dog’s metabolism. The kibble size of food for small dogs is made to be smaller, too, so they can eat it comfortably.

Since it can be hard for small dogs to eat a lot of food at one meal, you may want to divide his food up into 2 to 4 small meals per day so he can easily digest each meal.

In other ways, feeding a small dog is very much like feeding bigger dogs. Any dog can become a picky eater. Sticking to a regular feeding schedule and feeding your dog’s regular food at meals will help to avoid fussiness. As with larger dogs, follow the feeding guidelines on the bag, at least to start. Then watch your dog’s condition carefully to see if he is gaining or losing weight. Adjust the amount you are feeding accordingly.

Small breed dogs often live very long lives so you may not need to start feeding a mature dog food until your dog starts getting much older. Even when your small dog is getting older, a little gentle exercise each day is suggested. You don’t want to allow him to become overweight as he ages and exercise will help keep him feeling and moving better.

Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The top 5 ingredients included in this Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed Dog Food are: Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken, and Dried Beet Pulp. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:

Corn Meal – It’s usually not a good sign to see a grain as the first ingredient in a dog food. 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. The company says that corn meal is used in their food as a high quality source of carbohydrates for energy (read more here). 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.

Chicken By-Product Meal – This is the second ingredient in this food and chicken is the fourth ingredient. Together, this indicates that the food probably contains a reasonable amount of chicken protein. 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.”

Chicken Fat – 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 and glucosamine which can be good for joint problems in older dogs such as arthritis.

Chicken – As mentioned, chicken is a valuable source of animal protein even though it contains about 80% water.

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” (read more on Wikipedia).

Additional Ingredients of Interest

Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in this Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: whole grain sorghum, dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, sodium hexametaphosphate, flax meal, fructooligosaccharides, inositol, beta-carotene, L-carnitine, and rosemary extract. Ground whole grain 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), but 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.

Dried egg product is a good source of animal protein. Eggs offer high bioavailability for mammals like dogs. Brewers dried yeast (not to be confused with brewers rice) is a yeast that is left over 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 (read more here).

This Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small and Toy Breed Dog Food also contains flax meal. Flax meal is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid but it’s also a phytoestrogen and it can cause hormonal problems for dogs, especially for unspayed female dogs. If you are a dog breeder, you should be careful about feeding a food with heavy concentrations of this ingredient to a puppy. The next ingredient is 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.

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 improving physical strength and health in the elderly. We don’t know if this would also apply to mature dogs or not.

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. L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. It’s a necessary building block for all protein in the body. L-Lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption; building muscle protein; recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. 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.



Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein minimum ….. 28.0%
Crude Fat minimum ….. 15.0%
Crude Fat maximum ….. 17.5%
Crude Fiber maximum ….. 5.0%
Moisture maximum ….. 10.0%
Vitamin E minimum ….. 140 IU/kg
Beta-Carotene minimum ….. 10 mg/kg*
L-Carnitine minimum ….. 30 mg/kg*
Omega-6 Fatty Acids minimum ….. 2.5%*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids minimum ….. 0.16%*

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

Calories Content

382.31 calories per 8 oz cup

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

Iams ProActive Health Active Maturity Small & Toy Breed 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 16.7 percent fat. Fiber makes up 5.6 percent of the food. The food contains 37.8 percent carbohydrates.


As with other Iams ProActive Health foods, we don’t like the corn meal as the first ingredient in this food. However, we like just about everything else about it. We like the meat protein (even the chicken byproduct meal is not too bad). We like the chicken fat. And we like the lower carbs in this food. The guaranteed analysis looks very good. This food for active mature small dogs really looks like it is made for small dogs and their needs. Recommended.

Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Small & Toy Breed Dog Food has received our 2 paw rating.

Review Last Updated On 1/13/2016

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