IAMS vs. Purina ONE: Which Brand is Better for Cats and Dogs?

IAMS vs. Purina ONE
In this article, I will be comparing IAMS vs. Purina. These two brands have made it big in the pet food industry, although IAMS seems to have fallen behind the times.

Since Purina has a staggering selection of cat and dog food formulations ranging from budget options to premium choices, I will compare IAMS to the Purina ONE product line to ensure they fall under the same price points.

If you are in a rush, here are the products featured in this IAMS vs. Purina ONE comparison:

  • Serving a bowl of IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care to Katy Purry is a surefire way to stop the hacking and gagging. While rich in satisfying proteins from savory chicken, it contains L-Carnitine and fewer calories to get your diva cat back in shape.
  • The IAMS Proactive Health Original Recipe for Adult Cats is a wonderful choice for pet owners looking for a reasonably priced cat food that features real meat as the number one ingredient.
  • The PURINA ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken is one of the best-selling cat foods in the market today due to its affordability and flavor profile. Be warned; this crunchy kibble is so delish that your kitty might always ask for more. Yummy surprises also await in each bag!
  • As per usual, the PURINA ONE Purposeful Nutrition Sensitive Skin & Stomach is crafted with real meat, plus some yummy surprises. However, this formula is carefully made with digestible carbs and a high-fiber blend for better digestion.
  • The IAMS Proactive Health Mini Chunks is scrummy, all-around dog food for small breeds. What I love most about this formula is that it contains zero wheat and soy. Plus, it features powerful antioxidants and prebiotics.
  • Small puppies have big needs, so for your growing furbaby, feed him right with IAMS Proactive Health Smart! This kibble boasts of having 22 key nutrients found from a mama dog’s milk, including EPA and DHA for proper brain development.
  • Make your finicky eater look forward to mealtimes by feeding him Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken and Rice. This kibble offers complete and balanced nutrition with a twist! What could it be? It’s up to you to find out!
  • If you are looking for another alternative to your pet’s current maintenance food, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb and Rice might be the one for Sniffer. This food also delivers complete and balanced nutrition, plus powerful antioxidants.

IAMS Overview

IAMS BrandIAMS is one of the oldest pet food companies founded by Paul F. Iams in 1946. The company introduced its first product in the 1950s, IAMS 999. Up till now, it remains a mystery why the kibble was named as such!

During the 1970s, IAMS debuted the iconic paw print logo and introduced another dog food formula. Although IAMS can’t take all the credit for crafting age-appropriate foods, they did introduce the first puppy formulas in the 1980s and changed the face of the pet food aisle with the bright-colored packaging of their products.

The ‘90s was a decade of innovation for IAMS and the company earned a strong following due to the quality of their foods. But as with any business, the company also has its hard times.
Sadly, IAMS’ penchant for innovation seems to have faded away. This may be due to the fact that the company was bought by Pedigree who prioritize affordability over nutritional value.

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Purina Overview

Purina One BrandPurina has been bringing pets and people closer together. The company traced its roots back to 1894 when William Danforth, George Robinson, and William Andrews entered the business of feeding livestock.

In 1956, Purina became the first pet food manufacturer to produce kibble using an extruder. Since then, the company has produced cat and dog foods that resulted from their groundbreaking studies.

Purina is currently the largest pet care company in the world next to Pedigree, which owns IAMS.

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IAMS vs. Purina: Similarities & Differences

Differences

  • Purina ONE uses wheat, which is bad news for pets with celiac disease.
  • Purina ONE offers a higher amount of protein in its dry cat foods and dry dog foods.
  • IAMS pet foods cost a little higher than Purina ONE.
  • Purina offers a massive array of cat and dog foods to meet the unique needs of our pets, whereas IAMS only has Proactive Health and Perfect Portions.
  • The latter has also discontinued its dog food production in Australia.
  • IAMS has more recalls compared to Purina ONE, which boasts of a good track record.
  • IAMS was also put on the hot seat when a PETA investigator accused the company of animal cruelty.
  • Purina ONE products are mostly heavier on protein, and the fact that it has meaty morsels mixed with the classic, crunchy kibbles gives them an edge.
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🐱 IAMS vs. Purina Dry Cat Foods

Product Name
Caloric Content & Guaranteed Analysis
Top Ingredients
Lifestage
Price

302 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 11%
Crude Fiber: 8.3%
Calcium: .75%
Phosphorus: .65%
Potassium: .65%
L-Carnitine: 80 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: .2%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 2%
Chicken,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Corn Grits,
Corn Gluten Meal,
Ground Whole Grain Corn
Adult
Check Price


373 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 15%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Calcium: .8%
Potassium: .7%
Taurine: .15%
L-Carnitine: 80 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: .3%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 3%
Chicken,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Ground Whole Grain Corn,
Corn Grits,
Corn Gluten Meal
Adult
Check Price


366 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 34%
Crude Fat: 13%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Calcium: 1%
Phosphorus: .9%
Zinc: 150 mg/kg
Selenium: .35 mg/kg
Vit. A: 10, 000 IU/kg
Vit. E: 100 IU/kg
Taurine: .15%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1.5%
Chicken,
Rice Flour,
Corn Gluten Meal,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Beef Fat,
Soybean Meal
Adult
Check Price


430 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 34%
Crude Fat: 13%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Calcium: 1%
Phosphorus: .9%
Zinc: 150 mg/kg
Selenium: .35 mg/kg
Vit. A: 14,000 IU/kg min
Vit. E: 450 IU/kg min
Taurine: .15%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 2.5%
Turkey,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Rice Flour,
Corn Gluten Meal,
Soybean Meal
30.0 pounds
Check Price

IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat FoodThe hairball situation is common among cats, especially long-haired breeds. However, something this minor can develop into a serious problem when ignored. The hair can become clumped inside the stomach, causing your whiskered friend a lot of trouble.

Hence, it is wise to feed Katy Purry IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care formula, especially if she tends to over-groom herself. This recipe contains powdered cellulose and fiber sourced from grains to promote peristaltic movement, which in turn facilitates the removal of hairballs.

Made with 10% less fat than other formulas, it is ideal for lazy house cats that are veering towards the chubby side. L-Carnitine is likewise included in the mix to improve weight loss and support the conversion of food into metabolic energy. Since our feline companions are obligate carnivores, it’s also a joy to have real chicken as the top ingredient.

PROS:
  • Rich in protein sourced from farm-raised chicken, plus chicken by-product meal to bulk up amino acids
  • Sweeps away hairballs, normalizes bowel movements, and reduces stool odors
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthier skin and shinier, softer coat
  • Helps inactive cats achieve a healthier weight
  • No ingredients derived from soy or wheat
CONS:
  • The top 3 to 5 ingredients are basically corn

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat Food

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat FoodHas clean-up duties gone awry lately due to frequent vomits and runny stools? If that’s the case, how about you put El Gato in a food trial using IAMS Proactive Health Original Recipe for adult cats?

With its prebiotics and fiber blend, it has remedied the hacking habits and digestive problems of countless kitties, and soon you’ll be seeing your tomcat change for the better, as well!

Know that improving your cat’s gut health is the key to increase nutrient uptake and boost Gato’s defenses against common diseases. Additionally, it is fortified with immunity-boosting taurine.

This food is also fortified with calcium to increase bone density. Likewise, it features an optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 ratio to support the heart and nourish the skin.

As with other IAMS products, it starts with real meat to satisfy your little indoor panther. The crunchy kibbles should also help keep your cat’s tiny fangs squeaky clean and tartar-free.

PROS:
  • Real meat is the #1 ingredient as per usual
  • Delivers complete and balanced nutrition for the average cat
  • The combined benefits of prebiotics and fiber ensure your cat’s digestive system is performing its best
  • Gives your cat a fuller, shinier coat while keeping skin allergies and hotspots at bay
  • Less shedding also means fewer hairballs
  • Fights inflammation and boosts immunity against common diseases
CONS:
  • The top 3 to 5 ingredients are basically corn

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat FoodIs Cindy Clawford being picky with her food? Serve a bowl of PURINA ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken, and witness it tickle the feline taste buds.

This flavorsome recipe features real chicken as the number one ingredient and main source of protein. The aroma alone could coax your darling feline out of her hiding place! More impressively, it comes with grape-sized morsels of meat.

Take note; the kibbles are so tiny that it might be troublesome if you have a large, greedy cat who might shove giant mouthfuls down his throat. Then again, if you are looking for a way to fatten up a skinny kitty, this food might also do the trick.

This formula is also available in salmon flavor in case your diva cat prefers a varied diet. Both the chicken and salmon recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition.

PROS:
  • Contains flavorful crunchy kibbles and chewy meaty bits
  • Delivers complete and balanced nutrition
  • Good value for the money
  • Rich in powerful antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids
CONS:
  • Can be fattening when you are free-feeding your cat(s)
  • Contains soybean meal and soybean oil that some cats might be allergic to

Purina ONE Purposeful Nutrition Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Purposeful Nutrition Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat FoodLast but not least is PURINA ONE Purposeful Nutrition Sensitive Skin & Stomach, which starts with real turkey as the chief ingredient.

It goes without saying that this product caters to felines prone to digestive problems and skin issues. This formula features a highly digestible blend of wholesome ingredients. These include rice and oatmeal, both of which contain soluble fiber to manage diarrhea and promote stool quality.

However, Purina’s take on grains and gluten meals is the same as pet food giants, Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet. You’ll find corn gluten meal and whole grain corn in the ingredients list, as well. But if grains aren’t the root cause of your kitty’s woes, then this formula might be a fantastic choice.

Each serving supplies 34 grams of protein to support strong, lean muscles. Adding to that are powerful antioxidants for immune support and omega-6 fatty acids to nourish the skin from the inside out.

PROS:
  • High-protein content is ideal for active, outdoorsy felines
  • Boosted fiber content plus highly digestible ingredients
  • Contains higher levels of antioxidants than Tender Selects Blend
  • Enhances the skin’s protective barrier and adds volume and luster to the coat
CONS:
  • Contains soybean meal and soybean oil that some cats might be allergic to
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🐶 IAMS vs. Purina Dry Dog Foods

Product Name
Caloric Content & Guaranteed Analysis
Top Ingredients
Breed Sizes Catered
Price

380 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 25%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Calcium: 1.05%
Selenium: .35 mg/kg
Vit. E: 60 IU/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 2.05%
Chicken,
Ground Whole Grain Corn,
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Dried Plain Beet Pulp
Small Breeds and Toy Breeds
Check Price


373 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 27%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Calcium: 1.2%
Phosphorus: .8%
Selenium: .35 mg/kg
Vit. E: 60 IU/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: .45%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 2.25%
Chicken,
Ground Whole Grain Corn,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum,
Corn Gluten Meal
Large Breeds,
Giant Breeds
Check Price


383 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 26%
Crude Fat: 16%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Calcium: 1%
Phosphorus: .8%
Zinc: 150 mg/kg
Selenium: 0.35 mg/kg
Vit. A: 13,000 IU/kg
Vit. E: 250 IU/kg
Glucosamine: 350 pp
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1.6%
Chicken,
Rice Flour,
Corn Gluten Meal,
Whole Grain Corn,
Chicken By-Product Meal
All Breeds
Check Price


380 kcal per cup
Crude Protein: 26%
Crude Fat: 16%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Calcium: 1%
Phosphorus: .8%
Zinc: 150 mg/kg
Selenium: 0.35 mg/kg
Vit. A: 13,000 IU/kg
Vit. E: 250 IU/kg
Glucosamine: 350 pp
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1.6%
Lamb,
Rice Flour,
Whole Grain Corn,
Whole Grain Wheat,
Chicken By-Product Meal
All Breeds
Check Price

IAMS Proactive Health Mini Chunks Adult Dry Dog Food

IAMS Proactive Health Mini Chunks Adult Dry Dog FoodHas your pooch been leaving his kibbles sitting in the bowl? Don’t force Sniffer to like his food. Instead, feed your pooch with IAMS Proactive Health Mini Chunks and watch him eat with gusto!

This nourishing recipe is made scrumptious with farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient. Each bowl of this protein-packed food provides your beloved pet amino acids to maintain strong lean muscles, as well as the fuel to make him last through each fun-filled day.

Wholesome grains and antioxidant-rich vegetables also contribute to its excellent nutrient profile. How about vague ingredients and unidentified meats? Nada! Zilch. Each ingredient that follows after chicken is chosen meticulously for a purpose.

As hinted by the name, the kibbles also come in an unusually small size to make it easier for your tiny bud to chomp. The formula also features a tailored blend of fibers and prebiotics to promote digestion.

PROS:
  • Made with real farm-raised chicken, which is the first ingredient and main protein source
  • Contains immune-boosting antioxidants
  • Smaller kibble size makes for easier chews, while prebiotics promote digestion
  • Supplies twice the amount of omega-6 fatty acids than Purina ONE SmartBlends
  • Well-ground grains are proven by science to be highly digestible
  • No wheat gluten meal, soybean meal, etc.
CONS:
  • Fattening (always keep food portions under control)

IAMS Proactive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

IAMS Proactive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog FoodWhat a dog eats in his first year of life has a tremendous impact on his physiological development and predisposition to diseases. If you have a not-so-little pup, the IAMS Proactive Health Smart would be a fantastic choice.

Packed with proteins from real farm-raised chicken, it ensures little Sniffer grows big and healthy as he can ever be!

More impressively, it features 22 key nutrients that your puppy would get from his mother’s milk. These nutrients include long-chain fatty acids that play a crucial role in the cognitive and retinal development of puppies.

PROS:
  • Made with real farm-raised chicken, highly digestible grains, and vegetables
  • Delivers tailored nutrition for large breed puppies with a taste no pup can resist
  • Naturally sourced fiber and added prebiotics support gut integrity, normal bowel movement, and stool quality
  • Contains EPA and DHA that contribute to brain development, healthy skin, tissue repair, etc.
  • No wheat gluten meal, soybean meal, etc.
CONS:
  • Almost perfect

Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Dry Dog FoodAlbeit cheaper compared to others, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken and Rice stands out from the crowd because it doesn’t sacrifice quality nutrition and delicious flavor.

The recipe capitalizes on protein-rich chicken, which also provides glucosamine for cartilage health. Additionally, it contains chicken by-product meal as the 5th ingredient to increase the protein content of the food.

The best part? Tender meat morsels! These paw-smacking bits make mealtimes a lot more interesting for Sniffer.

With contrasting textures and a vivid flavor profile, I’m sure your furry diner will be spinning around in excitement each time you serve his food.

PROS:
  • Chicken is the primary ingredient and main source of protein and glucosamine
  • Includes small pieces of meat alongside classic, crunchy kibbles
  • Nourishes the skin and conditions the coat
  • Serve healthy, delectable meals daily without the worrisome price tag
CONS:
  • Not suitable for puppies with hypersensitive reactions to wheat and soy

Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Dry Dog FoodAs with humans, our canine companions would want to try various flavors. After all, our doggies’ ancestors and relatives in the wild eat an assortment of food. If you like the Purina ONE chicken and rice formula for your adult pooch, how about you alternate his meals with the ONE SmartBlend Lamb and Rice?

Instead of chicken, it features lamb as the primary ingredient and main source of protein. Chicken by-product meal is also added into the mix as the 5th ingredient to step up the protein level of the food. These ingredients blend well with select grains and other ingredients to provide complete and balanced nutrition.

Moreover, it features a dual-defense antioxidant blend of vitamins A and E, plus zinc and selenium. By choosing to feed your pooch this diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids, you’ll also see a beautiful change in his skin and coat.

PROS:
  • Lamb is the primary ingredient and main source of protein
  • Includes small pieces of meat alongside classic, crunchy kibbles
  • Helps boosts the immune system and prevents joint issues
  • Reinforces the skin barrier and adds radiance to the coat
CONS:
  • Slightly more expensive than the chicken and rice recipe
  • Contains wheat and soy that some dogs struggle to digest
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IAMS vs. Purina: Face to Face Comparison

Now, let us pit IAMS vs. Purina ONE face to face using the most important metrics.

Ingredients

🌽🎋 IAMS and Purina ONE Formulas Contain Grains
As it turns out, grains are safe and beneficial to our feline and canine companions when given in the right amounts. Grains, like rice and corn, are digestible when properly milled and researchers believe that dogs, in particular, have 30 copies of a gene for amylase, which is a pancreatic enzyme involved in starch digestion.

Grains pack a burst of energy and supply antioxidants, B-vitamins, fiber, proteins, and trace minerals. While food allergies do occur in cats and dogs, leaving grains out of your pet’s diet might result in a far greater health risk than keeping them in, warned the Food and Drug Administration.

Studies show that the biggest offender is beef, followed by dairy. Wheat came in third. Unfortunately, Purina ONE formulas contain wheat, so you’ll need to be careful if your furry pals have celiac disease.

🍗🥩 IAMS and Purina Use Real Meat and Supplementary Proteins
All of IAMS dry pet foods have real meat as the primary ingredient. The products featured in this article use farm-raised chicken, which is a natural source of glucosamine to help restore joint health. Some IAMS formulas are also available in duck, lamb, and venison.

Purina ONE’s Tender Select Blends and Purposeful Nutrition also use real meat as the main ingredient to satisfy the protein needs of your little carnivore. The same goes for the brand’s SmartBlend product line for dogs.

As a rule, manufacturers amplify the protein content of their pet food by adding a named meat meal. Since meat meals are void of moisture, they supply twice more protein than regular meat compared in equal quantities. However, both IAMS and Purina ONE use chicken by-product meals, instead of meat meals.

Chicken by-product meal is the rendered, clean but less desirable parts of a chicken, such as the neck, heart, liver, intestines, gizzard, etc. Due to my roots, I actually find these chicken parts edible for human consumption. Now, the question: Is by-product meals bad for dogs?

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend you feed your pets with formulas that have chicken by-product meal as the second-leading ingredient, particularly if your dog is predisposed to arthritis. Since chicken by-product meals are mostly rendered organ meats, it is likely that the kibble has high amounts of purine.

😱🔥 Low-Quality and Controversial Ingredients IAMS and Purina Use
Purina ONE admits to using GMO grains because according to the manufacturer, a significant portion of the supply of grain available for both human and pet foods throughout the U.S. contain GMOs. Since IAMS also source most of their ingredients within the country, it is likely that their grain supply contains GMO.

Moreover, IAMS and Purina use certain ingredients that cause pet owners to raise an eyebrow. Pet food manufacturers remain economical with the truth about these derivatives, which is why they are marked controversial.

Both brands use the following controversial ingredients:

  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Meat By-Products
  • Ground Yellow Corn
  • Powdered Cellulose: mi
  • Poultry By-Product Meal
  • Soybean Protein Isolate
  • Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Purina ONE uses the following controversial ingredients:

  • Ground Wheat
  • Animal Digest
  • Soybean Flour
  • Soybean Hulls
  • Corn Germ Meal
  • Whole Grain Corn
  • Whole Grain Wheat
  • Poultry By-Products
  • Turkey By-Product Meal
  • Soybean Protein Concentrate

Needless to say, not all of these ingredients are harmful to your pet. For example, tomato pomace is the waste product of tomato manufacturing. While this ingredient is cheap, it is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene.

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Recall History & Product Safety

Another way to judge the quality of a pet food brand is through checking the number of recalls the company has issued since its inception.
As of the year 2020, IAMS has had a total of seven recalls:

  • March 2007: Three of the dog and cat wet food formulas were contaminated with melamine.
  • June 2010: The FDA recalled wet cat food formulas due to inadequate levels of thiamine.
  • July 2010: The FDA recalled one of the cat dry food formulas due to salmonella contamination.
  • August 2010: Once again, the FDA recalled some of the cat dry foods because of potential salmonella contamination.
  • December 2011: The FDA recalled one of the dry Puppy food formulas due to aflatoxin contamination.
  • March 2013: IAMS voluntarily issued a recall of their dog treats due to potential mold growth.
  • August 2013: The FDA recalled six dry dog foods due to potential salmonella contamination.
Purina has multiple cat and dog food brands, but in this category, I will focus on Purina ONE.
  • July 2011: Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ has been recalled for possible salmonella risk.
  • August 2013: Purina voluntarily recalled a batch of Purina ONE dog food for the same reason.
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IAMS only carry one product line: Proactive Health. This product line branches out to several categories, catering to cats and dogs in a specific age group.

Purina, on the other hand, offers plenty of options for your pets.

Purina Dog Food Brands:

  • Alpo
  • Bella
  • Beneful
  • Beyond
  • Just Right
  • Purina ONE
  • Purina Dog Chow
  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
Comparing IAMS vs. Purina in terms of variety gives the latter a landslide victory.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is IAMS dog food being discontinued?

IAMS discontinued the Lamb & Rice recipe. All IAMS dog products in Australia are also discontinued, as the brand shifts its focus on cat foods.

How is IAMS dog food rated?

IAMS dog food is a pet food brand that strikes the right balance between affordability and quality.

Has Purina cat food been recalled?

Purina issued a limited recall of one of its Muse cat food varieties in March 2019.

Is Purina dog food made in China?

Purina is a proud all-American product that manufactures and sources most of its ingredients in the USA.
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Conclusion

I am glad that the majority of pet owners are no longer complacent about the health of their furry family members and are making sure they eat delicious and nourishing foods, as well. But as the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for.”

As mentioned earlier, both IAMS and Purina ONE use some inferior ingredients to cut down production costs and make their products more affordable to the masses. On the sunny side, most of these ingredients are not necessarily harmful. You just need to do your homework and go beyond the myths.

So, don’t feel bad for buying your beloved feline or canine a mid-tier dog food. But if I only have to choose between IAMS vs. Purina, I guess I will go for the latter.

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