How Preservatives Are Used in IAMS™ Dog Food
How Preservatives Are Used in IAMS™ Dog Food

How Preservatives Are Used in IAMS™ Dog Food

Preservatives are an important part of nutritious dog food. Unless you make your dog’s food from scratch for every meal and serve it immediately, preservatives are needed to keep your dog’s food from spoiling. No one wants to feed their pet rancid food that could make them sick!

In pet foods, preservatives slow down or even prevent the breakdown of the food, so it can maintain its nutritional value longer. While wet foods are preserved by packaging, IAMS™ uses a preservative system in its dry dog food to make sure your dog receives the freshest product possible, from shelf to bowl.



How Long Do IAMS™ Dog Food Products Last?

We conduct thorough shelf-life testing on all IAMS™ products, and different types of dog food have varying shelf lives. In general, IAMS™ dog food products last for:

  • 24 months for wet foods
  • 16 months for dry foods



Why Does IAMS™ Dry Dog Food Have Preservatives?

Active dogs thrive on diets high in fat. Feeding a fresh, nutritious, high-fat dry kibble diet, however, can be a challenge. IAMS™ dry dog food products, such as 

Opens a new windowIAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Minichunks, overcome this challenge by using an effective preservation system that slows the rate of breakdown and allows the food to last longer.



How Do Dog Food Preservatives Benefit IAMS™ Dry Dog Food?

The IAMS™ preservative system features a special blend of mixed tocopherols, or natural antioxidants extracted from vegetable oils. These antioxidants not only preserve high-fat food from going rancid, but they are also a source of additional nutrition. In fact, vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is commonly used as a preservative in dog foods. There are four major types of tocopherols, and specific mixtures of different tocopherols protect dry dog food against rancidity.



How Does IAMS™ Preserve Wet Dog Foods?

Wet foods, such as 

Opens a new windowIAMS™ ProActive Health™ with Chicken and Whole Grain Rice Pâté, do not require preservatives because they are kept fresh with airtight packaging.

When wet food ingredients are mixed and ready for cooking, the mixture is packed into cans, trays or pouches and cooked in a retort, which is a lot like a pressure cooker that sterilizes and preserves the product within the packaging. Then the cans, trays or pouches are cooled through a process that keeps the food sterile and intact within the container, so it’s ready for your dog to enjoy.

By using a preservative system in our dry dog food and preservation through packaging in our wet dog food, IAMS™ makes sure the food your dog eats is well-balanced, nutritionally beneficial and shelf-stable for months.


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  • Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

    How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.



    1. The Ingredient Panel

    This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.

    Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.



    2. The Guaranteed Analysis

    Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.



    3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address

    This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.

     article understanding puppy food nutrition header
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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