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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 IAMS™ 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 IAMS™ 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.