Eukanuba  Changes
By Leilah's Mom

Iams Correspondence 3/24/00 though 4/13/00

UPDATES!!! 3/26/00

NOTICE: (4/6/00) I no longer have time to keep updating this page, and in all fairness, I should be prompt with updates. So,  I have cut it back to the basics now, and have removed most all of my editorializing (other than what I wrote to Iams).  The Labels and correspondence with Iams will remain. 

Here is a label from Eukanuba Adult Maintenance, the bag was dated December 22, 1998. 

The first few ingredients listed here are:
1) Chicken, 2) Chicken By-Product meal, 3) Rice Flour, 4) Ground Corn, 5) Ground Grain Sorghum,6)  Fish Meal...

Legally, ingredients must be listed in order of quantity, so supposedly this bag has Chicken in the greatest amount.  Usually the first 5 ingredients are considered most significant. 

I found this, from a bag dated November 6, 1999:

The first ingredients on this label are (changes in italics):
1) Chicken, 2) Chicken By-Product Meal, 3) Corn meal, 4) Ground Grain Sorghum, 5) Ground Whole Grain Barley, 6) Fish  Meal.... 8)Rice Flour

The Crude Analysis was exactly the same

For Eukanuba Large Breed Adult
The ingredients on their site, it showed (and still shows, as of today, 3/21/00 at  ) - this is the new formula

Eukanuba Large Breed Adult  as of 3/21/00

1) Chicken 2) Corn Meal 3) Ground Grain Sorghum, 4) Ground Whole Grain Barley, 5) Chicken By-Product Meal 6) Fish Meal...

A bag dated August 24, 1999, I found (differences in italics) - this is the old formula.

1) Chicken, 2) Ground Corn, 3) Ground Grain Sorghum, 4) Chicken By-Product meal, 5) Corn Grits, 6) Fish Meal....

Ok, since I put up this page, I was given some new info from an independent (I hope) source about the digesibility of corn and other grains. Unfortunately, I don't fully understand it, but it seems to say corn isn't as bad to digest as other information I've seen  - supposedly DM means digestible material and CP is Crude protein, haven't found what OM is yet :

J Anim Sci 1999 Aug;77(8):2180-6 

    Evaluation of selected high-starch flours as ingredients in canine diets. 

    Murray SM, Fahey GC Jr, Merchen NR, Sunvold GD, Reinhart GA 

    Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA. 

    Cereal grains represent 30 to 60% of the DM of many companion animal diets. Once 
    incorporated into a diet, the starch component of these grains can provide an 
    excellent source of ME. However, crystallinity and form of starch are variable 
    and can cause incomplete digestion within the gastrointestinal tract. Diets fed 
    in this experiment included one of six high-starch flours as the main source of 
    carbohydrate. The flours originated from barley, corn, potato, rice, sorghum, 
    and wheat. The diets were extruded and kibbled. Starch fraction concentrations 
    of flours consisted of nearly 100% rapidly digestible starch (RDS) and slowly 
    digestible starch (SDS) combined. Starch fraction concentrations of diets 
    paralleled concentrations in flours. Flours varied widely in concentrations of 
    CP, fat, starch, and total dietary fiber. Ileal OM and CP digestibilities were 
    lowest for the potato flour treatment (74 and 64%, respectively). Ileal and 
    total tract starch digestibilities were different (P<.05) among treatments; 
    however, the starch component of all diets was nearly completely digested 
    (>99%). Total tract digestibility of DM and OM was lowest for sorghum (80 and 
    84%, respectively) compared to all other diets. Crude protein digestibility was 
    highest for corn (87%). Wet fecal weights tended (P<.08) to be greatest for dogs 
    fed the barley treatment (175 g/d). However, dry fecal weights (dried at 55 
    degrees C) were greatest for dogs consuming the sorghum diet (51 g/d). Fecal 
    scores were consistently greater (i.e., looser stools) for the barley treatment. 
    Any of these flours could be used without negative effects on digestion at 
    either the ileum or in the total tract. Fecal consistency data for dogs 
    consuming the barley treatment indicate that diets containing large amounts 
    (>50%) of barley may not be advantageous for dog owners who house their animals 
    indoors for most of the day. 

From Iams 3/24/00

 Dear Francoise (Leilah's Mom):

> We strive to reply to every message completely, personally, and within 24 hrs.
> For this reason, our 800 number is often our preferred method of communication
> with customers.  We apologize for not responding to you in the manner in which
> you requested.  Please give us an opportunity now to address your concerns.

> Your first request involved changes to Eukanuba(R) Adult Maintenance Formula.
> First, we did not cheapen the product; we enhanced the product's nutritional
> quality.

> At The Iams Company, our mission is to enhance the well-being of dogs & cats
> by providing world class quality foods.  We do this by continuously
> researching nutritional breakthroughs and applying those advancements to our
> products.  In 1996, we began some extensive research into diabetes in dogs,
> and from that research found that we could also improve the glucose metabolism
> of normal, healthy dogs.  Additional research in 1997-1999 then led to the
> improvements we incorporated into all dry Iams and Eukanuba chicken-based dog
> food formulas in mid-1999.

> As the result of our innovative research with the patented blend of complex
> carbohydrates -- corn, grain sorghum and ground whole grain barley -- Iams
> developed the new formulas.  Iams scientists found that the combination of
> these carbohydrates provided a stable source of energy.  This blend is also
> highly digestible, which means the body will metabolize a high percentage of
> each carbohydrate for energy.  But it's important to note that the sorghum,
> barley, and corn blend results in a more moderate and stable blood sugar level
> after a meal.  By minimizing swings in blood sugar, diets containing this
> blend minimize the risk of obesity.  We called this unique, patented
> carbohydrate blend the Energy Management System.

> Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula now contains the Energy Management System
> and includes corn meal, ground grain sorghum, ground whole grain barley and
> rice flour.  This is the carbohydrate blend you noted on the 11/6/99
> packaging.  This is an improvement from the previous carbohydrate blend of
> rice flour, ground corn, and ground grain sorghum that you noted on the
> 12/2/98 packaging.  The total amount of carbohydrate in the diet has remained
> the same.  Please note that some of the ingredients are the same but have been
> renamed to help consumers better understand the ingredients and their purpose.
> For example, ground corn = corn meal and chicken digest = natural chicken
> flavor.

> The ingredient list that you noted on the 8/24/99 bag of Eukanuba Large Breed
> Adult Formula lists the previous carbohydrate blend.  The ingredient list that
> you noted on 3/21/00 on our website lists the current carbohydrate blend of
> corn meal, ground grain sorghum, and ground whole grain barley. 

> We communicated these improvements to our customers via in-bag inserts and a
> press release to the media.  It is possible that our communication may not
> have reached you.  We have certainly made note of your concerns and will work
> to improve our communications.

> On your website, you also made mention that corn is less nutritious and less
> digestible than rice.  Corn as a carbohydrate is every bit as good as rice.
> Ground corn or corn meal is whole corn that is finely ground and chopped.
> Corn grits is similar, but has much of the protein removed (this was used to
> keep as much protein coming from animal sources as possible).  When processed
> in our manufacturing facilities, corn is highly digestible and provides dogs
> with high-quality carbohydrates for essential energy.

> It is more appropriate to associate the corn used in Eukanuba and Iams
> products with "corn bread" rather than "corn on the cob."  The difference is
> cooked corn versus raw corn.  Only the highest-quality corn is used in
> Eukanuba and Iams products.  The corn is finely ground to a meal, which breaks
> up the outside covering of each kernel, and then it is cooked, which increases
> its digestibility.  In fact, our research shows that the new Eukanuba formula
> is every bit as digestible as the previous formula.

> In addition, you commented on corn being an allergen.  There is a
> misconception that corn can cause food allergies.  Dogs can develop allergies
> to any ingredient in their food.  The problem develops not because the food or
> ingredient is "bad" or "poor quality", but rather because the dog has a
> hypersensitive immune system.  Of the many dogs that regularly eat a food
> containing corn, only a very few will develop an allergy to corn.  Only about
> 10% of all canine allergies are to a dietary ingredient.  Of these,
> approximately 80% are due to beef and dairy products.

> We will never compromise on product quality.  The Iams Company has been in
> business for more than 50 years and has gained respect and trust based on our
> product performance.  Procter & Gamble understands, respects, and fully
> supports the Iams mission and our dedication to nutritional excellence.  Under
> our new ownership, we will be able to make even greater advancements in
> research, development and distribution of top quality premium pet foods for
> cats and dogs.  Maintaining the exceptional product quality and performance of
> all of our brands is an essential part of our past and our future.

> The Iams brand is now available in retail stores where other P&G products are
> sold.  Again, the product has not been cheapened in any way in order to do
> this.  We will continue to distribute Eukanuba Dog & Cat Foods only at pet
> specialty stores and veterinary clinics.  We invite you to compare product
> ingredients, feeding requirements and product performance to determine the
> highest quality product to best meet Leilah's nutritional needs.

> We value your feedback.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to regain
> your trust in our products.

> Sincerely,

> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company
> 1-800-XXXXXXX

Here is the reply I've sent, on 3/26/00:


Thank you so much for a real reply! I will add it to the site (without personal info again of course, unless you say otherwise).  I'll post this response too.  People can read it for themselves, and decide if I have a clue or not, if Iams is doing right or not, etc....

Since I put up my page, I am hearing about many dogs that are having problems with this new Energy Management System, once I was able to confirm a change. Unfortuantely, I didn't save the posts from the message boards about this.  My problems were minor, just she wasn't absorbing it real well. Most of the other problems I've heard seems to involve the same kind of thing that happened to my Leilah, stool output increased, color change, softer.   I've also heard of dogs vomiting from it.  No one was given a chance to do a slow change, so who's to know if vomiting is from the quick diet change in itself or the new carb formula? Lots of people didn't stay with it long enough to find out. Some of us are capable of managing our own dogs' energy, you didn't take us into consideration? Or, are you going for a lower common denominator of people's dog knowlege.

Between bad breeding, over vaccinating, and too many chemicals, dogs in this country are really messed up sensitivity wise.  Yes, it IS a hypersensitive immune system, no doubt about that. The rise in canine cancers in the country is another sign of it.  But, what to do about it? How about avoiding foods that set it off until the underlying cause can be addressed, IF it anything can be done? No, we can't avoid corn in the Euk Adult maintenance, it was always there. Just not as much of it. I need to make sure that's pointed out on the site clearly.  Regardless of the root cause, corn does trigger reactions, it doesn't matter the quality of the corn. Corn  can cause reactions whether it's dust from the bottom of the chicken feed barrel or the juciest corn on the cob. And, that  20% of that 10% you quote is a still a lot of dogs! That's 2% of all dogs - thousands of them. 

I realize that corn is a good carbohydrate, but only if the dog absorbs it.  Leilah doesn't seem  to.  The only research I have is my own dogs. Her stools got as large and as plentiful as my aussie who weighs twice as much, (nutro diet for him - he needs that extra low protein). I could no longer tell the landmines apart. It did not look like she was absorbing the food the same way anymore. 

Too many dogs have owners who don't pay attention. Iams seems to realize that, "By minimizing swings in blood sugar, diets containing this blend minimize the risk of obesity." Is that a way of saying the carbs are now some kind of time release? Shoot, how about just feeding less to prevent obesity? Excercising more? More than once a day to prevent sugar swings? I am glad you are trying to work around owners who can't handle that, but it's a one size fits all approach. For myself, I never worried about swings in blood sugar, Leilah is free fed, and my other dog is fed more than once a day.  Iams apparently realizes that many people don't do this, for better or worse. It does seem like you are taking a "one size fits all" approach now.  Possibly to appeal to a broader market? Well, it still doesn't fit my dog.  Yup, lots of people need lots of educating about dogs in general!  I've also had to put a notice on the site not to change foods only because I don't want it for Leilah, but to do their own research and find what's right for THEIR dog. One size does not fit all. 

 You might want to check where those bag inserts went, because NO one seems to have ever seen one, I don't think they ended up in the bags.  There was certainly no info on the OUTSIDE of the bags, not that I nor anyone I know ever saw.  I should not have to be in contact with media to know about a change in my dog's diet, it should be on the bag. Nothing on your website, which should be a main communication source for those of us who discover this kind of thing by accident. 

My whole point, and this is what truly angered me about Iams,  was that there were changes that people were NOT made aware of, changes that many of us feel are not for the better for our individual dogs, regardless of your research that shows it might be better for the general market public. And, we were getting no where asking Iams directly. One vet friend tried to get info directly from an Iams rep friend of his after I discovered these changes and put the labels up on the net. He was told no changes at all since the omega acids were added in 96 or so. Direct denial. He's even changed off it now, saying that after 20 years of endorsiing, sellling and feeding Iams and Eukanuba, he can no longer support your products. This is a man who did his own research into my complaints, being a vet, he sure wasn't gonna take my word on it. 

No one's letters from Iams would admit a change.  Other than my own labels, you're letter is the first anything I've seen from Iams on the subject admitting that there has been any change at all. Iams seems to have been less than upfront about all these changes, improvements or not. I personally don't see where Iams has made any effort to communicate these changes.  Not a single person I know has heard anything but "through the grapevine", nothing FROM Iams. So, after lack of response from Iams, I took it into my own hands, and communicated it for you to my friends.  My letters were not truly answered by Iams until now, after I built the web page. Chances are if I had not built that page, you would not be writing me. 

Oh, and about the large breed food?  I did check again last month the ingredients hadn't changed. But, checking today? The change is now on the shelves, in a bag not saying ONE word about it. The bag I checked was made on 10/20/99, two months older than the label I put on the internet. Granted, this change IS an improvement, but no communication about it.  Not on your site, not on the bag, none. I did NOT buy the bag to check for an insert. I am glad you pointed that out, that this was the new formula or I may not have rechecked anytime soon. 

So, in the interest of better communication, I would like to invite you to a message board I frequent.  There are many dog knowledgable people on there, responsible and reputable breeders, rescuers, just plain pet owners, and even the aforementioned vet.  I know a some of them have been very disappointed by Iams lately.  Some have taken their dogs off Iams foods recently.  The URL is:
Patty's Dog Park

And, over this weekend, I'll update my Iams page too, to include the info you've sent.  I hope to see information on this new  Energy Management System on your site. and on the food bags. soon. But I can't find those words on the Iams site at all now, is it an "in-house" reference only? Your own search engine shows one reference to that phrase, on a page about Euk Senior dog food ( ) and that page is not found. 

Thanks again for responding. Please consider looking at that message board, and participating on it!
-Francoise aka Leilah's Mom

Received from Iams on 3/31/00
 Dear Francoise:

> Hello again!  I wanted to clear up some of your remaining questions.  After
> looking at your website, I really believe that ultimately we are on the same
> page.  We both want the best nutrition available for dogs.

> You mentioned in your response that we have a "one size fits all approach."
> The Energy Management is just one component of many of our canine
> formulations.  We offer a wide range of formulas that uniquely address the
> different segments of the dog population.

> Based upon our research, we genuinely feel that the Energy Management System
> is a benefit to all dogs.  The primary dietary component responsible for the
> rise in blood sugar immediately following a meal is starch(carbohydrate).
> Iams studies have revealed that including sorghum or barley in the diet of
> dogs resulted in a lower blood sugar level, compared with that from diets
> containing rice.  In addition, feeding barley resulted in the lowest blood
> insulin levels, compared with that from diets containing other grains.  By
> minimizing the surge in blood sugar and insulin levels in response to
> ingestion of a meal, optimal starch choices can decrease the post-meal
> glycemic response and may lead to an overall improvement in the stability of
> blood sugar and insulin levels.

> In regards to your concerns about corn being associated with allergies and my
> previous statement that 80% of canine allergies are to beef and dairy
> products.  This does not mean that the other 20% of canine food allergies are
> to corn.  The other 20% could be to most any other food ingredient.  Most of
> the time this is to a protein. 

> My earlier points about the quality of the corn meal were to clear up any
> confusion about the digestibility of the corn used in our products.  Corn,
> processed as we do in our foods, is equally digestible to rice!  We have
> tested this in hundreds of dogs, too.

> I can also assure you that The Iams Company has never tried to hide these
> product changes.  I really do not know why an Iams rep would have told your
> veterinarian friend that there had not been any changes since 1996.  Your
> veterinarian friend is certainly welcome to contact Veterinary Services at
> 1-800-XXXXXXX and ask any one of us his or her questions.  I would also be
> interested in seeing the letters from Iams that would not "admit a change."

> Unfortunately, the written word does not have the benefit of tone or nuance,
> and can therefore easily be misinterpreted.  If anything at all still seems
> unclear, please call us in Customer Service at 1-XXXXXXX.  Our center is
> open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. est and Saturday from
> 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. est.  If these hours are unsuitable, please let us know.  If
> you would prefer, we would also be more than happy to call you. 

> Sincerely,

> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company
> 1-800-XXXXXXX

My response 4/8/00:
Dr. Raasch,

I really appreciate your explanation about the blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels in healthy dogs is not something I have found much info on when checking out information on commercial diets.  Us  humans have the same problem too, sugar rises after meals.   Doesn't corn cause higher initial sugar levels since it's higher in sugar to begin with?  Some of my friends have speculated that this is why their dogs have behavioral problems with too much corn.  We have each seen that corn does not agree with our dogs in one way or another.

So far you have been very patient in answering my questions, and I do really appreciate it, since I know I must be trying your patience by now. Just my dogs have to last forever, or as close to it as I can get. 

No one has doubted the quality of the ingredients, it was just there was a change that none of us were made aware of. Iams response was less than stellar, just form letters not really addressing the original questions about the changes.  And, we are active in the dog community on the internet and in our physical lives, we are not the pet owner with Fuffy stuck out in the back yard. 

A Siberian Husky Breeder friend of mine sent me a copy of his email response from Iams, I know of at least one or two other people who pretty much got the identical letter if I remember correctly.  I did misspeak saying they did not admit any change, in this letter at least, just it was not addressed well by Iams. 
Subj: RE: Customer Feedback 
    Date: 2/10/00 6:41:33 PM !!!First Boot!!! 
    From: (Customer Service Internet Mail) 
    Sender: XXXXXXXX 

    Thank you for your interest in The Iams Company and our products. Corn has 
    always been the second ingredient for Iams Chunks and MiniChunks. 
    Chicken-by-product meal moved from number one ingredient to the fourth 
    ingredient. We did not increase the amount of corn, but added barley to the 
    formulation. The percentage of carbohydrates or protein did not change. 

    Our patented carbohydrate blend maintains energy by maintaining normal blood 
    sugar levels. We use the combination of barley, grain sorghum and corn. The 
    corn in our product is not used as protein. Our protein sources are from the 
    chicken and chicken-by-product meal. 

    Chicken-by-product meal includes white meat, dark meat, liver and other internal 
    organs. The refining process removes the poor quality proteins and excess ash 
    often found in typical chicken meal and chicken by-product meal. This makes the protein more digestible. Because internal organs are a rich source of nutrients, 
    the chicken by-product meal contains internal organs which add to the 
    nutritional value of the food. 

    Chicken - the muscle meat; the clean combination of flesh and skin with or 
    without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. 

    We only use the highest quality ingredients from USDA-inspected suppliers in our products. We also insist that our suppliers adhere to our strict quality 
    standards. The Iams Company maintains the same good manufacturing practices used for human food. The American Institute of Baking (AIB), a well-respected food sanitation and safety firm, conducts random inspections of our plants each year to ensure safety and quality. We have consistently received superior ratings from the AIB. 

    The mission of our company is to enhance the well-being of the dogs and cats. 
    We have very high standards and quality checks in place to ensure that our 
    ingredients are top-quality products. Every plant that we get our protein 
    sources from are routinely inspected by us. We only purchase our ingredients 
    from plants that meet our specifications and expectations. They must guarantee 
    us, in writing, that we will always get what we ask for. For example, if we ask 
    for chicken, it must be 100% poultry. The lamb protein must be all lamb, and 
    fish must be only fish. The plants that we use have our confidence and share 
    with us our ethics to only provide the best quality meats and meals. We then 
    examine all shipments of ingredients before they are accepted into any of our 

    The fresh chicken actually makes the product more digestible than the older 
    formulation. The percentage of carbohydrates remained the same. 

    Once again, our mission is to enhance the well-being of dogs and cats by 
    providing world-class quality foods. We are deeply committed to that mission. 
    If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to write us back or you 
    may call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-525-4267. 

    P & G is committed to maintaining the quality of our products. Consider the 
    other P & G products you use in your home. They provide consumers with the 
    latest technology to provide the very best products for the consumer. That Iams 
    Company is dedicated to finding new ways to enhance your pet's life through 
    nutritional research and development. We will continue to provide our customers 
    with cutting edge technology to improve the nutritional well-being of your dog 
    or cat. 

    We appreciate your support, if you have any questions, please contact us. 

    Iams Customer Service 

This letter dances around my friend's inquirey (adding barley moves corn UP the ingredients list?). In an except from his letter to you:

I noticed that the formulation has changed and now lists chicken as the first ingredient. I'm really happy about this change but also noticed  that corn has moved up on the list which does not make me happy. " 

The chicken is not the problem, but he concerned about the corn.  Even if the respondent got   confused about which food she was writing about, this letter he received is mostly about chicken, it  barely touches his concerns.  His comment  is "They sidestepped the whole thing pretty well, huh? ". And, my friend was writing about Eukanuba Adult Maintenance, not Chunks or Mini Chunks.  Not a single word about the Energy Management System.  I am still trying to get more letters, I know of at least a couple more people who got them (just gotta track down which  people), all felt quite dissatistifed by the responses they received, none felt they got a real answer. 

I am updating the Iams page I put up, and will include yours and this letter, identifying info x'd out of course.  I will no longer be able to keep up on updates promptly with it (which I feel is necessary to prevent any problems for either of us).  Because of this, I have removed most of my editorializing, and left mostly just the labels and the correspondence. 

-Francoise aka Leilah's Mom

Received 4/13/00

> Hi!  To answer your question about corn and sugar levels, let me first give
> you a little background.  In 1996, we began looking at different carbohydrates
> to find a solution to help nutritionally manage diabetes and reduce obesity in
> dogs.  We discovered nutritional truths that apply to all normal, healthy dogs
> -- not just diabetic dogs.  In our research, we looked at corn, wheat, barley,
> rice, and sorghum.  Corn resulted in a relatively low post-meal sugar
> response.  Rice-based diets resulted in significantly higher-post meal sugar
> and insulin responses.  Sorghum generally resulted in the lowest post-meal
> sugar response.  Corn was the second lowest.  Barley resulted in the lowest
> post meal insulin response.  As a result, we replaced the rice in many of our
> foods with a patented blend of the three carbohydrate sources that resulted in
> low post-meal sugar responses.  As you know, this is now known as our Energy
> Management System.

> You're right, it looks like we missed the mark in our response to your
> Siberian Husky friend -- and for that I apologize.  It is not that his
> question was being dodged, but it may not have been fully understood.  E-mail
> is not always interpreted in the way it was intended.  In the response that he
> received, the Energy Management System is referred to as our patented
> carbohydrate blend.  They are one and the same.  Sorry about the confusion
> there!   For Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula, corn meal is now listed as
> the 3rd ingredient.  The old formulation listed ground corn (same as corn
> meal) as the 4th ingredient; rice flour was the 3rd.  As I stated above, corn
> actually results in a lower post-meal sugar response than rice.  This is a
> beneficial change for the dog.  Also, as my colleague noted in her response to
> your friend, it's important to note that the total amount of carbohydrates in
> the food remains the same - only the mix changed.

> Sincerely,

> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company
>  1-800-XXXXXXX