Best Canned Dog Food Brands Reviewed By Veterinarians
The Best Canned Dog Food According to the Experts
Your dog is a shrewd detective. They will sniff out how much effort you invested in choosing their food and will expect nothing but the best. If you don’t want to hear any complaints from your superior, read through this guide, where you’ll find all you need to know about canned dog food. We’ll give you essential and up-to-date information that every dog owner should be familiar with.
There are many things to take into consideration when opting for the best wet dog food. In the sea of choices between grain-free canned dog food and the ones that have lots of grain in their composition, it’s difficult to pick the finest one. You need to be acquainted with your canine’s needs to make the best choice. Their nutritional and health requirements should be the number one priority when searching for the best canned dog food.
The important thing to remember while reading our guide is that we don’t get support from affiliate links. There are no interests involved while promoting some product other than giving you fact-based information and our honest opinion. We don’t receive any support through paid relationships.
How We Evaluated the Best Wet Dog Food
This guide will introduce you to some of the best canned dog food brands in the market today. We worked hard to gather all the data that will help you find the perfect wet dog food for your canine.
Three veterinarians invested many hours in reviewing medical records, consulting with pet owners, and going through reviews across dozens of websites to acquire the best canned dog food brands for your pooch.
We also asked our community of dog lovers to share their experiences with us. Based on all the data we collected, we present you with our results.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
We checked the quality of all the ingredients you can find in the products below. We only considered a brand worthy of a place in our list if it:
- Listed specific meat sources as the number one ingredient
- Had a low presence of meat or vegetable by-products, as well as grain
- Met the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
Don’t forget that our findings are not biased. We are not sponsored to promote any products. The list of products and brands we singled out for you is based on our firm belief that it will be useful for your hairy friend.
What is the Best Canned Dog Food?
Here you’ll find the top seven picks that you should consider including in your pooch’s diet. Wet food is a bit more expensive than dry food, but if they eat healthy food, they’ll grow to be a strong and well-nourished dog. Your pup deserves the best you can give them.
|Alpha Paw Picks||Brand||Rating|
|Best overall||Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food||4.9|
|Runner-up||Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew dog food||4.8|
|Best on a budget||Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Hearty Lamb Stew||4.5|
|Best for senior dogs||Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula Canned Dog Food||4.8|
|Best for puppies||Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food||4.7|
|Best for sensitive tummy||Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food||4.6|
|Honorable mentions||Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food||4.8|
Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Source: blue wilderness
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is one of the best canned food products that you can find on the market. It’s hard to imagine a list of best canned dog food that doesn’t have the Blue Buffalo Wilderness brand, one of the more popular brands out there.
The first two ingredients are duck and chicken, both of which are rich in amino acids. Using a lot of named meats as its main sources is what makes this product useful for your dog’s active life. Chicken broth has only modest nutritional value, but it is used in lots of wet dog foods. Its greatest advantage is that it doesn’t contain:
- By-product meals
|Crude Protein||10.0% min|
|Crude Fat||9.0% min|
|Crude Fiber||1.5 % max|
Ingredients: Duck, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Flaxseed, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).
The Runner-Up: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew Dog Food
Source: hill’s pet nutrition
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew Dog Food makes the ideal balance of taste and diet for your dog. It doesn’t cause digestive problems with your dog, and it contains minerals for your canine’s kidneys and heart.
Made with real chicken and lots of vegetables, all smothered in delicious gravy, this is a brand your sweetheart won’t be able to resist! It also contains high-quality proteins that promote ideal body weight and lean muscle.
|Crude Protein||4.0% min|
|Crude Fat||2.5% min|
|Crude Fiber||2.5 % max|
Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Pork Liver, Carrots, Rice, Green Peas, Rice Starch, Spinach, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Potassium Alginate, Powdered Cellulose, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Chloride, Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Calcium Gluconate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Beta-Carotene.
Best on a Budget: Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Hearty Lamb Stew
Source: whole earth farms
When you feed your best friend with Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Hearty Lamb Stew, you’re filling their bowl with wholesome nutrition. Tasty lamb mixed with beef and many vegetables will provide your furry one with balanced nutrition that boosts their health and well-being. This grain-free product is easy to digest and will be gentle to your pup’s tummy. Its ingredients have a beneficial blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for a
- Shinier coat
- Healthier skin
- Stronger immune system
This product is especially useful for dogs with dry skin.
|Crude Protein||8.0% min|
|Crude Fat||3.0 % min|
|Crude Fiber||1.4 % max|
Ingredients: Lamb, Beef Broth, Beef, Beef Liver, Peas, Carrots, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Dried Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Blueberries, Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Caramel Color, Cinnamon, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Best for Senior Dogs: Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula Canned Dog Food
Grandpa and grandma doggos are in an important stage of life when there’s the greatest need for striking the right balance of their nutritional needs. If your four-legged buddy is a senior, consult with your vet to check what diet is best for them. For mature dogs, we choose the premium Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula Canned Dog Food as the best dog canned food. This natural canned dog food contains wholesome ingredients to promote your older dog’s active lifestyle and vital functions. It features lots of proteins from chicken and fish to ensure optimal amino acid levels. It provides balanced and complete nutrition to help your senior pup have a happy life.
|Crude Protein||7.0% min|
|Crude Fat||3.0 % min|
|Crude Fiber||3.0 % max|
Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Whitefish, Chicken Liver, Ground Barley, Rice Bran, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Canola Oil, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B-12; Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Biotin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement.
Best for Puppies: Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food
Both senior dogs and puppies pose a challenge regarding their diet, as they go through many physical changes in their age. Searching for the best canned dog food for puppies can be a tiring task, especially for first-time parents. The countless dog food options on the market make the search even more difficult. But don’t worry. We’re happy to bring to light our pick for the best canned dog food for puppies. It’s the Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food!
Your dog will fall in love with this product after their first lick! The delicious taste and the food’s balanced nutrition will help them strengthen their immune system and mobility. This high-quality puppy formula consists of gentle fibers that ensure the availability of primary nutrients that are needed for the healthy diet of your fur baby.
|Crude Protein||9.0% min|
|Crude Fat||6.0 % min|
|Crude Fiber||1.0 % max|
Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Ground Barley, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Canola Oil, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Best for Sensitive Tummy: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
Source: hill’s pet nutrition
This is food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. If your pooch has any gastrointestinal or digestive system problems, this canned food is perfect for them. Its main ingredient is easily digestible chicken, and it contains prebiotic fiber which supports a balanced microbiome. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food also has vitamins that promote skin nourishment. Our pick for the best canned dog food for the sensitive stomach has an excellent blend of nutrients, including minerals and antioxidants, maintaining the natural balance in your canine’s stomach and intestines, while building a solid environmental defense at the same time. It’s recommendable for adult dogs. Puppies or pregnant or nursing dogs shouldn’t be eating this product.
|Crude Protein||21.0% min|
|Crude Fat||12.0 % min|
|Crude Fiber||4.0 % max|
|Vitamin E||400 IU/kg min|
|Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)||85 mg/kg min|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acids||3.0% min|
Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
Honorable Mentions: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Source: taste of the wild
This is our pick for the most affordable, high-quality dog canned food. It is a great addition to your dog’s well-rounded diet. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food has a chunky texture and tasty gravy. It’s rich in protein and provides your pup with a palatable diet that they won’t be able to resist. While containing the highest quality meats, this formula also promotes healthy digestion with various minerals and potato starch.
|Crude Protein||8.0% min|
|Crude Fat||3.5% min|
|Crude Fiber||1.0 % max|
Ingredients: Beef, Lamb Broth, Beef Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver, Bison, Dried Egg Whites, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Potato Starch, Roasted Lamb, Roasted Venison, Ocean Fish, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Xanthan Gum, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
What Are The Differences Between Wet and Dry Food?
Your pooch relies on your choice in finding the best food that will meet their nutritional requirements. Dry food has some advantages over wet food. It is healthier for your canine’s teeth as chewing kibble helps reduce plaque and it also gives your pup fresh breath. Dog dental chews can be used as a dietary supplement to avoid stinky dog breath, too. Dry food is easier to keep as it doesn’t have to be in the fridge, and your hairy friends can have it in their bowl the whole day. Many dog owners prefer dry food because it’s economical.
Wet food is much more expensive than dry food. If we compare canned food to kibble, the former
- Has larger quantities of protein
- Contains a smaller number of carbs
- Doesn’t have cancer-causing preservatives
It consists of 70 and 85% water, which is mixed with dry food. Canned food doesn’t contain artificial flavorings because it’s tastier than dry food. Higher levels of protein and fat contribute to its better taste.
It also contains fewer carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used to hold the kibble together. When you see cereals such as corn or wheat listed in the first three ingredients on the back of the package, it means they weigh the most. Canned food doesn’t need many carbohydrates, and dogs digest it with ease. If you own a puppy or a senior dog, who has trouble with chewing dry foods, or has a smaller mouth, get them canned food. Just be careful—eating too much canned food could cause dental issues
How Much Wet Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?
Leaving the food in your dog’s bowl for the whole day is not a recommendable feeding system. They should have a schedule and get approximately similar portions of food every day. To avoid grazing, leave the food for 20 minutes in the bowl and then take it away.
The amount of wet food your dog should get depends on:
- The dog’s size/weight
- The dog’s age
- The dog’s habits
Small dogs should eat larger quantities of wet food, while larger canines should get wet food mixed with dry food. Puppies can have larger portions of fat in their nutrition, which canned food offers. As they get older, dogs are more prone to obesity, so the best solution is to mix dry and canned food. In the table, you can find how much food dogs should eat based on their weight:
|Weight of the dog||Amount of food|
|Less than 10 pounds||Half a cup per day|
|15 pounds||One cup per day|
|30 pounds||Two cups per day|
|60 pounds||Three cups per day|
|100 pounds||Between four and five cups per day|
If your pup is a restless little beastie, they can get larger portions of food. You need to pay attention to your pooch in case they’re inactive. Feeding your dog beyond their needs can lead to obesity.
Puppies need to get smaller but frequent portions every day. As they get older, they should have fewer meals per day. In the table below, you can see how dogs should eat:
|Two to four months||Four meals per day|
|Four to six months||Three meals per day|
|Six to eight months||Two to three meals per day|
|Older than eight months||Two meals per day|
How to Choose Top Quality Canned Dog Food?
The first step in choosing food for your canine is to familiarize yourself with food ingredients. What you need to look for on the ingredient list are proteins. The first ingredient on the list is the one that weighs the most. You should aim at purchasing the canned food that lists meat or broth as the first ingredients on the label. If you find complete and balanced written on the package, that means that the canned food has met criteria for a complete and balanced diet, approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Some canned dog foods shouldn’t end up in your pups’ bowl. Avoid all wet food that contains:
- Meat by-products or poultry by-products
- Unknown animal sources
- Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Sugar or similar sweeteners
- Wheat gluten
Can I Mix Wet and Dry Dog Food?
Before mixing wet and dry food for your pooch, check with your vet to see if your dog has any specific dietary requirements. If they have, compare the ingredient list on both labels and see if your hairy companion is allowed to take them in. Other than this, there are no reasons why you shouldn’t mix the two. Your little ball of joy can only profit from it.
It is crucial, of course, to choose high-quality foods that meet your dog’s nutritional needs. Avoid products that found their way on the worst dry dog food brands list. If added to dry food, canned products will only enhance the palatability of the meal.
Mixing wet and dry food is especially useful for dogs who can’t chew or digest dry food properly. Increased water intake in wet foods will help your pooch maintain regular weight and prevent them from hydration.
What About Other Canned Goods?
Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?
Can your dog consume canned salmon? Yes, on occasion. You can feed your dog salmon or salmon oil. Salmon is a great source of omega- 3 fatty acids, which support the dog’s immunity and can be good for their skin and coat. Evidence shows that salmon may be good for dogs with allergies. If you give your dog salmon, just make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly before serving. Remember, raw salmon can carry a parasite that is harmful to your pupper.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?
Without batting an eyelash, yes. Your dog can safely consume tuna, but make sure that your furry friend eats it in moderation. Dogs can handle cooked or raw tuna well. If you decide to give them raw tuna, don’t forget to remove all the bones first. If you feed your pet canned tuna, go for the ones packed in water and not oil. Tuna has much higher mercury levels compared to other fish, so feed your dog a very minimal amount of tuna and only on rare occasions.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?
Yes, dogs can eat canned chicken. But we all know that too much of something can be bad, so moderation is key. As with any other commercial food, canned chicken has too much salt, which definitely isn’t good for your dog’s health. If you want to give him canned chicken, make sure that you rinse it first to drain the sodium away until there’s no salt or spices left. The blander the chicken, the better. When you’re done washing off all the extra salt and spices, add the chicken to your dog’s meal, maybe add some plain cooked rice, and you have a perfect meal for a pup with an upset stomach. Buying canned chicken from the store and giving it directly to your dog is a big no-no.
Can Dogs eat Canned Pineapple?
While a small amount of raw pineapple is a perfect snack for dogs, canned pineapple should be avoided. Why? Canned pineapple contains syrup that has too much sugar, which is a big no-no for dogs. Just give your dog a few chunks of raw pineapple, provided that you peel and slice them into bite-sized bits. Also, frozen pieces of fresh pineapple are tasty dog treats in the summer.
Canned dog food is a useful addition to your dog’s well-rounded diet, and we can’t deny how much dogs enjoy high-quality wet food. There are many excellent canned dog foods out there, and we worked hard to find the best ones for you!
Whichever product you opt for, you can rest assured you’ve made an excellent choice and that your furry friend will enjoy it!
- Schmidt, Milena, et al. “The Fecal Microbiome and Metabolome Differs between Dogs Fed Bones and Raw Food (BARF) Diets and Dogs Fed Commercial Diets.” Plos One, vol. 13, no. 8, 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201279.
- Morgan, Judy, and Tonya Wilhelm. Whats for Dinner, Dexter?: Cooking for Your Dog Using Chinese Medicine Theory. Judy Morgan D.V.M and Tonya Wilhelm, 2014.