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Best Wet Food for Dogs: Canine Canned Food!

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Dog Food By Meg Marrs 36 min read January 24, 2020 2 Comments

best canned dog food

Quick Picks: Best Wet Foods for Dogs

  • #1 Overall Pick: Purina Beyond — This pate-style food features whitefish, salmon, and sweet potatoes to provide a nutritious and delicious food that most dogs love.
  • #2 Overall Pick: Rachael Ray Nutrish — This cuts & gravy option is a grain-free formula that’s perfect for pups with more refined palates.
  • #3 Overall Pick: NUTRO Kitchen Classics — This nutritious, wholesome, and all-natural pate-style dog food is made with real lamb and without meat meals or by-products.
  • Best Wet Food for Puppies: NUTRO Puppy Formula — A perfect food for most puppies, NUTRO Puppy Formula is packed with delicious chicken and antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes.
  • Best Wet Food for Seniors: Blue Buffalo Homestyle — This food is designed specifically for older dogs, it has plenty of moisture to keep your pooch hydrated, and chicken is the first listed ingredient.
  • Best Wet Food WITH Grains: Purina Pro Plan SAVOR — This pate-style food features real chicken and rice, making it a great choice for dogs who do not have problems digesting grains.
  • Best Wet Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Nature’s Recipe — Designed to be easy for your doggo to digest, this recipe features real chicken and is made without artificial preservatives or meat by-products.

Chances are, there’s no greater joy in your dog’s life than dinnertime. Though your dog surely loves you, he especially loves it when you feed him!

Choosing the perfect food for your pooch can be tough because there are a lot of options when it comes to dog food. There are different flavors and formulas available, and manufacturers utilize different practices and procedures when making their foods.

But one of the first things you’ll need to decide when picking the perfect food for your pooch is whether to go with dry kibble or wet (canned) foods

Most dogs will take wet food any day over dry food, and that’s great because there are some benefits that wet foods provide, which dry foods do not.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the main factors to consider when trying out a new wet dog food.

Then, we’ll look at some of the top brands and flavors for your dog to sample. With all the options out there, picking a wet food might be confusing — but this guide will help you narrow down your options and find a healthy match for your pooch!  

Read on to learn more, or just check our quick picks below if you just need a fast recommendation!

Wet Vs. Dry Dog Food: What’s the Difference

You’ll need to consider a variety of factors when choosing between wet and dry foods for your dog.

Both styles offer a different slate of pros and cons, and neither is the best choice in all cases. But since we’re focusing on wet foods today, we’ll cover some of the most notable pros and cons of wet foods below:

Pros:

  • The high liquid content makes it easier for your dog to stay hydrated. Good hydration is essential to proper kidney function, energy levels, and good overall health. Wet food is especially desirable if your dog has kidney issues or does not readily drink water.
  • Wet dog food tends to be packed with protein, usually boasting a higher protein composition than most kibbles. Many high-quality wet foods tend to have premium quality meat and produce incorporated into their recipes.
  • Wet food comes in a wide variety of flavors, making it easy to target specific aspects of your dog’s health and his favorite flavors.
  • Dogs generally prefer wet foods to dry foods, and — in some cases — wet foods more closely resemble “real foods” than processed-and-pelleted kibbles do.

Cons:

  • Some argue that wet food doesn’t offer the same dental health advantages as dry food. Harder dry food helps to remove plaque from the teeth and gums. It’s important to note that professionals are divided on this issue, and no matter which type of food you choose, you’ll still need to brush your pup’s chompers.
  • Wet food can be more expensive than low-cost dry kibble. However, the health benefits of wet food might save you some money on vet bills down the line. Plus, dogs typically love wet foods, and it’s hard to put a price on your pup’s happiness. 
what to look for in a dog food

What Should You Look for When Picking a Wet / Canned Dog Food?

If you’ve ever perused the wet foods on the market, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the endless options available, and you may have even thrown up your hands and just picked the food with the cutest dog on the label. 

It can be a daunting task, but picking the right food is crucial for your pet’s health and quality of life. Simply put, this means selecting a food that meets a few key criteria.

Some of the most important criteria to satisfy when shopping for a canned wet food include:

Pick a Food that Meets or Exceeds the Appropriate AAFCO Guidelines

One of the most important things to verify before selecting a given food is that it satisfies the guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

These guidelines are designed to ensure your dog receives adequate nutrition for his life stage. For example, young puppies have different nutritional requirements than older adult dogs do.

In a nutshell, you’ll want to look for a food that is labeled for one of the following:

  • All life stages
  • Growth
  • Maintenance
  • Gestation / Lactation

Foods labeled as being appropriate for “all life stages” will work for any dog of any age, while those labeled for “growth” are ideal for puppies, and those labeled for “maintenance” are ideal for adult dogs.

If you have a dog who’s pregnant or has recently given birth, you’ll want to look for food labeled for “gestation/lactation.”

Select Foods Made in the USA (or Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe)

Just like USA-made dog treats, canned dog food that’s made in the USA tends to be made with higher quality ingredients.

Since you’re feeding this to your dog on a daily basis, it’s essential that he’s consistently consuming a healthy product made from safe ingredients

If you think your pet’s food comes from the U.S., it’s also worth digging a little deeper to ensure that the ingredients are actually sourced from the states as well.

That means the ingredients are homegrown, and more importantly, produced to American standards, and not shipped in from places with poor safety and quality-control standards. 

Note that other countries, like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Western Europe, also produce high-quality food to a high standard, so don’t count them out when you’re selecting a wet food. 

Look for a Protein at the Top of the Ingredient List

Dogs are omnivores, but high-quality proteins are vital for their health and well-being.

So, when you look at the ingredient list of a dog food, pay special attention to the first three ingredients, which have the highest content in the food. You should definitely see meat towards the top. 

We typically recommend looking for a canned dog food that features a whole protein first, but many wet foods will feature “water sufficient for processing” or some type of broth first.

best proteins for dogs

Avoid Foods with Poorly Identified Meat Byproducts

Some pet food manufacturers advertise that their food has meat as the primary ingredient, but many also contain meat meals or meat by-products to help satisfy your dog’s protein requirements.   

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with meat meals or meat byproducts — in fact, meat meals are a better source of protein per unit weight than whole meat cuts are.

However, meat meals must be properly labeled, so that you can avoid feeding your pup questionable items. 

In other words, “chicken meal” or “duck byproducts” should be fine (albeit kinda gross to humans). On the other hand, “meat meal,” or “meat byproducts,” may contain questionable ingredients. 

Opt for Foods with Nutritious Fruits and Vegetables

Dogs may satisfy most of their caloric needs via protein and fat, but they are omnivores, who also require fruits and vegetables. 

Fruits and vegetables can not only help provide some of the calories, water, and fiber your dog needs, but veggies will also provide some excellent supportive health benefits that meat doesn’t offer. 

For example, sweet potatoes are used in a lot of quality dog foods, providing a great source of natural carbs. You’ll also see carrots and green beans in a lot of wet foods.   

fruits and vegetables for dogs

In addition to the criteria discussed above, always discuss your food choice with your vet!

Additional Choices: Picking the Perfect Wet Food for You and Your Dog

In addition to selecting a canned food that meets the minimum criteria discussed above, there are a number of options available you’ll need to consider.

There are no “right” or “wrong” choices here, except that you’ll want to consider the needs and desires of you and your pooch.

So, be sure to consider the following aspects of your dog’s new wet food:

Pate or Cuts & Gravy?

Wet foods often come in one of two primary forms:

  • Pate. Pate is a solid consistency — think canned Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, but made out of meat.
  • Cuts & Gravy. Cuts & gravy looks just like it sounds: It consists of small slices of meat, and sometimes vegetables, in a thick sauce.

Neither is inherently better than the other, so you can just select the type that appeals to you and your pet the most.  

Do note that cuts & gravy varieties tend to have a bit higher liquid content, which may be important if you have a dog who is a poor drinker.

Cans or Plastic Tubs?

These days, you can find wet food in just about any packaging you can think of.

You’ll see:

  • Cans with pop tabs
  • Cans without pop tabs (requires can opener)
  • Plastic tubs
  • Rolls in plastic casings

This is the least important criteria from your dog’s point of view, but it may be one of great importance to you.

Cans can be tricky to open if they don’t have pop tabs, while plastic tubs and plastic casings are generally easy to open. Typically, the biggest difference comes down to storing leftovers.

Plastic tubs are great because they come with a lid that makes for easy resealing. Just close the lid and toss the uneaten portion back in the fridge for your pup’s next meal.

On the other hand, cans don’t close back up easily, so it can be tricky to store leftovers. However, you can purchase silicone dog food can lids, which will make storing uneaten food a snap.

Plastic casings often feature some way to close them back tightly too. Even if they don’t you can store them in a zip-lock bag, although some may find this just too much of a nuisance.

What Portion Size Is Ideal for Your Dog?

Portion control for four-footers can often be difficult to get right.

There are a lot of “rules of thumb” you might see, but ultimately it depends on your dog.

There are a number of important considerations when it comes to portion size, such as:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Activity Level
  • Feeding Frequency
  • Allergies
  • Health Issues

The first place to start is by discussing your dog’s caloric needs with your vet, but you can also use a calorie calculator to arrive at a ballpark figure.

Be sure to note the feeding suggestions on the food packaging — they will typically offer suggestions based on your dog’s size.

Another thing to consider is if you mix wet and dry food, you’ll want to be mindful of the total calorie count your dog’s dinner represents.

Finally, you may need to adjust the amount of food provided over time, to ensure that your dog’s body condition remains within the healthy range.

Your vet’s advice, the figures provided by calculators, and the manufacturer’s recommendations are all designed to be starting points — you’ll always need to be willing to tweak your dog’s portion size to suit his specific metabolism and biology.

should dogs eat grains

A Special Issue with Wet Foods: To Grain or Not to Grain

A hot topic in dog ownership today is the grain-free dilemma, which has divided even veterinarians as to whether or not it’s safe and smart to feed dogs grain-free foods. 

Recent research has found a correlation between grain-free foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) — a chronic but treatable heart condition in dogs.

The FDA has launched an investigation, and while no specific research has established causation, some owners are moving away from grain-free foods to avoid the risk entirely. 

There are some advantages to grain-free foods for some dogs. But by taking out the grains, your dog may be missing out on an important ingredient, called taurine, which plays a role in a variety of biological contexts.

Note that because of the nature of the manufacturing process, the majority of wet foods are made without grains. However, there are several grain-inclusive options available too. We cover both varieties below.

Picking best wet food for dogs

Best Wet Foods for Dogs: Our Top Three Picks

Out of all of the wet food options out there, we’ve got a few pooch-approved favorites. Here are our three favorites:

1. Purina Beyond Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato

About: Topping our list of the best wet foods on the market is Purina Beyond Ocean Whitefish, Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe.

This grain-free option is filled with fresh fish and other natural ingredients that are probably part of your own diet as well.  

purina beyond canned dog food

Purina Beyond Grain-Free

  • Ocean whitefish is #1 ingredient
  • Made without corn, wheat or soy
  • Relatively affordable

Features: Purina’s top-quality cans are labeled as a ground entrée, meaning they have a wet, pate-like consistency.

The recipe contains no artificial flavoring, and grains are replaced with sweet potatoes. It’s packaged in a 13-ounce can with a convenient pop tab. 

Ingredients List

Ocean Whitefish, Chicken, Fish Broth, Liver, Turkey...,

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Guar Gum, Salt, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite], Carrageenan, Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement]. A-4249.

Options: You can purchase cans in a pack of 12 or in a variety pack with beef and chicken flavors. 

PROS

Pretty much every ingredient in this food is something you would eat yourself. This food also contains a variety of different proteins to help promote good health. Dogs, by and large, seem to enjoy the taste of this recipe too.

CONS

Though ocean whitefish is the number one ingredient, chicken, liver, and turkey also appear in the ingredient list. This isn’t a problem, unless you’re looking for a single-protein food or one made without poultry.

2. Rachel Ray Nutrish Duck Stew with Green Beans, Carrots, & Brown Rice

About: From the famed television host and chef, Rachel Ray Nutrish Duck Stew with Green Beans, Carrots, & Brown Rice is a tasty option for dogs with refined taste buds. Packed with natural ingredients, this meal is as hearty as it is healthy.    

nutrish duck

Rachel Ray Nutrish Duck Stew

  • Hearty duck meat in gravy
  • Made without corn, wheat, or soy, so ideal for dogs with allergies or digestion issues
  • No meat by-products or fillers
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Features: Packaged in convenient 8-ounce tubs, this wet food from Nutrish is free from preservatives, meat by-products, as well as corn, wheat or soy. It consists of chunks of meat and vegetables in a liquid gravy

Ingredients List

Water Sufficient For Processing, Duck, Dried Egg Product, Chicken, Egg White...,

Green Beans, Carrots, Pea Protein, Brown Rice, Ground Tapioca, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel (Color), Fish Oil, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Celery Powder, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Iodate, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity).

Options: Nutrish’s Duck Stew is sold in packages of eight 8-ounce tubs, or in a variety pack of six tubs with chicken and beef flavors.

PROS

This hearty wet food has a high liquid content to promote good hydration, and it contains chunks of vegetables and meat that you can actually see. The packaging in a tub with a reusable lid is a big convenience.

CONS

While Nutrish is an American company with an All-American spokesperson, you’ll see “product of Thailand” in small print on the label, meaning the ingredients aren’t sourced in the U.S. Thailand imposes stricter safety standards than China, but not as stringent as those in place in the USA.

3. NUTRO Kitchen Classics Savory Lamb, Carrot & Pea Recipe

About: Made from wholesome and natural ingredients, NUTRO Kitchen Classics Savory Lamb, Carrot & Pea Recipe is a top choice for pate-loving pups. 

nutro wet lamb

Nutro Classics Savory Lamb

  • Farm-raised lamb is the 1st ingredient 
  • No corn, wheat, soy, chicken by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients in USA facilities

Features: NUTRO packs a lot into these 12.5-ounce cans, including lamb and an assortment of vegetables. This recipe is grain-free, and is made without meat meals or artificial preservatives

Ingredients List

Lamb, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Chicken, Carrots...,

Peas, Dried Peas, Dried Potatoes, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Dried Yams, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Options: NUTRO sells these cans by the flavor in packs of 12. They also offer beef, chicken, and turkey varieties. 

PROS

Unlike some other brands, NUTRO keeps the promise on their label, and lamb is the number one ingredient. This recipe also is full of nutritious ingredients like peas, carrots, and omega-3-rich flaxseed.

CONS

Like a few other brands, NUTRO states that it’s ingredients come from “trusted farmers and suppliers,” but neglects to divulge where, specifically, the ingredients come from.  

canned foods for dogs

Best Wet Foods for Specific Dogs

Certain dogs require certain diets, based on age, size, and health considerations.

Foods tailored specifically to your dog’s needs can greatly enrich his overall health. Here are some of our favorite dog foods to help support your individual dogs’ needs:

4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe: Best Wet Dog Food for Seniors

About: Senior pups have slightly different dietary needs than adult dogs, and Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe ticks all the important boxes. Healthy, high quality, and delicious, this doggo delight is the perfect meal for golden-aged pups.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe: Best Wet Dog Food for Seniors

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Senior

  • Paté-style wet dog food with chicken as #1 ingredient
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Formulated for seniors with glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in joint health and mobility

Features: Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle Recipe is designed specifically for senior dogs, and is labeled as a Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables.

It’s a healthy option because it not only includes a variety of nutritious ingredients, but it also features supplemental vitamins and minerals. This is a high protein and hearty meal with chicken being the first ingredient listed, making it perfect for senior dogs.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas...,

Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt, Flaxseed, Cranberries, Blueberries, 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).

Options: Though there’s only one option in terms of flavor, Blue Buffalo advises that this is a great option for a stand-alone meal, or to be mixed with dry food.  

PROS

Chicken is the main ingredient, and there’s a lot of extra vitamins, like a B12 supplement, which is great for senior pups. Additionally, satisfied customers say that their dogs absolutely love the taste

CONS

Though dogs may love it, their owners aren’t a huge fan of it’s extremely wet and liquid texture. While it’s easy to eat for the old pups with dental issues, your sloppy eater may create a big mess at every meal.   

5. Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe: Best Wet Dog Food for Seniors (Runner Up)

About: From Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness series comes the protein-rich Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe, another great vitamin-packed option for senior pups. 

Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe: Best Wet Dog Food for Seniors

Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Senior Recipe

  • Beef, beef broth, and turkey are the first 3 ingredients
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Designed for seniors with glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health

Features: This aptly named Red Meat Dinner is packed with real meats, no by-products and, unlike a lot of beef-flavored foods, no chicken. It’s made without artificial flavorings or coloring, and contains supplemental vitamins and minerals.

Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is packaged in a can with an easy-to-use pop-tab top. 

Ingredients List

Beef, Beef Broth, Turkey, Lamb, Potatoes...,

Pea Fiber, Pea Protein, Carrageenan, Flaxseed, Cassia Gum, Guar 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).

Options: The Red Meat Dinner is the only senior-tailored Rocky Mountain Recipe, but there is an accompanying dry food version you might consider mixing it with to help your dog-food dollar go a little further.

PROS

A lot of beef-flavored wet foods contain chicken, which can be a problem for dogs who’re allergic to the ingredient. However, Rocky Mountain Recipe contains no chicken or chicken by-product. It also has a taste that most dogs see to love.

CONS

While most dogs appear to enjoy this food, it only comes in one flavor. So, if your pup isn’t a fan of the taste, you might have to switch to something entirely different — a big inconvenience for older stomachs.

6. NUTRO Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea Stew: Best Wet Dog Food for Puppies

About: Taking the top spot for wet puppy food is NUTRO Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea Stew. This meal is a perfect first wet food for puppies, setting them up for a long and healthy life with wholesome ingredients and excellent nutrients.

NUTRO Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea Stew

NUTRO Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pea Stew

  • Designed specifically for pups
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Real chicken as #1 ingredient, includes chicken liver too
  • Non-GMO ingredients and made in the USA

Features: This stew-like meal is packed full of chicken and vegetables, but it contains no preservatives or by-products. It’s also a grain-free recipe that utilizes sweet potatoes rather than corn or rice, which is a benefit for some doggos.

This food comes packaged in a small plastic tray with a foil top. It can be fed to puppies as young as 4 months.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Pork Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Liver...,

Peas, Pork Plasma, Pea Fiber, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Dried Tomatoes, Vitamin E Supplement, Xanthan Gum, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Options: NUTRO sells the plastic trays in packs of 24, and offers a Tender Beef, Pea & Carrot option as well.  

PROS

The small plastic trays are convenient because they are divided into meal-sized portions, depending on your puppy’s weight and caloric needs. 

CONS

This food is processed in the United States, but advertises that it uses the “best ingredients from around the world,” without giving a geographical location.

7. Merrick Puppy Plate Chicken: Best Wet Puppy Food for Large Breeds

About: It’s important to note that large breed puppies (those who’ll exceed 70 pounds as an adult) have slightly different nutritional requirements than small and medium breed puppies do.

For example, large-breed puppies require foods with fewer calories and less fat than small- and medium-sized puppies need. Additionally, they need foods with slightly different calcium-to-phosphorus ratios to help prevent joint problems.

Fortunately, we’ve got a great food for your soon-to-be-huge pupper: Merrick Puppy Plate Chicken is a great puppy food, which is specifically designed to be suitable for large-breed puppies.

Merrick Puppy Plate Chicken

Merrick Puppy Plate Chicken

  • Made specifically for puppies
  • Real chicken, turkey, and duck as the first ingredients
  • Grain-free formula with no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Contains less crude fat than many other puppy foods (5% minimum)
  • Only contains 383 Calories per 12-ounce can
  • Functions as complete meal or kibble topper
  • Cooked in the USA

Features: Sold in a large 12.7 ounce can with a pop-tab top, this stew works great for bigger puppies with big appetites. It contains nutrients puppies need for up to a year, and most recipes prominently feature de-boned chicken.

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey, Turkey Broth, Duck...,

Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Apples, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Dried Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil, Potato Starch, Guar Gum, Flax Oil, Potassium Chloride, Gum Ghatti, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Cassia Gum, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Options: These cans are sold in a case of 12, and there’s also a Puppy Plate Beef option as well.

PROS

Puppy Plate Chicken contains less fat and fewer calories than many other puppy foods, making it a great choice for large-breed puppies. It also contains wholesome ingredients like carrots, peas, and apples, adding in some much-needed extra vitamins.

CONS

While most dogs love it, this food has an exceptionally bad smell, according to some owners. It’s also another food high in water content, which is great for hydration, but can be a bit messy.

8. Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Salmon Puppy Food: Best Wet Puppy Food for Large Breeds (Runner Up)

About: Packed with real meat and tons of fruits and vegetables, Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Salmon Puppy Food is another great choice for large breed puppies. 

Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Salmon Puppy Food

Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Salmon Puppy Food

  • Pate style food featuring chicken and salmon
  • Includes DHA to aid in cognitive development
  • Grain-inclusive formula contains ground barley
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Made in North America

Features: Chicken and salmon occupy two of the first three ingredients on the list of this pate. It’s made without artificial preservatives or meat by-products and comes in a 12.5-ounce can. 

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Salmon (A Natural Source of DHA, Docosahexaenoic Acid), Sweet Potatoes, Ground Barley...,

Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Canola Oil, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Carrageenan, 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.Plus Vitamins and MineralsThis is a naturally preserved product.

PROS

Glossing over the ingredients list you’ll see a bunch of foods that are healthy for humans as well as pups, including flaxseed, apples, pears, salmon, and bananas. That’s a lot of nutrition packed into one small can.  

CONS

It comes in a can without a pop-tab, so you’ll need an old-fashioned can-opener. Additionally, some customers report their puppies were not fond of the firmer pate texture.

9. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Food Mixers & Toppers: Best Wet Dog Food to Mix With Dry

About: If you’re looking to optimize feeding time with both dry and wet food, a great option for the wet component is Wellness CORE Grain-Free Food Mixers & Toppers.

It’s specifically designed to supplement other meals, although it will work as a stand-alone meal as well

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Food Mixers & Toppers

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Food Mixers & Toppers

  • Grain-free formula with no corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, or artificial colors
  • Single protein formula with beef – no other meat sources
  • Made in North America

Features: This grain-free meal is made without meat by-products or artificial additives.

It’s packaged in pop-tab cans, making it easy to open. Like most other Wellness CORE recipes, this is a grain-free food.

Do note that this beef-filled topping is a bit softer in texture than your average pate. 

Ingredients List

Beef, Water Sufficient For Processing, Carrots, Tricalcium Phosphate, Flaxseed...,

Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride

Options: While they only come in one flavor, these delights come in a 6-ounce can or in a 12.5-ounce option. 

PROS

If you typically feed your dog a dry food, these cans are a great way to get some extra water content into your dog’s diet. The smaller 6-ounce size is the perfect size for a complimentary meal component, and the 12-ounce size is great if you opt for wet food only.  

CONS

While it’s advertised to be made in Canada, it’s comprised of “globally sourced ingredients,” meaning it’s only assembled in North America — the actual components could come from anywhere.

10. Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food: Best Canned Food for Sensitive Stomachs

About: If your pup has a sensitive stomach, then you know how difficult it can be to find the right food. Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food is specifically designed for pups who suffer from digestive difficulties, but it still offers the same benefits as other wet foods on our list. 

Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food

  • Affordable wet food
  • No animal by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Grain-inclusive formula with rice and barley
  • Includes chicken and chicken meal

Features: With easy-to-digest ingredients like rice, this gentle meal gives your pooch all the benefits of wet food without by-products or preservatives.

This also means that this is a grain-inclusive option, which may appeal to many owners.

It comes in large 13.2 ounce cans with a pop tab.  

Ingredients List

Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)...,

Brewer’s Rice, Barley, Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Vitamins (L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Guar Gum, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Rosemary Extract.

Options: This easy-to-digest food comes in Homestyle Ground or Stew options, as well as a variety of flavors, from seafood to beef. It’s also sold in in 2.75-ounce tubs, which make great samplers if your pooch isn’t sure about the flavor. 

PROS

Nature’s Recipe is a great go-to if you have a sensitive-stomached dog that is also a picky eater. Many owners reported an improvement in their dog’s elimination habits after switching to this formula. At least one of the selections from the wide variety of flavors is sure to satisfy the taste buds.

CONS

While dogs may not eat with their eyes first, their owners certainly do. Consumers note the off-putting gray color of this food, which may be indicative of bland taste. That said, bland isn’t always bad for pups with troubled tummies. Soybean meal as a primary ingredient also isn’t ideal.

11. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin: Best Canned Food for Sensitive Stomachs (Runner Up)

About: Another great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin. It’s a high fiber option that benefits your dog’s outside as much as his insides.  

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin

  • Grain-free formula with no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Designed for sensitive digestive systems with easy-to-digest fibers
  • Salmon and turkey are high on the ingredient list

Features: Hill’s Science Diet manufactures this grain-free food made with all-natural ingredients and a pate-like consistency. It’s made with soybean oil, which is great for the look and feel of your dog’s coat (although an animal fat would be preferable).

In addition to being designed to be easy-to-digest, this food is also fortified with ingredients that’ll help improve your dog’s skin and coat condition.

Ingredients List

Chicken Broth, Salmon, Carrots, Turkey, Potatoes...,

Green Beans, Potato Starch, Pea Protein, Sugar, Egg Whites, Chicken Fat, Dried Whey, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Carrageenan, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Dried Apple Pomace, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid), Taurine, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate).

Options: It comes in large 12.8-ounce cans with pop tabs with three different flavor options. Available flavors include Chicken and Vegetable, Salmon and Vegetable, and Tender Turkey and Rice.

PROS

Few foods specifically target the health and wellness of your dog’s skin and coat. Hill’s Science Diet will keep your pooch’s exterior looking shiny and their skin feeling great, while simultaneously supporting digestive health. Despite being easy-to-digest, most dogs seem to find this recipe tasty.

CONS

Comparatively, this has a bit less protein than competitors, so it may not provide your pup with as much energy as his old food did. Additionally, this food is also made with “globally sourced ingredients” from undisclosed locations. 

12. Purina Beyond Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe: Best Affordable Wet Dog Food

About: Dogs love to eat. A lot. If your pooch is eating you out of house and home and you need a lower cost option, consider Purina Beyond Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe.

It’s more affordable than many similar foods, but it is still made with many high quality ingredients. 

Purina Beyond Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe

Purina Beyond Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe

  • Grain-free formula with no corn, wheat, soy, peas, poultry by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Includes chicken and chicken liver high on the ingredient list

Features: Despite the lower cost, Purina’s Beyond offerings bear a lot of similarities to competing brands. It’s grain-free, contains no by-products, and no artificial additives.

Ingredients List

Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Liver, Dried Egg Whites, Potato Starch...,

Sweet Potato, Dried Egg Product, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid], Minerals [Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide]. B-4234.

Options: Beyond wet foods come in 13-ounce cans or 2-ounce pouches, and they are offered in a variety of flavors, from chicken to seafood to beef.

PROS

Purina Beyond offers a low cost option but maintains a high quality and safety standards. You won’t be sacrificing quality for cost with this dog-approved wet food.

CONS

There aren’t many glaring problems with this food, but some owners reported that their pup didn’t like the taste. A few others exhibited digestive difficulties after eating the food.

13. Wag Beef & Vegetable Stew: Best Affordable Wet Dog Food (Runner Up)

About: Another high quality yet affordable option for wet food is Wag Beef & Vegetable Stew. Amazon’s own pet food brand is packed with healthy ingredients and delectable flavor. 

wag beef

Wag Beef & Vegetable Stew

  • Affordable canned food
  • No grain, corn, wheat, soy, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Beef broth, beef & chicken are first ingredients
  • Made in Canada

Features: This food boasts beef as the top ingredient, alongside a host of healthy vegetables like peas and carrots. Dogs love its cuts & gravy texture, and owners love its affordable cost

We’ve written an in-depth review of all Wag foods before, if you’d like to learn more about the brand.

Ingredients List

BEEF BROTH, BEEF, CHICKEN, CARROTS, DRIED EGG WHITES...,

EGG PRODUCT, PEAS, POTATO STARCH, GUAR GUM, SALT, ADDED COLOR, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DRIED POTATOES, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, DRIED PLAIN BEET PULP, GROUND FLAXSEED, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, NATURAL FLAVOR, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, FERROUS SULFATE, XANTHAN GUM, ZINC OXIDE, VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENT, COPPER PROTEINATE, SODIUM SELENITE, MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, NIACIN SUPPLEMENT, d-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT, BIOTIN, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, POTASSIUM IODIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCLORIDE, VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT, FOLIC ACID.

Options: These 12.5 cans are sold in packs of 12. The stew comes in Chicken & Vegetable, as well as Lamb & Beef. Wag also makes a pate option, which is available in Beef, Turkey, and Chicken flavors. 

PROS

The low cost of this food is a top selling point, as is the quality of the ingredients and the variety of flavors. This means you don’t have to compromise your dog’s nutrition to avoid busting your budget. Most dogs also appear to enjoy the taste of these recipes.

CONS

Some customers complain that the moisture content is a bit high. While cuts & gravy is supposed to be liquid with meaty morsels, this offering is reportedly a bit too heavy on the liquid.

14. Wellness CORE Weight Management Formula: Best Canned Food for Weight Loss

About: Mealtime for dogs on a diet doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy the same delicious and flavorful foods.

Wellness CORE Weight Management Formula is specifically designed for dogs that need to shed a few pounds, or keep the weight off, but it retains a rich meaty flavor. 

Wellness CORE Weight Management Formula

Wellness CORE Weight Management Formula

  • Low-calorie grain-free pate formula designed for weight loss
  • No corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • 5 high-quality protein sources featuring chicken, turkey & pork
  • Chicken is #1 ingredient

Features: Low in calories but high in protein, this soft pate is filled with several varieties of meat, including fish, turkey, chicken and pork.

The Weight Management Formula is grain-free and includes a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables.

You won’t find any by-products or preservatives in these 12.5 ounce cans. 

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Pork Liver, Whitefish...,

Chicken Meal, Turkey, Pea Flour, Potato Protein, Pea Fiber, Carrageenan, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Guar Gum, Ground Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Alfalfa Meal, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Sunflower Oil, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement.This is a naturally preserved product.

Options: There is only one flavor option for the Weight Management Formula, but they are sold in packs of 12 or 18 cans. 

PROS

This recipe is filled with healthy and natural ingredients that promote weight loss and good general health. It also includes a few “superfoods,” such as spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. 

CONS

There weren’t many complaints about this recipe, although the flavor seems to be a bit hit-or-miss with dogs. Additionally, the myriad proteins included in this recipe makes it completely inappropriate for many dogs with allergies.

15. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Chicken & Rice Entrée: Best Wet Food with Grains

About: If you’ve decided to stick with a grain-inclusive food for Fido, you’ll definitely want to consider Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Chicken & Rice Entrée.

Purina’s grain-filled options come in different flavor and texture varieties to suit the pickiest canine palates.  

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Chicken & Rice Entrée

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Chicken & Rice Entrée

  • Affordable canned formula
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Grain-inclusive formula with rice
  • Chicken as #1 ingredient

Features: SAVOR wet food comes in a variety of flavors and textures, and all are packed with protein as well as vitamins and minerals. It’s sold in both 5.5-ounce cans or in 13-ounce cans, so it’s a great option to mix with dry food or stand alone. 

Ingredients List

Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Liver, Meat By-Product, Rice...,

Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Carrageenan, Added Color, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite. D-4433.

Options: SAVOR comes in both pate or cuts in gravy, and it’s available in a wide variety of flavors like Beef, Lamb, Chicken, and Turkey.  

PROS

Finding a wet food that has grains can be difficult, but Purina Pro Plan offers a high quality alternative to the usual grain-free options. Additionally, most owners reported that their dog enjoyed the taste of these recipes.   

CONS

Some dogs experienced minor intestinal issues (primarily excessive gas) after eating this food. Others, however, digested it without issue. Also, we do not like that this recipe includes “meat by-product,” instead of a properly identified byproduct.

***

The endless varieties of wet dog food can be a bit dizzying, but the key is to understand your dog’s wants and needs Do you have a favorite wet food that your dog loves? Did we cover it on our list? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Valentina

Sorry, but you lost me at Purina. How could you choose a Purina food to even be on this list? And you have i multiple times. Then there’s Science Hill diet – wow. I won’t even go on. Please go look at the ratings on Dog Advisor – https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/wet/5-star/ before recommending these foods to unsuspecting dog owners.

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Candy Thompson

I have a picky tea cup chichaua, name Harley, he was eating fresh pet, stopped, I’ve gone out and bought a few of the wet foods that were mentioned above, he’s a blonde/ brindal in color. I started to cook chicken for him for morning and evening I just hope that I can start to transition him on wet food? He’s 5 months and begs already.

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