The 8 Best Wet Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

This (updated) guide covers all of the best wet dog foods available right now.

When choosing dog food for my dogs, all things being equal, their preference matters.

Wet food can often be pricer than their kibble counterparts, but they usually pack more proteins for your pup. Wet foods are usually low in fat, high in fiber, and contain just the right amount of carbs. Dogs find the smell of wet food irresistible and are eager to get to their bowls.

So after hours of research, ingredient analysis, product comparison, and more (here my full 40 point inspection list)  – I have reviewed all of the top-rated foods for your pup.

Let’s dive in…

The 8 Best Wet Dog Foods

Best Wet Dog FoodsRatingsTop Ingredients
1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Formula4.9Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth..
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free
(Editor’s Choice)
4.8Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal..
3. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe4.8Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver…
4. American Journey Chicken and Vegetable Stew4.7Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Broth…
5. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Classic Chicken & Rice Entree4.7Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Liver..
6. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe4.7Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver…
7. Holistic Select Chicken Pate Recipe Grain-Free4.6Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver…
8. Merrick Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout4.6Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth..

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

How to — Change your pet’s food

Top 13 Wet Dog Foods

1. Wellness: CORE Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken Liver & Turkey Liver Formula

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Chicken Meal

We all want our dogs to love us for the choices we make for them, and poultry-based foods are a favorite of many canine’s tummies.

And whether your dog likes chicken or turkey best, this offering by Wellness has them covered. Wellness CORE is mainly comprised of turkey meat enhanced with a blend of turkey and chicken livers.

It is a high protein formula that has around 50% more protein than most wet dog foods on the market. Even other products from Wellness don’t have that much protein. It contains delicious turkey and chicken liver, and uses chicken broth as the key source of moisture. One of the best wet dog food available right now!


2. Taste of the Wild: High Prairie Grain-Free

Top Ingredients: Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes

There is hardly a best dog food list that is complete without Taste of the Wild dog food.

Their High Prairie Grain-Free recipe is one of the most trusted wet dog food products around. You get powerful protein sources such as beef, lamb, and bison. There is also roasted venison to give your pet all the nutrients it needs to maintain optimum health.

The meat, however, isn’t the only reason we have this one on our top spot. Other ingredients in this formula show that this product was created with your pet’s actual needs in mind. Overall, a perfectly balanced meal that is delicious and easy on the tummy.


3. Blue Buffalo: Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

A good recipe doesn’t have to be complicated – that is something I have learned while searching for the best dog foods.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with garden vegetables proves that point. It is actually the kind of meal you would prepare at home. It is made with fresh ingredients, and with the same amount of care as home made. The only difference is that you get a perfect balance every time with this can.

What I really love about this recipe is the addition of biotin that makes it perfect for thick-coated breeds.


4. American Journey: Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg White, Carrots

No dog can resist a good stew, especially when it is a mix of chicken broth and beef broth. American Journey’s chicken and Vegetable formula is another great example of why you don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to keep your dog healthy and active. It is a simple formula that provides balanced nutrition and keeps your dog safe from allergies and tummy troubles.

American Journey is a US-based brand that stands by their claims of using the finest ingredients from the most trusted sources. In this case, not only do they have quality ingredients, they have a product that is free of fillers, grain, and by-products that can trigger sensitivities.

Your dog will get the essential fatty acids and amino acids, plus plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Overall, it is a highly recommended recipe for dogs that are likely to gain fat faster than lean muscle. This meal helps to maintain the desired balance.


5. Purina: Pro Plan Savor Adult Classic Chicken & Rice Entree

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Liver, Meat By Products, Rice, Guar Gum

There is a reason this one is a classic favorite of thousands of dog owners out there. This recipe was formulated to provide your four-legged friend with a perfectly balanced diet while keeping it safe and healthy. It has a powerful punch of proteins from quality sources, plus you get beneficial ingredients such as carrageenan, a known immune system enhancer.

You get the right amount of carbs, fiber, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids with this one. Purina Pro Plan is great for dogs that fall sick often or lack the energy to stay active. It can also be great for dogs that are recovering from illness, and is even appropriate for senior dogs.


6. Blue Buffalo: Homestyle Recipe Beef Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Sweet Potatoes

Top Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Carrots, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

For dogs that prefer beef over anything else, this is a simple recipe that is loaded with healthy beefy proteins and all the essential nutrients. Those simple yet quality proteins are complemented with all the essential nutrients your dog needs for a healthy diet.

These goodies come from vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots that also add a dose of carbohydrates. Not to forget, there are cranberries and other ingredients that boost the immune system and metabolism.


7. Holistic: Select Chicken Pate Recipe Grain-Free

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Whitefish, Ground Dried Peas, Potato Protein

What I love about Holistic Dog Food is that it has a different formulas for different needs. The grain-free formula is ideal for dogs with grain allergies, sensitivities, or digestive issues. Other than quality proteins, this can is full of premium probiotics for healthy digestion and metabolism.

A blend of beneficial fruits such as papaya and pumpkin add a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. What’s more: There are omega 3 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat.


8. Merrick: Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout

Top Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Peas, Dried Egg Product

No one cooks beef better than cowboys, and no one can appreciate a well-cooked beef better than a meat-loving dog. That is the inspiration behind Merrick’s Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout dog food.

It is a perfect stew brewed in beef broth with delicious deboned beef that provides loads of protein and a number of greens and fruits that enhance the flavor. It is a grain-free, balanced meal that will get your pooch’s tail wagging every time.


9. Iams: ProActive Health Senior With Slow Cooked Chicken & Rice

Top Ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat By-Products, Chicken, Chicken By-Products, Brewers Rice, Wheat Flour

There are many reasons why senior dogs become picky eaters.  They may not be able to digest as well as they used to, and their teeth and sense of smell aren’t top-notch anymore.  This formula by IAMs proactive health keeps all those factors and mind and gives your dog a palatable meat that can also fulfill their dietary requirements.

It promotes good muscular and bone health in seniors while keeping their coat shiny and healthy. All the amazing ingredients are slow-cooked to avoid loss of flavor and nutrients.


10. Nature’s Recipe: Grain-Free Chicken Recipe in Broth

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Canola Oil

When it comes to flavor, there are very few dog food brands that get it as good as Nature’s Recipe. Their grain-free chicken variant is one of their best flavors.

Your dog gets bits of real chicken in chicken broth along with a number of vitamins, fibers, and minerals. The formula is grain-free and natural, so it is good for sensitives ones as well.


11. Wellness: Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes Grain-Free

Top Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef Liver, Carrots, Egg Whites, Peas

Wellness knows how to make a magical blend of quality meet and good greens. Their Beef Stew with carrot and potatoes is a prime example of how well they know this secret. You get loads of good proteins plus all the essentials required for a balanced meal every time.

Plus, it is free of unwanted ingredients like fillers, low quality grains, and additives that can trigger a sensitive stomach. Wellness uses a slow-cooked process to make sure you get the best taste and more nutrients.


12. Hill’s: Science Diet Adult Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew

Over the years, Hill’s has established quite a reputation because of all the R&D that backs their products. Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew is a great example of how their dog food maintains a healthy balance between tasty and healthy ingredients.

This formula works well for dogs that eat a lot and gain weight too easily. It will help them maintain a good muscle to fat ratio in their bodies. You can let them eat without worrying about the pounds.


13. Wellness: Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Grain-Free

In nature, dogs can survive on a meat-only diet. It is actually good for them in many ways. Some breeds still need meat protein more than anything else. And that is where Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Grain-Free recipe comes in.

Chicken is the first and, in a way, the only main ingredient you get. The formula is rich in lean protein and makes for a great option for large muscular breeds. If you feel your dog isn’t getting enough protein with the kibble, you can even use it as a kibble topper.


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FAQs

Now that you have seen the top five picks, you may have some questions. So let’s tackle those before we move on to the next foods. Hopefully, we’ve got you covered with the following questions:

Is wet dog food better than dry dog food?

Wet dog food differs from dry dog food in ways other than the texture and consistency. It usually has more high-quality meat proteins and less fat and carb. Plus, it has more moisture to keep your dog hydrated. The ingredients in a can are closer to their natural form as compared to kibble.

Why do dogs prefer wet dog food?

Since wet dog food is closer to the natural form of the ingredients, especially meat, most dogs devour it with more interest. It is juicier and easier to chew than kibbles. Dogs also love the aroma of wet food as it is stronger than that of dry food.

What form of wet dog food is the best?

It depends largely on your dog’s preference and needs. if your dog is a big water drinker, or is prone to kidney and urinary tract issues, stew or gravy forms can be more beneficial.

Can I mix wet dog food and dry dog food?

As long as both the products are of high quality, there is nothing wrong with mixing dry and wet dog food. Many dogs prefer it that way.

How much wet food dog does a dog need?

It varies according to your dog’s weight, age, breed, and activity level. While a rough estimate is 3 oz per 3 pounds a day, divided into 2 or 3 meals, it is better to focus on your dog’s caloric requirements. Always consult the label for the recommended amount, if in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Is wet dog food easier to digest?

With more moisture content,  wet dog food is generally easier to digest. It can prevent bloating and other tummy issues even for the sensitive ones.

Is wet dog food bad for dog’s teeth?

While wet dog food isn’t exactly bad for your dog’s oral health, it may not be as good as dry kibble. You will need to include teeth cleaning treats and following a brushing regimen to keep a balance.

What are the side effects of wet dog food?

Wet dog food has more benefits than dry dog food. The side effects are usually associated with lower quality canned food that is over-processed and contains unsafe ingredients.

Is wet food good for puppies?

Wet food is good for puppies who are weaning. It is easier for them to chew and digest. It also fulfills their higher moisture requirements.

Is a wet-food-only diet good for dogs?

Yes, wet food only diet is absolutely great for dogs. It will keep them hydrated and keep renal and intestinal issues at bay. Cost is usually the only reason most people do not follow a wet only diet for their dogs.

Is wet dog food good for weight loss?

Yes, wet dog food contains less fat and fewer carbs. It is perfect for dogs on a weight watch. It can also help dogs gain more lean mass due to a higher amount of quality proteins.

Does wet dog food have lower protein than dry dog foods?

No, wet food has more protein than most dry dog food. The amount of crude protein on the label seems lower because of high moisture content. Dry matter analysis can reveal that the actual percentage of protein, which is around 40% to 60% for most products.

How often should a dog eat wet food?

Wet dog food is completely safe and even healthier than dry dog food. Your dog can eat it as often as it likes. You can even keep your dog on a wet food only diet.

How long does wet dog food last once opened?

Once opened, you can keep a can or tray of wet dog food in a refrigerator for around three days. Do keep an eye on signs of spoil such as bad smell or worms. Throw it away if it seems too different from how it was at the time of opening.

Can you warm up wet dog food?

Yes, most wet dog foods are microwaveable. Most brands recommend heating the refrigerated food before serving it to your dog. Dogs prefer warm meals.

Wet Dog Foods Buyer’s Guide

As I said earlier, there are tons of canned dog foods out there and they can all seem like a great option. Keeping in mind that it’s easier to get your dog to eat what they prefer,  go for something your buddy really seems to enjoy. Something that will have a positive impact on your dog’s physical health, energy levels, and overall well being.

These are just a few of the indicators that show the product is working for your pooch.

However:

When you are out there with the intention of finding something better or the best, you need to put your thinking cap on and read between the labels to make the best decision.

First, we need to settle whether your dog needs wet food of not.

Wet Dog Food vs. Dry Dog Food

I know there is a lot of high-quality kibble out there but wet food does have some advantages. They are easy to digest and contain ingredients closer to their natural form. Processing is often minimal and that is how they retain a higher amount of proteins and other nutrients. Additionally, it contains more moisture than dry food, helping to keep your dog hydrated.

It is a very good option for picky eaters.

One downside, however, is that it may not be as good for teeth and gums as kibble. Also, since dogs are naturally used to the crunchiness of bones, they enjoy a similar texture in kibbles. You can mix dry and wet dog food to give them a bit of both.

Textures of Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food is available in different forms or texture. It can be a good idea to give your dog a mixture of different textures to keep meals interesting for it. Common textures include:

  • Pate
  • Minced
  • Ground
  • Stew
  • Bits or chunks

Bit and chunks are usually in a gravy, jelly, or broth, and tend to have the highest moisture content as compared to minced or pate.

What to Look for in the best wet dog food?

When buying wet dog food, look for the following factors:

  • Meat as the First Ingredient – When the meat is the first ingredient, you know your dog will get the highest quality proteins from its meal. A dog can enjoy all kinds of meat from poultry to beef and from fish to rare exotic meat.
  • Grain-Free or Whole Grains – If your dog isn’t sensitive to grains, you can skip grain-free and choose food with quality whole grains such as barley and brown rice. These grains pack a healthy dose of carbs essential to an active dog.
  • Nutritious Vegetables – Good vegetables like carrot and potatoes are common thickeners in many wet foods and they have nutritional benefits as well. However, I wouldn’t recommend products that list a vegetable in the first three ingredients.
  • No Fillers – Wet dog food is less likely to contain fillers than dry dog food. But it is best to keep an eye for ingredients such as corn or soy.
  • Additives – Make sure the food you buy is free from additives such as preservatives, colorings, and flavors.

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