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 Best Wet Dog Foods
Here are the top 3 picks:
- Wellness: CORE Grain-Free Formula
- Taste of the Wild: High Prairie Grain-Free (Editor’s Choice)
- Blue Buffalo: Homestyle Recipe
1. Wellness: CORE Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken Liver & Turkey Liver Formula
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- The Main Dog Food Guide
- The Dry Dog Foods Guide
- The dog food for weight loss Guide
- The Sensitive stomach dog food guide
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.
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:
- 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.
Now that you know what to look for, good luck finding a perfect wet dog food for your pet pal.
More Top-Rated Wet Dog Foods Options
14. Natural Balance: L.I.D. Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Grain-Free
Got a pooch with extra sensitive tummy? You should be looking for a limited ingredient formula to avoid tummy troubles. Natural Balance L.I.D. Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe is the best-limited ingredient canned food out there. It has no additives, no grains, no fillers. It’s composed almost entirely of chicken and sweet potatoes. Cooked in chicken broth, these ingredients are enough to ensure a balanced meal for your pet. Essential nutrients like Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 are added to complete this formula.
15. Nutro: Hearty Stew Meaty Lamb, Green Bean & Carrot Cuts in Gravy Grain-Free
Serve your dog a premium meal with Nutro meaty lamb, green bean, and carrot stew! Your pooch with fall in love with you…all over again, meal after meal. The protein levels in this recipe are higher than most wet dog food formulas. Aside from lamb, there is pork and poultry in the mix as well. Then you have enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals to balance out the equation. Overall, the formula is created with larger breeds in mind but it can also work as an occasional protein boost for medium and smaller dogs.
16. Pedigree: Choice Cuts in Gravy Steak & Vegetable Flavor
Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy – Steak and Vegetable Flavor is a healthy wet dog food that can tempt the pickiest of eaters. Aside from lean proteins, it gives your dog all the essentials your it needs to maintain a healthy weight and a shiny coat. What’s more: your pooch gets enough fiber to absorb all those goodies out of those chunks in a delicious gravy. It is one of the best formulas for dogs that actually enjoy grain in their meal.
17. Royal Canin: Veterinary Diet Gastro-intestinal Low Fat Dog Food
Some dogs are born with sensitive tummies, some are born with extra sensitive tummies. If your dog is one the latter, you need a formula that is approved by vets. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat food is a gentle meal that doesn’t compromise on nutritional value. Your dog will get all the nutrients it needs plus a healthy amount of good bacteria to maintain gut health. You need your vet’s authorization to get this one.
18. Weruva: Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free
Weruva is a premium dog food brand that manufactures all its products in a human-grade facility. There Paw Lickin’ Chicken with Chicken Breast recipe will really make your pooch lick its paws off. You get lean chicken proteins plus a good amount of fiber and protein to aid digestion. It is low in carbs and does not contain any common allergens including corn gluten. So, if you want to pamper your pet friend with a gourmet meal, this is a wonderful option.
19. ALPO: Prime Cuts with Beef in Gravy
If your dog needs a high protein diet, Alpo Prime Cuts may be your best bet. Dry matter analysis shows that it has around 25% more proteins than average canned food and almost 50% more than dry kibble. The meat comes from poultry, beef, and various other sources. Moreover, you get almost 23 vitamins and minerals to ensure a balanced diet for your dog. It is a truly nourishing treat for meat-loving canines.
20. Hill’s: Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Original Flavor
*** Prescription Required
Hill’s has essentially the biggest range of veterinary approved dog food for different needs. Their Digestive Care Prescription i/d is one of the best-wet foods out there for dogs who suffer from severe digestive issues. It fulfills all the dietary requirements of your dog without risking stomach troubles. It is a formula developed with the help of nutritionists and vets. It will also help you maintain weight with a low-fat diet. The formula requires veterinary authorization.
21. Purina: ONE SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy Chicken & Brown Rice Entree Adult
Most dogs love this delicious blend of meat, grains, and vegetables. Purina One Smart Blend Chicken and Brown Rice is a powerful boost of nutrients. It has quality proteins for your pooch along with essential vitamins A and E. Rice adds a savory texture and enhances the taste of the gravy. You get plenty of antioxidants to keep the immune system running. You also get all the essential minerals such as Zinc and selenium for your pooch.
22. Rachael Ray: Nutrish Natural Rustic Duck Stew with Green Beans, Carrots & Brown Rice Natural
Rachel Ray Nutrish Naturally Delish Rustic Duck Stew is quite popular among the picky pooches. With 100% natural ingredients, this meal is as fresh as it can get. Your dog gets the delicious duck chunks in a mouthwatering stew. It is a protein-rich blend that also packs essential vitamins and minerals. it is a balanced diet with no harmful additives or fillers. Perfect for dogs with refined taste buds.
23. Royal Canin: Veterinary Diet Urinary SO
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO requires veterinary authorization because it is specifically formulated for dogs with urinary tract related issues. Since these problems are quite common, especially among dogs that are solely on dry food and don’t drink enough water, it seems appropriate to include. The formula can dilute the mineral build-up that can result in stones and might increase the amount of urine your dog passes out. If your dog has urinary tract problems, any vet will safely authorize this formula.
24. Diamond Naturals: Lamb Dinner Adult
If premium proteins and a powerful blend of antioxidants are what you look for in your dog’s food, you need Diamond Naturals Lamb Dinner. Diamond sources its meat from pasture-raised animals to ensure the finest quality of delicious and nutritious meals for your furbaby. That’s not all: there is a healthy amount of antioxidants and probiotics to keep your dog healthy, happy, and nourished. One of the best wet dog foods and a great choice for breeds that require a maximum amount of lean proteins. Highly Recommended!
25. Cesar: Classic Loaf in Sauce Grilled Chicken Flavor Dog Food Tray
Who can say no to grilled chicken? Cesar has created this classic grilled chicken recipe for picky eaters. This great-tasting treat is filled with nourishing nutrients and quality ingredients including the finest grilled chicken meat that tastes just as great as it smells. This is a completely balanced meal for dogs of all breeds. It has everything your dog needs to stay healthy. You can feed them right off the tray or use it as a kibble topper.
26. Purina: Beyond Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free
If your dog is a seafood lover and you are worried about the poor quality of most seafood-based dog meals, you need to bring home a can of Purina Beyond Ocean. For this recipe, Purina really goes beyond other brands and brings you the finest of the sea for your dog. The main ingredient is real Ocean Whitefish and chicken, cooked in delicious fish broth. It is a balanced formula free of all the additives that aren’t good for your buddy.
27. Nature’s Recipe: Easy-To-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground
If your dog loves chicken and rice recipes, fill its bowl with Nature’s Recipe Chicken Rice and Barley Homestyle Ground. It is not just any rice; it is brewer’s rice that is packed with more nutritional value and is easier to digest as compared to white rice. Your dog will get quality proteins along with essential minerals and vitamins. The rice and barely add a good amount of carbs and fiber to give your pet pal the energy to stay happy and active all day.
Reference and resources:
Now that you know what the top ones are, good luck finding the best wet dog food for your best friend. Cheers!