The 6 Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods
This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More
When it comes to dog food, you have two primary options – wet or dry.
Dry dog food is also known as kibble and it is the most popular choice because it is cost-effective, easy to feed, and has a long shelf-life. There are, however, many benefits of wet food that you should consider.
It may be a little more expensive, but it also tends to be higher in protein and moisture than dry food.
Plus, many dogs find wet food more palatable.
Keep reading to learn more about your dogs’ nutritional requirements and to receive some tips for picking the best wet dog food to meet those needs.
You’ll also receive our top 6 picks for the best wet dog food.
At A Glance: Best Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods To Buy:
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods
1. Open Farm Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend Wet Food
2. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Dog Food
Best For Puppies
3. Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe
Best For Seniors
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food
Best For Allergies
5. Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
6. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food
kcal/12.7 oz can
The Top 6 Best Wet Dog Foods Reviewed
Now that you have a better understanding of your dog’s nutritional needs, you can see how important it is to choose a high-quality dog food. Wet dog food provides an excellent source of protein and moisture in addition to meeting your dog’s basic needs for calories and nutrients.
Open Farm Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend Wet Food
- Protein: 7% Min
- Fat: 5.5% Min
- Fiber: 2% Max
- Calories: 1025 kcal/cup
- Single source of high-quality animal protein
- No fillers, animal by-products, or vaguely named ingredients
- Contains the moisture your dog needs for hydration
- Made from 100% human-grade, ethically sourced ingredients
- Fairly expensive compared to the average dog food
- Contains several plant-based ingredients
This wet food features humanely raised turkey as the primary ingredient and single source of animal-based protein. Turkey bone broth provides moisture and natural turkey flavor, making this recipe both palatable and easy for your dog to digest.
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Dog Food
- Protein: 9.5% Min
- Fat: 6% Min
- Fiber: 1.4% Max
- Calories: 428 kcal/cup
- Real meat is always the first ingredient
- Grain-free digestible carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes
- Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
- Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
- No probiotic supplements
Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe
- Protein: 10% Min
- Fat: 5% Min
- Fiber: 1.8% Max
- Calories: 383 kcal/cup
- Made with real chicken and duck as main ingredients
- Digestible grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas
- Fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals
- Contains some plant protein (pea protein)
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food
- Protein: 8% Min
- Fat: 6% Min
- Fiber: 1.5% Max
- Calories: 437 kcal/cup
- Formulated specifically for senior dogs
- Several sources of high-quality animal protein
- Supplemented with organ meats and chelated minerals
- Thickened with carrageenan, some dogs may be sensitive
- No probiotic supplements
Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- Protein: 9% Min
- Fat: 4% Min
- Fiber: 1% Max
- Calories: 381 kcal/cup
- Made with a high-quality, single source of novel animal protein
- Grain-free digestible carbohydrates like peas and carrots
- Fresh fruits and vegetables for nutrients
- Very expensive to feed as a staple diet
- Main source of fat is plant-based (sunflower oil)
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food
- Protein: 7% Min
- Fat: 6% Min
- Fiber: 1% Max
- Calories: kcal/12.7 oz can
- Made with organic whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Cooked to preserve nutritional integrity
- Chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
- Expensive to feed as a staple diet
Special Dietary Needs of Dogs
Before you can start shopping for wet dog food, you need to understand the basics about your dog’s nutritional needs. All dogs require a protein-rich diet to support lean muscle mass with healthy fats for energy and digestible carbohydrates. They also need certain vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
Here are some of the top things to look for in wet dog food:
- Quality Protein. A high-quality animal protein should always be the first ingredient in your dog’s food, so look for meat, poultry, and fish. Your dog needs a minimum of 18% protein, but most wet dog foods are much higher.
- Healthy Fats. Fat provides your dog with a concentrated source of energy and at least 5% of its adult diet should come from this nutrient. Look for quality animal sources like chicken fat and salmon oil instead of plant sources like canola oil.
- Digestible Carbs. Many wet dog foods are grain-free, even if they are not labeled as such. Still, you need to check the list to make sure the product doesn’t contain wheat, corn, or soy ingredients. Instead, look for digestible carbs like whole grain brown rice and fresh vegetables.
- No Artificial Additives. If you compare the ingredients list for wet food versus dry food, the wet food list will probably be shorter but you still need to check for artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. These provide no benefit for your dog and could trigger a negative reaction.
Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best wet dog food. Here’s what you need to know:
How To Choose The Best Wet Dog Food?
When shopping for wet dog food, the first place to look is the list of ingredients. If the first ingredient is not a high-quality source of animal protein, put the can back on the shelf.
Dogs are evolved to derive nutrition from animal sources more efficiently than plant sources, so most of the protein and fat in your dog’s diet should come from meat, poultry, and fish. Plant-based fats are okay as a supplemental source to ensure the proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
In addition to protein and fat, check the label for digestible carbohydrates. Things like whole-grain brown rice, oatmeal, or cracked pearled barley are good options as well as starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. Make sure the recipe contains plenty of fiber (but not more than 5% crude fiber) with beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.
Not only should you check the label to make sure the product contains healthy ingredients, but you should also make sure it doesn’t contain harmful ones. Many low-quality dog foods are thickened with carrageenan, for example, which some researchers believe may cause a negative reaction, though the jury is still out.
You should also avoid artificial flavors and colors which provide no nutritional value and chemical preservatives which can be toxic.
How Much Wet Food Should You Feed Your Dog?
The amount you feed your dog depends on its age, weight, and breed. Small-breed dogs need a higher concentration of calories in their diet than larger dogs because they have fast metabolisms. In terms of the amount they eat, however, it only makes sense that a small dog would eat less than a large dog.
When it comes to feeding your dog wet food, you’ll need to pay close attention to the feeding recommendations on the can because every product is different in terms of calories and different wet foods come in different-sized cans.
What About Wet Food Allergies And Sensitivities?
All dogs have the potential to develop food allergies and sensitivities. If your dog has frequent ear infections or skin problems, it could be an issue with the food he’s eating. The most common food allergens for dogs are low-quality grains like corn and wheat as well as proteins like pork and beef.
If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity, try switching to a grain-free recipe or a limited ingredient diet. If that doesn’t work, talk to your vet about the possibility of an underlying problem.
In the end it is a matter of preference whether you choose dry dog food or wet dog food for your dog. Take what you’ve learned here to make a smart choice or try one of our top picks for the best wet dog food if you’re not sure where to start.