The 6 Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods

Dog Food Nutrition October 4, 2021
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The 6 Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods

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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

Overall Best
Open Farm Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend Wet Food

1. Open Farm Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend Wet Food

Best Affordable
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Dog Food

2. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Dog Food

Best For Puppies
Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe

3. Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe

Best For Seniors
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food

Best For Allergies
Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

5. Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Best Organic
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food

6. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food

Protein
7% Min
Protein
9.5% Min
Protein
10% Min
Protein
8% Min
Protein
9% Min
Protein
7% Min
Fat
5.5% Min
Fat
6% Min
Fat
5% Min
Fat
6% Min
Fat
4% Min
Fat
6% Min
Fiber
2% Max
Fiber
1.4% Max
Fiber
1.8% Max
Fiber
1.5% Max
Fiber
1% Max
Fiber
1% Max
Calories
1025 kcal/cup
Calories
428 kcal/cup
Calories
383 kcal/cup
Calories
437 kcal/cup
Calories
381 kcal/cup
Calories
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.

Overall Best
1.

Open Farm Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend Wet Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 7% Min
  • Fat: 5.5% Min
  • Fiber: 2% Max
  • Calories: 1025 kcal/cup
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Fairly expensive compared to the average dog food
  • Contains several plant-based ingredients
If your dog suffers from pancreatitis, he needs a high-quality, easily digestible diet that focuses on animal-based protein and avoids inflammatory ingredients. This Open Farm turkey flavor wet food is a great choice for dogs with pancreatitis.

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.
Best Affordable
2.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 9.5% Min
  • Fat: 6% Min
  • Fiber: 1.4% Max
  • Calories: 428 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • Grain-free digestible carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
Cons
  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • No probiotic supplements
If you want to feed your dog wet food but you’re worried about the cost, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Food is an excellent option. This brand is made by Merrick, so you can rest easy knowing it is high in quality. Choose from several recipes including adult and puppy recipes as well as multiple protein options – you can also choose between traditional and grain-free recipes. Each formula contains real meat as the first ingredient with digestible carbohydrates, healthy fats, and chelated minerals. Plus, it is free from artificial additives and low-quality fillers.
Best For Puppies
3.

Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe

Product Info

  • Protein: 10% Min
  • Fat: 5% Min
  • Fiber: 1.8% Max
  • Calories: 383 kcal/cup
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)
To get your puppy started on the right foot, choose a high-quality wet puppy food like this Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate Wet Food. Made with real chicken and duck, this recipe is protein-rich with grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas. This recipe is completely free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and it is made in the USA. It features fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients but also contains chelated minerals.
Best For Seniors
4.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 8% Min
  • Fat: 6% Min
  • Fiber: 1.5% Max
  • Calories: 437 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Formulated specifically for senior dogs
  • Several sources of high-quality animal protein
  • Supplemented with organ meats and chelated minerals
Cons
  • Thickened with carrageenan, some dogs may be sensitive
  • No probiotic supplements
As your dog gets older, its nutritional needs will change slightly. This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Recipe Wet Food is designed to meet those changing needs through the use of wholesome and high-quality ingredients. This recipe features turkey and chicken as the main ingredients with grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas. It also contains nutrient-rich organ meats with plenty of healthy fats and chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.
Best For Allergies
5.

Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 9% Min
  • Fat: 4% Min
  • Fiber: 1% Max
  • Calories: 381 kcal/cup
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Very expensive to feed as a staple diet
  • Main source of fat is plant-based (sunflower oil)
If your dog suffers from food allergies, you need to find a high-quality recipe made with a novel protein and a limited number of ingredients like this Zignature Kangaroo Formula Wet Food. This recipe features kangaroo as the main ingredient which is a novel source of protein with a low risk for triggering allergies or sensitivities. It also contains grain-free carbohydrates like peas, carrots, and chickpeas with plenty of essential fatty acids, fresh fruits and veggies, and chelated minerals.
Best Organic
6.

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 7% Min
  • Fat: 6% Min
  • Fiber: 1% Max
  • Calories: kcal/12.7 oz can
Pros
  • Made with organic whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Cooked to preserve nutritional integrity
  • Chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
Cons
  • Expensive to feed as a staple diet
When it comes to quality nutrition, you can’t do much better than Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dog Food. This dog food features organic carbohydrates like organic potatoes, blueberries, and peas with organic fruits and vegetables to provide nutritional balance and dietary fiber. The main ingredient is organic Turkey which is a rich source of complete protein as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

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.

Final Remarks

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.

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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