The 6 Best Healthy 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 to 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.
At a Glance: The Best Healthy Wet Dog Foods to Buy
Here 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 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 ingredient 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 Do You Choose the Best Wet Dog Food?
If you intend to purchase wet dog food, it is crucial to carefully examine the list of ingredients. It is recommended that the primary ingredient is a high-grade source of animal protein. Canines are biologically adapted to derive their nutrients from animal-based sources rather than plant-based ones. Therefore, it is essential to guarantee that the majority of the protein and fat in their diet originates from meat, poultry, and fish.
While plant-based fats are acceptable, they must be consumed in moderation and should be used to balance out 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 are 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.
Carrageenan frequently serves as a thickening agent in low-grade dog foods, and some researchers assert that it could trigger adverse reactions, although further investigation is necessary.
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.