Best Wet Dog Food: Reviewed for 2021

Published: August 5, 2021


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There are a number of benefits associated with feeding a dog wet food. Wet food has a higher amount of protein and fewer carbs and fat than most dry kibble. Wet food can also be better for sensitive stomach issues since it is easier to digest due to the higher moisture content.

Additionally, dogs often prefer the taste of wet food over dry food. It is more aromatic and more closely resembles real food than dry dog kibble. Many owners opt to feed their dog an all-wet-food diet, while others use wet food as a topper to add moisture to dry kibble and make it more appealing for pickier eaters.

However, it is important to keep in mind that all wet foods are not created equal. Some options on the market are clearly superior to others, and you want to be careful to choose the right food that will meet the nutritional and caloric requirements of your pup. Your dog’s age, weight, breed, and activity level will all play a role in deciding which wet food is best for them. Read through our reviews of some of the top wet dog foods currently available, including our number 1 overall top pick, to make the right selection for your canine friend!

The Top Picks for Wet Dog Food: Ranked

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Purina ONE Grain Free, Natural Pate Wet Dog Food, SmartBlend True Instinct With Beef & Wild Caught Salmon - (12) 13 oz. Cans
  • Twelve (12) 13 Oz. Cans - Purina One Smart Blend True Instinct Natural Grain-Free Classic Ground With Beef & Wild Caught Salmon Adult Wet Dog Food
  • Real Beef Is The #1 Ingredient
  • No Poultry By-Products
  • Sources Of Antioxidants Help Support His Healthy Immune System
  • Omega Fatty Acids Help Support His Healthy Skin And Coat

After testing and comparing multiple wet dog foods, we selected the Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food as our number one overall pick. This food is available in a variety of delectable flavors including Grain Free Beef & Wild-Caught Salmon, Grain Free Chicken & Duck, Grain Free Game Bird, Beef & Wild-Caught Salmon, Chicken & Duck, and Turkey & Venison. The availability of both grain-free and grain versions means that individuals looking for good food for allergies to help their pup may find that this is a great option.

Each can of wet food features real meat or poultry as the first ingredient, meaning these are high-protein options to help keep your dog healthy. In fact, this food contains 30% protein to help dogs grow strong and healthy. The recipe includes healthy and safe ingredients and is free of fillers like wheat, corn, or soy.

This canned dog food is also made without the use of any artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or artificial colors to help you feel confident you’re offering your dog the best possible nutrition. Purina challenges users to take the Purina ONE 28-day challenge. They say that after 28 days numerous dogs see an improvement in their coat, teeth, gums, eyes, and energy level.

The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct wet food is sold in packs of 12 13-ounce cans. Compared to other more expensive foods, this food is a better value for those looking to save money without compromising nutrition.

Click here to check out Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Natural Skin & Coat Care Adult Wet Dog Food, Whitefish 12.5-oz cans (Pack of 12)
  • SENSITIVE SKIN DOG FOOD: Our Perfect Coat adult dog food is made with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids clinically proven to support healthy skin and shiny coat
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS RECOMMENDED BY VETERINARIANS: BLUE True Solutions is a natural dog food made with the finest ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • STARTS WITH HIGH-QUALITY WHITEFISH: This delicious wet dog food is formulated with wholesome ingredients including fruits and vegetables to help care for your adult dog’s sensitive skin, naturally
  • MADE WITHOUT WHEAT: Unlike many other canned dog foods, BLUE never uses wheat as a thickener in our wet food. True Solutions science based dog food has NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, and NO corn, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains twelve (12) 12.5 oz. cans of BLUE True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Adult Wet Dog Food Whitefish

If you’re looking for the best wet food for skin and coat, you’ll definitely want to consider Blue Buffalo’s True Solutions Perfect Coat Canned Food. The recipe is formulated with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are designed to help improve a dog’s skin health and make their coat shinier.

The reason this food is good for skin and coat improvement lies in the high-quality ingredients selected by Blue Buffalo. The irresistible whitefish flavor boasts healthy whitefish as the first ingredient. Other key ingredients include blueberries, cranberries, and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, which will also contribute to skin health. The added vitamin E and vitamin C also help to support a dog’s immune system.

This is also good food for allergies since skin issues are the result of allergies. The formula is free of wheat, which is a common allergen among dogs. Additionally, this food does not contain poultry by-product meals, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors, which could also trigger allergies or cause skin issues.

Click here to check out Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat

PEDIGREE Puppy Canned Wet Dog Food Chopped Ground Dinner with Chicken & Beef, (12) 13.2 oz. Cans
  • Contains Twelve (12) 13.2 Oz. Cans Of Pedigree Puppy Chopped Ground Dinner With Chicken & Beef Canned Wet Dog Food
  • Pedigree Puppy Food Is Formulated With Dha To Help Support Brain Development
  • Made With Real Chicken And Beef For An Irresistable Taste Dogs Will Love
  • Pedigree Puppy Canned Wet Dog Food Is 100% Complete & Balanced
  • Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Dog Food Is Made In The Usa With The World'S Finest Ingredients.

Treat your new puppy to a balanced and nutritious meal with the Pedigree Puppy Ground Dinner Wet Dog Food. This food for puppies is formulated with DHA to help a young puppy’s brain to develop properly. There are two tasty flavors: Chicken & Beef and Lamb & Rice.

Each can feature finely chopped pieces made with real chicken or lamb that will be easy for puppies to chew. However, the recipe is still plenty hearty to ensure young pups get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Since this wet food is specifically formulated for the puppy stage, you can feel confident that you are offering the best possible food to ensure your dog develops as he should.

Each case includes 12 13-ounce cans. You’ll receive a lot more food for the money compared to several other brands, making these a great value choice too.

Click here to check out Pedigree Puppy Ground Dinner Wet Canned Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food, Adult 7+ Savory Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.8 oz, 12 Pack
  • High-quality protein to help your senior dog maintain lean muscle
  • Made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients mature dogs enjoy
  • Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote a healthy heart and healthy bones in older dogs. Caloric content:327 kcal / 12.8 oz (363 g) can
  • Heavenly wet food made with natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA with global ingredients you can trust

Your senior dog deserves only the best. We think Hill’s Science Diet’s Senior wet food is the best option for senior dogs. The formula is designed for dogs who are at least 7 years old and includes high-quality proteins to ensure dogs are able to maintain their lean muscle. The minerals in the food are balanced to help keep the heart, kidneys, and bones of older dogs healthy.

Another reason this is a superb food for senior dogs is that all of the ingredients were purposefully selected since they are easily digestible. This also makes this a good choice for sensitive stomach issues.

This food comes in a delicious Beef & Vegetable Stew flavor. Senior pups with dental issues love the softer consistency that is easy to chew.

Click here to check out Hill's Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food

Switching to a New Wet Dog Food

Whether you’re switching from dry kibble to wet food or from one wet food brand to another, it is important to make the transition slowly. Switching cold turkey won’t give your dog time to adjust to the new food and can lead to digestive problems and an upset stomach.

Slowly transition to the new food over a period of about nine days. You’ll want to start with just a small amount of the new food mixed with a greater portion of the old food. Use the following guidelines to help you make the switch:

  • Day 1: 20% new food, 80% old food
  • Day 2: 30% new food, 70% old food
  • Day 3: 40% new food, 60% old food
  • Day 4: 50% new food, 50% old food
  • Day 5: 60% new food, 40% old food
  • Day 6: 70% new food, 30% old food
  • Day 7: 80% new food, 20% old food
  • Day 8: 90% new food, 10% old food
  • Day 9: 100% new food

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Ideal Wet Dog Food

Choosing the right food for a canine friend is an important responsibility. You want to make sure you find a food that they not only enjoy, but that will also deliver the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life. Since all wet foods on the market are not the same, you’ll want to take time to carefully compare the various options out there. Use the features we highlighted below to help you with your search.

Ingredients

As with any other dog food, premium ingredients are key when selecting wet food for your dog. Look for wet foods that list meat as their first ingredient. This will help you feel more confident that your dog is getting a good serving of quality protein. Vegetables can also be a good ingredient found in dog food, but you probably don’t want them to be listed as one of the first three ingredients. Unless your dog has a grain sensitivity, look for nutritious whole grains like brown rice or barley too.

Avoid purchasing wet foods that list any fillers, like corn or soy. You should also skip wet foods with preservatives, colors, “flavors,” or other additives that may be potentially harmful.

Age and Breed

The nutritional needs of puppies and adult or senior dogs vary. Choose a dog food that is formulated for the stage of life your dog is in to help make sure their nutritional needs are being met. Also, the nutritional requirements of a dog can vary from one breed to another. Some wet foods may be formulated for a specific breed, more active dogs (like Border Collies), or less active dogs.

Texture

Wet foods come in different textures. Unless your dog seems to have a strong preference towards one texture or a dislike of other textures, it is often a good idea to rotate through different textures. This can help keep mealtime more interesting for your dog and ensure they eat their food well. Some textures you may see include ground, minced, pate, bits and chunks, and stews.

Health Concerns

Finally, if your dog has any health concerns or dietary restrictions, keep those in mind as you are shopping for wet dog food. When choosing a food for allergies, for example, veterinarians often recommend grain-free formulas.

Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Wet Dog Food: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What wet food do vets recommend?

The wet foods a veterinarian recommends will likely depend on the dog’s age, breed, activity level, and any health concerns. Some brands that Veterinarians often recommend include Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Purina Pro Plan.

Is wet food better for dogs?

Many pet owners prefer to feed their dogs wet food since it is typically made using higher-quality proteins and does not contain as many carbs or fat as dry dog food does. By nature, wet food is also moister than dry food, which can help make sure a dog stays hydrated. Additionally, in most cases, the ingredients found in wet food are in a more natural form than what you’d find in dry food.

What is the best selling wet dog food?

Some of the best-selling dog foods on Amazon include:

Can I mix a combination of dry and wet dog food together?

Yes, wet and dry dog food can be mixed together. Many owners mix a little wet food in with dry food to make the food more appealing and tastier for their dogs. However, keep in mind that when mixing foods, it is important to make sure both the wet and dry foods are designed to match the dietary needs of your dog. This means that you should avoid mixing dry puppy food with wet adult food.

Is canned dog food better for digestion?

Yes, wet food is often easier for dogs to digest. If you are looking for sensitive stomach foods, wet food is often recommended for this reason. The higher moisture content means bloating and other digestive issues can often be avoided.

How long is wet dog food good when unopened?

The length of time unopened wet food will last will vary based on the brand and how long after manufacturing you purchased the can. The expiration date on a can is typically found on the bottom of the can. In some cases, wet food may last for up to three years.

How long can wet food remain in the bowl?

If wet food has been in the dog’s bowl for more than four hours, it is more likely to become contaminated by bacteria. Since these bacteria could potentially cause diseases, you should be sure to pick up any food that remains after four hours.

How long does canned food last once it’s open?

The longest you should keep an open can of dog food is five days. After opening, be sure to cover and refrigerate the can to help it stay fresher.

Why do dogs like wet dog food better than kibble?

Dogs seem to enjoy eating wet food more than dry food. This is likely because it is easier to chew and juicier than dry kibble. Wet food also lets off a stronger smell that may attract dogs, and includes ingredients that more closely resemble their natural form compared to dry kibble.

How much wet food does a dog need?

The amount of wet food a dog will need can vary based on their age, weight, activity level, and breed. Many cans of dog food will offer guidance as to how much food should be fed based on weight, but generally speaking, dogs should consume about 3 ounces of wet food for every 3 pounds of weight. Always check with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s nutritional and caloric needs are being met.

Can wet dog food negatively affect a dog’s dental hygiene?

Without regular brushing and teeth cleanings, wet food may cause more dental issues for dogs. When dogs chew dry kibble, it can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, but this doesn’t happen with wet food.

Can I feed my puppy wet food?

Yes, wet food can be good for puppies. Puppies who are just weaning will have an easier time chewing and digesting wet food. It will also help puppies stay hydrated since they require greater amounts of moisture than older dogs.

Can dogs be fed only wet food?

When you choose high-quality wet foods formulated with premium ingredients, a diet comprised of only wet food can be good for dogs. However, keep in mind that exclusively feed a dog wet food is not always the value option many owners are looking for, so it is not as economically friendly.

Can wet food help my dog lose weight?

Yes, if you have a dog who needs to lose some weight, a wet food diet may be a good option. Since wet food is formulated with lower amounts of carbs and fat, it can help dogs lose weight.

Does dry or wet food have less protein?

No, the opposite is actually true. Most dry foods have a lower protein content than wet foods. Wet foods are often formulated with premium meat, poultry, or fish ingredients as the first ingredient.

Can wet food be heated up?

Yes, wet dog food can be warmed up. Since opened wet food needs to be refrigerated, your dog may prefer their food to be warmed up before eating it.

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