Best Wet Dog Food, We Checked

Updated: May 12, 2022

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

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

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.

Our Criteria

All of the aforementioned factors ring true to what we put into conducting our search for the best canned dog foods on the market. Emphasizing the uniqueness of each dog is so important, as owners sometimes get hung up on brand names and misinformation. The best way to choose the right diet and food for your pup is to consult with your veterinarian. For instance, diet may depend on the dental health condition of your dog or maybe the sensitivity of their digestive system. In my personal experience, I tried multiple foods for my pup before settling on the correct one. He is a young dog who loves to chew, so hard kibble is perfect for him. However, his stomach is easily upset and I have spent plenty of time, money, and effort finding a good wet food to feed in times like these.

Choosing any correct foods depend on your dog’s personal preferences and needs. Knowing brands can be a plus, however, it’s the ingredients and nutrients in the food that truly matter.

  1. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Canned Dog Food

  2. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Canned Dog Food

    •Canned wet dog food

    •No artificial ingredients

    •High protein content

    •Affordable

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food

  4. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food

    •Formula for healthy skin & coat

    •Omega 3s & 6s with added vitamin E & C

    •Antioxidant ingredients

    •Free from artificial ingredients

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Wellness Complete Health Puppy Canned Dog Food

  6. Wellness Complete Health Puppy Canned Dog Food

    •Puppy blend canned wet food

    •Protein-rich, nutrient dense

    •Delicious flavor for puppies

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food

  8. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food

    •High quality protein formula for senior dogs

    •Easy to chew & digest

    •Balanced minerals to support heart & kidney health

    •Veterinary recommended

    Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Top Picks for Wet Dog Food: Ranked for 2022

#1 Overall Wet Dog Food: Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food

After researching 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-in versions means that individuals looking for food catering to allergies 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 but is free of fillers like wheat, corn, or soy.

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

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

Best Overall
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Canned Dog Food

•Canned wet dog food

•No artificial ingredients

•High protein content

•Affordable

Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best for Skin and Coat: Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat

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 shiny.

The reason this food is great 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 aid in supporting a dog’s immune system.

This is also good food for allergies since skin issues go hand in hand with certain allergies. The formula is free of wheat, a common allergen to canines. Additionally, this food does not contain poultry by-product meals, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors, which also trigger allergies or cause skin issues.

Best for Skin and Coat
Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food

•Formula for healthy skin & coat

•Omega 3s & 6s with added vitamin E & C

•Antioxidant ingredients

•Free from artificial ingredients

Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best for Puppies: Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Puppy Food

Treat your new puppy to a balanced and nutritious meal with the Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Puppy Food. This food for puppies is formulated with premium, high-quality proteins and antioxidant-rich foods to help a young puppy’s brain to develop properly.

Each can features a pate blend of protein (chicken and chicken liver) with vegetables and fruits, such as sweet potatoes, pears, apples, and bananas. The recipe is hearty to ensure young pups get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive and promotes full body wellness. Since this wet food is specifically formulated for the puppy stage of life, you can feel confident that you are offering the best possible food to ensure your dog develops as he should.

Each case includes 12 count of 13-ounce cans. The Wellness puppy wet food is on the pricey side, but absolutely worth the cost for your puppy.

Best for Puppies
Wellness Complete Health Puppy Canned Dog Food

•Puppy blend canned wet food

•Protein-rich, nutrient dense

•Delicious flavor for puppies

Check Chewy Check Amazon

#4 Best for Senior Dogs: Hill’s Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food

Your senior dog deserves only the best, and we think Hill’s Science Diet’s Senior wet food is the top notch choice. 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 aging 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.

Best for Senior Dogs
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food

•High quality protein formula for senior dogs

•Easy to chew & digest

•Balanced minerals to support heart & kidney health

•Veterinary recommended

Check Chewy Check Amazon

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

Summary

RankBest forProduct
1OverallPurina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food
2Skin & CoatBlue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat
3PuppiesWellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Puppy Food
4Senior DogsHill’s Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Best Wet Dog Food, We Checked 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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