Best Wet Dog Food, We Checked

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: January 6, 2023
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall wet dog food is the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food.
  • There are many benefits to feeding wet food as it can be easier for your pet to digest, while also containing less carbs but more protein than dry food.
  • All dog foods are different and it’s important to consider the different needs of your dog when choosing the right wet food.

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

Many owners opt to feed their dog an all-wet-food diet, while others only use wet food as a top-up to add moisture to dry kibble and to 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 should 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 to make the right selection for your canine friend!

  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

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

After researching multiple wet dog foods, we selected the Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food as our number one overall pick.

This food is available in a variety of delectable flavors which are sure to get your pet’s tail wagging. Each can of wet food features real meat or poultry as the main 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 from fillers such as wheat, corn, or soy. This 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. The availability of both grain-free and grain-in versions mean that it is suitable for pets who have allergies. Purina challenges users to take the Purina ONE 28-day challenge — after 28 days you should see an improvement in your pet’s coat, teeth, gums, eyes, and even energy level!

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

Although this food certainly has a lot going for it, some owners have found that their pets do not like the gravy.

Pros and Cons of the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
The availability of both grain-free and grain-in versions mean that it is suitable for pets who have allergies.Not all dogs like the gravy.
This food contains real meat.
This food is completely free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
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 Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food

If you’re looking for the best wet food for skin and coat, you’ll definitely want to consider the Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food.

The recipe is formulated with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are designed to help improve your dog’s skin and coat. 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. The added vitamin E and vitamin C aid in supporting the immune system of your pooch.

This is also a good choice for dogs with allergies as the formula is free from wheat which is a common allergen to canines. Additionally, this food does not contain any poultry by-products, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors, which also trigger allergies or cause skin issues.

The only downside of this food is that some pet owners have reported that it can be a little runny.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
This food includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which promote healthy skin and coats.It can sometimes be a little too runny.
It includes vitamin E and vitamin C to support the immune system.
This food is suitable for dogs with allergies as it is free from wheat, corn, soy, and poultry by-products.
It is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
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

For owners with puppies, we have selected 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 your 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. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseed to promote healthy digestion and a shiny coat.

The recipe is hearty and tasty to ensure that young pups get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. As 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 they should.

Each case includes 12 count of 13-ounce cans. Although this food is on the pricey side, it is absolutely worth the cost for your puppy.

Pros and Cons of the Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Puppy Food

ProsCons
This food is specifically formulated for puppies.At a little over $44, this food is expensive.
It is formulated with premium, high-quality proteins and antioxidant-rich foods.
This food is made with real meat (chicken and chicken liver) as well as fruit and vegetables.
It contains omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseed to promote healthy digestion and shiny coats.
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 Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food

We know that senior dogs sometimes need a little extra help, so for these pooches we have selected Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food.

This food is designed for dogs who are at least seven years old and includes high-quality proteins to ensure that they are able to maintain muscle mass. It also includes plenty of vitamins and minerals which help to 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 specially selected as they are easily digestible. This makes this a good choice for sensitive stomach issues. Additionally, senior dogs with dental issues find the soft consistency easy to chew.

Although many dogs love this food, some owners have reported that some fussy pets will not eat it.

In January 31, 2019, Hill’s voluntarily recalled select canned dog foods, including this product, due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. This product has not been recalled since.

Pros and Cons of Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned Dog Food

ProsCons
This food is designed for dogs who are at least seven years old.Some dogs don’t like this food.
It includes vitamins and minerals to aid the heart, kidneys, and bones of aging dogs.
The digestible ingredients are suitable for digs with stomach issues.
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

Our Criteria: 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. 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.

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 — such as 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, 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.

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

Best Wet Dog Food: Summary

Choosing any correct food depends on your dog’s personal preferences and needs. It’s also important to remember that the dietary requirement of dogs can even vary between different breeds or based on their activity level. No dog food is equal, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the ingredients when choosing one for your pet. We hope that this product review has given you a useful insight into what to look for, as well as narrowed down the choices for you.

Up Next…

About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

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 protein and does not contain as many carbs or fat as dry dog food does. By nature, wet food is also more moist 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.

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. For example, 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 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 around three ounces of wet food for every three 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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