It’s incredible how many options you’ve got when you want to buy some canned dog food, isn’t it? Something that may seem like an easy choice suddenly becomes way more complicated than it should be.
Of course, you want to be sure your dog is getting something perfect for their dietary needs. You want quality over everything else. Food gives your dog energy and helps support their health and well-being.
Our guide tells you all you need to know to identify the best canned dog foods you can buy. Are you ready to find out more?
The Best Canned Dog Foods
Finding wet dog food or canned dog food is easy. Finding the best ones to feed your pup is more difficult. There’s so much to think about – ingredients, flavor, your dog’s likes and dislikes, to name just a few options.
Brand names are important too, not because they’re well known, necessarily, but because they can provide you with the confidence that you’re getting the best food for your pet. Below are the best canned dog foods on the market today for providing a nutritionally complete meal to your dog.
- 1 Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Canned
- 2 Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Canned Food
- 3 Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food
- 4 Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Canned Dog Food
- 5 Wellness Beef Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- 6 Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Canned
If your dog is overweight and your vet has recommended that they lose some, you might ask for authorization to purchase this product from Royal Canin – a trusted brand.
The food has been created to encourage easier digestion in dogs that have trouble eating fats. It has a maximum of 2.5% crude fat content, ensuring your dog won’t have any digestive issues. It also contains 6% minimum crude protein and up to 2.5% crude fiber.
Rice flour and corn meal are provided to add fiber and aid digestion, while pork by-products add a meaty flavor. The food also comes in a convenient 24-can case, with each can weighing in at 13.6oz. This ensures you won’t need to ask your vet for authorization to purchase the item every week.
Feeding instructions are provided for dogs weighing anything from 4.4lbs to 132lbs and over, so it’s perfect for all breeds and sizes.
Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Canned Food
This digestive care formula is available in generous 13oz cans, provided in a case of 12 for convenience. This is another prescription diet item, so you’ll need vet approval before you can purchase it.
If your dog has trouble digesting certain foods, this canned solution from the Hill’s Prescription Diet range is just the thing. The pate-style wet food is designed to help control your dog’s weight and aid digestion. It contains prebiotic fibers to help good bacteria grow in their system. A touch of ginger has been provided too, as it is known to help settle the stomach.
Rice and flaxseed are provided for fiber, while the flavor comes from turkey liver and heart and pork by-products to produce a tasty meal your dog will love. A guaranteed analysis is provided on every can, so you know what you are getting every time.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food
A tasty homestyle recipe, many dogs will love this Blue Buffalo canned dog food will tempt many pooches towards their dinner bowl. A mouth-watering beef dinner complete with garden vegetables, it includes beef as the first ingredient. Beef broth and liver help raise the flavor, while carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes are easy to digest.
The formula has been ‘beefed up’ further with a selection of vitamins and minerals to help keep your dog healthy. B vitamins, folic acid, and amino acids provide the reassurance you need to know your pooch is getting a complete and balanced meal.
The feeding instructions for this are simple, too. Instead of providing a complex chart, Blue Buffalo has provided a simple guide. Three-quarters to one can per day are required for each 10lbs of body weight. Once you’ve done the calculation, you’ll know how much your dog requires moving forward.
Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Canned Dog Food
Another Prescription Diet option from Hill’s, this one is recommended for multiple reasons, as the label suggests. It’s been put together to help dogs suffering from weight or digestive ailments, as well as glucose issues and urinary issues. It’s no surprise to learn you require prescription approval to purchase, but if your vet recommends this, it should be easy to achieve.
You can choose from two can sizes – a smaller 5.5oz can or a 12.5oz regular-sized can. The smaller size comes in a case of 24 while the regular cans come in the regular 12-can case size.
The recipe uses pork liver and chicken for flavor and protein. Meanwhile, pooches can also enjoy proper chunks of chicken as a source of protein. A good mix of fiber also helps maintain a balanced digestive system. Magnesium and sodium are also kept at lower levels to help ensure better overall health.
Wellness Beef Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Did someone say beef stew? This superb recipe is almost good enough to eat yourself! Putting beef as the first ingredient here, the Wellness brand has put together a recipe with at least 8% protein. Carrots, peas, and potatoes complete the stew, giving your dog a good mix of natural ingredients to aid digestion and good health.
The flavor-fest continues with rosemary, sage, and thyme added to round off the tasty meal. Crude fat levels are guaranteed to be at least 4%, with just 1% of fiber at most, since this is a grain-free recipe. The food is designed to help improve the condition of their skin and coat, along with giving your dog better energy levels.
Another highlight is the feeding guide. You receive instructions for adult dogs and for puppies, yet you also receive a suggestion for combination feeding, i.e. feeding both dry and wet food to your dog.
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Another grain-free option, this Whole Earth Farms product delivers a tasty red meat recipe based on beef and beef liver. Contained in a mouth-watering beef broth, the recipe also adds peas, sweet potatoes, and carrots to balance out a tasty meal.
The feeding guidelines are easy to understand and are printed on the reverse of each can. There are five weight ranges, with the amount of canned food ideal for each given underneath. Further guidance is also given for puppies and pregnant females.
Another perk of the Whole Earth Farms canned food is the addition of a selection of carefully chosen amino acids and vitamins. Add this to the grain-free recipe that guarantees no corn, soy, or wheat is included, and you can see your dog is likely to love this tasty beef dinner.
Feeding Guide For Canned Dog Foods
Before you buy any wet dog food, it makes sense to know everything you can about it. Knowledge makes the buying process go more smoothly. It’s also more likely you’ll find the right thing first time.
When people start looking into canned food options for their dog, the same questions and thoughts come up time and again. We’re going to answer the most common questions below and guide you towards the best canned meal for your dog. Once you’ve reviewed our full guide, you’ll have a much better idea of what to buy to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients he (or she) needs.
Why choose canned dog food rather than kibble?
It makes sense this would be the first thing you’d think of. It’s often hard to answer it too – after all, you’re not the one who is going to eat the food. However, there are several reasons why some pet owners prefer to feed their dog a good quality canned food over dry food.
- More moisture – if your dog doesn’t tend to drink too much, canned food could be a better option than dry. The increased moisture content is ideal, although you should always have a bowl of fresh water available for them, of course.
- Better aroma – have you ever smelled kibble? While the high-quality stuff does have some aroma, it’s never as strong as the flavors you get from canned food. If your dog is fussy, they may prefer tinned food just because it smells nicer to them.
- It is airtight until opened – you might think this applies to kibble too. But those bags are never 100% airtight. The bags are also far bigger, so the air gets to the food for a long time after the bag has been opened.
- Easy recycling of cans – many of the kibble bags cannot be recycled, even if they are made from plastic and you can wash them before recycling them. Not all forms of plastic can be recycled as you might think.
- Easier to stack and store – kibble is often easier to store if you transfer it into stackable containers. Cans can be stacked on top of each other in small spaces. Just grab one whenever you need it.
- Easier to eat if your dog is older – some dogs have teeth removed and need softer food to eat. Canned food meets this requirement, whereas kibble causes issues and may be unmanageable for some older dogs.
Of course, depending on what size and breed of dog you have, you may even be lucky in counting one can as a portion for a day’s food. However, even if that’s not the case, you can still decant any remaining canned food into a plastic sealed container. Just pop it in the fridge and be sure to use it by the next day to ensure it is still fresh.
Mixing things up
It’s worth remembering you don’t need to go for all or nothing if you’re considering purchasing wet food for your dog. For instance, you don’t need to feed them solely canned food – or indeed just dry kibble, if your dog likes that. You can give them a mix.
If you do decide to take this route (perhaps because your dog loves a certain kibble and canned food flavor combo), be careful you don’t overfeed them. You’ll need to read the feeding guidelines on each pack to get an idea of amounts. A good rule of thumb is to serve 50% of the amount you’d usually give your dog for wet and dry food. Be prepared for some adjustment though.
Switching from dry to wet food?
No problem – just do it gradually. If your dog has never had wet food before, it might take some adjustment. Even if your pooch has a strong stomach, they may experience issues if you switch from dry food one day to wet food the next. Making a gradual change over the space of about a week should give you better results.
Alternatively, you may wish to add a handful of kibble on top of their dinner, using it as a crunchy topping when giving your dog wet food. It’s another option to consider.
Top tip: Not all canned food is created equal
As you begin to explore the various options available to you and your dog, you’ll notice various phrases and terms cropping up a lot:
- Veterinary diet
- Low fat
- Grain free
- Digestive care
- Weight management
… and so on. All these terms tell you something about the food inside the can. However, you shouldn’t just count on the label telling you a food is ‘home-style’ or designed to give your dog multiple benefits. Always look at the ingredient list and find out as much about the food’s composition as you can. This will help you choose the right food – and by that we mean a food that is well made with quality ingredients.
Watch out for fillers that have little to no nutritional value. Look at the crude protein, crude fat, and crude fiber percentages too. This tells you the rough composition of the food. Raw meats and real meats are the usually best protein sources. If your dog has issues digesting fiber, you know you need a canned dog food that has lower levels, for instance.
This is another important aspect to recognize and understand. Even high-quality dog food might be perfect for one dog but inappropriate for another. If your dog doesn’t get along with grains, you’ll need a grain-free recipe. If your dog cannot digest beef, switch to a recipe with chicken or turkey instead – something easier to digest. Our dog cannot stomach beef, but she loves chicken, so we switched foods and she’s happy. So are we!
Since you are going to regularly buy dog food, it makes sense to get a good deal if you can. It’s true that most canned food works out to be more expensive than kibble when all else is equal. There’s more packaging involved, for starters, although as we discovered it’s easier to recycle.
However, while many cans come in anything from 12.5oz to 16oz sizes, it’s possible to purchase multipacks to help reduce costs. It’s common to find canned dog food in cases of 12, for example. So, if you find something your dog loves, you can at least purchase a case of the canned food to last you a while.
Remember too that the cost of a can of dog food varies depending on the quality of the ingredients. Cheap tins can be tempting, but how good is the food inside?
Look at the feeding guide provided on each can too. Just because one brand says your breed and size of dog requires half a can a day, it doesn’t mean another brand will be the same. Always compare them to see just how long a pack of food is likely to last. Of course, it also depends on whether you are supplementing their main meal with anything else. Add some kibble (often cheaper, even the better ones) and it reduces the amount of wet food you’ll use each day.
Which type of wet food is best for your four-legged friend?
So… you’ve decided to switch to wet food or you want to buy canned food for your new dog. Either way, it’s worth thinking about whether your dog has any special requirements.
For example, are they overweight? If so, choose a low-fat canned food designed to fill them up while supporting gradual weight loss. These cans typically include two feeding guides, so do be aware. The first guide suggests the amount to feed if your dog needs to lose weight. The second guide suggests the amount to feed if they are at the perfect weight and you want them to stay that way.
Some dogs have digestive issues even when they are a healthy weight. Fortunately, there are dog foods formulated to account for this. A balanced formula, offering the right level of fats, protein, and fiber, might also include digestive enzymes to help settle your dog’s stomach.
While you want a good quality food to feed your dog each day, you may be searching for ingredients your dog loves, rather than avoiding ones that could cause problems. Some dogs have cast-iron stomachs, but they usually still have preferences for certain flavors. If your dog suffers with a sensitive stomach, you may wish to either cater for that with a specially formulated sensitive stomach dog food. If you aren’t sure what’s causing the upset, consult your veterinarian, and possibly consider a limited ingredient dog food diet.
Fortunately, there are canned foods available in lots of tasty flavors. Vegetables and chicken, a beef dinner (yum!), and even beef stew complete with tasty veggies to provide a complete meal. Chances are you know what your dog loves and hates, so use that as a barometer when looking for your ideal canned food.
Some added bonuses
One final point to think about is whether a food has added vitamins and minerals. Many do, and some of the better foods provide your pet with natural sources of those foods. For example, red meats are naturally rich in iron. Many good dog foods have added supplements in them, so you can be certain your dog is getting everything he needs to thrive.
Now you’ve got an overview of canned dog foods, you can see how important it is to choose the right one. Whatever suits one dog may not suit another. However, you’ve got the best idea of which food is going to hit the spot for your pooch. Don’t worry if the first one you try isn’t ideal. Think of it as a tasty journey of discovery for your dog. They’ll thank you with an empty bowl once you’ve found them the tastiest and well-balanced wet food on the market.
It’s much easier to choose a tasty and balanced wet food for your dog once you know what to look for, isn’t it? Our pick of the top canned foods for dogs should help you on your way. We hope our guide highlighted the most important points to consider too. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the options, but as you can see, it’s easier to remove some of those options once you know how.
There are plenty of advantages to kibble, but many dogs always prefer wet food. Maybe yours is the same.
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