There are hundreds — if not thousands — of dog food brands on the market. Making the right choice for your dog can be a daunting one. Every dog has to eat, right? So how do you decide which dog food is right for yours? Suppose you are choosing a canned dog food brand for your dog. In that case, there are a lot of factors to consider: dietary needs, allergies, age, and even breed can come into play when choosing the best canned dog food for your canine.
Our Top Picks: Best Canned Dog Food
Choosing the best wet dog food isn’t an exact science and may take a few tries, especially if you have a picky pup. We have chosen the top 10 best canned food brands and why each selection is the top of its kind:
- Best Overall: Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Classic Chicken & Rice Entree. This timeless formula has chicken as its main ingredient, and moreover includes 23 vitamins and minerals for complete nutrition.
- Best Organic: Evanger’s Organics Turkey with Potato & Carrots Dinner Grain-Free. Made from organic proteins and vegetables, this grain-free choice is free from fillers and preservatives.
- Best for Puppies: Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend Puppy Icelandic Salmon & Lamb Recipe Grain-Free. Perfectly formulated for puppies, this wet food features tasty Icelandic salmon and all the nutrients your puppy needs.
- Best for Seniors: Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Chicken & Vegetable Stew. Designed to promote vitality and mobility in dogs ages seven and older.
- Best for Weight Loss: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew. Get your pup in shape with extra walks and a lower calorie, lower fat diet.
- Best for Weight Gain: Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Alpine Rabbit Stew. High energy breeds and underweight dogs do well on a food with tasty, fatty meats!
- Best Hypoallergenic: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free. Using a safer protein like venison makes this diet safe for dogs with allergies.
- Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Royal Canin Digestive Care. Scientifically-backed canned dog food for delicate GI tracts.
- Best for Coat and Skin Health: Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Trio Protein Chicken, Lamb & Salmon Pate with Superfoods. This succulent entree contains salmon, chia seeds, and tons of other superfood ingredients that give your pup a shiny, healthy coat.
- Best Exotic: Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe. We said exotic, didn’t we?! This unconventional canned dog food is- most importantly- full of omega-fatty acids and vitamins.
1. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Classic Chicken & Rice Entree
The best canned dog food overall
Brand: Purina | Type: Pate | Protein: Chicken | Notable Feature: High Protein | Price: 💰
Purina Pro Plan is one of the top brands recommended by veterinarians for the simple fact that their diets are backed by science and decades of expertise. Each can of this best rated canned dog food includes high-quality ingredients, and as always, the top ingredient is real chicken. Most importantly, this delectable dog food has a minimum of 9.0% protein- appropriate for the average adult dog.
Each can of wet dog food is 437kcals. Most dogs need 20 to 30 calories of food per pound of body weight to maintain their weight. Therefore, if you have a 30-pound dog, they would need 600-900 calories per day. If your dog is more active, the higher end of the range would be ideal. Meanwhile, a more sedentary pup would require far fewer calories.
- Delicious taste dogs seem to love
- Great as a kibble topper to entice picky eaters
- Cost — more affordable than other premium products and brands
- Many stated that cans arrived dented
- Some reviewers found the pate to be too mushy
2. Evanger’s Organics Turkey with Potato & Carrots Dinner Grain-Free
The best organic canned dog food
Brand: Evanger’s Organics | Type: Pate | Protein: Chicken & Turkey | Notable Feature: Organic | Price: 💰💰
Even dog food brands are getting in on the organic trend! Our dogs deserve the very best. For some, that means switching to organic wet dog food. You cannot guarantee the quality of most dog food products, but with Evanger’s, you know exactly what is in the can. The top ingredients in this grain-free canned food are organic turkey, organic chicken, and organic potatoes. Sounds delicious!
This limited-ingredient organic diet is free from soy, corn, wheat, artificial ingredients, preservatives, and by-products. By definition, by-products are acceptable and appropriate to create balanced nutrition in dog food, but Evanger’s calls out the fact that theirs contains none. Each can of Evanger’s turkey dinner contains 8.0% minimum crude protein and a whopping 384kcals.
- Enticing to even the pickiest eaters
- Pate’s consistency; smooth and not chunky protein bits and vegetables
- Seems to have improved the coat and even promoted hair regrowth for some dogs
- High fat content not suitable for dogs with tummy issues
- Consistency is too dry; some owners added water to make it moister
3. Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend Puppy Icelandic Salmon & Lamb Recipe Grain-Free
The best canned dog food for puppies
Brand: Forza10 | Type: Stew | Protein: Lamb & Salmon | Notable Feature: Grain-Free | Price: 💰💰
You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to find the best ingredients for your dog. Forza10, an Icelandic brand, has created delectably nutritious wet food your puppy will love. The diet consists of salmon and lamb proteins in a stew sauce along with “phytotherapeutic extracts of rose hips, linden flowers, and thyme for added developmental support.” In addition to several all-natural ingredients, this canned puppy food is also grain and soy-free. Each can includes 8.5% minimum crude protein and is 366kcals.
- Excellent consistency
- Premium blend of lean proteins
- Smells good and looks appetizing
- Increase in flatulence in some dogs
- Smaller can size means less food for more money since it’s a premium brand
4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Chicken & Vegetable Stew
The best canned dog food for seniors
Brand: Hill’s Science Diet | Type: Stew | Protein: Chicken | Notable Feature: Formulates for Seniors | Price: 💰
Geriatric dogs require different nutrients than puppies or adults. As a vet tech, I reccomend taking your older pup to the vet to have blood work performed before switching foods. If your dog has any issues with their liver, kidneys, heart, bladder, mobility, or they just aren’t as springy as they used to be, your vet can suggest and even prescribe diets for your elderly dog.
A great over the counter choice is Hill’s Science Diet for seniors. This is truly one of the best non-prescription canned dog foods for seniors because it contains easy-to-digest ingredients as well as proper nutrients and vitamins to promote mobility and activity. Each can of senior dog food contains 3.0% minimum crude protein and is 287kcal.
- Inspired even the pickiest seniors to eat
- Good choice for households with multiple dogs suffering from various ailments
- REVIEWERS LIKED:
- Seemed to revive many dogs’ vitality and energy after eating the diet for awhile
- Some dogs didn’t like the amount of liquid in the stew
- Made a few pups vomit (if your dog throws up after eating, don’t keep trying to feed them)
5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew
The best canned dog food for weight loss
Brand: Hill’s Science Diet | Type: Stew | Protein: Chicken | Notable Feature: Ideal for Weight Management | Price: 💰
Your chonky buddy sure is cute, but it’s likely you don’t need a veterinarian to tell you that your dog is fat. Add some more walks and playtime to your dog’s routine and switch them to a weight management food they’ll enjoy eating. Hill’s Science Diet is a research-back formula that promotes healthy weight loss. This type of canned dog food is a great option for dogs who lead a more sedentary lifestyle and certainly for dogs who need to lose a little weight.
Hill’s claims that 70% of dogs lose weight within the first 10 weeks of being on the formula. Each can of wet dog food includes 4.0% minimum crude protein and is 247kcals.
- High-quality ingredients
- Looks and smells like a tasty stew and not like dog food
- Lives up to its claim; many dogs have lost weight on this diet when they were unsuccessful on other diets
- Some owners did not like the way it smells
- A few dogs turned their noses up at the soupy consistency
6. Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Alpine Rabbit Stew
The best canned dog food for weight gain
Brand: Merrick | Type: Stew | Protein: Rabbit | Notable Feature: High Protein | Price: 💰💰
Most dogs don’t need to gain weight, but some breeds are so active and athletic that it is hard for them to maintain a healthy weight. If you have a high-energy breed, you can either feed them burgers every day (no, don’t actually do this), or you can feed them a quality high-protein diet. Merrick Backcountry offers a tasty rabbit stew that also includes chicken and turkey and tons of vegetables.
Merrick recently updated its formula, so if you haven’t tried one of the best canned dog food brands on the market, you should. Each can of Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Alpine Rabbit Stew contains 9.0% minimum crude protein and is 345kcals.
- Even picky eaters enjoy the flavor
- Great for disguising the taste of oral medications
- Looks like fresh, homemade stew with big, chunky pieces of identifiable meat
- Some reviewers claimed that the food they received looked old
- While the stew looked tasty to humans, some dogs were not impressed with the chunks
7. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free
The best hypoallergenic canned dog food
Brand: Natural Balance | Type: Pate | Protein: Venison | Notable Feature: Limited Ingredients | Price: 💰
If your dog suffers from allergies, you know it can manifest in different ways: red itchy skin, hair loss, constant chewing/licking/scratching. Some pups are allergic to things in the environment, but some also suffer from food allergies. Imagine being a dog biting into a tasty bit of kibble, and then suddenly, your skin feels like it’s on fire. Diet trials are expensive, time-consuming, and don’t always end with a solution.
Common food allergens in dog food are:
- and eggs
Proteins cause 90% of food allergy reactions in dogs. Therefore, it’s best to choose a canned dog food containing a less-reactive protein and limit ingredients. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets are great for dogs with food allergies and include all of the nutrients your pup needs. Each can contains a minimum of 6.0% crude protein and 376kcals for a 13-oz can.
- Terrific option for dogs with high cholesterol
- Great alternative to poultry-based dog foods
- Improves skin and makes dogs’ coats shiny and healthy
- Too soupy and unappetizing
- Pate looks more like pumpkin puree and smells very sweet potato-y
8. Royal Canin Digestive Care
The best canned dog food for sensitive stomachs
Brand: Royal Canin | Type: Pate | Protein: Chicken & Pork | Notable Feature: Sensitive Ingredients | Price: 💰
Nothing is worse than the search to find the perfect diet for your sensitive pooch. An excellent place to start is with Royal Canin. Their Digestive Care blend will help maintain your fur baby’s gut flora and promote healthy digestion. Royal Canin Digestive Care has 7.1% minimum crude protein consisting of both chicken and pork. One can of tummy sensitive dog food is 354kcals.
- Does what it promises by helping reestablish healthy gut bacteria
- Households with multiple dogs love that it’s safe for all of their pups
- Dogs who were suffering from diarrhea seemed to improve while on the diet
- As with most foods, not every dog is going to like it
- Contains pork, which can cause upset stomach in some dogs
9. Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Trio Protein Chicken, Lamb & Salmon Pate with Superfoods
The best canned dog for for coat and skin health
Brand: Nutro | Type: Pate | Protein: Chicken, Lamb, Salmon | Notable Feature: Grain-Free | Price: 💰💰
Even your dog deserves soft skin and beautiful hair! However, with the wrong food, your pup’s coat can look dull, dry, and be brittle to the touch. Short- and long-hair breeds alike can be prone to a dull coat, but a delicious wet dog food containing omega-3 fatty acids can make them shiny from the inside out.
Firstly, Ingredients like salmon and safflower oil will promote healthy hair follicles and make your pup’s skin soft and healthy. The small trays of pate are a great kibble topper or solo meal. Furthermore, Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Trio Protein pate contains 8.0% minimum crude protein and is 171kcals per 3.5-oz tray.
- Plenty of Omega-3s
- Lip-licking; breeds of all sizes seem to enjoy the protein trio
- Seems to improve coat quality after a few weeks of eating the diet
- The cost; reviewers wished they came in bigger cans rather than smaller trays
- Some dogs were not impressed with the protein trio, and owners said it was “overload”
10. Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe
The best exotic canned dog food
Brand: Walk About | Type: Pate | Protein: Kangaroo | Notable Feature: Limited Ingredients | Price: 💰💰💰
Take a walk on the wild side with Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe. This top 10 best canned dog food will be a treat to your dog, especially if your pooch cannot handle other proteins. Kangaroo is a terrific alternative protein source and pairs with green beans and sweet potatoes for a completely nutritious Aussie feast. Since it contains no grains, it is highly digestible even for sensitive tummies. Each can contains 8.0% minimum crude protein and is 215kcals.
- Delicious, exotic flavors
- A good choice for dogs with food allergies
- You can see real vegetable and meat pieces
- Price is somewhat prohibitive
- Unique ingredient can sometimes become scarce, making the diet go on backorder
Before Switching to the Best Canned Dog Food
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the best canned or best wet dog food for your canine. We broke the top 10 best canned foods into categories to help owners see that there are variables to take into account like age, overall health, level of activity, and sensitivities.
It’s best to consult with a veterinarian when making a diet switch to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. Whether you get the sign-off from your vet or not, the key to switching foods is to do it gradually.
If your dog rarely suffers from gastrointestinal issues, you should take no fewer than seven days to transition to the new food. Gradually combine your dog’s new canned food with their current food and slowly change the ratio over the course of a week. Doing this reduces the risk of tummy upset when switching foods.
If you are transitioning from dry to wet, this will be quite a treat for your pup! However, if you are going from one wet food to another, it is unnecessary to mix the two wet foods while transitioning.
If your dog is switching to a therapeutic diet prescribed by their veterinarian, you do not have to transition to the new food unless otherwise instructed. Dogs with sensitive stomachs should be given upwards of two weeks to transition to a new diet.
There is no one perfect food for each dog, but you can take our suggestions and try a new diet that will benefit your BFF!
Compiling a best-of list can be challenging: deciding on criteria and rating metrics, weeding through hundreds of products, and then articulating the list from a place of knowledge and experience.
This reviewer has several years of veterinary experience and education and can speak intelligently on the topic of dog nutrition. Even so, we read hundreds of reviews (both positive and negative) from multiple sources in order to compare data and create our list of the top 10 best canned dog foods available for purchase.