The 6 Best Canned Dog Foods in 2023
Canned food is moist and meaty, just like most dogs enjoy it. These foods are often offered as a special, tasty treat or as an additional source of nutrition when paired with a daily dry food. But regardless of the frequency with which you offer canned food, you want to know that your dog is getting the best possible benefits out of it.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 6 top canned foods on the market this year. So let’s get into it!
Our Top 6 List
Last update on 2023-11-16 at 23:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Food
Committed to providing exceptional nutrition for dogs of different weights and life stages, Royal Canin offers food created with a precise blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to promote your dog’s overall wellness, regardless of age, size, or breed. Because dogs have different physiological needs and reach growth milestones at different ages, this food is tailored to provide the right nutrition in the right ratios for your puppy.
- High-quality ingredients that provide optimal energy levels for your pup’s growth and development.
- Beet pulp, fish oil and highly digestible proteins that are gentle on your puppy’s digestive system.
- A high moisture content to support healthy hydration.
- Immune support for growing puppies, including vitamins C and E, plus Lutein and Taurine.
- Because Royal Canin believes in the exceptional quality and value of their products, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of their foods.
2. Purina ALPO Chop House
Inspired by the world’s best steakhouses, pamper your furry friend with a food made with real chicken and beef. Smothered in rich gray and composed of a variety of interesting textures and bold flavors, this food is a delight for dogs and pet parents alike as its high-quality proteins and 23 essential vitamins and minerals ensure that your dog receives optimal nutrition. Providing industry-leading quantities of protein in every can, this food supports your dog’s health and growth while tempting their taste buds.
- Comprised of high-quality proteins, this food is made with real chicken or beef.
- Ideal for picky eaters, the savory gravy and tender texture of this food appeals to even the most finicky of dogs.
- Purina’s 12 can variety pack ensures that your dog always has a choice at mealtimes.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Food
Precisely created to provide quality protein for lean muscle development, this food is made with all-natural ingredients, including real chicken, brown rice, and a vegetable medley featuring peas and carrots. Crafted to keep your pet healthy during their prime adult years, this food was developed by a team of more than 220 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians and nutritionists to promote the overall health and wellbeing of your dog. Plus, Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program donates food to shelters across the country; 100,000 homeless pets are fed every day through Hill’s program, making this food a purchase you can be proud of.
- Crafted from purposeful, natural ingredients that help your dog build and maintain lean muscle mass.
- Made in the USA, this food is crafted from ethically and sustainably sourced global ingredients that meet only the highest quality standards.
- Easily digestible ingredients are gentle on your dog’s stomach.
- #1 Veterinarian recommended food
4. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Formula
Crafted with 80% more protein than traditional, grain-based dog foods, this food carefully balances ingredient ratios to provide nutrient-dense nourishment for your pet. Made from simple, pure ingredients and based on CORE’s raw feeding philosophy, this food is free of both grains and animal by-products but packed with vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fiber. Plus, CORE’s stringent quality-assurance standards ensure that the ingredients in their foods are natural, safe, pure and balanced, all with your dog’s health and well-being in mind.
- 100% grain-free, this food contains no wheat, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- High-quality carbohydrates provide optimal energy levels for your dog.
- High protein content promotes lean muscle development and helps your dog burn excess fat and calories.
- Supports your dog’s overall digestive health through added live active probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber.
- Boosts immunity increases disease resistance and promotes healthy eyes, coat, teeth, gums, and brain by providing high levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
5. Wellness Complete Health Canned Food
Created specifically for adult dogs over 1 year in age, this food was crafted with your dog’s whole-body health in mind. Made from premium meats, wholesome grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, this food was designed to address five body systems essential to the health of your pet: Eyes, Teeth and Gums; Skin and Coat; Digestive Tract; Energy; and Immunity. A family-owned company, Wellness is committed to using the finest natural ingredients, abiding by the strictest of quality standards to ensure that your dog’s food provides the perfect balance of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Made only in North America from the finest ingredients, this food is backed the Wellness Guarantee.
- Crafted from high-quality proteins, including salmon and premium chicken, this food has Dha to support healthy brain and eye development.
- Made with premium, all-natural ingredients to ensure the highest quality of pet food.
- A high moisture content to support healthy, natural hydration.
6. Merrick Grain-Free Turducken
Based on Merrick’s whole food philosophy, this food is created in small batches from the highest quality whole food ingredients. Boasting a variety of formulas for dogs of every life stage, size, and breed, this food features real meat as the first ingredient and includes other whole foods such as peas, apples, blueberries and sweet potatoes for added vitamins and minerals. Providing industry-leading quantities of protein in every can, this food is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, lots of glucosamine, and chondroitin to enhance hip and joint function and promote skin and coat health.
- With deboned turkey as the first ingredient, this food provides high-quality protein to support the development of lean muscle mass and healthy energy.
- No fillers or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- Grain-free, this food has no corn, wheat, soy or gluten.
- Specifically, formulated foods for puppies, seniors, large breed dogs and weight management.
- Cooked in the United States to ensure quality and safety.
Verdict & Review
Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Canned Dog Food
Ultimately, your pet’s perfect food will depend on a variety of factors, including age, life stage, size, breed, and specific dietary needs. No one knows your dog like you, so it’s up to you to make the final decision in regard to a canned food for your canine companion.
However, if you’re still unsure of the best food for your favorite companion, we would recommend giving Royal Canin Canine food a try. Our dog loves it because the high-quality proteins boost his energy levels and help him play longer; we love it because we know the company is committed to providing optimal nutrition for every age and life stage of our dog.
The Pros & Cons of Canned Food
With so many types of food to choose from, how can you be sure that canned food is right for your furry friend? Before buying, consider the pros and cons to see if it measures up to your standards for doggy health, nutrition, and enjoyment. Truth be told, our Australian Shepherd likes canned food the most.
Higher Protein Content: Because wet foods are sterilized during the canning process, more high-quality proteins are often available in these foods when compared to similar dry dog foods. This imbalance in protein content between wet and dry foods stems from the processes by which these foods are created and made shelf-stable, which often involves dehydration and the addition of synthetic preservatives and which can significantly impact protein content. If your pooch craves a meatier meal or needs a higher-protein diet, canned foods are a good choice.
Fewer Additives and Preservatives: The same sterilization process that allows canned foods to retain their high moisture and protein content also reduces the need for additional synthetic preservatives and additives. These additives and preservatives are used to make dry dog food shelf-stable and to provide colors and flavors that were lost during processing. So, if you’re concerned about added chemicals or compounds in your pet’s dry food, consider canned food as a healthy alternative — just be sure to read the label!
Weight Control: The exact portion sizes of many canned dog foods can curb overeating by limiting the amount of food offered at a single time. For dogs with weight issues, these pre-portioned delicacies can be an alternative to food offered in an unregulated self-feeder. Additionally, the higher lean protein content of these foods can help portly pups’ trim pounds and develop more healthy, lean muscles.
Natural Hydration: Unlike dry bagged foods, which are often processed and dehydrated to make them shelf-stable, wet foods are sterilized and sealed during the canning process, allowing them to retain significant moisture content while remaining free of bacteria or other harmful growths. These moist foods are not only loved by canines but also provide much-needed hydration for picky-eaters, elderly or physically active dogs.
Good for Dogs with Dietary Restrictions: Every dog is an individual with unique dietary needs, and often those needs can be more easily met with canned food. Specifically, dogs with dietary restrictions such as grain or starch allergies, high protein needs, or delicate digestive systems can benefit from more moist foods and reduction of many added flavors, colors, and preservatives. Additionally, dogs that have known dental issues, including aging dogs with lost teeth and puppies without adult teeth, can benefit from the softness of wet foods.
A Favorite of Picky Eaters: Let’s face it, your dog doesn’t want to eat dog food; he wants to eat people food. But while our food can be unhealthy or even toxic to dogs, canned foods offer an alternative that is closer in smell, texture, and flavor to what we humans consume, allowing your pet to feel like part of every family dinner. Plus, with the large variety of flavors and proteins in canned foods, even the pickiest of eaters can find a formula they enjoy.
Food Safety: In terms of shelf-stability, dry foods and wet foods are both generally safe and long-lasting — at least until they’re opened. Once open, canned foods can be exposed to the bacteria and microorganisms that they were protected from by the canning process, meaning that wet foods spoil easily and quickly if not protected. Ideally, wet foods that are not eaten in the first 10-15 minutes after offered should be refrigerated; any wet food left out longer should be thrown out to ensure that your pet doesn’t consume spoiled food that could make her ill.
Mess: We can’t blame dogs for being enthusiastic about, well, everything. And when it comes to wet food, they’re often particularly excited. Sometimes, that enthusiasm can lead to a big, sloppy, slobbery mess — unlike dry dog food, canned food can be difficult to clean up when flung around the kitchen by your delighted pup.
Cost: We want our pets to have the best, but unfortunately, the cost is often a major consideration when choosing food for our canine companions. Canned foods are more costly by weight than dry foods because of the materials used in packaging, the canning process, and the higher protein content. However, don’t let cost be the deciding factor — consider your dog’s overall health and dietary needs before settling on a specific food, and always reach out to your veterinarian if you have questions.
In the end, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons to choose the right food for your pooch.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!