When you’re looking for your best furry friend’s next meal options, there are quite a few to choose from when it comes to canned foods.
There are also plenty of flavors that include all kinds of dog-friendly tasty proteins like lamb, beef, chicken, or turkey.
You can choose different textures, like a ground home style or something chunkier.
You’re looking also for a super high quality food that you can feel good about feeding to Fido! We’ve done our research here to find the best canned dog foods.
We’ve compared ingredients, can sizes, whether they’re made in the USA (or not!), carbohydrates, vegetables, and even fruits to feature the top rated, most delicious and nutritious meals for your dog.
Here are the five best canned foods of 2018!
Best Canned Dog Food Reviews
1. BLUE Freedom Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food
Feed your furry best friend all the natural goodness, healthy proteins, and the right carbohydrates found in the bagged Blue Freedom Dry Dog Food – but this time, it comes in a canned option. Packed with flavor and featured in multiple recipe formulas, this canned food earns high marks for its high quality ingredients.
The flavor selection of this Blue Freedom Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food will satisfy even the pickiest pooch’s palate. You can choose the Beef Recipe, Chicken Recipe, Lamb Recipe, Puppy Chicken Recipe, Senior Recipe, Grillers Hearty Beef Dinner, Grillers Hearty Chicken Dinner, Grillers Hearty Lamb Dinner, or Grillers Hearty Turkey Dinner. It’s awesome that there’s a flavor for each dog’s age, too.
You also get your choice of can size. There’s the standard large 12.5 ounce or you can get the 5.5 ounce. The 5.5 ounce comes in a special Small Breed Chicken Recipe, great for toy dogs. The cans are easy to open with a metal pull tab at the top. Simply pull that back, and you can spoon out the food.
As for ingredient quality, this ranks very highly. Real protein is listed as the first ingredient, there are good carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, a nice vegetable selection of peas and carrots, and fruits included too, like blueberries and cranberries. Each flavor has a slightly different recipe. Some of the flavors don’t have carbs or veggies, so check the labels first.
In addition to the main ingredients, you’ll also find plenty of flaxseed for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin supplements, and essential minerals. It’s a complete meal for dogs.
- Packaging Mary Vary
- 12.5 oz can (Pack of 12)
- Made in the USA
- If you want to free your furry family member from the grains that contain glutens, in a healthy and hearty meal, BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Grillers is a natural choice.
- Love Them Like Family. Feed Them Like Family.
What's to like about the BLUE Freedom Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food
The good in this Blue Freedom Canned Dog Food is what you won’t find in it; that includes wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, meat by-products, protein ‘meal,’ or unhealthy carbohydrates like white rice. This is such a healthy canned food that’s safe enough to give to pets who have existing health problems and diseases. It doesn’t interfere with medications or heartworm dosages, either, and is easy to mix with pills or powdered supplements.
When you’ve got hungry dogs at your feet, it helps to have the pull-tab quick and easy pop open lid. The can is easy enough for children to open and help feed the dog. It doesn’t have a bad smell, and the texture is very hearty and chunky, with real carrots and peas that you can see.
What's not to like about the BLUE Freedom Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food
Overall, pet parents have been really happy with this Blue Freedom Natural canned dog food, but there have been some problems with it. One negative is that when ordered in packs of more than six, customers seem to be receiving dented cans. When cans are jostled during shipping, the pop up lids can open, inviting air, bacteria, mold, and other harmful substances into the canned food.
On that same note, some other shipments have been received with food that seems contaminated or is distasteful to their dogs. Some dogs simply won’t like the flavor, texture, or both of this food. While the Blue Buffalo brand claims to source its ingredients in the USA, this canned food is not manufactured here.
2. Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Nulo is a relatively new brand of pet food on the market but is already making a name for itself with top rated products and glowing reviews. This Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is just one of their many exemplary dog foods and is one you’ll feel good about feeding your dog.
The nutritional powerhouse combination of high protein and low, good carbohydrates make this Nulo canned food a great choice. It comes in five delicious flavors: Beef, Peas & Carrots, Chicken, Carrots & Peas, Lamb & Lentils, Salmon & Chickpeas, or Turkey & Sweet Potato. It has none of the ‘filler’ carbs or bad ingredients in lesser canned foods, like corn, wheat, soy, white rice, tapioca, carrageenan, artificial flavorings, or preservatives.
In each flavor, the protein is listed as the first ingredient, making it the primary source of nutrition. This canned food also features a beneficial mix of antioxidants for a healthy immune system, vitamins, and minerals for all body systems.
By reducing the carbohydrates, this Nulo food can also help your dog manage a healthy weight, have a smoothly running digestive system, and prevent excess stress on the heart and skeletal system. Those excess filler carbohydrates are one of the top reasons dogs put on extra weight, so this is a much healthier alternative.
Does your dog suffer from food allergies? After giving this Nulo Canned Dog Food a try, those skin problems, itching, sensitive stomach issues, and vomiting or diarrhea just might clear up. It’s such a healthy solution for a picky dog.
- 12-PACK of 13 oz cans. All natural without the use of corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes; tapioca; carrageenan; artificial flavorings or preservatives
- HIGH MEAT/LOW CARB proprietary recipe that is GRAIN FREE and contains more protein/animals fats. Supports healthy skin, shinier coat and more energy.
- GREATER NUTRITIONAL INGREDIENTS have a beneficial mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a healthy immune system and keeps your dog energized.
- PROMOTES WEIGHT MANAGEMENT through reduced carbohydrate intake. This makes your pet less susceptible to osteoarthritis, heart disease and more.
- MAY REDUCE canine food allergies or sensitivities. Based in Austin, TX and proudly made in the USA
What's to like about the Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
There are many good things to say about this Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food! The biggest benefit is that it’s made in the USA, so the ingredients are all natural and human quality. You won’t find anything in here that is an added filler or chemical your dogs wouldn’t be able to eat. Also, since it is made in the USA, the quality control is high and there have been no reports of mold, bacteria, or dented cans.
When you do read the ingredients list, you’ll also notice plenty of added vitamin supplements and ground flaxseed, which provides excellent Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. This Nulo Canned Dog Food is truly a meal in a can, providing everything your dog needs to live a long, happy, and healthy life.
What's not to like about the Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
While this canned dog food is one of the best of 2018, it does have some negatives. Every dog is different, so yours might not like the taste. If you’re introducing it for the first time, try to do it slowly. But your picky pooch might still turn up their nose at it.
Another negative noted by some dog owners is that this food can cause diarrhea. That’s because it is grain free, so it’s not filled with any ‘binding’ foods like corn or wheat. It doesn’t have a lot of fiber, either, so that could cause diarrhea, too. Some dogs actually do better with a few more grains in their diet, so it depends on the breed. This is a more expensive brand, so it’s pricy when your dogs don’t like it or can’t eat it.
3. Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Dog Food
Treat your hungry best friend to a delicious beef or filet mignon meal with this Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Dog Food. For larger or athletic dogs that need plenty of protein to fuel their fun and frolic, this is the premium dinner of choice.
Pedigree has established itself as one of the top dog food brands in the country, and it’s easy to see why. They have all kinds of both dry and wet dog food selections. This Ground Dinner canned variety is one of the best dog foods, and it’s also one of the most budget friendly, too. You’re feeding your pet pal great nutrition.
There’s a high level of care and scientific research that Pedigree puts into their foods. These recipes are based on ones used at the Waltham Institute, so they’ve been specially formulated with plenty of hearty beef and chicken proteins, vitamins, minerals, and a natural smoky flavor that dogs will love.
Your dog will also like the soft texture of this canned food, and it’s not greasy or oily. If you have a dog who struggles to eat or has tooth problems, this is easy to chew and easy to digest, too. The protein will fill them up and give them plenty of energy.
The can itself comes in a generous 13.2 ounce size and has an easy-to-open lid.
- Contains twelve (12) 13.2 oz. cans of PEDIGREE Chopped Ground Dinner Canned Wet Dog Food Variety Pack: (6) Filet Mignon Flavor & (6) With Beef
- Made with real Beef for an irresistible taste dogs will love
- Pedigree Chopped ground Dinner Adult wet Dog Food is 100% complete & balanced
- Mix Pedigree wet Dog Food into their kibble for added flavor
- Pedigree Chopped ground Dinner dog Food is made in the USA with the world's finest ingredients.
What's to like about the Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Dog Food
Are you a passionate pet owner who’s also on a budget? This is one of the most wallet friendly canned dog foods on the market, and it’s also really highly rated by plenty of dog owners. The ground chopped dinner has either a filet mignon or beef flavor, and both varieties feature a hearty texture your dog would enjoy eating.
Another great benefit is that this canned dog food has been formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. So, you know it has plenty of good protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. There’s a lot of moisture in this as well, which helps your dog get extra water for good hydration.
What's not to like about the Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Dog Food
Turn the can over to read the ingredients label, and the ‘bad’ about this canned dog food will become immediately apparent; it lists both chicken by-products and meat by-products. In the dog food industry, by-products is a broad term that can mean any animal parts. It’s not just real meat, which means you don’t really know what exactly is in this dog food.
Another ingredient to raise suspicion is carrageenan. This is a food additive used as a thickener that has been known to cause gastrointestinal issues. While some dogs might be able to tolerate it, this food has been noted by more than one customer to cause either constipation or diarrhea.
Also, there are no added supplements in this food, like flaxseed for Omega 3 fatty acids or glucosamine for joints.
4. Nature’s Recipe Homestyle Ground Wet Dog Food
Featured in two easy-to-digest flavors and showcasing either chicken or lamb as the primary protein, this Nature’s Recipe Homestyle Ground Wet Dog Food is a top rated and complete canned meal for your pet.
This canned dog food is really healthy and made with either premium lamb or chicken. The two flavors are either Easy to Digest Chicken, Rice, & Barley Recipe or Easy to Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Recipe. Lamb and chicken truly are the best proteins if you have a dog that has difficulty keeping food down or struggles with a sensitive stomach. You can also prevent other intestinal issues like gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea simply by giving your dog the proteins that are gentlest on the stomach.
There’s no corn, wheat, or beef present in either of the two flavors, either. That’s a good thing, especially when those are three ingredients that are common food allergies and fillers, too. In addition to the proteins, you’ll also find peas and carrots, plenty of carbohydrates like barley and rice, lots of vitamins, and minerals, too.
Each of the cans are 13.2 ounces in size and are filled right to the top.
- Contains 12 - 13.2 Ounce Cans of Wet Dog Food
- Made with high quality chicken, a protein source that is gentle on your dog's stomach
- Natural dog food with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients
- With wholesome rice and barley, highly digestible sources of carbohydrates for energy
- Formula avoids ingredients often associated with food sensitivities, such as wheat, corn, or beef
What's to like about the Nature’s Recipe Homestyle Ground Wet Dog Food
Del Monte distributes this Nature’s Recipe dog food, and it is made in San Francisco, California, so it’s an American-made dog food. It’s great to know the ingredients are healthy and made here, too.
There’s a metal pull tab on top of each of the cans, so that makes them easy to open and feed your dog. Have any excess after feeding? It can easily be refrigerated and saved for the next day.
Another good thing is the softer texture of this food. It’s easily chewed and digested even by dogs who have bad teeth or weaker jaws. That makes it an excellent option for older dogs, too.
What's not to like about the Nature’s Recipe Homestyle Ground Wet Dog Food
While this food does have some excellent points, there are a few negatives to be aware of. For one, it’s a Homestyle Ground recipe, which means it will be drier and more tightly packed into the can than a Stew recipe from the same company. You might have to mix it with some water to get it to soften up a bit. The Stew recipes are packed in gravy. Also, the Homestyle Ground texture is a lot mushier, having been all blended together. You won’t be able to see each separate ingredient.
On the ingredients label, soybean meal is listed. Dogs can suffer from food allergies, including being allergic to corn, wheat, and soy. If your dog is allergic to soy, then they can’t have this food. In addition, there are a few carbohydrates in here that might also cause digestive issues, like brewer’s rice, rice flour, white potatoes, and cracked barley. It’s not gluten free or grain free. These carbs tend to add empty calories with not as much nutrition as brown rice, lentils, chickpeas, or sweet potatoes.
5. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Dog Food
As soon as your dog hears the metal tab being opened on this Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dog Food, they’ll come running! With four tasty flavors to choose from, an impressive ingredients list, and a competitive price point, this is definitely a top-rated canned food.
You can start your dog’s healthiest life possible off right each morning by feeding them this Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Food. The four featured flavors include a Puppy Recipe, an Adult Recipe, a Red Meat Recipe, and a Chicken & Turkey Recipe. All four are proudly made here in America, which is one of the key things to look for in a canned food. That means the ingredients are of very high quality.
The real proteins of each recipe are featured as the primary ingredient, together with other nutritional items like peas, carrots, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. One of the best things about this dog food is that it eschews filler carbohydrates in favor of the good ones, like sweet potatoes. There’s also flaxseed oil for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. You won’t find any corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, meat ‘meal,’ artificial colors, preservatives, or ingredients from China.
Without those harmful ingredients, this canned food is easy to eat and digest for multiple breeds and all sizes and ages. Each can comes in a 12.7 ounce size with a metal pull ring at the top for easy opening.
- First Ingredient Is Chicken
- Grain Free Loaf Recipe With Chicken, Turkey, Fruits And Vegetables
- Grain Free Recipe For Sensitive Stomachs
- Can Be Served As A Complete And Balanced Meal Or As A Topper With Kibble
- Cooked In The Usa.
What's to like about the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Dog Food
There are many good things to find in this Whole Earth Farms Canned Dog Food. In addition to the beneficial ingredients listed above, it also has blueberries in it, which are a powerful antioxidant-rich food to help boost your dog’s immune system.
This dog food isn’t greasy or oily, and it comes in a pate or loaf style, so the consistency means you’ll get more food per can than a stew-type variety. Most dogs love to eat it, find it easy to digest, it’s made with real protein, and there’s no harsh substances.
What's not to like about the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Dog Food
This Whole Earth Farms canned dog food has a great ingredients list, but still, there are some dogs who won’t care for the taste or texture for some reason. It has more of a ground up style of texture, so it’s not a stew canned food in gravy. You won’t be able to see all of the ingredients separately like some other canned dog foods.
Some customers have reported they’ve received dented cans, so the packing and quality control of shipping could use some attention. While the label says Whole Earth Farms, be aware that this is a Merrick brand.
There’s dozens of canned foods for your dog available on the market today, so how are you able to find the best ones for your pooch pal? In this short but helpful Buyers Guide, we’ll go over three key features that a high quality canned dog food must have: it should be made in the USA, it should have a real protein listed as the first ingredient, and it should have the healthiest, best carbohydrates for energy. As long as you stick with these three guidelines, you’ll always be buying the best food for Fido!
Made in the USA
When it comes to canned dog food, it’s not just what ingredients are in it, but where they come from. You want to ensure that none of the ingredients come from outside of either the United States or Canada, because the quality control for sourcing healthy ingredients isn’t as high.
You also run the risk of having by-products, food additives, chemicals, preservatives, fillers, and other harmful substances that go into the food. Many dogs struggle with gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and frequent vomiting. The best canned dog foods will always be made in the USA.
Real Protein as the First Ingredient
Just like in dry dog food labels, the first ingredient on a canned dog food label should be the protein. Whether that protein is beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, or salmon, it should be listed as the first. If it’s listed as chicken by-products or chicken meal, that is not the same as the regular protein.
One excellent advantage canned dog foods have over dry versions is that the proteins don’t have to be compressed into kibble. That ensures the meat will stay fresh and healthy for your dog to eat without the need for preservatives.
The Right Carbohydrates
The best canned dog foods will have the right carbohydrates that are the easiest to digest, are healthiest for a dog’s body, and are used in a wholesome quantity, rather than as filler. Those carbs include brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and oatmeal.
Other carbohydrates like white rice, corn, wheat, and barley have gluten in them, which can cause stomach issues in dogs. Once you’re aware of the best carbs to give your dog, then it’s easy to find the right canned foods and avoid potential health problems.
Canned Dog Food FAQs
Is wet canned food healthier than dry dog food?
Both of these dog food types are healthy, just in different ways. Wet canned food has plenty of positives that contribute towards making it a healthy choice, including using real proteins, cooked vegetables, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. You can find those same ingredients in dry dog food, and more and more companies are offering a better overall quality.
Plenty of dog owners choose to combine the best of both worlds, by feeding their dogs a small quantity of kibble topped with a little canned food. As long as the ingredients in both canned and dry food are healthy, then they’re both equally great for your dog.
What are the key ingredients in canned food?
Shopping for canned food can be a confusing experience, because it’s difficult to understand exactly what’s on the label. But, as a general guideline, the key ingredients in canned dog food should be: at least one high quality protein, at least one high quality carbohydrate, two or three vegetables, perhaps some fruit (optional), and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
There should be no added colors, flavors, additives like carrageenan or guar gum, preservatives, or other harsh chemicals. Those are the top ingredients you should be looking for.
What’s the difference between the proteins, like beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb?
Besides flavor, which is a personal preference depending on your dog, each of the four main proteins are surprisingly similar. It really comes down to the question of which one is easiest for your dog to digest. Lamb and chicken are usually the easiest to digest, with turkey and beef coming in a close second.
Some dogs have allergies to chicken, so try a small quantity first before committing to purchasing a case. All dogs do benefit from some variety in their diet, so a base of lamb or chicken, with turkey and beef used occasionally, should give them the best array of protein selections.
How much canned food should I feed my dog?
Each canned food manufacturer has different feeding size suggestions, so you’ll want to pay attention to the back of the label. It’s based on how much your dog weighs and whether you’re using it as a supplementary food in addition to dry kibble, or just by itself as a complete meal.
These best canned foods come in sizes that range between 12 oz. and 13.7 oz. It’s advised to serve around one can per 15 lbs. of body weight, although each manufacturer is different. Check the back of the can to be sure or ask a veterinarian for recommended feeding.
Does canned food provide my dog with all the nutrients they need?
Yes, provided you serve it in the proper recommended amounts. While most dog owners mix canned and dry foods together, there are plenty of pooches who eat only canned. You can also check with your veterinarian to make sure the canned food you’ve selected is adequate enough to prove them with all the nutrients they need.
Some owners boost their dog food (wet or dry) with additional vitamins, healthy treats or snacks, and supplements. Any time you give your dog a new food, make sure that it’s okay for dogs to eat. There are quite a few human foods that aren’t for them.
Canned food has come a long way since the days of the earlier dog food manufacturers. Now, there are all kinds of new brands, and the older brands have updated their recipes. Pet owners are becoming more and more educated about what exactly is going into their dog’s food – and these companies are responding quickly. Now, you can find some of the healthiest dog food – wet or dry – in cans.
But, after comparing these five different brands with their different proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins, which one has come out the clear winner?
The best canned dog food is the Nulo Grain-Free Canned Dog Food. From its five flavor options, its wonderful list of ingredients, its commitment to providing healthy carbohydrates like lentils or chickpeas, and its lack of preservatives and additives, it definitely stands out as the best rated.
However, it is one of the more expensive options – so, if you’re on a budget, the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Dog Food also passes every single one of our ‘sniff’ tests!
Whichever one of these awesome canned foods you choose, your pampered pooch will eat it up, be healthy and active, and provide you with many years of love and enjoyment!