Best Wet Dog Foods

Updated January 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 29 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 294 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best wet dog food

    Last Updated January 2019

    It’s no secret – a lot of people love dogs. There are more than 85 million pet dogs in the United States alone, and that’s a lot of pampered pooches. One of the most important things required to keep dogs happy and healthy is nutritious food, and wet dog food is a great option out of the many available.

    Wet dog food is a good choice for many canines. Most dogs enjoy the flavor and consistency of so much that they come running at the sound of the can opener. In addition to being tasty, wet dog food has many other benefits, including quality protein, healthful nutrients, and an appealing texture.

    If you’re a dog owner, you probably already know that choosing wet food from the almost countless options can be confusing. But you don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice because we’re here to help. We’re confident that your four-legged best friend will love indulging in any of the five favorite wet dog food varieties on our shortlist above. For more information and tips to help you choose a food and make the most of your pet’s mealtime, continue reading our shopping guide below.

    Don’t be discouraged if your dog doesn’t like the first wet food you buy. Offer different varieties and flavors by introducing small portions at a time until you find one your pet loves.

    Key considerations

    Pros and cons

    The pleasing texture and prominent aroma that can resemble those of food made for humans are qualities in wet dog food that most canines can’t resist. Feeding a diet of wet food also has many benefits that usually outweigh the minuses for dog owners who prefer to feed dog food from a can. Here are some pros and cons to think about before choosing wet dog food for your pet:

    Pros

    • Wet food tempts most dogs to dive into their bowls, even dogs that are usually finicky eaters.

    • Wet food has significant moisture content compared to dry kibble, with many recipes containing as much as 75% water. This is beneficial for keeping dogs well hydrated.

    • Dogs that have dental disease and/or missing teeth are able to chew wet food much more easily than kibble.

    • Other healthful benefits include fewer preservatives and higher levels of protein than dry food. Most recipes also have fewer carbohydrates compared to most dry food formulas.
       

    Cons

    • Feeding a dog a strict wet food diet is more costly than feeding dry or a combination of the two. Over time, the price can add up significantly, especially when feeding large breeds that may require more than three cans per day to meet their dietary and nutritional needs.

    • Dogs won’t get the gum- and teeth-stimulating benefits from wet food that they do from eating kibble.

    • Once wet dog food is opened, it must be stored in the refrigerator.

    • Wet dog food is messier than dry dog food, so it will be necessary to wash bowls daily after feeding.

    Quality food with premium ingredients

    Natural Balance Ultra Premium features recipes with the best ingredients that are highly nutritious and easy to digest. It’s formulated with fatty acids that are beneficial to both skin and digestion, and it doesn’t contain any artificial colors or additives. We love that it’s developed by nutritionists to meet canines’ essential dietary needs.

    Wet dog food features

    It doesn’t matter if your dog is picky or eats almost anything you put in front of her, chances are there is a wet food recipe that will make her look forward to mealtime. Consider these features as guidelines when selecting the right wet food for your pet:

    Varieties: Wet dog food isn’t a one-size-fits-all product, so to speak. There are recipes formulated for various life stages and health concerns, including puppy and young adult, active adult, less-active adult, senior, weight management, sensitive stomach, and sensitive skin.

    Ingredients: Take a look at the ingredients in wet dog food before you buy. Some brands contain grains, animal by-products, fillers, and artificial ingredients, while others have limited ingredients, such as meat, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice. A third option – and the most expensive – is no-grain wet food that doesn’t contain any grains but has more meat than other ingredients.

    Texture: Wet dog food is most commonly found in the form of a loaf or ground meat. Pates are similar but with a smoother, almost paste-like consistency. Slices and stews in gravy are also available and worth considering for dogs who prefer juicy meals.

    Flavors: Finding a wet food flavor that your dog will enjoy isn’t likely an issue because there are many types to choose from – everything from classic chicken and beef flavors to wild game to vegetable recipes.

    Quantity: As you shop for wet dog food, you’ll find that the standard-size can is about 13.2 ounces. This is similar in size to canned vegetables and soups that humans eat, so it’s a convenient size to use and store. However, wet dog food is also available in smaller and larger cans, including 3.5, 5.8, and 22 ounces.

    Cans vs. cases: Purchasing a few cans at a time can be practical for dog owners who don’t feed wet food on a daily basis. It’s also a good way to try different flavors and varieties in order to find one that your pet prefers. Many consumers find it more convenient and cost effective to purchase wet dog food by the case (12 to 24 cans).

    EXPERT TIP

    Not all cans of wet dog food have tops with pull tabs, so have a handheld or electric can opener available.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Unlike dry dog food, wet food will spoil if left at room temperature for longer than an hour or so. If your dog doesn’t finish his bowl promptly, discard or refrigerate any leftovers.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Once a can of wet dog food is opened, it’s best to use it within five days. After that, it will begin to lose its flavor and even spoil.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Wet dog food prices

    Wet dog is definitely more expensive than kibble, but it comes in a fairly wide range of prices. If you want to try wet food by the can, you’ll pay approximately $1.20 to $4.50 each, with premium, grain-free brands falling on the higher end of the price spectrum.

    Cases of wet food range from about $8 to $45.

    You can find cases of recognizable brands in the $8 to $15 range, but the food may contain some fillers, meat by-products, and/or artificial ingredients.

    Mid-range cases of quality wet food are available for around $24.

    If you want a premium brand with all-natural ingredients and no grain or fillers, expect to pay $30 to $45 per case.

    Convenient nutrition

    Cesar Classics has developed a dedicated following of dogs and their owners for good reason – it has flavors that most pooches find irresistible. Although it contains some by-products and fillers, it’s also nutritionally balanced and made with quality meat protein. It comes in single-serve trays that are easy to open and use, and is available in variety packs with four different flavors per case. The food also mixes easily with kibble for a tasty treat.

    Tips

    • Consider your dog’s life stage. Not all recipes are ideal for all dogs, and most brands offer varieties formulated for puppies, active adult dogs, and seniors.

    • Look for meat as the key ingredient. Dogs thrive on protein that comes from quality meats. On the other hand, by-products offer little in the way of nutrients. Wet food varieties with meat as the first ingredient are good choices.

    • Look out for artificial ingredients and additives. These ingredients aren’t harmful, but they don’t offer nutritional value for your dog. Although more expensive, premium brands are less likely to contain fillers and artificial colors and flavors.

    • Pay attention to protein levels. Not all wet dog food contains the same level of protein, and it’s important to keep in mind that most young, active dogs do best when fed a diet with higher percentages of quality protein.

    • Beware of BPA and BSP. Some dog food brands use these chemicals in the linings of the cans.

    • Combine wet food with dry kibble. Some dog owners prefer to feed their dogs kibble for the affordability factor and the dental health benefits. Mixing kibble with wet food is a good way to provide added nutrients, moisture, and flavor to a dry food diet.

    • Keep opened wet dog food covered and in the refrigerator.  Any wet dog food that’s left over after feedings must be kept refrigerated to prevent spoilage. Covering it with an airtight lid, plastic wrap, or foil will cut down on messes and keep smells from escaping.

    Other products we considered

    While we’re confident in our top five picks for the best wet dog food available today, there are reasons why they won’t work for all dog owners or their pets. For consumers on a tight budget, we like Pedigree’s 12-pack, which is affordable yet nutritionally balanced. Most dogs enjoy the filet mignon and beef flavors. On the other end of the price spectrum is Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Real Meat Recipe, which is available in several premium varieties, including duck, salmon, and wild boar. Although pricey, you can save a bit by opting for a convenient case of 12 cans. For pups that could stand to lose a few pounds, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Weight, which is packed with quality ingredients beneficial to maintaining – not gaining – weight. It’s also easy to digest and comes in packs of 12 cans.

    If your budget is a factor when it comes to choosing dog food, mix a little wet food with kibble. It’s a good way to treat your dog to wet food’s flavor and benefits while making each can last longer.

    FAQ

    Q. My dog is prone to skin allergies. What type of wet dog food is best for him?

    A. Red, itchy skin, a problem that many dogs experience, can result from various causes. Although it’s important to have a veterinarian diagnose your pet’s issue, an allergy to ingredients in dog food is a common factor. Wet food that’s made without grains, meat by-products, or artificial ingredients is the best choice for sensitive dogs.

    Q. I’ve been feeding my dog the same brand of wet dog food for years. What is the best way to introduce her to a new brand?

    A. The key is to make the transition gradually so issues like upset stomach and diarrhea are less likely to occur. Start by giving her a little bit of the new food along with her current diet, and gradually increase the amount until you replace the old brand with the new.

    Q. Is it okay to vary my dog’s menu with different flavors of wet food?

    A. Adding variety in the form of various flavors is actually a good way to keep your dog interested in his food. However, choosing different flavors made by the same brand is the best option to avoid digestive disturbances that could occur from food your pet isn’t used to eating.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Jacob
      Jacob
      Editorial Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

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