12 Best Canned Dog Food: Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews in 2019

12 Best Canned Dog Food: Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews in 2019

A dog’s nutritional needs cannot be stressed enough. This is because dogs usually tend to be more active than humans in some way. For instance, Fido may patrol around your house or even play catch almost endlessly one afternoon. Dogs, by nature, were meant to be active so that they don’t get too much fat. 

Busy owners may not have time for preparing foods, and this why you may need to look for the best canned dog food. There are many kinds of dog foods out there, but usually, canned dog food does the trick for instant meals. They are still instant food, however, but many dog food nowadays started to become a healthier option with fewer preservatives and artificial flavorings, which is good news for your dog.

In this article, we’ll give you some product suggestions for canned dog food (depending on what your dog likes and other factors) as well as tips on how to buy one. After all, you can’t always feed the same thing to different dogs, as they may vary in age, health, eating habits, and the like.

What is canned dog food?

As compared to dry or kibble food for dogs, canned dog food contains raw ingredients, such as chunks of chicken, beef, lamb, and the like, and they usually have sauce inside. Canned dog foods are usually given to dogs as their main meal, but can also be mixed with kibble.

What are the benefits of canned food?

Most dog owners buy canned food instead of kibble because they tend to have more moisture, which dry dog food doesn’t have. Also, it could be a healthier choice for your dog if they get a more raw meal instead of feeding on one that has lots of preservatives all the time.

Our Top Pick

Taste of the Wild Grain Lamb

Best Canned Dog Food For Acid RefluxKey Features

  • Rich in prebiotics
  • No corn, soy, or artificial flavorings
  • Includes lamb organs and complex carbs

A Glance

Our top pick for canned dog food would be this one, since it’s a known brand for authentic and natural ingredients, as well as having no preservatives and simple carbs like corn, wheat, and soy. Because of its lamb ingredient, we think it’s good for most dogs, especially those who could have allergies with chicken and want an alternative to chicken or beef. It’s also worth noting that lamb is ideal for your dog if they usually get acid reflux.

The added vitamins and minerals can also help support their coat health while the organs of the lamb, such as the liver, may also provide your dog with additional nutrients. Since it contains sweet potatoes, a complex carb, it may be just fine for dogs with gluten allergies.

Top 12 Best Canned Dog Food Reviews

1. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior – Best Canned Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Best Canned Dog Food For Senior DogsMade with chicken dinner (chicken is the first ingredient), this senior dog food can supply your buddy with the right amount of vitamins and minerals without causing your dog to be overweight. It contains no by-product meals, no corn, and no soy, so it may be just the right mix for dogs who are born with a sensitive tummy.

Whole grains are included in this dog food so it contains complex carbohydrates, as compared to commercial fillers, which can be beneficial for your dog’s health. It also has a little bit of cranberry, blueberry, sweet potato, and whole carrots in the mix so it can be a balanced meal.

Pros
  • Good for picky eaters
  • Doesn’t upset tummies
  • No by-product meals
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Has bits of vegetables
Cons
  • Some cans could be dented

2. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Texas Beef – Best Canned Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs

Best Canned Dog Food For Sensitive StomachsFor dogs who want grain-free and sensitive options, this one can be a decent pick for you. It has Texas beef for its main and first ingredient and without soy, corn, or wheat, it’s going to be quite ideal for the pup who poops a lot. Each can is at 13 ounces and they contain no animal by-product whatsoever – only pure beef.

Because the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has certified this dog food, it has something to say in terms of quality. Most dogs who have eaten this (and liked it) are terrier breed dogs and small breeds, but basically, any breed who has a sensitive stomach can eat it just fine. It’s also good for dogs who are seniors and those with GI.

Pros
  • Grain-free
  • Ideal for dogs with GI
  • Okay for senior dogs
  • AAFCO-certified
  • Pure Texas beef
Cons
  • Can be a bit too greasy for some dogs

3. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Adult Small Breed – Best Canned Dog Food For Small Dogs

Best Canned Dog Food For Small DogsWith an easy-open can, this dog food contains deboned chicken that is filled with enough nutrients such as protein for most small dog breeds. As with most of our picks here, it doesn’t contain soy, corn, wheat, or any by-product. The dinner also consists of brown rice, which can be a healthy option for any chicken dinner without the simple carbohydrates that dogs may not need.

There is also an option to buy lamb instead of chicken for small breeds. And, if you have a toy breed dog, there’s also an option for chicken for them. A mix of carrots and peas make this adult small breed dog food a well-balanced meal, as well as the sweet potatoes for added energy.

Pros
  • Good for picky eaters
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • No animal by-products
  • Has complex carbs (brown rice)
  • Includes carrots and peas
Cons
  • The formula may not be that consistent in terms of moisture

4. Purina Beyond Grain-Free, Chicken – Best Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Best Grain-Free Canned Dog FoodMade with farm-raised chicken and Alaskan salmon for its recipe, it also includes spinach, which can balance out the two protein products by adding a veggie to the mix. It doesn’t contain corn, soy, or wheat, and it’s also free from artificial flavors or preservatives. Since it is also non-GMO verified, those who don’t like GMOs may find this a good choice.

Each 13-ounce can is a good formula and can be fed on a daily basis due to its ample amount of ingredients. It also includes chicken liver, which, like most organs, can help your dog’s coat to be shiny and healthy. It also contains various vitamins and supplements which can benefit your dog’s bones (e.g. calcium) and eyes (e.g. vitamin A).

Pros
  • Non-GMO-verified
  • No soy, wheat, or corn
  • Includes healthy veggies
  • Has Alaskan salmon for omega-3
  • Includes chicken organs
Cons
  • Some cans seem to be dented

5. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Puppy – Best Canned Dog Food For Puppies

Best Canned Dog Food For PuppiesFor puppies who need a good amount of protein but also need a balanced meal, this one is chicken dinner with a mix of garden veggies. It includes deboned chicken as well as essential amino acids to help your puppy grow healthy and strong. Its main ingredient is chicken and it doesn’t contain any by-product of other animals.

Made without artificial flavors, soy, corn, wheat, and other simple carbs, this one is made with varying textures and cuts so you can see that it’s nearly like a homemade recipe. Since it doesn’t contain wheat, it doesn’t have the thickening agent that most commercial foods have, but this one has no fillers so it’s purely dog food. It also contains sweet potatoes and carrots for added veggies.

Pros
  • It mimics a homemade recipe due to the texture and cut
  • Good protein amount for puppies
  • Has no corn, soy, or wheat
  • Has added veggies
Cons
  • Some cans could be dented

6. Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes – Best Canned Dog Food For Weight Gain

Best Canned Dog Food For Weight GainIs your dog suffering from weight problems? If your dog is underweight, your vet may recommend this one, since it is a chicken pie recipe that has healthy veggies alongside it. Chicken is the first ingredient and it’s also made without wheat and other fillers. Included in the recipe is chicken liver, so it’s also a good source of chicken organs, which can benefit your dog’s coat.

The vitamin E supplement and amino acids can also help with your dog’s health in terms of their skin and coat. What’s more, the included potatoes and carrots are mixed together with the chicken and chicken broth recipe to make a healthy meal for your dog. Many German Shepherds and Huskies found this recipe pretty good for them.

Pros
  • Includes potatoes and carrots
  • Made with chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes chicken liver
  • Has good amounts of gravy
Cons
  • Some cans can be dented

7. Simply Perfection Super Premium Lamb Recipe – Best Canned Dog Food For Allergies

Best Canned Dog Food For AllergiesDo you have a dog who has allergies to most commercial foods? You can slowly introduce him/her to this brand. It doesn’t require a can opener, making it a breeze to open and close for later consumption. Lamb is the first ingredient of this dog food, which can be good for those who may be allergic to chicken as well.

If you’re finished using the can, you can also recycle it to anything else due to the easy-open mechanism. The dog food doesn’t have artificial colors, flavors, or anything else that may be harmful (or unimportant) for your dog. Among the included ingredients are barley, vegetable broth, lamb liver, and brown rice – all healthy options for dogs in terms of healthy digestion and immune system.

Pros
  • Free from artificial flavors
  • Brown rice for complex carbs
  • Includes lamb liver
  • Has veggie broth and barley
  • Good for picky eaters
Cons
  • The pull tab has a sharp part

8. Pedigree Weight Management Adult Wet – Best Canned Dog Food For Weight Loss

Best Canned Dog Food For Weight LossComing from a trusted brand, this one is a 12-ounce can of chopped ground dinner, which is made with real beef and liver that is low in fat, which makes it good for those dogs who want a healthier diet option. It is ideal for dogs who are 1 year old and above and can be a good option for dogs who have pancreatitis since they require low-fat foods.

Since this dog food is a little cheaper than most, it can be a first-timer’s option as well. Compared to other dog foods, many found it to have a less foul smell on its texture.

Pros
  • Has a good texture
  • Lower priced than most products
  • Great for dogs with pancreatitis
  • Has a less foul smell
Cons
  • May contain grains

9. Purina Beyond Wild Grain Free – Best Canned Dog Food For Picky Eaters

Best Canned Dog Food For Picky EatersIf your dog is a picky eater, they may like this one, which contains no corn, soy, or wheat, and only contains the quality beef, as well as liver and lamb.  Beef is the first ingredient so it can be a great source of protein. It was also made without artificial colors, preservatives, and other fillers.

It also contains organ meat, which can be nutritious for dogs in maintaining their coat health. Among the included organ meat are the heart and chicken liver. Since it is also free from grains, it is going to be friendly for most dogs with sensitive stomachs. Aside from grain-free, it’s also non-GMO so it can be a healthy option for dogs (and for those owners who prefer non-GMO foods).

Pros
  • Good for picky eaters
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • No by-products
  • Has organ meat
  • No artificial preservatives
Cons
  • May have a bit of noticeable smell

10. Natural Balance Ultra Premium – Best Low Fat Canned Dog Food

Best Low Fat Canned Dog FoodIf your vet recommended that your dog should feast on low-fat food and one that’s balanced, this one might do the trick. It combines beef, potatoes, carrots, and brown rice in one recipe. The primary ingredient is beef, which is rich in protein, while the brown rice can be a good alternative for commercial products that have too much wheat fillers. 

The included carrots can provide your dog with a vegetable portion while the potato can provide carbs that fit well for most active and sporting dogs. You can also get 6-ounce cans instead of 13-ounce ones. The balance of the ingredients also includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which can make your dog’s coat shinier and healthier. 

Pros
  • Low on fats
  • Includes carrots for vitamin A
  • No wheat fillers, only brown rice
  • Available in two sizes
Cons
  • Might vary in its consistency

11. Taste of the Wild Grain Lamb – Best Canned Dog Food For Acid Reflux

Best Canned Dog Food For Acid RefluxSince it contains lamb as the main ingredient, it can be ideal for dogs who have acid reflux. The Sierra Mountain formula is made with real lamb that contains enough protein for most dogs while the vitamins and minerals can be healthy for their skin and coat. The dog food doesn’t contain artificial flavorings and colors and was also made without corn, soy, or wheat. 

Prebiotic fiber is included in this mix so it can be ideal for dogs who have sensitive stomachs or those who don’t digest foods too easily. Among its added non-meat ingredients are raspberries sweet potatoes, and blueberries, which can provide your dog with a balanced meal. It also comes with lamb liver for those who like organ meals.

Pros
  • Has prebiotic fiber for easy digestion
  • No artificial flavorings
  • No soy or corn
  • Includes complex carbs like sweet potatoes
  • Has lamb organs
Cons
  • Few cases of corrosion on some of the cans

12. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Farm-Raised Chicken – Best Canned Dog Food For Cushing’s

Best Canned Dog Food For Cushing'sBecause of the chicken ingredient, it can be beneficial for dogs who are suffering from Cushing’s disease. This one has chicken, carrots, and peas for its recipe makeup, which can be a balanced meal for dogs. It contains no artificial preservatives and is made with pure chicken without any by-product meal and without corn or soy. This 13-ounce formula includes carrots, which can be good for your dog’s eyes due to vitamin A, and the peas, which can be another good source of energy and health. 

The mix also has chicken broth and liver, which can not only make the whole thing flavorful but also hearty and almost homemade in terms of nutritional value (a good choice if you’re used to feeding your dog with chicken organs).

Pros
  • Includes carrots and peas
  • No animal by-products
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Includes chicken organs
Cons
  • The cans could be a bit dented

Best Canned Dog Food

If you’re looking for canned dog food, you may also want to check out helpful information first before you buy:

How should I choose canned dog food?

Confused about the different brands in your grocery store? Here are some criteria that you need to consider in choosing the ideal dog food for Fido:

  1. Is your dog a couch potato or a working dog?
  2. Your vet’s advice.
  3. Health records.
  4. Age of your dog.
  5. Your budget.
  6. Dog breed.
  7. What flavor does your dog like?
  8. The climate in your area (wet food is preferable for dry climates).
  9. Ingredients of the dog food.
  10. Is it organic? 

What foods should be avoided when buying?

If your dog has experienced any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then it’s just probably their stomach not reacting well to certain foods. Your vet could recommend your buddy to lessen or remove any of the following foods from their diet:

  1. Wheat. Most dog foods have wheat as a filler. Since it is a simple carbohydrate, it’s not very much needed by dogs and can be easily removed and replaced by something else, such as brown rice, which is a healthier option. 
  2. Soy. Like wheat, most dog foods nowadays don’t have soy either due to the growing number of dogs having soy allergies.
  3. Milk. If your dog has lactose intolerance then it’s best to stay away from treats that have milk on it, or you can ask your vet for milk alternatives that don’t cause digestive upsets.
  4. Corn. Much like wheat, corn is also a simple carbohydrate. Your vet may suggest sweet potatoes instead of corn due to being a more complex carbohydrate that your dog may easily digest.
  5. Eggs. In some cases, some dogs have egg allergies, but this is rare, as many dog foods in the market do contain dried eggs.
  6. Chicken. Also a rare case, some dogs do develop allergies for chicken, in which case you may want to try beef, lamb, bison, fish, or any other source of protein.

Kibble vs. wet dog food

When it comes to this long debate, we list down the good and the bad of both wet food and dry pet food, but that means you shouldn’t just choose one over the other!

Wet food is good for: 

  • Giving your dog enough hydration
  • Senior dogs 
  • Dogs with smelling problems
  • Dogs who could be picky eaters
  • Problems with jaws or teeth
  • Weight control
  • A sense of home cooking

But it’s also not very good with:

  • Its shelf life
  • Price (they tend to be pricier than dry food)
  • Being prone to spoilage
  • Cleaning up (your dog could mess up easily)

Meanwhile, dry food is best for:

  • Convenience of feeding
  • Its shelf life
  • Camping and traveling with your dog
  • Less likelihood of spoilage
  • Saving your budget
  • The fun shapes
  • Chewing factor for your dog

But it’s also not ideal for:

  • Dogs who are in warm climates
  • Dogs with dehydration problems
  • Working dogs (they need more protein content)
  • Senior dogs (they might not be able to chew it)

FAQs

What is the best-canned dog food?
Usually, the best brand of canned food would be Taste of the Wild (we’ve reviewed that above) due to its inclusion of quality ingredients, especially if your dog needs a lot of protein.

Blue Buffalo is also a pretty good brand. If you’re saving your budget, however, Pedigree seems like a beginner’s choice.

Is canned dog food good for dogs?
Yes, but it depends. Dog food in cans are usually wet food, and they are good in hydration, but they also expire easily, so they shouldn’t always be your dog’s main food.

You can mix in a bit of a treat here and there since dry food doesn’t spoil quickly.

Which best dog food is recommended by vets?
Your vet may recommend something grain-free, soy-free, corn-free, and has no artificial preservatives.

Usually, vets suggest brands that aren’t very famous in the market because these are the ones that tend to be more nutritious and less with the fillers.

What are the benefits of organic dog food?
Choosing organic is more than just a fad or a trend – it’s a benefit for your dog’s overall health. Here are specific reasons why:

  1. Bye-bye, allergies! Dogs with food allergies benefit more from grain-free food.
  2. Live longer. If they don’t get all the unnecessary preservatives, they’ll live healthier.
  3. Your dog’s immune system, level up! Organic foods have added vitamins that aren’t hindered by fillers.
  4. Less painful pooping. Anything organic generally causes less diarrhea for dogs.

How do I know if my dog has food allergies?
The most common problem with buying commercial dog food (that isn’t grain-free) is the likelihood of food allergies for your dog. Your dog could experience itchy skin and may also produce rashes. Alongside that, their skin could be a bit reddish or pigmented, and if you feel the texture, it could be a bit oily or scaly. This may also be due to a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial for your dog’s coat health.

Aside from those, hot spots could also occur, especially if your dog scratches a lot. Their paws may also tend to itch, and like any human being who may get hay fever, they may sneeze a lot and have watery eyes. 

In extreme cases, your dog may even vomit or have digestive upsets, in which the food allergy could be pretty bad and you should go to the vet to ask for suggestions on changing your dog’s diet plan.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, canned food for dogs is worth buying if you want to keep your dog’s nutrition at the right level. Remember, mixing dry and wet food is still important since a lot of wet food could also cause problems with dogs (especially if your dog is prone to bloating or has sensitive stomach issues). 

When choosing canned food, always look at the expiration date label to make sure it’s still fresh. Canned food is prone to spoilage so you shouldn’t stock up many cans at once or buy too many in the grocery store (or even online). When feeding your dog, it’s a better practice to just give them the whole thing right away rather than split it in half, since anything moist is going to be prone to mold.

We hope you enjoyed reading our reviews of the best canned dog food in the market. There are different kinds of canned dog foods out there but we chose these due to their nutritional quality and mainly because they are grain-free, so they are pretty much safe for Fido’s food allergy problems.

More useful buying guides:

10 Best Cheap Dog Food in 2019

10 Best Dental Chews for Dogs in 2019

12 Best Canned Dog Food: Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews in 2019

Written by Dr. Alex Boyum

Editor's Rating:
4.3

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