DFW Dog Quest is reader-supported. When buying products through links on the site, we may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you).

Best Canned Dog Food – Complete Guide [2021]

Best Canned Dog Food
Best Canned Dog Food

Sorting out your dog food options can get confusing, and you might probably want to stick with kibble because it is less expensive and lasts longer.

But canned food comes in nearly as many varieties as kibble, and it is softer and has a higher moisture content.

Your pooch will find canned nutrition more appetizing, which is great because it is a great addition to a picky eater’s meal.

What we found challenging during our search for quality canned dog food is the wide-ranging selection. There’re too many brands in today’s market.

We had to come up with unique selection criteria to choose the following products for your lovely pooch.

Top 5 Canned Dog Food

#1. Purina One SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Formula Dog Food

Introducing Purina One SmartBlend, a vibrant maturity formula that supplies your pooch with all the protein she needs for alertness and activity.

Key Ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Turkey Broth
  • Chicken
  • Liver
  • Pork Lungs
  • Oat Meal
  • Barley
  • Carrots
  • Dried Spinach
  • Vegetable Oil

This food contains high quality nutrition with smartly combined ingredients, including pork lungs, liver, chicken, turkey broth, and turkey to mention a few.

Its first ingredient is turkey, which is great because it is lean white meat that is a highly digestible protein for building your dog’s muscles.

Chicken is also an abundant supply of protein for your canine. It helps with lean muscle mass and supplies omega 6 for sustaining a healthy skin as well as a shiny coat.

The turkey broth in the formula is a wholesome addition, which improves digestion, supplies your canine with moisture, supports a healthy liver, and improves joint health.

The meal contains liver, which is a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin B, phosphorous, zinc, niacin, copper and iron.

This nutritious meal also contains antioxidants that do an amazing job of supporting a healthy immune system.

Things We Like

  • Contains lean meat for building muscle mass
  • Omega 3 and 6 ensure your pooch has a healthy skin and coat
  • Antioxidants protect your dog against free radicals
  • Contains MCTs for promoting alertness and activity
  • Turkey broth helps improve joint health
  • Available in different can size

Things We Don’t Like

  • May not be suitable food for sensitive dogs

#2. Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Dog Food

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Dog Food comes in a formula made from the main protein source, making this meal super delicious for adult canines.

Key Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Meat By-Products
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Pork Liver
  • Beef
  • Wheat Flour
  • Dried Carrots
  • Whole Rice
  • Dried Green Beans
  • Water

This highly nourishing food is formulated to suit your pooch’s natural biological needs just as nature intended and it uses only wholesome ingredients.

This diet has sufficient water content, which is great because it helps carry as well as move vital nutrients into and out of your pooch’s body cells.

Chicken and meat by-products are a great source of protein. They introduce a big calorie count into the diet for building muscle mass.

Pork liver provides your dog with vitamin A, a good amount of protein, omega 3 and 6, copper, iron, phosphorous, and vitamin E.

Dried green beans in the diet serve as a healthy way of keeping your dog full in between meals, making this food ideal for a pooch that needs to shed some weight.

Dried carrots in this nutrition boost your doggie’s dental health and help regulate bowel movements. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A and antioxidants.

Things We Like

  • Has enough water for processing and nutrient absorption
  • Big calorie count for building muscle mass
  • Rich in omega 3 and 6 for improving skin and coat health
  • Ideal food for dogs that need to lose some weight
  • High insoluble fiber that adds bulk to her stool

Things We Don’t Like

  • By-product ingredients may not be suitable for some breeds

#3. Nutro Kitchen Classic Adult Dog Food

Free of grain, soy, wheat, and corn, Nutro Kitchen Classic Adult Dog Food might just stop the itchy skin and other allergic reactions you canine friend is susceptible to.

Key Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Chicken Broth
  • Beef Liver
  • Chicken
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Dried Peas
  • Carrots
  • Dried Potatoes
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Flaxseed

This food is free of chicken by-product meal, soy, wheat, corn, preservatives, colors, and artificial, which makes it great for sensitive dogs.

The first ingredient is beef, which is great because it is an excellent choice for protein. Not to mention that it is a good source of iron and B vitamins.

Chicken broth supports joint health, alleviates an upset tummy, soothes a bad gut, boosts digestive health, and improves your dog’s immune system.

Beef liver is a resourceful source of fats, protein, and key nutrients, including vitamin A, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, copper, and iron.

Instead of grain, such as rice, this brand uses potatoes to supply your pooch with nutritional carbohydrates, which are easily digestible and tolerable.

This formula also contains non-GMO flaxseed, which is great because it helps support healthy kidneys, digestion, immune system, joints, skin, and coat.

Things We Like

  • Grain-free formula is suitable for sensitive dogs
  • Farm-raised beef helps build muscle mass
  • Healthy ingredients are good for a bad gut
  • Contains nutritional carbs that are tolerable and digestible
  • Doesn’t contain chicken by-products

Things We Don’t Like

  • May contain chunks of vegetables

#4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food

Is Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food healthy for your pup? Yes, it is nutritious and healthy. There are many benefits, including high protein content and increased hydration.

Key Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Liver
  • Meat By-Products
  • Salmon
  • Rice
  • Guar Gum
  • Water

Real chicken is the first ingredient in this formula. It will supply your puppy with sufficient protein without a big calorie count.

Your puppy needs lean muscle mass for alertness and activity and omega 6 fatty acids to help maintain her healthy skin and glossy coat. She’ll get all that with chicken as the first ingredient.

The liver will supply your puppy with vitamin A, fat, protein, omega 3 and 6, vitamin B, phosphorous, zinc, niacin, copper, and iron.

Salmon supplies your juvenile dog with omega 3 fatty acids to boost decrease inflammation and boost a healthy immune system.

Rice is easily digestible and suitable for puppies. This ingredient improves digestion, improves bowel movements, and cure stomach ailments.

Another great addition is guar gum (soluble fiber), which helps to lower blood glucose. It also improves the digestibility of amino acids.

Things We Like

  • Real chicken helps build muscle mass
  • Omega 6 fatty acids boost healthy skin and coat
  • Nourishes vision and brain development
  • Supports your puppy’s healthy immune system
  • Improves digestion and bowel movements

Things We Don’t Like

  • Possible to receive old or oxidized food

#5. Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Food

Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Food is formulated with balanced nutrients that provide your young dog with adequate nourishment.

Key Ingredients:

  • Processing Water
  • Fish Oil
  • Chicken
  • Powdered Cellulose
  • Pork By-Products
  • Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Pork Liver
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Rice Flour

Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Food is the ideal diet for supporting your juvenile dog’s growth and development.

The first ingredient is water, which is great because it increases water intake, improves digestion, stimulates appetite, and prevents problems associated with dehydration.

Your young pooch needs protein for energy and building of muscle mass. She gets that from chicken. This ingredient also has omega 6 for supporting healthy skin and coat.

Pork liver ensures your pup gets enough of omega 3 and 6, vitamin B, phosphorous, zinc, niacin, copper, and iron.

Dried plain beet pulp supplies your pup with gentle fiber that will not upset the natural flow of her gut. It also produces fatty acids for energy.

It contains fish oil, which is one of the most important supplements for your young pooch. This ingredient supports heart health, healthy joints, healthy skin, and coat.

Things We Like

  • Sufficient water improves digestion
  • Good protein source for energy and muscle mass
  • Sufficient Omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin and coat
  • Gentle fiber supports a healthy gut
  • Supports heart health and healthy joints

Things We Don’t Like

  • By-products may not be suitable for some breeds

Buying Guide

While dry food is a good option for most dogs, there are several good things for choosing canned food.

Canned nutrition tends to contain more protein and fat on average, making it an ideal option for older and younger dogs.

This type of dog food is also low in artificial flavors and colors, low in synthetic preservatives, and an excellent choice for dogs with dental problems.

Now, you need to make the following considerations in order to choose the best wet food for your pooch.

Ingredients List

Labels contain all sorts of information. In fact, they are probably the only means for you to know what is in the food.

The first label that you have to pay close attention to is the ingredients list, which tells you everything that is in the can.

Take a good look at the first six to ten ingredients. You should see things such as chicken, liver, turkey, oatmeal, sweet potato, dried potato, and water sufficient for processing.

The first ingredient should always be meat, which is great because it means your dog will get sufficient protein for building lean muscle mass.

Make sure there are enough ingredients in there that will supply your pooch with sufficient amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are good for joint problems, heart health, and boosting healthy skin as well as a shiny coat.

Most manufacturers include antioxidant-rich ingredients to ensure that your dog’s body is able to fight the effects of free radicals.

According to pet food companies, antioxidants are rich in vitamin E and C, which help to boost the immune system of your dog.

Guaranteed Analysis

We are familiar with the guaranteed analysis panel on the label of any dog nutrition. In order for a diet to qualify as dog food, protein, fat, fiber, and moisture percentages must be listed.

A typical guaranteed analysis needed to qualify as a canned dog food would be Crude Protein 8% (min,) Crude Fat 4.5% (min), Crude Fiber 2% (max), and Moisture 79% (max).

One of the most important uses of a canned food guaranteed analysis is to determine the amount of moisture content in the food.

It is clear from the aforementioned example that this particular nutrition has a 79% maximum moisture content, which is good because water helps with processing.

The higher moisture percentage in your dog’s canned diet means she can enjoy a larger serving without ingesting too many calories into her system.

The higher moisture content also ensures your pooch does not suffer from digestion issues, urinary tract infections, or constipation.

Age Matters

Another important factor to take into consideration is age. The nutritional needs of your adult dog and puppy differ. You need to feed her what’s appropriate for her current needs.

For example, a puppy would need an abundant amount of proteins and calories for building strong muscle mass and boosting energy for activity.

But you cannot feed a similar diet to a senior dog, she will grow fat, suffer from heart conditions, and deteriorate her overall health.

Manufacturers have made the selection simpler. All foods come specified either for adults, seniors, or puppies. So, it’s easier to pick what your dog needs.


Q1. Are Poultry By-Products Bad for My Dog?

It depends on what is included as by product. Kidneys, liver, spleen, and lungs are considered nutritious ingredients. But the same can’t be said of hooves, hair, hide, and feathers.

Q2. How Do I Know the Food is Grain-Free?

You will see a label on the can, which indicates that the nutrition is grain free, and you should also see things such as sweet potato and dried potato on the ingredients list.

Q3. How Long Can Canned Food Stay Refrigerated?

It is advisable that you make sure your dog or puppy eats all the food within a maximum of three days. Canned foods tend to have a shorter shelf life once opened.

Q4. Can I Speed up the Transition Time for Switching My Dog’s Food?

Switching your pooch food quickly can possibly lead to stomach upsets. Instead, you should take a week or two as you reduce the amount of original food little by little.

Q5. Must I Choose a Canned Diet with a Higher Water Content?

Water is good for food processing. It also helps avoid digestion and constipation issues. Not to mention that it keeps your dog hydrated. So, it is a good idea to choose a higher moisture content.

Final Thoughts

Our overall best selection for adult dogs is Purina One SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Formula Dog Food. It contains smartly combined ingredients that ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients.

On the other hand, our overall best selection for puppies is Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food. This nutrition is ideal for developing the immune system and boost vision and brain development.

It does not matter what the food label says (Premium, Holistic, or Grain-Free), make sure you check the ingredients list for food allergies.

This is extremely important if you have a sensitive dog breed. Some diets may contain gluten and by-products, which can be disastrous for your pooch.


Sherri Taylor

Sherri has been a lifelong dog lover. She is the founder of dfwdogquest.com. She created this website with only one mission in mind; to make sure every dog gets the best care it deserves. She is passionate about dog care and you can pick up the latest information on dogs from dfwdogquest.com

Leave a Reply