The Best Canned Dog Foods

Choosing the best canned dog food is a difficult decision, and there’s so many out there to choose from. Do you select a brand based on flavors you know your dog will enjoy? Or choose a canned dog food specifically formulated for their life stage, be that a new puppy or a senior dog who’s been a member of your family for years? Whether or not you choose a grain free canned dog food, or one that contains a limited number of ingredients are also things that you need to take into account.

We reviewed dozens of different types of canned dog food to identify the best of the best. We looked at the quality and number of ingredients, range of flavors, suitability for a particular life stage and whether or not a particular type of canned dog food was grain free or not. Of course, we also looked at the number of positive reviews on Amazon and the rating of each type of canned dog food.

Top pick

This Hill’s Science Diet wet dog food comes recommended by veterinarians, and with a huge number of positive reviews on Amazon

$22.23 USD

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food stood out as a clear winner as the best canned dog food. As well as using high-quality ingredients to provide complete nutrition for your dog, this brand comes recommended by veterinarians. it also has almost 1,000 5-star reviews meaning you can buy it with confidence.

The 5 Top-Rated Canned Dog Foods for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallHill's Science Diet Adult Wet Dog Food4.3
Runner UpNatural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food4.3
Best Budget BuyPurina ALPO Chop House Wet Dog Food4.1
Best Grain Free Canned Dog FoodMerrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food4.0
Best Canned Dog Food For Senior DogsWellness Complete Health Natural Canned Dog Food Senior Formula4.1

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food

The Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food comes packed full of real meat, brown rice and a selection of palatable vegetables including peas and carrots. This mixture is combined with a rich gravy which makes this wet food irresistible to dogs. It provides high levels of lean protein, essential for building muscle and helping to maintain your dog’s ideal body condition.

Hill’s Science Diet is a well-known brand which was founded in 1939. They use a science-based approach to develop a wide range of foods to suit dogs of all life stages and sizes. Ingredients and nutrients are carefully selected to provide the optimum balance for your dog.

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food Key Features:

  • Available in 4 flavors including beef, chicken, and turkey
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.8 oz in size

Our Runner-Up Pick: Natural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food

Runner Up pick
Natural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food

Complete, balanced nutrition for your dog, with no artificial colors of flavors

$21.99 USD

The Natural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food came in as a close second in our list. Using only the highest-quality ingredients, this canned dog food provides ideal levels of lean protein, tasty vegetables and easily digestible carbohydrates. These are designed to allow optimal absorption of key nutrients, helping to keep your dog both fit and healthy.

This canned dog food also contains the perfect balance of Omega-6 and Omega–3, which help to maintain healthy skin and a soft coat. Natural Balance provide support through a team of qualified Veterinary Technicians who are on hand to answer any questions you may have, as well as helping you find the perfect dog food.

Natural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food Key Features:

  • Available in 4 flavors: lamb, beef, chicken and vegetarian
  • Made with premium quality ingredients
  • Every batch is safety tested 9 times to ensure quality
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size

Best Budget Pick: Purina ALPO Chop House Wet Dog Food

Best Budget Pick
Purina ALPO Chop House Wet Dog Food

A budget conscious selection pack of wet dog food, which still provides high-quality protein

$7.98 USD

If you’re looking for a high-quality canned dog food on a budget, we recommend the Purina ALPO Chop House Wet Dog Food. While this brand offers great value for money if you’re watching the cents, it still contains real beef or chicken. Each 12 pack offers a range of 2 delicious flavors: Filet Mignon and Bacon, and Roasted Chicken and Top Sirloin.

Each serving contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins to help support your dog’s overall health and wellness. Given that this is a budget option, it does contain flavorings and contains meat by-products. With over 500 predominately positive reviews on Amazon, many owners seem very happy with this budget choice.

Purina ALPO Chop House Wet Dog Food Key Features:

  • Soft texture to tempt fussy easters
  • Contains more protein than equivalent brands
  • Savory gravy adds flavor
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2 oz in size

Best Grain Free Canned Dog Food: Merrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food

Best Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Merrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food

An excellent choice for a grain free diet

$35.88 USD

Many owners prefer to feed their dogs a grain free diet due to the fact that some dogs can be sensitive to grain or believe that dogs do not need to eat grains at all. There are some excellent grain free canned dog foods available, with the Merrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food being one of the best.

Available in a huge range of 11 flavors including specific blends for puppies, every flavor has meat as the first ingredient, combined with a range of fruit and vegetables including potatoes, apples and beans.

Merrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food Key Features:

  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Cooked in the US
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2 oz in size
  • Real meat as the first ingredient

Best Canned Dog Food for Senior Dogs: Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food Senior Formula 

Best Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food Senior Formula

Specifically formulated to meet the needs of senior dogs

$35.88 USD

As your dog ages, it’s important to consider switching to a canned food which is specifically designed for senior dogs, and the Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food Senior Formula is a great choice.

This dog food is designed to support the 5 signs of wellness in senior dogs: skin and coat, energy, digestive health, immunity, and eyes, teeth and gums. It contains flaxseed to support a healthy skin and coat, and carrots which are a great source of antioxidants.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food Senior Formula Key Features:

  • Reduced calories, and increased fiber to meet the nutritional needs of senior dogs
  • Contains only premium, all natural ingredients
  • Made in the US
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size

Who Should Buy Canned Dog Food?

If you own a dog, then you should definitely consider adding canned dog food to their diet if you don’t already do so. Wet dog food, including cans, pouches and trays, provides another method to hydrate your dog. This is especially useful if your dog doesn’t drink as much as it should. Another benefit is that due to the water content, your dog can eat a larger portion without adding calories, meaning they’re likely to feel ore satisfied than when eating dry kibble alone.

It’s also easy to mix canned dog food with dry kibble as a topper. There’s a wide range of canned dog foods to choose from meaning you’ll be able to find something to suit your dog. From brands containing the perfect blend of nutrients for growing puppies, to those which help support your senior dog, there’s many options to choose from. Fussy dogs or those who are losing their sense of smell, often prefer wet dog food as it has a more enticing smell and flavor than dry kibble.

Top pick

This Hill’s Science Diet wet dog food comes recommended by veterinarians, and with a huge number of positive reviews on Amazon

$22.23 USD

Important Features to Consider

The best canned dog food should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting canned dog food for your pet:

  • Meat as one of the first ingredients. A good quality canned dog food will list real meat as one of the first ingredients. This is important to provide the correct levels of lean protein required to keep your dog strong and healthy.
  • Additional ingredients to suit your dog. Depending on the life stage and breed of your dog, you’ll want to select a canned dog food to suit their individual needs. Formulations specifically for puppies often contain DHA to help healthy development of their brains and eyes, while mixes for senior dogs can contain glucosamine to keep joints moving comfortably.
  • Grain free. Many options are now available if you want to feed your dog a canned food suitable for a grain free diet. Most will list this clearly on the front of the can but check the ingredients if you’re unsure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can canned dog food be frozen in the freezer?

You can definitely freeze canned dog food if you don’t think you’ll use a can within a certain time period. Some important things to note are to make sure that you split the food into single-serve portions and freeze these individually, either in a container or a bag. When you need a portion, simply thaw and allow it to reach room temperature before feeding to your dog.

How long can you keep canned dog food out?

Once a can of canned dog food has been opened, most manufacturers suggest that it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Once you’ve fed your dog, be sure to replace any remaining food in the refrigerator quickly. Some dogs do not like eating cold food, so you may need to allow it to come up to room temperature before feeding. Equally, if you have a fussy dog who doesn’t eat all their food at once, remove any leftovers if your dog hasn’t eaten it within four hours. Be sure to wash the bowl with hot soapy water before refilling.

Is canned dog food better than dry dog food?

One of the main advantages of canned dog food is that it contains a high percentage of water compared to dry dog food. This helps to keep your dog hydrated and also means they can eat more wet food, which helps them feel satisfied. It’s also more palatable, which means fussy or senior dogs are more likely to eat it than dry kibble. Canned food can work out more expensive than dry food, but most dogs just love it!

Can I mix dry food with canned dog food?

You can absolutely do this, and many dogs love the combination of dry and canned food together. It’s a great way to add flavor and variety to your dog’s diet. Be sure to read the label of any food you choose – some canned dog foods are designed to be fed as a topper with dry food, whilst others are a complete meal on their own. If your dog is overweight or on a specific therapeutic diet, speak to your veterinarian first to ensure any mix you choose still has the right balance of calories and nutritional content for your dog.

Other Canned Dog Food We Reviewed

Top pick

This Hill’s Science Diet wet dog food comes recommended by veterinarians, and with a huge number of positive reviews on Amazon

$22.23 USD

We looked at 20 other canned dog foods. While they didn’t make our 5 best canned dog food, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Grain Free Canned Dog Food

Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Wet Dog Food

Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Wet Dog Food

The Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free canned dog food is designed to provide a convinient alternative to feeding a raw diet. Containing a generous amount of meat, this dog food contains no corn, wheat or soy.

Key Features:

  • Available in 12 different flavors including duck and chicken grill, flatland feast with turkey, and trout and chicken grill
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size

Cost: $27.00

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food

Designed to reduce the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to, this premium, grain free wet dog food provides complete, balanced nutrition. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are used.

Key Features:

  • Available in 7 flavors including fish and sweet potato, and wild boar and brown ride
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size
  • Helps to maintain digestive health, healthy skin and a shiny coat

Cost: $31.00

Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Dog Food

Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Dog Food

The Purina Beyond Grain Free contains meat as the first ingredient, with no poultry by-product meal. Each ingredient can be traced back to source, ensuring a quality wet food for your dog.

Key Features:

  • Includes a savory gravy and vegetable accents, for added flavor
  • Available in 7 flavors including chicken and sweet potato, beef and spinach, and turkey and green bean
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size

Cost: $20.00

Wellness 95% Natural Wet Grain Free Canned Dog Food

Wellness 95% Natural Wet Grain Free Canned Dog Food

Designed to provide a rich source of protein, combined with vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. The Wellness 95% Natural canned dog food is perfect if you’re looking for a mixer or topper to add to your preferred brand of dry dog food.

Key Features:

  • Available in 5 flavors – beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or salmon
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2 oz in size
  • Made in the US

Cost: $36.00

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Hearty Stew

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Hearty Stew

With meat as the first ingredient of the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Hearty Stew, you can be sure that this dog food will help support the digestive health of your dog. The grain free recipe is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Key Features:

  • Contains only natural ingredients
  • Available in 7 flavors including salmon, turkey, and lamb
  • Delivers complete and balanced nutrition

Cost: $25.00

Canned Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Blue Freedom Wet Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Blue Freedom Wet Dog Food For Senior Dogs

The Blue Freedom wet dog food for senior dogs contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support your senior dog’s joint mobility and general health. With chicken as the primary ingredient, this food contains a high level of protein.

Key Features:

  • Made from the finest natural ingredients
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Cost: $26.00

Blue Homestyle Recipe Senior Wet Dog Food

Blue Homestyle Recipe Senior Wet Dog Food

This mix is specially formulated for senior dogs, and contains deboned chicken along with hearty brown rice and barley whole grains. This is combined with carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries and cranberries which all help make this food highly palatable.

Key Features:

  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size
  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • Limited ingredients to minimize food sensitivities

Cost: $26.00

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food Adult 7+

Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food Adult 7+

This soft dog food contains all the nutrients required to maintain mobility and muscle mass in senior dogs. Made with high-quality protein and easy to digest ingredients.

Key Features:

  • Contains sodium and phosphorus to help kidney and heart health
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size
  • Recommended by veterinarians

Cost: $21.00

Nutro Ultra Senior Wet Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Senior Wet Dog Food

The Nutro Ultra Senior wet dog food provides a combination of three high-quality proteins, 14 vibrant superfoods, plus vitamins and minerals to help your senior dog maintain great condition.

Key Features:

  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size
  • Uses natural ingredients carefully sourced from trusted farmers
  • 100% satisfaction or your money back

Cost: $25.00

Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Dog Food Senior Formula

Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Dog Food Senior Formula

The Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula contains reduced calories and increased fiber, to help meet the needs of senior dogs. Made with premium meat, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Key Features:

  • Helps support the 5 signs of wellness
  • Made in the US
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5oz in size

Cost: $34.00

Canned Dog Food for Weight Management

Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food For Healthy Weight And Weight Management

Hill's Science Diet Dog Food For Healthy Weight And Weight Management

Made with high-quality lean protein to help your dog maintain strong bones and muscles without gaining excess weight. The precisely balanced nutrition means you can be confident that this dog food will help your dog stay active and healthy.

Key Features:

  • Available in 4 different flavors including liver, chicken, and chicken meal and barley
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size
  • Recommended for dogs that are less active, neutered or prone to weight gain

Cost: $21.00

Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Dog Food

The Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management dog food is designed specially to help overweight and less active dogs to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It combines a blend of three lean proteins with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and oils.

Key Features:

  • Rich in omega fatty acids to promote a healthy skin and coat
  • 100% satisfaction or your money back
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size

Cost: $19.00

Pedigree Weight Management Adult Wet Dog Food

Pedigree Weight Management Adult Wet Dog Food

This weight management canned dog food by Pedigree is low in both calories and fat, to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. The hearty texture and highly digestible ingredients provide complete nutrition for your dog.

Key Features:

  • Contains real meat for a delicious taste
  • Available in 2 flavors – beef or chicken and rice
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2oz in size

Cost: $12.00

Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Canned Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Canned Dog Food

The optimal protein levels in the Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management canned dog food helps your dog maintain lean muscle mass without putting on weight. The balance of nutrients is designed to help support your dog’s immune system as well.

Key Features:

  • Carefully designed protein-to-fat ratio to aid weight loss
  • Contains 25% less fat than standard Purina Pro Plan canned dog food
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size

Cost: $19.00

Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food

Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food

This grain free recipe is specifically designed to help manage the weight of your adult dog. The carefully created blend of nutrient dense superfoods provide the perfect source of vitamins and minerals to help your dog feel their best.

Key Features:

  • Easily digestible
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2 oz in size
  • Low fat, low calorie recipe

Cost: $32.00

Canned Dog Food For Puppies

Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Puppy Wet Dog Food

Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Puppy Wet Dog Food

If you’re looking for a grain free canned dog food designed specifically for puppies, the Blue Wilderness puppy food is a great choice. As well as a high level of protein, it contains the fatty acid DHA, found in mother’s milk and important for cognitive learning in puppies

Key Features:

  • Available in 2 flavors – turkey and chicken grill, and rocky mountain recipe red meat dinner
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5 oz in size
  • 100% grain free

Cost: $27.00

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Food

The Hill’s Science Diet puppy food is specifically formulated to help build mobility and immunity in your puppy. Key nutrients and high-quality protein promote healthy digestion and the development of lean muscle.

Key Features:

  • Precisely balanced nutrition
  • Available in 3 flavors including chicken and barley, and lamb
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13 oz in size

Cost: $21.00

Merrick Classic Grain Free Puppy Plate Canned Dog Food

Merrick Classic Grain Free Puppy Plate Canned Dog Food

With the first ingredient in the Merrick Puppy Plate canned dog food being deboned turkey, you ca be sure this provides a great level of lean protein for your puppy’s development. The grain free formula is suitable for all breeds.

Key Features:

  • Crafted one batch at a time for perfect quality
  • Cooked in Merrick’s kitchens in Texas
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 13.2 oz in size

Cost: $22.00

Nutro Puppy Wet Dog Food For Large Breeds 

Nutro Puppy Wet Dog Food For Large Breeds

The Nutro Puppy wet dog food provides the optimal balance of protein and fat to help your puppy develop healthily. With a recipe designed specifically for large puppies, this canned dog food is rich in nutrients and full of flavor.

Key Features:

  • Optimal balance of protein and fat
  • Available in 4 flavors – with 2 specially designed for large puppies
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5oz in size

Cost: $22.00

Wellness Complete Health Just For Puppy Canned Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Just For Puppy Canned Dog Food

The Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy is designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your puppy. Contains only all-natural, premium ingredients.

Key Features:

  • Made in the US
  • Contains DHA for healthy brain and eye development
  • Pack of 12 cans, each 12.5oz in size

Cost: $33.00

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Emma Stenhouse