Like every dog parent out there, your furry friend means the world to you, which means you must be willing to give them the best, especially when it comes to food. Dog canned food is the most common meal fed to pups, mainly because it is easily accessible and can be fed directly to the dogs. However, pup owners often find it difficult to determine what canned food is best. You can figure this out by spending time with your pup and experimenting with different quality canned foods. But what makes quality canned food? How can you tell if a dog canned food is worth your money, and most importantly, how does it affect your pup's health? We’ll answer these questions and more in the course of this buying guide, but before we get to that, let’s highlight some of the best canned dog foods in 2024.
The best food for your dog is the one they will eat and stay healthy afterward. You know this, but it’s hard to know which one to buy with many available options. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. From dog food for sensitive stomachs to grain-free diets, there are plenty of options out there for pet owners that want to feed their furry friends the best. We have highlighted some of the best healthy canned dog foods we could lay our hands on in the previous section, but we understand that you may need more information to make the best food decision for your pup. So here, we’ll talk about some factors you should take into consideration when purchasing canned foods and how they’ll affect your pup’s health and happiness.
It’s important to choose the right type of dog food for your dog. For some, the goal is to find something with a budget-friendly price tag or high protein, while others might prefer to buy canned food that’ll be easier on their dog’s teeth no matter the cost or protein concentration. Whatever you’re looking for, this article will help you make informed decisions on what type of dog food will work best for your pup.
Factors to Consider When Buying Canned Dog Food
Deciding what type of canned food you want for your pup can be difficult. Luckily, the information below will make it a walk in the park.
Dogs sometimes react badly to certain food substances, and the humane thing to do is not to feed them with these items. So when buying canned dog food, check the ingredients and confirm that there are no allergens before buying and feeding it to your dog.
Note: Do your best to avoid canned food flagged to contain BPA. It is a common canine allergen that could really hurt your pup.
Many brands of dog canned food today add artificial preservatives that are supposed to increase shelf-life. But the truth is, in excess, they could cause some serious damage to your pup’s health. For example, Ethoxyquone, a popular canned dog food preservative, is known to cause skin reactions, cancer, organ failure, and behavioral problems in dogs.
In a nutshell, avoid canned dog foods flagged to contain excess preservatives.
Your dog’s age is an important factor to consider because, just like humans, dogs’ nutritional requirements differ by age. For example, the best canned dog foods for puppies are those with a high concentration of amino acids, proteins, calories, fatty acids, and minerals. Older dogs don’t require as much protein, so a lean-protein diet should suffice.
You might want to consult a certified veterinarian to help you figure this part out.
Your dog’s breed may also play a vital role in determining the type of canned dog food to go for. For example, some brands are specially formulated for huskies, and feeding such products to a terrier or golden retriever may cause allergic reactions or gastrointestinal issues.
Note that most canned dog foods are healthy options for various dog breeds. However, do well to check the label and description to ensure that you’re making the right choice for your pooch.
Presence of whole grains and veggies
The best and most balanced canned dog foods always contain substantial whole grains and veggies. Like humans, dogs need their greens to stay healthy, so go for canned foods that have them. More specifically, choose canned dog foods with brown or wild rice (avoid white rice and wheat gluten if you can), alfalfa, apples, carrots, and other non-starchy fruits.
Food binders in wet dog foods function to thicken and bind together the food pieces, and they’re usually the first indications of a bad product. So avoid canned dog food with binders such as honey, cellulose, lecithin, gum arabic, and sorbitol.
Note that not all food binders are harmful for your pup, but it’s better to avoid them all just to be safe.
Urinary tract infections
There are specialized canned food formulas for dogs with digestive or urinary tract infections, and you can easily find them in dog stores. But just in case you can’t find such canned foods, simply go for products with low acidic pH.
Specified meat and protein source
The best canned dog foods always have a specified mean/protein source. Some of the best meat sources you’ll find include beef, turkey, chicken, and lamb. Simply check the ingredients list, and you’ll find them there.
Beware of canned dog foods with meat by-products and unidentified meat sources. Most times, they’re of low quality and may cause digestive problems for your pup. However, by-products like ground bones, liver, and other major organs have been quite healthy for canines.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is the main regulatory body of canned dog foods. All you have to do is check for a stamp that says, “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles,” or “Provides complete and balanced nutrition,” and you’re good to go. Their stamp is all you need to differentiate a quality product from a fake or poor one.
Like human food, canned dog foods also have expiration dates, and they’re very valid when choosing. This goes without saying, but don’t select and feed your pup with expired canned dog food (especially if the expiration date has passed by six months). The health ramifications of that are beyond measure, and they mostly include gastrointestinal conditions that could be life-threatening.
The Purina Beneful Canned Dog Food is a wet dog food brand that every pup would love to munch on every day. In addition to its great taste, this product is also super healthy; it contains beef broth, wheat gluten, biotin, riboflavin, folic acid, tomatoes, wild rice, soy protein, and other nutritious food nourishments.
Every package of this product comes with 30 cans of dog food, which is a good thing since it’ll reduce frequent trips to the dog store. The best part is that these cans come in four different delicious recipes.
Contains no artificial flavors or colors
Can serve this product alone or in combination with dry dog food
Since it has a relatively high water concentration, it serves as an extra hydration source
Some dog owners have complained about this product’s potential to make canines sick
Each Blue Buffalo Canned Dog Food pack comes with 12 cans of healthy canine nourishments. This wet dog food product is as healthy as it gets since it contains multiple nourishments like vitamin E, biotin, riboflavin, amino acids, and niacin, to mention a few; plus, it can be served alone or in combination with kibble. It comes from a long list of products manufactured by Blue Buffalo, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The primary protein source in this canned dog food is chicken, and in addition to this, it contains veggies like carrots, brown rice, peas, cranberries, blueberries, and many more. You’d be doing your pup a world of good with this product, so go get it!
Doesn’t contain the thickening agent known as wheat, making it healthier than most alternatives
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Has complains about the unhealthy presence of huge chunks of fat in the product
The WAG Store is a household name for dog products, so it’s no surprise that its canned dog food is one of the best out there. This canned canine meal contains only the finest ingredients, and its formulation contains zero harmful substances. Made with chicken and beef as the major protein sources, this product is super healthy and tasty.
One of the best things about the WAG Store Canned Dog Food is that it can be served alone or mixed with dry dog food (kibble). In addition, it contains a wide range of veggies, including peas, carrots, and ground flaxseed.
Is a healthy water source for dogs that don’t drink enough water
Contains no wheat, soy, added grain, and artificial flavors
This product contains about 9% fat instead of the 5.5% specified by AAFCO standards
Wet dog food products don’t come better than PEDIGREE Canned Dog Food. This product comes with a unique fillet mignon flavor and has chicken as its primary protein/meat source. In addition, it contains healthy meat by-products like animal liver. This product is also high in protein, making it ideal for young pups and lean senior dogs. And just like other quality canned dog foods, this one can be served alone or mixed with kibble.
Its unique taste and flavor spur appetite and cravings in canines
Refrigeration can extend its lifespan
Can get as many as three servings from a single can
Excellent source of water for pups that don’t drink much
Many dog parents complain about dented and poor packaging
The IAMS Canned Dog Food is everything a quality wet food product should be. This dog food is one of the most nutritious options available with chicken and chicken by-products as its major protein source and vitamin sources like biotin, thiamine, and vitamin D3 supplements. It also contains fish oil and methionine, which are great sources of omega fatty acids.
High in protein, making it ideal for lean dogs
Contains enough healthy carbohydrates to give dogs energy
No artificial flavors, colors, or soy
People Also Asked
Q: Is dog canned food healthy?
A: Yes. Generally, canned dog food is good for dog health. They contain enough water, which is excellent for dogs that don’t drink enough water and those with urinary tract issues. Dogs find them more delicious than the alternatives too.
Q: Should dogs eat expired canned dog foods?
A: No. However, some reports claim that canned foods less than six months after expiration are still healthy for ingestion. However, ensure that you check such products for mold, mildew, and other forms of infestation before feeding them to dogs.
Q: How much do canned dog foods cost?
A: As mentioned before, there are different brands and formulations of canned dog foods, and this only means that they also come at varying prices. The ideal range for a pack of quality canned dog food pack is between $20 and $50. Of course, some products fall below this range, but they’re generally considered to be of low quality.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.