Best Canned Dog Foods 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

dog wet food pixabay

There are plenty of canned dog food brands available but choosing which one is the best is not always easy. There are several factors to consider that can change the quality of your canned food. We’ve chosen ten different brands to review for you.

Each kind is unique, and we’ll go over the pros and cons we experienced with each brand. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we discuss the important things to look for when choosing a canned dog food.

Join us while we take an in-depth look at canned dog food and discuss ingredients, omega fats, antioxidants, glucosamine, and more to help you make an educated purchase.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Adult Canned Dog Food Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Adult Canned Dog Food
  • Contains lamb and chicken
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Provides a balanced meal
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Buffalo Homestyle Puppy Canned Dog Food Blue Buffalo Homestyle Puppy Canned Dog Food
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains omega fats
  • Works as a treat or standalone food
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • Beef is the first ingredient
  • High protein ingredients
  • Added vitamins and antioxidants
  • Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food
  • Formulated for senior dogs
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin
  • The 10 Best Canned Dog Foods – Reviews  2020

    1. American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food – Best Overall

    american journey grain-free canned dog food

    American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is their choice for the best overall canned dog food. This food is available in several flavors, and each feature whole meat like chicken, beef, or lamb as its top ingredient. It also contains healthy omega fats as well as a complete set of essential vitamins and minerals to help boost your pet’s immune system and help them develop muscle efficiently. This food is grain-free and contains no corn wheat or soy that can affect the delicate balance of your pet’s digestive system. There are also no chemical preservatives or dyes that can cause an allergic reaction.

    We enjoyed reviewing American Journey, and most of our dogs seemed to like it a lot. However, there were a few holdouts that would not eat it and preferred their dry dog food.

    Pros
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • No artificial colors or preservatives
    • Contains Omega fats
    • Grain-free
    • Contains essential vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Some dogs won’t eat it

    2. Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Adult Canned Dog Food – Best Value

    2Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy Lamb & Brown Rice

    Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Adult Canned Dog Food is there a choice for the best canned dog food for the money. This brand contains whole lamb and chicken and has gravy made from lamb and chicken broth. It’s rich in antioxidants like zinc and selenium, and it also contains vitamin A and vitamin E, which will help boost the immune system. It contains a complete balanced meal in an easy to digest formula that shouldn’t give your pet an upset stomach.

    While we were reviewing Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend, all of our dogs enjoyed it, but it gave some of them gas.

    Pros
    • Contains lamb and chicken
    • Contains antioxidants
    • Provides a balanced meal
    • Easy to digest formula
    • Gravy
    Cons
    • May cause gas

    3. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Puppy Canned Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    3Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables

    Blue Buffalo Homestyle Puppy Canned Dog Food is our pick as the best canned dog food for puppies. Puppy foods usually contain slightly higher protein and fat levels to help your dog develop quickly. This brand is suitable for senior dogs as well as puppies and contains chicken as its first ingredient. Omega fats help with eye and brain development as well as contribute to a soft, shiny coat. There are no meat byproducts in this brand, and it contains no wheat, corn, or soy products that your dog may have difficulty digesting. You can give this food as a treat or as an additive to dry food to help it become more enticing to your dog. It also works perfectly as a standalone food.

    While we were reviewing Blue Buffalo Homestyle Food, some of our dogs wouldn’t eat it and preferred to wait for a less healthy option.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Contains omega fats
    • Works as a treat or standalone food
    • No meat byproducts
    • No corn wheat or soy
    • Suitable for puppies and senior dogs
    Cons
    • Some dogs don’t like it

    4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    4Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canned Dog Food Is a brand that offers your pet some exotic flavors like bison and venison that they may not get elsewhere. These foods are high in protein, as are other ingredients like lamb fish and beef. Beef is the first ingredient, and it contains no meat byproducts or harmful chemical preservatives. It’s fortified with vitamins and antioxidants and contains prebiotic fiber from potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, and more. Probiotics are also in the food as well as omega fats.

    The downside of Taste of the Wild is that it’s only available in large chunks, and there is no pate available, which some of our dogs like better. So, we had some dogs not wanting to eat it because it’s not pate and others that didn’t seem to like the flavor.

    Pros
    • Beef is the first ingredient
    • High protein ingredients, including bison, lamb, and fish
    • Added vitamins and antioxidants
    • Contains prebiotic fiber from potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries
    • Includes probiotics and Omega fats
    Cons
    • Only available in big chunks no pate is available
    • Some dogs don’t like it

    5. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food

    5Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables

    Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food is a formula for senior dogs. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help alleviate joint pain and swelling that comes with old age. It features chicken as its first ingredient and contains no meat byproducts. There is also no corn, soy, or wheat to upset your dog’s digestive system.

    While we liked the consistency of Blue Buffalo Homestyle, we felt that it was a little too liquid and is more like a soup than a food. It also caused gas in several of our pets, and several others wouldn’t try it.

    Pros
    • Formulated for senior dogs
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin
    • No meat byproducts
    • No corn, soy, or wheat
    Cons
    • Very liquid
    • Causes gas
    • Some dogs don’t like it

    6. Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food

    6Iams ProActive Health Senior With Slow Cooked Chicken & Rice Canned Dog Food

    Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food Pictures a formula created for senior dogs. It contains whole chicken, omega fats, and vitamins, for plenty of protein, and a boosted immune system.

    We found Iams ProActive Health To be a very dry dog food that comes out of the can clumped together and gelatinous. We felt we spent a lot more time breaking it up so our pets could eat it than we do with other brands. It also contains a lot of meat byproducts and chicken byproducts, as well as dies that can give some dogs an allergic reaction.

    Pros
    • Senior formula
    • Contains chicken
    • Fortified with omega fats
    Cons
    • Contains meat byproducts
    • Contains chicken byproducts
    • Contains dyes
    • You need to break it up
    • Dry

    7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    7Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is a brand with ingredients that promotes muscle growth. It’s high in protein and features beef and chicken as its first two ingredients. It’s packed with B vitamins that will help give your pet the energy they need to stay fit. You can give it as a treat or as a food.

    While we were trying out Blue Buffalo Wilderness, we found it to be very dry. It was also harder to get out of the can if chilled. Many of our dogs prefer canned food after it’s been in the fridge, so this made feeding time more time-consuming. It also has a bad odor that you can smell in the next room, and several of our dogs would not eat this brand.

    Pros
    • Promotes muscle growth
    • Beef and chicken are the first two ingredients
    • Plenty of B vitamins
    • Good as a treat or standalone food
    Cons
    • Very dry
    • Challenging to remove from the can if chilled
    • Bad smell
    • Some dogs don’t like it

    8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    8Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula Grain-Free

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Canned Dog Food provides your pet with a complete and balanced meal that uses select, limited ingredients. The formula is highly digestible to help hour pet get the most nutrients possible. It features duck as its first ingredient, and it’s also fortified with antioxidants like vitamin A. Vitamin B12 also helps boost the immune system while providing energy. There are no meat byproducts or chemical preservatives.

    The downside to Natural Balance L.I.D. is that several of our dogs didn’t like it. We thought it was because the food it very dry. What we didn’t like was that it requires a can opener to open since there is no easy pull-top lid.

    Pros
    • A complete and balanced meal
    • Limited ingredients
    • Highly digestible
    • Contains antioxidants
    • Duck is the first ingredient
    • No meat byproducts or chemical preservatives
    Cons
    • Some dogs don’t like it
    • Dry
    • Requires can opener

    9. Merrick Chunky Grain-Free Wet Canned Dog Food

    9Merrick Chunky Grain Free Wet Dog Food Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner

    Merrick Chunky Grain-Free Wet Canned Dog Food features deboned beef as its first ingredient. It packs in plenty of protein, and it contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, and B12. It’s fortified with omega fats, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help with arthritis and other joint pain. There is no corn, wheat, or soy products that can upset your pet’s sensitive digestive system.

    There are a few downsides to Merrick Chunky, though. The quality control seems very off, and several of the cans we opened were not full, while others were. We also found the inner coating on the can peeling off in more than one can. It also contains garlic, and even though it’s the second last article on the list, garlic is harmful to dogs, so it made us worry about reviewing it. The good news for us turned out to be that several of our dogs wouldn’t eat it.

    Pros
    • Deboned beef is the first ingredient
    • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
    • Omega fatty acids
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin
    Cons
    • Some cans are not full
    • Inner lining comes off the can
    • Some dogs don’t like it
    • Contains garlic

    10. Nature’s Recipe Easy-To-Digest Canned Dog Food

    10Nature's Recipe Easy-To-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground

    Nature’s Recipe Easy-To-Digest Canned Dog Food Features water as the first ingredient and chicken as the second. There are plenty of other high-quality ingredients as well, including potatoes, carrots, and peas. It also contains plenty of vitamins, like vitamin C, D, and B12. It also provides important minerals like iron, copper, calcium, and potassium.

    The downside to Nature’s Recipe is that it is very dry and difficult to get out of the can without making a mess. Our dogs also had a hard time getting it out of their bowls. Many of the cans came dented, and a lot of our dogs wouldn’t eat it. One of our dogs had gas and diarrhea after eating it.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the second ingredient
    • Contains potatoes, carrots, and peas
    • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Dry
    • Many dented cans
    • Dog got sick
    • Some dogs don’t like it
    • Made our dog sick

    Buyer’s Guide

    Let’s look at some of the most important things to consider when choosing a canned dog food.

    Wet vs Dry

    The first thing you’re likely going to ask yourself is if feeding canned wet dog food is right for your pet. Both kinds will supply a complete and balanced meal. However, we’ll take a look at the differences of each type in this section.

    Dry Dog Food

    Dry dog food is also commonly referred to as kibble. Kibble is a dough pressed through a mold and cut to achieve the many shapes, but these shapes are not random. Different shapes and sizes will be easier for different size dogs to pick up. Kibble size is one reason many dogs outgrow their food. Dry kibble also helps clean teeth by scraping and rubbing away tartar, which can reduce the risk of dental disease and improve their breath. The shape of the kibble affects how well it cleans. Kibble is also easier to store because it requires no refrigeration, and it comes in large bags. It stays good in the bag and the much longer, and it’s less expensive than wet cat food. The primary downside to dry dog food is that it’s not as flavorful is canned food, and it can be hard for some dogs to chew.

    Pros
    • Easy to store
    • Long shelf life
    • Less expensive
    • Larger packages
    • Cleans teeth
    Cons
    • Not as flavorful
    • Hard for some dogs to chew

    Wet Dog Food

    Wet dog food is the type that comes in a can. It’s very meaty, usually in gravy, and cooked in the can to preserve flavor and nutrients. Wet food is much richer than dry food, and many dogs prefer it. However, it’s often higher in fat and calories than dry dog food, which can quickly contribute to weight gain. It’s also more expensive and requires special care because it requires refrigeration after you open it, or it can spoil. The primary downside to feeding your pet wet dog food is that it does not help clean their teeth.

    Because wet food is often high in fat and protein, it’s a popular choice for puppies and senior dogs, especially when the older dogs have trouble chewing or are missing teeth. Many owners like to give it as a treat, and they may also mix it with the hard dog food to improve flavor. Mixing it may also help convince your dog to eat a new brand dry dog food or eat their medication. There are many ways to include canned dog food in your dog’s diet.

    Pros
    • Higher nutrient value
    • Cleans teeth
    • Many dogs prefer it
    • Can convince dogs to try a new brand of kibble
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Spoils
    • Only available and single-serving size
    • Doesn’t clean teeth

    Ingredients

    This section will list some of the ingredients that are good and bad in your wet canned dog food.

    Whole Meats

    The first ingredient in your canned dog food should be whole meat like chicken, beef, lamb, or duck. Since it’s canned food, you might see water listed as the first ingredient, but you should never see grains or meat byproducts listed before whole meat, or in place of it.

    The minimum amount of protein in dog food is 18%, but it can go up to 30%. Puppies typically need more protein than adult dogs because they’re still growing and building muscle.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Why are dog eats more meats than humans do they’re not strict carnivores like cats and can benefit from some fruits and vegetables in their diet. There are a few you should avoid like corn, soy, and wheat, but there are many others that can be helpful to your pet’s health. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and other berries can supply your pet with antioxidants that can help boost their immune system stave off disease. Vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and pumpkin will also provide essential nutrients and fiber to your pet’s diet, helping to keep their sensitive digestive system in balance.

    Healthy Fats

    Omega fats can be an essential part of your dog’s dot, and it’s important to look for food fortified with this ingredient. Omega fats help with eye and brain development in your puppy, and they also help maintain a soft and shiny coat throughout life as well as help boost the immune system. You can find essential fats in fish, flaxseed, coconut, olive, and sunflower oils.

    What to Avoid

    We’ve already mentioned that you should avoid corn, wheat, and soy, and the reason is that they provide little nutritional value for your pets, and they can also cause digestive issues for some. They’re not necessarily bad in small quantities, but many foods are better. Another food ingredient we recommend avoiding is meat byproduct or meat meal. Meat meal is dried and ground meat that’s not necessarily bad for your pet, but it’s not as high-quality as whole meat. There is also concern over where the meat meal comes from when it is not from the U.S., as quality standards are lower in other parts of the world.

    We also recommend avoiding dyes, as some pets can have an allergic reaction to them and avoiding harmful chemical preservatives like BHA, which can stay in your pet system for a long time, causing problems.

    Divider 2Conclusion

    When choosing a brand of canned cat food, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall. American Journey Grain-Free Canned Dog Food leaves out all the harmful chemical preservatives but includes important ingredients like omega fats and antioxidants. It also contains chicken as its first ingredient. We believe our choice for the best value is also worth your time. Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Adult Canned Dog Food Contains lamb as well as chicken and includes antioxidants at a bargain price.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews, and they have shown you a little bit about the differences that can occur between brands. We also hope that our buyer’s guide has given you something to look for while you shop, it will help you select a high-quality food with no dangerous ingredients. If you feel it will be helpful to others, please share this guide to the best canned dog food on Facebook and Twitter.


    Featured Image Credit: mattycoulton, Pixabay