Choosing The Best Wet Dog Food

As a proud pet owner, we want to make sure our four-legged family members has the best that we can provide them—that especially includes the food that we give them. We want to provide them with the best wet dog food that will guarantee their fur is going to be shiny and sleek.

We want food that will strengthen his immune system, so he’ll be in our lives for a long time. We want food that will be easy on their digestion system and possibly even promote dental health. Yes, we have a laundry list of benefits that we want our dog’s food to give us. Unfortunately, there are far too many options available that it can be overwhelming!

Cesar Wet Dog Food

In this guide, we are going to tell you some of the qualities you should consider when choosing a wet food for dogs, but we will talk about five top rated wet dog food products that you may want to consider the next time you need to buy more. You may be surprised to learn how important it is to read the ingredient list, even if it is just for your dog! Their nutrition is just as important as your own, after all.

Without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

What Qualities To Look For When Choosing The Best Wet Dog Food For Your Pooch

There’s no denying that there are a lot of dog foods available on the market. Heck, when you go to your local big chain pet store, you have two aisles of dog food, one for wet food and one for dry! It’s no wonder that people just pick any old thing and be done with it. There are just too many options!

AAFCO Proficency

Fortunately, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has created specific guidelines that need to be followed when a pet food company is labeling their product.

According to those guidelines, if a product states that there is chicken as a single ingredient, that product must contain 95% of that ingredient—without water being included. If there is a combination of ingredients featured, like chicken and liver, that combination must make up at least 95% of the food.

Wet Dog Food For Dogs in A bown on the Ground

When you see phrases like a dinner, platter, or entrée, this means the food must contain at least 25% of those featured ingredients. If the food says something like “with cheese” or “with” any other ingredient, then that product will contain at least 3% of that named ingredient. If a food product is just a “flavor,” then the dog food must only have a detectable amount of that specified ingredient.

Ingredient List

The list of ingredients is a good indication of what is in the food, but it isn’t going to be able to tell you the quality of the listed ingredients, where they came from, or the ingredients may be broken down into different “forms” so that it doesn’t look so suspicious.

For example, let’s say you choose food and it has different types of corn, which isn’t the best ingredient to have in dog food, like flaked corn, ground corn, and kibbled corn listed. Manufacturers do this so they can put corn further down in the list of ingredients and make it look like meat is the primary ingredient, when in fact, corn is a major component.

Meat is another ingredient that is a challenge because whole meats contain water, which increases its weight. This means that before cooking, you may have so many ounces of whole meat, but after it is cooked, that water weight is gone and you’re left with a fraction of actual meat.

Then, on the other hand, you have an ingredient like “meat meal.” While this sounds unappealing to us, it really has more meat and nutritional value than whole meats because there’s no water weight throwing the calculations off.

So, what should the ingredient list look like when searching for the best wet dog food?

  • Protein – The source of protein should be the first ingredient on the list. It should also be a named protein source, like chicken, beef, lamb, fish, etc.
  • Grains – The dog food should have a whole and unprocessed grains listed if any. Although grains and starches aren’t necessary to be included in a wet dog food recipe, you’ll always find it in there to some degree. You’ll want to find food that uses brown or wild rice—never white!
  • Vegetables – Potatoes or sweet potatoes are generally used in a dog food as a thickener in wet food, and that’s okay—as long as it is further down on that list. Ideally, it should be at least the sixth or seventh ingredient on the list, rather than second or third. If you’re looking for the best wet dog food with premium ingredients, see if you can find vegetables like carrots, apples, or even alfalfa.

Ingredients to Avoid

These are some ingredients that you’ll want to avoid giving your dog:

  • Byproducts – These are the remains after an animal has been slaughtered, but it can also be from other food groups, not just meat. You can have vegetable byproducts, grain byproducts, as well as meat. These are the stuff that you don’t want to consume, and they also tend to be laden with preservatives and even chemicals. Some companies don’t even name the byproduct source, they’ll just say “meat byproduct!” Yikes!
  • Unnamed Animal Sources – If a product states “liver” or other organ meat in the food, that isn’t a great source of meat. We would avoid using products that do not list the source of these organs but also avoid products that just like “poultry” instead of a named bird.
  • Artificial Flavors and Colors – You don’t want to eat chemicals, so you shouldn’t feed it to your pup, either. With that said, it isn’t very often that you’ll find these things in wet dog food, but you may find them in dry good.
  • Food Binders – A food binder is something that companies add to hold meat products together, so it looks more like actual chunks of meat. This could be in the form of wheat gluten, guar gum, or even carrageenan gum. If they are included on the ingredient list, they should be at the bottom of said list. Ideally, they wouldn’t even be an ingredient in the best wet dog foods.
  • Sweeteners/Sugar – Low-quality food is more apt to add sweeteners and sugars to their food simply because the flavor isn’t there. They skimped out on using quality ingredients, so they have to add sweeteners to make the food more appealing. Typical sweeteners you’ll find in dog food (especially dry dog food) will include sugar or molasses. Always avoid any foods that have corn syrup in it.

The Best Wet Dog Food Under $30

When it comes to providing quality food for our dogs, some people don’t worry about the price tag, which is fine and well. Unfortunately, dog food can get pretty expensive, especially when you’re worried about finding the best wet dog food for sensitive stomachs or a suitable wet dog food for puppies.

We’ve gathered the best wet dog food under $30 that you may want to consider the next time you need to pick up some wet food.

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Name

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Rating

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Purina ALPO Wet Dog

Purina Alpo Wet Dog Food
4.3
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Purina Beyond Natural

Purina Beyond Grain Free Dog Food
4.3/5
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Cesar Wet Dog Food

Cesar Classic Wet Dog Food Unopened
4.5/5
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Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food Can
4.5/5
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Wellness Core Natural

Wellness Core Dog Food Cat
4.3/5
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Purina ALPO Wet Dog Food Chop House Filet Mignon And Bacon Flavor Review

When it comes to dog food brands, Purina has been around for quite some time and is a well-known brand. If you’re purchasing this dog food on Amazon, you will receive 12-13.2 ounce cans of dog food for $12.99, or $8.38 when it is on sale.

The dog food claims to be 100% complete and balanced. It also contains essential minerals and vitamins that are suitable for dogs of all ages.

With that said, the first six ingredients in the food include (in order):

  • Water
  • Chicken
  • ​Liver
  • ​Meat By-Products
  • ​Beef
  • Soy Flour
Purina Alpo Wet Dog Food

When looking at customer reviews of the product, 83% of people gave the dog food four or five-star reviews, which is pretty good. Of the reviews, people share that for the price, it is a great option. Their dogs enjoy the food, and because there is gravy, it mixes well with dry food.

With that said, 17% of people who left three stars and below reviews had similar complaints: either their dogs didn’t want to touch the food, or they are the food, but it made their dog sick. To be fair, several of the dogs that gotten sick were older so their dietary needs may be a factor.

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Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food Review

Another Purina brand dog food, however, this one claims to have natural ingredients without artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or by-products. If you choose to purchase this product on Amazon, you can get a six pack of 13-ounce cans for $13, or $12 when it’s on sale.

There are three flavors you can choose from, as well as a variety pack.

With that said, the first six ingredients in the food include (in order):

  • Chicken
  • Water
  • ​Liver
  • ​Carrots
  • ​Peas
  • *Potassium Chloride
Purina Beyond Grain Free Dog Food

*Potassium chloride is an additive that gives food a salty flavor and it can provide other functional roles that enhance flavor, texture and shelf life.

When looking at customer reviews of the product, 84% of people gave the dog food four or five-star reviews, which is pretty good. These reviewers felt that this was a good attempt on Purina’s behalf of trying to offer a healthy option without using corn and corn meal as a filler. Although the food is quite wet, there is great to mix with dry food, which many reviews do and their dogs approve.

With that said, 16% of people who left three stars and below reviews had similar complaints. Some were not happy with how much liquid was in the can, others mentioned that several cans were dented upon arrival. That, of course, was not a reflection of the food, but of the delivery. Some also shared that their dogs would eat the food at all.

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Cesar Wet Dog Food Review

Of the dog food we’ve reviewed thus far, perhaps this is the best value for your money. When purchasing the product on Amazon, you have numerous flavor options available, as well as options for how many 3.5 ounce containers of food you want to receive:

  • 12 pack - $8
  • 24 pack - $22
  • 48 pack - $32

For the purpose of this review, we will be looking at the filet mignon flavor. These are the first six ingredients in this dog food:

  • Water
  • Chicken
  • ​Animal liver
  • Beef
  • ​Meat by-products
  • Wheat gluten
Cesar Classic Wet Dog Food Unopened

When looking at customer reviews of the product, 88% of people gave the dog food four or five-star reviews, which is really good. Of these positive reviews, many of the people said their dogs absolutely loved the food. While this is food with small breeds in mind, some folks shared that they gave this food to their big dogs as a way to start off their day.

With that said, 12% of people who left three stars and below reviews had the same thing to say: it made their dog sick. These reviewers felt either dog food was old or contaminated because their pups had severe diarrhea. Some people have shared that the container’s foil top was puffed up, which is an indication that the integrity of the food was compromised or went bad.

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Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food Review

If you are looking for a brand of dog food that will grow with your dog, perhaps the Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food is going to be of interest to you. This dog food is made of lean, all-natural ingredients that give your pups the nutrition they need from the time they are little puppies and all the way to their final years. The formulation of this dog food promotes radiant skin and give your dog a shiny coat, but it also is said to boost their immune system, support their vision and heart health.

If you’re interested in purchasing this product on Amazon, you have two options of how many and the size that you’d like to purchase:

  • 24 x 3.5 ounce cans for $27
  • 12 x 12.5 ounce cans for $26

With that said, it’s not hard to see where the dog gets the nutrients to be so healthy. The first six ingredients in the food include (in order):

  • Chicken Broth
  • Chicken
  • ​Chicken Liver
  • ​Potato Starch
  • ​Lamb
  • Salmon
Nutro Ultra Wet Dog Food Can

When looking at customer reviews of the product, 87% of people gave the dog food four or five-star reviews, which is pretty good. These reviewers share stories of how the senior formula was able to make their older dog have energy and “act like a puppy” again.

Another user said they gave this food to a malnourished dog and they packed on the pounds (in a healthy way, of course) when they combined this food with dry food.

With that said, 13% of people who left three stars and below reviews had similar complaints. A small handful of customers who purchased this food said that it made their dog ill and had to spend a lot of money at the vet. Others have said that their dog wouldn’t touch the food at all. Another tells of bloody stool and needing antibiotics.

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Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food Review

This grain-free wet dog food is a great option if you are looking for a wet dog food for sensitive stomachs. Because the dog food supports a raw feeding philosophy, you are getting more antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and probiotics than other choices available on the market.

Since there aren’t any grains in this product, you are giving your dog enough meat and vegetables to promote a healthy digestive system, a shiny coat, a strong immune system, and enough energy to last for days!

If you want to purchase this dog food on Amazon, you have three options of how many cans and the size of the cans:

  • 24 6 ounce cans for $46.60
  • 12 12.5 ounce cans for $22.52
  • 18 12.5 ounce cans for $45.72

The first six ingredients in the food include (in order):

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • ​Chicken Liver
  • ​Chicken Broth
  • Chicken Meal
  • Turkey Liver
Wellness Core Dog Food Cat

When looking at customer reviews of the product, 82% of people gave the dog food four or five-star reviews, which is pretty good. Many of the customers who reviewed this product were happy to see that there were real ingredients in this product.

Some revealed that when they combine this food with dry food, their dog’s love meal time, even the finicky dogs. One customer said she had a dog who was allergic to a lot of foods on the market, yet when she gave her this particular brand, she could see a gradual improvement in her dog’s health.

With that said, 18% of people who left three stars and below reviews had similar complaints. Most of which were in regards to the condition of the cans when they arrived at their house. Many complained that the cans were dented, which we all know can affect the food inside if there are small pinholes at the bend.

However, this isn’t necessarily a reflection of the product, but of the supplier. Like with the other products, a small handful of customers who used this food said their dog got sick where they needed to be on medication. Customers point out that the label says it is poultry free, yet chicken does appear four times in the ingredient list.

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Conclusion

When we agree to welcome a dog into our home, we aren’t just adopting a furry dependent. We are adopting a companion, a best friend, and in some cases, a lifeline that helps us stay sane in a world gone mad. Because our dogs play such a huge role in our lives, we should do everything in our power to make sure they are loved and make sure they are with us for a long time.

Dog Dental Health Dog With Toothbrush

We can do that by providing these loving animals with nutritious food that is going to boost their immune system, keep their skin and fur supple and shiny, promote dental health, and give them energy.

We can do that by giving them the best wet dog food that we can possibly afford. Sometimes things happen and we can’t give them the top of the line, but that doesn’t mean you should choose a dog food that is made with subpar ingredients simply because it is cheap.

Wellness Wet Dog Food Cans

When you’re at the grocery store, pet store, or even online, always make a point to look at the ingredient list. Of these five products, we feel they are all good dog foods, although a clear favorite is the Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food. It may not be as cheap as the Cesar’s or Purina brands, but it is still under $30 for 12 cans.

The whole ingredients in this food make it a top choice for dogs, and that’s something you can feel good about when your four-legged buddy scarfs down their food! Don’t believe us? Just pick up a can for yourself and see how much your dog enjoys it.

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