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Best wet dog food: Tasty and healthy options for your canine

Best wet dog food: Six kinds to suit your four-legged friend's nutritional and dietary requirements
(Image credit: Getty)

The best wet dog food is delicious, nutritious, and contains everything your canine companion needs to stay happy and healthy. Available in a wide range of different formulas and flavors, the complete and balanced meals in this guide are by far some of the best dog food dishes that money can buy. But with so many wonderful options available, how do you know which one is right for your hound?

You're probably well aware of the ongoing debate as to whether wet or dry food is the more worthy contender of a place in your fur baby's food bowl, but the good news is, there really is no right or wrong option here. There's no denying that the best dry dog food has a lot going for it. The crunchy and abrasive outer shell does a wonderful job of sweeping away plaque and tartar while your dog chews to ensure their teeth stay in tip-top shape. It's also a breeze to clean up if you have a messy eater on your hands and it doesn't smell like wet food does. 

But trust us, wet food is no slouch in the dog food department! Packed with at least 70% moisture, it's ideal if you have a canine companion who doesn't frequent their water bowl as often as you'd like. It's also ideal for dogs that suffer from dental pain or have difficulty chewing as the soft texture is far easier for them to manage than crunchy kibble. 

Now that you know a little bit more about the benefits that wet food can offer, let's take a look at the best wet dog food on offer in 2022, including everything from budget buys to our favorite premium picks...

PetsRadar's pick of the best wet dog food

Best wet dog food Hill's Science

(Image credit: Hill's Science)

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food

Best overall wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: 1-6 years
% Protein: 4
% Fat: 2
Calories per can: 305

Reasons to buy

+
Packed full of vitamins and natural ingredients
+
Highly recommended by vets
+
Numerous products targeted at certain health ailments

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor packaging

Hill’s seems at pains to emphasize its credentials, what with the inclusion of the words ‘Science Diet’ in the product title. Indeed, with it also being #1 Veterinarian Recommended (based on a 2019 survey), this could be described as the thinking person’s wet dog food of choice.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Combining high-quality natural ingredients (in this case, chicken, brown rice, and a mix of vegetables smothered with gravy) with an infusion of protein and Vitamin E for keeping their skin and coat healthy, you can be guaranteed that your dog will enjoy the great taste that accompanies their good health. Moreover, the moderate levels of sodium and phosphorus present ensures kidney and heart health.

Moreover, it allows for versatility with your feeding methods. If you so choose, this can be served alongside dry food, allowing for some variety with your pet feeds. At only 305 calories per can, you can be rest assured that your dog is unlikely to get more than his or her fair share, and is less likely to suffer from obesity as a result.

Scouring the Amazon reviews, there was little negative to note about the product itself, and the validation of vets can only have a positive impact on buyer confidence. Some complaints were received about the poor condition some products arrived in, but thankfully these generally seemed to be exceptions. When it comes to the reaction of people’s pets, their seal of approval was gratefully received.

So in short, we can see few downsides to trying this out. With numerous flavors to choose from, you can rest assured that this will supply your dog with everything they need from a nutritional standpoint.

Best wet dog food Pedigree

(Image credit: Getty)

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food Variety Packs

Best budget wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: 1-7 years
% Protein: 8
% Fat: 3
Calories per pouch: 340

Reasons to buy

+
Complete balanced diet
+
Can be combined with dry food
+
Multipack provides plenty of flavor options

Reasons to avoid

-
Individual pouches don’t provide massive helpings

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly approach towards feeding your dog then Pedigree could be the way to go. At $15.99 for a multi-pack of 30 pouches, this should definitely be worthy of your consideration on the value front alone.

But being cheap shouldn’t be the sole factor when it comes to feeding your pet – after all, at what price should their health and happiness come? 

Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about this when it comes to Pedigree. Filled with great meaty flavors (this multipack includes hickory smoked chicken, filet mignon in gravy, and beef, noodles & vegetables in sauce), and a decent proportion of protein combined with a low rate of fat, all your dog’s dietary needs will be fulfilled.

The real beef and chicken ingredients will appeal to every dog, providing them with the substance they need, with the oils and minerals present allowing for healthy skin and coat.

Our one real quibble is the portion sizes. The feeding guide suggests that you should offer three portions daily for every 10lb of dog, meaning this might be more ideal for smaller breeds, otherwise you’ll find yourself working through it pretty quickly. 

Also, the packaging will divide some people. Personally this writer is fine with the idea of pouches, as they’re easier to store than tins and take up less room, but they won’t be to everyone’s liking.

So for those of you with smaller breeds, the Pedigree pouches could represent a great value option, saving you having to gradually work your way through tins, and making it easier to keep track of feeds.

FreshpetPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Freshpet Grain Free Chicken Dog Food

Best fresh from the fridge wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: Dogs over 4lbs
Protein: 17%
Fat: 10%

Reasons to buy

+
No antibiotics or growth hormones
+
Humanely raised chicken
+
No grains, gluten, soy or fillers

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you're looking for the freshest and healthiest wet food to feed your canine companion, this outstanding formula from Freshpet is hard to beat. Using only the best ethically sourced and humanely raised chicken, these nutritious and delicious morsels also contain spinach and carrots that deliver a powerful hit of antioxidants and vitamins.

We love that this fresh food contains no antibiotics or added growth hormones and it's also free from grains, soy, gluten and all fillers, so you can rest assured that your furry friend is getting everything they need and none of what they don't. These meaty morsels also come in a resealable bag, so they're great for a quick and easy meal. 

There's no doubt that this is one of the more expensive wet dog food products on the market, but the quality is high and the company itself is incredibly responsible, planting trees to offset their carbon emissions and powering their kitchens with renewable wind energy. So, if you're looking for a food that will be kind on your pup and the planet, Freshpet is well worth considering. 

Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Wet Dog FoodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Wet Dog Food

Best filler-free wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: All
Protein: 8%
Fat: 5%
Moisture: 82%
Calories per tray: 94 KCAL/Cup

Reasons to buy

+
Nutrient-dense
+
No meat or poultry by-products
+
No grain, gluten or filler ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Small portions

Containing three mouth-watering flavors (Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Lamb, and Chicken & Beef) this varied pack from Rachael Ray's Nutrish line is bound to get the big paws up from your pooch.

These nutrient-dense recipes contain real meat and a range of vitamins and minerals to ensure your pup stays happy and healthy. The savory meats simmered in a hearty gravy will satisfy your dog's instinctual cravings.

And the best part? Not only do they taste delicious, they're highly nutritious too! There's no grain, gluten or filler ingredients and each dish is also free from meat or poultry by-products, artificial flavors and preservatives.

The only thing that we feel we do need to point out is that the portion sizes are quite small, so you'll find if you have a bigger breed that you'll need to feed them more than one tub, which works out to be very expensive. 

Best wet dog food: Nutro multi-pack grain-free

(Image credit: Amazon)

Nutro Cuts in Gravy

Best grain-free wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: Adult
Protein: Min 8%
Fat: Min 3.5%
Calories per tray: Under 100

Reasons to buy

+
Made from quality ingredients
+
Free from many known allergens
+
High in protein

Reasons to avoid

-
High price tag

If you’re looking for a delicious grain-free dog food that’s rich in nutrients and full of flavor, then look no further than these mouth-wateringly moist dishes from Nutro, made with non-GMO ingredients.

Featuring only the finest cuts of real beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey, these easy-peel trays offer tons of variety and come packed full of vegetables. Made with Nutro’s clean eating philosophy in mind, there are zero chicken by-products, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors and all the dishes are free from corn, wheat, and soy.

High in protein and with plenty of vitamins and minerals, you’ll find the ingredient list has everything your doggy needs to thrive and none of what they don’t. While it may not be the cheapest multi-pack on the market, the quality makes it well worth the extra money. 

Best wet dog food Royal Canin

(Image credit: Getty)

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food

Best low-fat wet dog food

Specifications

Recommended age range: 1-6 years
% Protein: 6
% Fat: 1.43-3.75
Calories per kg: 910

Reasons to buy

+
Low fat percentage
+
Ideal for dogs with some health conditions
+
Lot of confidence in brand

Reasons to avoid

-
 Not advised for dogs with no conditions

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that at some point in their life, your dog might suffer from some health problems. As a result of this, your standard everyday dog food might not be what they need.

Luckily, Royal Canin are about. Famous for a number of products that are geared towards pets with digestive disorders, here they have formulated a type of wet dog food that should assist your dog with any such problems they might have.

Since it’s aimed primarily at dogs whose issues mean they have a hard time digesting fat, the fat content of this product is accordingly low. To make up for the reduced fat, fiber and moisture levels are adjusted in line with this, so your dog will always get the nutrition they need.

Additionally, the presence of highly digestible proteins and prebiotics help support digestive health and good gut bacteria, while antioxidants that are present ensure a healthy immune system. In this process, this food also prevents the formation of crystals in the bladder, making passing urine easier. 

Since this is the kind of food that is usually recommended by a vet in response to a digestive disorder, it’s not the kind of thing we’d recommend giving to a dog with no known health conditions, since they might not get everything they need from it. Still, it’s nice to know that it’s there if you need it.

All in all, this is a great product for dogs who suffer from issues like diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Talk to your vet before buying, but after that you can do so in confidence.

Best wet dog food Purina

(Image credit: Purina)

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food

Best nutrient-rich wet dog food

Specifications

Real meat?: Yes
% Protein: 8
% Fat: 8
Calories per kg: 1,251

Reasons to buy

+
100% complete and balanced nutrition
+
High level of protein
+
Good for digestive health

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively high calorie count

Purina has long promoted itself for producing foods that are sources of real meat. This might not be such a talking point now considering that many other brands are in on the act, but their reputation still provides a high level of confidence when it comes to picking food that you know won’t be too high in heavily processed ingredients. 

This particular brand is made from real chicken and venison (along with turkey, turkey broth, pork lungs, and liver), in addition to four types of antioxidants aimed at supporting the immune system, with no artificial colours or preservatives included.

It may seem like a lot has been packed in, but dogs won’t have any problems stomaching it. With such a high concentration of meat products, the level of moisture is correspondingly high as a result, polling in at 78 per cent of it.

Customer reviews have generally been positive, with as well as satisfied and happy pets, owners also reporting that their coats were visibly glossier. When it’s as swimming in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins as this is, there’s no surprise that there are visible benefits.

Our only real concern with this is the relatively high calorie count – at 1,251 per kg, it’s a fair amount higher than the other products reviewed here. All this means is that servings at meal time might need to be smaller as a result, but that’s a minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

So if you want to ensure that both you and your dog get your money’s worth, Purina might be the brand to go for.

Best wet dog food Caesar

(Image credit: Getty)

Cesar Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in Sauce Filet Mignon Flavor Multipack

Best wet dog food for picky eaters

Specifications

Real meat?: Yes
% Protein: 8.5
% Fat: 4
Calories per kg: 951

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal solo, or for topping up dry food
+
Offers a balanced and complete diet
+
Made from high-quality ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Not ideal for larger dogs

One of the more popular brands for small dogs, Cesar has endured through the rise and fall of other brands thanks to combining its ‘gourmet’ brand with a relatively low price tag. Dogs owners can rest assured that they’re buying a reliable and high-quality product without breaking the bank.

This multipack, containing recipes for duck, turkey, grilled chicken and oven roasted chicken, plays to Cesar’s strengths. Present, as per usual, are real meats, combined with a variety of minerals and vitamins. The different flavors keep dogs interested and on their toes, while the peel-away trays ensure that they retain their freshness before being eaten.

This multipack is just one of the buying options available – whatever Cesar product you choose, you can be sure that your pooch will be the grateful recipient of a balanced and highly nutritious meal. 

Due to the portion sizes, this probably isn’t the best option for medium-sized or larger dogs, and some of the recipes might not necessarily represent the best source of protein (we’re thinking specifically of the pork-flavored options here). Then again, considering the image of the dog on the packaging, we doubt it’s the kind of thing you’d go for if you’ve got a doberman or a labrador anyway.

Even so, when it comes to smaller dogs, there aren’t all that many products that can claim to be superior to what Cesar comes out with. Healthy, tasty, and unlikely to break the bank, you are unlikely to go far wrong should you choose to make this your dog’s primary source of sustenance. 

Best wet dog food: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog FoodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

Best wet dog food variety pack

Specifications

Real meat: Yes
Protein %: 8.5 minimum
Fat %: 6 minimum
Calories: Varies

Reasons to buy

+
Wholesome ingredients
+
Mix of chicken and beef
+
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than other brands

While Blue Buffalo has never been the cheapest brand on the market, it's certainly one where you get what you pay for. Using only the best healthy and wholesome ingredients, you can rest assured that your pooch is getting everything they need to thrive.

Available in packs of eight, you'll get four homestyle chicken and four homestyle beef dishes that come packed with vegetables, including peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and feature real meat as the first ingredient. 

There's also plenty of whole grains in the form of brown rice, oats and barley to supply the complex carbohydrates your dog needs and lots of fiber to keep their digestive system running smoothly.

We love the addition of blueberries, that provide a powerful hit of antioxidants, and cranberries, which are beneficial for keeping the urinary tract healthy. The dishes also have a minimum of 78% moisture, so they're a great choice if your dog doesn't frequent their water bowl as often as you'd like them to. 

Purina BenefulPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Chewy)

Purina Beneful IncrediBites Canned Dog Food

Best for wet dog food for small dogs

Specifications

Recommended age range: : Adult
% Protein:: 11
% Fat:: 2.5
Calories per can:: 86

Reasons to buy

+
Contains real beef, chicken and salmon
+
High in protein
+
Small chunks for small mouths

Reasons to avoid

-
A little more expensive than some

Specially created with adult small dogs in mind, this pack of mouth-watering dishes contains meaty chunks and natural ingredients with a hint of a savory sauce. As such, they are packed with flavor and texture but, since the chunks are deliberately bite-sized, they are very easy for small mouths to chew.

This pack comes with 30 cans in three different flavors: real salmon, farm-raised beef and chicken. The meat is mixed in with tomatoes, carrots and rice that can be clearly seen, ensuring it all feels very natural as you'd expect from a premium product. 

With no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, the meals are also high in protein so they will help to support your pooch's muscles. They are also packed with 23 essential vitamins and minerals. If you're after a healthy choice, you can't go too far wrong.

How to choose the best wet dog food

By now, there are a number of factors that you will likely be considering when it comes to choosing what wet dog food to give to your dog. To summarize, we would say the main things you need to bear in mind before buying are:

  • Should you even buy wet dog food? Dry food might be more ideal from a practical standpoint, but it’s not all about you.
  • What can you afford? We’d all like the best from our pet, but don’t bankrupt yourself in the process.
  • What size is your dog? Certain types of food are geared towards dogs of a particular size, so choose accordingly.
  • Is the food healthy? Make you choose something that balances all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
  • Does your dog have any health issues? If they do, then you might need to choose a particular kind of food that helps with their ailments. Always consult a vet before making a concrete decision on this.
  • More importantly, do they like it? Some pets are picky. If they turn their noses up at it, or display odd behavior after eating, then it may be worth choosing something else. Maybe take a look at our round up of the best dry dog food instead?

Steve writes and proofreads buying guides, news stories and advice for Pets Radar, drawing on his lifelong experience as a pet owner. Currently sharing his house with two cats and a dog, he draws on the many highs and occasional lows of pet ownership he has borne witness to in his writing. He has worked in publishing for 15 years as an editor, sub editor and writer on a range of titles, such as SciFiNow, How It Works, All About History, Real Crime and Horrorville. You can follow him on Twitter @stevewright22