We know that maintaining a healthy and well-rounded puppy diet is hard, so we bring you the best wet puppy food brands.
We tested and rated them, so you don’t have to. Read on to find the perfect canned food for your sweet puppy!
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Best for Large Breeds
- Rich in lean protein
- Contains lots of Omega acids
- Naturally preserved
- Contains fish oil rich in DHA acids
- Flavors from natural ingredients
Best for Small Breeds
- Packed with EPA and DHA
- No artificial flavors
- No protein boosters
- Size-specific food formulas
- Provides excellent nutrition
Best for Strong Bones
- Packed with protein and vegetables
- Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
- Free from harmful ingredients
- Builds strong teeth and bones
- Maintains healthy fur and skin
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
- Made with real chicken meat
- Easy to digest
- Promotes overall health and growth
- Thick consistency
Best Grain-Free Option
- Made with whole meats
- Natural flavor
- Chemical-free veggies
- Free from grain
- US-sourced ingredients
Best For All Breeds
- Suitable for food allergies
- Good for sensitive stomachs
- Versatile product
- Suitable for all breeds
- No meat by-products
The Best Wet Puppy Food Options in Detail
Caring for a pet can be a difficult task. So is going through thousands upon thousands of pet products while trying to find the best for your puppy. That is why we, along with our pets, have tested and rated the most popular canned dog foods on the market so you don’t have to!
So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best of the best.
Best for Large Breeds
- Flavor: Turkey & Chicken Grill
- Size: 12.5oz cans
- Feature: Holistic and healthy
- Feature: Free from fillers and preservatives
- Feature: No poultry by-product meals
Blue Buffalo is a family-run business that cares about the health and safety of pups everywhere. Their Blue Wilderness is perfect for puppies of larger breeds who don’t require too much calcium. It’s rich in turkey and chicken so your puppy will get all the proteins and fatty acids to aid their brain development and maintain healthy cognitive and retinal functions.
All Blue Buffalo puppy food customers agree that the best thing about this food is that it’s formulated to support your puppy’s active lifestyle. The all-natural ingredients promote muscle growth, allowing your pup to grow into a big, healthy dog. Not only is the food high in protein, but it’s also free of any grain, gluten, corn, brown rice, by-product meals, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
There’s more than enough proof that all Blue Buffalo products are made with above-average ingredients and delicious recipes as per the highest industry standards.
First five ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Pea Protein
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- + Rich in lean protein
- + Contains lots of Omega acids
- + Naturally preserved
- + Contains fish oil rich in DHA acids
- + Flavors from natural ingredients
- − Some dogs don’t like peas
Best for Small Breeds
- Flavor: Gravy
- Size: 3oz pouches
- Feature: Free from plant-based protein boosters
- Feature: Includes a moderate amount of meat
- Feature: Rich in EPA and DHA fatty acids
Royal Canin food is truly fit for royalty. The brand offers over 50 products for dogs alone. All the products are tailor-made to suit specific health needs, breeds, sizes, and ages. With more than 40 years of experience in pet nutrition, you can rest assured that each and every Royal Canin puppy wet food is designed with the pets’ best interest in mind.
Packed in convenient pouches, this puppy canned food provides exceptional nutrition to puppies of small breeds. A special combination of vitamins and amino acids is also added to support your pet’s immune system. Moreover, the food contains a mixture of nutrients that maintain the healthy development of your pup’s digestive system. On top of that, it supports the energy needs of small-breed puppies whose growth period is short, but intense.
All Royal Canin products follow and exceed the AAFCO’s health and nutrition guidelines, earning only positive feedback from customers. All of their products are excellent for growing puppies, yet some Royal Canin canned puppy food reviews criticize the brand for using pork by-products as they aren’t as nutritious as fresh pork.
First five ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken, Salmon, Chicken Liver, Chicken By-products
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- + Packed with EPA and DHA
- + No artificial flavors
- + No protein boosters
- + Size-specific food formulas
- + Provides excellent nutrition
- − Contains meat by-products
Best for Strong Bones
- Flavor: Chicken and Salmon
- Size: 6oz and 12.5oz cans
- Feature: No artificial colors and additives
- Feature: Free from anonymous meat ingredients
- Feature: Holistic nutrition
This delicious pâté made with real chicken and salmon is one of the best canned foods for puppies. Why? Because it’s not too wet, making it an excellent transition from wet to solid food. Like other high-quality puppy foods, Wellness puppy food is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Wellness puppy food customers claim that, besides being great for development, the food is superb for maintaining your pup’s skin and coat both healthy and shiny. Moreover, phosphorus and calcium keep the pup’s teeth strong and bones healthy, making this a complete meal that’s suitable for everyday feeding.
Numerous Wellness canned puppy food customers also say that it can be used as a form of a treat as it’s a bit higher in calories compared to other foods.
First five ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Salmon, Ground Barley
- + Packed with protein and vegetables
- + Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
- + Free from harmful ingredients
- + Builds strong teeth and bones
- + Maintains healthy fur and skin
- − Doesn’t smell appetizing
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
- Flavor: Chicken
- Size: 13oz cans
- Feature: Veterinarian recommended
- Feature: Free from harmful ingredients
- Feature: 100% satisfaction guarantee
Science Diet puppy reviews rave about this wet food for puppies. Seeing how it’s made with purposeful ingredients for easy digestion, it’s perfect for puppies with sensitive tummies. Proteins from real chicken meat and pork liver will help your pup grow lean muscles, while antioxidants and vitamins will maintain their immune system strong and healthy.
On top of that, fatty acids from fish oil will help promote brain health and eye development, and the concoction of minerals will provide them with strong teeth and bones. The only remark Science Diet canned puppy food customers have is that the formula contains a bit too much corn — it’s the third ingredient on the list.
Corn isn’t bad for puppies, per se. But, it’s more optimal for dogs to receive their proteins from meat rather than from plants. Nevertheless, puppies seem to adore the taste and all the other ingredients are top-notch, so we can forgive this minor slip-up.
The brand also offers four product lines for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. They range from regular foods to formulas that address specific health issues like sensitive tummies, mobility, weight control, etc.
First five ingredients in the best canned food for puppies with sensitive tummies: Water, Chicken, Soybean Meal, Pork Liver, Whole Grain Corn
- + Veterinarian-recommended
- + Made with real chicken meat
- + Easy to digest
- + Promotes overall health and growth
- + Thick consistency
- − Doesn’t have easy-open tab
- − Chunks may be big for some puppies
Best Grain-Free Option
- Flavor: Chicken
- Size: 5.5oz cans
- Feature: non-GMO vegetables
- Feature: Whole meat
- Feature: Sustainably sourced
Halo has a holistic approach to food. All of their products are made with whole meat and include no meat by-products nor grain. Moreover, all the ingredients are sustainably sourced, taking care of both our pets and the environment.
Our team found absolutely nothing negative about the brand or its products. The puppy formula contains plenty of proteins seeing how puppies, especially small breed puppies like French Bulldogs and Maltese, require more protein so their muscles can develop properly. Moreover, the food is packed with vitamins and salmon oil, which promote skin and coat health, as well as cognitive development.
First five ingredients in the best puppy canned food for French Bulldogs: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Tricalcium Phosphate, Eggs
- + Made with whole meats
- + Natural flavor
- + Chemical-free veggies
- + Free from grain
- + US-sourced ingredients
- − Some chickpeas are full-size, making them a potential choking hazard for puppies
Best For All Breeds
- Flavor: Beef
- Size: 12.7oz cans
- Feature: With USDA-inspected deboned meat
- Feature: Contains 96% meat
- Feature: No additives or preservatives
The number one ingredient in Merrick’s puppy food is deboned beef. The formula actually contains 96% meat, while the rest of the ingredients are veggies and fruits. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and are grown according to the strictest FDA standards and rules.
We loved that this formula is so versatile. You can use it as a wholesome standalone meal, on top of dry kibble, or even as a snack or a treat. The formula is also grain-free, which is great for all dogs that suffer from grain allergies.
However, as all dogs need energy from complex carbs, grains are replaced with sweet potatoes in this case. This makes the formula wholesome and easily digestible. It’s also available in two flavors Beef Recipe in Gravy and Chicken Recipe in Gravy.
First five ingredients: Deboned Beef, Natural Flavor, Beef Liver, Beef Broth, Apples
- + Suitable for food allergies
- + Good for sensitive stomachs
- + Versatile product
- + Suitable for all breeds
- + No meat by-products
- − Color and consistency vary from can to can
- Flavor: Chicken and Rice
- Size: 13oz cans
- Feature: Inspired by home-cooked meals
- Feature: Wholesome puppy food
- Feature: Promotes a healthy immune system
The combination of proteins from meat and flaxseed, fatty acids from fish oil, and vitamins and minerals, promotes a healthy immune system that keeps your dog’s skin and coat both healthy and shiny. Yet, this wholesome dog meal inspired by home-cooked food isn’t only good for puppies.
IAMS canned puppy food customers say that the formula is excellent for old pups with sensitive gums and teeth, as well as digestive issues. The brand, of course, has a formula for senior dogs too, but the ingredients are almost identical.
What’s best is that you can also mix the formula with dry food. Nevertheless, we had to dock a few points off of the formula as the brand uses meat and chicken by-products. As we’ve mentioned earlier, this is neither harmful nor bad. But, meat by-products don’t provide as much protein as pure meat. In addition to this, the first ingredient in the formula is water.
We understand that wet foods contain water as the formulas require moisture, but it shouldn’t be as high on the ingredients list.
First five ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Chicken, Chicken By-products, Meat Protein Isolate, Meat By-products
- + Improves the immune system
- + Promotes healthy skin and coat
- + A wholesome meal
- + Suitable for senior dogs too
- + Reasonably priced
- − Cans often come damaged
- − Contains chicken and meat by-products
How We Chose the Top Picks
What you feed your puppy is essential for their overall health, happiness, and quality of life. Finding what’s right for them is more complicated than you may think. Take a look at the factors we considered when choosing foods to review and see how we ranked them.
- Healthy ingredients: the canned puppy food should contain lots of protein, fat, fruits, vegetables, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Food quality: highest-quality foods follow the AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials) strict guidelines for dog food quality.
- Taste and smell: puppy food should smell and look nice, so puppies would find it delicious.
- User reviews: we went through other pet parents’ thoughts, reviews, and opinions. We only tested companies with the best reviews.
- Cost per feed: we chose the most economical options without compromising the quality.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best for Your Pup
There are thousands of wet food formulas for puppies on the internet, with each brand insisting that they’re the best choice for your furry best friend. Hence, saying that the choosing process is complicated would be a huge understatement. Here are some tips on what to pay attention to when buying food for your pup.
Consider Your Dog’s Size
First and foremost, you need to consider your puppy’s breed size. There are over 400 breeds, and each has its own specific needs. For instance, large breed puppies have different nutritional needs than medium or small breed puppies.
Generally, the best puppy wet food for large breeds have:
- Less calcium
- Less phosphorus
- Less fat and are usually leaner
- Have fewer calories per portion
Food formulas for large breed puppies often contain supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine that are beneficial for their joints.
Another essential thing is to always select food that follows, or better yet, exceeds AAFCO’s (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines. These guidelines are established so your puppy would get the perfect nutrition for their current life stage.
The best canned puppy food will have one of the following labels:
- Growth — made for puppies
- All life stages — specially designed for all dog ages: puppies, adults, and seniors
- Maintenance — best suited for adult dogs
- Gestation/Lactation — best for pregnant dogs or dogs who have recently given birth
Guaranteed Analysis of Ingredients
Always take a look at the guaranteed analysis of ingredients. Keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate of the nutrient composition of wet or dry food for puppies.
This should give you an idea of how much moisture, protein, fats, and fiber your dog is getting. Also, blueberries and cranberries are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also excellent sources of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Our tip is to always go for higher minimum crude protein content.
Select Foods Made in the US
Or Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Wet foods made in these countries usually have top-quality ingredients and plenty of positive customer feedback.
If you’re buying food made in the US, you could also do a little research and buy from brands that source their ingredients specifically from the States. Buying food produced in these countries will ensure that your dog gets the safest ingredients possible.
The right balance of ingredients is what makes the best moist or canned puppy food.
Ingredients to Look Out For:
- Whole meat (human-grade if possible) — The meat should be the first ingredient on the list. Even though dogs are omnivores, they need lots of protein to develop healthy muscles and overall wellness.
- No preservatives/Natural preservatives — The best food has no preservatives. However, natural preservatives are acceptable as they contain plant extracts and vitamins.
- Proteins — Protein should be the first ingredient on the list, and it’s best if it comes from animals. Plant-based proteins are also good, but they aren’t as nutritious as meat proteins.
- Whole grains — Feeding a puppy wet food rich in grains will enhance their energy levels while giving them easily digestible fiber. However, some dogs can be allergic to grains, or their tummies can’t tolerate them, so it’s best to use grain-free food in that case.
- Fats — Like protein, fats are essential to any dog’s diet. They’re rich in omega fatty acids that aid brain and vision development. However, you need to choose food with fats that have a clearly labeled source.
- Fruits and veggies — Food rich in fruits and vegetables will give your puppy all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will protect its immune system.
- Amino acids — Small and large breed puppy canned food should be rich in the right amino acids as they’re the building blocks for protein. These include arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
- Minerals — Naturally occurring minerals or chelates (magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus) are essential for building and maintaining healthy bone and tooth structure.
- Carbohydrates — typically make up anywhere from 30-70 percent of dry dog food.
- Pumpkin — Feeding plain canned pumpkins gives a significant boost to your dog’s nutrition. It is excellent for digestion.
Ingredients to Avoid:
- Wheat gluten — This ingredient is often used as a meat replacement, but it can’t provide enough protein as pure meat can. Like all the other glutens, it’s less nutritiously complete.
- Corn — Hard to digest and may cause allergies. Corn is just a cheap filler ingredient. Moreover, it provides almost no nutritional value.
- Meat meal/By-products — Good wet food for puppies shouldn’t have meat by-products. They aren’t dangerous to your puppy, but they’re just not as nutritious as pure meat.
- Rendered fat/Generic animal fat — This fat comes from expired grocery meats, roadkill, and dying or deceased livestock.
- Food dyes — Dyes are added so the food would look more appealing, but they’re just chemical additives. Steer clear from them, especially from red 40, yellow 5 and 6, and blue 2. They can cause severe health issues.
- Corn syrup — No dog needs sugar in its food. Worse yet, it can make it obese. As a result, adult dogs may develop diabetes, behavioral changes, and hyperactivity.
- Cellulose — Canned food for puppies needs no structural carb that’s used in building materials production.
- BHA and BHT — Butylated Hydroxyanisole is a preservative that scientists have linked to kidney damage. In contrast, Butylated Hydroxytoluene is used to prevent the food from spoiling and causing cancer.
- Ethoxyquin — Another preservative. This one has been developed as an herbicide and can cause cancer, blindness, leukemia, liver and kidney damage, and various immune system disorders.
- Propylene glycol — A chemical used in antifreeze also has no place in the best recommended canned food for your puppy. It’s typically used to prevent bacteria growth, but it actually does the opposite.
- Synthetic vitamin K3/Menadione — Synthetic vitamin K replaces the natural vitamin K, which causes damage to vital organs. It’s actually classified as a toxin.
- Hydrochloric acid — This corrosive agent is used to modify gelatin and cornstarch and has no place in your pet’s food.
Cost per Feed
Calculating the cost per feed will allow you to find the best wet food for puppies and your wallet too. Take a good look at the ingredients as the larger size or lower prices don’t always indicate economical food. Some more expensive brands offer more value for money, but it’s up to you to decide.
Consider your dog’s specific needs when choosing their food. This will narrow down your options and provide your pup with the best nutrition. Nowadays, brands make food for puppies and senior dogs, which addresses health issues like weak joints, mobility issues, allergies, digestion, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best and healthiest puppy food?
All of the food options on our list are some of the best and healthiest on the market. However, if you didn’t find anything suitable for your pup, take a look at our buyer’s guide that will help you select what’s best for your furry best friend.
What puppy food do vets recommend?
Depending on your pet’s needs, size, breed, health issues, and overall wellness, your vet may recommend a different type of option. However, all the foods on our review list are vet recommended.
Is wet food with duck good for puppies?
Duck is rich in iron, and it provides dogs with a lean, easy-to-digest protein source. Duck is also a great source of amino acids, which help to support strong muscles. Foods formulated with duck are sometimes recommended for dogs suffering from food sensitivities or food allergies.
Is it safe to mix wet and dry food?
Sure! Some dogs may need a bit of help when it comes to their appetite, and you can enhance the yumminess of their dry food with a wet topper. However, be careful not to exceed the recommended portion size and check whether both foods address your pet’s specific needs and requirements.
How much wet food to feed a puppy?
Determining your puppy’s portion size is a process. Each pup is unique in size and has a different level of activity. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, monitor your pet, and then adjust the portion size to keep your pup at an ideal weight.
Should I feed my puppy wet or dry food?
When it comes to puppies, it’s better to start with wet food. It’s more filling and nutritious than dry food. It has more proteins and fats than dry food, and the moisture from the formula helps hydrate your dog. Wet food like milk is also easier to chew and doesn’t have preservatives.
The Bottom Line
We hope our detailed reviews will help you choose the best wet puppy food for your little animal companion. High-quality wet food will help your pup grow into a strong and healthy dog who will be at your side for many years. One last thing to remember is some dogs are picky eaters.