Best Wet Dog Food: The Underrated and Overlooked Choice

by | Dec 23, 2018 | 0 comments

Our fur babies deserve nothing less than the best, especially in terms of nutrition. There are thousands of dog food options available in the market nowadays, but the selection branches out into two major classifications: dry and wet dog food.

There has been a long-term debate on which one is the better choice. You will find many dog food preparations in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, but it all boils down to the best that suits your dog’s nutritional requirements and your budget to sustain the feeding requirements. We are here to discuss the preparation that seems to be highly underrated and overlooked by most pet parents, and we will provide you with recommendations on how to select the best wet dog food based on your fur baby’s needs.

Best Wet Foods for Dogs

Merrick Grain-free
  • Deboned turkey as primary protein and fat source
  • Can be served as the complete meal or as an appetite stimulant or garnish
  • No artificial ingredients
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Hill’s Science Diet Adult
  • Can be mixed in conjunction with other wet dog food
  • One of the most revered brands in the market
  • Most reasonably priced
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Natural Balance Ultra-Premium
  • Packed with sustainable and balanced nutrition that covers all life stages
  • High-quality carbohydrate sources, including brown rice, potatoes, and oat bran
  • Well-balanced and highly nutritious
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Blue Buffalo Homestyle Senior
  • Made with whole ground rice to provide complex carbohydrates
  • Chelated minerals and Biotin to support muscle tone
  • 100% wheat-free, so allergy risk is reduced
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Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+
  • Packed with essential antioxidants to maintain healthy brain function
  • Vitamin C and E to keep the immune system in tip-top condition
  • Irresistible stew recipe
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How wet dog food came to be

In the wild, we can say that dog food is naturally classified as wet because of the elevated moisture content it normally has. Food options are fresh and readily available in the outside environment. So, it is very easy to say that wet dog food came before the dry variety. From there, and through the comprehensive development of domesticated dog research focused on nutrition, we now reap the benefits of the high-quality wet dog food options in today’s market, and in the course of this article, we will discuss some of the best wet food for dogs available currently.

Best wet dog food advantages

Despite being the underrated dog food option, wet dog food is packed with advantages over its dry counterpart. Here are just a few of them.

Usually, The best wet food for dogs is closer to the natural taste

As dogs represent the evolutionary offspring of their wild ancestral counterparts, they are carnivores by nature. Eventually, they shifted to become highly functional omnivores. Wet dog food emulates the natural scent and texture of raw meat that wild dogs and wolves consumed after they hunt. In fact, consuming this organic and natural type of food stimulates a dog’s senses.

It is dense in protein and fat

The best wet food for dogs utilizes the natural components of meat derivatives, which means it is high in protein and fat content. In general, dry dog food contains only up to 30% protein, whereas wet dog food can contain as much as 50% protein. A further comparison shows that fat content in dry dog food reaches only up to 20%, compared to up to 30% in wet dog food. The best wet dog food variants contain generous amounts of both protein and fat in highly digestible versions to ensure proper body absorption on a daily basis.

Wet dog food contains fewer carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in dog food is not a bad thing. In fact, this is the primary fuel source of the body to ensure that all bodily functions will work properly. However, high concentrations of readily available carbohydrates that are not consumed will be stored as fat, subsequently leading to obesity. The general percentage of wet dog food carbohydrate content only peaks at around 50%, which is significantly lower than the peak percentage of carbohydrates in dry dog food, which can be as much as 75%.

It has significantly lower preservative content (or even preservative-free)

Given that all the flavors are sealed in the packaging, the preparation calls for minimal use of preservatives. As packaging and canning systems have improved over the years, the use of preservatives to prolong shelf-life has decreased dramatically. Of course, the use of fewer preservatives means more of the good stuff. In addition, the absence of synthetic preservatives in wet dog food means that it will not become rancid easily. In today’s market, the best wet food for dogs are usually free from any form of preservatives.

Wet dog food is easier to chew

Dry dog food usually requires some biting force, especially those that have been on the shelf for quite some time. This should be fine for puppies and adult dogs, but it can start to become a challenge when fed to senior dogs. We believe that wet dog food preparations are soft in general, as they use natural ingredients that are very easy to chew because of the fresher quality.

It is tastier

While we weren’t able to talk to the dogs in the neighborhood about their wet dog food experience or ask their opinion on what is the best wet dog food for them, the way they consume each serving speaks volumes about how tasty wet dog food can be. Given that wet dog food has a lot of flavor options compared to kibble and treats, you can guarantee that your fur baby would have a palatable experience in every meal. In humans, how the food smells is already a good a preview of how the food would taste. For dogs, being animals with an extremely keen sense of smell, feeding them with wet dog food will always be a delightful experience.

Wet dog food can help manage dog weight issues

This may sound gimmicky, but wet dog food selections can help control weight and even prevent dog obesity. How can this be possible? You see, wet dog food has greater moisture content than dry dog food. This means that for every serving of wet dog food, dogs feel fuller much faster. In general, the best wet dog food options in the market promote this benefit to encourage pet parents to switch and consider feeding their fur babies with wet dog food.

Aside from the nutritional and moisture content, wet dog food also stays in the bowl for a much shorter time, which is not the case with dry dog food, as it can sit for hours, and dogs can come and go as they please whenever they feel like eating. Remember that dogs have some self-control issues, and if there’s food lying around or left in the bowl, they will frequently revisit several times until the dog food runs out.

It is less likely to have incompatibility

Incompatibility between the dog and the food it is eating happens a lot more often with dry dog food because it contains a significantly higher preservative content, and dry dog food is also harder to digest. With wet dog food, incompatibility is highly unlikely because it is easier to chew and, as previously mentioned, more palatable, which stimulates appetite.

You will also be able to observe whether dog food is incompatible with your fur baby based on the appetite and the quality of the stools being passed. Stools should not be too soft or too hard because either of these characteristics signify proper absorption or effective digestion. When the stools are too hard, there might be insufficient moisture content. When the stools are too soft, either the ingredients irritate the gastrointestinal tract, or your dog is not getting enough nourishment from it.

Despite all these good stuff, why is wet dog food so underrated?

That is actually a good question, and a list of factors should be given to determine why these mentioned advantages don’t seem to sell too well.

Wet dog food is inconvenient

If you’ve been giving your dog kibble and treats ever since you started being a pet parent, you know that these food preparations are on a “pour-and-go” basis. Just throw some in the bowl, and that’s it. Wet dog food serving can be messy, and you have to be on the lookout to maintain the cleanliness of the bowl and make sure that it has been cleared of any leftovers to prevent our next point, which is…

It gets contaminated easily

Given the natural ingredients and high moisture content, improper wet dog food handling can cause the growth of microorganisms that can make our dogs sick. The way wet dog food is prepared is the perfect medium for pathogens to flourish, and this is the main reason why it must be consumed immediately.

Wet dog food is more expensive

Given that it is all-natural and uses fresh protein and fat sources, along with vegetable and carbohydrate ingredients in some canned food variants, wet dog food manufacturers cannot afford to use second-rate ingredients because using sub-par quality sources can spoil the entire meal. In general, wet dog food is more expensive and comes in single-serve cans, which means it will not be suitable for partial servings and subsequent storage, unlike dry dog food.

It requires stricter storage, especially when partially served

Wet dog food, especially the best wet dog food promoted in the market, possessed extended shelf life – if it is still sealed. The situation shifts once you open the can and only serve a portion of it. Wet dog food preparations require refrigeration, as opened cans spoil easily when left at room temperature where pathogens and other microorganisms will join the buffet, leading to stomach upsets or even more serious health conditions.

In general, wet dog food is packed in single-serve cans. However, budget-conscious pet parents sometimes portion it into several servings to be mixed with other dog food preparations to prolong the consumption. This practice isn’t that bad, but it makes the wet dog food prone to contamination when not properly stored.

Best wet dog food options

There are a lot of wet dog food choices in the market, and in our opinion, here are some of the best wet dog food choices worthy of your consideration.

Merrick Grain-free Wet Dog Food

Starting our list is one of Merrick’s bestsellers, the Merrick Grain-Free Wet Dog Food. This highly nutritious wet dog food is made from deboned turkey as its primary protein and fat source, and it promotes grain-free nutrition. It can be served as the complete meal or as an appetite stimulant or garnish if you combine kibble and wet dog food in each serving.

Merrick grain-Free Wet Dog Food

With real meat as the main ingredient, this is a hearty, protein-reach meal perfect for your older furry friend.

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Adult, Savory Stew

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food offers premium-quality protein to help promote muscle tone and maintain the integrity of the muscles for adult and aging dogs. Preservative-free and can be mixed in conjunction with other wet dog food preparations or as a standalone meal, this wet dog food option is one of the most revered brands in the market and is also one of the most reasonably priced.

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food

Easily digestible meal made with natural ingredients. Perfect for home-grown dogs, also works well when mixed with other foods.

Natural Balance Ultra-Premium Wet Dog Food

With different variants, such as beef, chicken, lamb, as well as vegetarian, Natural Balance Ultra-Premium Wet Dog Food is packed with sustainable and balanced nutrition that covers all life stages, from puppies to adults and senior dogs. It also includes high-quality carbohydrate sources, including brown rice, potatoes, and oat bran, a great combination of premium ingredients to ensure a well-balanced and highly nutritious meal every time.

Natural Balance Ultra-Premium

Great and nutritious wet food recipe, suitable for dogs of all ages. Well balanced nutritional value based on input from expert nutritionists.

How About Options for Best Senior Wet Dog Food?

Of course, in the doggie-dog life cycle, we should also consider the long-term importance of nourishment, even for our old fur babies. We really have to look for the high-quality wet dog food options in the market because senior dogs also need a distinct nutritional support in order to sustain their day-to-day caloric requirements. Despite or maybe even because of diminishing organ function, muscle loss, and even reduction of skin and coat integrity, they deserve the best.

Why is the nutritional requirement different, and why should I Look for Best senior wet food options?

Ideally, the best senior wet food that you can find in the market must have a good balance of fat and protein. The percentage will be slightly lower than that of standard adult wet dog food, but it should not be drastically minimized. Calorie content will also be lower, but if there should be an ingredient with an increase in nutritional value, it will definitely be fiber and minerals to aid digestion and support the musculoskeletal requirements of the aging body.

Best senior wet dog food recommendations

Your veterinarian can help you decide on dog food options, as the pre-existing health condition of a senior dog will play a significant role in finding the best dog food. There are dog food options with a mineral boost to address joint problems or low fat to regulate obesity. Meanwhile, you may want to consider the following options as a standard choice for your senior dog.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior

The Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior is made with whole ground rice to provide complex carbohydrates for all-day caloric support, as well as chelated minerals and Biotin to support muscle tone, coat, and nail integrity. It is also 100% wheat-free, which means the chances of developing an allergy against grains is zero.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior

With real meat as the main ingredient, this is a hearty, protein-reach meal perfect for your older furry friend.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables Canned Dog Food

This wet dog food variant is a great choice as well because it can be fed to adult and senior dogs. Packed with essential antioxidants to maintain healthy brain function, as well as Vitamin C and E to keep the immune system in tip-top condition, Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken and Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food ensures that each serving will be consumed and is a delight to eat for our aging fur babies, thanks to the stew recipe that is simply irresistible for them.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+

Delicious stew full of high-quality protein to help your senior dog stay lean and fit. Made with all-natural ingredients.

Nutro Ultra Senior Chunks in Gravy Canned Dog Food

Utilizing whole grains as a protein source for senior dogs, as well as amino acids to ensure the maintenance of muscles, the Nutro Ultra Senior Chunks in Gravy Canned Dog Food is a great choice if you’re looking for value and proper nourishment for your senior dogs. It is one of the top-rated canned dog foods online, and with its reasonable price and preparation bursting with flavor and nutrition, we can easily see why.

Nutro Ultra Senior Chunks in Gravy

A delicious meal for your senior, made from natural ingredients, without chicken by-products, corn, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.


The nutrition of our fur babies should be our priority, and it should be our responsibility to maintain their health with the best of our efforts. With all the best wet food options in the market, we must take a considerable amount of time in selecting which product is the best for our dogs.

With all these things discussed, you can always seek further information through your local veterinary clinic (or, more specifically, the veterinarian in charge of your puppy) to make sure that the factors you are considering in choosing the right dog food are in line with the nutritional requirements of your fur baby.

Well, there you have it! We hope we helped you learn about best wet food facts and other important stuff! Until our next article!

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Greg Holmes
Greg Holmes resides in Portland, OR with his wife and two daughters, as well as three Havanese dogs. Being an AKC-certified CGC Evaluator and a certified dog trainer, taking care of dogs has been a big part of his life ever since he was young. His love for dogs started when his father took him to the state dog shelter to find his first puppy, which he named Einstein because the dog presented with a very unruly coat when he saw it for the first time. From this experience, he has become a very strong advocate of "adopt don't shop" for aspiring pet parents.

Greg joined the team because he believes that every dog, regardless of breed or age, deserves critical attention and the best dog-related products in the market because man's best friend only deserves, well, the best. Being an active member of the American Kennel Club, he aims to provide up-to-date information to his readers and present factual data about the products available in the market.