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Best Canned Dog Food

By: Carl Laron on May 29, 2018

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Best Reviewed

Best canned dog food

Fromm Family Gold Salmon and Chicken Pate

High meat content, high-quality ingredients makes Fromm dog foods top-rated

There are a lot of benefits to feeding your dog dry dog food, which we cover elsewhere in this report, but for the best balance in his or her diet, your dog should have wet food as well, say experts. Canned foods tend to be higher-protein than kibble, lower in carbs, and they're always higher-in moisture. Mike Sagman at Dog Food Advisor suggests that mixing the two types of food -- topping the kibble with some canned dog food -- "makes an especially tasty choice."

The very best canned dog foods are meat-rich and free of fillers, by-products and artificial preservatives. Fromm Family Gold Salmon and Chicken Pate (Est. $35 for 12 12.2-oz. cans) is a prime example. Every ingredient is USDA-approved (that means it's exactly the same food humans eat). All Fromm Gold flavors are grain-free and use very simple recipes. For example, Fromm Gold Salmon and Chicken Pate starts with salmon and chicken, and that's followed by chicken broth and chicken liver. Carbs come from sources such as potatoes, carrots, peas, flaxseed and tomato paste. Minerals are chelated for easy absorption. Other varieties -- Chicken Pate and Duck and Chicken Pate -- are similar.

That's ideal for dogs, experts say, and Fromm's dog food generally earns good feedback from experts and dog owners, including a slot on Sagman's Ten Great Selections from Our Best Dog Food Lists. The food is made in company-owned plants in Wisconsin, using only approved processors, and ingredients and finished products are tested to ensure their safety and that they meet stated nutritional values. However, even with all that, it's heretofore spotless safety record took a little bit of a hit in 2016 when the company recalled certain batches of their canned foods because of elevated amounts of Vitamin D. Pet food experts and dog owners give the company kudos for discovering the error on its own, initiating the recall without FDA involvement (although with the FDA's knowledge) and being forthright about the issue with pet owners and retailers.

Fromm Gold is also a surprising value given its quality, though you may have to shop around a bit online to get the best price. If you do so, you'll find that Fromm Gold can actually cost less per ounce than many other top-rated canned dog foods, such as Halo Holistic Turkey and Salmon Recipe or Weruva Bed and Breakfast, both covered below.

Those concerned about pesticides, additives or artificial ingredients may want to consider an organic dog food. Among those, Newman's Own Organics Beef & Liver (Est. $35 for 12 12 oz. cans) looks like a top choice. It's made of organic, free-range beef and liver and very little else. The beef is sourced from Uruguay, which raises some concern in some reviews we spotted. However, the company says that Uruguay is noted for being Mad Cow Disease free and has regulations in place that prohibit the use of growth hormones or antibiotics.

Other Newman's Own flavors have a great nutritional profile, too, experts say (although some include grains). Organic ingredients set Newman's Own apart -- and so does the company's philosophy. All profits are donated to animal charities, and Newman's Own has a clean recall history. Expert reviews are generally solid, and Dog Food Advisor names it a top-tier, 5 star food. User reviews are generally good, too, though we noted some feedback at Amazon from dog owners who claimed poorer acceptance, or some tummy upset, from their dogs.

Our research also turned up lots of other dog foods that rate highly with experts and owners. Dog owners actually enjoy cracking open a can of Halo Holistic Turkey and Salmon Recipe (Est. $45 for 12 13.2-oz. cans) (formerly Halo's Spot Stew) or Weruva Bed and Breakfast (Est. $45 for 12 14 oz. cans). Both look and smell as good as (or better than) canned soup for humans, reviews say. Both list meat as their first ingredient (turkey for Halo, and chicken for Weruva). Weruva follows that up with whole foods like eggs, ham and veggies, while Halo has chicken liver and salmon. Halo includes rolled oats in its ingredient line up, but Weruva is grain-free. Neither dog food brand has ever been recalled, and both rate well with expert reviewers, especially Weruva, which earns a perfect 5-star rating at Dog Food Advisor.

Raw dog food (or near-raw food) gets closest to a dog's natural diet

Although it costs more than kibble or canned, many dog owners say feeding their dogs raw dog food is worth it; several report that their pets' skin problems, bad digestion and other ailments cleared up after switching to raw or near-raw food.

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain Free Turkey Recipe (Est. $100 for a 10-lb. box) is a standout choice in this category. Formerly known as Honest Kitchen Embark, it's a top pick from most of the expert sources that rate dehydrated/raw food. Users weighing in at sites like Chewy and Amazon give it good grades as well.

The Honest Kitchen comes as a dehydrated powder, which you mix with water to make a moist food. Each pound of powder yields roughly four pounds of food, so the largest 10 pound box is good for 40 pounds of dog food -- enough to feed an average medium sized (31 to 50 pounds) dog for between 20 and 40 days, or a smaller dog (11 to 30 pounds) for between 40 and 80 days. Smaller size boxes (2 pounds and 4 pounds) are available as well.

The Honest Kitchen uses only human-quality ingredients, and it's made in a U.S. human-food factory. It's one of the few pet food companies that is permitted to use the term "human grade" in its product labeling, having received a formal statement of No Objection from the FDA. It's also one of handful of pet food companies that have signed the Pledge to Quality and Origin at the Association for Truth About Pet Food web site, disclosing every ingredient and its source.

The ingredient line up in The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Recipe is first rate. Cage-free turkey is its first ingredient, followed by organic flaxseed, potatoes, spinach and carrots. Vitamins and chelated minerals are added to make this a complete, balanced food for dogs. The food isn't quite raw, however; ingredients are steamed to kill pathogens.

The Honest Kitchen has an excellent -- but not quite spotless -- safety record. The recalled some of its food in 2013 after its parsley supplier recalled a shipment for salmonella, and now the company steams its greens as well as its meats and fish. (It also dropped that parsley supplier.) While most recalls are a cause of alarm, experts and pet owners gave the company kudos for the way they reacted to this one. "They handled the recall in a very upfront and personal way with customers," says Carlotta Cooper at DogFoodGuru.com.

If you're willing to accept a little grain in exchange for a slightly lower price, The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe (Est. $90 for a 10-lb. box) is worth considering. Formerly known as The Honest Kitchen Thrive, it rates a little lower than Grain Free Turkey Recipe at Dog Food Advisor, but others rate it on a par with that food. As its new name implies, this is a limited ingredient food that only contains free-range chicken, organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, spinach, parsley, and organic kelp, plus minerals and supplements to make sure that the food is a complete diet.

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What every best Dog Food has:

  • Complete nutrition.
  • Whole meat or a named meat meal as its top ingredient.
  • No fillers or low-quality grains.

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