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Home > Dogs > 10 Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

shih tzu dog getting wet food from owner at kitchen

While it can be a mystery as to why some dogs are picky, finding dog food that a picky dog enjoys can feel like an even greater mystery to solve. Many dog owners have found solutions with meal toppers and wet dog food. It’s fortunate that you can find so many canned food options, but it can still feel overwhelming to try out every option.

Exploring canned dog food can be an expensive venture, and it could also be a waste of food if your dog doesn’t end up enjoying it. So, we’ve compiled reviews of some of the most popular canned dog food that many dog owners of picky dogs have found to be successful options. Keep reading to discover tasty options for picky eaters and things to look for when shopping for canned dog food.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Merrick Grain-Free Grammy’s Pot Pie Merrick Grain-Free Grammy’s Pot Pie
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains nutritious whole foods
  • Can be meal topper or standalone meal
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic
  • Beef is first ingredient
  • Contains wholesome grains
  • Contains tasty variety of meats
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    The Honest Kitchen Butcher Block Pate The Honest Kitchen Butcher Block Pate
  • Made with natural, non-GMO ingredients
  • Suitable for all life stages and breeds
  • Easily digestible consistency
  • Best for Puppies
    Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend
  • No common allergens
  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • Suitable for all breeds and sizes
  • Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic
  • Safe for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • 100% complete and balanced diet
  • Omega-6 fatty acids nourish skin and coat
  • The 10 Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

    1. Merrick Wet Dog Food Grammy’s Pot Pie – Best Overall

    Merrick Grain-Free Wet Dog Food Grammy’s Pot Pie

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken broth, potatoes, carrots
    Protein content: 8%
    Fat content: 4%
    Moisture content: 82%
    Calories: 383 kcal/can

    Merrick’s Grain-Free Wet Dog Food Grammy’s Pot Pie is the best overall canned dog food for picky eaters because it’s both a healthy and tasty meal for dogs. It uses USDA-inspected deboned chicken as its first ingredient, and it contains other nutritious whole foods, including carrots, apples, and peas. The recipe also has a savory gravy that’s packed with delicious flavors that dogs enjoy.

    This food can be served as a meal topper or as a standalone meal, but it might work better as a meal topper. While it’s advertised as food with chunky bits and gravy, the actual texture is a bit more like a pate. So, some dogs may not like just the smooth texture of the food and would prefer eating it mixed with dry food.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Contains nutritious whole foods
    • Can be meal topper or standalone meal
    Cons
    • Some dogs may not like smooth texture

    2. Purina ONE Classic Ground Adult Dog Food – Best Value

    Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Beef & Brown Rice Entrée Adult Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef, chicken, beef broth, liver
    Protein content: 8%
    Fat content: 7%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 416 kcal/can

    Finding a tasty and nutritious meal for your dog doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. This Purina ONE recipe is the best canned dog food for picky eaters for the money, and it includes high-quality ingredients.

    Beef is the first ingredient, and the recipe also contains brown rice and oatmeal, which are both wholesome nutritious grains that contain fibers that help with digestion. You’ll also find bits of carrots and spinach incorporated into the food for added nutrients.

    While the recipe name only mentions beef, this meal actually contains a blend of beef, chicken, and pork meat products. The liver mentioned in the ingredient list is also ambiguous because it isn’t associated with a named source of meat. So, this dog food contains a tasty variety of meats for dogs, but if you have a dog with food allergies or a sensitive stomach, it may not be the best option.

    Pros
    • Beef is first ingredient
    • Contains wholesome grains
    • Contains tasty variety of meats
    Cons
    • Not for dogs with food allergies

    3. The Honest Kitchen Butcher Block Pate Dog Food – Premium Choice

    The Honest Kitchen Butcher Block Pate Turkey, Duck & Root Veggies Wet Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Turkey, turkey bone broth, turkey liver, duck
    Protein content: 8%
    Fat content: 5%
    Moisture content: 82%
    Calories: 343 kcal/box

    The Honest Kitchen creates delicious recipes with natural, non-GMO ingredients. This particular recipe has a ground meat consistency that’s easily digestible for dogs of all ages and breeds. All packaged food is created in small batches in a human food facility with rigorous quality control and safety standards.

    The first ingredient is turkey, and the recipe only contains turkey and duck as its sources of meat. So, it’s safe for dogs with chicken and beef allergies. However, it’s also essential to remember that there’s a small amount of salmon oil. So, dogs that are highly sensitive to salmon and have severe fish allergies may have difficulty digesting this dog food.

    Pros
    • Made with natural, non-GMO ingredients
    • Suitable for all life stages and breeds
    • Easily digestible consistency
    • Safe for dogs with chicken and beef allergies
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for dogs with fish allergies

    4. Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend Salmon & Lamb Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    Forza10 Nutraceutic Legend Puppy Icelandic Salmon & Lamb Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food 1

    Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, salmon, lamb meat, minerals
    Protein content: 8.5%
    Fat content: 9.5%
    Moisture content: 80%
    Calories: 366 kcal/can

    It’s already challenging enough to find good food for puppies because they have very specific nutritional needs, and some can have extremely sensitive stomachs. So, adding pickiness can make finding healthy food for your puppy feel impossible.

    Fortunately, this Forza10 puppy food contains a tasty, savory mix of Icelandic salmon and lamb that will excite any puppy for mealtime. While this is a premium food that’s relatively expensive, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

    Along with tasting delicious, this recipe is designed to omit common food allergens and be easily digestible for puppies. It’s fortified with natural Icelandic raw materials to ensure that your puppy consumes and processes all the vitamins and minerals it needs for healthy growth and development. The recipe is also suitable for puppies of all breeds and sizes.

    Pros
    • No common allergens
    • Easily digestible ingredients
    • Suitable for all breeds and sizes
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive

    5. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Canned Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entrée Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, salmon, rice, fish
    Protein content: 7%
    Fat content: 5%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 467 kcal/can

    Some dogs can become picky because they have sensitive stomachs and have bad experiences with meals that were difficult to digest. If your dog has food sensitivities or gastrointestinal issues, this Purina Pro Plan sensitive stomach recipe is a suitable option.

    This 100% complete and balanced diet was formulated with dogs with atopy and upset stomachs in mind. It contains nutrient-dense ingredients, like premium salmon, that naturally attract dogs. The inclusion of omega-6 fatty acids nourishes and supports the skin and coat.

    While this meal smells enticing to dogs, it may be a little too pungent and fishy for humans. So, be prepared to encounter a strong smell once you open a can of this food.

    Pros
    • Safe for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • 100% complete and balanced diet
    • Omega-6 fatty acids nourish skin and coat
    Cons
    • Strong fish smell

    6. American Journey Active Life Canned Dog Food

    American Journey Active Life Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, carrots
    Protein content: 9.5%
    Fat content: 5%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 393 kcal/can

    This tasty recipe developed by American Journey is sure to win over beef lovers. The first three ingredients are beef, beef broth, and beef liver, and beef is the only source of meat. So, it’s a safe choice for dogs with poultry, fish, or dairy allergies.

    You’ll also find a lot of nutritious natural ingredients in this canned dog food, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries. On top of that, the formula contains plenty of sources of antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system.

    This food works as both a meal topper and a standalone meal, but it may be better as a topper. The consistency in some cans can be too pasty. So, it incorporates well with dry dog food, but it can be too mushy for some dogs to enjoy as a complete meal.

    Pros
    • First ingredient is beef
    • Safe for dogs with poultry, fish, or dairy allergies
    • Contains blend of nutritious natural ingredients
    • Can be standalone meal or topper
    Cons
    • Consistency can be too pasty

    7. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots
    Protein content: 7.5%
    Fat content: 4.5%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 396 kcal/cup

    If you have a senior dog, it’ll enjoy this Blue Buffalo recipe that’s specifically formulated for older dogs. It can be served as both a full meal and a meal topper. The first ingredient is real chicken, and chicken is the single source of protein.

    The recipe also contains a blend of wholesome and nutritious ingredients that dogs love, like carrots, brown rice, and blueberries. The food has a soft consistency, so it’s easy for dogs with dental issues to eat.

    The recipe also includes glucosamine and chondroitin, which older dogs need for joint health and mobility support. It doesn’t have any by-product meals or fillers, so your dog will be eating clean and healthy food every day.

    As this recipe uses premium, wholesome ingredients, it comes with a cost. This food is relatively expensive compared to its competitors. However, it’s worth it, especially if you have a senior dog struggling to digest food.

    Pros
    • First ingredient is chicken
    • Single source of protein
    • Easy for dogs with dental issues to chew
    • Supports joint health and mobility
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive

    8. Wellness Complete Health Formula Canned Dog Food

    Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, whitefish
    Protein content: 8%
    Fat content: 5%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 393 kcal/can

    This Wellness recipe is another premium canned dog food that can be a little pricey, but it’s a high-quality, nutritious meal that many dogs will find hard to resist. It contains a tasty and healthy mix of chicken and whitefish with chicken being the first ingredient. While many dog foods containing fish have a strong odor, this dog food doesn’t have as pungent of a smell.

    The ingredient list is free of any meat by-products, fillers, and ambiguous ingredients. It includes plenty of nutritious foods, like barley, sweet potatoes, and flaxseed. The consistency of this food is a smooth pate, so it’s easy for dogs to eat and digest.

    However, the components can separate easily, so it’s important to thoroughly mix the food before serving it to your dog. Otherwise, the consistency of the food can become too pasty or watery.

    Pros
    • Chicken is first ingredient
    • No meat by-products, fillers, or ambiguous ingredients
    • Doesn’t have pungent smell
    • Easy to eat and digest
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive
    • Can easily separate into unpalatable consistencies

    9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Dog Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken broth, turkey, carrots, pork liver
    Protein content: 2.8%
    Fat content: 1.9%
    Moisture content: 86%
    Calories: 253 kcal/can

    This Hill’s Science Diet is another great recipe for dogs with sensitive stomachs and itchy skin from food allergies. Remember that while it only lists turkey in its name, it does contain chicken broth and chicken, so it’s not a viable option for dogs with chicken allergies.

    The recipe includes healthy, natural ingredients, such as spinach and green peas. It also contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to nourish and repair the skin and coat. This dog food is suitable for all dog breeds and is excellent as a complete meal or as a topper. It also has a stew texture and small chunks of food, so it’s a great alternative for dogs that don’t tend to enjoy pate.

    While many dogs enjoy eating this dog food, it tends to have higher water content and lower caloric content and protein content. So, you may feed your dog more cans of food than its competitors, and the costs can add up fairly quickly.

    Pros
    • Sensitive stomach and skin formula
    • Suitable for all dog breeds and sizes
    • Palatable stew and chunks texture
    Cons
    • Not for dogs with chicken allergies
    • Dogs may need to eat bigger portions to feel full

    10. Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken Canned Dog Food

    Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken Lamb, Brown Rice & Barley Recipe Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb, water sufficient for processing, lamb liver, ocean whitefish
    Protein content: 8.5%
    Fat content: 8.5%
    Moisture content: 78%
    Calories: 545 kcal/can

    This Solid Gold recipe is suitable for dogs of all life stages and breeds. It contains a blend of lamb and whitefish with lamb being the first ingredient. It omits common food allergens, like chicken and beef. The ingredient list also has a diverse mix of nutritious grains, fruits, and vegetables.

    While this meal is palatable for picky dogs, it has a pretty high caloric content. So, it’s not a viable option for dogs that need weight management. You may also want to monitor your dog’s weight closely when you first transition to this dog food, especially if there’s a significant difference in the number of calories in this dog food and your previous dog food.

    Pros
    • Suitable for all life stages and breeds
    • Lamb is first ingredient
    • No common food allergens
    Cons
    • Has high caloric content

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Decide Which Canned Dog Food Is the Right One

    More than relying on the popularity of a dog food brand, it’s important to actually look through the ingredients to make sure that you’re buying high-quality dog food. Here are some traits that good, canned dog food will have.

    Named Sources of Meat

    Look for canned dog food that contains specific sources of meat, such as real beef, chicken, or wild-caught salmon. High-quality canned dog food will list meat as the first ingredient and have other meat products, such as bone broth or organs, as main ingredients.

    In contrast, low-quality dog food won’t list specific meats and may use meat by-products. Some may just have animal digests or natural flavors. These types of ingredients don’t guarantee that real meat was used, so it’s best to avoid them.

    Complete and Balanced Food

    When shopping for wet dog food, it’s important to make sure that you’re buying a meal rather than a meal topper. Look for labels that have “complete” or “balanced meal” on them. This indicates that the food can be a standalone meal without having to be mixed with dry dog food.

    No Added Sugars

    Sweetness is a flavor that dogs can taste and detect, and some dog food may add sugar to make it more palatable to dogs. High-quality dog food should already have enough flavor to entice dogs, so you won’t see added sugars in their ingredient lists.

    No Artificial Colors, Flavors, or Preservatives

    It’s rare to find canned dog food that contains artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. However, it’s not impossible. If you find any of these types of ingredients in canned dog food, you can pass it up because there’s really no need for them.

    Dogs won’t really be affected by the colors of their food. Artificial flavors are ambiguous, and it’s difficult to trace the components used to make those flavors. Dogs can risk getting an upset stomach from artificial flavors and preservatives.

    There are so many other options that are healthier and tastier for dogs while being affordable. So, you don’t have to resort to feeding your dog low-quality dog food with unnecessary ingredients.

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    Conclusion

    Out of our reviews, Merrick’s Granny Pot Pie recipe is the best option for picky eaters because it’s nutritious and packed with flavor. Purina ONE’s Classic Ground Beef & Brown Rice recipe is a safe and nutritious budget option. If you want to splurge and spoil your dog, The Honest Kitchen’s wet food recipe containing high-quality ingredients is sure to be a hit. Picky puppies will love Forza10 canned food because it’s savory and easy to digest. Lastly, Purina Pro Plan’s sensitive stomach recipe is a tasty option that also nourishes the skin and coat and prevents atopy.


    Featured Image Credit: chaoss, Shutterstock

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