Best Wet Puppy Food

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puppy eating food

Many pup parents start their dogs off with dry kibble. But, wet food can be beneficial as well.

With a higher concentration of vitamins and protein, wet formulas are a great way to entice pups to eat and give them the nutrients they need to grow big and strong. But, which option is the best wet puppy food? 

Our first pick is Solid Gold Love At First Bark Puppy Canned Dog Food

It’s a grain-free formula without fillers or artificial ingredients. And, it includes real animal proteins and minerals to give your puppy a head start in life. 

But that’s not all. We’ve listed nine other options for some of the best wet dog food — including options with grains and one for sensitive tummies. No matter what your little friend needs, we got them covered. 

Our Best Wet Puppy Food

  1. Solid Gold Love At First Bark Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Puppy Food)
  2. Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food (Best with Grain)
  3. Nom Nom Dog Food (Best Fresh Food for Puppies)
  4. Whole Earth Farms Whole Grains Recipe Puppy Canned Dog Food (Best Budget Food)
  5. Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Wet Canned Dog Food (Best Premium Food)
  6. Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Canned Dog Food (Best for Small Breeds)
  7. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Formula Canned Dog Food (Best for Large Breeds)
  8. Merrick Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate (Best Grain-Free)
  9. Purina Pro Plan Development Puppy Classic Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best for Weight Gain)
  10. CANIDAE PURE Puppy Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Stomachs) 

10 Best Wet Puppy Food Reviewed 

The formulas below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your puppy to wet food, please consult with your veterinarian.

Also, remember that the wet matter basis of a guaranteed analysis means that the percentage is about 3-4 times higher. In other words, 9% of Crude Protein would equal about 40% percent if it were dry food. 


Best Wet Food

Solid Gold Love At First Bark Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Solid Gold Love At First Bark Beef Grain Free Puppy Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water, Beef, Beef Liver, Potatoes, Dried Egg Whites
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 9% Crude Protein, 3% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 324 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: High-protein wet puppy food with DHA for brain development  

You want to get your pup started on the right path as soon as possible. A puppy formula that’s high in protein and healthy fats is essential.

With Solid Gold Love At First Bark canned puppy food, your dog will get the balanced levels of nutrients that they need to thrive. 

This formula starts with chunks of beef and beef liver. These offer iron and B vitamins for energy, muscle recovery, and heart health. 

Menhaden fish oil provides non-synthetic DHA and EPA for brain development. And, it also offers essential acids for joint health and a shiny coat

Pumpkin, spinach, and blueberries are high in antioxidants. These support healthy bone growth and keep your pup’s immune system strong. And, potatoes and peas provide grain-free fiber and prebiotics for easier digestion.  

This puppy formula is swimming in gravy, enticing your pup to lick their bowl clean. 

Solid Gold is made in the USA. It doesn’t include fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grains, or artificial preservatives.

Dog parents recommend this food for their small and large breed puppies. However, some mention that the apple and potato chunks may be too large for super small dogs. 


Best With Grain

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Ground Barley
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 9% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 434 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: High-protein canned dog food with grains formulated by veterinarians

Many puppies need healthy and easy-to-digest carbohydrates to give them fiber, energy, and more. If you’re looking for wet food with grains, Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy is a perfect choice. 

This canned wet food is packed with protein from deboned chicken, chicken liver, and salmon. These provide taurine and vitamin E for a strong heart and healthy skin and coat. 

Ground barley, sweet potatoes, and pea protein are high in fiber and natural prebiotics. These make it easy for your dog to digest their food, as well as offer vitamins and minerals. These include selenium for metabolism support and vitamin A for eye health. 

Wellness Complete adds canola oil and ground flaxseed to the formula to keep your dog energetic and boost their brain function. 

This is pate-style wet dog food, which keeps messes at bay. It is formulated by nutritionists and veterinarians. 

Puppy parents say this is the best food to switch to if your pup was formerly eating kibble. And many love the high-quality proteins. 


Best Fresh Food

Nom Nom Beef Mash Dog Food

nom nom beef recipe
  • First 5 Ingredients: Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 8% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 77% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 182 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Human-grade and high protein fresh puppy food with chelated vitamins
Get 50% OFF your first Nom Nom order!

Nom Nom is the best place to start for pet owners who want to offer their pup a human-grade diet. The food is lightly cooked to protect your young dog against parasites and harmful bacteria.

But, it’s also fresh and filled with the same ingredients that you have right in your fridge.

As an example, the Beef Mash formula starts with healthy ingredients like ground beef, russet potatoes, and eggs. There are no by-products, rendered fats, or artificial flavors in their recipes. 

Nom Nom offers a customized plan just for your pup. You’ll start by taking a quiz and answering a few questions about them — like their size, activity level, and potential allergies. After you finish, Nom Nom will calculate the perfect food for your pup that fits their nutrient needs. 

You’ll be able to choose between four different recipes — turkey, pork, beef, and chicken. Nom Nom also ships the food right to your doorstep after it’s freshly made.

Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists evaluate each recipe for complete and balanced nutrition. The formulas are individually packaged to make the food easy to feed. 

Dog owners love the convenience and ease of use with Nom Nom. And, many say even their pickiest pups enjoy the different flavors and recipes. 


Best Budget Food

Whole Earth Farms Whole Grains Recipe Puppy Canned Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Whole Grains Recipe Puppy Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 9% Crude Protein, 6.5% Crude Fat, 1.4% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 415 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: Budget-friendly and high-fat wet puppy food with grains for easy digestion

Wet food can get costly. This is especially true if you have a larger breed or puppy that needs more protein and fat. But, it doesn’t have to ruin your budget. Whole Earth Farms offers high-quality canned food for budget-conscious owners. 

Their Whole Grains Puppy Recipe is cooked in the USA with tested local and global ingredients. Chicken, chicken liver, and fresh salmon pack this formula with over 40% of animal protein (on a dry matter basis). They also include taurine and glucosamine for growing pups and their joints. 

This formula is high in fat too, with plenty of fish oil. Not only is this packed with omega-3 fatty acids, but DHA too. This is essential for the proper growth of puppies and their brain function. And, the fat helps keep your pup satiated. 

This recipe does include grains — including brown rice and oatmeal. However, these easy-to-digest grains are great because they provide soluble fiber, which helps small pups stay regular. And, they include high-quality vitamins like selenium and phosphorus for strong bones. 

Whole Earth Farms is entirely free from peas and lentils. It’s also free of corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives. 

Pet parents say this canned option smells like cat food, which can be bothersome if sensitive to smells. However, they love the quality and the fact that they can exclusively feed it to their pups. 


Best Premium Food

Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Wet Canned Dog Food

Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Salmon, Carrots
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 10% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture 
  • Caloric Content: 434 kcal/13.2 oz can
  • Key Feature: Premium wet puppy food made with raw meats and without grains 

Looking for a great food to use as you transition your dog to a primarily raw or raw diet? Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free is the perfect solution. This premium option starts with raw meat protein that is gently cooked during the canning process. 

This high-quality wet food starts with cage-free chicken, chicken bone broth, beef liver, and salmon. These help fuel your pup and build lean muscles that support their frame, no matter their structure. And, they naturally contain DHA to support your puppy’s brain and eye development.

Carrots, peas, artichokes, and flaxseed offer fiber instead of grains. And, they also provide essential nutrients like beta-carotene for eye health. 

Blueberries, cranberries, and kale are superfoods that are packed with antioxidants. These support your pup’s immune system and strengthen it to keep them feeling great all day long. 

This formula is made in the US. It doesn’t include corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Pet owners appreciate that this comes in a loaf. Many say it makes it easier to portion out and feed their pup easily. 


Best for Small Breeds

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Canned Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water, Chicken, Whole Grain Corn, Cracked Pearled Barley, Soybean Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 7.4% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 215 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: Whole-grain wet puppy food with taurine for small breeds 

Small breed puppies need just as much nutrition as larger dogs. But, they also need more support with their bones, joints, and muscles because their frame needs to keep up with their daily activity. 

Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Puppy is the best wet food choice for small pups. It offers balanced nutrition and high-quality ingredients to help build immunity and support mobility. 

Deboned chicken and pork liver offer lean animal protein to promote healthy muscle mass. And, they help to keep your small pup at an ideal body weight to avoid joint problems. Plus, taurine from the chicken helps protect heart health. 

Whole grain corn and cracked pearled barley promote gentle and healthy digestion. And they offer vitamin C, which is essential for both immune and bone health. Last but not least, fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. 

This formula is recommended for miniature and toy breed puppies up to 1 year old. And, you can feed your pregnant or nursing small breeds this food. 

Small breed parents say that this food is great if your small dog can’t chew large wet chunks or have digestion problems. 


Best for Large Breeds

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Formula Canned Dog Food

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Chicken Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Duck, Salmon
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 9.5% Crude Protein, 8% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 490 kcal/13-oz can
  • Key Feature: Whole-grain wet puppy food with colostrum and glucosamine for large breeds 

Unlike small breeds, large breed puppies need much more food — making it hard to find an economical and high-calorie wet option. But, there are choices — and Natural Balance Original Ultra Puppy formula is at the top. 

This gluten-free diet starts with high-quality deboned chicken, chicken liver, duck, and salmon. They offer natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin, and B vitamins for strong and lean muscles.  

Brown rice, peas, and oat hulls provide high fiber and prebiotics for regularity. And yucca schidigera extract aids the gastrointestinal system and reduces odor in their stool.  

This formula is accented with colostrum, which supports healthy immune function. And, with added vitamins and superfoods like vitamin A, dried kelp, and blueberries, your pup will be energetic and active all day. 

Not only is this recipe gluten-free, but it’s also free of soy, corn, artificial colors, and preservatives. 

Large breed owners love that this food doesn’t give their dogs gas. And, many also said it’s helped with mild bloat. 


Best Grain-Free

Merrick Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate

Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Plate Beef
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Apples
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 8% Crude Protein, 3% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Calorioc Content: 63 kcal/12.7-oz can
  • Key Feature: Grain-free canned dog food with regional ingredients and DHA for brain support

Need a grain-free wet recipe for your pup? No worries, Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate has you covered. 

This wholesome grain-free wet food for puppies is made in Merrick’s kitchen in Hereford, TX.

And, the recipe starts with real Texas beef and beef liver — it’s also wholly poultry-free. Beef provides a high-protein wet food with natural glucosamine and iron for strong bones and joints. 

Carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes swim in a savory gravy. And they offer grain-free fiber, prebiotics, and vitamins. These include vitamin A and zinc — which are essential for eye health and immune support. 

This formula also includes both flaxseed oil and salmon oil. Both contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to help support cognitive development. And, taurine is supplemented to protect your dog’s heart health. 

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate formulas are 100% free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, and preservatives. 

Dog moms and dads love the large chunks of real ingredients in this food. And, many note that this food includes a lot of meat, perfect for dogs who need more protein!


Best for Weight Gain

Purina Pro Plan Development Puppy Classic Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Development Puppy Classic Chicken Entree Grain-Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Liver, Water, Meat By-Products, Salmon
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 10% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 76% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 493 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: High-protein and high-fat dog food for puppies who need to gain weight and muscles

Some pups just have a hard time keeping healthy weight on their bodies. If you have a highly active dog or one that needs to gain a few pounds, there is hope. Once you’ve ruled out any health issues with your veterinarian, try Purina Pro Plan Development wet puppy food. 

Real chicken is the first ingredient in this tasty premium dog food. It provides almost 40% of protein, which can help your furry friend build lean muscles and keep them energized all day. And liver and salmon provide iron, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins for bone and joint support. 

While this food does have meat by-products, Purina is entirely transparent about where they come from and what they are. They use the bones and other organs from the whole chicken, not just the liver.

So your pup is getting a “whole prey” formula that’s easy to digest and close to a raw diet. Besides the meat protein and water, there are no other fillers or ingredients. 

They supplement DHA to nourish your pup’s brain and vision development. And, they also add additional vitamins like taurine, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D to help your pup build solid muscles and support their bones. 

This grain-free formula is made with no corn, wheat, or soy to meet your preferences for your pup. It’s manufactured at a Purina-owned US facility. 

Pet owners rave about how this food helped their pup put on weight. However, for those that want to add grains, they recommend mixing it with rice or oats (if approved by a vet). Of course, your dog’s weight should follow veterinary recommendations. 


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

CANIDAE PURE Puppy Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Food

CANIDAE PURE Puppy Grain Free LID Chicken Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Peas, Salmon Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 9% Crude Protein, 6.5% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 500 kcal/13-oz can
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and limited ingredient diet for pups with sensitive tummies

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you want to avoid inflammatory ingredients. This can include proteins like beef and dairy, wheat, and soy ingredients. And, you’ll also want to find a food with probiotics and fiber for gut health. 

CANIDAE PURE Puppy Limited Ingredient wet dog food that is grain-free and hypoallergenic.

This recipe is made without corn, wheat gluten, soy, and other potential ingredients that can cause gas and loose stools.  

It only has four key ingredients, starting with real chicken and dried egg product. These offer protein, selenium, and magnesium, essential for a healthy tummy. And, chicken is full of natural taurine, which is a crucial vitamin in your dog’s diet for a strong heart. 

Salmon oil provides omega-3 essential acids. Not only do these protect joints, but they also help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. And, human-grade peas provide your pup with vitamin C for a robust immune system. 

Pet parents love this food for pups with sensitive tummies. But, they do note that your dog’s poop color will change to a lighter color, so don’t panic. 


chihuahua puppy eating

Wet Puppy Food Buying Guide 

Want to switch your pup from kibble to canned dog food? Here’s what you need to know. 

Wet Food for Puppies: Specific Nutritional Needs

During growth, a puppy’s body is focused on developing their brains, joints, and organs, and maintaining and growing muscles and bones.

So, a puppy needs higher protein, fats, and vitamins than their adult counterparts. And, it’s important to choose a puppy-only or all life stages formula in order to make sure they get that. 

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has standard puppy food guidelines that manufacturers should follow. And if they don’t, you want to avoid them, because you can’t guarantee that they will nourish your puppy. 

Wet Food for Puppies: Is It Better Than Dry Food?

I wouldn’t say that canned dog food is better than dry food. It depends on your pup’s needs. But, wet food does have some benefits.

It offers more water content, is usually higher in protein and fat, and is easy to eat and digest. And, picky eaters love it. 

Before switching to wet food, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to let you know if it’s a wise choice or not.

And, if you can’t feed your pup just wet food, you can mix it with kibble to add more protein and flavor. 

large breed puppies eating

What to Look For When Buying Wet Puppy Food 

What should you look for when buying wet puppy food? Here’s what to watch for. 

High-Quality Meat Protein 

All dogs, including puppies, need high-quality protein. With canned dog food food, it’s easy to get protein, since those are usually the first ingredients.

But, make sure it’s real animal meat or a high-quality meat meal. This can be real chicken, turkey, duck, pork, fish, lamb, or beef — and more. 

Essential Fats and Fatty Acids

Did you know that your pup pulls most of their energy from fats? This is why it’s crucial to choose a higher fat formula while your pup is growing.

And, the types of fats are important too.

Your growing dog will need omega fatty acids, DHA, and ARA for healthy joints and brain development. These can be found in fish oil (like salmon oil), coconut oil, and meat fats (like chicken and beef). 

Fruits and Vegetables 

Just like humans need fruits and vegetables, so do growing pups. These wholesome ingredients provide fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that their bodies need for strong immune and digestive systems.

They shouldn’t be the first ingredients, but it’s nice when they’re at the top of the list. 

Enough Calories 

Without enough calories, a puppy won’t grow into a strong and healthy adult. They need all of the energy they can get.

Most puppies will need about 25 to 30 calories per pound that they will be in adulthood. So, if your pup will be 30 pounds when fully grown, they’ll need around 750-900 calories a day. 

Texture

There are different textures to wet dog food, so it’s important to find which one your dog likes. 

The first is pate. This is usually the “loaf” style that you find that jiggles out of the dog food can. This is the easiest option to feed dogs without teeth, or who can’t chew kibble. 

The next option is wet food in gravy. This is the second most common option, especially for picky eaters. The gravy is usually made from a broth and starch — like wheat or potato starch. These ingredients are used sparingly, just enough to create the gravy portion. 

The third option is solid, so it’s usually shredded or in chunks. You will usually find this in fresh food options, or in “dehydrated” options instead of canned food.

However, there are a few options out there. But be careful of this choice, since the chunks can be fairly large and can choke smaller pups. 

beagle puppy eating

Ingredients to Avoid When Buying Wet Puppy Food 

Are there any ingredients to avoid when buying wet food? Yes! Here’s what to be wary of.  

Rendered Meats and Fats 

Yes, your pup needs healthy protein and fats. But meat by-products and rendered fats are made from animal waste or “extra” parts.

This means they aren’t as nutritious, are low in protein and vitamins, and aren’t as easy to digest. Instead, focus on real meat protein, meat meals, and high-quality fats like fish, oils, and flaxseeds.  

Artificial Colors and Flavors  

Dogs don’t have a complicated or extensive digestive tract. So they can’t digest artificial flavors and colors as well as humans. 

Plus, artificial ingredients can contain carcinogens and fillers that cause health issues after prolonged use. So, it’s safer to just avoid them altogether. 

Unnecessary Fillers 

Technically, dogs can eat wheat, corn, and other grains. However, these cheaper fillers can cause intolerances or allergic reactions. 

If you notice this in your own dog, avoid them altogether. Focus on wholesome veggies and fruits and choose a grain-free formula.  

Our Verdict

So, is switching to canned food worth it? Well, that depends on you and your pup. But, we can say with confidence that if you do switch, your dog will still get the nutrients they need to thrive. 

Our favorite wet food is Solid Gold Love At First Bark Puppy Canned Dog Food

It’s an excellent choice for puppies transitioning to canned dog food or those who need a few more vitamins in their daily diet.  

And, all of our other options on this list can be beneficial. Whether your puppy needs to gain weight or needs a specific amount of fat or protein, you can find the right choice for them on this list. 

FAQ

Want to know more about buying wet puppy food? Here are three common questions and answers. 

Can I mix wet and dry puppy food?

Yes, you can. This is great if your dog needs kibble but is a picky eater. And, it can also be helpful for pups who need to put on some weight. However, remember not to overfeed your pup. Figure out their daily calorie needs and keep the wet and dry food balanced to meet them. 

Is it good to feed my puppy with wet food?

It can be. If your pup isn’t eating their dry dog food and you’ve ruled out a health issue, switching to wet food may be the best choice. And, wet food is higher in many nutrients and vitamins vs. kibble. 

However, wet food isn’t always the best choice economically for large breeds. And, if your pup has tooth issues (like plaque), canned dog food can make those problems worse. 
When should I switch my pup to adult meals?

When should I switch my pup to adult meals?

Tiny and small breeds reach adulthood by 10 or 12 months. However, large breeds take at least 18 months to reach their adult years. The best way to know when to switch your pup to adult dog food is to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you come up with the right transition plan. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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