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10 Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters — 2023 Reviews & Top Picks 

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Brown Dog Eating

We love our dogs, but they can be a little complicated sometimes. If you have a challenge on your hands, we have some wet food recipes we really think can change things up a bit. Since we know what it’s like to have picky dogs, we rounded up 10 of the best wet canned dog foods they just can’t say no to.

We tried to really consider nutrition here too, so if you’re in any way concerned about your pet’s dietary health, we have you covered. Hopefully, our reviews lead you to your dog’s newest savory experience.Divider 4

A Quick Look at Our Winners in 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Iams Proactive Health Classic Iams Proactive Health Classic
  • USA-based facilities
  • Tasty flavor
  • Well-balanced recipe
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Rachael Ray Nutrish Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • Affordable chef-prepared meals
  • No harmful additives
  • Works for several sensitivities
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Canidae Chicken & Rice Canidae Chicken & Rice
  • All life stages
  • Grain-inclusive
  • High protein
  • Best for Puppies
    Blue Buffalo Baby BLUE Healthy Growth Blue Buffalo Baby BLUE Healthy Growth
  • DHA-packed
  • Comes in combo version with dry kibble
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Nutro Ultra-Grain-Free Trio Protein Nutro Ultra-Grain-Free Trio Protein
  • Contains organ meats
  • No GMOs or artificial ingredients
  • Immunity boosting
  • The 10 Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

    1. Iams Proactive Health Classic Dog Food—Best Overall

    Iams Proactive Health Classic

    Main ingredients: Chicken, water, chicken byproducts, lamb, brown rice
    Protein content: 8.0%
    Fat content: 6.0%
    Calories: 390

    Iams has always been a leader in easily accessible pet food. We think your picky pup will enjoy Iams Proactive Health Classic. It has the right tantalizing ingredients in loaf form for goodness worth gobbling up. We think this dog food will fit most budgets, making it a top pick among consumers.

    This recipe is very well balanced, promoting only the most scrumptious ingredients that keep up with regular body maintenance. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep your dog in tip-top shape. Rice is an easily digestible ingredient that nourishes the body and regulates digestion.

    Even though the first ingredient is chicken, this is technically a lamb-flavored recipe. Lamb is still pretty high and the 4th ingredient on the list. However, if your dog was allergic to chicken and you were hoping to get this recipe since it uses an uncommon protein, it won’t work.

    Iams has facilities in the United States, making their recipes in Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina. So, they are United States-made! We really think you get a big bang for your buck here. And your little one likely won’t complain about the delicious recipe.

    • USA-based facilities
    • Tasty flavor
    • Well-balanced recipe
    • Not allergy friendly

    2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food – Best Value

    Rachael Ray Nutrish

    Main ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, dried egg product, egg white, pea protein
    Protein content: Varies
    Fat content: Varies
    Calories: 235-252 per serving

    Rachael Ray Nutrish is a yummy selection if you have affordability on your mind. It’s perfect for anyone not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on. Try out Rachael Ray Nutrish. It’s readily available in most commercial locations and online. Plus, it’s the best-canned dog food we could find for the money.

    Rachael Ray herself is a chef, knowing all about nutrition. It shows in the ingredient selections she chooses for her dog food recipes. This one contains three delicious recipes: chicken paw pie, hearty beef stew, and savory lamb stew.

    That will liven up mealtime, promoting lots of yummy flavors and additional moisture. These recipes are crafted without corn, wheat, soy, gluten, poultry byproducts, fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

    This recipe doesn’t skip on solid health either. Each formula is perfectly balanced to work by itself or with dry dog food. Because of careful construction, they are also compatible with various dietary sensitivities.

    Affordable, delicious, and nutritious—who could ask for more?

    • Affordable chef-prepared meals
    • No harmful additives
    • Works for several sensitivities
    • Not packaged for large breeds

    3. Canidae Chicken & Rice Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Canidae Chicken

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, dried egg product, brown rice
    Protein content: 9.0%
    Fat content: 6.5%
    Calories: 504 kcal/can

    We absolutely love this Candidae dog food even though it’s on the high-end concerning price. We think you’ll enjoy what it offers and might want to squeeze it into your budget. First, it’s an all life stages formula, meaning you can feed it to your pup any year of their life.

    While this brand offers grain-inclusive and grain-free options, we chose a specific recipe that uses grains since most healthy adults thrive with a grain-inclusive diet. However, if you have a grain-sensitive dog, this particular brand makes several other all-stages-life recipes to choose from.

    This recipe contains real chicken as the first ingredient lying in a broth bed that can liven up any appetite. It has nothing but exceptional ingredients with lots of omega-fatty acids to aid skin and coat maintenance.

    The ingredients list is short and straightforward, which we love to see in the food. This is definitely a wholesome, high-protein meal for seniors, adults, and puppies.

    • All life stages
    • Grain-inclusive
    • High protein
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Healthy Growth Formula Grain-Free – Best for Puppies

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, peas, pea flour, sweet potatoes
    Protein content: 10.5%
    Fat content: 7.0%
    Calories: 425 per can

    Has your little newcomer snubbed its nose at everything you can offer in terms of dry kibble? If so, they might be unable to resist Blue Buffalo Baby BLUE Healthy Growth puppy food. Just pop open a can and watch their little tails wag as they enjoy.

    This recipe is carefully crafted to deliver the proper amount of nutrients to your growing boy or girl. It has DHA content to aid brain development, high protein to feed muscles, and high caloric content to promote proper organ growth.

    With chicken and broth as the first two ingredients, your dog benefits directly from the primary protein source. It also contains chicken liver, which has many other health benefits.

    Chewy also offers a steal of a deal where you can buy this recipe in addition to a bag of this particular formula is the dry kibble version. In the dry kibble version, you get all of the same benefits. Plus, additional LifeSource bits to aid antioxidant health.

    We are sure your little bundle of joy will gobble up their portions and be begging for seconds.

    • DHA-packed
    • Comes in combo version with dry kibble
    • Contains antioxidants
    • Peas are controversial

    5. Nutro Ultra-Grain-Free Trio Protein Dog Food

    Nutro Ultra

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, lamb, whitefish
    Protein content: 8.0%
    Fat content: 5.0%
    Calories: 98

    The best possible wet canned dog food you can find is Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Trio Protein. It’s packed with necessary animal content without the added irritation of grains. It’s perfect to spruce up boring kibble. Some grain-sensitive dogs can even enjoy this as a main course.

    We really love that this recipe contains organ meats, nourishing your pet’s system appropriately. This particular formula has all sorts of goodies inside. It isn’t a standard requirement, but it is always nice to see, especially in wet food recipes.

    You have antioxidant-packed ingredients like spinach, flaxseed, blueberries, apples, chia seeds, and carrots. All of these nutrients help to boost your dog’s immunity and overall bodily functions. This recipe has no GMOs, chicken byproducts, corn, wheat, soy, grain, or artificial additives.

    This recipe is a little bit pricey, so you might want to use it in combination with a cheaper dry kibble. However, it is unbeatable in terms of help. So, you’re giving your little picky eater all of the flavor and nutrient benefits they need in their normal diet.

    • Contains organ meats
    • No GMOs or artificial ingredients
    • Immunity boosting
    • Pricey

    6. Wellness Beef Stew Dog Food

    Wellness Beef Stew

    Main ingredients: Beef, beef broth, water, beef liver, carrots, potatoes
    Protein content: 8.0%
    Fat content: 4.0%
    Calories: 327 per can

    The best overall canned dog food we could find is Wellness Beef Stew. It will appeal to the appetite of just about any picky pooch. Plus, it has all the top-notch nutrients we like to see in an ingredients list lineup. We dare any finicky eater to resist.

    Wellness products are pretty great, this being no exception. These recipes are crafted with very tender cuts of excellent protein content, veggies, and savory gravy. It also contains beef liver, which is highly digestible and provides extremely fantastic animal-based content.

    The recipe has a middle-ground calorie count, working for low to moderate activity levels. We think it is a great maintenance diet and makes a fantastic selection to pair with dry kibble. It also has natural antioxidants from powerful veggie sources.

    This is a grain-free selection, so we only recommend it for dogs who have a gluten sensitivity or in addition to a regular dry kibble. We can’t get over how fantastic we think the recipe is, though, and we believe if you look at the ingredients, you will agree.

    • Great maintenance diet
    • Works well as a topper
    • Gluten-free
    • Not grain-inclusive

    7. Blue Buffalo Blue Stew Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Blue Stew

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water, chicken liver
    Protein content: Varies
    Fat content: Varies
    Calories: 322-326/cup

    Blue Buffalo Blue Stew is an excellent recipe for healthy adult dogs. We already gave you Blue’s signature recipe for puppies on this list, and now we’re here to tell you that they have just as much to offer your full-grown guys and gals.

    This variety pack offers beef and chicken flavors, so your little picky one will never get bored. These cans make excellent toppers, but they work just as efficiently as a standalone diet.

    What we really love about this recipe is that it contains ingredients you can actually see. This recipe contains diced carrots, diced carrots, and whole peas. Plus, in addition to excellent protein, it also has liver—very nutritious! So, you know your dog is getting chunks of meat and vegetables as needed.

    Your puppy will appreciate the yummy goodness. On top of the flavor, it’s packed with just the right vitamins and minerals to keep up for a maintenance diet. It never contains any wheat in the recipe, so it works for even gluten-sensitive pooches even though it has rice. So, it is grain inclusive but gluten-free.

    • Grain inclusive but gluten-free
    • Contains organ meat
    • Ingredients you can actually see
    • Too low calories for active dogs

    8. Cesar Classic Loaf Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef, chicken liver, chicken, chicken lung, water, chicken broth
    Protein content: 9.0%
    Fat content: 4.0%
    Calories:  91-105 per container

    This dog food will work particularly well for small dogs, as it’s perfectly portioned to match the maintenance needs of healthy adults. We think your little whippersnapper will be wooed by the wonderful flavors Cesar offers—they won’t get bored!

    Even though the AAFCO completely accepts Caesar dog foods, several factors still make this delicious little dish not quite as healthy as some others. However, the flavor is irreplaceable.

    So, we definitely recommend Caesar as a wet food Topper. You will have to be careful if you choose to use this for a standalone diet, as it can cause weight gain if you overfeed. Each pouch is conveniently packaged in a sealed, easy-to-access plastic dish.

    You can simply open it, scoop it out, and toss it away. It definitely wins some pointers with convenience.

    • Flavorful
    • Perfectly portioned for small dogs
    • Easy to open packages
    • Can cause weight gain

    9. Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Dog Food

    Purina ONE SmartBlend

    Main ingredients: Beef, chicken, beef broth, liver, pork lungs, brown rice, oatmeal, carrots
    Protein content: 8.0%
    Fat content: 7.0%
    Calories: 431/can

    Purina ONE Classic Ground dog food provides delicious wet paper for your pooch. It comes in beef and chicken varieties, offering a flavorful eating experience while keeping up with optimal nutrition.

    This canned recipe contains no artificial preservatives or byproducts, it also contains no corn, wheat, or soy ingredients. It has all the necessary components that make your dog a happy camper with taste and nutrition.

    This SmartBlend diet has two times the number of antioxidants that the AAFCO requires, boosting immunity. It also has easy-to-digest grains like oatmeal and brown rice, which regulate digestion.

    Please be careful with dogs prone to weight gain or obesity, as this dog food contains high calorie and fat content. But overall, this dog food is super easy to find in both physical and online locations. So, it’s easy to find and affordable to boot.

    • Boost immunity with extra antioxidants
    • Easy to digest recipe
    • No fillers or artificial ingredients
    • High calorie content
    • High fat content

    10. Livelong Healthy Strong Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Bison/buffalo, beef, pork, beef broth, organic sweet potatoes, organic peas, organic carrots, chicken liver
    Protein content: 8.0%
    Fat content: 6.0%
    Calories: 356/can

    This canned dog food won’t be necessary for all dogs, but it’s definitely worth recommending for those who need it. Livelong Healthy Strong canned dog food offers novel protein and other perks.

    This modest calorie wet dog food works for various activity levels. It is packed with optimal animal content that comes from novel protein sources (in most cases.) However, it also contains beef, which can irritate some dogs.

    This recipe is totally grain-free and easy to digest, replacing grains with easy-to-digest starches like sweet potato. This extra boost of fiber helps digestion function.

    We love organic ingredients, but the price is steep. Plus, it might not be high enough calories for larger or energetic breeds.

    • Offers novel proteins
    • Easy to digest
    • Organic ingredients
    • Contains beef, a common allergen
    • Might be too low calorie for some dogs
    Divider 5

    Buyer’s Guide — Choosing the Best Canned Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

    You’ve probably tried several kibbles and come up empty-handed—your dog doesn’t like it. So, canned food can really perk up an appetite. You can use it as a solid primary dietary source or add it to dry kibble to make it more appetizing.

    Wet vs. Canned: What’s the Difference?

    If you have a picky eater, it’s much easier for them to snub their nose up at a pile of dry kibble. It’s just not as savory or aromatic, so it doesn’t pique the interest as frequently. Wet food will eliminate that, offering mouthwatering broth and gravy in a bed of delicious protein, veggies, and grains.

    Dry kibble has all of these ingredients as well, but they’re all ground down and cooked together, taking away from the flavor of it.

    Gold and white senior chihuahua dog eating food from stainless steel raised bowl
    Image Credit: Ryan Brix, Shutterstock

    Which Is More Expensive?

    You might not notice a price difference if you have a little dog. However, the larger the dog, the more food you’ll have to buy. An excellent way to do this is to use wet food as a topper for dry kibble. If you find it stretching you a bit thin, mixing the two can let your dog reap the benefits of wet and dry selections while also stretching your dollar.

    Wet Food Alternatives

    A really popular up-and-coming savory packed dog food option is fresh food. You can buy fresh food from companies or make it in your own kitchen. You can always look for alternate options if you’re not crazy about all of the preservatives and what not to go into wet canned dog food.

    Wet Food Recipes

    There are several different sorts of wet food recipes you can choose from. There is no one size fits all. Like dry kibble, companies formulate recipes to cater to different dietary restrictions or sensitivities.

    Dog beagle eating canned food from bowl
    Image Credit: Przemek Iciak. Shutterstock

    Everyday Nutrition

    Everyday nutrition recipes are built for healthy adult dogs and are considered a maintenance diet.


    Grain-free recipes exclude any type of grain or gluten from the formula. These carbohydrate sources are usually replaced by starchy veggies like peas or potatoes. Even though grain free is an attractive and abundant dietary option, you should still only give your dog this type of dog food if they truly have a grain sensitivity.

    Limited Ingredient Diet

    Limited ingredient diets aim to use as few ingredients as possible while meeting the full canine nutritional profile. By using fewer ingredients, companies aim to create less triggering recipes that nourish your dog system instead of upset it.

    High Protein

    High protein diets are typically geared towards high-energy dogs that deplete a lot of calories in a day. In addition to high protein, these recipes are also high in fat and full of dietary fiber to keep them regular.Divider 4


    Iams Proactive Health Classic is a great, affordable option made with good quality protein sources. It has a healthy amount of protein, fat, and calories for any dog. It is also made in the USA, earning it the title of our best overall canned food for dogs that are picky eaters.

    Rachael Ray Nutrish is a splendid medley of flavors at very fair prices. Because these are chef-inspired and crafted, you can trust knowing that these recipes have been carefully constructed. With the quality of this particular dog food, it’s really nice that it’s convenient to purchase and won’t completely break your wallet.

    Canidae Chicken & Rice Might be a little more expensive than the other varieties on our list, but no less worthy. Not only would they create the flavors, they would also benefit greatly from the holistic content. If you want to give your little picky dog premium nutrition, this is the direction.

    Blue Buffalo Baby BLUE Healthy Growth is an exceptional recipe for puppies, giving them all of the goodies they need to get a great start in life. Don’t forget to check out Blue Buffalo’s dry kibble, and if you want to make it a bundle. If you are looking for a puppy child that will appeal two your finicky little eater, we think they will definitely gobble this up.

    Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Trio Protein is a grain-free recipe that provides solid nutrition for your healthy adult. It has exceptional ingredients, offering a three-variety pack two amplify different flavor notes. This food is a terrific choice if you’re aiming for wet food, and we have to agree.

    No matter which one of these foods you try out for your pop, who seems to snub everything you try to give them, we hope you find one that works. It’s important to pick quality nutrition, no matter how picky your dog is. We hope we’ve given you ten really great options to choose from. Happy shopping!

    See also:

    Featured Image Credit: Mart Production, Pexels

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