The Best 8 Canned Dog Food for Picky Eaters

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 11 min.

According to the American Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 56% of dogs in America are on the heavy side, but some dog owners have the opposite problem. While some dogs gobble up just about everything, others need a little push to clear their plate, and if you have such a picky eater, dry kibble won’t cut it. You will have better luck with other alternatives like canned dog food.

The best canned dog food for picky eaters nourishes the dog with the necessary nutrients. Canned dog foods are usually blended, cooked, sterilized, and vacuum-sealed in a can, tin, or roll. Most dogs enjoy canned dog food because they are moist, soft, and delicious.

With so many options, picking the best canned dog food can be a challenge. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the top eight canned dog foods that your dog will love. Other areas covered in this article are why some dogs are picky eaters and how to shop for canned dog food.

Why Some Dogs Are Picky Eaters

A healthy dog should eat at least once a day. If your dog has trouble finishing its daily ration, you may be dealing with a picky eater. However, if a dog’s appetite drops suddenly, it may be due to a health condition. Below are some common reasons why some dogs are discriminating when at mealtime.


This may sound shocking, but some dog breeds are just not that motivated by food. Such breeds eat to live and nothing more. If the dog seems healthy and no ribs are showing, then there is no need for concern. However, if they look starved, you need to try a new diet.

Generally, picky eating is prevalent among the smaller breeds like the Yorkshire Terriers. Picky eaters usually develop a taste for certain flavors, textures, and smells. Anything that does not meet their lofty standards is met with disinterest.

On the flip side, some dogs love to eat. Labradors and Pugs, in particular, are known for their ravenous appetite. Know what kind of dog you have and schedule their meals accordingly.

Table Scraps

Picky eating is not always natural. In most cases, dogs pick this habit from people. A shaky feeding schedule can transform your dog into a picky eater. Another common issue is feeding the dog table scraps. When you eventually feed them, they are most likely full, and even if they are not, the kibbles you are offering are probably tasteless compared to what they just ate.

Fortunately, you can prevent your dog from becoming picky. Setting and sticking to a mealtime prevents picky eating. To enforce these timelines, the bowl should not be left out for more than twenty minutes. Take the bowl away and offer any treats. They won’t make the same mistake again.


Anxiety is known to affect appetite, and dogs are no exception. Separation is the most common source of anxiety among dogs. Separation anxiety occurs when dogs are split from their guardians or people they have become attached to. Leaving your dog alone at home while at work is enough to cause separation anxiety.

In addition to the loss of appetite, dogs with this problem will often try to prevent their guardians from leaving. They are continually barking, howling, digging, or attempting to escape. Dog breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors, and Collies are notorious for separation anxiety.

Other factors that can cause anxiety are thunderstorms and fireworks.

Stomach Sensitivity

Most people wouldn’t go back to a restaurant if they ate there and suffered a terrible bout of diarrhea. Well, your dog is not any different. Scottish Terrier and Yorkie breeds are known for sensitive tummies. Certain foods can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and gas. Stomach sensitivity is caused by food intolerance or allergy to a specific ingredient, such as protein or fat.

Due to their keen sense of smell, the dog will be hesitant to try that food again. The key is to find out what exactly causes the stomach upset. You can try eliminating foods one by one. The better solution is to switch to dog foods designed for sensitive stomachs. If the symptoms persist, there could be a bigger problem. Get the dog examined by a vet.

Here is a video with more information on how to deal with picky eaters:

Trial and error is not the best way to find the right canned food for your pup. It is risky—and expensive. So, try the following canned dog food for picky eaters. They are not only appetizing, but they also have the nutrients to keep your dog healthy.

Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Adult Wet Dog Food

Purina is one of the most reliable dog food brands on the market. They provide a variety of products, ranging from kibbles to food toppings. The Purina Pro Plan High Protein is one of their best work, and it comes in 13- ounce (368.5-gram) cans, each containing a slightly different recipe. In total, twelve other recipes are ranging from beef and rice to chicken and vegetables.

Each of the recipes is made from real meats. Protein options include beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb. The different tastes and flavors ensure your pet doesn’t get bored with one flavor. It is also an opportunity to find out your dog’s protein of choice. Other ingredients added include rice, vegetables, peas, and carrots.

The rice used is highly digestible. This eases digestion, especially for dogs with sensitive tummies. The vegetables help supply up to 23 different minerals and vitamins.

You can also choose different protein levels depending on your dog’s nutritional needs. Each can supply your dog with 437 Kcal. Servings range from ½ can for a 4-pound (1.8-kg) pup to 4 cans for a 100-pound (45.4-kg) adult.

Wag Wet Canned Dog Food

Wag dog food is owned and distributed by Amazon. While the identity of the manufacturer remains unclear, the important thing is the quality of the product. The primary ingredients are chicken, beef, and dried egg whites. This high protein content is balanced by veggies such as carrots, peas, and potatoes, and each can contain 13.2 ounces (374.2 grams) of dog food.

Wag Wet Canned Dog Food is great for picky dogs because it contains no grains. There is no wheat, corn, or soy. The shopper will also be happy to know that there are no artificial flavors and preservatives.

Like most canned dog foods, Wag Canned Dog Food comes in a pack of twelve cans. You can choose from the nine different flavors available. The recommended ratio is 1.25 cans per 15 pounds (6.8 kgs) of body weight.

Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe is known for its dry grain-inclusive recipe. However, their wet dog food is the one you might consider if you have a picky eater. The food is packed in standard 13-ounce (368.5-gram) cans. The primary ingredients are chicken, rice, and barley, and buyers can also choose between the grounds and stew flavors.

Unlike beef, chicken is easier to digest, making this food ideal for picky dogs. Nature’s Recipe is indeed as healthy as the name suggests. The product doesn’t contain any corn or wheat, which are known to trouble sensitive stomachs.

Additional natural ingredients include potatoes, carrots, and peas. Nature’s Recipe is great for all dog breeds. Check directions for more information on rations.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Senior Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo offers a great tone of both dry and wet dog foods. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dog Food is an excellent option for those with senior dogs. In addition to the natural turkey and chicken, this dog food contains chondroitin and glucosamine. Studies have shown that these two compounds help in relieving joint pains.

Blue Wilderness is flexible when it comes to feeding. You can use it as a meal by itself, use it as a treat, or mix it with your pet’s favorite dry foods. Whatever you choose, expect no problems since it doesn’t contain any grain. It is free of artificial flavors and preservatives to avoid stomach upset in some dogs.

Buyers have a choice between the red meat or the turkey and chicken flavors. Each option is equally tasty and nutritious. The package comes in a pack of twelve cans, each weighing 12.5 ounces (354.4 grams). Recommended rations are ½ cans per 10 pounds (4.5 kgs) of body weight per day.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food

Natural Balance products are specifically made for dogs with dietary restrictions. Despite only using limited ingredients, it is completely well flavored. The essential ingredients are natural proteins and a limited amount of carbohydrates. The product is tested for nine common contaminants to ensure your dog is safe.

The formulas and recipes used to make food are certified by veterinarians and nutritional experts. Although this particular product is grain-free, you also order varieties with grains in them. In keeping with their policy, this wet dog food contains no artificial flavors, food color, and preservatives.

Apart from duck and potato, there are four other flavors to choose from. Each package comes with 12 cans weighing 13 ounces (368.5 grams) per piece. You can spread this out to nourish your dog for a while. Feeding instructions are provided on the package. However, you are free to consult your vet on the exact rations for your dog.

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Canned Wet Dog Food

Castor & Pollux is now owned by fellow dog food manufacturer Merrick Pet Care. Despite the change in ownership, it boasts a successful line of organic dog foods. Many discriminating eaters love the organic grain-free wet dog food. The primary ingredient is organic free-range chicken, and no other brand shows this level of commitment to organic food.

Other organic ingredients added to this tasty treat include coconut flour, blueberries, and flaxseed. This unique blend is then cooked in an organic-certified kitchen here in the U.S. This grain-free canned wet dog food is packaged in 12.7-ounce (360-gram) cans. There are a total of 12 cans to ensure your dog is fully fed before you need to restock.

As the name suggests, no chemicals are used in the making of this product. There are no artificial preservatives or flavors. The recipes used are 95% organic, certified by the Department of Agriculture. With this product, your dog will keep coming for more. However, keep the rations within 1.25 cans per 15 pounds (6.8 kgs) of body weight per day.

Wellness CORE Natural Wet Grain Free Canned Dog Food

Wellness Core specializes in high-protein dog foods. They combine different superfoods to supply all the nutritional needs of your dog. This product comes in three primary flavors, including herring, salmon, and whitefish, and it is also available in both grain and grain-free versions. Try the limited ingredient dog food if your dog shows signs of discomfort.

It can be served as a meal or topping. The dog food comes in a pack of twelve 12.5-ounce (354.4-gram) cans. There are five other flavors, featuring beef, turkey, chicken, and lamb, and the recommended serving is half a can per 8 pounds (3.6 kgs) of body weight.

Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient Premium Wet Dog Food

Most dog packages often contain a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. With Canidae products, there is no long list. The company is committed to providing premium dog food and are transparent about their methods. None of their dog food has more than seven ingredients. The Canidae Pure Grain Limited has only five ingredients.

The top ingredients are either real beef, poultry, or fish. The wholesome ingredients make it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. There are no grain or artificial additives that can cause stomach upsets. There are four different flavors, including lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, or a combination of the four.

Canidae Pure Grain Wet Dog Food is supplied in a set of twelve 13-ounce (368.5-gram) cans. Be careful about rations because it’s nutritionally dense. The recommended portion is one can a day for every 15 pounds (6.8 kgs) of body weight.

What To Look for When Buying Canned Dog Food

Canned dog food offers an alternative for those who don’t have time to prepare home-cooked dog foods. However, you will often be greeted by an entire aisle of canned dog food at the store.

So, how do you make sure you get the right one? Here are a few things to look out for when you are shopping for canned dog food:

Protein Content

All canned dog foods proclaim a specific type of protein as the main ingredient, and the protein is usually the first on the list of ingredients, and it could be chicken, beef, or lamb. This allows you to switch up your pup’s sensitivity to a certain type of protein.

The other aspect is protein percentage. Protein requirements vary with age. Generally, a growing dog needs more proteins. You can go as high as 30%. On the other hand, adult and senior dogs require about 10% protein content.

Water Content

The biggest appeal of canned dog food is that it is moist. However, this can also be a problem. Canned dog food can contain as much as 70% water. More water means less for the actual food you are buying. As a result, you are getting fewer nutrients.

The maximum legal water ratio for canned dog food is about 50%. The food should be as much as the medium; otherwise, you are likely getting scammed.

Artificial Preservatives

Typical canned dog food contains ground meat, some gravy, and cereals. However, there are extra ingredients to avoid. For instance, the term meal refers to a mixture of rendered products. They are made from by-products that are unfit for human consumption.

Why risk your pet’s health? You should also steer clear of anything with carcinogenic preservatives, such as Ethoxyquin or Butylated Hydroxyanisole. Otherwise, your dog could develop problems like kidney failure.

Bottom Line

Some dogs will gobble any food you give them. Others are more picky and need a little nudge to eat properly. The key is to know your dog’s eating habits and what they like.

The best way to do that is by trying different dog foods until you find the one. Take a minute and read the ingredients before you toss it into your cart. If the change in appetite is sudden, then chances are that there’s an underlying problem. Consult your vet immediately.