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The 10 Best Canned And Wet Dog Foods For Small Dogs

Options abound in the dog food market, and pet owners naturally want to make the best decision for their beloved pets.

With so many choices available, it can be overwhelming to choose between wet or dry food, particularly when it comes to finding the most suitable food for your pet's individual needs.

When compared to dry dog food, wet dog food offers additional benefits such as higher moisture content, better taste, easier chewability, and sustained fullness.

BestForPets has compiled a list of the best canned and wet dog foods for small dogs, complete with reviews, to assist you in selecting the ideal option for your furry companion.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

1. Instinct Original Small Breed Wet Dog Food

Instinct Original Small Breed Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Dog Food

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  • Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, cod, peas, eggs, pea fiber, ground flaxseed are the main components
  • 8.5% minimum protein content
  • 4.5% minimum fat content
  • 88 kcal per can

Instinct Original Tiny Breed Grain-Free wet dog food is made with 95% real meat and organs, along with fruits and vegetables.

The formula is rich in omega fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. The high protein content, sourced from cage-free chicken and liver, helps maintain your dog’s muscle mass.

To prevent obesity and promote a healthy weight in small dogs, the caloric content of each serving has been specifically tailored.

Instinct Original is free from preservatives and artificial colors, making it a wholesome and delicious choice for your furry friend.

This product is grain-free, which is beneficial for dogs with specific dietary needs. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog.

This wet dog food is made without common allergens such as grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, by-product meals, artificial colors, and preservatives.

The formula is abundant in animal protein, sourced from real meat and whole food ingredients, to help your dog build lean muscle.

It is appropriate for dogs of all ages, from puppies to seniors, and provides complete and balanced nutrition to promote overall health.

In addition, Instinct is a raw-inspired brand that formulates its wet and dry dog food with natural ingredients.

Other popular dog food brands include Blue Buffalo, Rachael Ray Nutrish, Hill’s Science Diet, Purina One, Taste of the Wild, Merrick, Natural Balance, Wellness, Orijen, Royal Canin, Fromm, Acana, and Nutro.

Pros

Contains genuine chicken and liver

Calorie levels that have been custom-created

Protein-rich diet

Cons

Expensive


2. Halo Grain-Free Small Breed Canned Dog Food

Halo Wet Dog Food For Small Dogs

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  • Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, ground dry peas, duck, and carrots are the main components
  • 11% minimum protein content
  • 5% minimum fat content
  • 194 kcal per can

Halo Purely For Pets dog food is made with responsibly sourced, GMO-free fruits and vegetables, and real, whole meats.

This high-quality blend is free of synthetic additives and rich in antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats, making it an excellent option for small breed dogs with a rapid metabolism.

One of the unique features of Halo dog food is that it uses only real meats, rather than “meat meal” like many other brands. This means that your dog is getting the best possible nutrition from recognizable ingredients.

Halo products are made in the United States with non-GMO fruits and vegetables and other high-quality ingredients sourced from U.S. farms and around the world.

There are no rendered meat meals, artificial ingredients, or preservatives in the wet dog food formula.

Halo dog food is nutrient-dense and easy to digest, and its smaller kibble size is ideal for dogs with shorter digestive tracts.

The formula contains all the protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants that adult small breed dogs need for strong muscles, healthy skin, and a shiny coat.

The turkey and duck recipe is smooth and delicious, with tender pieces of colorful vegetables and added water to keep your dog healthy and hydrated.

However, it’s important to note that some dogs may find the consistency too mushy, which could lead to rejection.

While this grain-free formula is safe for all dogs, it’s essential to discuss your dog’s specific nutritional requirements with your veterinarian.

Some dogs can benefit from a diet that includes grains, and a veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your furry companion.

Pros

There is no rendered meat

There are no GMO fruits or veggies

Long-term and all-encompassing

Cons

The consistency is mushy


3. Purina Bella Small Breed Dog Food Trays

Purina Bella Natural Small Breed Pate Wet Dog Food

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  • Meat byproducts, chicken, water, liver, and carrageenan are the main components
  • 8% minimum protein content
  • 3.5% minimum fat content
  • 100kcal per tray

Purina Bella Small Breed dog food is formulated specifically to meet the nutritional requirements of adult small dogs.

This natural pate wet dog food comes in a variety of flavors and is pre-portioned for convenient dispensing. The grilled chicken flavor in savory juices is a popular option among small dog owners.

This high-protein formula is designed to help strengthen the muscles of small-breed dogs, while its antioxidant blend supports their immune system.

The nutrient-dense recipe is ideal for small dogs with faster metabolisms, and the absence of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives ensures that your dog receives the highest quality nutrition.

The chicken portions in this recipe are combined with flavorful juices to make them easier to swallow for small dogs.

The single-serving trays are practical for on-the-go dog owners, allowing you to bring your dog on travels with a portion of food that is compact, simple to serve, and fits comfortably in your handbag.

Purina Bella Small Breed dog food is formulated to support the extended life expectancy of small dogs, with added vitamins and minerals to promote overall health.

The small-sized tray is ideal for small-breed dogs, and the antioxidant blend aids in immune system support.

One disadvantage cited by some dog owners is that the food has a potent and sometimes disagreeable odor. However, this is not unique to Purina Bella and is a prevalent issue with wet dog food.

With its high-protein, nutrient-dense formula and convenient, pre-portioned containers, Purina Bella Small Breed dog food is a fantastic option for small breed dogs.

Always discuss your dog’s specific nutritional requirements with your veterinarian to determine the optimal diet for your furry companion.

Pros

High protein content

Chewing is simple for little mouths

When you’re on the run, this tray is ideal

Cons

It may have an unpleasant odor


4. Purina Pro Plan Canned Puppy Food

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Pate, Chicken and Brown Rice Entree

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  • Chicken, liver, meat byproducts, water, salmon, rice are the main components
  • 10% protein minimum
  • 7% minimum fat content
  • 475kcal per can

Pro Plan Development puppy food from Purina is a well-balanced diet designed to provide optimal nutrition for dogs during their first year of life.

This high-protein wet food contains real chicken as the primary ingredient, which is a source of lean protein essential for your dog’s developing muscles.

Pro Plan Development puppy food is fortified with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that supports healthy brain development and vision in growing dogs.

In addition, this wet food contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s immune system and coat health.

Although this food has many benefits, some puppy parents have reported that its consistency makes it difficult for puppies to consume.

This 13-ounce can of Purina Pro Plan Development puppy food is specially formulated for dogs up to one year of age.

This chicken and brown rice dish is delicious and contains high-quality protein to support your puppy’s lean muscle growth.

Moreover, this wet food is formulated to support a healthy immune system and nourish your puppy’s skin and coat.

This pate-style puppy food contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for your dog.

Always consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal diet for your puppy based on their specific nutritional requirements.

Pros

Made with genuine chicken

There are 23 important vitamins and minerals

DHA helps the brain and eyesight

Cons

Some puppies find it a little pasty and sticky

Contains by-products of meat


5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Paws Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food

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  • Water, chicken, pork liver, brown rice, carrots are the main components
  • 3.5% protein content
  • 2.3% minimum fat content
  • 83 kilocalories

Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paws Dog Food is a premium diet designed by pet nutritionists and highly recommended by veterinarians.

This formula is specifically intended for small breed dogs aged 7 and up and is packed in single-serving trays for easy and accurate portioning.

Small Paws contains real chicken, carrots, and brown rice, and the thick gravy makes it easy to consume.

While single servings may be a convenient option, they can be more costly for dog owners in the long run.

Additionally, some dog owners have reported that the foil closure is too tight, which can cause the gravy to spill when the container is opened.

This savory stew formula is made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients that older dogs enjoy, such as high-quality protein to help maintain lean muscles.

Moreover, this wet food is formulated with key nutrients to support the unique needs of dogs aged 7 and older.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Dog Food is made with natural ingredients in a convenient, single-serve tray and contains ingredients sourced globally that you can trust.

Pros

Ingredients derived from nature

Simple to understand

Pre-portioned

Cons

Costly

Packaging is inconvenient


6. Homestyle Blue Buffalo Recipe Canned Dog Food for Small Breeds

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food

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  • Chicken, chicken broth, carrots, peas, brown rice, dried egg product, barley, oats, and sweet potatoes are the main components
  • 10% protein minimum
  • 7.5% minimum fat content
  • 214 kilocalories per cup

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Dog Food features real chicken as the first ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source that supports your tiny dog’s strong muscles.

This 24-can pack can be used as a treat or mixed with your dog’s favorite dry food for added variety and nutritional value.

Homestyle is specially formulated with a balanced protein-carbohydrate ratio and nutritious ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.

This wet food contains no preservatives, artificial colors, or by-products, ensuring that your beloved companion gets only the best.

While some dog owners have reported that their dogs may not prefer the flavor of the food, it’s important to remember that dogs have individual preferences for food. However, most dogs appear to love this recipe.

This paté-style wet dog food is perfect for small breed dogs and is formulated to support healthy muscle maintenance and meet their nutritional needs.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Adult Small Breed Dog Food can be fed as a treat, mixed with dry food, or as a standalone meal.

All BLUE canned dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals, ensuring that your dog receives the best possible nutrition.

Pros

Can be served as a treat, blended with other ingredients, or on its own

There are no byproducts

There are no preservatives or artificial colors

Cons

Some dogs loathe the taste


7. Adult Classic Purina Pro Plan Canned Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food Wet Pate

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  • Chicken, water, liver, meat by-products, rice, guar gum, minerals are the main constituents
  • 9% minimum of protein
  • 6% minimum fat content
  • 443 kcal per can

Complete Essentials Purina Pro Plan Dog Food is a high-quality blend of functional ingredients that provide essential nourishment for your beloved furry companion.

The primary ingredient in this recipe is real chicken, which supplies essential protein to support your dog’s muscles and overall health.

Pro Plan contains 23 vital vitamins and minerals that help support your pet’s immune system, nourish their skin and coat, and provide complete and balanced nutrition for a happy and healthy life.

However, this dish is low in fiber, which may lead to constipation in some dogs. Additionally, carrageenan, a thickening agent used in the gravy, may cause bloating in certain dogs.

This high-quality dog food is perfect for adult dogs and is made with real chicken for a taste that dogs love. The canned pate format makes it easy to use as a standalone meal or as a topper for dry food.

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food Wet Pate, Chicken and Rice Entree is a canned ground dog food made with real chicken that provides essential protein to support ideal body condition and build lean muscles.

This high-quality dog food helps support a healthy immune system and nourishes healthy skin and coat, providing complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs.

This canned dog food pate is made with 23 essential vitamins and nutrients and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, ensuring that your dog gets only the best natural ingredients.

Pros

Made with entire chickens

High protein content

There are no artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

Carrageenan is present

Byproducts are present

Fiber deficient


8. Canned Pedigree Chopped Ground Dog Food

PEDIGREE CHOPPED GROUND DINNER Adult Canned Soft Wet Dog Food Variety Pack

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  • Filet mignon flavor: chicken, enough water for processing, meat by-products, animal liver
  • 8% minimum protein content
  • 6% minimum fat content
  • 420 kcal per can

Pedigree Chopped Ground Canned Dog Food is an excellent choice for your furry friend’s nutrition.

Due to its high concentration of oils and minerals, this easily digestible dish promotes healthy skin and coat. This leaves your dog’s fur shiny and lustrous.

It is essential to note that chicken is the primary ingredient in this meal. However, the label may be misleading.

Each pack contains twelve 13.2 oz cans of Pedigree Chopped Ground Canned Dog Food, including Filet Mignon Flavor and With Beef.

These varieties are made without added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors. Pedigree Chopped Ground Canned Dog Food promotes skin and coat health and is perfect for adult dogs of all sizes.

Pedigree is committed to zero waste to landfill and uses only the finest ingredients from around the world, making it an excellent choice for pet owners who want to give their furry friend a nutritious and delicious meal.

Pros

Simple to digest

Can be served alone or in combination

High protein content

Cons

Labeling error: the principal component is chicken


9. True Blue Buffalo Solutions Wet Dog Food for Small and Mighty Dogs

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Small & Mighty Natural Small Breed Adult Wet Dog Food

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  • Chicken, chicken broth, whitefish, chicken liver, brown rice, oats, barley, carrots are the main components
  • 7.5% minimum protein content
  • 5% minimum fat content
  • 178 kcal per can

True Blue Buffalo Solutions Small & Mighty Small Breed Formula is a premium wet dog food made primarily from poultry.

This protein-rich meal provides small adult canines with the energy and muscle-building nutrients they need.

The recipe includes whole grains, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote good health. It does not contain animal derivatives, preservatives, or artificial pigments.

Additionally, it contains prebiotic fiber that promotes digestive health.

This dog food is ideal for mature small breed canines because it has nutritious ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, brown rice, oats, and barley.

It is scientifically formulated and does not contain chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, maize, wheat, soy, artificial flavoring, or preservatives.

Each bundle contains twenty-four 5.5-ounce BLUE True Solutions cans of chicken-flavored Small & Mighty Natural Small Breed Adult Wet Dog Food.

Although it may be more expensive than other brands, it is an investment in the health and happiness of your furry companion.

True Blue Buffalo Solutions Small & Mighty Small Breed Formula is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their furry friends with a nutritious and delicious diet.

Pros

Prebiotic fiber is present

The main component is real chicken

There are no byproducts

Cons

Expensive


10. Canned Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws

Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food

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  • Water, chicken, pork liver, full grain maize, broken pearled barley are the main components
  • 5.2% minimum protein content
  • 3% minimum fat content
  • 166 kcal per can

Hill's Science Diet Chicken & Barley Pate is a veterinarian-recommended dog food for small canines aged 1 to 6 years.

This premium formula contains easily digestible, purposeful ingredients that promote lean muscle mass and maintain a healthy weight.

It features high-quality protein sourced from chicken and pig liver, as well as pearled barley and whole-grain corn.

This nutrient-rich and well-balanced meal is made with natural ingredients and is an excellent choice for pet owners seeking to provide their mature dog with a healthy and appetizing diet. It can be used as a complete meal or as a delicious topper.

It is worth noting that some dog owners have reported receiving damaged cans upon delivery. However, Hill’s Science Diet is produced in the United States using trusted global ingredients and is highly recommended by veterinarians.

To ensure a smooth transition to this new food, it is recommended to gradually replace your pet’s old food with Hill’s Science Diet over a period of seven days. Each 5.8 oz (165 g) can of this nutritious dog food contains 166 calories.

Overall, Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Barley Pate is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their furry friend with a high-quality, veterinarian-recommended diet.

Pros

Veterinarians recommend

Contains lean protein

Very easily digested

Cons

Cans with dents

How to Choose the Best Wet and Canned Dog Food For Small Dogs

Small dogs have distinct dietary requirements compared to larger breeds. They need to consume more calories per pound, protein, and lipids, and fewer carbohydrates.

Moreover, their mouths, intestines, and dentition are smaller, which influences their food preferences and digestion.

When choosing wet dog food for your small dog, take into account the following factors:

1. Dietary requirements of small dogs

Choose products that meet the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards for small dog breeds and all life stages.

Check the label’s guaranteed analysis to ensure that the product contains at least 8% protein, 5% fat, and no more than 78% moisture. Avoid products that contain excessive amounts of additives like corn, wheat, soy, or rice.

2. Quality and safety of ingredients

Select products that have poultry, beef, lamb, or turkey as their primary ingredient. Avoid byproducts, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Check the product’s expiration date and recall history to ensure it is fresh and safe.

3. Flavor and texture preferences of small dogs

Offer products with a variety of tastes and textures to satisfy your small dog’s taste buds. Some small dogs prefer pate, while others prefer gravy or broth.

Some may also enjoy meat mixed with fruits or vegetables. Experiment with different options to find what your small dog likes.

4. Budget and value for money

Look for products with a competitive price per ounce, multipacks, discounts, or free shipping. Compare various products based on their quality, quantity, and price to find the best value.

Remember that cheaper is not always better when it comes to your small companion’s health and enjoyment.

By following these guidelines, you will be able to find the best wet dog food for your small dog.

  • Curious about the benefits and risks of feeding your small dog canned and moist dog food? Our comprehensive guide provides expert insights on how to feed small dogs canned and wet food for your furry friend’s dietary needs. Check out our article on canned and wet dog foods for small dogs to learn more!

FAQs

1. Is canned dog food better for small dogs?

Both canned food and dry dog food can provide complete nutrition for your pet. Canned food may be more beneficial for dogs with urinary problems or those who don’t drink as much water due to the higher humidity.

Additionally, some dogs may prefer the stronger flavor of canned food. However, feeding just a 70-pound dog canned food can require a significant amount of storage space.

Always provide clean water for your dog and consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet.

2. Is dry or wet food better for small dogs?

Most dogs prefer wet food, especially smaller breeds and picky eaters. Wet food can be beneficial for dogs with kidney or bladder stones due to its higher moisture content.

However, it’s important to note that not all dogs require wet food, and dry food can also provide complete nutrition.

3. Can I feed my dog a whole box of wet food?

Wet dog food should be fed in 3-ounce cans. As a general guideline, feed one 3-ounce can per three to three-and-a-half pounds of body weight per day, divided into two or more meals.

However, it’s important to adjust the quantity as necessary to maintain your companion’s ideal body condition.

4. Do small dogs need wet food?

Choosing an appropriate and balanced diet is crucial for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. When deciding between dry or wet dog food, consider factors such as your pet’s age, size, and activity level.

This will help ensure that the chosen food provides the necessary nutrients for your furry friend.

5. Is it good to mix dry and wet food?

Blending dry and wet dog food can provide a variety of tasty flavors and textures that even picky eaters will find irresistible. Wet food can stimulate a dog’s senses and encourage them to eat more dry food.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some dogs may benefit from a diverse diet that includes both dry and wet food.

6. Smaller dogs need less food?

Small and toy breeds may need more calories per pound than larger breeds, even though they are smaller in size.

This is due to their higher metabolic rate, which can affect their dietary needs, particularly when they are still puppies. As these breeds grow older, there may also be health concerns that can be addressed through their diet.

7. What are the disadvantages of wet dog food?

Feeding dogs only wet food may necessitate owners to be extra diligent in brushing and maintaining their teeth.

Wet foods have a higher moisture, protein, and fat content, which can sometimes cause digestive issues, especially when transitioning to this diet.

Conclusion

We think Instinct Original Small Breed Seedless Real Chicken Formula is the best overall dog food because it has a lot of protein and just the right amount of calories.

Because of its high quality ingredients and low price, Halo Turkey & Duck Recipe Grain-free pet food is our best bargain.

Small Breed Purina Bella Flavor Grilled Chicken in Salty Juice Our top recommendation is dog food in divided trays.

This Purina Pro Plan Creation Puppy Chicken & Rice Entree Food is high in vitamins and minerals, which will keep your puppy healthy for the first year.

Small Paws Adult (7+) Hill's Science Diet Chicken and Vegetable Stew Our physician recommends dog chow that has been created by pet nutrition specialists.

BestForPets would like to thank our consumers for visiting our website to learn about and compare the best canned and wet dog foods for small dogs.

We hope that these reviews have helped you choose the best canned dog food for your dog’s needs.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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