We reveal our top 4 picks for the best wet dog food for small dogs. Check out these awesome ingredients: one contains olive oil, another has Omega 3’s!
CC image “Dinner time!” via Spinnakertog on Flickr – thx!
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And as most small-breed dog owners know all too well, these diva-like dogs have high energy requirements combined with an almost queen-like disdain for ‘inferior’ food.
So what’s a pet-parent to do when Hercules won’t eat his kibble?
Many small dog owners turn to canned food to ensure their pup gets enough nutrition.
Unfortunately, there can be some rotten apples in the wet dog food world.Is your wet dog food a watery broth filled w/thickeners, stabilizers, & pork plasma? Nummers! Click To Tweet
You don’t want to be feeding your dog a watery broth filled with thickeners, stabilizers, and pork plasma (quite a vomit-inducing combination).
Top 4 Best Wet Dog Food for Small Dogs
Don’t fret over picking the perfect canned dog food because we have four excellent contenders that are all winners and we consider to be the best wet dog food for small dogs:
1. Against the Grain Hand-Pulled Beef
If you’ve ever fed your dog canned food before then you’ll know that it’s usually gobbled up with gusto. That’s one of the benefits of opting for wet food over dried kibble; it tastes amazing (well, if you consider yourself a member of the canis domesticus genus).
Owners of small-breed dogs know how tough it can be to ensure their pipsqueak pup is eating enough, which doesn’t seem to be a problem shared by their large-breed cousins (where doggie obesity and diabetes is all too common).
Against the Grain’s pulled chicken and pulled beef formulas will have your miniature pup salivating for his next meal. But the taste is not the only reason this food is a winner. Against the Grain uses high-quality human grade ingredients.
Why is human grade quality so important?
It means your pup isn’t eating bi-product or a Heinz 57 collection of animal parts collected from the processing room’s floor.
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The visual of a frankenmonster collection of animal parts in your dog’s food can seem disturbing, but just imagine having to eat it everyday. Feeding your dog Against the Grain means goodbye to Frankenfood, and hello whole chicken and other unprocessed forms of animal protein.
Another pro is that this food is bona fide grain-free. Your dog doesn’t have to be a diagnosed celiac to benefit from nixing all grains from his diet.
And if you’ve been following the ancestral diet movement in the dog world then you’ll know all about the evil inherent in the humble grain. Instead, your dog’s energizing starch is coming from high-antioxidant vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots.
And instead of canola or safflower oil (the horror!), you’re little pup will be eating an oil beloved by Italians all over the world.
I’m talking about olive oil!
Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fat that is perfect for your dog if he’s got an obsessive itching habit or you’re trying to win ‘best hair’ at the local county fair.
Does this food have any downfalls?
I couldn’t find too much I didn’t like about this canned food, other than the use of L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate as a poorly assimilated form of vitamin C, and the use of isolated potato starch as a thickening agent.
Overall, this is a great wet food for little dogs that will provide a lot of energy without annoying non-nutritional thickeners, stabilizers, and chemically-derived preservatives.
2. By Nature Active Defense 95% Canned Dog Food, Tuna, Chicken, and Chicken Liver Recipe
Your small dog’s teeny tiny body is like a finely tuned Ferrari. His engine burns pretty hot, and you would want to fill him with premium grade fuel.
(ending the car analogy there as that’s the extent of my automotive knowledge)
What I’m trying to say is you wouldn’t want to nourish your little dog with a low-calorie and broth-based canned dog food.
What’s great about By Nature is the high protein content in their canned food.
95% of the ingredients are animal-derived, including chicken and tuna. All that protein is nothing to shake your paw at. Protein builds strong muscles, provides long-lasting energy, and keeps your pup satiated.
Plus, the addition of tuna means your little dog is getting his daily serving of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fats are like the rarely spotted celebrity in the world of healthy fats. Everyone wants to get a piece of the omega-3 action, but they can be hard to come by (especially if you’re eating all chicken/beef all the time). Omega-3s are very anti-inflammatory, great for hair and nails, and a strong supporter of brain development (for your littlest Einstein).
And of course, this wet food is grain-free so no worries about wheat-induced tummy troubles. Energy-providing starch is going to come from vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.
Plus, the addition of high antioxidant fruits and vegetables like cranberries, blueberries, and apples are perfect for ensuring your little dog lives to see 100 (in dog years, of course).
Is this food all sunshine and daisies?
Well, not exactly.
There are a lot of thickeners that offer no nutritional value. Guar gum, cassia gum, agar agar, and xantham gum are all ‘roses’ by another name.
What I mean is that all these special gums are just another form of thickener to hold the food together without providing any additional nutrition.
Plus, there has been some contestation about whether these thickeners are actually damaging your precious pooch’s digestion.
3. Go! Sensitivity and Shine Canned Dog Food, Freshwater Trout and Salmon Pate Recipe
Go!’s canned selection has something for everyone.
Is Hercules resembling more of a beach ball than basset hound these days? Then try the Go! Fit formulation for more rotund pooches.
Is Spike a little sensitive when it comes to what’s in his food?
Then you might be particular to the Go! Sensitivity and Shine formula for dogs with allergies.
Finally, if you want your little dog to live forever (or as close as you can get) then you’ll probably prefer Go!’s Daily Defence formula.
I particularly liked Go!’s Sensitivity and Shine formula because many small dogs can develop a number of sensitivities to commonly used dog food ingredients like chicken and wheat.
So instead of the usual fare, your little dog will be dining on freshwater trout, salmon, herring, and high-antioxidant complex carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes.
Truly a feast worth savoring!
The protein content is high in this wet food, and the addition of fish oil will give your little dog the shiny coat he’s always dreamed of.
Do I have any beef with this food?
Well, I’m not sunflower oil’s #1 fan, especially considering it’s an inflammatory fat that easily turns rancid.
A better bet would have been an animal-based fat like fish oil or chicken fat.
And though the recipe isn’t absolutely littered with thickeners, I would prefer to see a little less cassia gum and xantham gum.
Finally, although flaxseed is the darling of the health food world these days, without grinding it up, this seed will pass right on through your pup without doing much of anything.
4. Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken and Vegetable Recipe
Is your petite pooch a bit long in the tooth?
Sometimes the canine world’s more senior citizens can be especially picky when it comes to gobbling up what’s in their bowl. As dogs get older they lose some of their olfactory senses meaning they prefer foods with richer and more pungent flavours.
Humans experience the same thing!
Haven’t you noticed that you begin to appreciate sharp cheese, old wine, and bitter coffee as you get older? It’s less your palate becoming more refined and more you need more pungent flavors to wake up your aging tongue!
Ha, and you thought you were becoming more cultured, when in fact you were just getting old!
That’s why canned dog food can be so great for our aging small dogs.
Even though they may be less rambunctious than they were in their puppy days, our little dogs still need more calories per pound than their large breed friends. High energy needs combined with a picky palate means whatever you’re putting in their doggie dish better be tasty.
Organix’s grain-free formula is scrumptious.
And at 95% organic ingredients, you can pretty much guarantee your dog is eating better than almost anyone, except maybe those who can afford to buy all their groceries at Whole Foods (so possibly your dentist).
Another tidbit I liked about this formula was the wide variety of starch options owners could choose from. If your dog isn’t privy to potato, you can always try brown rice.
The benefit of being able to switch up starches is especially helpful when dogs are developing sensitivities left, right, and center.
The days of one-size-fits all diets are over, with each dog requiring his own unique nutritional plan.
But although you can rotate different starches, Organix doesn’t provide any options for trying out novel proteins.
In other words, you will not be finding kangaroo or wild boar listed in their formulation. So make sure your little pup is a fan of chicken or beef, or else there’s not much left on the menu.
Overall, canned dog foods can be an awesome choice for small breed dogs.
Your little Rambo can seem like the energizer bunny on speed, so a protein-packed wet food is the perfect option for maintaining those high energy levels.
At the same time, despite quite willingly indulging in the finest raccoon feces in your backyard, Mr. Picky has the tendency to turn his nose up at a perfectly healthy kibble formula.
Canned food is the perfect combination of savory and nutritious that will tempt even the pickiest of eaters.