The higher price points, quick spoilage point and misinformation about dog dental health make wet dog food a harder sell than kibble, but it’s hard to compete with the delectable aroma from a freshly opened can. Wet food is more palatable and typically contains more pure protein than their dry counterparts, with fewer carbs. Some pet parents like to split the difference and add wet food to dry, giving dogs the best of both worlds.
Carrots, peas and potatoes show up in the heartiest of stews, which are simply combinations of solid foods that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resulting gravy. The long simmer of a stew will break down the gelatinous connective tissue of a low-quality cut of meat to create a deep and flavorful broth. On a cold spring day, it’s a great way for pet parents to feel like they’re keeping dogs cozy and well-fed.
PRICE SCALE: $$ 5 to 15 cents per oz. / $$ 16 to 23 cents per oz. / $$$ 24 to 30 cents per oz. / $$$$ 31 to 40 cents per oz
Stewlicious Gobbledy Good Stew
Dave’s Pet Food
Selling Point: Loaded with turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots and green beans, plus added vitamins and minerals; all made in the USA
best for: The grain-free and all-natural goddess
davespetfood.com, (888) 763-2738
Happy Hips Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Selling Point: Cage-free chicken with fruits and veggies in a sweet potato broth make this look and taste like it was made at home
best for: Home gourmands helping pets with joint pain
dogswell.com, (888) 559-8833
Grain Free Savory Beef Stew
Holistic Health Extension
Selling Point: Super premium ingredients — sans hormones, steroids, by-products or fillers
best for: Those as concerned about their dogs’ healthy eating as their own
healthextension.com, (800) 992-9738
Pâté is universally a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste, but it shows up in different varieties all over the world. French and Belgian pâtés are baked in a crust as pie or loaf, while Finnish and German cooks shape it into a soft, spreadable sausage. Polish chefs lean on fish, venison and ham. Common additions include herbs, spices, and wine — though these wet foods for dogs are obviously alcohol-free.
Lamb Pâté Skin & Coat Formula
Selling Point: High-quality lamb with antioxidant-rich brewer’s yeast and salmon oil to support healthy skin, coat and joints
best for: The Omega-3 Momma
redbarninc.com, (800) 775-3849
Go! Sensitivity + Shine Trout & Salmon Pâté
Selling Point: Especially for sensitive dogs, the pâté combines freshwater trout and salmon with omega oils and fruits and veggies to promote shiny coats.
best for: Probiotic pet parents
petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112
Holistic Select Beef Pâté
Selling Point: Pumpkin, papaya, pomegranate and peppermint for prebiotic support, chicory root extract for digestion and flaxseed for skin, coat and immune health.
best for: Pet parents focused on premium proteins
holisticselect.com, (800) 225-0904
Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat to bring out the flavors in large, whole pieces of meat. Dry heat is the key ingredient in roasts, surrounding the meat and cooking it evenly on all sides. Caramelization and browning start to surface, adding flavor and intensity to meats and vegetables. Slow and low cooking results in tender meat and tasty treats for dogs in this collection of scrumptious wet dog foods.
Pappy’s PotRoast Dinner
Selling Point: Homestyle chunks of beef, hand-stuffed red jacket potatoes and carrots covered in gravy; free of grain, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
best for: Sunday-night dinner lovers
merrickpetcare.com, (800) 664-7387
Roasted Chicken Drummet Dinner
Selling Point: Chicken drummets are processed with fresh carrots and peas and served in a delectable gravy, so they’re soft and edible.
best for: Gluten-free gurus
evangersdogfood.com, (847) 537-0102
Vigor Turkey & Roasted Quail
Selling Point: Nutrient-rich quinoa to promote energy, vitality and healthy digestion; dark greens and berries for an antioxidant boost
best for: Cordon bleu cooks opposed to corn, soy and gluten
halopets.com, (800) 426-4256
This article originally appeared in the March-April 2017 edition of PETS+.