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You have plenty of options when it comes to feeding your dog, so how do you choose? Do you shop by price or quality? Can you find the perfect combination of both? Canned dog food has some benefits over dry kibble, which is typically considered a more convenient and cost-effective option.
Canned dog food has a limited shelf life once opened—it’s often higher in moisture and protein but lower in carbohydrates than its dry counterpart. But before you default to dry, we encourage you to consider the benefits of canned food for dogs—we’ve outlined some nutrition information here and picked out some high-quality and affordable options.
Wag Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Real meat is the first ingredient in every flavor of this Amazon-brand canned dog food.
Why Canned Dog Food?
While there is certainly a great deal of low-quality canned dog food out there, products that are properly formulated and made from quality ingredients offer some significant benefits.
Here are some of the benefits of canned dog food:
- Higher concentration of meat ingredients than most dry foods
- Lower concentration of grains and other carbohydrates
- Fewer preservatives—ingredients are naturally preserved through the canning process
- More palatable and closer to the texture of a dog’s natural diet
- Higher moisture content to support hydration and healthy digestion
- Easier to chew for puppies and senior dogs
Whether canned or dry, dog food gets more expensive as you increase the quality, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable options available. Before we get into our list of the best affordable canned dog food options, let’s take a moment to talk about how to tell the good from the bad.
What Makes Dog Food Good?
All dogs have the same basic requirements for protein, fat, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Protein provides the foundation for strong muscles and lean mass while fats provide a concentrated source of energy as well as essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Fiber and moisture support regular digestion while vitamins and minerals keep your dog’s body working properly.
High-quality dog food will contain whole-food sources for these essential nutrients with minimal processing and no artificial additives. Here are some key things to look for on a dog food label:
- Identifiable animal proteins like chicken, eggs, beef, and fish
- Easily digestible carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables
- Healthy sources of animal-based fat like chicken fat and salmon oil
- Fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key micronutrients
Avoid any dog food that doesn’t list a quality source of animal protein as the main ingredient, or that has a high concentration of carbohydrates (especially grains like corn and wheat). Dog foods made with by-products, fillers, and artificial additives should be left on the shelf, and you should purchase the highest quality dog food you can consistently afford—your dog deserves it! For more information about choosing a high-quality dog food brand, check out Dog Food Advisor. We also recommend checking with your vet before making major changes to your dog’s diet.
Read on to learn about some of the best affordable canned dog foods on the market.
Most Affordable Canned Dog Food Options
Below you’ll find a list of our top 12 picks for the most affordable canned dog food brands. These products are priced at or under $0.20 per ounce and have received at least a four-star rating from Dog Food Advisor. Please note that prices are averaged and subject to change.
Amazon’s own brand of dog food, Wag, utilizes real meat as the first ingredient in every recipe with no grains or artificial additives.
Wag Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Real meat is the first ingredient in every flavor of this Amazon-brand canned dog food. It’s also free from artificial additives and grains.
Created in 1993, Newman’s Own offers holistic dog food formulas made with a unique blend of organic ingredients including premium proteins, digestible whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Newman’s Own Dinner for Dogs
Made with organic chicken and brown rice, this canned dog food is packed with healthy ingredients, including vitamins and minerals.
Whole Earth Farms provides goodness from the earth with their all-natural, protein-rich recipes available in traditional and grain-free formulas.
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Hearty Lamb Stew
This protein-rich canned dog food is available in both traditional and grain-free formulas.
The Wellness brand creates wholesome, holistic recipes for dogs centered around quality proteins and slow-cooked for exceptional flavor and balanced nutrition.
Wellness Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes
Slow-cooked with real meat and vegetables, this canned dog food is made with all-natural ingredients and comes in a range of protein options.
To support your dog’s healthy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption, Natural Balance Original Ultra Premium canned foods are formulated with high-quality proteins, digestible carbohydrates, and key nutrients.
Natural Balance Original Ultra Premium Canned Dog Food
Featuring a trio of proteins, including chicken, salmon, and duck, this canned dog food takes a whole-body health approach to nutrition.
Made with real meat as the first ingredient in every recipe, this canned brand offers a wide variety of protein options for your dog in hearty, flavorful stews that include tender vegetables.
I and Love and You Grain-Free Lambarama Stew
This grain-free stew recipe offers a balanced meal for dogs full of real meat and nutrient-rich veggies like pumpkin, cranberries, and spinach.
Taste of the Wild utilizes a wide range of premium roasted meats in protein-packed, grain-free canned dog food recipes designed for maximum flavor and nutrition.
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Sierra Mountain Recipe
This brand of canned dog food utilizes premium meats like lamb, roasted duck, salmon, or wild boar. It’s also grain-free and devoid of fillers like wheat or corn.
With the ideal balance of protein and digestible carbohydrates, Blue Buffalo’s homestyle canned food recipes provide wholesome nutrition and extraordinary flavor for your dog.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food
Formulated with a balance of lean protein and veggies, this canned dog food is also free of byproduct meals, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors and preservatives.
This canned food recipe features premium protein fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s whole-body health and wellness.
Crave Canned Grain Free Beef Pâté
Your dog will “crave” this grain-free recipe that’s made with real beef as its first ingredient.
Designed to nourish your dog’s body from the inside out, Chicken Soup for the Soul canned dog food is formulated for balanced nutrition with real animal proteins and wholesome fruits and veggies.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Dog Food Recipe
This nutritious canned pâté features a variety of proteins, including chicken, turkey, duck, and salmon, with no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Packed with premium protein and cooked in a flavorful gravy, this Purina grain-free stew is made with real chicken and is free from by-products, fillers, and artificial additives.
Purina Beyond Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
This dog food recipe is packed with real chicken and cooked in a stew of vegetables and gravy for added flavor.
Chewy’s in-house brand, American Journey dog food, features premium proteins as the star of every canned dog food recipe along with wholesome vegetables to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
American Journey Chicken and Vegetable Stew
This canned dog food from Chewy’s in-house label is rich in meat with no added grains, corn, wheat, or soy.
Money-saving Tips for Canned Dog Food
Your dog’s nutrition is well worth the cost of high-quality dog food, but that doesn’t mean you need to empty your wallet each time you go to the pet store.
Shopping online can save you a great deal of money, and you can save even more with subscription purchases. If you really want to give your dog the best of the best, consider making your own homemade dog food or buy raw dog food. Regardless of whether their food is homemade or purchased online, your pup will thank you for investing in their health and wellbeing.