Top 10 Canned Dog Foods For 2023

top 10 canned dog foods
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Canned dog food is a better option than ultra-processed kibble. Canned foods are convenient, less processed and are balanced. But there are some differences to watch out for in canned dog foods. 

There are some tricks manufacturers will use to make you think the food’s better than it is. So we made it easy for you and hand-picked the cream of the crop … the top 10 canned dog foods for 2023.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Each food in this list has been evaluated based on criteria for ingredient quality and ingredient safety by DogFoodReviews.com. The amount of protein, fat and other nutrients is important. But at the end of the day, your dog’s food needs to be safe to eat (and many foods contain ingredients that are quite unsafe), with high quality ingredients. Each food score below is an average of the ingredient quality and the ingredient safety. 

Here are some of the criteria we look for:

DOG FOOD INGREDIENT QUALITY

  • Does the food contain too much carbohydrate?
  • Are plant sources used to boost protein content?
  • Does it contain unnamed animal protein?
  • Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added?
  • Are free amino acids added to balance poor quality proteins?
  • Does it contain processed or seed oils?

DOG FOOD INGREDIENT SAFETY

  • How much processing is involved in making the food?
  • Does the food contain rice?
  • Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
  • Does the food contain foods known to be high in pesticides?
  • Does the food contain natural flavor?

Each food is objectively evaluated using these criteria. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria used to review the dog foods.

This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. We’ve partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dry dog food on the market.

Now that you know how we evaluate the foods, let’s find the best canned dog foods for 2022. The foods evaluated are canned foods only, and no other cooked foods are included. 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#1 Farmina Pet Foods N&D Prime Canine  

Score: 8.2/10

Farmina N&D Prime Lamb & Blueberry Adult Wet Dog Food Recipe Ingredients: Lamb, herring, sweet potatoes, eggs, herring oil, blueberries, fructooligosaccharide, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine complex, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, selenium yeast, DL-methionine, taurine, L-Carnitine.

Farmina Pet Foods has the distinction of 4 lines of dog foods in this list of best canned dog foods. 

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Prime Canine scores 8.2/10. N&D Prime Canine offers 8 recipes with average protein of 52%, and low carbohydrates of 11%, as calculated on a dry matter basis. This is good for a canned food … but some recipes have higher carbs which lowers the ingredient quality score.

There are no whole ingredients or vegetable matter beyond the first few ingredients so that limits the amount of nutrients these recipes contain. And while canned foods aren’t as processed as kibble, they undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. As a result, additional vitamins, minerals and amino acids have been added to balance these foods. 

It’s good to see that these recipes are made with non-GMO grains but other crops like apples appear to be conventionally farmed. It should be noted that unless organic, crops like apples can carry a high pesticide/herbicide residue, especially when spray-dried with glyphosate (Roundup). Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.  

The company notes that its protein sources are fed a GMO-free diet and are raised without antibiotics and hormones. Farmina sources ingredients from Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. However it can’t guarantee that suppliers don’t use ingredients from China. And with the addition of a US manufacturing plant as noted below, it’s assumed produce will be sourced in North America as well. 

Farmina Pet Foods began in 1965 as Russo Mangimi, a family company in Naples, Italy, that specialized in animal nutrition. In 1999, it entered the pet food industry and collaborated with Farmina, an English company specializing in food research and formulation. Farmina Pet Foods has its headquarters in Italy and operates manufacturing facilities in Italy, Brazil and Serbia. In 2021, Farmina added a location in Reidsville, NC that includes manufacturing, research and development, and warehousing operations.

Farmina Pet Food Recalls

To date, Farmina has not had any recalls or voluntary withdrawals in the United States or Europe.

Farmina N&D Prime Canine Benefits

  • Made in-house
  • Minimal added vitamins
  • No GMOs 

Farmina N&D Prime Canine Concerns

  • 2 recipes with higher carbohydrates
  • Added minerals and amino acids
  • Highly processed 
  • Some high pesticide/herbicide ingredients
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#2 Farmina Pet Foods N&D Pumpkin 

Score – 8.1/10

Farmina N&D Pumpkin Venison & Pumpkin Adult Mini Wet Dog Food Recipe Ingredients: Venison, chicken, herring, pumpkin, eggs, herring oil, sweet potatoes, apples, fructooligosaccharide, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine complex, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, selenium yeast, DL-methionine, taurine, L-Carnitine.

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Grain-Free Pumpkin offers 19 recipes with an average score of 8.1/10. These recipes have average protein of 51% and low carbohydrates of 8% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which are good levels for canned dog food. 

There are no added GMO foods but a few recipes have some ingredients known for high herbicide/pesticide residues that affect food safety. But they don’t include excessive carbohydrate-rich ingredients that dogs don’t require.  

The company notes that its protein sources are fed a GMO-free diet and are raised without antibiotics and hormones. Farmina sources ingredients from Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. However it can’t guarantee that suppliers don’t use ingredients from China. And with the addition of a US manufacturing plant, it’s assumed produce will be sourced in North America as well. 

Like most brands on this list, this score reflects high processing plus some added vitamins and minerals. All canned dog foods on this list undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. The amount added to these recipes is minimal so it isn’t the standard pre-mix that’s include when nutrients are deficient. But it does reflect that there are limited whole food ingredients and vegetable matter to fulfill the nutrient needs of these dog foods. 

Farmina Pet Foods Pumpkin Benefits

  • Made in-house
  • Minimal added vitamins
  • No GMOs
  • Low in starch/carbohydrates

Farmina Pet Foods Pumpkin Concerns

  • Contains added minerals and amino acids
  • Highly processed 
  • High pesticide/herbicide ingredients in 3 recipes
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#3 Farmina N&D Ocean Canine 

Score – 8/10

Farmina N&D Ocean Cod & Pumpkin Puppy Mini Wet Dog Food Recipe Ingredients: Cod, herring, salmon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, herring oil, shrimp, fructooligosaccharide, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine complex, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, selenium yeast, DL-methionine, taurine, L-Carnitine.

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Ocean Canine has a score of 8/10 points for each of its 12 recipes in this fish-based line. 

These recipes have average protein of 55% and low carbohydrates of 2% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is exceptional for canned dog food. However, high processing and excessive  minerals and amino acids prevent a higher score for this line.

There are no whole ingredients or vegetable matter beyond the first few ingredients so that limits the number of whole food sourced nutrients these recipes contain. And while canned dog foods aren’t as processed as kibble, they go through several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. As a result, some vitamins plus several minerals and amino acids have been added to balance these dog foods. 

The company notes that its protein sources are fed a GMO-free diet and are raised without antibiotics and hormones but it doesn’t provide any specific information about the fish it uses.  

There are no added GMO foods or ingredients with high herbicide/pesticide residue to diminish the quality or safety of these recipes. And they don’t include excessive carbohydrate-rich ingredients that dogs don’t require.  

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Ocean Canine Benefits

  • Made in-house
  • Minimal added vitamins 
  • No GMOs
  • No high pesticide/herbicide ingredients
  • Minimal carbohydrates

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Ocean Canine Concerns

  • Contains added minerals and amino acids
  • Highly processed 
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#4 Ziwi Peak Provenance Wet 

Score – 8/10

ZIWI® Peak Wet Otago Valley Recipe for Dogs Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, venison, whole southern blue whiting, lamb tripe, beef kidney, lamb lung, new zealand green mussel, lamb plasma, venison tripe, hoki, lecithin, beef liver, venison lung, beef bone, lamb liver, lamb kidney, lamb, venison kidney, minerals (dipotassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, selenium yeast, manganese amino acid complex), venison bone, dried kelp, lamb bone, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B5 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid)

Ziwi Peak’s Provenance Wet dog food has an average score of 8/10. There are 3 recipes with average protein of 45% which is just a bit less than the Farmina lines above, and places it in this #4 position. Carbohydrates are minimal, which we like to see in a canned dog food, especially since dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates in their diet. 

Like all canned dog foods, Provenance Wet dog foods are highly processed, using high heat at several stages that causes significant losses in some nutrients. This is reflected in the excessive added vitamins and minerals that are added to balance these dog foods. However there are no added amino acids and no GMO ingredients. But apples are used and they are a high pesticide crop. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers pose a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. 

The ingredients are sourced from 3 different regions of New Zealand. While the dog foods contain ethically sourced free range meats, not all the fish in this line is specified as wild-caught. Farmed fish is less nutritious than wild-caught. 

Ziwi Ltd, maker of Ziwi Peak pet foods, began as a New Zealand family-owned natural pet food company in 2002. In 2021, the China-based private equity firm Fountainvest Partners acquired the company. Under this ownership, Ziwi recently purchased Freeze Dried Foods NZ Ltd with a freeze-drying capacity of 26 million pounds. Ziwi Ltd also has manufacturing facilities in several New Zealand locations. 

Ziwi Peak offers air dried dog food as well as canned dog foods in their Originals line. Their Provenance line (with both air-dried and canned choices) features unusual local ingredients from 3 different regions of New Zealand. 

Ziwi Peak Dog Food Recalls

Ziwi Peak has had no recalls and there are no known lawsuits pending. 

Ziwi Peak Provenance Wet Benefits

  • Made in-house
  • Minimal carbohydrates
  • No GMOs

Ziwi Peak Provenance Wet Concerns

  • Contains excessive added vitamins and minerals
  • Highly processed
  • Contains some high pesticide/herbicide ingredients
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#5 Farmina Pet Foods F&D Quinoa Wet

Score – 7.9/10

Farmina N&D Skin & Coat Quail Mini Wet Dog Food Recipe Ingredients: Quail, quinoa seed, herring oil, coconut, fructooligosaccharide, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine complex, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate,selenium yeast,DL-methionine, taurine, L-Carnitine.

Farmina Pet Food N&D Quinoa Wet offers 12 recipes with a score of 7.9/10. These recipes have average protein of 47% and low carbohydrates of 13% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which are decent levels for canned dog food. They don’t include carbohydrate-rich ingredients that dogs don’t require. 

This line ranks slightly lower in protein and higher in carbohydrate than other canned foods, but it doesn’t use any high pesticide/herbicide foods so has placed higher on our list.

There are no GMO ingredients. The company notes that its protein sources are fed a GMO-free diet and are raised without antibiotics and hormones. Farmina sources ingredients from Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. However it can’t guarantee that suppliers don’t use ingredients from China. And with the addition of a US manufacturing plant, it’s assumed produce will be sourced in North America as well. 

Like most brands on this list, this score reflects high processing and added vitamins and minerals. All canned dog foods on this list undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. The amount added to these recipes is minimal so it isn’t the standard pre-mix that’s include when nutrients are deficient. But it does reflect that there are limited whole food ingredients and vegetable matter to fulfill nutrient needs in these dog foods. 

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Quinoa Wet Benefits

  • Made in-house
  • Minimal added vitamins 
  • No GMOs
  • Low in starch/carbohydrates

Farmina Pet Foods N&D Quinoa Wet Concerns

  • Contains added minerals and amino acids
  • Highly processed 
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#6 Hound & Gatos Canned

Score – 7.8/10

Hound & Gatos Paleolithic Meat Recipe Ingredients: Beef, pork, lamb broth, lamb, venison (red deer), agar-agar, tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon oil, salt, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, magnesium proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid

Hound & Gatos Canned dog food has a score of 7.8/10. There are 3 recipes that average 46% protein and 6% average carbohydrate as calculated on a dry matter basis. However, the Paleolithic Meat Recipe is higher in carbohydrates at 13.6%. But there are no added starches, meaning the carbohydrates come from the protein ingredients.

Most of the meat, fish and poultry for these canned dog foods is sourced in the US, lamb is imported from New Zealand and duck is imported from France. These recipes are made without GMO ingredients or foods with high pesticide/herbicide residues. 

Like other brands on this list, Hound & Gatos Canned dog foods are highly processed. All canned dog foods undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. And it also reflects that there are limited whole food ingredients and vegetable matter to fulfill the nutrient needs of these dog foods. Consequently, excessive vitamins and minerals are added to balance these dog foods. However there are no added amino acids.

The addition of sunflower oil in several recipes lowered the ingredient quality score for Hound & Gatos and this #6 placement on this list.

Hound & Gatos was established in 2003 and sold to Gott Pet Products in 2018. This is a family-owned, Wisconsin-based company that also makes Charlee Bear dog treats. Hound & Gatos wet and dry recipes are made by a third-party manufacturer in the midwestern United States.

Hound & Gatos Recalls

To date, Hound & Gatos has not had any recalls or voluntary withdrawals.

Hound & Gatos Canned Benefits

  • No GMOs
  • No high pesticide/herbicide ingredients
  • Low carbohydrates 

Hound & Gatos Canned Concerns

  • Excessive added vitamins and minerals
  • Seed oil in 3 foods
  • Highly processed
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish ingredients

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com  

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#7 Nature’s Logic Canned Diet

Score – 7.7/10

Nature’s Logic Canine Sardine Feast Recipe Ingredients: Sardine, sufficient water for processing, dried egg product, porcine plasma, montmorillonite clay, herring oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), brewers dried yeast, dried apple, dried apricot, alfalfa meal, dried artichoke, dried blueberry, dried broccoli, dried carrot, dried chicory root, dried cranberry, dried kelp, dried parsley, dried pumpkin, dried rosemary, dried spinach, dried tomato, egg shell meal, rosemary extract

Nature’s Logic Canned Diet has a score of 7.7/10 for its 9 recipes. These recipes have average protein of 40.5% which is lower than other lines on this list.  Average carbohydrate is 16% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is a bit high for a premium canned, but it’s derived from alfalfa and fruits or vegetables, not starches. 

Unlike the other brands on this list, Nature’s Logic doesn’t use any added vitamins and minerals. There is an extensive list of fruits and vegetables that contribute to the nutrient quality of these recipes. They add to the carbohydrate content, but it’s a small price to pay for whole food nutrition vs synthetic supplements.

This is a canned food and while it isn’t as processed as kibble, there are several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. But as we’ve seen, Nature’s Logic includes plenty of whole food ingredients to ensure these dog foods are balanced with adequate nutrients.

One drawback is that these ingredients are not organic so many of them are subject to high pesticide/herbicide residues and affect the safety score of these recipes. Alfalfa is also a known GMO crop that affects food safety. Switching to organic ingredients would move Nature’s Logic much higher on this list with fewer ingredient safety concerns.

Nature’s Logic began as a small independent company founded in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2006. It used several different co-manufacturers for their kibble, canned and raw lines. In 2017, Nature’s Logic owner Scott Freeman partnered with the investment firm, VisioCap. In 2021, the company was acquired by Mid America Pet Food, which manufactures Victor, Wayne Feeds and Eagle Mountain. MAPF manufactures their product in Mt. Pleasant, Texas and it’s assumed Nature’s Logic is currently manufactured in that plant. 

Nature’s Logic Dog Food Recalls

To date, Nature’s Logic has not experienced any recalls, nor has the parent company Mid America Pet Food. 

Nature’s Logic Canned Diet Benefits

  • No added vitamins, minerals or amino acids
  • Low carbohydrates in most recipes

Nature’s Logic Canned Diet Concerns

  • Highly processed
  • High pesticide/herbicide foods  
  • One GMO food 
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#8 Castor & Pollux Pristine Canned  

Score – 7.6/10

PRISTINE® Grain Free Grass-Fed Lamb, Carrot & Apple Stew Recipe Ingredients: Lamb, beef broth, water sufficient for processing,chicken,organic pea protein,organic chicken liver, dried egg product, organic carrots,organic apples,organic dried peas, organic tapioca starch, organic spinach, calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate, salt,organic flaxseed, sunflower oil,organic dried alfalfa meal, potassium chloride, salmon oil, choline chloride, guar gum, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodate, cobalt glucoheptonate, sodium selenite), xanthan gum, yucca schidigera extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin a supplement, niacin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, thiamine mononitrate), organic cinnamon, organic cumin

Castor & Pollux Pristine Canned has 4 recipes averaging 7.6/10 for ingredient quality and safety. The average protein content is 48% and 13% carbohydrates as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is a bit higher than we like in a canned dog food. All of these recipes are grain-free but they include dried peas and tapioca which are starches that contribute to the carbohydrate content. The Beef Recipe is exceptionally high in carbs at 27%.

The noteworthy thing about Castor & Pollux is that many of their products are made with organic produce … including recipes in the Pristine line although this line is not certified organic like its sister brand Organix. Organic ingredients are non-GMO and have much lower pesticide/herbicide risk than conventionally grown crops. 

Like other brands on this list, Castor & Pollux’ Pristine Canned dog foods are highly processed. All canned dog foods undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. And although recipes include organic produce, there is an excessive amount of added vitamins and minerals added to  balance the nutrients of these dog foods. However, there are no added amino acids.

The 2 Lamb Recipes also include sunflower oil which is a highly processed and inflammatory seed oil.

Pristine dog foods use wild-caught salmon, tuna and whitefish certified sustainable seafood by the Marine Stewardship Council. The company states it also uses grass-fed beef and lamb that is also grass finished, although they don’t offer certification. 

Castor & Pollux Natural PetWorks was founded in 1999 in Clackamas, Oregon, and by 2003 they had launched an organic line of pet foods. The company was acquired by Merrick Pet Care Inc in 2012, and then changed hands again in 2015 when Merrick was acquired by Nestle Purina. Merrick consolidated Castor & Pollux operations in Amarillo, Texas where it earned organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), for all of its Texas based manufacturing facilities. Merrick Pet Care is a certified manufacturer for both dry and canned food for pets. In 2017, its sub brand, Organix was established as the only USDA organically certified pet food in the US by meeting third-party organic certification that includes its ingredients, production process, and organic ingredient storage and handling. Many of the ingredients and processes are applied to other Castor & Pollux products without the organic certification. 

Castor & Pollux Dog Food Recalls

Castor & Pollux Dog Food has had one recall.

05/23/2018 – Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Prime Patties and Sausage Cuts for potential elevated beef thyroid hormone

Castor & Pollux Pristine Canned Benefits

  • Made in-house in an organic certified facility
  • No GMOs
  • Most recipes have minimal carbohydrates

Castor & Pollux Pristine Canned Concerns

  • High in carbohydrates  
  • Contains excessive added vitamins and minerals
  • Contains seed oil 
  • High processed
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#9 Nulo Challenger Canned Food 

Score – 7.5/10

Challenger Homestyle Beef Stew Recipe Ingredients: Beef, beef bone broth, beef liver, carrots, green beans, organic oats, dried ground chickpeas, ground golden flaxseed, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil, inulin, potassium chloride, salt, magnesium amino acid chelate, dried kelp, dried parsley, natural hickory smoke, dried thyme, zinc amino acid chelate, choline chloride, taurine, vitamin E supplement, niacinamide, d-calcium pantothenate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, selenium yeast, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement.

Nulo Challenger Canned dog food offers 3 recipes averaging 7.5/10 for ingredient quality and safety. The average protein content is 46%. Average carbohydrate is 19.5% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is high for a canned dog food. 

Nulo states its desire is to make pet nutrition products that are high in animal-based protein and low in carbohydrates and yet it has the highest level of average carbs in the canned foods on this list. These 3 recipes include oats and chickpeas that boost the carb content. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Excessive carbohydrate is an indicator of low food quality as it can be used to reduce manufacturing cost. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can raise insulin and cause obesity. Some studies also show that dogs fed a high carbohydrate content have changes to their gut bacteria. 

Chickpeas are also known to be a  high pesticide/herbicide crop. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers pose a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. 

Like other brands on this list, Nulo Challenger Canned dog foods are highly processed. All canned dog foods undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Consequently, vitamins and minerals are added to balance these dog foods.

Nulo was founded in 2009 by Michael Landa and Brett Montana in Austin, Texas. Existing investors were bought out by Apex Partners LLP, a private equity firm, in 2021. 

Nulo is made in the United States in facilities located in Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota which appear to be third party manufacturers. One online interview states the company uses domestic and international manufacturing partners with a scope of facilities to produce their various product lines. Those lines include dry, wet and freeze-dried raw pet foods, as well as meal toppers, treats and liquid hydration supplements.

Nulo Dog Food Recalls 

To date, there have been no recalls of Nulo Dog Food.

Nulo Challenger Canned Food Benefits

  • No GMOs

Nulo Challenger Canned Food Concerns

  • High in carbohydrates 
  • Contains excessive added vitamins and minerals
  • Highly processed
  • High pesticide/herbicide ingredient 
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com

Two foods are tied at #10:  Orijen Canned and Caster & Pollux Organix Canned. 

Here are the main differences between the two:

Orijen 

  • Has better protein and carb levels
  • No GMOs or high pesticide foods

But …

  • Has excessive added vitamins and minerals
  • Contains natural flavor
  • Includes glam ingredients

And Mars Petcare has announced it’s acquiring Champion Petfoods which currently manufactures Orijen. So it’s worth keeping an eye on ingredient sourcing and recipe changes going forward. 

Castor & Pollux 

  • Lower protein and higher carbs than Orijen 
  • Contains organic ingredients, including poultry, therefore no GMOs or  high pesticide foods. 
  • Fish is wild caught
  • Contains rice
Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#10 (tied) Castor & Pollux Organix Canned 

Score: 7.3/10

ORGANIX® Grain Free Organic Turkey, Carrot & Potato Recipe Ingredients: Organic turkey, water sufficient for processing, organic chicken, organic pea flour, organic carrots, organic potatoes, organic coconut flour, organic flaxseed, organic chicken liver, organic apples, organic blueberries, tricalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, organic guar gum, choline chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), organic garlic powder

Castor & Pollux Organix Canned has 6 dog foods averaging 7.3/10 for ingredient quality and safety. The average protein content is 36.4%. Average carbohydrate is 26% as calculated on a dry matter basis. which is high for a canned dog food, and considerably higher than the other foods on this list. Protein is also lower than we’d like to see for a canned dog food.

Five recipes are grain-free but they include pea products, potatoes and sweet potatoes which are starches and contribute to the carbohydrate content.  

The noteworthy benefit of Castor & Pollux Organix is that it’s an USDA organically certified pet food and all dog foods in this line are made with organic ingredients. Organic ingredients are non-GMO and have lower risk of pesticide/herbicide residues than conventionally grown crops. 

But like other brands on this list, Castor & Pollux’ Organix Canned dog foods are highly processed. All canned dog foods undergo several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Vitamins and minerals are added to balance the nutrients of these dog foods. However, there are no added amino acids. 

Organic brown rice is used but rice is still a safety concern because of arsenic contamination which has been linked to chronic health issues. 

There’s ingredient splitting in some recipes. This doesn’t cost points but it’s worth noting the practice of splitting ingredients (such as different pea ingredients) so that lower quality ingredients appear lower on the ingredient list. 

Organix dog foods use wild-caught salmon, tuna and whitefish certified sustainable seafood by the Marine Stewardship Council. The company states it also uses grass-fed beef and lamb that’s also grass=finished, although they don’t offer certification. The Organix line uses organically raised turkey and chicken

Castor & Pollux Dog Food Recalls

Here are the following Castor & Pollux Dog Food recalls.

05/23/2018 – Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Prime Patties and Sausage Cuts – potential elevated beef thyroid hormone

Castor & Pollux Dog Food Benefits

  • Made in-house in an organic certified facility
  • No GMOs
  • Organic produce
  • Wild caught fish ingredients

Castor & Pollux Dog Food Concerns

  • High in carbohydrates  
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals
  • Highly processed
  • Contains rice
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Uses ingredient splitting 

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

Top 10 Canned Dog Foods

#10 (tied) Orijen Canned 

Score – 7.3/10   

Orijen Original Stew Recipe with Chicken, Turkey & Eggs Recipe Ingredients: Chicken, chicken bone broth, turkey bone broth, chicken liver, turkey, dried egg whites, dried egg product, chicken heart, herring, turkey liver, carrots, mackerel, natural flavor, salt, herring oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic guar gum, turkey heart, broccoli, pumpkin, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), blueberries, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, vitamins (thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), inulin, turmeric

Orijen Canned dog food has a score of 7.3. It has 6 recipes that have average protein of 57% and average carbohydrates of 8% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which are good levels to see in a canned dog food. 

Orijen Canned dog food has many pluses when it comes to high ingredient quality. It has a higher level of protein and lower carbohydrate content than other brands on this list. And it doesn’t have any GMO ingredients or foods with high pesticide/herbicide residue which affect food safety. However, there are a few concerns that move it to the end of this list.

Like all canned food brands on this list, Orijen Canned scores lower because of high processing. While canned dog food isn’t as processed as kibble, there are several stages of heating that can cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Due to this and lack of whole foods and vegetable matter, Orijen Canned has a large number of added vitamins and minerals, which is disappointing to see in a high protein/low carbohydrate food. Each of these recipes includes natural flavor, which is often either animal digest or MSG, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.  

Most of the recipes also have glam ingredients which don’t affect the score but should be noted. These are healthy sounding ingredients that appear below the salt in the ingredient list. This means they’re present in a very small amount that’s unlikely to provide nutritional value to your dog. 

Note: On November 1st 2022, global giant Mars Petcare announced an agreement to acquire Canadian company Champion Petfoods, which currently manufactures Orijen, along with ACANA pet foods. With the pending acquisition there could be changes in the recipes and ingredient standards of these foods. 

Champion Petfoods claims their ingredients are sourced regionally, with homegrown botanicals. Their website also claims their animal proteins are fresh, not frozen – and not dried. Orijen prides itself on being a premium food with less processed meats and meals than its sister brand, ACANA. Champion manufactures their US food in Auburn, Kentucky, while the Canadian foods are manufactured in Alberta. All foods appear to all be made in their own factories. 

Orijen Dog Food Recalls

To date, Orijen dog food has not been recalled in Canada or the United States. 

It’s worth noting that their parent company, Champion Petfoods had two lawsuits filed against it.

  1. In 2020, Animal Equality questioned Champion’s claim that the trout in the ACANA line was wild caught when it was identified by the AE organization as farmed fish. The suit was resolved with Champion Petfoods changing its marketing claims and promising better transparency in its fish sourcing. 
  2. Also in 2020, the Organic Consumers Association sued Champion Petfoods for deceptive marketing under both the ACANA and Orijen brand names. The association alleged that statements such as “free-run” chicken were misleading. This case has also been resolved with Champion Petfoods making changes to their packaging and marketing. 

Orijen Canned Benefits

  • Made in house
  • High protein
  • No GMOs
  • No high pesticide/herbicide ingredients  
  • Low in carbohydrates

Orijen Canned Concerns

  • Contains added vitamins
  • Contains some added minerals
  • Highly processed
  • Contains natural flavor
  • Does not provide omega-6:omega-3 ratio
  • Doesn’t specify farmed or wild-caught fish
  • Uses glam ingredients

View The Entire Review on DogFoodReviews.com 

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