New Searchable Database of Approved Canned Dog Foods


What with all the foster puppies around, and trying to get all of their adoption interviews scheduled, I haven’t managed to find the time to properly announce an incredibly cool thing that subscribers to WDJ magazine now have at their disposal. (As of this past weekend, all the pups are placed, hurray! As soon as I receive a nice photo of each pup with their new families, I am going to post them on the WDJ Instagram page, dogsofwholedogjournal.) Now I can concentrate fully on work again.

What’s the cool new tool? It’s a searchable database of ALL of the foods on our “approved canned foods list,” which is published in our October issue.

Previously, when we published a review of a category of foods, we would catalog each of the foods made by each company on our list, but publish only a summary for each company – and, by necessity, this is still what will be published in our print version. For each company, we list how to reach them (city, state, phone, website), how many varieties they offer, what the range of fat and protein levels are in their products (lowest amounts, highest amounts) and then a few comments about the company.

But now, on our website, for the online version of the approved foods lists, we have included every single variety made by the companies on our “approved foods list” – and expanded the details about each variety. Now, you can see the name of each variety, its complete ingredients list, and the amount of fat and protein each food contains. (If you’d prefer the summary for each manufacturer, you can still access the list in its old form, both in the print version and by downloading the PDF of the complete issue from your account online.)

New Searchable Database of Approved Canned Dog Foods
Enter your search criteria (adding as many filters as needed)…

And here’s the best part: You can use filters on the list to search for foods for your dog’s unique needs. Looking for a beef-based food? Easy: Just type “beef” into the search box and click “enter” and you will get a list of all the foods on our approved canned foods list that contain beef.

But wait, what if you need a beef-based food with less than 6% fat? And you want to make sure that it doesn’t contain peas? Just apply the filters.

In this case, you’d click on “add filter.” In the first box, where it says “where” you’d click on the drop-down menu and choose “ingredients,” make the second box say “contains,” and in the third box you’d type “beef.” Then you’d click “add filter” again, select “and” in the first box, “minimum fat content” in the second box, “is lower than” in the third box, and type in “6%” in the fourth box. Finally, click on “add filter” again, “and” in the first box, “ingredients” in the second box, “does not contain” in the third,” and type in “peas” in the fourth box. Then you click on “submit” and voila! A list of 66 foods that all meet your unique criteria – and ours!

New Searchable Database of Approved Canned Dog Foods
…and the database shows all foods that meet your unique criteria – and ours!

It’s taken quite a bit of tinkering to make this happen, but I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve pulled it off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shopping for a few candidate foods for a dog with some dietary allergy or other restrictions and spent hours trying to find ones that contained – or didn’t contain – some ingredient or another.

We’ve used the “approved canned food” list as the guinea pig for our upcoming “approved dry dog foods list,” which runs annually in the February issue, which is generally much larger. We usually collect even more information about the dry foods than the canned foods. For example, we add information about how many of their products are formulated for “adult maintenance only” and how many are “for dogs of all life stages.” We indicate how many of each company’s products are made with fresh or frozen meat, meat meal, or both. We indicate how many varieties are grain-free and how many contain grain. For the next review in February, we expect to be able to offer you searchable details on every single one of the individual varieties on our “approved dry foods” list, too.

I invite you to play with the database, try some custom searches, and tell us what you think! If you have any problems, we’d love to hear about them so we can fix them in advance of the dry food review.


  1. I’m very curious, can you please tell me what the selection criteria is for your approved canned foods list? Thanks for all you do!

    • Our selection criteria is contained in the main article “How to Choose Canned Dog Food: What You Should Know.” Read the ingredient information under #3 in the article, in the “Look for” and “Look OUT for” sections. We look for manufacturers who product foods that meet these major criteria.

  2. Is there a past (or future issue coming) that talks about your recommendations for feeding both canned and dry, dry only, canned only for puppies through seniors? I have relied heavily on your feeding recommendations for years now! We have a new puppy and are exploring her favorite and healthiest foods right now.

    • I guarantee that we don’t want anyone to pay twice! Current subscribers get free online access to all the content, including this new database. However, to access that material you need to have set up your online account, too, with a username and password. Have you set that up? If not, click on “Activate my Web Access” at the top of the screen and follow the instructions!

  3. It’s great but I have some concerns.

    Why are foods that contain Sucrose on this list.

    There are a lot of brands I’ve never heard of and wouldn’t know where to start to try to find them.

    I do like the filters. And if I open a new window on the brand it shows me all of the products from that brand, including dry food.

    • We do say to avoid foods with sweeteners in them. If the majority of a company’s products contained sucrose or any other sweetener, we would have omitted it from our list. But if a company has, say, a dozen foods and one contains a sweetener, we likely would have kept it on our list.

      That said, I just searched for “sucrose” — I love that I can do that now! — and the only foods that came back were “rolled” foods made by Redbarn, and they shouldn’t actually be on this list, as they are not really “canned” foods. They contain about 43% moisture, as opposed to truly “wet” foods, which are about 78% to 82% moisture. So, I’m removing those; they shouldn’t have been included.

      As far as finding some of the brands, we’re working on links for online purchasing. In the meantime, try Chewy, Amazon, and your local independent pet supply store. They can usually order whatever you’re interested in trying.

      Note that the dry foods that appear are from our February 2021 list. We uploaded it as a beta test, getting ready for the 2022 dry food review that will be published in February 2022. The information that will be uploaded for that issue will be more complete and up-to-date.

      Glad you’re enjoying the filters. I love playing with this feature!


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