WDJ’s 2016 Approved Gold Star Canned Dog Foods

The following companies have provided Whole Dog Journal with the results of independent laboratory tests that confirm their products' complete and balanced" claims."

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The following companies not only offer products that meet our selection criteria, based on their ingredients, but also provided us (as requested) with independent, third-party laboratory nutritional analyses of their products – analyses confirming that their products are not just “formulated to meet,” but do actually meet the AAFCO Canine Nutrient Profiles.

best wet dog food 2016

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In our opinion, these companies constitute an elite group – a “gold star” class of companies who are willing and readily able to prove that their products are “complete and balanced” – something we think that all  companies who make dog food should be required to provide.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Avoderm

(Breeder’s Choice, Central Garden & Pet), Walnut Creek, CA; (888) 500-6286

Avoderm is available in 10 varieties. Eight are meant for all life stages; two, including the company’s vegetarian formula, are for adult maintenance only. Note: We don’t approve of vegetarian dog foods for any dogs other than one with a veterinary-confirmed allergy to multiple animal proteins (something we have yet to come across). Four varieties are grain-free. Foods range from 7% to 8% protein and 4% to 7% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Bravo Pet Foods

Manchester, CT; (866) 922-9222

This product is new to our list! Bravo, a long-time producer of frozen raw diets, just came out with this very nice line of canned dog foods. There are 6 varieties, with 9.5% to 11.5% protein and 4.5% to 9% fat. Three are “95%” recipes, with animal proteins comprising 95% of the formula. All six varieties are intended for dogs of all life stages.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Canidae Corp.

San Luis Obispo, CA; (800) 398-1600

Canidae has 2 lines of foods. Canidae Life Stages has 6 varieties, all suitable for dogs of all life stages with 1 intended for puppies. The foods range from 6% to 9.5% protein and 4.5% to 7.5% fat). The Pure line has 5 grain-free varieties, all suitable for all life stages. They range from 7% to 10% protein and 6% to 8% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Cos Cob, CT; (800) 658-0624

Chicken Soup has 2 lines of foods. The grain-free line has 4 varieties, 3 suitable for all life stages and one intended for large-breed puppies. These foods all contain 8% protein and 2.5% to 8% fat. The second line, Life Stages, has 3 varieties (puppy, adult, mature). They range in protein from 7.5% to 9%, and 4% to 6% in fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Eagle Pack

(Wellpet), Tewksbury, MA; (800) 225-0904

Eagle Pack offers 4 foods for dogs of all life stages. These foods all contain 9% protein and 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Lotus

Lotus Natural Food, Torrance, CA; (888) 995-6887

Lotus offers 2 lines of foods; all of them grain-free and intended for dogs of all life stages. The Just Juicy line has 2 varieties, with 15% protein and 5% fat. The Canned Stew line has three varieties, all of which have 10% protein and 4% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Holistic Select

(Wellpet), Tewksbury, MA; (800) 225-0904;

Holistic Select offers 7 grain-free foods for dogs of all life stages. These foods range from 11% to 12% protein and 6% to 8% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Nature’s Variety

St. Louis, MO; (888) 519-7387

Nature’s Variety offers 3 lines. The first is Instinct Original, with 7 grain-free varieties; all are suitable for dogs of all life stages. They range from 9% to 11% protein and 4.5% to 7% fat. Instinct Ultimate Protein has 2 varieties; both are grain-free and suitable for all life stages. They range from 10% to 11% protein and 5.5% to 6.5% fat. The third line is Prairie Homestyle. These varieties do contain grain, and all are suitable for all life stages. They range from 7.5% to 8% protein and 4% to 5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Petcurean

Abbotsford, BC, Canada; (866) 864-6112

Petcurean has 3 lines. Go! Daily Defense offers 3 varieties suitable for dogs of all life stages. They range from 8% to 10% protein and 4% to 5% fat. The second line is Go! Fit + Free, with 2 grain-free varieties suitable for all life stages. They both contain 8% protein and 4% fat. The third line is Go! Sensitivity + Shine, with just one grain-free variety that’s suitable for all life stages. It contains 8% protein and 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Pinnacle

(Breeder’s Choice, Central Garden & Pet) Walnut Creek, CA; (888) 500-6286

Pinnacle offers five grain-free foods, all of which are suitable for dogs of all life stages. They range from 7% to 8.5% protein and 5% to 6.5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Solid Gold

Greenville, SC; (800) 364-4863

Solid Gold offers 12 grain-free varieties of canned foods; 11 are suitable for dogs of all life stages and 2 (Hund-n-Flocken and Green Cow Beef Tripe varieties) are for adult maintenance only). They range from 7.5% to 9.5% protein and 3% to 9% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Taste of the Wild

Diamond Pet Products , Meta, MO; (800) 442-0402

Taste of the Wild is the only line of canned foods that Diamond makes that is approved by WDJ. Taste of the Wild comes in 5 grain-free varieties, and all are suitable for dogs of all life stages. They range from 7% to 8.5% protein and 3% to 4.5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal approval

Wellness

Wellpet , Tewksbury, MA; (800) 225-0904

Wellness has 6 lines. Wellness Complete Health has 6 varieties. One (Senior formula) is for adult maintenance only; the rest are for dogs of all life stages. They range from 7% to 9% protein and 3% to 8% fat. Wellness Core has 19 grain-free varieties, 3 of which are 95% meat recipes. Twelve of these are for adult maintenance only; 4 of these (the Hearty Cuts recipes) are not suitable for large breed puppies. They range from 6% to 13% protein and 2% to 8% fat. Wellness Petite Entrees has 11 grain‑free varieties; note that all of these recipes are for adult maintenance only. They range from 6% to 8% protein and 2% to 5% fat. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient has 4 grain‑free varieties that are for adult maintenance only; each of these recipes features only one animal species in the ingredients. They range from 7% to 8% protein and 3% to 8% fat. The Wellness TruFood line has 6 grain-free varieties; all of these foods are for adult maintenance only. They contain 4% protein and 2.5% fat.



WDJ’s Approved Canned Dog Foods

The following companies provided us with computer analyses of their products’ formulas, rather than results of independent lab tests of their foods. In contrast to our gold star list, the companies below provided us with only computer analyses of their products’ formulas, rather than independent lab results of the products themselves. Because their foods meet our selection criteria based on their ingredients, however, they remain on our approved canned dog food list for 2016. This may change in the future.

While the computer analyses of the product formulas provided by the companies meet the AAFCO requirement for a “complete and balanced” claim, they don’t prove that the resulting foods, in fact, contain all the nutrients, in proper amounts, that are required to sustain our dogs. In our opinion, it is better for consumers to feed products with nutrient values that are independently verified.

We will continue to ask pet food companies to provide this assurance; further, we strongly encourage dog owners to ask for this information, too.


Whole Dog Journal

Addiction

Kent, WA; (425) 251-0330

Addiction is available in 9 grain-free varieties, all of which are suitable for dogs of all life stages. They range from 8% to 9% protein and 2% to 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Castor & Pollux

Merrick Pet Foods, Hereford, TX; (800) 875-7518

Castor & Pollux offers 4 lines of food. The first one is Natural Ultra Mix, with 8 different varieties for dogs of all life stages; Six of the foods are grain-free. They range from 8% to 9% protein and 3% to 5% fat. The second line is Organix, with 4 varieties containing organic ingredients. All of the Organix foods are suitable for adult maintenance only, with 7% protein and 6% to 6.5% fat. The third line is Organix Grain-Free, with 4 grain-free organic varieties for dogs of all life stages. They contain 7.5% protein and 6% to 6.5% fat. The last line is Organix Grain-Free Butcher & Bushel, with 5 organic varieties for dogs of all life stages. They contain 7% protein and 3% to 4% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Evangers

Wheeling, IL; (847) 537-0102

Evangers has 5 lines of foods. The Classic line has 4 varieties, one of which (Senior/Weight Management) is for adult maintenance only; the rest are for all life stages. They range from 9% to 10% protein and 4% to 8% fat. The Grain-Free Hand-Packed line has 4 varieties for all life stages, with 8% protein and 4% fat. Evangers Organic offers just 1 grain-free, all life stages food, with 8% protein and 4% fat. Evangers Signature Series has 4 grain-free all-life-stages varieties, with 6% protein and 5% fat. Evangers Super Premium has 5 varieties for dogs of all life stages. Four are grain-free, and contain 9% to 10% protein and 4% to 8% fat. The last variety is a vegetarian food, with 7% protein and 2% fat; this one is not grain-free.


Whole Dog Journal

FirstMate

North Vancouver, BC, Canada; (800) 658-1166

FirstMate has 2 lines for dogs of all life stages. The first line is 50-50, with 3 grain-free varieties. They range from 10% to 11% protein and 5% fat. FirstMate’s second line is called Limited Ingredient, with 4 grain-free varieties, ranging from 10% to 12% protein and 3% to 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Fromm

Fromm Family Pet Food, Mequon, WI; (800) 325-6331

Fromm offers 2 lines of foods. The first is Fromm Four-Star, with 3 grain-free varieties of foods meant for dogs of all life stages. They contain 7% protein and 2% fat. Fromm’s Gold line has 3 grain-free varieties. Two are suitable for dogs of all life stages and one is meant for large-breed puppies. They contain 9% protein and 6.5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Halo, Purely for Pets

Tampa, FL; (800) 426-4256

Halo has 5 lines. The first one is Halo Grain-Free Small Breed, with 2 varieties for dogs of all life stages. They range from 9.5% to 11% protein and contains 5% fat. Halo Senior has 2 varieties, for adult maintenance only. They contain 8.5% protein and 4.5% fat. The Spot’s Choice Shredded line has 4 grain-free varieties for all life stages; all varieties contain 9% protein and 5.5% to 8% fat. Spot’s Stew, Halo’s original line, has 4 varieties, for all life stages. All these foods range from 4.5% to 6.5% protein and 2.5% to 5% fat. Halo’s Vigor line has 3 grain-free varieties, for all life stages. These foods range from 8% to 9% protein and 6.5% to 7.5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Health Extension

Melville, NY; (800) 992-9738

Health Extension has 2 lines of foods for dogs of all life stages. Health Extension Grain-Free has 3 varieties, which contain 8% protein and 4.5% to 5% fat. Health Extension Holistic has 4 varieties; 3 are grain-free, and the fourth is a vegetarian food. They contain 7% to 8% protein and 2% to 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Newman’s Own

Westport, CT; (203) 222-0136

Newman’s Own has two lines of foods for dogs of all life stages. The first line is Newman’s Own Organics, with 7 grain-free organic varieties. Three of those contain 95% meat. They range from 9% to 12% protein and 2.5% to 7.5% fat. The Newman’s Own Premium line has 4 varieties, three of which contain organic ingredients. They contain 8% protein and 5.% to 6% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Merrick

Amarillo, TX; (800) 664-7387

Merrick has 6 lines of all-life stages foods. Backcountry has 11 grain-free varieties, 2 of which are 96% meat recipes. They range from 7% to 10% protein and 3% to 5% fat. Merrick Classic Recipe has 18 grain-free varieties. They range from 8% to 10.3% protein and 3% to 5.5% fat. Merrick Grain-Free has 4 varieties, ranging from 9% to 10% protein to 5% to 7% fat. The Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free line has 9 varieties, ranging from 8% to 8.5% to 3% to 3.5% fat. The Merrick Limited Ingredient line has 6 grain-free varieties, ranging from 8% to 9% protein and 4% to 5% fat. Merrick’s Seasonal Limited Edition line offers 15 grain-free varieties, ranging from 7% to 9% protein and 3% to 5% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Pet-Tao

Fairview, TN; (615) 934-3832

Pet-Tao has 2 lines with foods for dogs of all life stages. The first line is called Harmony, with 3 grain-free varieties, containing 8% protein and 6% fat. Pet-Tao’s Solutions line has 2 grain-free varieties, ranging from 8% to 10% protein and 5% to 8% fat.


Whole Dog Journal

Whole Earth Farms

(Merrick Pet Care), Amarillo, TX; (800) 323-3353

Whole Earth is Merrick’s budget-friendly line, with 10 grain-free varieties for dogs of all life stages. They range from 8% to 10% protein and 3% to 6.5% fat.

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