WDJ’s Approved Canned Dog Foods List of 2017

This year, in addition to the full list of Whole Dog-approved wet dog foods, readers get an inside look at Editor Nancy Kerns' personal favorite dog foods!

0

Playing Favorites: Whole Dog Journal’s Favorite Dog Food Companies

We’re often asked, “Come on; what’s your favorite food?”

wellpet quality pet foods

Foods have to be selected for each dog individually. We just can’t answer that question.

However, we do have some favorite dog food companies, which we’ll discuss here. The complete list of Whole Dog Journal-approved canned food is below. Download a PDF version here.

Interestingly, Wellpet is on our list of favorites, which is weird, because a casual observer could say that the company has some of the same negatives that led to our distrust of Blue Buffalo. First, they use a number of contract manufacturers to make their canned dog foods, making it more difficult to provide reliable oversight of the manufacturing and perhaps contributing to some of the recalls they’ve had (like Blue Buffalo, the most recent was due to high thyroid levels in a beef-based food). And, like Blue Buffalo, their product line is way too big in our opinion; do all of those foods really offer anything unique? Can they really provide good oversight of so many SKU’s?

But here’s the difference between the two companies. When asked, Wellpet sent us complete nutrient analyses on all of its products, overnight. When asked, Wellpet has arranged for us to tour its own production facilities (in Mishawaka, Indiana) – and even strong-armed one of its contract manufacturing canneries into giving us a tour (our first time in a dog food cannery, in fact). And when something has gone wrong with one of its canine products, Wellpet has proactively contacted us, both to give us a heads-up and to explain what has been put in place to make sure whatever went wrong won’t go wrong again. The company is extraordinarily transparent about its manufacturing locations, quality control and food safety protocols (and audits), and ingredient sourcing.

Lotus canned dog food

And, try this: Call the company any time during business hours. Your call will be answered by a live human being who can answer almost any question about the Wellpet foods; if she can’t, she will research the issue and quickly get back to you. Amazing.

Unless you actually call these companies and ask them questions about their foods – a practice I can’t recommend strongly enough – it may not be apparent that some of them are full-time, professional pet food manufacturing companies, and some are a guy with a business card, an answering service, and a contract with an independent co-packer. Now, this isn’t a knock on every part-time pet food company owner out there. Some of those guys (this is the non-sexist form of the word; gals are inclusive) have innovated some very cool, healthy dog foods, personally locate sustainably and humanely raised animal ingredients, and oversee each run of their products at the contract manufacturing facility. But…some don’t do any of those things.

Halo canned dog food

Lotus is another company we love. They make only a few foods, but with ingredients they source close to the cannery they built and operate themselves. They invited us to come and watch them make canned food and allowed us to take as many photos as we liked, of anything we saw. We love transparency!

We’re building a new appreciation for Halo, a company that for years has been anything but transparent regarding its manufacturing location. It is one of the few companies who told us to take a hike when we said we couldn’t put its products (which we like!) on our “approved foods” lists unless it disclosed its manufacturing locations. But the company has a new CEO, who recently asked for a meeting with us to introduce a company relaunch. All of Halo’s products have been reformulated, and all of its animal ingredients are now sourced by the company from audited suppliers of humanely raised, free-range animals and sustainably caught fish. And we’ve been invited to tour its production facilities. Now we’re talking.

2017 WDJ-APPROVED CANNED DOG FOODS

Dog foods in this list are not ranked, but appear in alphabetical order according to the product or brand name. They are all high-quality foods! Get a full explanation of the Canned Dog Foods of 2017 list here.

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE CANNED FOOD LIST HERE

A

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
ADDICTION
Kent, WA
(425) 251-0330
9 grain-free varieties8-9%2-6%
AVODERM
Breeder’s Choice (Central Gard & Pet)
Walnut Creek, CA
(866) 500-6286
10 varieties, 4 grain-free7-8%4-7%
AZMIRA
Tuscon, AZ
(800) 497-5665
3 varieties10%5%

 

B

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
BLACKWOOD
Blackwood Pet Food
Lisbon, OH
(888) 843-1738
4 grain-free varieties9.5%8.5-9%
BRAVO
Bravo Pet Foods
Manchester, CT
(866) 922-9222 
6 grain-free varieties9.5-11.5%4.5-9%
BY NATURE
Kent Pet Group
Muscatine, IA
(877) 367-9225 
14 grain-free varieties8-10%4.5-8%

 

C

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
CANIDAE
Canidae Corp.
San Luis Obispo, CT
(800) 398-1600
2 lines containing 11 varieties, 5 grain-free6-10%4.5-8%
CASTOR & POLLUX ORGANIX ULTRAMIX
Merrick Pet Foods
Hereford, TX
(800) 875-7518
2 lines containing 27 varieties, 19 grain-free7-9%3-6.5%
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Cos Cob, CT
(800) 658-0624
7 varieties, 4 grain-free7.5-9%
CLOUDSTAR
St. Louis, MO
(800) 361-9079 
5 grain-free varieties7%3-4%

 

D

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
DOGSWELL
Los Angeles, CA
(888) 559-8833
4 lines containing 16 grain-free varieties8-10%4-10%

 

E

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
EAGLE PACK
Wellpet
Tewksbury, MA
(800) 225-0904
4 varieties9% 6%
EVO
Natura Pet (Mars Petcare)
Santa Clara, CA
(800) 532-7261
2 grain-free varieties8.5-9%4.8-6%

 

F

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
FIRSTMATE
North Vancouver, Canada
(800) 658-1166
2 lines containing 7 grain-free varieties10-12%5%
FROMM
Fromm Family Pet Food
Mequon, WI
(800) 325-6331
3 lines containing 15 grain-free varieties7-10%2-6.5%

 

G

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
GO!
Petcurean
Abbotsford, Canada
(866) 864-6112
6 varieties, 3 grain-free8-10%4-6%

 

H

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
HALO
Halo, Purely for Pets
Tampa, FL
(800) 426-4256
14 varieties, 6 grain-free5.7-11%3.5-10%
HEALTH EXTENSION
Melville, NY
(800) 992-9738
10 varieties, 4 grain-free7-8%2-6%
HOLISTIC SELECT
Wellpet
Tewksbury, MA
(800) 225-0904
6 grain-free varieties11-12%6-8%
HOUND & GATOS
New York, NY
(212) 618-1917
12 grain-free varieties10-11%6.5-10%

 

I

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
INSTINCT
Nature’s Variety
St. Louis, MO
(888) 519-7387
21 grain-free varieties8-11%3-8%

 

K

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
KOHA
Delray Beach, FL
(800) 478-7713
4 grain-free varieties9.7-10.5%7.5-8%

 

L

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
LOTUS
Lotus Natural Food
Torrance, CA
(888) 995-6887
2 lines containing 5 grain-free varieties10-15%4-5%

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE CANNED FOOD LIST HERE

M

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
MERRICK
Amarillo, TX
(800) 664-7387
7 lines, containing 57 grain-free varieties7-10.3%3-7%

 

N

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
NATURAL BALANCE
Natural Balance (J.M. Smucker’s)
Burbank, CA
(800) 829-4493
5 lines containing 32 varieties, 17 grain-free5-11%2-8%
NEWMAN’S OWN
Westport, CT
(203) 222-0136
2 lines containing 11 varieties, 7 organic and grain-free8-12%2.5-7.5%
NULO
Austin, TX
(512) 476-6856
10 varieties10%5-9%

 

O

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
OSOPURE
Artemis
Carson, CA
(310) 513-4090
9 grain-free varieties8%4-6%

 

P

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
PARTY ANIMAL
West Hollywood, CA
(855) 727-8926
2 lines, containing 24 grain-free varieties, 10 organic9%7%
PET-TAO
Fairview, TN
(615) 934-3832
4 grain-free varieties8-10%6-8% 
PINNACLE
Central Garden & Pet
Walnut Creek, CA
(866) 500-6286
5 grain-free varieties7-8.5%5-6.5%
PETGUARD
Green Cove Springs, FL
(800) 874-3221
13 varieties, 1 grain-free8-10%4.5-7.5%
PRAIRIE
Nature’s Variety
St. Louis, MO
(888) 519-7387
7 varieties7.5-8%4-5%
PRECISE
Precise Pet Products
St. Helena, CA
(888) 477-3247
3 varieties7-8%5-6%

 

R

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
REDBARN
Redbarn Pet Products
Long Beach, CA
(800) 775-3849
15 grain-free varieties8-11%3.5-9%

 

S

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
SOLID GOLD
Greenville, NC
(800) 364-4863
12 grain-free varieties7.5-9.5%3-9%

 

T

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
TASTE OF THE WILD
Diamond Pet Products
Meta, MO
(800) 442-0402
5 grain-free varieties7-8.5%3-4.5%
THREE DOG BAKERY
Kansas City, MO
(800) 487-3287
2 varieties8%5%
TIKI DOG
Tiki Pets
Chesterfield, MO
(866) 821-8562
2 lines containing 18 varieties, 8 grain-free6.5-15.2%2.9-6.5%

 

U

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
ULTRAHOLISTIC
Nutro (a division of Mars)
Franklin, TN
(800) 833-5330
13 varieties7-10%2.5-6.5%

 

V

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
VERUS
Abingdon, MD
(888) 828-3787
11 varieties, 4 grain-free6.5-8%4.5-6.5%

 

W

ProductVarietiesRange of Protein Content (minimum)Range of Fat Content (minimum)
WHOLE EARTH FARMS
Merrick Pet Care
Amarillo, TX
(800) 323-3353
14 grain-free varieties8-10%3-6.5% 
WELLNESS
Wellpet
Tewksbury, MA
(800) 225-0904 
6 lines, containing 48 varieties, 41 grain-free6-12%2-8% 
WERUVA
Natick, MA
(800) 776-5262
20 grain-free varieties8.5-11.5%1.8-8.5% 
WILD CALLING
Greeley, CO
(855) 628-7387
9 grain-free varieties8-10%5.5-8% 

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE CANNED FOOD LIST HERE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here