Is Canned Pet Food Healthy?

Canned food has gained a bad reputation thanks to the sugar-laden foods you will find in the grocery aisle. Claims of tooth decay, loose stools or upset tummies make pet owners wary of feeding “wet food”. However good quality canned foods – as a full diet or a supplement – are a great way to add moisture, meat-based nutrition and interest to your dog or cat’s diet. What are the pros and cons of feeding canned food?


More moisture. Cats in particular, as a desert-dwelling species, do better when their diet is moisture rich. Built to derive moisture from their food, cats will only drink when they are technically dehydrated. Increased moisture means less stress on the digestive system. Moisture-rich raw diets help both cats and dogs to avoid urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Highly Palatable. Dogs who can will only eat “people food” can often be transitioned to an appropriate diet with the use of canned food. Stew-style foods, with chunks of meat and vegetables in a gravy – are particularly good for finicky pets.

Minimal fillers. A good quality canned food doesn’t use fillers – such as wheat or soy – but contain real meat. Many formulations have limited or no grain, making them good for pets with diabetes or that are overweight.


Packaging. The cost of aluminum is a large part of the price tag in canned foods. This can make feeding large dogs cost prohibitive.

Requires refrigeration. If you don’t feed an entire can of food in one sitting, leftovers must be promptly refrigerated to preserve freshness.