The Best Wet Dog Food In Australia - A Canned Nutritional Analysis
Our #1 Pick
The Best Nutritional Option (BY FAR!)
Ziwi Peak Wet Dog Food
Choosing what you will feed your dog is one of the most important decisions in every pet parent’s life.
You can probably tell what your pooch likes and doesn't like, but does it necessarily mean that the food your dog likes best is the healthiest option? Not really. That’s why we've done the research and created this guide to finding the best dog food in Australia.
Wet Dog Food Reviews Australia: Factors We Considered
Choosing the right food for your dog requires quite a bit of consideration. In Australia, pet food manufacturers don’t have to adhere to specific standards, which leaves it up to the buyer to decide which dog food is good and which is not (1). These are the factors we took into consideration in our research:
Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both meat and plant-based food, but they still need a lot of protein in their diet. That’s why any good dog food should contain lots of quality protein sources, which will be primarily meat.
When reading the ingredient list on the back of a dog food package, the first ingredient should always be a great quality source of protein.
Like packaged food for people, pet food must list ingredients by weight, starting with the heaviest. But if the first ingredient is a type of meat, keep in mind that meat is about 75% water, according to the FDA. - Elizabeth Lee, Fetch by WebMD
In addition to this, you always want to see ingredients that are properly named. Chicken, beef, lamb, or any other type of meat is ok. However, if a dog food label says only “meat” in the ingredient list, it is usually a sign that the ingredients used are of lower quality. You should also be skeptical about any dog food that contains “by-products” (often listed as “poultry by-products” or something similar) as this can mean almost anything - and it’s probably not pure meat.
Dog food is usually not made from meat only. So, what else does it contain? While some pet parents prefer a grain-free diet for various reasons, food that contains quality grains is ok. However, you don’t want food that contains too much processed flour, corn, or soy for example - these are just cheap fillers that enlarge the volume of the food.
Quality dog foods made today contain whole food additions that can be a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your dog needs for a happy and healthy life. Vegetables like sweet potato, spinach, and carrots are some of the most common ones.
Things to Avoid
In general, it’s a red flag if you can’t identify ingredients on a dog food’s ingredient list - such as mysterious meat ingredients mentioned above. However, one should also be careful about any dog food that contains lots of chemicals. Many dog foods contain artificial preservatives, colours, and flavour enhancers. While these are not necessarily bad for your dog, they certainly don’t do much good either.
Additionally, some preservatives are worse than others. Sulphite preservatives, in particular, have been a matter of controversy in Australia a couple of years ago, due to the fact that they can cause serious health issues in dogs.
To avoid cases like these, it's always best to choose dog food that doesn’t contain any artificial additives - and there are plenty of options available.
Best Canned Dog Food Australia 2020: Our Top Picks
A can of wet dog food provides an easy way to serve an extra-delicious meal to your canine companion, although we would always advocate for a raw dog food option if taste is what you're after.
With many options available today, it can be hard to choose the right one though. Which one is the healthiest, and which offers best value for money? We’ve done the research and found these great options:
The wet dog food from Ziwi Peak contains only the best of the best for your dog. If we would make our own wet dog food formula, it would look somewhat like this.
So, what makes the Ziwi Peak food so special? First of all, all of the Ziwi Peak wet food formulas are made mostly out of meat, organs, fish, and New Zealand green mussels (which are great for supporting healthy joints, by the way). Whichever recipe you choose, you will find that these 4 ingredients comprise at least 90% of the contents of the can.
Moreover, it’s not just about their food having high protein content - the meat used by Ziwi Peak dog food is always ethically sourced from sustainable local farms in New Zealand. The meat in their food always comes from free-range and grass-fed animals.
Overall, the Ziwi Peak wet food is a great choice if you want to be sure your dog is getting a quality meal with a well-balanced nutritional profile. This wet food is a bit more expensive than some other options, but we still find Ziwi offers good value for money considering the quality of the ingredients they use.
The Ziwi Peak line of wet dog food contains a variety of recipes with different sources of protein. Here is the full list of tinned dog food formulas from Ziwi Peak:
Advance is a dog food brand owned by the Mars corporation, the same corporation that runs brands such as Royal Canin, Pedigree, Whiskas, and Optimum. The main issue with big name brands like these is that you often end up paying for good marketing, but the ingredients turn out to be sub-par upon closer inspection.
In our opinion, Advance is the best from the brands named above - the quality of the food is decent, and their products are not overly expensive, making them one of the better cheap dog food options. Another good thing to remember is that Mars Petcare has been making dog food in Australia for more than 45 years, so you can always expect standardised quality from their dog food, including the Advance brand.
This recipe, in particular, contains chicken, turkey, and lamb as the first three ingredients, so you know your dog’s food is full of protein. The rest of this formula is mostly rice, which is not as nutritious as meat, but definitely beneficial for a dog’s gut health.
In short - is Advance the best wet dog food in the world? No. It is quite basic, considering what is offered by some other brands these days. However, Advance formulas contain everything necessary to fulfil the basic dietary requirements of your dog. If you are on a tight budget, it’s definitely worth a shot.
The line of wet food made by Advance contains a variety of different formulas, so you can always offer some variety to your pet.
When it comes to the best dog food for puppies, proper nutrition is even more important than usual. Puppies not only need more energy than adults, but they also need a well-balanced diet to develop into healthy adults. The K9 Natural Beef & Hoki Puppy Formula was created specifically for puppies.
According to K9 Natural, this canned puppy food contains 90% beef. Now, this does include beef blood as well as tripe, liver, heart, and bone meal, but it’s still a very good mix for puppies - and it’s all made from New Zealand grass-fed beef.
Besides beef, this formula also contains Hoki oil which is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is known for helping make dogs’ fur healthier and shiner, but it actually has quite a few benefits beyond that. For puppies, fish oil helps with proper development of the brain and the eyes (4).
The K9 Natural Puppy Beef & Hoki also doesn’t contain any fillers, it’s grain-free, and it does not contain any gelling agents which are often used in wet dog foods.
K9 Natural also makes a couple of different canned food formulas for adult dogs:
The Healthy Cuisine line from Hill’s Science Diet is another wet dog food option that offers well-balanced meals without breaking the bank. When it comes to Hill’s Science Diet, their wet dog food is not filled with superfoods like some other brands, but it does contain quality ingredients and balanced nutrition to suit any dog’s needs.
The Roasted Chicken, Carrots, and Spinach Stew was designed specifically for older dogs. It’s easy to digest, which is especially important for seniors, and at the same time it doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours.
The main ingredients in this stew are chicken and pork liver, which are complemented with carrots, rice, green peas and spinach. Overall, it’s a good combination that your dog will most likely love. This wet food can be served on its own or mixed with dry food to create an extra-appetising meal.
Hill’s Science Diet makes a number of different wet food formulas, so make sure to check out the other options too.
Black Hawk is an Australian dog food manufacturer that focuses on offering simple formulas with quality ingredients - just what a dog needs. Their grain-free formulas are made from real meat and vegetables, enriched with vitamins and minerals to achieve an optimal nutritional balance. Moreover, Black Hawk gets all of the ingredients for their dog food from local Australian framers, so you know there are no mystery ingredients inside.
If your pooch doesn’t tolerate grains, or you just prefer using a grain-free formula, you’ll find three options from Black Hawk: Chicken, Beef, and Lamb. Besides meat, their formulas contain carrots and potatoes instead of grains. These formulas also contain Emu oil which is rich in healthy fatty acids that support your pooch’s immunity and skin and coat health.
The only potential downside of this dog food is that each formula contains protein from multiple sources. If you look at the ingredient list of the chicken formula, for example, you’ll find that it also contains lamb. The lamb and beef formulas, on the other hand, both have chicken as the second ingredient. Now, this is not a problem in itself, but you should be careful if your dog has any specific food sensitivities, like an allergy to chicken, for example.
Black Hawk makes their grain-free wet dog food in 3 versions: Chick, Lamb & Beef.
Ivory Coat is a relatively new Australian dog food brand, and their attention to quality is easy to notice by looking at an Ivory Coat Dog Food Review and their ingredient lists. Their grain-free wet dog food formulas contain lots of quality protein, enriched with nutritious vegetables and some real superfoods, like flaxseed oil and blueberries.
We especially liked the Chicken & Coconut stew formula, which is enriched with coconut oil, an ingredient that is not only tasty but also good for your pooch (5)!
One thing to keep in mind is that Ivory Coat uses multiple sources of protein to create these delicious formulas. The Chicken & Coconut stew, for example, also contains beef, while the Lamb & Kangaroo and Lamb & Sardine formulas contain chicken too. This is definitely not a bad thing, since added protein is definitely better than useless fillers, but it is important to note this in case you are trying to avoid a specific ingredient.
Other than meat, the Ivory Coat grain-free wet dog food formulas contain peas, sweet potato, and carrots. All of these veggies make the food easier to digest while also providing lots of vitamins for a healthy and happy dog life.
Ivory coat grain-free canned dog food recipes include: Chicken & Coconut Stew, Lamb & Kangaroo Stew and Lamb & Sardine Stew.
Best Wet Dog Food: The Final Verdict
Normally we would recommend the best dry dog food, however we understand some pups are super picky.
So which canned food is the best for your dog? Naturally, this will depend on individual needs, such as the age and the level of activity of your dog. However, we chose the Ziwi Peak Wet Dog Food as a great universal choice. They offer a variety of formulas, each with high-quality sustainably-sourced protein enriched only with healthy whole food ingredients.
If the price tag of Ziwi Peak food is too high, though, there are some more budget-friendly options available too, like Advance Adult Chicken, Turkey, and Rice formula.
Both wet and dry dog food can provide proper nutrition for your canine friend. The form of the food is ultimately not the most important thing - it’s the ingredients that are inside. However, wet food does look and taste more like “real food” - even though it might have the exact same ingredients as kibble, so your pooch might enjoy it more.
Yes, mixing dry and wet dog food is absolutely ok. Some wet food is also available in the form on toppers, designed to add on top of your dog’s dry food meal. The important thing is to pay attention to how much food you are adding, so you don’t exceed the recommended daily amount when combining different types of dog food.
Switching to a new dog food should always be done gradually. It is quite common for dogs to experience an upset stomach if you suddenly change to a new type of food.
To allow your dog to get used to the new food, start by replacing ¼ of the daily amount of the old food you were feeding your pooch with the new food. The second day, make the ratio 50-50. Keep adding a bit more of the new food each day until you seamlessly switch to the new food.
While mild stomach upset is totally normal, if your dog has symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea for more than 1 day, there might be an issue with your new food. Contact your wet and switch to the old food until you have figured out the problem.
- “How is the pet food industry regulated in Australia?”. RSPCA. Retrieved August 26, 2020 https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/how-is-the-pet-food-industry-regulated-in-australia/
- Lee, E. “How to Read a Dog Food Label”. Fetch by WebMD. Retrieved August 27, 2020. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/how-to-read-a-dog-food-label#1
- “Are preservatives in pet food a concern?”. RSPCA. Retrieved August 27, 2020. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/are-preservatives-in-pet-food-products-a-concern/
- Arford, K. May 29, 2020. “Fish Oil for Dogs”. AKC. Retrieved August 27, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fish-oil-for-dogs/
- Heuer, V. April 14, 2016. “Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs? Understanding the Benefits and Risks”. PetMD. Retrieved August 26, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/coconut-oil-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks