Canned Food Roundup:

I realized, when stocking the “emergency” pantry, that there are a lot more turkey-based canned foods out there than there used to be. So, for my own edification, and for yours if you need it, I’m presenting a list.

Fine print: My starting point for this list is The Whole Dog Journal’s  “Approved  Wet Foods of 2012” list. They don’t list every brand, I’m sure, so if you know of a top-quality food that didn’t make it, feel free to leave it in the comments. “Natural Flavors” have been known to hide allergens, so that knocks quite a few otherwise eligible foods off the list. To be on this list, every meat source must be explicitly named. No “liver,” for instance. Some of these are mixers/toppings, rather than whole diets, which I indicate when it’s obvious on the website. Some of these foods are much better than others, but sometimes allergies make for compromise. We have actually tried very, very few of these. Some of them I’ve never even heard of before. My label reading cannot substitute for your label reading. I’ll be updating this as I find new things.

Turkey Based and Grain Free

-Pinnacle Turkey and Potato. Contains egg and fish oil.
-Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Turkey and Vegetable Dinner. Be careful–they have several turkey foods; this is the only one that is single-protein.
-Evanger Slow Cooked Turkey Stew
-By Nature 100% Organic Turkey. I’m not sure that this is a complete diet. The 100% is the organic part, not the turkey part, but the ingredients list is suspiciously short.
-By Nature Organic Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Peas.
-Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Turkey Formula.
-PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato Dinner in Gravy.
-PetGuard Turkey and Barley Dinner. Contains egg and fish oil.
-Spring Naturals 95% Turkey Dinner. Contains egg.
-Spring Naturals Turkey Stew.
-Wellness Simple Grain Free Turkey and Potato Formula.
-Wellness 95% Turkey. Not a complete diet.

Turkey Based, With Grains

-Blue Buffalo Turkey Meatloaf Dinner with Carrots and Sweet Potatoes. Contains rice.
-Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato Recipe. Contains oats. Also in a Large Breed formula with glucosamine.
-Mulligan Stew Turkey. Rice, and the weirdest website copy.
-Spring Naturals Turkey Dinner. Has quinoa, so kind of grain free. Contains egg.
-Spring Naturals Organic Turkey Dinner. See above.
-Verus Turkey and Veggie. Contains rice and oats.
-Wellness Turkey and Sweet Potato. Contains barley.

Bonus round: other unusual proteins.

-Addiction New Zealand Venison and Apples. Grain Free.
-Pinnacle Salmon and Potato. Fish based foods are common, but it’s fairly rare to find a one without an umbrella like “fish broth,” so I’ve listed the ones that popped out at me.
-Evanger Catch of the Day. Sardine based.
-Fromm Four Star Shredded Pork Entree. Grain Free.
-By Nature Entrees Pork Roulade With Bacon, Sweet Potatoes, and Apples. Pretentious, but grain free.
-Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Rabbit and Brown Rice. Has salmon oil and a lot of rice.
-Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Venison and Sweet Potato. Has salmon oil and a lot of potatoes. —Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Wild Boar and Brown Rice. This line in general is lower protein than I would feed personally, although it varies flavor to flavor.
-PetGuard Venison and Rice Dinner. Contains egg. Small can only.
-Wellness Venison and Sweet Potato. Contains barley.
-Wellness Simple Grain Free Salmon and Potato.
-Wellness 95% Salmon. Not a complete diet. (Would probably be the same price to feed human canned salmon.)
-Weruva Marbella Paella. Grain free, with mackerel.
-Weurva Cirque De La Mer. Grain free, with tuna.

The walk of shame:
Merrick’s “Real [Protein] 96%” line is not single protein in any case except chicken. Evanger’s grain free game meats are specifically market as allergy friendly, then include ingredients like “fish broth” or “liver.” They might mean “liver to match protein;” I would ask Evanger very pointed questions before feeding it. Addiction has a similar problem–an unnamed liver in most of their otherwise novel proteins like rabbit and buffalo. Nature’s Variety puts pork liver in both their rabbit and venison foods. Several companies ruin some otherwise awesome looking foods with “natural flavors.” It would probably be worth while to check. I’ve had a 50/50 success rate on people at least telling me “yes, that’s meat derived in some way.”

3 thoughts on “Canned Food Roundup:

  1. I am really pleased that more and more dog food companies are producing better quality foods. There are still too many that use mystery ingredients – but it’s nice to know that they are catching on that we as dog owners take our dog’s health seriously and are more willing to spend the few extra dollars to get the better quality ingredients. I learned a lot myself from Whole Dog Journal several years ago. Love that publication! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Yes–the “approved canned foods list” that I started from listed over 20 companies, which is wonderful. Although I do wish there was a little more variety in the products between them. It’s mostly the same few proteins over and over.


  2. Thank you for such an exhaustive listing. I live in central California and raising turkeys is a growing part of our local economy. I’m glad that more food producers are recognizing the benefits of turkey in food.


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