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Food & Diet

Can Dogs Eat Canned Food?

At A Glance

Looking to add variety to your dog’s diet? Canned dog food is a tasty way to add variety and create interest for your dog during mealtimes.

Find out how to do it, if it’s safe to give, possible health concerns, and how it compares to dry kibble before going ahead and giving it to your canine.

Last Updated on: Jul 13, 2022

As a responsible pet owner, you may have wondered if canned food is safe for your dog, how much is safe to give, and if there are any dangers to it that you need to be aware of.

Canned food for dogs can be used to meet your dog’s nutritional needs and provide much-needed variety to your dog’s diet.

Can dogs eat canned food? Here’s all you need to know.

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canned pet food

Is Canned Food Safe for Dogs?

When we’re talking about safety, it’s important to know what goes into canned food. Canned food is simply regular wet food and contains all the nutrients and vitamins your pet needs.

The ingredients are pretty much the same as kibble. It doesn’t contain preservatives or artificial sweeteners so it’s perfectly safe for dogs to eat. 

If you’ve tried giving your dog canned food, you may have noticed how quickly they gobble it up. This is because canned food is a treat for them and can help encourage a better appetite during mealtimes.

dog standing next to his food bowl

How Much Canned Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Just like any type of food, the right amount of canned food for your dog will depend on your pet’s age, how active it is, weight, size, and how often you feed it. 

The younger, bigger, more active, and less often you feed your dog, the bigger the portions.

Here are some recommendations based on your dog’s body weight:

  • 10 pounds – ⅓ to a cup of food each day
  • 25 pounds – 1 to 2 ¼ cups of food each day
  • 50 pounds – 2 ¼ cups of food each day
  • 75 pounds – 3 ¾ cup of food each day
  • More than 75 pounds – 5 to 8 cups of food each day

Despite this guide, it’s still recommended to make adjustments based on the factors we’ve mentioned.

Also Read: How to Set a Feeding Schedule for Dog?

canned dog food

How Often Can I Feed My Dog Canned Food?

You can feed your dog canned food about once or twice a week.

If you’re feeding your pet canned food to stimulate its interest and appetite, know that dogs get used to the same flavor of canned food after a while. It may be a good idea to give different types of wet food each time.

By doing so, you keep the food interesting for them rather than adding to the list of foods they won’t touch.

Is it OK to feed dogs wet food only? It’s still important to feed dogs canned food in moderation.

Though it’s safe for them to consume, it contains certain processed ingredients that, if eaten on a daily basis, can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes.

an image of a sick dog

Dangers of Feeding Canned Food for Dogs

Can canned food make a dog sick? Great question. While canned food is completely safe for dogs, there are certain risks involved when you overfeed your pet.

Dogs that eat canned food on a daily basis more than normal can develop diabetes, obesity, and stomach problems like diarrhea. The same thing can happen if you give them too much of wet food.

Other risks include:

Stomach Obstructions

If your dog can’t digest canned food properly, it might get stuck in its intestines and obstruct the digestive path.


While most dogs rarely suffer from constipation, they might get it occasionally. You can easily prevent this by adding fiber to your dog’s diet which will aid the digestive process and keep his or her tummy healthy.


Frequent vomiting is a sign that your dog isn’t digesting food properly. In this case, you should also add fiber to its diet and avoid giving canned food on a regular basis as it might worsen the condition.


If your dog is eating canned food on a regular basis and suddenly gets diarrhea, you should visit the vet to have your dog looked at. Though this condition can clear up on its own, it can take several days to weeks before it resolves itself.


There can be many causes for drooling from food allergies to rabies (if they’ve been bitten) so you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Be extra vigilant and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions when giving your dog canned food for the first time.

Also Read: Common Dog Health Problems and Solutions

Dry or Canned Dog Food: Which is Better?

Should dogs eat wet or dry food? When it comes to packaging, dry food is the winner. Not only will it keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, but you also don’t have to worry about taking care of any leftovers. It is 100% safe to leave out for days.

Wet food, on the other hand, takes longer to eat since it has more moisture content than dry food. Dry kibble is only 10% water while canned products are around 78%. Of course, wet food needs to be consumed right away before it goes bad.

When it comes to the nutritional benefits of each type of food, dry and wet are equally healthy for your dog.

Their nutritional value is pretty much identical, but if you’re looking for something with more protein (which is especially important for active dogs), canned food is more important since it usually has double (or even triple) the protein levels of dry food.

Can I Mix Wet and Dry Dog Food?

Absolutely. Mixing wet and dry dog food allows you to reap the benefits and advantages of both. As long as you make sure that the quality and quantity of the wet and dry food meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

owner feeding the dog

Can dogs eat canned food?

Feeding your dog canned food is no different than giving them dry kibble. As long as its done in moderation, it can be a great addition to your dogs diet. We recommend feeding canned food to your dog no more than two times a week.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.