In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think the Merrick Lil Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack – (12) 3.5 Oz. Tubs is a great choice.

I like to feed my dogs a mix of wet and dry food. Apart from the fact that they appear to prefer the variety, there are some solid reasons to do this.

Dry Food

  • Cost effective
  • Lasts longer
  • Cleaner
  • Easier to store
  • Less risk of spoilage

Wet Food

  • Higher moisture content, so helps with hydration
  • Generally has higher protein and less carbohydrates than dry food
  • More attractive smell to dogs
  • Easier to chew for old or sick dogs

In this article, I’m reviewing the following wet foods for small dogs.

Why is Protein Important in Dog Food?

All dogs, regardless of size or activity levels, need good quality protein in their diet. More protein is found in meat and dairy products, eggs and legumes, than in most other food items. 

Your hound needs sufficient protein to stay healthy and active, and to keep their coat shining and their eyes bright.

How To Choose The Best Food For Your Dog

On wet or canned food, there should be two lists on the can or pouch for you to check. Looking at both these items will give you a good picture of the nutritional value of the food.

Ingredients

Look at all the ingredients, but pay particular attention to the first three. If the first ingredient is not a good protein source, keep shopping. Real meat should be the first on the list. This could be chicken, lamb, beef, venison, salmon or any other meat. 

Never be satisfied by the presence of an animal by-product. This could include something with no nutritional value such as chicken feet. Meat meal is fine, and a good protein source. It is the ground up muscle and bones of an animal.

Guaranteed Analysis

This is a good way to check percentages of protein, fat, fiber and moisture.

Wet food contains a lot of water, and the protein content in the dehydrated product is highly concentrated. To get an accurate percentage of protein, it usually has to be re-calculated using a method called ‘Dry Matter Basis’. It’s especially important if you’re trying to compare wet and dry foods. Don’t worry though, it’s easy!

Measuring Protein, Fat or Fiber Content Using ‘Dry Matter Basis’

Wet Food Analysis Dry Food Ingredients

Protein 8% Protein 25%

Fat 6%

Fiber 1%

Moisture 78%

It looks as though the dry food has over three times the percentage of protein if you go by these numbers. But you need to remove the water from the wet food to calculate the protein percentage in the ‘dry matter’.

So, remove the water which is 78% of the total wet food.

That leaves 22% dry matter.

Then, divide the protein (8%) in this tin, by the amount of dry matter (22%). Multiply the answer by 100 to get the percentage.

Dry Matter Protein Content = (8/22) x 100 = 36%

That’s a lot more protein than you originally thought! That doesn’t mean you need to feed your dog four times the amount of wet food that you should. It’s just a handy way to compare wet and dry food for protein. You can do the same calculation for fat and fiber content, too.

Always check ingredients on wet and dry foods, and look at the guaranteed analysis on wet foods, too. 

What Is Crude Protein?

Crude protein is actually not a true measurement of protein or protein quality. It’s a measurement of nitrogen content, which is used to indirectly calculate the crude protein.

If you want to learn more about this, you can read ‘What is Crude Protein?’

I’ve written an extensive article on the specific nutritional needs of small dogs, which you can access here.

This gives answers to the following important questions:

  • What is Considered a Small Dog Breed?
  • Do Small Dogs Need Special Food?
  • What Human Foods Can Little Dogs Eat?
  • What Do I Look For on a Dog Food Label?
  • What To Look For in Small Dog Foods
  • How Much Food Should I Give My Dog?
  • Why Are Antioxidants Important in Dog Food?
  • What are AAFCO Dog Nutrient Standards?
  • What’s The Difference Between Animal Meal and Animal By-Product?

What If My Dog Has Diarrhea After Eating New Food?

You should always introduce your dog to a new diet slowly. Just start mixing a little of the new food in with the old. Gradually increase the amount if your hound seems fine, and is enjoying it. If your dog has diarrhea, stop the new food, and see if things go back to normal. If you’re concerned, visit your local vet for advice.

Bottom Line

If you want to feed your dog optimally, check what’s in the tin, or on the bag. Some of the top quality foods can be expensive, but this is reflected in the superior ingredients. Find a brand or a combination of food that works for your budget but ensures your hound gets the best nutrition possible.

Make sure that real meat, or real meat meal is used in the recipe. That’s the best quality protein for your hound. 

Here are five wet foods I’m reviewing for you. Be sure to go and read the Best Dry Foods For Small Dogs recommendations too. It contains a lot of useful information, and you can pair up my best wet food for small dogs with the best kibble.

Blue Buffalo Delights Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food Cups, Pate Style, 3.5-oz (Pack of 12)

First three ingredients: Real meat, potatoes, meat broth (depending on flavor)

These pots contain patē style food which is extremely smooth and palatable to eat. Easy for older or sick hounds, too. 

Blue Buffalo recommends 1-2 cups per day, for small breeds 6-8 lbs.

There are seven flavors to choose from, so plenty of variety if your dog is a picky eater.

Blue Buffalo wet food contains high quality protein from real meat. There are no animal by-products, wheat, corn, flavorings or preservatives.

Pros

  • Perfect size pots
  • Quality ingredients
  • Flavor choices

Cons

  • Customers report no expiration date
  • Food can spoil quickly
  • Some dogs don’t like the pasty texture
  • Some reports of dogs having diarrhea after eating

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Purina Beneful IncrediBites Adult Wet Dog Food Variety Pack

This is an extremely popular and affordable product. The food does contain some real meat, but it isn’t the first ingredient. Water or meat broth are listed first.

The ingredients list is a mixed bag of good components, and not so good. I like all the vegetables that are listed. There are some by-products, corn and salt, to name a few things that should be kept to a minimum.

That said, there is always a compromise with affordability and food quality. This pack contains 27 cans of food for your hound, all with a touch of sauce to provide extra taste.

Pros

  • Contains real meat
  • Value for money
  • Flavor choices
  • Dogs love it

Cons

  • Can size may be too small
  • Some reports of dogs having diarrhea after eating

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Adult, Small & Toy, Variety Pack, 3.5 oz, 12 Trays

There are two flavors in this 12-tray pack. Savory stew with chicken and vegetables, or beef and vegetables. This diet is nutritionally formulated for dogs aged 1- 6 years.

First three ingredients: water or broth, chicken or beef, pork liver.

Good quality protein for building and maintaining lean muscle. Also contains omega 6 fatty acids & vitamin E for your hound’s skin and coat.

Pros

  • Vet recommended
  • Trusted brand
  • Dogs love it
  • Good quality protein
  • Contains vegetables

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • Contains wheat and starch

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Halo Grain Free Natural Wet Dog Food, Small Breed Chicken & Salmon Recipe, 5.5-Ounce Can (Pack of 12)

First three ingredients: chicken, broth, chicken liver. 

Next three ingredients: salmon, carrots and peas.

Excellent quality protein, non-GMO vegetables, no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives of any kind and BPA free cans. That means the container is safe to use for food, as no substances will leach into the wet food.

The outstanding quality of the HALO food is reflected in the slightly higher price point.

Pros

  • High quality protein
  • No modified vegetables
  • Safe packaging
  • Made in the USA with known ingredients

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like taste
  • Higher price point

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Merrick Lil Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack – (12) 3.5 Oz. Tubs

First three ingredients: Real meat, broth, liver.

These little meals are packed with good quality protein. They’re grain and gluten free, so highly digestible. Each tub has a good amount of fruit and vegetable matter for fiber.

Merrick uses beef, chicken, salmon, duck, lamb, turkey and rabbit in their meals. There are so many flavor choices to tempt your small hound’s taste buds. I know my dogs love variety in their diet.

Merrick lil plates are an affordable option for good quality, protein rich food.

Pros

  • Good quality ingredients
  • Affordable
  • Dogs love it
  • Good for picky eaters
  • No fillers
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like taste
  • Tubs could be bigger

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Conclusion

All these wet dog foods have some great features. As is true of all food items, the better quality products are always going to cost more. It really is a case of weighing up what you can afford, and getting the best food you can afford comfortably.

This is a difficult choice, but there is a clear winner for me, and that’s the Merrick Lil Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack – (12) 3.5 Oz. Tubs.  

Merrick uses good quality protein in all their meals, and this is so important for small dogs to keep their health and energy. There are enough vegetables in each tub to keep me satisfied that my dog is getting enough fibre and nutrient support. The price tag is a little less than some high grade foods on the market, but I don’t think there’s too much compromise on quality with Merrick wet food.

I also really like the flavor choices. Enough variety to satisfy the pickiest eater.

As you know, I’m a proponent of feeding a mix of dry and wet food. Head over to read my reviews of Best Dry Food for Small Dogs.

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