Trying to determine the best food for your dog can be stressful for doggie parents. Canned food (also known as wet food), kibble, gently air dried, raw, dehydrated, semi moist — so many choices. Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Any type of dog food can be good for a dog as long as it is high in protein, contains good quality ingredients, is low on fillers and preservatives, and meets the nutritional profiles set out by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Animal proteins should always be in the top few ingredients in the ingredient list.

So, yes, canned food can absolutely be a healthy option for your adult dog or puppy. When selecting a wet food, look for the phrase “complete and balanced” on the label. This means the food can be eaten everyday and meets the nutrient profiles, or passed a AAFCO feeding trial.

“For a product to meet one of the AAFCO nutrient profiles, it must contain every nutrient listed in the profile at the recommended level,” according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Also make sure you buy a wet food that is best for your dog’s age. Puppies should be fed puppy specific food or one marked as being for all stages of growth. For puppies, you need a wet food that contains a minimum of 22.5 percent crude protein and 8.5 percent crude fat.

What, exactly, makes wet food so great for dogs?