return to homepage

What Pet Owners Should Know About Low Sodium Dog Food

In most instances, low sodium dog food is usually recommended by a veterinarian due to certain health problems. Normally, sodium is one of the essential minerals that canines need to thrive.

The Importance of Sodium for Dogs

Sodium serves several purposes for our dogs as first it maintains healthy cells and keeps them from becoming either too swollen or too dehydrated. Canines also need sodium for maintaining optimal nerve and muscle function on a cellular level.

Sodium helps to make some foods more palatable not only for humans but for dogs as well, and you'll usually find it listed on the labels of commercial dog foods as salt. Some natural sources of sodium for dogs include eggs, fish, meats, and poultry.

The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), the group that oversees the policies, manufacturing, and sales of pet foods, recommends that at a minimum, dry dog food contain at least 0.3% of sodium in order to support normal growth and development.

Why Your Pet Might Need a Low Sodium Dog Food

At the other end of the spectrum, too much salt can cause a number of health problems for some dogs. In others, it might just cause an increase in thirst or the need for more water.

In a healthy dog, the excess sodium is excreted through the urine without worry of an increase in their blood pressure or gaining excess water weight. But for some dogs, especially older ones, their systems can't handle the extra salt, even the amount in regular dog food, and will require a low sodium alternative. Keep in mind that just because older dogs are most likely to need a low sodium food, an aging pet who is healthy should still be able to enjoy their normal food without restricting their salt intake.

A veterinarian might recommend switching to a low sodium dog food for a number of reasons, but most of the time, these reasons would involve heart disease or congestive heart failure or diseases of the kidneys or liver. A dog might also need less sodium if their blood pressure is too high or if they are retaining excessive fluids.

Congestive heart failure in dogs is a serious and unfortunately, common ailment that's rather painful for both the pet and the owner who has to witness their beloved animal suffering. However, an early diagnosis with intervention, medical treatment, and a low sodium dog food can all help to bring about comfort and lessen the effects of this devastating condition.

Best Brands of Low Sodium Dog Food

Three of the best brands of low sodium dog food on the market today based on ingredients, price, and consumer opinion include:

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Renal LP 11 Modified Formula

This formula contains rice, brown rice, ground corn, chicken fat, and natural flavors. This dry dog food is only available with a veterinarian's prescription and is intended for dogs going through renal failure. In addition to moderate sodium restriction, phosphorous is also limited in this variety from Royal Canin. A 5.5 lb. bag costs around $17, while a 16 lb. bag costs around $36.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula

This formula contains lamb meal, brown rice, ground white rice, rice bran, and canola oil. It contains only one source of proteins and one source of carbohydrates, along with no artificial preservatives, colorants, or flavors. A 5 lb. bag costs around $10 while a 28 lb. bag costs around $40.

Innova Low Fat Adult Formula

This formula contains turkey, chicken, barley, brown rice, and potatoes. It contains 40% less fat than Innova's regular adult dog food and contains wholesome ingredients from all of the basic food groups. A 15 lb. bag costs around $29 while a 30 lb. bag costs around $55.

Final Comments

If a low sodium dog food is recommended for your pet, be sure to read all labels carefully and gradually make the switch in their food to avoid stomach upsets. Also, avoid giving them "people" food as most will contain too much salt for your pet to handle.

Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?