Sodium is an important mineral that needs to be included in our dog’s diet; however, like everything else, in excess, too much sodium or too little may be potentially harmful to your dog.
There are a couple of things we need to keep in mind regarding the amount of sodium in our dog’s food.
In this guide, we are going to talk about everything there is to know about low sodium dog foods, why should you give low sodium foods to your dog, and which brands have the best low sodium dog food.
But before we get to that, let ’s get an understanding of what sodium is and why it’s important.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Quick Comparison of Best Low Sodium Dog Foods
- Why Is Sodium Important?
- Symptoms of Sodium Deficiency in Dog Food
- Symptoms of Excessive Sodium in Dog Food
- How Much Sodium Should I Feed My Dog?
- Health Issues Caused by Excessive Sodium
- Health Benefits of a Low Sodium Dog Food
- How Much Sodium is “Low Sodium”?
- What to Look for in a Low-Sodium Dog Food?
- What is the Best Low Sodium Dog Food?
- In Conclusion
Quick Comparison of Best Low Sodium Dog Foods
Last update on 2018-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why Is Sodium Important?
The body requires sodium as it plays a major role in the transmission of nerve impulses, regulating blood pressure and balancing fluids; it also helps maintain normal functioning of the heart and brain.
Let’s take a look at some of the food sources of sodium in the image below.
Symptoms of Sodium Deficiency in Dog Food
Now, a deficiency in the levels of sodium in the blood leads to a condition called hyponatremia.
Some of the Symptoms are:
It can be diagnosed by doing a complete chemical blood profile, including an analysis of your dog’s urine and also electrolyte levels.
Symptoms of Excessive Sodium in Dog Food
The other side of the coin is when your dog has excess amounts of sodium in their blood.
A higher than normal concentration of sodium is known as hypernatremia.
Though some of the symptoms are similar to hyponatremia, additional symptoms include excessive loss of water and also a decreased intake of water.
Similar to sodium deficiency, excessive sodium amounts in the blood may be diagnosed through laboratory tests.
How Much Sodium Should I Feed My Dog?
Both the conditions stated above can be avoided if a balanced amount of sodium is given to your dog.
Let’s take a look at the table below to know the specific amount of sodium requirement in your dog’s food.
|Sodium Restrictions Level||Amount of Sodium to Feed Your Dog|
|Dogs with no sodium restrictions||Must be given at least 0.5% sodium in their diet, which is at least 100 mg per 100 kcal.|
|Dogs with mild sodium restrictions||Must be given about 0.35% to 0.5% in their diet, which is about 80 mg per 100 kcal.|
|Dogs with moderate sodium restrictions||Must be given about 0.1% to 0.35% in their diet, which is about which is approximately 50 mg to 80 mg per 100 kcal.|
|Dogs with severe sodium restrictions||Must be given less than 0.1% sodium content, which is less than 50 mg per 100 kcal.|
Given this basic information, you may be wondering why you should give a low sodium diet for your canine friend- read on to find out more.
Health Issues Caused by Excessive Sodium
Excessive sodium has been attributed to a number of problems in dogs, especially related to high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. And if your dog suffers from these two health issues, it’s likely you’ll want to give them a low sodium diet.
Excessive sodium has been linked to kidney and liver problems in dogs.
It also causes problems related to hydration—dogs with excess sodium in their system will always be thirsty.
Also related: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
Health Benefits of a Low Sodium Dog Food
Low sodium diets also have a number of health benefits for your dogs which include avoiding the health issues related to excess sodium such as heart, blood pressure, or liver problems.
It can help improve your dog’s kidney function, decrease the chances of osteoporosis and help prevent strokes.
How Much Sodium is “Low Sodium”?
Well, a dog food can be labeled as a “low sodium” dog food if there is less than 0.3% sodium in the dry food matter. Anything more than that is considered moderately high in sodium.
It is also important that you go for a renowned brand which offers high-quality dog food; after all, we’re talking about your dog’s health.
There are different types of low sodium diets to choose from: wet or dry. Depending on the palatability of your dog and your budget, you can decide which to give them.
What to Look for in a Low-Sodium Dog Food?
The only difference between low sodium dog food and other food is the reduced amount of sodium. However, when looking for a good low sodium dog food, we should make sure it has the qualities of other quality dog foods that are beneficial for our dogs.
Here are the key factors you should ensure in your low sodium dog food:
- A good “low sodium dog food” should have a very rich source of protein as the first ingredient- look for sources such as chicken, turkey, lamb, salmon etc.
- They should address any other health problems that your dog might face such as allergies and sensitive stomachs.
- Most importantly, they should be free of artificial preservatives.
What is the Best Low Sodium Dog Food?
Now, that you have a better understanding of the benefits of low sodium dog foods, let us help you with the process of selecting the right brand of dog food with balanced sodium in it.
In the following section, we are going to review top 5 best low sodium dog foods. We believe you will end up choosing the very right food for your canine friend.
So, let’s us jump into the review.
#1. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe
On the top of our list is Honest Kitchen’s and that is because of the excellent quality human-grade produce. It contains about 1.7% sodium which is why we have categorized it as one of the best low sodium dog foods available.
The key ingredients include dehydrated beef and eggs, organic oats, barley, and flaxseed.
Adult dogs of all breeds can easily consume it because it has minimal processing and it’s free from artificial preservatives with no byproducts or genetically modified ingredients. The beef used in the meal is raised humanely on the ranch and the product is made in the USA.
Finally, it’s a complete, balanced diet formulated to meet all the nutritional levels established by AAFCO.
#2. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food
Its key ingredients include lamb, oatmeal and ground barley. The blueberries and spinach in the formula are rich sources of antioxidants and flaxseed supports healthy skin and coat. It has lower levels of sodium which is approximately 60mg/100kcal.
It is a complete, healthy, balanced meal that supports your dog’s everyday nutrition. Made with all natural flavors and free of artificial preservatives and grains it supports your dog’s digestive health, immune system, and helps maintain healthy eyes, teeth, and gums.
It is made in the USA and is backed by the Wellness Guarantee.
#3. Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Healthy Weight
The Hill’s Science Diet Dog food is recommended by vets and is made with high-quality lean proteins which help in the maintenance of strong bones and muscles.This one contains about 0.35% sodium which is about 77mg/100kcal.
The precisely balanced nutrition help to develop premium dog food that promotes your dog’s overall health.
Key ingredients include water, whole grain corn, pork liver and pea protein—it’s definitely a good choice for a low sodium dog meal.
#4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
This meal is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
There are no artificial flavors or preservatives added and the natural prebiotics supports healthy digestion.
This is one of the best dog foods you can give your canine friend.
#5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan is one of the best dog foods you can give your dog. It supports the total well-being of your dog; they make a highly digestible formula and the high amounts of the prebiotic factor. The sodium content in here is 50mg/100kcalories.
The key ingredient here is salmon, and the other ingredients are rich in antioxidants that help support the development of the immune system.
It is filled with Omega fatty acids that promote skin, joint, and coat health.
There you go, we’ve laid out all the best low sodium dog food you can find in the market to give your dog and their benefits.
The final choice is, however, up to you and your dog. Before doing so, as we’ve already told you before, make sure to consult with your vet so that you can make the right choice. After all, our pets deserve our very best care.