As a pet owner, you should be a responsible individual and choose the best low sodium dog food. You need to treat him as part of your family, this means that you always have to be careful of his welfare, including the food he consumes.
A common mistake that pet parents do is feed their dogs just about any dog food. They do not check the label whether it contains safe ingredients. Sadly, there are some dog food brands that contain a lot of sodium.
Just like humans, your dog may be harmed by a high sodium diet. Too little of it can also be bad for his health. This is why you need to maintain sodium balance in his body, just as you would with your own diet.
If your dog continues to have a high sodium diet, he could have a high blood pressure and be at risk for heart problems.
There is a problem, however, since a number of dogs are prone to these diseases. Some of the factors that can contribute to the risk include a dog’s age, genetics, or a high sodium diet.
If you want to make sure your dog remains healthy, the best option is to go with a low sodium diet.
Best Low Sodium Dog Foods
#1 – The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Dog Food
#2 – Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food
#3 – Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
#4 – Royal Canin Boxer Dry Dog Food
#5 – Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
But in order to know what’s good for your dog, it’s important to know what sodium is, its benefits, and how much sodium should dog food have. And if ever, it’s also worth knowing how to make dog food at home so you can make it on your own.
Before proceeding, it is important that you consult with a veterinarian to see how a low sodium diet will affect your dog. Remember, too much or too little of sodium can be a bad thing. You need to put a balance on both.
Is sodium good for dogs?
Before anything, sodium has a number of benefits to both the body and the health. However, it needs to be taken in moderate quantities. You have to remember to avoid too much or too little sodium in your dog’s diet and just put a balance on things.
Sodium is good for your dog’s body so it can fully develop and grow without any abnormalities. Healthy dogs are capable of taking a rich sodium diet without the risk for high blood pressure or water retention.
Unfortunately, senior dogs or those who already have organ problems stand on the other end of the spectrum. You need to carefully monitor the food they consume and even come up with a diet consisting of dog food low in sodium.
Why a low sodium dog food diet?
When you mindlessly feed your dog just about anything, you could be putting him up at risk for major health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease. If you want your dog to live longer and enjoy his life, it is best that you follow a low salt dog food diet.
Here are the benefits of following this diet:
- Keeps your dog hydrated – Excessive salt intake can make anyone salty. If your dog’s diet consists of a lot of sodium, he could quickly be dehydrated. By following a low salt diet, your dog can stay hydrated for longer.
- Healthy kidneys and organs – When your dog drinks too much water, there is a chance that he could have swollen kidneys and a circulatory system that will cause him to have diarrhea or to vomit. With the right water intake, your dog’s kidneys and other organs remain healthy.
- Improves heart health – Dogs with a heart condition have a harder time to process sodium ions. This is why it is important to have a low sodium diet.
- Lowers blood pressure – Low blood pressure lowers the risk for strokes, heart attacks, and other heart ailments that may be catastrophic to your dog in the long run.
- Improves muscle strength – Senior dogs commonly suffer from poor muscle or nerve function. With a low salt diet, your dog’s muscle strength can be improved and it also lessens the chance of contracting osteoporosis.
Always check with your veterinarian whether your dog is suitable for a low sodium diet.
So how much sodium should dog food have?
According to Vermont Veterinary Cardiology Services, the right amount of sodium in your dog’s food should follow this guideline:
- Mild Sodium Diet – 80-100 mg per 100 calories or 0.3-0.4% (of DRY matter)
- Moderate Sodium Diet – 50-80 mg per 100 calories or 0.2-0.3%
- Marked Sodium Diet – 40-50 mg per 100 calories or 0.15-0.2%
- Extreme Sodium Diet – 20-40 mg per 100 calories or 0.075-0.15%
The guidelines show that a dog’s diet should have an average sodium intake not higher than 100 mg per 100 calories of metabolized energy.
There are, of course, some factors that need to be considered, such as weight, size, breed, and health restrictions. The dog’s breed plays a vital role in this since there are some health conditions that are genetically passed onto other dogs.
When in doubt, it is always best to consult your veterinarian.
How to pick dog food low in sodium content
Now that you know the ideal sodium content in your dog’s diet, the next thing to do is to meticulously pick out the right dog food to give him. When it comes to this, there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration:
Type of food
Dog food is typically available in either dry or wet variety. Does your dog have a preference over the two? Is he able to chew properly? Or does he have sensitive teeth? These are some things you need to assess when choosing the type of food to feed your dog.
Dog size and age
Dogs vary in size and breed. This is why you have to carefully assess how much sodium your dog’s diet should contain. The good thing is that there are now a number of low sodium options you can pick out depending on your dog’s age and size. Just make sure that you are choosing the option and size of serving that fits your dog’s dietary needs.
Flavor and nutritional value
Lastly, you also have to consider the flavor and nutritional value of the dog food you choose. If your dog has a preference for chicken over beef, look for a low sodium variety that he can continue to enjoy.
This will make his transition to a low sodium diet a much easier one. Whenever in doubt, read the nutritional information of the dog food you are planning to purchase so you can be sure that you provide the right sodium level to your dog.
Food to avoid
These items contain a high amount of sodium and may be dangerous to your dog’s health. Avoid these:
- MSG – Monosodium glutamate, a sodium salt that helps improve the flavor of food and acts as a preservative. It is usually common in processed foods.
- Nitrates – This helps preserve meat products like hot dogs, ham, deli meats, and bacon. They contain a lot of salt, which can cause a blood disorder and high sodium level.
- Salt – Avoid feeding your dog any salty snacks like chips or pretzels.
These are just a few of the items that your dog should avoid eating. Talk with your veterinarian to know more.
Best low sodium dog food options
When you want to purchase a healthy alternative to your current dog food, it’s best to check the label to be sure that you are getting a low sodium option. Here are some of the recommended brands that you can purchase:
Hill’s Science Diet is among the most popular and high-quality dog food brands that many veterinarians recommend. This particular variant is specially made for large breeds who have more demanding needs for their diet.
If you are choosing a dog food brand that has low sodium content, you need to check the label carefully. This particular option has a light, low-calorie content, which means it promotes lean muscle. This dog food variety has a 0.35% sodium content level or 77 mg per 100 calories.
Its main ingredients include chicken meal, brewers rice, soybean oil, pea protein, vitamins, potassium, oat fiber, folic acid, apples, whole grain sorghum, broccoli, green peas, cranberries, carrots, and many other ingredients.
The diet of a small and toy breed dog is different than that of a larger dog. This is why Hill’s Science Diet’s Small and Toy Breed Dry Dog Food makes this list. It contains the right and balanced formula that small dogs can eat and digest easily.
The recipe contains high-quality natural chicken ingredients as its protein with a mix of vitamins and calcium to boost the health of your dog. There is a 76 mg per 100 calories or 0.30% sodium content level found in this dog food. Other ingredients include whole grain wheat, soybean meal, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, cracked pearl barley, and brewers rice.
One dog food product that maintains the overall health of dogs is Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets. It has a dog food formula that consists of high-quality carbohydrates and protein sources. As a result, your dog gets a healthy skin and coat and a strong digestive system.
Among the ingredients that you can find in this product include real, high-quality, and organic ingredients like turkey, chicken, salmon, beef, and rice. This particular product includes brown rice and lamb meal.
One of the advantages of the Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food is that it contains a 0.3% sodium content. Its recipe consists of a fine mix between vegetables, meats, and fruits. The dog food contains limited carbohydrates that have specially been selected. It also has Omega 3 fatty acids, which promote healthy coat and skin.
Among the ingredients that can be found in this dog food include turkey, boneless chicken, whole herring, chicken liver, green peas, blueberries, cranberries, and red and green lentils.
#Since it has these ingredients, it’s understandable why Orijen products can be a pricier option than others. But it’s a brand that can easily be trusted.
If you have a dog that is overweight, you need to get him on a diet to improve his health. This particular dog food formula is helps manage overweight dogs. Apart from having a low sodium content level, it is able to help reduce fat accumulation and weight gain. The dog food also promotes fat loss and lean muscle.
This is all made possible thanks to the natural fibers found in the formula. As a result, your dog gets to feel full for a longer time period and does not feel hungry so quickly.
Among the ingredients that you can find in this formula include whole grain corn, pea fiber, soybean meal, folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, poultry by-product meal, wheat gluten, vitamin E, D, A, B12, and many more. It has a sodium content level of 70 mg per 100 calories.
If your dog is suffering from food allergies or has a sensitive stomach, this particular dog food recipe is right for him. The recipe contains omega fatty acids that help improve joint, coat, and skin health.
You can also guarantee that this is a safe recipe since it does not contain any artificial colors, wheat, corn, flavors, or soy. Its main ingredients include oatmeal, fish meal, salmon, barley, fish oil, dried egg product, vitamin B12, and many others. The sodium content level is at 50 mg per 100 calories.
Rachael Ray has become a household name, thanks to her cooking show. With her drive to create healthy meals, she has formulated a special and natural dog food recipe that makes use of U.S. farm-raised chicken.
It contains no by-products, which means your dog is eating real meat. It also does not contain any preservatives or artificial flavors, wheat gluten, wheat, or fillers.
Instead of these things, the recipe is packed with chicken, chicken meal, carrots, soybean meal, ground rice, poultry fat, beet pulp, whole grain corn, dehydrated alfalfa, brown rice, dried peas, olive oil, calcium, zinc, folic acid, vitamin E, D, B12, and many more.
Royal Canin has specifically designed dog food for certain breeds, which contain the right nutritional content for their needs.
Among the breeds that are most susceptible to heart disease are boxers, which is why Royal Canin has created dry dog food specifically for adult boxers to meet the nutrients they need to maintain protein levels, muscle mass, and promote a healthy heart.
The recipe contains 50 mg per 100 calories of sodium and has a mix of chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, oat groats, chicken fat, and brown rice.
The Honest Kitchen was founded by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan as a way of providing safe and effective products to American consumers.
Among the products they cater to include low sodium dog food made from high quality materials and in a human-grade facility.
The difference between them and other brands is that they use fresh food, which makes a huge difference in flavor and in getting optimal health benefits.
The dog food produced by The Honest Kitchen contains a rich amount of protein and carbs. It is available in dehydrated form, so it just requires adding water to the bowl.
This is a great option if you want to feed your dog homemade food but don’t have a lot of time to prepare it from scratch.
As a dog parent, you need to make sure your dog is getting the best out of the food you are feeding him. Even if you are giving him treats, you need to make sure that they are low sodium variants so you do not compromise his health.
With so many different low sodium dog food options available in the market these days, it’s not at all difficult to transition to a healthy diet. You can find different flavors, prices, formulas, and benefits with all these dog food variants.
You’ll be able to find the right formula for your dog, depending on his dietary needs. But as always, remember to check with your veterinarian before switching your dog to this kind of diet.