Table of Contents
- Best Low-Sodium Food for Dogs: Winners
- Best Low-Sodium Treats for Dogs: Winners
- Best Low-Sodium Dog Food
- Best Low-Sodium Dog Treats
- When is Low-Sodium Dog Food Recommended?
- How to Know if My Dog Needs Low-Sodium Food?
- Recommended Sodium Levels for Canines
- What is a Low-Sodium Diet for Dogs?
- No-Sodium vs. Low-Sodium
- What to Look for in a Low-Sodium Dog Food
It’s always fun to spoil your dog with something new every once in a while.
It’s why you might pick up another pack of tennis balls while you’re at the store or surprise them with a bone on the weekend.
You might also want to spoil your pup with something delicious, but many dogs have dietary restrictions.
One of the most common is blood pressure issues, which forces owners to be careful about how much sodium their dog consumes.
If you feel like your dog has limited diet options because they’re sensitive to sodium, read about the best low-sodium dog food and treats that you can find on the market.
Your dog may find something new to fall in love with, so they don’t have to eat the same one or two products for the rest of their lives.
Best Low-Sodium Dog Food
Don’t worry about sorting through every bag of dog food at your local pet store.
Check out these best low-sodium dog food brands to see which one might be best for your furry friend.
Purina made their sensitive stomach formula for dogs with all kinds of health and nutrition issues.
It should solve the mystery of finding your dog a low-sodium kibble that’s great for their health and tastes good too.
Hill’s is a brand driven by finding tailored nutrition for your dog’s health.
This is an easy choice for dog owners looking for a low-sodium alternative for their pup, although you may have to introduce the food slowly to their system to avoid upset.
Honest Kitchen is a great brand for dogs who need organic food that’s freshly made.
It’s low-sodium and perfect for furry friends also looking to lose weight, but be prepared to pay a bit more and prepare it differently than traditional kibble.
Blue Buffalo is one of the leading pet food brands in the world, so it may provide the nutritional balance your dog is looking for.
As long as your dog stays active and tries out the food slowly, it’s a low-sodium alternative that should be safe for their health.
The people over at Hill’s want to make dog food that changes lives.
If your vet recommends it, they can write you a prescription so your dog gets the heart health care and low-sodium food they need with Hill’s Prescription Diet Heart Care food.
Wellness makes a great low-sodium puppy food with premium ingredients, but make sure you check the nutrition label on the bag if you know your dog may not be able to digest peas and oatmeal.
Dogs with health conditions that require low-sodium diets trust Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Sodium Chicken recipe.
Even though you’ll pay more for it, you’ll get expertly designed food that will never make you worry about their sodium intake again.
Best Low-Sodium Dog Treats
Even if you find the best low-sodium kibble for your dog, they still need to stick with their diet when they get the occasional treat.
Use these treats to give them some variety and remind them how great they are.
Hill’s Soft Baked Grain Free treats will go easy on your dog’s health, so try them out and see what your dog thinks of the size, softness, and taste.
Sometimes it’s hard to be a pet parent on a budget, but Nudges makes it easy to find some extra pocket change and turn it into treats.
Their steak Grillers are popular with dogs of all ages, and shouldn’t cause any resulting heart issues related to sodium sensitivities.
Indulge your dog’s natural instincts with Stella and Chewy’s Carnivore Crunch Grass Fed Beef freeze-dried treats.
They’ll enjoy every bite while you take comfort in the fact that your dog’s blood pressure is in no danger if you slip them an extra treat or two.
Finding organic treats can be a great improvement for any dog, so try out Zuke’s treats for low-sodium goodness that your dog will love.
When is Low-Sodium Dog Food Recommended?
Some dog owners will spend decades with all their pups and never have to worry about their sodium intake.
Vets only recommend a low-sodium diet if a dog exhibits certain health symptoms. The dog may have heart issues, liver problems, or issues with their kidney.
All of these organs are essential in decreasing high blood pressure and regulating the amount of body fluid in a dog at any given time.
Elderly dogs may also need little sodium dog food because they’re more likely to develop these issues with age, but it depends on previous health conditions and their current lifestyle.
How to Know if My Dog Needs Low-Sodium Food?
Your dog may need low-sodium food if they suffer from hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure.
This happens when a dogs arterial blood pressure is higher than average levels on a daily basis.
Sometimes a dog can get this health condition if they have the genetic component for it, which is difficult to recognize if you don’t know who your dog’s parents were.
You should switch your dog to low-sodium food if your vet recommends it or if you see your dog experiencing the following symptoms:
- Dilated pupils
- Blood in the urine
- Weakness in the body or legs
Your vet will be able to spot other symptoms as well, such as protein in the urine or swollen kidneys.
Always go in for a check up if you think your dog may have blood pressure issues.
Recommended Sodium Levels for Canines
Salt in itself isn’t bad for dogs.
Dogs should have a small amount of sodium in their diet, usually between .25 g and 1.5 g in a serving.
When a dog doesn’t have blood pressure issues and gets the right amount of sodium in their diet, the salt will maintain their fluid balance and improve their nervous system.
Although this is the average sodium level for canines, a dog with hypertension should get a recommended projection from their vet.
What is a Low-Sodium Diet for Dogs?
A low-sodium diet for dogs will limit how much sodium they get per meal and in each treat.
Depending on the condition of their heart, they could be restricted to different amounts of sodium. The most common level to shoot for is somewhere between 50 to 90 mg of sodium per serving.
You may be able to find sodium on a nutrition label, but it will be difficult to find the milligrams per serving on a standard bag.
Most dog food brands go into more depth for each product on their website or you can always call their customer service number and ask for a more detailed account of the sodium in a specific blend.
No-Sodium vs. Low-Sodium
Adult dogs and even elderly dogs don’t automatically require a low to no sodium diet because of their age.
You should only consider a low-sodium diet if your pet shows deteriorating health signs that may be related to their heart, kidneys, or liver.
Some dog parents believe that a no-sodium diet would be preferable to any sodium at all.
Unless your dog has a very severe case of hypertension, this isn’t recommended.
Always talk with your vet about any concerns you have regarding your dog sodium intake.
Even if they recommend a no-sodium diet, your vet may ask that your dog take a minimal sodium supplement so their body naturally balances fluid and regulates their health.
What to Look for in a Low-Sodium Dog Food
Most of the time, low-sodium dog foods will look almost identical to every other bag of food in a pet store.
Here are a few key factors to look for before buying any new food for your dog.
Avoid Artificial Additives, Colors, and Flavors
Dogs with sensitivities to sodium most likely have other food sensitivities as well. Artificial additives, flavors, and colors often triggered food allergies.
They’re also usually added to kibble that lacks flavor or ingredient quality, so they’re a good indication that the food isn’t as premium as the bag may say.
Check for Whole Protein Sources
Whole protein is a natural way to balance your dogs nutrition, but it isn’t always used in dog food.
It’s cheaper and easier for massive brands to use beef by-products that have the same flavor as beef or chicken.
The good news is that it’s easy to ensure that your dog is eating whole protein and not a high-sodium filler. Whole protein is always listed as the first ingredient on any nutrition label.
Meat meals are a close second to whole protein, but they will include animal parts other than just meat.
Dogs can eat meat meal, but it won’t be a singular source of protein like whole meat is.
Get a Weight-Management Formula
Your dog may have hypertension or blood pressure issues, but they don’t necessarily need to lose weight.
You may worry about putting them on a weight-management formula could cause them to lose unnecessary amounts of weight, but it can actually help them.
Weight-management formulas are almost always low-sodium and won’t spike blood pressure or blood sugar when consumed.
The bags may advertise that they are weight loss friendly, but not mention low-sodium. It’s all part of their marketing plan to target dogs that need to lose weight, but the low-sodium will still be part of the formula.
Once you start exploring the world of low-sodium dog food, you’ll see that you have many options to choose from.
I still believe that Purina’s Sensitive Stomach formula is the best option out there.
It’s designed so that it doesn’t trigger any other allergies and is safe for most dogs with health issues to consume. It’s also recommended by many vets around the world as a safe form of kibble and a budget-friendly alternative to expensive blood pressure medications.
As always, you can consult with your dog’s vet if you have any concerns about potential new kibble.
They’ll happily look into the nutritional info with you and make sure it’s right for your dog.
You should also be aware that low-sodium kibble will help your dogs health, but should never take the place of any prescribed medications.
How Much Sodium Should a Dog Have?
The right amount of sodium for a dog depends on their weight and age.
A 33 pound dog can enjoy 100 mg of sodium a day, but no more than that.
Always ask your veterinarian about the right dosage for your dog, as it’s specific to each case.
What Happens if My Dog Overdoses on Sodium?
Salt poisoning is a real health condition that dogs sometimes experience.
They can get it from their diet or from eating non-edible things like Play-Doh or paintballs.
Salt poisoning leads to symptoms such as: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lethargy, Excessive thirst, Decreased Appetite, Seizures, and Tremors.
If you suspect that your dog has overdosed on sodium, you should get them to an emergency animal hospital right away for life-saving treatment.
Is Dog Food High in Sodium?
All dog food will have some amount of sodium in it, although the amount depends on the brand and purpose of the food.
Weight-management food will have much less sodium than kibble that isn’t concerned with health sensitivities.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommend at least .3% sodium in traditional dry dog foods, although that amount may be high for dogs with severe blood pressure issues.
Is a Little Salt Okay for Dogs?
Dogs should stay away from salty human foods, such as chips and crackers.
Dog food and treats are specifically formulated for the amount of salt a dog needs per serving. Too much salt from human foods will result in sodium overdose symptoms.
When dogs eat food made for them, it’s safe to consume if it has a little salt in it. Unless your dog has blood pressure issues, they need some salt to regulate their health.
Are Greenies Dog Treats High in Sodium?
Greenies are designed to be safe for all dogs to eat, so they are generally low in sodium.
A pill pocket tablet contains 11.33 mg of sodium and pill pocket capsules contain 28.34 mg per pocket.
One or two of these at a time may be fine for dogs with blood pressure problems, but eating them all day long would be bad for their health.
Still Have Questions?
Ask a Vet!