Did you even know that sodium was an issue for dogs? Hopefully you didn’t find out the hard way. Here are the best low sodium dog food options for your best friend.
When most of us think of sodium, we probably don’t consider our dog.
We probably don’t imagine what an excess of sodium is doing to his kidneys and his heart.
We probably don’t picture him standing in front of a mirror complaining that all the water retention is making him look fat (and his collar is way too tight too!).
We probably don’t think of sodium in the canine sense at all.
But, even though we take it with a grain of salt, sodium isn’t any better for dogs than it is their human owners.
According to Pet MD, eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and excessive urination in your four-legged friend, two things that disrupt the electrolyte balance essential for survival (not to mention plain ol’ health).
Symptoms of this excess salt can range from minor episodes, such as depression, tremors, and vomiting, to life-threatening complications and eventual death.
Often, you can avoid too much sodium in your dog’s diet by limiting their access to human food.
This means not feeding them things like pretzels or popcorn or any heavily-salted treats, not even when they look super cute as they’re begging with their big, adorable eyes.
Other times, you need to go one step further and actively look for a dog food designed to help regulate salt intake. If your pet has certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease where pollutants may not be removed from the body as easily as they usually are, these low sodium options become even more important.
In dogs of advanced age, a low sodium diet is also essential.
Best Low Sodium Dog Food
It can be hard to decide what dog food to get for your pet, even when you’re looking for something specific. After all, you probably won’t participate in any kind of taste test (unless, of course, that’s your thing).
But, speaking with your veterinarian about low sodium choices is a good place to start.
Some of the options below are also worth a try:
1. Purina Veterinary Diets Canine NF Kidney Function
This dog food helps restore normal kidney function in your dog’s glands. It contains low sodium, high potassium, and boosted omega-3s and omega-6s.
All of these ingredients are designed to help bolster the ability of the urinary tract and assure it does its job correctly. Namely, that it removes all the impurities from your dog’s system, instead of just some kibbles and bits.
2. Hill’s Prescription Diet h/d Cardiac Health
As a few of us might remember from high school biology class, the heart and the kidneys are in cahoots with each other, essential BFF’s of the organ world.
For this reason, many of the dog foods that benefit cardiac health will also contain low sodium that helps the canine body maintain a normal blood pressure.
In addition to that, Hill’s has a high level of taurine to support cardiac muscle metabolism, high levels of L-Carnitine to support healthy heart function, and increased levels of Vitamin-B and magnesium to help replenish nutrients lost through the urine.
The latter is particularly essential for any dogs that are on diuretics. A healthy heart helps the kidneys stay healthy as well.
3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets (LID) Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula
Designed for dogs of all ages, Natural Balance is intended to keep digestion in working order.
Its formula helps minimize the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to, while removing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
As an added bonus it also helps the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
The above brands are a good place to start.
Of course, your dog may have other ideas – some dogs will eat anything you put in front of them (my dog once ate a Starburst wrapper); others will look at you as if they expect pork chops or veal instead of whatever mush you’ve ultimately dished.
There might be some trial and error, at least in the beginning (or until they get desperate and hungry enough).
Perhaps you’ve already been down this road and know what low sodium foods work the best.
If that’s the case, please feel free to share with our readers your wags of wisdom.