Low Sodium Diet for Dogs

A low sodium diet for dogs is recommended in dogs that have certain health issues such as kidney damage, but may also be prescribed to dogs that are obese or older. A dog that is on a low sodium diet has to be monitored and the vet has to be consulted for recommendations in case the diet has to be altered in any way. Some dogs require a low sodium diet for life, while others may return to a normal diet once their health condition improves.

Conditions that Require Low Sodium Diet

A low sodium diet is mainly recommended in dogs that are affected by the following conditions:

  • Kidney damage or kidney disease
  • Heart disease

Dogs that are at risk of developing these conditions should also be put on a low sodium diet, to prevent the occurrence of these health problems.

Vets may recommend low sodium diet in dogs that are obese and are on a diet or dogs that are older and may have a more difficult time assimilating the sodium in the diet, resulting in water retention.

Dogs that take certain medications such as prednisone or other corticosteroids may experience water retention and this may be reduced by putting the pet on a low sodium diet.

Low Sodium Food for Canines

Sodium is most often found in table salt, but there are several ingredients that naturally contain sodium. Processed foods typically contain a higher amount of sodium than organic ingredients.

Low sodium food for canines may be purchased in pet stores, but this may also be made at home. Regardless of the food you choose for your pet, you need to make sure that he sticks to his own food and don’t feed him table scraps, which often contain sodium and may even harm your pet.

The treats you give to your pet should also be low in sodium. Many artificial flavored treats contain a lot of sodium, so you need to check the labels of the treats you buy. Consult your vet about the optimum amount of sodium your dog can eat. This depends on the dog’s age, size and health condition. It’s important to give your pet a low amount of sodium to prevent sodium deficiency or hyponatremia.

Prepare Low Sodium Food at Home

Some pet owners prefer to prepare the food at home to be able to control the amount of sodium that goes into the dog’s daily diet. The diet must be carefully monitored and a vet should be consulted to determine the main ingredients and the amounts needed by the dog. Typically, the dog will need to get a source of protein, which can be obtained from beef or chicken. The meat may be combined with rice or cornmeal, but salt shouldn’t be added to the mix. Salt without sodium can be used, but this will have a different taste, which not all dogs like. The dog may also get organic vegetables and fruits as treats.