Reducing Canine Heart Failure Risk With a Low-Salt Diet

Canine heart failure is a health problem that mostly affects older and overweight dogs, but can occur in dogs of all sizes and breeds. A diet high in salt leads to fluid retention, which puts added pressure on the heart and forces it to work harder.

Fluid retention eventually causes congestive heart failure with oedema, or swelling, in the abdomen, lungs, and liver. A low-salt diet will not only help to prevent canine heart problems, but can also reduce swelling, a major symptom of congestive heart failure.

Introducing a Low-Salt Diet

Take the following things into consideration when starting your dog's low-salt diet:

  • Many commercial dog foods are high in salt. Check your labels and watch out for sodium content.
  • Consider making your own homemade dog food so you can control salt levels in the diet. 
  • Ease your dog into any new diet by gradually mixing old and new foods together to avoid any digestive troubles. 
  • Salty table scraps should be completely cut out of your dog's diet.
  • Tap water can also be a source of sodium, so try switching to bottled or distilled water.

Dogs may eat less on a low-salt diet and lose weight, which will also help reduce symptoms of heart failure.