Dog Breeds, Health, Training & Nutrition

Best Low Sodium Dog Food in 2019: The Ultimate Guide

Is your dog eating too much salt? If you’re feeding your pet pooch a high-sodium diet or it has health conditions like high blood pressure, then it’s time to consider some changes. That can include the best low sodium dog food.

Sodium is an important ingredient in commercial dog food. It’s added in the form of table salt. The key is to make sure not to overdo when picking or making low-sodium wet or dry dog foods. We’ll take up issues like how much salt your dog needs, which foods to avoid, and some of the top low-salt dog foods at retailers like Amazon.


Best Low Sodium Dog Food for Adult Dogs

#1 Low-Sodium Dry Dog food (Catfish) by Zignature

Zignature was founded in 2010. The company has become well-known for its products that are limited-ingredients and protein-rich. This matches up with domesticated dogs’ diets when they likely evolved from grey wolves up to 32,000 years ago. Interestingly Zignature has stated publicly won’t lower its standards in order to boost profits.

This low-sodium dog food from Zignature includes Catfish as the main protein source. So, if you want your dog to consume a lower amount of sodium in its diet, then this is a good option.

This is a hypo-allergenic food that includes a meat-first protein. It contains no:

  • Chicken/Chicken byproducts
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat

The dry dog food does contain many important nutrients dogs need including vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Since the food is low-sodium, your dog gets the health benefits from salt without the possible problems of high sodium levels.

The dog food provides several health benefits that include digestion, muscles, hormones, etc. So, it’s not only delicious for your pet pooch but also nutritious.

Features

  • Health benefits like digestion, hormones, muscles, etc.
  • Low-sodium Formula
  • First ingredient is animal protein
  • Limited-ingredient dog food with no fillers like wheat, corn, soy, and dairy
  • Hypoallergenic recipe

Pros

  • No fillers
  • Limited ingredient
  • Low sodium

Cons

  • Catfish protein
  • Some dogs don’t like kibble
  • No chicken products

Click here to see reviews and prices for the Low-Sodium Dry Dog food on Amazon.com

#2 Pro Plan Adult Dry Dog Food (Chicken & Rice) by Purina

Nestle Purina PetCare is under the umbrella company Nestle. It makes various product lines including Purina Dog Chow and Purina ONE. The company was formed in 2001 when it acquired Ralston Purina. This company was founded 120+ years ago in 1894 and was headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA).

Purina Pro Plan is dry dog food for adult canines. It’s Chicken & Rice flavor. This dog food features high-quality real chicken as the first ingredient. It also contains rice, which functions as a carb source for energy.

The chicken has been shredded to provide a great texture for your canine. This keeps the dog engaged when eating, which can sometimes be difficult. This Purina dog food includes ideal levels of protein and fat for your canine.

Purina Pro Plan also includes other nutrients that are important for your dog’s health. They include probiotics added to improve the dog’s digestive system. There are also other important nutrients your dog needs for good health. They include:

  • Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) for good skin/coat
  • Wheat bran (prebiotic fiber) for digestive health

 Features

  • Probiotics for digestion
  • Chicken & Rice formula
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Rice provides carbs and energy
  • Ingredients picked for adult dogs

Pros

  • Good nutrition and affordable price
  • Good food for old dogs
  • Easy for dogs to chew

Cons

  • Gives dogs bad breath
  • Sometimes makes dogs ill
  • Sometimes has moths

Click here to see reviews and prices for the Pro Plan Adult Dry Dog Food on Amazon.com

#3 Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Dog Food by Hill’s Science Diet

This dog food is produced by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. The company is under the parent company Colgate-Palmolive. Hill’s was founded 110+ years ago in 1907 and is headquartered in the US state Kansas. Meanwhile, Science Diet was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Mark L. Morris.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness offers a well-balanced dog food. It can provide health boosts for adult dogs between the ages of 1-6.

Science Diet is made from real chicken. This helps the dog maintain good body weight and maintain strong/lean muscles.

The dog food contains ingredients with nutrients the dog needs. There are antioxidants through Vitamin C/E to help boost your dog’s immune system. Vitamin E helps promote healthy skin and coat within 30 days. There’s also a blend of omega-6 fatty acids.

The ingredients are healthy and easy to digest. They also contain no additives like artificial colors/flavors/preservatives. This improves the nutritional value of dog food and helps to prevent health conditions like allergic reactions.

This product also includes the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee from Hill’s. You can get a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied with the product. After returning unused food to Amazon, you can then receive a full refund. Make sure to read details about the process at Amazon Returns Center.

Features

  • Antioxidant blend w/ Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Well-balanced dog food
  • Made with real chicken
  • High-quality ingredients w/ no artificial colors/flavors/preservatives

Pros

  • Improves the health of the skin/coat
  • Good food for maintaining weight
  • Dogs like the taste

Cons

  • Sometimes causes digestion problems
  • Might cause an allergic reaction
  • Some batches bad

Click here to see reviews and prices for the Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Dog Food on Amazon.com


The Best Low Sodium Puppy Food

#1 Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Potato & Duck) by Natural Balance

Natural Balance is a pet food company founded nearly three decades ago in 1989. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California (USA). The company is under the umbrella company Big Heart Pet Brands.

This Limited Ingredient dog food is a puppy kibble that contains duck and potato. It contains ingredients like DHA from salmon oil to provide health benefits including brain development. It also doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, which can cause health problems for dogs.

The product features high-quality natural ingredients including animal proteins. These items are carefully selected to provide the best results possible in terms of taste and nutrition. The nutrients provided by the dog food include:

  • Protein
  • Omega 3
  • DHA
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

The main protein source is duck, which isn’t often found in pet food. It’s a good choice for puppies that have food allergies and might have problems with other animal proteins like chicken.

This dry food has a limited carb source of potatoes. This vegetable is easy for dogs to digest and also premium quality. It provides your puppy with the daily energy they need.

When customers have questions about the company’s products, they can speak with a Veterinary Technician. They have training in animal health science and can help you select the right food for your pet.

The food is also safety tested. This helps to make sure your dog is eating safe/healthy food. Every batch is tested at the company’s in-house lab. In fact, the company conducts several tests to ensure the food contains a high level of safety.

Natural Balance provides a Buy with Confidence promise that provides a guarantee for the company’s decades of experience. That’s because the company wants to provide nutritious and safe food for its customers.

Features

  • Good for brain development
  • Grain-free puppy food
  • Limited ingredient dog food
  • Kibble shaped for young dogs
  • No artificial colors/flavors/preservatives

Pros

Cons

  • Some bad batches
  • Food sometimes has a strange smell
  • Some dogs don’t like chicken

Click here to see reviews and prices for the Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food on Amazon.com


Why Low Sodium Foods Are Needed for Your Dog

Why should you consider options like low sodium wet dog food? This is a critical question since it’s important to know why you should even consider low-sodium products.

The commercial pet food industry is big business and last year reached sales of about $75 billion worldwide. Buying wet food or kibble for your dog can provide many benefits.

The main one is convenience since many pet owners don’t have the time or energy to prepare homemade food for their doggies. Fresh is best, but sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Dogs actually need some salt in their food. It can provide benefits for their nervous system and muscles, for example. Just like salt can add flavor to human food it can also enhance flavors of dog food.

The best answer usually isn’t a no-sodium diet since it can also cause some unwanted health conditions. The key is to pick food that contains about 0.3% sodium.

The problem is many dog foods on the market today are loaded with salt. Just like humans, dogs can develop health problems when they consume too much salt. High sodium diets can cause various serious diseases. The good news is you can change your mutt’s diet to help prevent them.

Feeding your dog low-sodium food can provide several benefits including:

Energy

A low-sodium diet can help to boost your dog’s energy levels. That, in turn, can help to keep your canine fit and boost its overall health.

Control blood pressure

Low-sodium food helps to prevent the dog’s blood sugar level from increasing. It also helps to control blood pressure. These benefits help to make the dog look healthy and active.

Skin/Coat

If your dog is eating a low-sodium food, then the skin/hair will be healthier. A high-salt diet can cause problems like dry skin and dull coat.

Lower body fluid

When the kidneys retain sodium, this produces less urine. That, in turn, can cause a spike in blood volume.

Strong immune system

A low-sodium diet can help boost your dog’s immune system. This, in turn, will help to prevent various possible health conditions you’ll certainly want to avoid.

Prevents kidney/liver/heart disease

If you want to improve your dog’s heart health, then consider low-salt food. This can help to maintain a healthy heart and prevent various conditions like heart disease.

The old saying “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies to salt food in dog food. This is why you should start feeding your dog low-sodium options as soon as possible.

That brings us to a common misconception that only old dogs need low-salt diets. In fact, young dogs/puppies also need that kind of food since they can suffer from the same negative effects of consuming too much salt.


What to Look For in Low Sodium Dog Food

When you pick a dog food that’s low-sodium here are some of the things to look for:

Breed/Age/Size

When picking a low-salt dog food make sure to consider whether it’s designed for certain dogs. That includes different breeds, sizes, and ages.

There’s usually a range in terms of the dog’s weight, big/medium/small breeds, and age. It’s a plus since it will be easier to find the right food for your mutt.

Nutrients

When picking a low/no salt dog food, it’s important not only to consider the salt content. This is certainly important to make sure “low salt” really is that. On the other hand, you should also consider the other nutrients contained in the food including:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Protein/Carbs/Fat
  • Omega-3/6
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics

Look for dog food that’s low in fillers. Many companies today add various ones like soy, corn, wheat, etc. This lowers the cost of the dog chow but also reduces the nutritional value.

While low-salt food is healthier, it’s also important for food to be high-protein. This is the most important macro-nutrient for dogs, and the protein source should be the first one listed on the label. In addition, the protein source should be a good-quality one to make sure your dog is getting the healthiest food possible.

You should also consider whether the food contains artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. These can make the dog food look/taste better but can also cause health issues for your pet pooch.

Limited Ingredient/Hypoallergenic

Your dog might have health conditions that also require these options besides low-salt. For example, hypoallergenic foods are a good option if your dog has allergic reactions to certain ingredients like chicken or wheat, for example.

Then there’s also limited-ingredient dog food. This usually includes one protein source, one carb source, and a small number of other ingredients. The small number of ingredients can provide various health benefits and help to deal with other health conditions your dog has.

Low/No Sodium

In some situations, you should consider a no-sodium dog food. For example, if your dog has an extreme medical condition, then it might be important to reduce all sodium until it recovers.

That said, in most cases, you should consider a low-sodium food. That’s because sodium can actually provide various health benefits related to the dog’s heart, kidneys, immune system, skin/coat, fluid, etc. If you eliminate all sodium from your dog’s diet, it can ironically cause new health issues, which you’ll likely want to avoid.

Wet/Dry food

Dogs tend to prefer wet food over kibble because it’s more like “real” food, but different dogs have different tastes. Wet food usually has more protein and fewer carbs than dry food. They also usually lack artificial preservatives since they’re in air-tight packaging.

On the other hand, kibble can also provide various benefits for your canine. Many dogs prefer the crunchiness of dry dog food. It also gives their teeth/jaws a better workout than canned food, so there’s that.

Another plus of kibble is longer shelf life. So, if you live far from the local supermarket or pet store, for example, low-salt dry food might be a better option.


Recommended Sodium Levels for Dogs

Dogs require a certain amount of sodium. When picking a dog food, it’s important to know the recommended level of sodium.

Different dog foods have a wide range of sodium levels. The bad news it can be tough to determine sodium levels of several good brands. The problem is dog food makers aren’t technically required to add that info to the labels.

The news isn’t all bad. If you do your homework, you can still learn the sodium content of dog food products. This, in turn, helps you pick one that’s within the range of sodium content that your dog’s veterinarian prescribes.

Animal doctors usually discuss low-sodium diets in terms of the sodium/100K calories when comparing different foods. Here are the main categories:

  • Dogs w/ no sodium restrictions: Foods with minimum 0.5% sodium content
  • Dogs w/ mild sodium restriction: Foods between 0.35%to 0.5% sodium content
  • Dogs w/ moderate sodium restriction: Foods between 01l.% to 0.35% sodium content
  • Dogs w/ severe sodium restriction: Foods under 0.1% sodium content

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) only establishes a minimum acceptable level of sodium but not a maximum amount. It’s also worth noting the National Research Council of the National Academies does provide guidelines.

The guidelines state a dog that weighs 33 pounds and burns around 1,000 calories/day shouldn’t consume over 2,000 mg/day. This is a basic guideline you can use to determine how much sodium your dog should be consuming on a daily basis.


Recommended Alternative Low Sodium Foods

If you want to pick low or salt-free dog food, then it’s important to pick foods that are low-sodium. In order to add flavor to your pet’s food, you can do it without salt and here are some of the best options:

  • Blueberries
  • Ginger
  • Green Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sage
  • Tomatoes

If you make homemade dog food, it’s highly recommended you not add any salt to it. The reason is it can cause various health problems that can be serious. You can use the above-mentioned ingredients to add flavor to dog food without salt.

Onions and garlic are ingredients that are often debated in terms of whether or not they’re healthy for dogs. There’s a lot of debate among experts. Both are considered toxic to cats/dogs, but garlic is 5x more toxic than onions. In addition, certain breeds/species are more sensitive than others.

So, it’s highly advisable to avoid feeding your dogs garlic in particular. Onions are iffier but if you want to be on the safe side then avoid both of these herbs in your homemade dog chow.


Foods to Avoid for Dogs on Low Sodium Diets

If your dog is on a low-sodium diet, then it’s critical to consider options like low sodium wet dog food brands. Here are some of the salty foods you should never feed dogs:

  • Bacon
  • Canned beans
  • Canned Entrees
  • Hot dogs/sausages
  • Pizza
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Salted Meat
  • Salted nuts
  • Salted peanuts

Key Takeaways

We’ve just reviewed some must-know information about low-sodium dog foods for your pet pooch. It’s important to know the possible health conditions sodium can cause and trigger. As we’ve shared salt can provide your canine with health benefits, but it’s important to pick/make food that contains a small amount. That, in turn, will help to avoid possible health issues.

Our pick for the best low sodium dog food is Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Dog Food by Hill’s Science Diet. This product provides balanced nutrition for dogs that include low sodium content. It also contains vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc. The food contains real chicken and doesn’t contain artificial additives. Science Diet is high-end dog food with low salt.

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