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Low sodium dog food is a practical option for dogs in many cases. Sometimes, it’s even necessary! Just like several other elements of your dog’s daily diet, a useful amount of sodium is essential for life. But in excessive quantities, it can be toxic and cause numerous health conditions or even death.
Dogs are likely to take in more sodium than needed when consuming commercial dog food. Like us, they have multiple ways to naturally pass this excess sodium, such as drinking and urination.
However, some dogs will surely benefit from a low sodium diet. Many health problems are made worse by high sodium intakes, including heart and liver problems. With others, high sodium intake can cause them directly.
A dog with congestive heart failure will experience issues with fluid build-up. It typically gets worse when the body already has a high amount of salt. By naturally lowering the level of sodium in the system, you will help relieve some of the pressure on the organs. It will also give a great all-round boost to the dog’s health.
So let’s take a look at the best low sodium dog food options.
Best Low Sodium Dog Foods 2021
#1 Best Overall – Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
It has a healthy mix of ingredients that are easy to digest and precisely balanced to provide your canine with complete nutrition. Each pack of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is packed with a decent volume of calcium and protein to give proper support to bones and muscles.
A complex mix of vitamins C and E with antioxidants promotes a strong and effective immune system. Plus, vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids are useful for supporting healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Of course, when buying this food, make sure to choose an adequate type for your dog’s age and size.
- Dry dog food that is well-balanced to give the proper nutrition to adult dogs that weigh 25 pounds or less
- Made with high-quality ingredients that contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
- Rich in Vitamins C and E as well as antioxidants to not only promote long life but also to enhance the immunity system
#2 Best Organic Dog Food – The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food contains both high fat and high protein, making it a suitable choice for dogs of any activity level. Plus, the macronutrient breakdown is quite close to what dogs would eat in the wild.
The high-quality ingredients and hearty recipe contain 100% human-grade food. It’s entirely free of potentially undesirable elements like wheat, beet pulp, rice, soy, and corn.
It’s quick and easy to prepare for your hungry dog. Simply add the right volume of warm water and wait three minutes for a healthy and delicious meal.
- Give maximum nutrition to adult dogs and puppies thanks to the organic whole grain content with free-range chicken
- Useful dog food for all breeds and sizes
- Easy to use and prepare for the dehydrated formula that is ready to serve in a matter of minutes
- Entirely free of GMO ingredients, preservatives, and by-products
#3 Best Budget Option – Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food is packed full of the healthiest natural ingredients. For starters, there’s de-boned chicken that is not only protein-rich but also delicious. Other healthy ingredients include fruit, garden vegetables, and whole grains.
This adult dog food is entirely free of artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors, as well as undesirable elements like soy, wheat, corn, and by-products.
Also, to comply with the small dog breeds’ needs, this food has a fair amount of carbohydrates and protein. That should match the high energy needs of even the most active dogs.
- Made with high-quality and delicious ingredients such as de-boned chicken, vegetables, and fruit.
- Entirely free of undesirable elements like artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors
- Does not include ingredients like soy, wheat, corn, or by-products
#4 Best Low Sodium Treats – Greenies Pill Pockets Natural Dog Treats
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The Greenies Pill Pockets Natural Dog Treats is a simple 100% natural, tasty treat with a useful built-in pocket that is perfect for hiding liquid medication, capsules, or tablets.
The delightful taste of these low sodium dog treats means your dog isn’t likely even to notice that these are actually medicine. The pill pockets are made of all-natural ingredients with low-sodium, less fat, and fewer calories than common human foods used to hide medication like tuna and cheese.
This low sodium dog food contains vitamins C and E for proper support of the immune system. A further practical feature is the ability to fully mask any taste or smell of the medicine to put less stress on the dog and make it easy for their owners.
- A high-quality dog food option for concealing medicine
- A great alternative to using human food with its low-sodium and low-fat content
- Very quick and easy to use – simply place the tablet in the center of the treat, and you are all set
- Useful at masking any undesirable smell or taste of the liquid medication or capsules
#5 Best Bone Broth – Brutus Dog Bone Broth for All Breeds
Brutus Dog Bone Broth for All Breeds is designed to be added to your pet’s food. It provides some extra liquid to your pet’s dog food. That can be helpful for dogs with certain health conditions as well as oral problems.
Plus, it also makes your pet’s food far tastier and appealing. If you’re having an issue getting your pooch to eat their food, it might be a useful addition to your routine.
This dog food add-on also provides some essential vitamins and minerals that every canine needs. While dog foods are designed to be nutritionally complete, some dogs benefit from a little nutrition boost.
- A simple, yet effective topper to add to any meal of the day
- A delightful homemade stock that adds a delightfully rich and savory flavor
- Eliminates plain or boring food from your dog’s diet
- Gives great all-round support to the hydration and digestion
- Works well with all kinds of diets from dry to wet
#6 Best Lamb-Based Dry Food – Natural Balance Dry Dog Food with Grains
Natural Balance Dry Dog Food with Grains is rich in premium-quality carbohydrate and protein sources to give a great alternative to typical dog food. The healthy ingredients are useful for promoting a luxurious coat, healthy skin, and great digestive health.
This dog food is specially made with a limited number of ingredients, making it suitable for dogs with allergies and digestive problems. Other active ingredients include canola oil to provide a reliable source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
This premium food is perfect for puppies and adults at any age and sure to appeal to energetic dogs.
- Limited Ingredient
- Promotes the healthy and effective digestive system
- Gives all-round nutrition to match the needs of the dog at all life stages
- Contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
#7 Best for Dogs With Heart Issues – Hill’s Prescription Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
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The Hill’s Prescription Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is purposely made with a low sodium volume to help the aging dogs and avoid issues related to high blood pressure. This dry dog food is rich in taurine to help promote proper cardiac muscle metabolism.
Other healthful ingredients include L-carnitine for the better heart function, while the higher levels of magnesium and B vitamins are useful for replenishing nutrients lost when diuretics are received.
Use this dry dog food to promote the all-round health of your aging four-legged friend.
- Uses ingredients that are naturally low in sodium to help control and maintain the blood pressure
- A useful amount of taurine is included for better cardiac muscle metabolism support
- Benefit from healthy heart function with the high L-Carnitine levels
- Magnesium and B vitamins included helping replace any lost nutrients
#8 Best for Liver Problems – VetriScience Laboratories Liver Support Chews
The VetriScience Labs Liver Support Chews are a practical choice for dog’s experiencing liver-related health problems.
If the dog’s liver is compromised, there is a high risk that the entire body will be suffering. In these cases, it might be helpful to switch a dog to a low-sodium diet to take some pressure off of the liver. With these chews, your furry friend will for once enjoy supplements made by vets!
For this reason, the canine hepatic is a type of low sodium dog food that gives the desired support to promote better health for the liver and health in general.
- The naturally low sodium content of this dog food helps to control the pet’s blood pressure
- The boosted zinc, as well as milk thistle and artichoke content, is useful for stopping or slowing the natural build-up of metal in the liver
- Easily digestible food rich in carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables
- High in B vitamins and fiber for better all-round health
#9 Best for Senior Dogs – Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food
Hill’s Science Wet Dog Food is a special type of dog food that helps promote and maintain musculature. This low sodium wet dog food is perfect for an aging dog. Omega 6S and vitamin E will make sure their coat remains shiny and healthy. The protein-first formula contains a yummy mix of beef and barley.
Did you know that every purchase with Hill s Science will help support shelter pets? Apart from their food’s premium quality, that’s another reason why you should support this brand.
- Naturally low in sodium to help maintain the proper blood pressure for your dog
- Benefit from greater support for muscle metabolism
- The dog’s coat and skin will also benefit from omega 6S and vitamin E
- Best for senior dogs, seven years old and up
#10 Best for Sensitive Skin & Tummy – Purina Pro Plan Dog Food
Maybe your dog doesn’t like fish, but they are bound to like salmon in this food! The Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food contains salmon and rice to smuggle in some omega-6 fatty acids essential for coat and skin health. The food is also easily digestible and promotes tummy health, which is especially important for Labradoodles! Their sensitive digestive system will also appreciate the natural prebiotic bacteria that this food contains.
The active ingredients in this food include the restricted copper, increased zinc, high level of dietary fiber, and high-quality protein sourced from vegetables. Also, this food is a rich and reliable source of antioxidants. If you’re looking for wet food, they offer that variety too.
The only noticeable downside is that the food really smells fishy. Your dog won’t mind, but you might! And there’s no doubt that some dogs just won’t like it.
- Practical dog food that helps calm your dog’s sensitive digestion
- Natural ingredients are given a zinc boost and copper reduction to avoid issues related to metal build-up in the pet’s liver
- Easy to digest food with great carbohydrates and vegetable protein
- High levels of B vitamins and fiber for better all-round health
- A useful amount of omega-6 fatty acids
#11 Best for Active Dogs – Taste of the Wild Grain Free Dog Food
How about treating your canine to a bowl of roasted bison and venison? Taste of the Wild Grain Free Dry Food is just that – a kibble with 32% protein from real meat. Contrary to what you may think, it’s also very affordable. It has no grains, artificial flavors or preservatives. The protein is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to guarantee smooth digestion and intestinal health.
There are also fruits, veggies, and legumes for antioxidants. The food also contains omega fatty acids (both 3 and 6) for healthy skin and coat. That’s why this food is excellent for active dogs to boost their lean muscles and overall health.
- Bison and venison meats are the main protein sources
- Over 80 million active cultures of probiotics per pound to safeguard your dog’s gastrointestinal health
- Omega 3 fatty acids will make sure the dog’s coat and skin remain healthy
- No corn wheat or soy – this food is grain-free
- Meets all needs of an adult dog s diet
#12 Best for Puppies – Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food
This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include pups! Since their organisms are still developing, puppies will need absolute best nutrition. This Wellness Complete Health recipe contains salmon, deboned chicken, and oatmeal. All three are great for digestion while providing essential nutrients for the immune system and brain development.
Of course, a puppy food wouldn’t be good enough without omega fatties. They will make sure the coat grows shiny and the gentle skin beneath it healthy.
Apart from poultry and fish, this food also contains veggies such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach, flaxseed. There are also zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, as well as vitamins C, A, D3, and B12.
- Chicken meal enriched with salmon and oatmeal – an excellent protein source
- Rich with vitamins and minerals essential for healthy development
- Easy to digest
- No fillers, byproducts, preservatives
#13 Best Zero Grain Food – Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food
How about feeding some sweet potatoes to your doggo? No worries if she or he doesn’t take kindly to vegetarian food. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food also contains real salmon and peas. In fact, salmon is the primary ingredient.
Apart from salmon, there are also smaller amounts of chicken meal and fat and some turkey. There is a whole host of vitamins, including E, C, A, B12, D3. What about minerals? Sure! Your furry friend will ingest zinc, iron, copper, manganese, calcium. If your dog doesn’t like the food for whatever reason, they will give you a full refund!
This food is excellent for dogs with food allergies and similar health issues since it contains zero grains.
The company also has a foundation to help animals in need. So, by buying their food, you will be part of the solution for growing numbers of endangered animals worldwide.
- Zero grain – excellent for dogs with food allergies
- A balanced mix of protein and fibers
- Salmon is a rich source of taurine, which combats the potential downsides of a grain-free diet
Things to Consider When Buying Low Sodium Food for Your Dog
Dry or wet food?
Most dogs prefer wet food. And indeed, it will help hydrate them and is definitely more yummy. However, canned dog food doesn’t have as high a caloric value as dry kibble. It also typically contains a higher amount of sodium than dry food.
On the other hand, many experts claim that kibble is excellent for your dog’s teeth since it acts as dental floss. With more crunching and practice, teeth can get stronger. However, this, as well as most other dog food issues, are still subject for debate.
The way to go is to switch between wet and dry food. That’s how you will balance their diet. However, if your dog has a super sensitive stomach, it’s best to choose one type and stick with it. If your dog is senior and has dental issues, wet food is the way to go.
You should also keep in mind that dry food typically contains less sodium.
As for quality, nobody can claim that either type is better than the other as a rule. The quality depends on the content of the food, not its physical state.
Your dog’s dietary needs
There’s no such thing as two identical dogs, even if they are of the same breed. You should always pay attention to your dog s health conditions when choosing their low sodium foods. Whether they have heart disease, liver or kidney condition, or other health issues, particular foods will meet their needs.
The above article has listed only a couple such options. However, there are varieties for almost every health condition imaginable.
Mg of sodium per day
In general, adult dogs should take around 13.3 mg per kilogram of body weight. However, your average commercial dog food contains a whopping 2-10g/kg of dry matter! Those are super high sodium levels. That means, if your adult dog eats 300 grams (about 10 ounces) of food per day, they will probably take much more sodium than they should.
Dog food brands
There are countless brands of dog food, which is both good and bad. It’s good because fierce competition makes them improve their products all the time. But it’s also bad because consumers have a hard time deciding which brand to opt for.
For example, Royal Canin used to be the go-to brand for years. And they still have a few nice lines of food for dogs. But nowadays, there are so many brands that it’s getting harder and harder to choose one and stick with it for years ahead.
Whole grains or grain-free?
For the past couple of years, there has been a growing concern about the potential relationship between grain-free dog food and heart disease in dogs. Many dog owners are turning to grain-free food because their dogs suffer from various allergies. However, this has been found to correlate with cardiomyopathy due to taurine deficiency.
But even though there is a study confirming these findings, there isn’t an FDA’s official recommendation to avoid grain-free food. It doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether. It just means you should be careful and add more taurine sources to your dog’s diet. Those are salmon, chicken liver, dark poultry, beef heart and liver.
If your dog suffers from a heart condition, it’s also advisable to avoid peas, legumes, and potatoes. It means you’ll have to resort to grains. But that’s better than causing a heart failure eventually.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Low Sodium Dog Foods
Is commercial dog food high in sodium?
Yes and no. Some commercial dog food is high in sodium, but you can find special low-sodium diets as well. Not all dog foods label how much sodium they contain, so it can be challenging to know exactly what you’re getting with a particular food. Like we said above, some commercial dog foods are outrageously high in sodium! So, you should definitely pay attention to the labels where there are any.
If your dog needs a low-sodium diet, we recommend taking a look at our reviews and then for your vet’s opinion as well.
How much sodium is safe for a dog?
Typically, the recommended sodium levels are between 0.25 grams per 100 grams of food and 1.5 grams per 100 grams of food. However, this can range from dog to dog depending on their activity level, health, and age. The older the dog, the lower levels of sodium should be in their food.
Which meats are low in sodium?
Fish and chicken are the lowest sodium meats that are common in dog food. Lean cuts of beef and pork are also relatively low in sodium. However, it is impossible to tell whether a dog food includes lean cuts or not.
Is a little salt okay for dogs?
Let’s get one thing clear: dogs require sodium in their diet. You should never impose a sodium restriction on your dog. But if you do things right, they should already be getting it from their food. Fish, eggs, dairy products, and meat already contain a certain amount of salt. That’s just about enough!
So, if you regularly feed dogs salty snacks like chips and pretzels, you can easily extend past their minimum sodium threshold. Excess sodium can result in high blood pressure and kidney issues.
What are the signs of too much salt?
Dogs who overeat salt will react similarly to humans. High sodium levels will cause dehydration. So, if your dog is thirsty all the time regardless of her physical activity, it might be a sign of too much sodium.
Another result of eating too much salt is usually high blood pressure. High sodium content can cause disease of heart, kidneys, or liver.
What is the best low sodium dog food for heart murmur or congestive heart failure?
We can’t single out a single brand of food as the safest and healthiest. There are many decent dog foods, low sodium or not. The best one for you will depend on your dog s health. You should also take into account their food allergies and vitamins minerals and supplements they might need. Also, the less artificial flavors or preservatives, the better!
Benefits of Switching to Low-Sodium Dog Food
Dogs suffering from specific health problems might find it useful or even necessary to switch to low sodium dog food. Heart, liver, and kidney problems can all result from a high-sodium diet.
In truth, there are plenty of commercial-grade dog foods that are low in salt and give the necessary protein. But it can be difficult to know which is the best simply for reading the labels. Use our reviews to help guide you to the best dog food for your canine.
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Last update on 2021-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API