What is low sodium dog food? – Dogster

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Just like their parents, some dogs may need a low sodium diet. In fact, “Overall, dogs need proportionately less sodium than we do,” says Dr. Jon Nauss, medical director of Irvine Valley Veterinary Hospital Primary Care & Integrative Medicine in California.

What is Low Sodium Dog Food?

Many low sodium dog foods are not specifically labeled as “low sodium.” Nathan Elam, Ph.D., consultant nutritionist for Nutrition Service Associates and Inline Nutrition, consults on recipe formulations for many pet food companies and defines a low-sodium diet as “a diet that contains less 1% additional salt included on base dry matter.”

These may include recipes with limited ingredients, sensitive dog foods, heart-healthy dog ​​foods, or foods that need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness. Salt is often used as a preservative in canned foods.

Nathan adds, “The most common supplemented salt ingredient in pet diets would be sodium chloride (NaCl) called salt (table salt) or sea salt. However, other salt ingredients would include potassium chloride, magnesium chloride and, to a lesser extent, calcium chloride and copper chloride. And, because formulations typically contain 1% salt (or less) on a dry matter basis, the total salt content is rarely listed on a label as a guaranteed inclusion.

You can usually find low sodium dog food in the form of heart diets. Do some research and discuss the options with your veterinarian. Here are some low sodium dog foods on the market:

Do all dog foods contain sodium?

The sodium content of pet foods is recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Therefore, pet foods require a minimum amount of sodium to be considered a complete and balanced diet. He is also considered a conservative.

Benefits of salt in dog food:

  • Salt maintains body fluids (blood).
  • Sodium ions are necessary for muscle contraction and electrical impulses.
  • Salt prevents conditions such as gout.
  • Salt helps maintain normal blood pressure in the heart and kidneys.

“Sodium is the most abundant positive-ion electrolyte in the extracellular fluid of the body. Thus, it is found in all parts of the body to help regulate fluid volume and the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, and organs. many other bodily operations,” says Dr. Nauss.

“Sometimes, however, a patient may have too much sodium, either due to an imbalance of operations in the body or due to overconsumption in the diet. Screening blood tests, performed by your veterinarian, can help detect these imbalances and determine the best corrective plan,” he adds.

Common health issues that may require a low sodium diet for dogs include:

  • heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • kidney disease
  • Ascites (fluid retention in the abdomen)

High Sodium Human Dog Snacks

Even if you feed your dog a veterinarian-approved low-sodium diet, Dr. Nauss warns that pet parents are inadvertently adding extra salt to their dogs’ diets by feeding them humane snacks, such as popcorn, fries, cold cuts and cheese. which, he adds, “represent a potentially considerable amount of sodium for a dog. Instead, consider low-sodium snacks like blueberries or apples.

Pet food maker Holly Sher, owner of Evanger’s dog and cat foods and Against the Grain, advises avoiding saltwater fish recipes if a dog needs a very poor diet in sodium, as they are generally higher in sodium.

Before transitioning your dog to a low-sodium diet, consult your veterinarian to find a food that will keep your dog excited at mealtime.

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