The Harm Of High Sodium Levels

It is important for dog owners to understand that high sodium levels can be just as damaging to your dog’s health as it is to your own. Similar to the effects of high sodium in our diet, high sodium diets for our dogs can lead to problems with their circulation, heart disease, or in severe cases, sodium ion poisoning. This can result in your dog vomiting, having diarrhea, experiencing tremors, high temperatures, and seizures. If the condition is not corrected it can even result in death.

Though these examples of possible negative consequences tend towards a far more serious issue than simply buying the wrong dog food. In general, dog owners don’t need to worry about the amount of sodium that their dog is getting on a daily basis, unless they are being fed human foods that are very high in sodium, such as potato chips, pretzels, or fries, or if they ingest large quantities of sodium in a short period of time.

However, your dog’s age, medical conditions, or breed may impact how much sodium they should be getting in their meals, and may require you to change their diet to a low sodium dog food. So, when exactly does your dog need a low sodium dog food?

The Function Of Sodium

Sodium is an important part of your dog’s biological function, but the levels of sodium in the body need to be reasonable. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has stated that adult dogs should be getting a minimum of 0.3% or about 100mg of sodium per 100kcal.

Most dog food producers will regulate their sodium to meet a dog’s needs, though some have food that is higher in sodium than necessary. For the average dog this isn’t a problem as they will simply remove the excess sodium through their urine. However, dogs that show signs of fluid build-up within their bodies may have an underlying issue that is causing them to retain fluid, such as congestive heart failure, liver issues, or kidney issues.

Correct Sodium Levels For Your Dog

Due to sodium’s ability to help the body retain water, high to moderate levels of sodium in the diet can make the issue worse. In these cases, it is imperative that you begin your dog on low sodium dog food to help prevent the issue from worsening, and to help your dog remove some of the excess sodium that they have stored in their body.

A low sodium dog food should maintain a high level of protein, medium level of fat, and some fiber and essential nutrients to ensure that the dog food that you are giving your dog provides them with everything they need for a healthy lifestyle while reducing their sodium intake.

Brands Of Low Sodium Dog Food

The following five brands have been ranked as the best low sodium dog foods available in 2020:

Earthborn Kibble Adult Vantage

Earthborn dog food is one of the highest quality dog foods available for dogs who require a sodium restriction. While it does include grain (some dog owners prefer to feed only grain-free diets) this is only a small portion of the ingredients included in this low sodium dog food.

High in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, Earthborn dog food helps your dog maintain a healthy skin and coat. It also incorporates a significant amount of animal protein including chicken meal and whitefish meal to promote healthy muscle growth and maintenance, while ensuring that your dog gets their essential nutrients in one hearty meal.

Fromm Gold Weight Management

Fromm is another popular brand that can be trusted to provide quality food to your dog. Suitable for dogs who require a moderate reduction to the amount of sodium in their diets, Fromm’s has also been designed to help dogs who are struggling with a weight problem, making this a great choice for any dog who may be dealing with both issues.

Fromm’s is made with a high amount of protein, including turkey, duck, chicken, lamb, eggs, and cheese, for healthy growth muscle growth and maintenance, while reducing overall weight.

It includes L-carnitine which has been shown to be helpful in burning excess fatty acids and has a sodium to kcal ratio of 70mg per 100kcal, making it a great choice for dogs with moderate sodium excesses.

Purina Pro Plan

Purina does not have the best reputation in the dog food world, but some of the more popular brands come with a much higher price point and not all dog owners can afford the more expensive brands, especially when they have been formulated to address a specific health concern. In these cases, owners are faced with the choice to ignore the issue, purchase food outside their budgetary restraints, or find a less expensive dog food that addresses their dog’s health concerns.

Coming in at 50mg of sodium per 100kcal, Purina Pro Plan is the cheapest and lowest sodium food on this list, making it a great choice for dog owners on a budget so that you don’t need to sacrifice your own dietary needs for your pet.

Made with salmon, omega fatty acids, and antioxidant-rich ingredients, Purina helps reduce sodium intake, while ensuring that your dog’s nutritional needs are met.

Wellness Complete Health Adult

Wellness Complete offers a 60mg of sodium per 100kcal ratio in their dog food, while maintaining a standard far above the cheaper dog food options on the market, making this one of the best choices on the list.

Containing chicken, peas, and lamb, while ensuring that it is wheat, corn, and soy free, Wellness Complete properly meets your dog’s needs, while avoiding the use of obvious filler foods that only hurt your dog’s digestive system and offer no real nutritional benefit.

Made in the USA, Wellness Complete is a great option for consumers looking to support domestic brands, and is recommended by both veterinarians and dog owners.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed

Designed with large breed dogs in mind, Hill’s is made with lamb meal, Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, glucosamine, chondroitin, and is fortified with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids essential for promoting your dog’s active lifestyle.

Hill’s Science Diet helps your dog develop strong, lean muscles while cutting down unnecessary fats and excess sodium with a sodium content of only 61mg per 100kcal.

Made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Hill’s has even been reported as improving digestion by consumers.


Whatever low sodium dog food you choose to give your dog, be sure that their nutritional needs are being met, and if you suspect that they may have a larger issue contact your vet immediately.