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The 6 Best Low-Sodium Dog Foods

If your dog has a heart problem or another specific health problem, you may have been looking for a low-sodium diet for them.

Searching through dog meals for something low in sodium may be tough and complicated, especially if you don't know what you're looking for.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has put together a list of the best low-sodium dog foods to help you start a conversation with your vet.

Before switching your dog to a new diet, you should always talk to your vet if your dog has any health problems.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Adult Minichunks Dog Food by Iams – Best Value

IAMS Adult Minichunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken

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  • Primary ingredients: chicken
  • 25% protein content
  • 14% fat content
  • 380 kilocalories per cup

Iams Adult Minichunks is a premium dog food that provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs, making it an excellent dietary option for dogs on a low sodium diet.

This product is formulated with real poultry as the first ingredient, which provides high-quality protein to support strong muscles in dogs.

This dog food is specifically designed to support healthy digestion, with a wholesome blend of fibers and prebiotics that promote gastrointestinal health.

It also contains antioxidants that help support a strong immune system, which is important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing in dogs.

Iams Adult Minichunks is an affordable and cost-effective option for pet owners looking for a low sodium dog food.

With only 0.21% sodium on a dry matter basis, this food is suitable for dogs on a low sodium diet and is ideal for pet owners on a budget.

The kibble size of Iams Adult Minichunks is suitable for canines of all sizes, and its delicious flavor makes it a popular choice for even the most finicky eaters.

The inclusion of nutritious whole cereals such as corn and sorghum provides an abundant source of fiber and supports overall health.

However, pet owners should be aware that the kibbles in this food may be too coarse for canines with dental issues.

It is important to note that before switching your dog to a new diet, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the food is suitable for your dog’s specific needs.

In conclusion, Iams Adult Minichunks is a high-quality, affordable dog food that provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs.

With its real poultry, wholesome fibers, and antioxidants, this food is an excellent option for pet owners looking for a low sodium diet for their dogs.

Pros

Best price

Kibble size that is ideal for dogs of all sizes

Really tasty

Fiber and prebiotics aid with digestion

Immune-boosting antioxidants

Whole grains are included

Cons

Sodium content is moderate

It may be too tough for dogs with chewing problems to eat


Turkey Dog Food from JustFoodForDogs

JustFoodForDogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food

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  • Primary ingredients: turkey
  • 10% protein content
  • 4% fat content
  • 49 kcal/oz

JustFoodForDogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni is an excellent option for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with a healthy, balanced, and delicious diet.

This high-quality dog food is designed by veterinary nutritionists to optimize the health benefits for your companion.

The recipe includes human-edible ground turkey and liver, whole wheat macaroni, fiber-rich vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, and cranberries, cod liver oil, and JFFD’s vet-developed nutrient blend.

All ingredients are fit for human consumption, ensuring that your dog is consuming only the healthiest and most natural ingredients.

This nutrient-dense dog food is free from preservatives, rendered meats, artificial coloring, and other harmful additives such as BHA, BHT, or LFBT. This ensures that your dog is consuming only the highest quality, whole fresh food.

The Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni dish is ideal for dogs with allergies, sensitive stomachs, or who need a low-fat diet. It is delivered frozen and can be stored frozen for up to one year.

However, it must be consumed within three days of defrosting. JustFoodForDogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni is a top-rated fresh food brand, recommended by veterinarians across the country.

With its high-quality ingredients and expert formulation, it is an excellent choice for any pet owner looking for a nutritious and healthy dog food option.

Pros

Low sodium content

It contains whole grains and is high in fiber

Ready-to-serve

Designed by veterinary nutritionists

Can be kept frozen for up to a year

Cons

Should be eaten within three days of thawing

Premium cost


Vet’s Choice Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dog Food Pate

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  • Primary ingredients: salmon
  • 7% protein
  • 5% fat content
  • 467 kilocalories per can

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a highly recommended moist diet for dogs with digestive and skin sensitivities.

This wet dog food contains real salmon and easily digestible rice, making it a gentle option for your dog’s digestive system. It is appropriate for adult dogs and comes in a pate form.

Each 13 oz. can of Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach contains a high protein dog food formula that is free of common allergens such as chicken and beef.

The salmon and rice dog food formula also includes natural prebiotic fiber that nourishes specific intestinal bacteria for digestive health.

This sensitive skin dog food contains linoleic acid, an omega fatty acid that promotes healthy skin and coat.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach is also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, making it a healthier option for your dog.

In addition, this dog food contains approximately 50 milligrams of sodium per 100 calories, making it a low-sodium option that is particularly important for dogs with heart issues or hypertension.

While rice is a nutrient-dense yet tender grain that is present in this delectable dish, it is important to note that if you provide this as your dog’s primary source of nutrition, the cost will quickly escalate.

Overall, Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a high-quality, nutritious, and easily digestible option for dogs with digestive and skin sensitivities.

With its natural ingredients and prebiotic fiber, this product is an excellent choice for maintaining your dog’s digestive health and promoting optimal nutrient delivery.

Pros

Vet’s choice

Excellent choice for dogs with digestive and skin allergies

There are no common allergen proteins

Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids

Really tasty

Whole grains are included

Cons

Sodium content is moderate

When provided as a major dietary source, it is costly


Adult Perfect Weight Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management

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  • Primary ingredients: chicken
  • 24% protein content
  • 9% fat content
  • 299 kilocalories per cup

Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is an excellent option for dogs that need to lose weight.

This dry dog food contains about 0.35 percent sodium on a dry matter basis, which makes it a moderately low sodium alternative.

However, it is important to note that this product contains pea fiber as the fourth ingredient, and legumes, including peas, have been associated with cardiac problems in canines.

Therefore, we recommend consulting your veterinarian before switching your dog to this diet.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight contains pearled barley and brown rice as whole grains, and is formulated to help your dog maintain muscle mass while reducing body fat.

It is also rich in vitamins and minerals to support overall health. In addition, this dog food contains dried beet pulp and oat fiber to help your dog lose weight and feel satisfied.

This food is designed to support muscle maintenance in adult dogs. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is a breakthrough dry dog food that is clinically proven for weight management.

Over 70% of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this safe and effective food for dogs. Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients you can trust, this product is of high quality.

While this food carries a premium price tag, it is an excellent option for overweight dogs who need to lose weight in a safe and effective manner.

Overall, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is a high-quality, nutritious, and effective option for dogs that need to lose weight and maintain overall health.

However, due to the presence of pea fiber, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes to your dog’s food.

Pros

Excellent solution for weight reduction

Whole grains are included

Maintains muscular mass in your dog during weight loss

Vitamins and minerals are abundant

Promotes fullness

Cons

It includes legumes

Premium cost


Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dog Food from Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Whole Grain Dog Food

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  • Ingredients: dehydrated turkey
  • 22% protein content
  • 15% fat content
  • 470 calories per cup

The Honest Kitchen's Whole Grain Turkey recipe is a premium, dehydrated dog food that is versatile enough to be served as a complete meal or as a topper or supplement.

It is made with real, whole food ingredients such as cage-free turkey, organic oats, and apples, making it a nutritionally dense option that is suitable for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes, including seniors.

One of the standout features of this dog food is its low sodium content of only 0.14% by weight, making it one of the lowest sodium options available.

The components are meticulously and slowly dehydrated to preserve as many nutrients as possible, without requiring a raw food regimen.

Preparing The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Turkey recipe is easy – simply add warm water for a wholesome and delicious meal.

This dog food is 100% human-grade, made with high-quality ingredients produced in a human food facility, ensuring that it meets the same safety and quality standards as human food.

This dog food is free from preservatives, by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat, and soy.

It is made in the USA with trusted sources from around the world, giving pet parents peace of mind about the quality of the ingredients.

While the texture of this dog food may not appeal to picky eaters, it is an excellent option for pet parents who are looking for a premium dog food that is both nutritious and delicious.

However, its premium price may place it out of reach for some individuals.

Overall, The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Turkey recipe is a high-quality, natural, and nutritious option for dogs that can be served as a complete meal or as a topper or supplement to their existing diet.

Pros

Completely cooked

Low sodium content

Nutrient density is high

Dehydration that is gentle and gradual maintains nutrients

Whole grains are included

Cons

Premium cost

Some finicky eaters may find it unsuitable


Pacific Stream Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain

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  • Primary ingredients: salmon
  • 25% protein content
  • 15% fat content
  • 408 calories per cup

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food is a high-quality, grain-free diet that features smoke-flavored salmon as the #1 ingredient.

With a low sodium content of only 0.25 percent, it is an excellent option for pet parents seeking a low-sodium diet for their furry friends.

However, before switching your dog to this grain-free diet containing lentils, it is best to consult with your veterinarian about any potential risks associated with legume-containing diets.

This dog food is rich in omega fatty acids, which promote healthy skin, coat, heart, and joint function. Additionally, it contains probiotics and fiber to support digestive health.

While some picky eaters may not find this dog food appealing, it is an excellent source of high-quality protein, thanks to its ingredients such as salmon and ocean fish meal. It is also suitable for canines with common protein allergies.

Each serving of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food includes high levels of species-specific K9 Strain proprietary probiotics, as well as antioxidants and prebiotics, to help support healthy digestion, immune system function, and overall wellness.

Taste of the Wild is a family-owned company that manufactures their dog food in the USA using high-quality ingredients from trusted domestic and global sources.

Overall, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food is a nutritious, high-quality, and delicious option for dogs of all breeds and sizes.

It provides the necessary nutrients to help support healthy bone, joint, muscle, skin, and coat function, while promoting overall health and wellness.

Pros

Probiotics and fiber help to support digestive health

Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids

Contains high-nutrient protein sources

It may be appropriate for dogs with dietary allergies

Cons

Sodium content is moderate

Some finicky eaters may find it unsuitable

Grain-free diet rich in legumes

Buyer's Guide: How to Choose the Best Low Sodium Dog Food

What Are the Advantages of a Low Sodium Diet?

If your dog is healthy and has no underlying medical issues, a low sodium dog food is not necessarily essential.

In reality, sodium is a necessary component for good cardiovascular function. Healthy dogs can easily process, utilize, and eliminate extra sodium through their bodies.

However, dogs with cardiac issues may not be able to do so. Reduced sodium diets can help dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) and other types of cardiac illness, such as cardiomyopathy.

This is because their impaired cardiac function may prevent them from processing, utilizing, and eliminating sodium, leading to a buildup of sodium in the body.

This can exacerbate heart disease symptoms like edema (fluid retention) and high blood pressure.

It’s important to note that a dog with heart disease may also have difficulty processing minerals like potassium, phosphorus, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Recommended Sodium Concentrations for Dogs

Different dog diets contain vastly varied amounts of sodium.

Unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to list the sodium content on the labels of all dog foods, making it somewhat difficult to locate this information.

In fact, the AAFCO does not even designate a maximum acceptable limit for sodium content, only a minimum acceptable level.

With sufficient research, it is typically possible to determine the sodium content of commercial dog foods.

This allows you to choose a diet within the range prescribed by your veterinarian, so you can ensure your dog is getting the appropriate amount of sodium.

In general, veterinarians use the following categories when discussing low-sodium diets. Sodium content is typically measured per 100 kilocalories:

  • Dogs with no sodium restrictions need food with a sodium content of at least 0.5% (>100 mg sodium/100 kcal).
  • Meanwhile, foods containing between 0.35 and 0.5% sodium (80 to 100 mg/100 kcal) should be given to dogs with a moderate sodium restriction.
  • Furthermore, moderately sodium-restricted dogs should only consume foods containing between 0.1% and 0.35% sodium (50 to 80 mg/100 kcal).
  • Finally, food with a sodium content of less than 0.1% (50mg/100kcal) should be given to dogs on a strict sodium restriction.

According to their recommendations, a 33-pound dog that consumes approximately 1,000 calories per day should not consume more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day.

However, they do not state explicitly how to extrapolate this figure, as the relationship between calorie consumption and body weight is not necessarily linear.

Salt Toxicity Is A Major Issue For Dogs

The sodium content of dog food is generally only a long-term concern for canines with specific medical conditions.

However, this can happen if a dog consumes a large amount of sodium in a brief period of time, such as by sneaking into the spice cabinet and devouring the salt shaker.

In addition, numerous other species are also susceptible to salt toxicity. For instance, pigs can only tolerate a small quantity of salt in a brief period of time, whereas sheep can tolerate a great deal.

Approximately 4 grams of salt per kilogram of body weight is the lethal dose for canines. One teaspoon of salt weighs approximately 5 grams, and one kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds.

As a result, dogs who consume excessive amounts of sodium may experience vomiting, muscle tremors, or convulsions.

Nevertheless, this type of toxicity is relatively uncommon in canines and typically results from accidental ingestion of extremely salted food.

Therefore, if your dog exhibits signs of salt toxicity, such as excessive thirst or urination, contact your veterinarian immediately.

This is not a long-term problem that can be rectified with low-sodium food; it requires immediate medical attention. Even with prompt treatment, about half of all cases of salt toxicity are fatal.

How to Identify Low-Sodium Foods

To ensure safety and quality, low-sodium foods for dogs should meet certain criteria.

These qualities include being nutritionally equivalent to other foods, excluding the reduced sodium content. Dogs are omnivores and require a variety of nutrients to maintain their health.

However, meat should be the primary source of their caloric intake.

Consider purchasing deboned poultry, deboned turkey, lamb, beef, pork, trout, or salmon instead of meat-meals or byproducts that may not specify the animal source.

To prioritize whole cereals and other nutritious carbohydrates, consider choosing low-sodium foods that contain whole wheat instead of enriched wheat.

Whole wheat contains significantly more fiber per calorie than enriched wheat. It is best to avoid adding unnecessary pigments, flavors, or additives to your dog’s food, as these can provoke dietary allergies.

Rather than covering up an unpalatable product with additional ingredients, foods that require artificial flavors should focus on enhancing their ingredients and recipes.

Meat dishes and meat byproducts must be derived from recognizable sources. For instance, chicken meal is permissible, whereas poultry meal is not.

To address your dog’s additional health concerns, such as arthritis, consider feeding him a low-sodium diet containing glucosamine and chondroitin.

Low-sodium foods should also be manufactured in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or Western Europe.

These nations have extremely stringent safety and food quality regulations in place, which reduces the likelihood that you will purchase a product containing harmful substances.

Identifying Low-Sodium Dog Foods

While we’ve highlighted some great low-sodium dog food options, it’s important to remember that formulas can change.

Therefore, it’s always best to do the math yourself and check the sodium content before making a purchase.

For example, when searching for a low-sodium dog food, weight management formulations are typically your best choice. These formulations usually contain less sodium than standard dog food.

FAQs

1. How can I lower my dogs sodium levels?

Before transitioning to a fluid with significantly less sodium (e.g., 0.45% NaCl + 2.5% dextrose, D5W), hydrate the patient initially with a fluid containing less sodium, such as LRS or Plasmalyte-A.

These fluids are rarely used in veterinary medicine, as they are not isosmotic and may cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

2. How much sodium should a dog have on a low sodium diet?

Certain health conditions, such as kidney, liver, and cardiac disease, necessitate a low-sodium diet for dogs. But salt is not always harmful for canines; moderation is key, just as it is for humans.

For dogs on a low-sodium diet, the ideal sodium intake is between 0.25g/100g and 1.5g/100g, as mentioned above.

3. What makes a dog have high sodium?

The most prevalent cause of hypernatremia in canines admitted to veterinary hospitals is excessive consumption of salt water without sufficient access to pure water.

Other potential sources of excess sodium include the consumption of homemade play dough or salt dough.

4. What is the maximum sodium for dogs?

Small canines are more susceptible to salt poisoning. This is because only 0.45 to 4.60 grams of salt is lethal for them.

While 4 grams of salt is less than one teaspoon, canines should not consume more than 0.35 teaspoons of salt per 2 pounds of body weight. This is because salt can become toxic at much lower levels.

5. What are the signs of sodium overdose in dogs?

Most frequently, vomiting is the initial clinical indicator of toxicity. In addition to diarrhea, other symptoms may include despondency, lethargy, tremors, seizures, shortness of breath, and disorientation.

These symptoms were reported within three hours of ingestion.

6. Do dogs need low sodium?

Optional. Dogs do not necessarily need a low sodium diet unless they have underlying medical issues, such as congestive heart failure or other cardiac illnesses.

Adult dogs require a minimum of 0.3% sodium as an essential mineral, according to AAFCO. Salt is involved in nerve and muscle cell function as well as electrolyte balance.

7. Which food is lowest in sodium?

Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, and avocados can be healthy treats for dogs. Fresh vegetables like spinach, beets, and broccoli can also be added to a dog’s diet for added nutrition.

Vegetables that are frozen without butter or marinade are a good option as well. Canned vegetables that are low in sodium or have no added salt can be rinsed to remove some of the sodium before being fed to dogs.

Conclusion

These reviews of sodium-reduced dog foods are just a starting point to help you find the right food for your dog, but you should talk to your vet first.

Iams Adult Minichunks are a good option for people on a tight budget, especially if you have to buy expensive medicine for your dog as well.

The Purina Pro Plan is a veterinarian-recommended diet. Focus wet food is tasty and suitable for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs. sensitivity to food.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank you for visiting our website in order for me to learn about and refer to the best low-sodium dog foods. We hope you’ve picked a low-sodium meal for your dog.

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Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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