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9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: 2024 Reviews & Coupons

Written by

Ma. Leonor Dollisen

Reviewed by

Updated on:

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low sodium dog food

Is low sodium dog food a must? Sodium is a type of mineral and one that plays an important role in your dog’s health and wellness. It can generally be found in your dog’s blood and in the fluid that surrounds his cells, helping to maintain the proper fluid balance in his body.

Sodium keeps the cells from swelling too much or from becoming dehydrated and it also plays a role in the healthy function of your dog’s nerves and muscle cells. 

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends at least 0.3% sodium in the diet for a healthy dog for both adult maintenance and the growth and development of puppies. 

For certain dogs, however, too much sodium can be problematic.


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What is a Low Sodium Diet for Dogs?

For most dogs, excess sodium intake is not a problem because healthy dogs just excrete it through their urine. But in certain canines, their medical problems prevent them from being able to do so. 

For example, pups with high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver or kidney disease, and other conditions simply cannot abide high sodium levels. Salt exacerbates their disease. If their sodium intake is not restricted, it can lead to strokes and heart problems, and worsen their condition.

For pups such as these, a low-sodium diet is often prescribed by the veterinarian. However, if your dog doesn’t take to the new diet, shopping for alternative low-sodium dog foods can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start looking.


9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 1
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 2
  • Protein-rich, carbo-limited
  • Made from fresh ingredients
  • Biologically appropriate diet
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9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 4
  • Offers dehydrated dog food
  • Made from fresh, whole foods
  • Improves digestion
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9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 2
  • Vet-recommended dog food
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • With Vit E and omega fatty acids
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Sodium Levels

How much sodium you feed your dog depends on his condition. Normally, the sodium levels of dog food for dogs with mild sodium restriction ranges from 0.35% and 0.5%. A moderate sodium restriction requires dog food to contain between 0.1% and 0.35% only. 

There are plenty of prescription diets out there offered by popular brands, and the selection process can be overwhelming.

Also, popular brands that offer low-sodium dog foods aren’t necessarily the right choice—many of them are made with low-quality ingredients which could cause other health problems for your dog. 

So how do you choose? In this article, we review some of the best low-sodium foods out in the market. We’ll also show you what things to consider when selecting a lower sodium diet so you can make an informed choice.

Best Low Sodium Dog Food Brands

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 7
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe
  • Offers dehydrated dog food
  • Made from fresh, whole foods
  • Improves digestion
Check Price on SiteCheck Price on Chewy
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 8
Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra Formula
  • Protein-rich, carbo-limited
  • Made from fresh ingredients
  • Biologically appropriate diet
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 9
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipe
  • Vet-recommended dog food
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • With Vit E and omega fatty acids
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9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 10
Fromm Family Foods Gold Senior
  • Perfect for less active dogs
  • Takes product quality seriously
  • Rich in digestible carbohydrates
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9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 11
Now Fresh Recipe with Turkey, Salmon & Duck
  • Dog's health is #1 priority
  • Minimally processed
  • Caters to specific dietary needs
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 12
Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties
  • Known for its raw food diet
  • Made up of 70% - 95% animal protein
  • No fillers or unnecessary ingredients
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 13
Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control
  • Good for gut health
  • Crafted with whole superfoods
  • Focused on weight control
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 14
Zignature Turkey LID Formula
  • Features meat-first ingredient
  • Omits high-glycemic carbohydrates
  • Limited and grain-free kibble
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 15
Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Protein-rich kibble
  • Made for small breed pooches
  • Starts with quality lamb, lamb liver
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon

If your dog needs a low sodium dog food for medical reasons, consider one of the top brands reviewed below:

  1. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe
  2. Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra Formula
  3. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipe
  4. Fromm Family Foods Gold Senior
  5. Now Fresh Recipe with Turkey, Salmon & Duck
  6. Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties
  7. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control
  8. Zignature Turkey LID Formula
  9. Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
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1. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

First 5 Ingredients : Beef, Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Flaxseed, Potatoes

Sodium content: 0.17%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 16
The only brand on the market today that can truly call their products “human grade” – ingredients are 100% safe for human consumption plus their products are manufactured in human food facilities.

The Honest Kitchen is a very unique brand of dog food in that it only offers dehydrated dog food, base mixes, meal toppers, and treats.

This brand uses 100% human-grade ingredients and it manufactures its products in human food facilities – this makes the company one of the only brands on the market that can truly call its products human grade.

The Honest Kitchen formulates each of its recipes using fresh, whole foods like real meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

The products help to support your dog’s higher energy levels, healthy bodyweight, improved digestion, and silkier coat and healthy skin.

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The brand’s foods are minimally processed to preserve the natural nutrient content of the raw ingredients, making them a healthier choice than even some of the top-quality kibbles. You do have to rehydrate the food before feeding it to your dog, however, and it may take him some time to get used to the unique texture.

If you want a high-quality dog food diet with lower sodium content for your dog, consider this The Honest Kitchen Verve Whole-Grain Beef dehydrated dog food.

This recipe is a dehydrated dog food product which means that it has been dried, not cooked—this process helps to retain more of the natural nutrient content in the raw ingredients.

The main ingredients in this dog food formula are beef, organic oats, organic barley, and flaxseed. Together, these ingredients provide a balance of protein, carbohydrate, and fat to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements.

Aside from these main ingredients, this low-sodium recipe also contains an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables for carbohydrate energy and dietary fiber—they also act as natural sources for key vitamins and minerals. In terms of nutrient content, this formula provides 22.5% crude protein, 8.5% fat.

It is a good choice for dogs who need reduced salt but still need plenty of protein and fat in their diet.

What We Like

  • Zero feed grade components
  • No rendered meats or GMO ingredients
  • Recipe starts with ranch-raised beef
  • Minimally processed whole food
  • Just add warm water before serving

What We Don't Like

  • A bit pricey

2. Orijen Tundra Adult Dog Freeze-Dried Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Venison (Ground with Bone), Duck (Ground with Bone), Steelhead Trout, Bison (Ground with Bone), Elk (Ground with Bone)

Sodium Content: 0.3%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 17
Known for producing “biologically appropriate” diets for pets, their products mimic the diet of wild ancestral dogs. All of their products are limited in carbohydrates yet very rich in protein.

The Orijen pet food brand is known for producing biologically appropriate diets for pets – foods that are designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild dogs.

Orijen understands the importance of meat and protein in a dog’s diet which is why all of their products are protein-rich and carbohydrate limited.

This brand uses fresh, regional ingredients, and the recipes follow five biologically appropriate principles—rich in meat and meat protein; unmatched fresh meat inclusions; an abundant variety of fresh meats; wholeprey ratios; and carbohydrate and glycemic limited.

You can rest assured that any of Orijen’s dog food products will be loaded with meat and meat flavor without any low-quality fillers or artificial additives.

The brand doesn’t use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, and its products are never outsourced—Orijen produces them in its own company-owned kitchens.

If you’re looking for a high-quality dry dog food for adult dogs with a lower sodium content, Orijen has a few options. Though not specifically marketed as a low-sodium dog food, this Orijen formula only has a sodium content of 0.3%. 

The recipe is a freeze-dried dog food, not a traditional kibble, so it retains more of the original nutritional value of the raw ingredients.

Furthermore, this dry dog food formula is packed with premium proteins including chicken, turkey, herring, eggs, and chicken organ meats to ensure natural flavor and optimal protein to fat ratios.

This low-sodium recipe is supplemented with gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates such as fresh fruits and vegetables which also provide natural sources for key nutrients.

There is a limited number of main ingredients in this formula, which is great for dogs who have food allergies or sensitivities. You’ll also be glad to know that this recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and a balance of omega oils.

What We Like

  • 85% animal ingredients
  • Crafted using the best sources
  • Boosts your pet's immune system
  • Promotes better coat and skin health
  • With a unique blend of fiber, pro and prebiotics

What We Don't Like

  • Caused allergies in some pets

3. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley

Sodium Content: 0.28%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 18
All of Hills formulas begin with a high quality animal protein as its first ingredient, mostly novel proteins. Products are filler-free, so it has lower sodium compared to that of other popular food brands in the market.

If a pet's diet is too high in sodium it will affect his gut, coat and skin. Hill's Science Diet can greatly assist you with that issue.

All of its formulas begin with an animal-based protein as the first ingredient, relying solely on novel protein and carbohydrate sources. 

Not only is this brand very careful about what ingredients it uses, but Hill’s Science Diet is also very careful in where it gets them.

This brand knows that quality pet food starts at the source so it has a trusted network of suppliers that it holds to a high standard—the brand even provides specific information about where the ingredients in each product come from on their website.

This dry dog food is clinically proven and Veterinarian-recommended to aid in coat, skin and stomach health. It provides a complete and balanced nutrition for all canine companions.

Chicken and chicken meal supply the animal proteins while the carbohydrates are provided by the brown rice, barley, and other grains in the food. 

The low-sodium dry food is also crafted with beet pulp, which supplies nourishing prebiotic fiber to help with your dog’s digestion. There are also vitamin E and omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat health at their peak through the chicken fat in the recipe.

This brand may only offer a dozen recipes for dry dog food, but each of them is made with quality ingredients and formulated for balanced nutrition. 

What We Like

  • Highly digestible formula
  • Veterinary recommended
  • Rich in Vit E and Omegas
  • Supports digestive health
  • With a unique blend of fiber, pro and prebiotics

What We Don't Like

  • Caused stomach upset
  • Development of bald spots noted

4. Fromm Family Foods Gold Senior Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Brown Rice

Sodium Content: 0.28%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 19
This senior recipe features fresh duck, chicken meal, and fresh chicken as the first 3 ingredients, so rest assured that it will definitely meet your dog’s protein needs.

The Fromm Family pet food company is family-owned and -operated, as you might expect from the name.

This company has been an innovator in the pet food industry for decades – it has even helped to pioneer the process of cooking meat and grain together that is still used for most commercial kibbles today.

The Fromm Family company takes the quality and safety of its products very seriously, which is why it submits all of its formulas to rigorous testing and strict quality assurance measures. Fromm offers three different product lines for dog food—Classic, Gold, and Four-Star.

The Classic line only includes one adult and one senior dog food recipe. The Four-Star product line features over a dozen recipes intended for use as part of a rotational diet. The Gold lineup includes original and grain-free recipes for puppies, adults, and senior dogs.

If you’re looking for a reduced sodium diet for your senior dog, this Fromm Family Gold Reduced Activity & Senior Formula might be a good option.

This formula features fresh duck, chicken meal, and fresh chicken as the top three ingredients, so you can rest assured that it will meet your dog’s needs for protein.

With oatmeal, brown rice, and pearled barley as the next three ingredients, this low-sodium, dry dog food recipe is rich in digestible carbohydrates as well.

For healthy fats, this formula contains salmon oil, an animal-based fat that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to balance out the omega-6 fatty acid content.

This dog food recipe contains just 0.28% sodium but still has plenty of protein and fat your dog needs at 24% and almost 12%, respectively.

Other beneficial ingredients include fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients, plus probiotics for healthy digestion.

A low-sodium pet food isn’t the right choice for every dog but it might be right for yours if he has a medical condition. If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease or any condition, don’t assume that a prescription diet is the only answer—you may be able to get by with a high-quality, low-sodium diet like one of the brands reviewed above.

What We Like

  • Tastefully prepared
  • Guaranteed family made
  • Ideal for the less active seniors
  • Proteins derived from duck and chicken
  • Premium proteins for joint and muscle support

What We Don't Like

  • Bit expensive

5. Now Fresh Recipe with Turkey, Salmon & Duck

First 5 Ingredients : De-Boned Turkey, Potatoes, Peas, Whole Dried Egg, Potato Flour

Sodium Content: 0.31 – 0.33%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 20
This tasty grain-free kibble is made without meat meals or any by-products. It also features omega fatty acids and is made with only fresh de-boned meats and fish.

Now Fresh is a pet food brand that believes in only using the best ingredients in crafting its foods in order to keep pets healthy and happy. 

The brand believes that the best dog food is one that has been minimally processed to preserve as much of the nutrients as possible from each of the food ingredients. Foods are cooked at the lowest possible temperatures, and the recipes never include meat meals.

Your dog’s health is Now Fresh’s number one priority. Only the freshest ingredients and superfoods make it to each and every recipe the brand makes.

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And since each dog is an individual, the brand’s dog foods come in several options tailored to the specific dietary needs of canines of all ages—from puppies to senior dogs—and all sizes.

This particular grain-free, dry dog food recipe is made with fresh deboned meat (turkey and duck) and fish (salmon). It features 20+ natural superfoods, like pomegranate and blueberries, to support your pup’s healthy immune system function.

What’s more, this low-sodium, dry dog food contains l-carnitine, which supports weight management and a healthy heart, as well as prebiotics and fiber for healthy digestion. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

What We Like

  • Minimally processed
  • With pre and probiotics and pumpkin
  • Suitable every shape and size
  • Balanced protein & fat to support a healthy weight
  • Delicious blend of fresh turkey, salmon and duck

What We Don't Like

  • Finicky eaters may not like it

6. Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties

First 5 Ingredients : Lamb, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney

Sodium Content: 0.47%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 21
This recipe starts with 95% grass-fed lamb, bone and organs, plus 100% organic veggies and fruits — offering the benefits of raw food nutrition in a freeze-dried preparation.

Stella & Chewy’s is an exclusive premium pet food brand manufactured by online pet product retailer, The brand is known for its wide range of raw food diets, although it has recently ventured into cooked foods too (Wild Red).

Most of Stella & Chewy’s dog food offerings are made up of 70% – 95% high-quality animal protein, guaranteeing that your pet has enough of the energy he needs for his daily activities and the protein his body requires to develop and maintain lean muscles. 

The brand uses a prey model diet, utilizing meat, organs, and bone. There are no added hormones or antibiotics in the meats used, and sustainability is practiced whenever possible. You also will never find fillers or unnecessary ingredients, and definitely no controversial ingredients.

Stella & Chewy’s believes in minimal processing but maximum flavor. Heavy processing can diminish the nutrient content of dog food, but the freeze-dried process removes all moisture (to prevent spoilage) and retains all the flavor, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and omegas your dog needs.

This particular freeze-dried raw dog food recipe is made with 95% grass-fed lamb, organs, and bone for a whole-prey diet approach for your adult dogs. It’s a single-animal protein and grain-free recipe so if your pup has sensitive skin or food allergies, the risk is greatly reduced. 

The rest of the ingredients of this low-sodium formula are made up of 100% certified organic fruits and vegetables plus probiotics (for a healthy digestive system) and supplemental vitamins and minerals. 

Freeze-dried raw food provides one of the most nutritious approaches to feeding dogs since the process preserves most of the nutrients present in each ingredient. And because the dog food does not contain any additives, you can be sure the sodium levels are ideal for a low-sodium diet.

The sodium content for this product is 0.47%, which is ideal for mild sodium restriction diets.

What We Like

  • Freeze dried raw patties
  • Crafted using grass-fed lamb
  • Easy to prepare: just add water
  • Complete nutrition plus probiotics
  • 100% certified organic veggies and fruits

What We Don't Like

  • Caused tummy upset

7. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control

First 5 Ingredients : Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice

Sodium Content: 0.20%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 22
This low-fat kibble is crafted with freshly caught Alaskan pollock. It also features probiotics plus a unique blend of superfoods for optimum tummy health and overall immune support.

Solid Gold is a pet food company that believes that a dog’s diet should focus on good gut health because that positively impacts your dog’s immune system and overall wellness. It’s a company that manufactures dog foods that balance, cleanse, and fuel gut health to nourish pets inside and out.

Each Solid Gold recipe is crafted with whole superfoods to feed good bacteria; living probiotics to balance the gut; and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support the skin, coat, and immune system of pups.

This specific low-sodium dry food features pollock, pollock meal, and ocean fish meal as the animal protein sources. A mixture of healthy whole grains and peas provide the carbohydrates and fiber. Lastly, chicken fat, fish oil (salmon oil), and flaxseed contribute much of the omegas.

Because of its unique balance of protein and fat, the dry dog food formula is not only perfect for its low-sodium content but also for its weight control focus. Dogs who may have a hard time keeping their weight down will have an easier time with this recipe.

There are no potatoes, soy, wheat, corn, or artificial ingredients in this formula because your dog deserves only the best. 

What We Like

  • Low fat recipe
  • Specially designed for weight control
  • Enriched with patented probiotics
  • Fresh Alaskan Pollock is main ingredient
  • Filled with nutrient-dense superfoods and fiber

What We Don't Like

  • Price increase

8. Zignature Turkey LID Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil

Sodium Content: 0.5%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 23
This meaty recipe offers pups the protein they need to thrive, while it removes not-so-good ingredients such chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and potatoes, creating the perfect hypoallergenic meal.

Zignature is a pet food manufacturer that sets out to create the best dog foods in the market. The brand has a meat-first, limited ingredient, and low-carbohydrate philosophy to ensure healthy food for your dog. 

The brand’s recipes omit high-glycemic carbohydrate ingredients. Instead, it uses known low-glycemic food such as oats or chickpeas to provide the necessary dietary fiber.

Currently, Zignature has 16 unique formulas that include dry and wet dog food, and treats. 

This Zignature dry dog food formula is low-sodium and grain-free. There are only a few ingredients, but each serving delivers a high protein supply to keep your pet active and moving. In fact, the dry dog food formula supplies dogs with 32% crude protein, courtesy of farm-raised turkey.

Since the number of ingredients are limited and it’s a single-protein recipe, this is also ideal for pups who have food sensitivities. It’s free from potential canine allergens, such as chicken, dairy, soy, wheat, and corn. 

Not only is this food low-sodium, it is also low-glycemic. The meat-first recipe, combined with key antioxidants, a complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids make for a rounded and balanced meal.

What We Like

  • Limited ingredient formula
  • Now loaded with probiotics
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds
  • Premium turkey is the main protein source
  • Low fat, rich in riboflavin and selenium

What We Don't Like

  • Caused loose stools
  • Too dry for others' liking

9. Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe (Small Breed)

First 5 Ingredients : Lamb, Turkey, Lamb Broth, Turkey Broth, Lamb Liver

Sodium Content: 0.53%

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 24
Specially formulated for small breed dogs and it is made with real lamb and turkey, along with wholesome, organic veggies.

Nulo is a brand of pet food that prides itself on giving animals exactly what they need in food. The recipes are high in animal protein, low in carbohydrates, and have ingredients that are low-glycemic. 

Each recipe the brand manufactures also comes with a patented probiotic that services the cooking process and is viable in the digestive tract to aid with the digestive process.

All ingredients are intentional and purposeful, and Nulo’s standard has always been, “if Michael (founder) wouldn’t feed it to Max (founder’s dog), Nulo won’t sell it.”

Currently, Nulo has dozens of recipes for dogs. It offers protein-rich kibble, freeze-dried raw food, toppers, wet dog food, bone broths, and dog treats in grain-free and grain-inclusive formulations. There are also dog food formulas to target specific breed sizes and ages.

This particular grain-free recipe is made specially for small breed pooches. It’s a meat-packed dish that starts with lamb, followed closely by lamb and lamb liver for added nutritional content. The sweet potatoes supply the carbohydrates and fiber that your dog needs to aid his digestion.

It comes with L-carnitine to support your small dog’s metabolism and help him keep a healthy weight. The smaller portion size of the food makes it convenient when traveling with your small breed pet. 

This grain-free formula does not contain any fillers or corn, wheat, soy, and anything artificial. The sodium content is 0.14% on an as-fed basis and 0.53% on a dry matter basis. 

What We Like

  • Tasty and rich texture
  • Contains wholesome vegetables
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds
  • Features L-Carnitine to boost metabolism
  • High quality turkey and lamb are the main ingredients

What We Don't Like

  • Not a hit among picky eaters

How To Select Low-Sodium Food For Your Dog

Since high sodium levels can exacerbate a dog’s medical condition, it’s important that you take the points below into consideration when purchasing a dog food for your pooch.

It’s not enough that the food is declared as a low-sodium diet. The dog food should also meet high-quality standards for your pup’s overall health.

1. No fillers

Many popular commercial dog foods trade quality for affordability. If you’ll check the labels of these dog foods carefully, you’ll see corn gluten meal, soy, and other ingredients have been added. Dog food manufacturers add these as fillers to bulk up the food but these contain little of the essential nutrients that your pet needs.

2. Meat as the first ingredient

Dog foods should be high in protein, and you can tell a high-quality dog food by the first few ingredients in the label. If these are made up of proteins, then it’s worth a closer look.

If it’s not (unless it’s wet food and the first ingredient is water or broth, both of which are okay), then you should probably remove that food from your cart.

And it shouldn’t be just any kind of meat. Meat by-products are not what you’d want to feed your pet. While meat by-products may refer to offal such as heart or kidneys (which are healthy), they can also refer to blood, hide, and virtually all part of the carcass. You won’t know which unless the dog food label specifically states it.

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 25

3. Properly labeled meat meals and fat

So that dog food has meat as the first ingredient and no meat by-products. So far, so good. Check next if the dog food contains meat meals and if these are properly labeled.

Some meat meals are fine, like chicken meal, beef meal, and so on. As long as the animal from which the meat comes from is identified, then you should have nothing to worry about.

However, some meals are listed in very vague terms. For example, you might come across something like, “poultry meal” or “fish meal.” Worse is when it simply says, “meat meal,” which is even more vague. The food could contain anything.

This becomes even more problematic when your dog has sensitive skin or food allergies.  How will you know if the dog food contains something that might trigger your pet’s condition? 

The same goes for rendered fat that is simply labeled as “poultry fat” or “animal fat.” These unidentified fats can mean—and often does in the pet food industry—that the fat came from dead, disabled, or diseased animals.

4. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Dog foods should not contain these. Artificial flavors and other artificial additives do not contribute anything to the meal. They may even aggravate medical conditions, and worse, be carcinogenic. 

If it’s a carefully crafted dog food, then there’s no need to include artificial flavor. The meat and other ingredients in a quality dog food will be enough to entice even the pickiest pets.

5. A carefully balanced diet

A good low-sodium diet should not only focus on how much sodium is in it but also on the ingredients that give it a high nutritional value.

Protein and quality fat sources are important, but the presence of vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients that deliver essential mineral and vitamin content should also be considered when selecting your pup’s dog food.

6. Beware of dangerous dog food ingredients

Some dog food brands try to entice canines to eat by putting unnecessary ingredients that can possibly become harmful to your pet.

Sugar is one example. It comes in many forms, like corn syrup, molasses, or sucrose. Sugar, when given regularly, can lead to diabetes and difficulty in weight management.  

Another dangerous ingredient is carrageenan. Although there are scientists on both sides of the fence on carrageenan, it has been found to be without nutritional value.

There are also studies that even food grade carrageenan degrades in the stomach and can be potentially harmful to the pets that ingest it.

7. Moisture

Since salt helps deliver water to a body’s cells, a low-sodium diet can increase the risk of dehydration in your dog.

If your pup is not fond of drinking water too much, consider switching him from dry food to wet dog food. Wet dog food typically contains anywhere from 75% to 82% moisture.

Canned food also typically contains no preservatives because the heat treatment in the canning process prevents the food from spoiling until the canned food is opened.

8. Sodium Content

This is the most important part. We’ve listed the as-fed and dry matter percentage of our reviewed dog foods since sodium restrictions require food to strictly adhere to it. 

What’s the difference between the two? 

Dry matter is the value for sodium when all moisture is removed from the food, while as-fed would be the food’s value for the sodium if the moisture was not removed. As the water content increases in food, the amount of other nutrients present decreases.

9 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food: [year] Reviews & Coupons 26

Common Medical Conditions That Need Low Sodium Food To Manage

As stated before, there are several medical conditions that warrant low-sodium food. These include but are not limited to:

  • Kidney disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypernatremia

Heart diseases, including congestive heart failure, affect the way blood is pumped throughout the body, which may then cause excess fluid to build up. This excess fluid puts pressure on the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Excessive sodium intake can aggravate this life-threatening condition.

The kidneys’ job is to filter out excess sodium and minerals from the body. When dogs have a kidney disease, their kidneys do not function as well. Too much salt intake will also put further stress on their already suffering kidneys. 

High blood pressure can stem from an underlying disease, and this can be anything from chronic kidney disease and Cushing disease to adrenal gland tumors.  High blood pressure can be effectively managed by treating the underlying disease, through medication, and via low-sodium food.

The liver’s function is to remove the toxins from the blood. When a dog has liver disease, his liver is not at its peak performance. And when salt intake is not managed, further stress is put on the overworked kidneys.

However, dietary sodium restrictions can help manage the disease and its effects on your pup’s body. Hypernatremia, or salt toxicity, is a condition that happens when your pup ingests something with too much salt, but they can’t get enough water to dilute the sodium they ingested.

When salt toxicity occurs, providing fresh water to your pup is imperative. And to make sure it does not happen again, a mild sodium restriction may be imposed.

Our Final Take

Low sodium dog food can offer several benefits to dogs, especially those with certain health conditions. First, it helps in managing and preventing hypertension or high blood pressure, which can be a concern for dogs with heart issues. Secondly, it can reduce the risk of developing kidney problems, as excess sodium can strain the kidneys.

Third, low sodium dog food can help manage fluid retention, which is common in dogs with heart or liver disease. Additionally, it can support a healthy weight, as excessive sodium intake can contribute to weight gain. Lastly, it promotes overall well-being by providing a balanced and nutritious diet for dogs, ensuring their optimal health and vitality.

Most dogs with heart disease or any of the other medical conditions that require a low-sodium diet can still live a full life provided that their condition is adequately treated and maintained. That includes providing him with food that is as healthy as possible. And by this we mean, clean ingredients. 

If your dog does not suffer from any medical condition, please ask your veterinarian first before switching him over to a low-sodium diet.

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A healthy dog’s diet needs a healthy helping of salt—between 0.25 g to 1.5 g per 100 grams of food—for his cells to function properly. Putting healthy dogs on low-sodium diets can do more harm than good.

Each dog is different, and their reactions will vary depending on the food. We have researched these foods thoroughly, however, any change in diet for a dog that has a medical condition still needs your vet’s full approval. 

Just make sure to transition your pup slowly before giving him new food to avoid digestion issues. 

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