5 Best Choices for a Low Sodium Dog Food

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You probably already know that too much sodium in your diet can be a bad thing, but how does sodium affect dogs? Sodium is an important nutrient in a dog’s diet but, just like anything else, there can be too much of a good thing. If your dog has certain medical problems, excess sodium could actually be very dangerous – you might even need to switch your dog over to a low sodium dog food. Keep reading to learn more about why a dog might need a low sodium dog food and where you can find one.

What is a Low Sodium Diet for Dogs?

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 American Association of 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.

When it comes to your dog’s food, there are several potential sources for sodium. Sodium can be found in meat, poultry, fish, and eggs or it can be added as a supplement in the form of table salt. Though the minimum recommendation for sodium in a dog’s diet is 0.3%, most commercial dog foods contain anywhere from 0.35% to 0.5%. If your dog gets a little more sodium than he needs, it generally isn’t a problem – his body will just excrete it through his urine. If there is too much sodium in your dog’s diet, his body will respond with increased thirst and water consumption to facilitate the excretion of the extra sodium from his body.

Though all dogs need sodium in their diet, some dogs might benefit from a reduced sodium diet or low sodium dog food. If your dog has certain types of liver, kidney, or heart disease, a low sodium diet might help to manage your dog’s high blood pressure or to reduce the accumulation of fluid in the body. These conditions are more commonly seen in older dogs but not all senior dogs need a low sodium diet. Before switching your dog to a new diet (a low sodium diet or otherwise), be sure to consult your veterinarian to make sure that it is the right choice. If it is, you should also make sure to transition your dog slowly onto the new food to avoid any digestive upset.

Top-Rated Brands for Low Sodium Food

Shopping for a low sodium dog food can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start looking. There are plenty of prescription diets out there offered by brands like Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet. These brands are often recommended by veterinarians but they aren’t necessarily the right choice – many of them are made with low-quality ingredients which could cause other health problems for your dog. If your dog needs a low sodium diet for medical reasons, consider one of the top brands reviewed below:

Orijen Tundra Adult Dog Freeze-Dried Food Formula Buy It

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

Orijen Tundra Adult Dog Freeze-Dried Food Formula

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 they 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. They don’t use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and their products are never outsourced – they produce them in their own company-owned kitchens.

If you’re looking for a high-quality dry dog food with a lower sodium content, Orijen has a few options. Though not specifically marketed as a low sodium dog food, this Orijen Adult Dog Freeze-Dried Food Formula only has a sodium content of 0.3%. This 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 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 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 mineral for maximum nutrient absorption and a balance of omega oils.

California Natural LID Weight Management Brown Rice and Chicken Meal Buy It

First 5 Ingredients : Brown Rice, Chicken Meal, Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed

California Natural LID Weight Management Brown Rice and Chicken Meal

The California Natural brand is known for producing limited ingredient diets for dogs with food sensitivities. Each of their recipes is made with just 3 to 6 main ingredients including novel sources of protein and carbohydrate. They don’t use any corn, wheat, or soy products and their recipes are also free from other common allergens like potatoes, dairy, and eggs. Not only is California Natural very careful about what ingredients they use, but they are also very careful in where they get them. This brand knowns that quality pet food starts at the source so they have a trusted network of suppliers that they hold to a high standard – they even provide specific information about where the ingredients in each product come from on their website. 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.

Many dogs who have congestive heart disease are also overweight – the two conditions tend to be linked. Dogs also have a higher risk for becoming overweight or obese as they get older because their metabolisms slow down. If you are looking for a low sodium dog food that is also good for supporting your dog’s healthy weight, consider this California Natural LID Weight Management Brown Rice and Chicken Meal recipe. This formula features brown rice and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, both of which are highly nutritious and digestible for most dogs. This formula contains just four main ingredients, two of which have already been mentioned – the other two are sunflower oil and flaxseed. These ingredients work together with the chicken fat to provide a concentrated source of energy as well as a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This formula contains 21% crude protein and 7% crude fat which is a little low, but it is likely so to keep the calorie count down. In terms of sodium content, this recipe contains just 0.2% so it counts as a low-sodium dog food.

EVO 95 Chicken & Turkey Recipe in Gravy Canned Food Buy It

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Water, Turkey, Beef Liver, Fish Oil (stabilized with mixed Tocopherols)

EVO 95 Chicken & Turkey Recipe in Gravy Canned Food

The EVO brand is known for producing ancestral diets for dogs and cats. Their products are designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild dogs and cats, featuring premium meats to maintain lean muscle mass and to provide essential amino acids. EVO pet foods are designed to “give your pet the protein he or she needs to promote a lean, conditioned body.” Their formulas are highly digestible and made with concentrated nutrition to reduce the amount your dog needs to eat. EVO offers a limited selection of products for dogs including five dry food formulas and two canned food formulas. They offer both small bites and large bites recipes as well as a regular adult dog formula. With EVO you might not have a lot of choices but you can count on each product to deliver excellent quality.

If your dog prefers wet food but you still want to make sure he is getting the nutrients he needs with a reduced sodium level, try this EVO 95 Chicken & Turkey Recipe in Gravy Canned Food recipe. This formula features real chicken as the #1 ingredient and it doesn’t contain any gluten, grains, or potato. It features highly digestible ingredients like chicken, turkey, chicken liver, and fish oil, plus beneficial supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. Like all of EVO’s formulas, this recipe is inspired by the natural diet of wild wolves and it is designed to promote healthy nutrition with a lean, perfectly conditioned body. Made with high-quality ingredients like fresh meat, this EVO 95 Chicken & Turkey Recipe in Gravy Canned Food is a great alternative to raw food if you want your dog to get the nutritional benefits without the hassle of handling and storing raw food.

Fromm Family Gold Reduced Activity & Senior Formula Buy It

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

Fromm Family Gold Reduced Activity & Senior Formula

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 – they 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 their products very seriously which is why they submit all of their 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 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 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 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.

The Honest Kitchen Verve Whole-Grain Beef Dehydrated Buy It

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

The Honest Kitchen Verve Whole-Grain Beef Dehydrated

The Honest Kitchen is a very unique brand of dog food in that they only offer dehydrated dog food, base mixes, meal toppers, and treats. This brand uses 100% human-grade ingredients and they manufacture their products in human food facilities – this makes them one of the only brands on the market that can truly call their products human grade. The Honest Kitchen formulates each of their recipes using fresh, whole foods like real meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Their products help to support your dog’s higher energy levels, healthy bodyweight, improved digestion, and silkier coat and healthy skin. Their 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 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 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 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, and 0.17% sodium. It is a good choice for dogs who need reduced sodium but still need plenty of protein and fat in their diet.

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

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  • Thank you Kate for your listing. Instinctively I knew it is the best choices for dogs and I wrote them down. Primarily because I feed Baudie, my chihuahua the Fromm brand and I really wanted to stay with them. keep up the good work!

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