The health hazards of consuming too much sodium is no more a mystery. But did you know that sodium can be dangerous for your dogs too?
Here’s a fact:
Sodium is crucial for your dogs. It is an important nutrient that completes and balances a dog’s diet. Sodium will, however, only prove to be healthy if consumed according to recommended feeding standards. Also, if they’re suffering from a health condition that limits their ability to excrete the excess sodium out, it will take a toll on their health and worsen the condition.
Giving your dog high-sodium treats or feeding them a diet that has high sodium content can make matters worse. And while their bodies are designed to handle extra salt intake to some extent, opting for a low-sodium diet is highly recommended if your dog has been diagnosed with conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, congestive heart failure, or ascites.
To make things easier for you, we will highlight the best low sodium dog food options and discuss important information in the article later to help you with a smart buying decision.
Check out the table below for our top recommendations.
Best Low-Sodium Dog Foods – My Top Picks
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Barley, 5. Oatmeal
This dry kibble formula by Blue Buffalo is made using all-natural ingredients. The primary sources of protein include chicken and chicken meal. The recipe also has brown rice, oatmeal whole grains, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and other garden vegetables to balance nutrition. Also, this product contains no preservatives, meat by-products, or artificial flavors. In fact, it offers the perfect balance of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to support your dog’s nutritional requirement.
What’s more is that the diet contains reduced sodium content, which works best for dogs with sensitivities and other health problems. The added LifeSource Bits is another plus that ensures great muscle development and overall health of your pooch.
2. Wellness Complete Health Adult Lamb & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Ground Barley, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
Prepared using only premium natural ingredients, this nutrient-dense recipe is rich in digestible whole grains and high-quality proteins. The low-sodium dry kibble formula is an excellent choice for its great nutritional profile and because there are no meat by-products, preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors in the recipe.
Support your dog’s overall health by offering him this complete nutrition with rich flavors of spinach, carrots, tomatoes, brown rice, apples, and blueberries. The popular food option supports heart health and healthy joints as it contains taurine and chondroitin sulfate. The added green tea extracts fight cell destruction and free radicals, boosting your dog’s overall health.
3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas
If your dog prefers flavors other than chicken, provide him with a nutrient-dense food option with natural flavors of smoked salmon and ocean fish. The diet’s rich nutrient profile makes it highly digestible as it contains plenty of natural ingredients without excess sodium content. Nourish your dog’s overall health with this grain-free recipe that’s ideal for pooches with food sensitivities and allergies. It contains a powerful blend of antioxidants from premium-quality vegetables and fruits that strengthens their immune system and supports overall great health.
Beneficial for small, medium, and large breeds alike, this adult dog food formula ensures maximum absorption of vital nutrients and also guarantees better and shinier coat and skin.
4. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Beef Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food4.
Protein (min.) 31% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 7% | Moisture (max.) 7.8%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Dehydrated Beef, 2. Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, 3. Dehydrated Potatoes, 4. Organic Flaxseed, 5. Dried Organic Coconut
Say goodbye to high sodium diets and offer complete and balanced nutrition formulated with the best ingredients. This Honest Kitchen recipe is delicious and nutritious and provides a wholesome meal for your pups and adult pooches. It has a grain-free formula and contains various vegetables and fruits, including sweet potatoes, coconut, cranberries, kale, and more. The real ranch-raised beef serves as the primary source of protein and offers great health benefits to dogs of all sizes and breeds.
The dehydrated dog food contains no GMO ingredients, preservatives, and byproducts and has controlled sodium levels to prevent common kidney and liver problems in dogs.
5. Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Ground Barley, 4. Ground Brown Rice, 5. Rye Flour
With this food in hand, you can rest assured your dog will get the best nutrition and natural flavors to stay healthy and thrive. Made with premium ingredients, this food by Earthborn Holistic has an excellent nutrition profile with guaranteed levels of antioxidant nutrients and high quality animal and fish protein. The delicious flavors come from chicken meal and whitefish meal, which help build and maintain muscle. It has low sodium content that keeps your dog’s health conditions from worsening.
The recipe contains nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits such as spinach, carrots, blueberries, and apples to support your dog’s optimal health and immune system.
6. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Lamb Meal, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Rice Bran
This one by Natural Balance is a great low-sodium option for excellent digestibility. It is a limited-ingredient formula with a single protein source. The recipe is free from wheat, soy, and corn and does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Support your pal’s health and keep sensitivities at bay by offering a limited-ingredient diet that contains selected nutrients for your pooch to thrive.
Produced in the USA, this adult dog formula is suitable for all breeds and contains real lamb as the primary ingredient. This complete and balanced dry dog food is a unique gluten-free, grain-inclusive formula that’s hard to match.
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 19% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Whole Grain Wheat, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Corn Gluten Meal
If you have a large or giant breed dog, this low-sodium formula will work best for them. The diet contains precise nutrition to keep up with your dog’s healthy lifestyle. Prevent your dog’s health problems with this wholesome diet that contains premium ingredients such as lamb meal and rice. This savory recipe is perfectly balanced to meet your large dog’s nutritional needs. Made in the US, the nourishing formula for large and giant breed dogs guarantees great health and happiness.
The recipe also contains essential omega fatty acids to nourish your pet’s skin and coat. It also contains a natural blend of antioxidants and vitamins that work together to support a stronger immune system.
8. Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken Lamb, Brown Rice & Pearled Barley Recipe Whole Grain Adult Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Pearled Barley, 5. Oatmeal
Offer your dog the best nutrition he deserves with Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken recipe. It contains lamb, pearled barley, and brown rice as key ingredients. The diet is not only low on sodium but also free from soy, wheat, and corn. It’s crafted with nutritious whole grains so your dog gets all the energy he needs to stay active and thrive all day long. Formulated to enhance your dog’s overall health and vitality, the recipe also works wonders in supporting great gut health and overall immune system.
Provide your dog a complete meal rich in probiotics, superfoods, minerals, B vitamins, and fiber to keep him strong with this holistic and flavorful kibble.
9. Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Grain-Free Canned Dog Food Topper
Protein (min.) 8% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 1% | Moisture (max.) 78%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Water Sufficient For Processing, 3. Natural Flavor, 4. Cassia Gum, 5. Carrageenan
If you are looking for a canned food option, this one by Wellness won’t disappoint you. The 100% grain-free recipe is prepared with premium protein and is an excellent source of nutrition. It has low sodium content, making it one of the best choices for dogs with liver or kidney disease. The pate structure is smooth and flavorful and does not contain wheat, soy, corn, or peas. Rich in protein, this formula contains premium chicken as the primary ingredient and various other delicious ingredients that make it palatable.
Serve on its own or use it as a delicious wet food topper on the kibble. This special meal adds protein and water to your pooch’s diet right away.
10. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic All Breed Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Sorghum
This holistic recipe by Dr. Gary is designed for all breeds and works best for adult dogs. The food contains all natural ingredients and has low sodium content. Additionally, it contains high-quality protein sources including premium chicken, eggs, and menhaden fish that also provide essential amino acids for building lean and strong muscle mass in dogs. This special recipe is prepared using slow-cooking method to ensure your dog gets the best nutrients with maximum absorption.
Probiotic bacteria culture in this formula also aids with improved digestion while nutrient-dense sea mussel helps with strengthening joints. Prepared under expert guidance, this one a great low-sodium dog food you can choose for your beloved pooch.
11. Natural Balance Ultra Premium Beef Formula Canned Dog Food
Protein (min.) 8% | Fat (min.) 5% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 78%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Broth, 3. Beef Liver, 4. Potatoes, 2. Carrots
This one is another canned food formula that your dog’s going to love. Low in sodium, this hearty meal contains everything your dog can thrive on. It is free from all kinds of artificial ingredients and byproducts and offers complete and balanced nutrition to your pooch. The recipe includes premium beef formula and contains high-quality meat, brown rice, fresh carrots, and potatoes to keep up with your dog’s appetite. This unique diet also contains Yucca Schidigera extract to help with gastrointestinal system.
12. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Turkey & Rice Entree Morsels in Gravy Canned Dog Food
Protein (min.) 9% | Fat (min.) 2% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 82%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water Sufficient for Processing, 2. Turkey, 3. Liver, 4. Wheat Gluten, 5. Rice
The delicious morsels in gravy are every dog’s dream. This delicious canned food option is low on sodium and rich in all the goodness. Fill up your paw-tner’s bowl with this specialized formula prepared from premium ingredients including turkey. This is a weight control formula that contains 25% less fat to help your dog control weight and stay more active. It is also highly-digestible as it includes prebiotic fiber for maintaining intestinal balance and improving digestive health.
13. Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brown Rice, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Oat Groats
While the name specifies this recipe for boxers, it is suitable for all large breed dogs. This special formula by Royal Canin is for adult dogs that are susceptible to heart problems. It contains optimal levels of fat and protein to ensure your dog’s great health. The low sodium content prevents the condition from worsening if your dog is already diagnosed with a heart, kidney, or liver problem. This tailor-made formula is also enriched with L-carnitine for healthy muscle mass.
14. Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 10.5% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Ground Whole Grain Barley, 4. Ground Whole Grain Corn, 5. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
Senior dogs are more prone to developing different health problems. Don’t let your big boy suffer in his golden age by ensuring the best nutrition possible. This low-sodium recipe by Iams is specifically designed for senior dogs keeping their specific nutritional requirements in mind. This dog food contains real farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient and source of protein. It is formulated with premium ingredients to ensure your dog gets the key nutrients he needs for healthy joints and bones. We highly recommend this wholesome blend of goodness for your senior dog to guarantee the very best for your buddy.
15. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Dried Peas, 4. Soybean Meal, 5. Whole Ground Corn
This special recipe by Rachael Ray is prepared in American facilities to ensure it follows all the standards necessary to meet an adult dog’s nutritional requirement. Rich in probiotic and wholesome fiber, the gluten-free formula has low sodium content to support your canine’s great overall health. The recipe includes farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient in this natural blend. In addition to providing the best nutrition, the diet also serves as a natural source of omega fatty acids for smooth coat and healthy skin.
16. I and Love and You Naked Essentials Lamb & Bison Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 12%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Chickpeas, 5. Peas
Your furry friend deserves the best nutrition and a special diet if he has a health condition. If you’re looking for a low sodium option for your dog, this option by I and Love and You is an excellent choice. The special lamb and bison recipe is not only grain-free and highly nutritious, but also contains low sodium to keep your dog’s health problems at bay. It’s the pawfect food that you can serve any breed.
The premium formula is fit for puppies, adult, and senior dogs alike as it contains a unique blend of prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy digestion so your furry fella’s tummy feels full and happy.
17. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Pork Meal, 2. Potatoes, 3. Peas, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Pea Protein
Provide your dog with nature’s goodness and feed this complete and balanced nutrition by Whole Earth Farms. This grain-free formula features the delicious flavors of beef, pork, and lamb. Help your dog improve his health condition with this low sodium diet that includes sweet potatoes, apples, and flax seeds for added nutrition. This diet also works well for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Prepared using the best ingredients, this food option won’t disappoint your dog.
18. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Marrow Roasts Hearty Beef Recipe Dog Treats
Protein (min.) 15% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 22%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Ground Peas, 3. Vegetable Glycerin, 4. Chickpea Flour, 5. Tapioca Starch
You don’t have to feed a high sodium treat to your dog when you have this option in hand. This hearty dog treat recipe serves as a delicious snack that your dog will absolutely love. These delicious treats do not contain any wheat, wheat gluten, soy, corn, artificial flavors, or colors. In fact, the crunchy biscuits by Wellness Core are rich in essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, zinc, and calcium. These treats are baked to perfection to maintain the crunchiness outside and real marrow inside.
19. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Sweet Potatoes, 2. Venison, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Canola Oil
This is a grain-free recipe by Natural Balance that includes high-quality nutrition for optimal health. The recipe is not only low in sodium content but also limits carbohydrates. It contains no artificial, colors, or preservatives either. Formulated with high-quality nutrition that’s suitable for all breeds, the primary ingredients are venison and sweet potatoes that aids in good overall health. The diet also contains omega-3 fatty acids derived from flaxseeds to give your pooch a healthy and shiny coat.
20. Hill’s Prescription Diet h/d Heart Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Protein (min.) 14.5% | Fat (min.) 16.5% | Fiber (max.) 2.5%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whole Grain Corn, 2. Pork Fat, 3. Soy Protein Isolate, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Chicken Liver Flavor
Factors such as weight, age, and other health conditions can leave their impact on heart health. Your dog may suffer if heart health is compromised. The poor function can affect their overall lifestyle and activity level. This is where you need to pay special attention to their diet. Opt for this healthy and low sodium food option and help your dog recover and live life to the fullest. This recipe is developed by veterinarians and nutritionists following clinical nutrition standards to improve your dog’s heart functions.
How Much Sodium Does Your Dog Need?
Let’s get this straight: Sodium is important in your dog’s diet as it is an essential mineral according to the American Association of Feed Control Officials. An adult dog requires at least 0.3% or 100mg of sodium per 100kcal. This essential mineral helps with maintaining electrolyte balance as well as muscle and nerve cell function.
Some products may contain a higher level of sodium to enhance flavors. This may not affect healthy dogs as they can expel the extra sodium through urine. Unlike humans, excess sodium does not cause hypertension problems in dogs.
The natural sources of sodium in dog foods include poultry, meat, eggs, and fish. However, some options may include commercial table salt. If you’re trying to cut the sodium levels for certain health issues, it is best to avoid foods that contain excess sodium content.
Low Sodium Dog Diet Recommendation
So it’s clear now that hypertension isn’t the reason why you need to switch your dog’s food to a low-sodium option. The actual problem why your dog is recommended a low sodium diet is the trouble with fluid buildup in the body.
Health conditions such as congestive heart failure, kidney problems, and compromised liver function can cause fluid accumulation in the body. Since salt also increases water retention, consuming food with high sodium can exacerbate this issue. By cutting down sodium in your dog’s diet, you can keep the problems from getting worse.
At the same time, it is also important to keep your dog’s basic nutritional needs in mind. You must look for a weight management formula or a source with animal protein as the primary ingredient. The low-sodium formula should be rich in protein, moderate in fat content, and include digestible carbohydrates to provide complete and balanced nutrition to your dog.
Health Conditions That Call for Low Sodium Dog Food
The following health conditions call for a reduction in sodium content in dog foods.
Reducing salt intake can reduce the risk of developing congestive heart failure. If your dog already has it, reducing sodium content in the diet can keep the condition from worsening. Your dog’s body fails to eliminate the extra amount of sodium in their body due to heart problems. This leads to water retention. The extra fluid in the bloodstream puts pressure on the heart and other organs such as kidneys and lungs.
Check out this video if you’re looking for homemade recipes for dogs with congestive heart disease:
The liver’s function is to eliminate waste from the body. It helps filters out toxins in the blood and improves body functions. When a dog is diagnosed with liver disease or failure, he can become too sick. In addition to providing him the right treatment, giving your dog a reduced-sodium diet can help manage the effects of the condition.
Your dog will be recommended a low sodium diet if they’re diagnosed with kidney disease. The kidney’s ability to excrete out excess sodium and other minerals in the urine is compromised. If your pooch continues to consume the same or higher amount of sodium, it will only make matters worse.
If your dog consumes something too salty, they will balance it out by drinking a lot of water. But sometimes, this could lead to salt toxicity when the liquid intake isn’t enough to dilute the sodium intake. This condition is also called hypernatremia. As common as it may sound, salt toxicity can be life-threatening. You must seek a professional vet’s assistance right away. After the initial treatment, your dog will be recommended a low sodium diet.
Some conditions like liver failure and heart failure can cause the blood and other body fluids to leak into the abdomen. The excess liquid can put pressure on the abdomen and other organs. This is called ascites. A dog with this condition could experience difficulty in breathing and show lethargy and weakness. Lowering sodium content in your dog’s diet, who’s already suffering from liver or heart disease, can save him from ascites.
Opting for Low Sodium Dog Foods – Key Benefits
In addition to keeping the above-mentioned health conditions from worsening or leading to further health complications, there are more benefits of switching to the best low sodium dog food. Check them out below.
Higher salt content absorbs liquid. When you provide a restricted-sodium diet to your dog, they won’t need a lot of water to stay hydrated.
Better Senior Years
Aging can be particularly difficult for dogs as it brings tons of health problems with it. Osteoporosis, organ failure, decreased muscle, and compromised nerve function are common health problems in senior dogs. Keeping up with a low salt diet can prevent the progression or occurrence of many such geriatric health conditions.
Tips to Choosing the Best Low Sodium Dog Foods
Here are some more tips to help you choose the best option.
Check for Protein Content and Sources
Protein is the primary factor you need to ponder over. Dogs require meat in their diet for health and sustenance. But if their recommended sodium content is too low, make sure you opt for an option with lower protein content. Look for options that offer premium protein sources only, such as lamb, beef, chicken, or fish.
Carbs are essential for our furry fellas for energy. But not all carbs are created equal. Opt for options that contain complex carbohydrates like flaxseed, whole grains, or sweet potatoes. It’s easier for your dog to break down these ingredients to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels.
Minerals, Vitamins, and Supplements
Food options that include healthy ingredients like green beans, bananas, apples, and carrots are recommended. Make sure the added minerals, vitamins, and supplements do not add to the overall sodium level to your dog’s diet.
Breed Size and Age
If you’re opting for a low-sodium diet for your furbaby, it is important to pick a suitable food for their breed and stage of life. Puppies need more energy, fat, and certain minerals to keep up with their growth. On the other hand, senior dogs are less active and would become obese on a calorie-dense diet. Similarly, large and giant dogs have different dietary requirements. Always take these factors into account before choosing the right dog food.
Best Low Sodium Dog Foods FAQs
How much sodium do I give my dog with a health condition?
Different health conditions would require a variable sodium intake. You must always consult a vet to know how restrictive you should be about sodium content in your dog’s diet. Here are some common measures:
- Mild restriction: 80-100m per 100 kcal
- Moderate restriction: 50-80mg per 100 kcal
- High restriction: 40-50mg per 100 kcal
- Extreme restriction: 20-40mg per 100 kcal
If you can’t find the sodium listed on the label, make sure you contact the manufacturer and request for information.
What meats are low in sodium?
Meats that are low in sodium are chicken, beef, lamb, and fish, especially catfish and cod.
Does wet food contain lower sodium as compared to dry food options?
You can find both dry and canned food options with lowered sodium levels. The choice depends on your pet’s health and preferences. Canned foods, however, are better for keeping your pet hydrated. If your dog loves his kibble, use the wet food as the topper.