Does My Dog Need Sodium?
As we all know, sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is found in the blood and in the fluid that surrounds the cells in our body. Sodium maintains the cellular environment and prevents cells from swelling or dehydrating. It is also essential for maintaining proper nerve and muscle cell function.
In pet foods, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are good sources of sodium. Sodium may also be included in commercial pet foods in the form of table salt (sometimes listed on the ingredient panel as salt). Salt is an essential palatant for animals, as well as people. Palatants are ingredients that ensure food tastes good.
How Much Sodium Should A Dog Have?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry dog foods contain at least 0.3% (and dry cat foods contain at least 0.2% sodium) for both maintenance and to support average growth and development. These are the minimum recommended levels.
While high sodium intake may cause increased thirst and water consumption, the extra sodium is excreted in the urine.
Healthy dogs can consume diets with higher sodium levels than those found in most commercial pet foods without increased blood pressure or body water gain. Therefore, the sodium level in commercial pet foods is not a cause for concern in healthy animals.
Possible Sodium Restrictions For Your Dog
A veterinarian may recommend decreasing a dog’s sodium intake if the animal has some types of kidney, liver, or heart disease to help reduce high blood pressure or accumulate excessive body fluid. Although older dogs may be more likely to develop these diseases, healthy older dogs do not require a low or reduced-sodium diet.
Article written by Author: Timothy Brill