best-low-sodium-dog-food

5 Best Low Sodium Dog Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best low sodium dog foods.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Low Sodium Dog Food?

Back To Contents

Vet’s Advice

If you are looking for a low sodium diet for your pet, then it is likely that they have been diagnosed with a cardiac (heart) condition. Your veterinarian may suggest this type of diet in some cases of very severe heart disease, where your dog’s ability to excrete sodium (salt) from its body is impaired. This is due to the secondary effects that cardiac disease has on other parts of the body, including the kidneys, which normally help keep electrolytes in balance. As well as any medications your veterinarian prescribes, a low sodium diet could be beneficial. Here’s what to look for in a low sodium diet.

Choose a diet that contains 0.08-0.25% sodium on a dry matter (DM) basis

Regular dog food has 0.5% sodium content (or 100mg of sodium per 100 calories) to maintain normal health. Restricted diets should aim for around 0.08-0.25% sodium content on a dry matter basis (or approximately 20-65mg of sodium per 100 calories), depending on the stage of your dog’s disease.

Consider phosphorus levels

If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney failure as part of their condition then you may need to look at the diet’s phosphorus levels and choose one that is restricted to 0.2-0.52% of dry matter. Dogs with kidney issues can end up suffering from hyperphosphatemia (high phosphorus levels) because they lose the ability to excrete phosphorus normally.

Look for other ingredients like Omega-3 fatty acids

Other ingredients such as Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) can help support heart health. These are usually derived from fatty fish oils such as salmon and sardines and are thought to help stabilize heart muscle cells, improving their performance. L-carnitine and taurine are types of amino acid that help with heart health, so diets containing these ingredients are also beneficial.

Back To Contents

Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

Back To Contents

Low Sodium Dog Food Reviews

The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Dehydrated Chicken
    2. Organic Flaxseed
    3. Dehydrated Potatoes
    4. Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes
    5. Dried Apples

  • Type: Dehydrated raw
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 446 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 6.5%

The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food is an excellent quality diet with low sodium levels, making it ideally suited to dogs with dietary restrictions requiring reduced salt. This food bases its formulation on whole chicken, a meat included in dehydrated form for maximum nutritional impact and high amino acid content to support strong and healthy muscles.

A grain-free diet, The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated takes high fiber, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables as the foundation of its carbohydrates. This helps to support fluid digestive processes while boosting the immune system. Each ingredient included in The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated is human grade, ensuring its excellent quality.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated contains no corn, wheat, soy, or added sugars. It is also free from by-products, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics. With so many nutritional benefits to its credit, it is not difficult to see why this diet is considered to be among the best low sodium dog foods on the market today.

Pros

  • Owners were pleased to report their dogs had better energy levels and exhibited more playfulness when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • Dogs with poor stool quality saw a return to normal stool consistency when fed a steady diet of The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated.
  • This diet is full of flavor. Dogs enjoy their meals, lapping up every morsel with hearty gusto.
  • Owners were happy to share that dogs that had regular issues with tear staining and itchy skin no longer struggled with these problems when fed a consistent diet of The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated.
  • Owners like that this diet does not have unpleasant aroma to it. They felt it smells like a human grade product.

Cons

  • Several owners found The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated to be an expensive food.
  • A few owners prefer to feed a diet that includes some grains. This brand does have a grain-inclusive formulation that may be a better solution for these dogs.
  • Some owners did not like the smell or the texture of this food. They found it off putting and expressed concern their dogs did as well.
  • A few dogs lost interest in this food over time. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated has several different flavors, allowing owners the opportunity to provide a large amount of variety in their dogs’ diet. This can help alleviate boredom.
  • Some owners shared there has recently been a price increase for this food. They felt this made this diet more difficult for them to afford for their dogs’ primary meals.

Back To Contents

Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Turkey Meal
    2. Brown Rice
    3. Pumpkin
    4. Pearled Barley
    5. Oatmeal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 350 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 23%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 4%

Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dry Dog Food hits all the high points dogs need from the best low sodium food to fuel their health and development. A diet that relies on two types of protein, turkey meal and Pacific whiting meal, Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage is rich in amino acids to help provide vital support for coat and skin health as well as a dog’s daily energy requirements.

A grain-inclusive formulation, Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage takes highly digestible whole grains such as pearled barley and oatmeal as its main carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables including apples, carrots, blueberries, and spinach have also been included to provide an excellent support for a healthy immune system.

This diet, rated among the best low sodium dog foods, has been enriched with L-carnitine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage a strong metabolism and the development of a strong muscular system.

Pros

  • Owners love that this food includes whole grains in its formula. This gives them great confidence that their dogs are receiving the dietary fiber they need for good digestion.
  • This diet includes glucosamine and chondroitin in its recipe to ensure a vital support for joint health in dogs.
  • Several owners remarked that this diet is an excellent choice for dogs suffering from pancreatitis or kidney issues since it is relatively low in fat and sodium.
  • Owners liked the crunchiness of the kibble in this diet, noting that it assists with keeping their dogs’ teeth free from tartar and plaque.
  • Dogs suffering from food-related allergies found relief from their symptoms with a change to this diet.

Cons

  • Several owners were disappointed that their bags of food now contain less kibble, but the price has remained the same.
  • A few owners wondered if this formula has recently changed as their dogs are no longer doing as well on it as they once were.
  • A few dogs suffered with poor digestion and extremely dry skin when transitioned to this diet. This may be the result of a sensitivity to one of the ingredients found in this food.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that is grain-free, especially those with dogs with allergies.
  • In rare cases, some dogs were uninterested in this diet and would not eat it. This is likely simply a matter of personal preference.

Back To Contents

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Ocean Fish Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Potatoes
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 360 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3%

For one of the best low sodium dog foods that packs a powerful punch when it comes to both nutrition and flavor, it’s hard to go wrong with Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream focuses on smoked salmon as its primary ingredient, a protein that is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to provide dogs with the energy they need while supporting good coat and skin.

The diet is grain-free, taking its carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables with a high nutritional profile such as tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries. These superfoods are known to assist with building strong immunity and also pack a walloping punch of dietary fiber to encourage good digestion.

Taste of the Wild is free from grains, corn, wheat, fillers, soy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, making it a food that families can trust to support their dog’s health.

Pros

  • Dogs with itchy skin saw great improvements when fed this diet on a regular basis. In time, their skin became very well-hydrated and dandruff-free.
  • This diet is exceptionally flavorful. Dogs enjoy the taste of this food and look forward to their every meal. Even picky eaters happily lick their bowls clean.
  • Dogs suffering from poor digestion saw a return to regular bowel movements and appropriate stool quality when fed a steady diet of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.
  • Dogs fed this food on a consistent basis had coats that were healthy, soft, and shiny.
  • Most owners reported they find the cost of this food to be extremely affordable. They love that they are able to offer their dogs premium nutrition at a reasonable price.

Cons

  • A few dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. Another Taste of the Wild diet may be a better fit for these dogs. There are many flavors to choose from.
  • Some owners shared that this diet was a little costly in their opinion.
  • A few people disliked that this diet is grain-free, preferring to feed a diet that includes nutritious whole grains in its formulation.
  • A couple of owners noted their dogs’ breath was particularly fishy when fed a steady diet of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.
  • This recipe includes potatoes, peas, and lentils. All of these ingredients are controversial and may be linked to such health problems as lowered fertility rates and elevated spikes in blood sugar levels in dogs.

Back To Contents

Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Whitefish
    2. Ground Barley
    3. Peas
    4. Menhaden Fish Meal
    5. Oatmeal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 435 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 22%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food hits all the high marks dogs need from their low sodium diet to thrive. A highly flavorful food, Wellness Complete Health Adult’s primary ingredient is whitefish, a meat that is of exceptional quality and packed with nutrients to support good health.

Both grains and fruits and vegetables are included in this formulation with the emphasis being on each ingredient’s ease of digestibility and high nutritional value.

Wellness Complete Health Adult, a low sodium food that is rated among the best of its kind, is free from wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Biotin has been added to provide a vital help to skin and coat health. For dogs prone to heart conditions, taurine has also been included as an excellent cardiac support.

Pros

  • Dogs that regularly suffered from gas and loose stools saw a return to normal digestion when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • The emphasis on lean and highly digestible fish proteins makes this diet full of nutrients and flavor. Dogs enjoy the taste of this food and eagerly lap up every morsel.
  • Dogs fed Wellness Complete Health Adult displayed coats that were healthy, soft, shiny, and thick.
  • Owners were pleased to report their dogs had better energy levels and saw a return of their playful behavior when fed a steady diet of this food.
  • Owners like that this diet is grain-free, feeling it is a great choice for dogs with food-related allergies.

Cons

  • Owners noted their dogs had slightly fishy breath after eating this food consistently.
  • A few owners felt this food was a little on the expensive side.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a food that is grain-inclusive. They expressed they felt whole grains play an important role in dogs achieving ideal digestion.
  • A few dogs began to exhibit harsher coat texture when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • Some dogs disliked the smell of this food and would not eat it. Wellness has many different food formulations, some grain-inclusive and some grain-free. One of these diets may be a better choice for these dogs.

Back To Contents

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Cassava Flour
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 387 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 10%
  • Fiber: 4%

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a diet that focuses on a select ingredients list to prevent skin and stomach sensitivities while boosting overall nutritional quality. A diet that is rich in protein, Natural Balance L.I.D. contains both chicken and chicken meal to provide a healthy serving of vital amino acids to support a healthy body.

Carbohydrates are derived from fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and antioxidants. Natural Balance L.I.D., one of the best low sodium dog foods, is free from corn, wheat, and soy, all common allergens for many dogs.

Pros

  • Owners like that the kibble pieces in this diet are very crunchy. They feel the kibble texture is a great help in promoting ideal oral hygiene in dogs.
  • This diet is highly flavorful. Most dogs love the taste of it and look forward to their every meal.
  • Dogs fed a consistent diet of Natural Balance L.I.D. saw great improvements in their digestion and stool quality.
  • Dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs do very well on this diet, finding relief from skin and tummy troubles permanently.
  • This diet is available in several different flavors, allowing owners to provide their dogs with some variety in the foods they eat.

Cons

  • Some owners indicated there has been a formula change, and their dogs no longer do as well on this diet as they once did.
  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. Natural Balance has several different limited ingredient formulations with other proteins as their basis. One of these diets may be more appealing to those dogs.
  • A few owners found the smell of this food very strong and off putting.
  • Several owners noted inconsistencies with this product. The kibble pieces seemed to vary in size from bag to bag.
  • A few owners expressed they would prefer to feed a diet that includes some whole grains in its recipe.

Back To Contents

How to Choose the Best Low Sodium Dog Foods

There are many different reasons why owners may opt to feed their best canine pal a diet that contains a reduced amount of sodium. Foods that are rich in salt can exacerbate a number of serious health problems including congestive heart failure and kidney and liver issues. Since congestive heart failure itself leads to fluid retention, diets that are high in salt can increase the negative effects of the disease for dogs.

As a general rule, diets that contain low to moderate amounts of sodium are a powerful help in preventing excess fluid accumulation. The reduction in sodium leads to water loss each time the dog urinates, providing a vital help to the dog’s critical internal organs.

It can be very challenging to determine the actual sodium content of a given dog food as AAFCO currently does not require this information to be printed on bags. In addition to this, at this time, established food regulations mandate a minimum amount of sodium a food must contain but no maximum, meaning sodium levels can vary dramatically from food to food.

Veterinary professionals have instituted a basic set of guidelines to assist dog owners with selecting a food with the appropriate level of sodium for their dog’s age and health condition. The recommended amounts include:

  • 100 mg of sodium per 100 calories for dogs with no need for reduced sodium intake
  • 80 t0 100 mg of sodium per 100 calories for dogs with the need for mild sodium reductions
  • 50 to 80 mg of sodium per 100 calories for dogs with the need for moderate sodium reductions
  • Less than 50 mg of sodium for dogs requiring severe sodium limitations

Though excess sodium is typically only a red flag for dogs with ongoing health conditions, it is possible for dogs to succumb to salt poisoning from a diet too rich in sodium. This most often occurs when a dog ingests a concentrated amount of salt in an abbreviated amount of time. Most frequently, salt toxicity is a result of a dog getting into human food that is heavily salted or eating from a salt shaker.

Salt toxicity can occur at as low levels as 4 grams of sodium per kilogram of a dog’s weight. The most commonly seen symptoms of salt toxicity include vomiting and seizures. Should salt toxicity be suspected in a dog, veterinary intervention is critical, and even if obtained in time, experts report that 50 percent of dogs that have eaten too high a concentration of salt will die, regardless of treatment.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Low Sodium Dog Foods

Trying to determine the correct amount of the best low sodium food to a feed a dog can be challenging. To help with this task, it is always a good idea to use the suggested serving size listed on the side of the bag as a starting point. The dog’s breed, age, weight, and activity level will provide vital helps in ascertaining the proper meal size.

Portions can be adjusted to reflect the dog’s unique needs. Most typically, the dog’s weight and appetite are of great assistance, helping owners to understand if meal sizes should be increased or decreased for optimal health and eating satisfaction.

The best low sodium dog foods for adult dogs contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. By comparison, low sodium puppy formulations should be comprised of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat with slightly higher percentages of each also considered to be ideal.

Dietary Requirements for Low Sodium Dog Foods

The best low sodium dog foods really don’t differ from any high quality diet suited for canine consumption other than that a more conservative approach to sodium content has been undertaken. The first ingredient in any low sodium diet should be a meat-based protein. Whole meats are always the preferred choice, but for a concentrated amount of high quality protein, meat meals are also an excellent selection.

By-products are not as easily digested by dogs and are often comprised of inferior quality pieces of the animal, making them an undesirable choice in an ideal food for dogs. Plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat, are also difficult for dogs to process and utilize effectively and have been reported to be common allergens among many dogs.

Carbohydrates play an important role in the best low sodium diets. These can be sourced from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The primary importance of each included carbohydrate is its ease of digestibility and antioxidant content to help support a healthy immune system.

Healthy fats are a critical part of any diet suited to dogs with sodium restrictions. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are a crucial help in ensuring coat and skin health as well as fueling the active dog’s energy levels to enjoy its busy lifestyle with its family. These are best sourced from animal fats such as chicken fat or oily fish.

Every diet can benefit from the addition of supplements to boost the dog’s ability to process its food effectively. Among the most helpful supplements to look for are prebiotics and probiotics to assist with digestion. Glucosamine and chondroitin can also encourage healthy joint function.

Things to Look for in the Best Low Sodium Dog Foods

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a low sodium dog food:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Contains healthy amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Scroll to Top