Sodium is an essential mineral for life.
Found in the blood and in the fluid that surrounds cells, sodium maintains the cellular environment and prevents cells from swelling or dehydrating. Sodium is also important for maintaining proper nerve and muscle cell function.
What Are the Sources of Sodium in Dog Foods?
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are good sources of sodium.
Sodium also might be included in commercial pet foods in the form of table salt (sometimes listed on the ingredient panel as salt). Salt is an important palatant for animals, as well as for people.
How Much Sodium Do Dogs Need?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry dog foods contain at least 0.3% sodium for both maintenance and to support normal growth and development. This is the minimum recommended levels.
While high sodium intake might cause increased thirst and water consumption, the extra sodium is excreted in the urine of dogs. Healthy dogs are able to consume diets with higher sodium levels than those found in most commercial pet foods without increased blood pressure or gain in body water.
Therefore, the sodium level in commercial pet foods is not a cause for concern in healthy animals.
When Might Sodium Restriction Be Recommended?
A veterinarian might recommend decreasing a dog's sodium intake if the animal has some types of kidney, liver, or heart disease, in order to help decrease high blood pressure or the accumulation of excessive body fluid.
Although older dogs might be more likely to develop these diseases, healthy older dogs do not require a low- or reduced-sodium diet.
The sodium level in our dog foods is appropriate for a healthy dog. The sodium content in these foods is balanced in proper proportions with energy, other minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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