Accessibility View Close toolbar
Menu

Location

Foods to Avoid for Pets on Low Sodium Diets

Image of a sodium nutrition label.

Pets afflicted with heart failure or high blood pressure should not be fed salty foods, as they cause fluid to be retained in the body and make it harder for the heart to work. They also can lead to fluid developing in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Most commercial dog foods have a decent level of sodium, although some have high levels, such as Hill's S/D. Pets that have non-life-threatening heart problems don't necessarily need to be restricted on sodium, but you still should keep an eye on whether the food you're feeding your pet has overly-high sodium levels. Once a pet has had an episode of congestive heart failure or has hypertension, the diet should be restricted in sodium.

Most commercial dog foods have a sodium content of 1.0 gram per 1000 KCal. This description is just a way to measure the relative sodium content without having to calculate whether it is a canned or dry food. 1.0 gram is actually ten times the amount really needed by pets. As it turns out, dogs like salty foods just like we do!!

Often veterinarians will recommend a renal diet (one made for kidney problems) for heart patients as these diets are restricted in sodium (0.3 gram per KCal) and heart patients usually become kidney patients eventually. There is a diet made by Hill's specifically for heart patients (H/D) that has 0.23 gram of sodium per KCal, and in some cases veterinary cardiologists may recommend this.

You should review the label of the pet food you are feeding to see if the percentage of sodium is listed. Usually it is not on the label, as it is not required to be listed, but you can contact the manufacturer to ask for the sodium content. Remember, to compare, the sodium content should be given in grams per KCal.

In order to administer medications, many people use Pill PocketsTM made by GreeniesTM. These are tasty pillowcase-shaped products used to hide pills for dogs or cats. The Canine Pill PocketsTM are high in sodium, so it is better to use the Feline Pill PocketsTM for both dogs and cats.

With advances in veterinary medicine, many heart patients can live happily and without symptoms for years. It is up to you to make sure their diet is a good one!!

Location

Office Hours

Monday:

6:00 pm-8:00 am

Tuesday:

6:00 pm-8:00 am

Wednesday:

6:00 pm-8:00 am

Thursday:

6:00 pm-8:00 am

Friday:

6:00 pm-8:00 am

Saturday:

24 hours

24 Hours

Sunday:

24 hours

24 Hours

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Sammers is an 11 year old, Black, Domestic Short Hair Cat. His owner noticed that Sammers was pacing, walking around in circles at home and crying out in pain.

    "I would like to thank all of the staff who helped with Sammer's UTI. He was miserable, and you guys made him better. I cannot thank you enough for helping him. It is great to have a place to go when all the other vet clinics are closed.""
    Roxanne & "Sammers"- June 2012
  • "Kahlua is a very special service dog. He was brought in by his owner when she noticed that Kahlua was acting very painful and didn't want to jump. After a thorough exam Kahlua went home with some pain meds. Kahlua's mom stopped by our Facebook page to send us a note on his progress.

    "Just wanted to thank Dr. Cavanaugh, straight from the heart for seeing our Kahlua and putting our worries to rest. It was hilarious trying to get him to take his Tramadol.... cheese would not work but the Chunky Skippy did the trick. WE THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!! So thank you, straight from the heart.""
    Michelle & "Kahula" - July 2012