Can Dogs Eat Salt? Everything You Need To Know

Dogs can eat salt in moderation. They need a certain amount of salt to maintain their bodily functions. Dogs get a sufficient amount of salt from a regular diet (in their dog food and treats) and therefore salt should not be added to every meal. High-sodium meals and salty foods can cause severe health issues and could lead to salt poisoning.

How Much Salt to Add to Homemade Dog Food Recipes and What's Safe?

Is Salt Safe For Dogs?

Salt is safe for dogs but only when it is taken in moderation. Sodium is a vital element for the immune system’s functions and benefits dogs to grow strong. 

Is Salt Bad For Dogs?

Excessive salt intake and salty treats can cause serious health issues in dogs. Dogs with diabetes and heart conditions need low-sodium nutrition. Large quantities of salt intake by dogs will result in salt poisoning, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.

Why Is Salt Bad For Dogs?

When a dog consumes more sodium, the muscles will lose their moisture and become very hard. This is known as salt poisoning, and it will lead to trembling, neurological injury, or even death in dogs. If you suspect salt poisoning, immediately contact your vet as it requires medical attention.

How Much Salt Content Should You Serve Your Dog?

According to dogs’ health requirements, there is already a suitable amount of salt in dogs’ normal diet, and they don’t need any additional salt added to their diet.

The American Food Control association declares that dry dog food should have around 0.3 percent sodium. Most healthy dogs only need 50-100 mg of sodium per day, and those with heart failure will require less salt.

Consult a veterinarian to plan the level of dietary sodium needed for your dog, depending on the dog’s health. 

What If My Dog Consumes Too Much Salt?

Overconsumption of salt in dogs can be identified by

  • Excess water intake
  • Weakness
  • Tentative Walking
  • Bloated Belly

Once you suspect overconsumption of salt or salt poisoning, immediately call a vet or Pet Poison Helpline. You should give them details on your dog’s height, weight, diet, and quantity of salt intake. If the severity is less, a liquid diet and electrolytes will be sufficient to cure the dog. In severe cases, dogs might need to be hospitalized, where they should be on IV fluids to control electrolytes, and dehydration and brain inflammation remedies will be administered.

Symptoms of Salt Poisoning

The symptoms of salt poisoning include

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Tongue Swelling
  • High Heart Beat
  • Struggling to Breath
  • Panting
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Raised Ears
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Excessive Urination
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Tipsy Walk

Solutions to Avoid Salt Poisoning

  • Never feed them salty human foods.
  • Always give sufficient freshwater.
  • Avoid feeding table bits of salty foods.
  • Do not feed salted beef, potato chips, pretzels,etc.
  • Avoid dog food with salt listed on the first five ingredients.

There are salt substances around the house that should not be licked or consumed by the dogs including

  • Rock salt 
  • Paintball
  • Seawater
  • Enemas
  • Homemade playdough

Alternatives to Salt

Salt cannot be avoided altogether as dogs require it to maintain a stable system and organs. Their body will balance sodium level when the intake is on the right amount, but dogs too low on salt can become weak.

Himalayan Salt can be added as an alternative to a dog’s diet with store-bought dog food and homemade food as it has high mineral content. Including a pinch of Himalayan Salt to the dog’s diet will help in,

  • Metabolism
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Stimulate Normal Circulation
  • Strengthen the Bones
  • Balance pH level
  • Reduces Heart Problems

Final Words

As components are listed by weight on food product labels, dry food, which has low moisture, may seem to have less salt content than wet food. However, this is not true, and it is essential to check the label of food products to avoid high salted food products. It is essential to check with a veterinarian before preparing a diet chart.

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