Myth Buster – Is salt bad for my dog?

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Salt (sodium chloride) is in fact an essential ingredient for dogs as they need it to keep all their cells functioning properly. Salt helps to maintain many cellular functions like fluid balance, acid base balance and nerve signal transmission. Chloride is also necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which helps with digestion. Salt is also a natural preservative as it dries food out and prevents spoilage. A healthy amount of salt for dogs is between 0.25g/100g and 4.5g/100g in their food. Too much salt can cause problems for dogs (as for us) like dehydration and more serious conditions if they eat high levels. Unfortunately, salt tastes pleasant to dogs so it can be difficult to stop them craving more salty treats like crisps or savoury biscuits if fed to them once.

There are some conditions where it is important to reduce the salt level in your dog’s diet. In particular if your dog has kidney, liver or heart disease then reducing the level of salt can help prevent these diseases from progressing quickly. Finding a low-salt diet (or requesting a lower salt blend) alongside low-salt treats is important and will need some research into which foods and treats will suit your dog and his condition.

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