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Sodium is an important mineral in the daily diet, and for your dog, that is no different. Getting a balanced amount of sodium in your pet's diet allows them to maintain fluid equilibrium within their cells as well as the functioning of their muscle and nerve cells. Sounds great right? However, as we all know, too much of a good thing can be detrimental, so how much sodium should your dog actually intake to stay healthy and happy?
Where humans are recommended by the Food and Drug Administration to consume anywhere from 1,500mg - 2,300mg of sodium each day, the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources states dogs weighing 33lbs are recommended to intake no more than a mere 200mg. If you are unsure about your dog's sodium intake, consult your veterinarian about adjusting the amount based on your dog's size and health conditions.
Not every single brand of each food listed above has the same sodium levels; however, these were very common amounts listed in the products. It's always beneficial to check each label for sodium percentage as well as read the product ingredients to see if "salt" is listed as one of the first five ingredients. If so, you should reconsider feeding it to your pet, or moderate their consumption of the food.
Like humans, if dogs consume excess sodium, there can be consequences. Too much salt can lead to severe dehydration in dogs due to its absorptive properties. A sign of this could be if your dog is drinking water at a higher rate than normal as well as urinating more frequently. Just as humans are at risk for high blood pressure and obesity with higher sodium intake, dogs are also at risk for developing these diseases. One other risk for dogs is sodium ion poisoning which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If your dog is at risk for any of these diseases, contact your local veterinarian.
As stated earlier, sodium in moderation is not bad for your dog; in fact it is necessary in body maintenance and equilibrium in the cells. If dogs receive too little sodium, they can also become dehydrated, and their organs can stop functioning properly. According to the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, if a dog is sodium deficient, they can start to experience increased heart rate, hemoglobin concentration, dry and tacky mucous membranes, and restlessness.