We all know that salt is an essential ingredient in human meals. But what about your pup? Is it safe for them? The clear answer is yes; dogs can eat salt but in moderation. Besides, they need sodium to survive.
But, before you give your canine friend a piece of a salty snack, there are some things you should know. In this post, we’ll explore the impacts salt might have on your dog’s health and discuss how much it should eat.
Let’s dive in!
Does My Dog Need Salt?
Yes, your dog needs salt.
Salt has sodium and chloride that plays a vital role in your dog’s body, balancing its cellular functions like nerve signal transmission. With insufficient sodium, a dog’s body will be at risk of having an issue with nervous signal transmission, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and restlessness. So, it’s recommended to give it in moderation.
Good sources of sodium include eggs, poultry, meat, and bread.
How Much Salt is Enough for my Dog?
Provided you are giving your pooch healthy dog meals made by a reliable manufacturer, you don’t need to start adding salt to their diet. These meals are prepared according to the health requirements of dogs. So, there’s already a proper amount of salt in the food.
However, you need to pay attention to the other things your pup might ingest, like their snacks. These may contain too much sodium and other toxic ingredients. Also, be careful when serving your four-legged pal wet or canned food since they have more salt than dry food.
The Impact of Salt and Sodium on a Dog’s Body
An insufficient amount of sodium or salt in the dog’s body will cause hyponatremia. It’s a condition that occurs when your pooch loses fluids via diarrhea, vomiting or becomes lethargic.
On the other hand, sodium-ion poisoning will occur if your dog ingests a lot of salt. This is known as hypernatremia, where the sodium level in the blood is high. The condition triggers dehydration, which results from tissues and muscle releasing fluids to level the salt levels in the dog’s blood.
Salty Products and Foods to Pay Attention to
Companies manufacture commercial dog food that meets the daily sodium requirement of your dog’s health. If your four-legged pal surpasses that limit, health issues like salt toxicity, sodium ion poisoning, or dehydration will occur. Some of the items and foods that can lead to food poisoning include:
- Ocean water
- Bath salts
- Seasalt coated treats
- Table salt
- Human foods like fast foods, fries, crackers, pretzels, cheeses, canned veggies, soups, canned food, and pizza
Symptoms of Sodium Poisoning
Once your canine friend ingests too much salt, the damage and symptoms will show fast. The muscles lose moisture and become stiff. This will lead to jerking and shaking and might cause neurological damage. If untreated soon enough, sodium poisoning can be fatal. So, it’s recommended you call your vet.
Other symptoms of sodium poisoning include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Swollen abdomen
- In-coordination or stiffness
What should I Do if My Dog Eats too Much Salt?
Flushing the excess salt from the dog’s system is vital. So, give your canine friend plenty of fresh drinking water to assist in restoring fluid loss and avert dehydration. This helps lessen cell damage when sodium poisoning happens. If sodium toxicity levels are high, the dog will need medical care. However, this shouldn’t make you panic since your vet will help you determine how serious the issue is.
Typically, the vet will conduct a general check-up on your pup while collecting information about its age, diet, and what caused salt poisoning. They’ll administer IV fluids and give the dog oxygen and electrolytes. The sodium level can’t be reduced too quickly to avoid brain swelling or heart attack.
If the case is severe, your canine friend will be admitted to the clinic and kept for at least 24 hours for monitoring. After that, you will bring it home with instructions on what to do until it gets better.
How to Prevent Sodium Poisoning?
The effective way to prevent the need to treat sodium poisoning is by stopping it from happening. Here is how to do it:
- Read the product labels: Know how much salt your dog takes every day such that you don’t accidentally feed it too much.
- Have clean water accessible for your pup: Your dog will sometimes ingest a little too much salt in their daily food. However, this won’t cause any issue if the dog has enough drinking water. Salt causes thirst, and your dog will fix the problem by drinking water.
- Avoid feeding them salty human meals: You may think it’s harmless, but don’t give your dog pretzels, burgers, fries, sausages, or other salty human snacks.
- Any item around your home with too much salt should be kept away. Also, you need to monitor your Fido at the beach. Dogs don’t often realize what they are taking when thirsty. So, it’s vital to ensure your dog doesn’t consume seawater.
How Can I Make My Dog Drink Water?
Most dogs will hurriedly rush to the water bowl, but others need some persuasion. So, you can make fresh water more enticing to your Fido by:
- Adding sodium-free broth to its water
- Cleaning their water container
- Moving their water bowl to another spot
- Using a syringe to facilitate fluid intake
Before giving your dog salt, you need to determine what it requires to survive and what could cause health complications. It’s highly recommended not to feed your four-legged pal any salty human snacks. Ensure your pooch has easy access to clean drinking water and keep all products that have high sodium levels out of reach.
Typically, your dog can eat salt, but in moderation. We believe this guide has offered you all the answers you seek to make an informed decision for your fur baby’s health. However, call your vet if you have any serious concerns or questions about your pup’s salt consumption. They will offer detailed information about what your pet requires to lead a healthy and happy life.