the 10 best Low sodium dog food reviewed for 2020

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the most popular low sodium dog food, then we recommend the Orijen Orginal as the best nail low sodium food for dogs.

Sodium is something we often try to avoid in our foods, but it can sometimes have its benefits. As it turns out, dogs actually need some sodium in their food, which is why you might notice it on the ingredient list. But similarly to humans, too much sodium can be unhealthy for your dog. So, if you have a dog that needs to stay in shape, then the best low sodium dog food might be the ideal choice for their diet.

What Are the best Low sodium dog foods?

Best Low Sodium Dog Food Brand Reviews

Choosing a dog food is tricky, especially when many brands don’t disclose their sodium percentages. So, I’ve selected ten dog food recipes that have a lower sodium content than other dry dog food brands. I’ve analyzed each one based on features, pros, and cons. 

Earthborn Holistic Natural Food for Pet Weight Control

While the specific sodium percentage isn’t listed for this food, it’s known for being low in sodium because it’s a healthy weight formula. It lists salt about halfway down the ingredient list, after all the healthy fruits and vegetables, but above nutrients like glucosamine and L-Carnitine, which can promote joint health and lean muscle mass. It’s low in calories, and it has no grain, gluten, or potatoes in order to cater to dogs with common allergies.

The primary protein in this food is chicken, which is listed as the first ingredient. In total, it contains 25% protein and 7% fat, which are about average for dry dog food. In addition to the nutrients mentioned earlier, it also has omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It can be purchased in three different sizes: 5 pounds, 14 pounds, and 28 pounds. 

Pros:

  • Salt is low on the ingredient list. 
  • It’s a healthy weight formula.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy joints.
  • It promotes lean muscle mass.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • Salt is listed above other essential nutrients. 
  • It has a few controversial ingredients. 
  • The kibble pieces might be too small for large dogs. 

Orijen Original High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Orijen is known for being high in protein, so all the sodium in this food comes from healthy ingredients like animal meat. There is no added salt in the ingredient list at all. The food is made with 85% quality animal ingredients, which consists of free-run chicken and turkey, along with wild-caught fish. It’s labeled as a “biologically appropriate” dog food, which means it’s packed with ingredients that your dog needs to thrive without any added filler ingredients.

This is the Original flavor, but there are also beef and fish formulas available. In total, this food has 38% protein and 18% fat, which are higher than most dry dog food. The first three ingredients are deboned chicken, deboned turkey, and flounder, but there are plenty of other animal meat sources further down the list. Additionally, it’s grain-free to cater to dogs with grain allergies. It can be purchased in three different sizes: 4.5 pounds, 13 pounds, and 25 pounds. 

Pros:

  • It has no added salt.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It has no unnecessary filler ingredients.
  • It’s good for picky dogs.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • There might be a lot of sodium in the meat. 
  • It could make dogs sick if not transitioned properly. 

Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food

Fromm dog food includes some added salt in it, but it’s listed toward the bottom half of the ingredient list, beneath most of the important ingredients. This particular formula is one of the most popular options, and it’s a chicken formula that also has some fish, duck, and lamb listed further down the list. It also includes some grains in it, so it might not be the best choice for dogs with allergies. It can be purchased in three different sizes: 5 pounds, 15 pounds, and 33 pounds. 

This food has a total of 25% protein and 16% fat, which are about average for dry dog food. The first three ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, and chicken broth, which could include some sodium in them, but not a high percentage. It’s designed for dogs of all life stages, and it includes many beneficial ingredients to improve your dog’s health. This includes probiotics for digestion and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a healthy coat. 

Pros:

  • Salt is listed toward the bottom.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It might not be good for dogs with allergies.
  • It has some controversial ingredients.
  • Added salt is still listed above some nutrients. 

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen is not your typical dog food. You just have to add water to the dehydrated raw meal to create a healthy food for your dog. Salt isn’t specifically listed in the food, but toward the bottom of the list, there is a nutrient called “sodium selenite.” Luckily, it’s listed below the essential proteins, fruits, and vegetables in this food, making it a low sodium option.

This particular formula is the turkey recipe, but there are also beef, chicken, and seafood options available. The first ingredient is dehydrated turkey, followed by a variety of beneficial fruits and vegetables. In total, it has 29% protein and 18% fat, which are a little higher than dry dog food formulas. It’s grain-free and free of fillers and by-products, making it an excellent choice for dogs with allergies. It can be purchased in three sizes from 2 to 10 pounds. It might not sound like much, but once you add water, the food becomes four times heavier. 

Pros:

  • Sodium is listed below all the essential ingredients.
  • It’s a dehydrated raw food.
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It’s only made with human grade ingredients.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive. 
  • It might not be good for picky dogs.
  • It takes more time to prepare the food. 

Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dog Food

This is a reduced fat formula, making it a great choice for dogs that need to lose weight. Wellness CORE has a lot of available flavors, but this particular one is made with chicken and turkey. Similarly to The Honest Kitchen’s formula, it has “sodium selenite” listed toward the bottom of the ingredient list. Luckily, it comes after all the essential proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables. This food can be purchased in three different sizes: 4 pounds, 12 pounds, and 26 pounds.

The first three ingredients in this food are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal. In total, it has 33% protein and 10% fat, which are higher than your average dry dog food. It’s a grain-free dog food for dogs with allergies, and it also avoids most filler ingredients. It contains omega fatty acids to give your dog healthy skin and a healthy coat. It also has glucosamine for joint health and probiotics for digestion. 

Pros:

  • Sodium is listed below all the essential ingredients.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It promotes healthy joints.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • The brand has been recalled a few times.
  • The food could arrive expired.
  • It might not be good for dogs with allergies.

Solid Gold Hund-N-Flocken Natural Adult Dog Food with Real Lamb

Similarly to some of the above foods, this Solid Gold formula lists “sodium selenite” instead of salt in its ingredient list. It’s about halfway down the list, and it’s grouped with all the other “minerals.” So, it’s unclear if this added sodium comes before or after some of the more important minerals. This food is for dogs of all ages and sizes, so it can be purchased in a 4-pound, 15-pound, or 28.5-pound bag.

This is a lamb formula that includes grains in it, so it might not be the best choice for dogs with allergies. The first two ingredients are lamb and lamb meal, followed by brown rice. In total, this food has 22% protein and 10% fat, which are a little lower than similar brands. It contains probiotics to aid your dog’s digestion, along with omega fatty acids to keep their skin and coat extra healthy.

Pros:

  • Sodium is listed lower on the ingredient list.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s unclear how much sodium there is in comparison to other minerals.
  • It has some controversial ingredients.
  • It might not be good for dogs with allergies. 

“I and love and you” Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food

“I and love and you” is a lesser known brand that specializes in creating food with only quality ingredients and no fillers. Unfortunately, it does include added salt in the top half of the ingredient list, but it’s listed after all the essential protein sources that the brand advertises themselves for. It can be purchased in four different sizes, ranging from 4 pounds to 40 pounds. 

This is the lamb and bison formula, but you can also choose chicken and duck or salmon and trout if your dog has specific preferences. The first three ingredients listed are lamb, chicken meal, and turkey meal. It has a total of 30% protein and 15% fat. It has no grains or other fillers, making it healthy for picky eaters. It also has prebiotics and probiotics to aid your dog’s digestion, along with omega fatty acids to keep their skin and coat healthy.

Pros:

  • Salt is listed after all essential protein sources.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients. 
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in three sizes.
  • It’s affordable.

Cons:

  • Added salt is listed in the top half of the ingredient list.
  • It’s not good for dogs with protein sensitivities.
  • It could make dogs sick if not transitioned properly.

Zignature Limited Ingredient Turkey Dry Dog Food

Zignature is a brand that only makes limited ingredient formulas, which are great for dogs with allergies. While added salt is listed in the top half of the ingredient list, it’s still listed after all the essential ingredients. This food comes in a wide variety of flavors, and this particular option is the turkey formula. It can be purchased in a 4-pound, 12.5-pound, or 25-pound bag.

The first two ingredients listed in this formula are turkey and turkey meal. In total, it has 32% protein and 15% fat, which are higher than your average dry dog food. It’s a grain-free formula that avoids many common allergens, such as chicken and potatoes. It also only includes one animal protein in it to avoid meat sensitivities. It also includes omega fatty acids to benefit your dog’s skin and coat. 

Pros:

  • Salt is listed after essential ingredients.
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • Added salt is listed in the top half of the ingredient list.
  • The food could arrive expired.
  • It might not be good for picky dogs.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb & Barley

The ingredient list for this food is much longer than similar brands, but luckily, sodium selenite isn’t listed until the bottom half of the ingredient list. It comes after all the essential proteins and nutrients in this food. This is a lamb-flavored food for adult dogs of all sizes. It can be purchased in a 5-pound, 15-pound, or 30-pound bag. 

Lamb and lamb meal are the first two ingredients in this food. The formula contains at least 24% protein and 12% fat, which are about average for dry dog food. This isn’t a grain-free formula, so it might not be the best option for dogs with allergies. It contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It also has essential vitamins and minerals to give your dog energy and to keep their immune system healthy.

Pros:

  • Sodium is listed toward the bottom of the ingredient list.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes a healthy immune system.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • This brand has had some recalls. 
  • It might not be good for dogs with allergies.
  • It might not be good for picky eaters.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach High Protein

Purina is a brand that’s often advertised as being low in sodium, but it still contains some added salt in it. In fact, the salt is listed in the first half of the ingredient list. It comes after all the meat sources, but it’s still listed above a lot of other nutrients that could be more beneficial. This is a salmon and rice formula for adult dogs, but it can also be purchased in a small breed formula, which has smaller kibble pieces. The food also comes in four sizes: 5 pounds, 16 pounds, 30 pounds, and 41 pounds.

Salmon is only listed as the first ingredient, followed by a few mediocre ingredients, such as barley, ground rice, and canola meal. Despite being labeled “high protein,” it only has about an average percentage with 26% protein and 16% fat. However, the food is packed with prebiotic fiber to benefit your dog’s digestive health, along with omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy too.

Pros:

  • Salt is listed after most essential ingredients. 
  • It’s affordable.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat. 
  • It comes in four sizes.

Cons:

  • Added salt is listed in the top half of the ingredient list. 
  • It has a lot of controversial ingredients.
  • The brand has had some recalls.
  • It might not be good for dogs with allergies.

Best Low Sodium Dog Food Summary

Dog food has lots of items in it that most humans don’t even consider, such as sodium. But deciding how much to include of each ingredient can be confusing. So, why do dogs need sodium and how much sodium is acceptable for a dog?

Why Sodium in Dog Food?

Sodium is a mineral that can be naturally occurring, but sometimes it can be artificially added. Oftentimes, sodium is added to human food to enhance the flavor. It usually comes in the form of salt, but not all sodium is salt. 

When most people hear the word “salt,” they instantly associate it with something unhealthy. But dogs need at least some sodium in their diets. According to The Association of American Feed Control Officials, dry dog food must include at least 0.3% sodium. Most dogs can have more than that and still be healthy though.

Sodium can help maintain a dog’s cellular function, along with nerve and muscle cell function. This can prevent your dog’s cells from becoming dehydrated or swelling. However, too much sodium can lead to kidney failure, high blood pressure, and cardiac disease. So, they need just the right amount of sodium in their diet to keep them healthy. 

Check out our article on 35 human foods your dog can and can’t eat to get know more about feeding the right ingredients to your dog.

Benefits of a Low Salt Dog Food Diet

Older dogs and overweight dogs have more risks when it comes to sodium in their food, so they would do better with a low sodium formula. Too much sodium in food, especially for these at-risk dogs, could lead to problems with your dog’s heart, kidneys, and respiratory system. So, a low sodium diet can help your dog avoid these health problems. 

Too much sodium in your dog’s body could also lead to excessive thirst. This alone could cause a long list of additional problems, including frequent urination. In extreme cases, it could lead to poisoning if your dog cannot process salt fast enough. So, if your dog starts showing unusual symptoms, visit your vet right away to see if sodium is to blame. 

Even if your dog is young and in good shape, a low sodium diet can still benefit them. It can prevent them from becoming overweight and help lower their risk of major health concerns in the future. Plus, your dog will eventually reach their senior years, so it’s a good idea to reduce their risk of health concerns from an early age. 

A great way to lower your dog’s sodium intake without changing their food is to give them less treats. Treats are often higher in sodium than food is, so less treats means a healthier dog. However, if you feel that the food you serve is a concern, that’s when you should consider switching to something that’s better suited for your dog. 

What to Look for in the Best Low Sodium Dog Food

Unfortunately, dog food brands are not required to disclose the amount of sodium they contain. Some dog food labels will list it in the guaranteed analysis next to the other nutrients, but it’s not common. The amount can often be inferred based on the ingredients listed, but it’s difficult to tell the exact amount of sodium listed in some foods. So, determining low sodium dog foods is often based around the limited information that you’re given. 

Sodium occurs naturally in some essential dog food ingredients, including protein sources, such as poultry, fish, and eggs. Protein is crucial for a dog’s diet, so a high protein percentage should not be removed from your dog’s diet. 

However, some foods have added sodium to them, which are not as important for your dog. Look for ingredients that say “salt” or have the word “sodium” in them. These are items that should be avoided if you’re looking for a low sodium dog food. If any of these added sodium sources are in a dog food, they should be listed close to the bottom of an ingredient list. They should definitely fall below all the essential protein, fat, fruits, and vegetables.

Most foods that advertise themselves as being low sodium aren’t the healthiest options. Vets will often recommend “prescription diets” that are low in sodium, but be careful. Many of these foods contain fillers and by-products. Many of them don’t even list meat as the first ingredient. 

So, look at the ingredients first before following someone’s suggestions. Vets will often recommend these brands solely because they’re partners with them. Sure, they might have the lowest amount of sodium, but at what cost? A low quality low sodium diet could pose even more risks than a high sodium diet. Therefore, you should find a food that checks all the boxes instead of just substituting one benefit for another.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you settle on a food for your dog, you might have some final questions. Here are some questions that many dog parents have when choosing the best low sodium dog food.

Is Low Sodium Dog Food More Expensive?

Low sodium dog food is not always expensive. The price of dog food is often related to the quality of all the ingredients in it, so sodium alone won’t determine whether or not a food is expensive. Some low sodium dog foods can be pricey, but others are within a very reasonable price range. So, if you’re on a budget, just keep looking until you find something that has the ideal price and ingredients.

Which Dog Food Ingredients Are High in Sodium?

Most of the time, added sodium is listed on the ingredient list. It could be labeled as “salt,” “sodium,” or “sodium selenite,”  but it could also be included in the following ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Other Meat Sources

Even though these items do contain some sodium, their weight is mostly moisture. So, the amount of sodium in them is unlikely to affect your dog’s health. What you’ll want to look out for is if/where salt is located on the ingredient list. If it’s listed above beneficial nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, that’s when it should be a concern. After all, the ingredients are listed by weight before being cooked.

If you ever want to know an exact sodium content for a dog food brand, you should contact the company. They will usually willingly give out this information, even if it’s not listed on the packaging. 

Check out our article on low carb dog food as well for more info on the right ingredients to feed your dog.

Conclusion

Choosing a dog food is never easy, especially when it comes to choosing small ingredients like sodium. All dog parents should look closely at dog food ingredients before they select the perfect food for them. For senior dogs and overweight dogs, a low sodium diet might be the key to keeping them healthy.

My favorite option is the Orijen Original formula. Unlike all the other options, this food has no added salt. Plus, it’s one of the best quality dry dog foods on the market because it’s high in quality protein. This makes it a bit more expensive, but the pros seem to outweigh the cons.

If you need a low sodium diet for your dog, make sure you consider all aspects of the food before making that final decision. Ensure that you choose a food that’s the perfect mixture of healthy and tasty for your dog. Dog food has a huge impact on your pup’s health, so it’s a big decision to make. 

Want to know more about raising your dog? check out our articles on potty training your dog and buying the best dog ramp for your truck.

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Peter Schoeman