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Dog treat brands are a dime a dozen, but they are not all created equal. If your dog requires a low-sodium diet, certain products such as jerky treats and bacon-flavored biscuits may be off the table.
Low-sodium dog treats do exist, but most manufacturers fail to include sodium content on the guaranteed analysis for their products. So, how do you give your dog the treats he deserves without putting his health at risk? Lucky for you, we’ve done the work to round up some of the best low-sodium dog treats on the market to make your job easy.
Read on to learn more about how much sodium your dog actually needs and to see our top picks for the best low-sodium dog treats.
How Much Sodium Is Too Much for Dogs?
Most dogs get more than enough sodium through their daily diet, so you need to be mindful of increasing your dog’s intake with high-sodium treats. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 0.3% sodium in a dog’s daily diet or about 100mg per 100kcal.
While sodium is an essential nutrient for dogs, excess sodium can contribute to certain health problems.
In people, high sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other markers for heart disease. According to a 2008 study, however, dogs generally adapt well to a wide range of sodium levels. The exception is for dogs with congestive heart failure and certain liver or kidney issues. These problems often lead to fluid retention which can be exacerbated with high sodium intake.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s sodium intake, you might want to consider switching to low-sodium dog food and treats.
11 Best Low Sodium Dog Treats
Before you feed your dog anything, you need to check the label to make sure it is made from healthy, high-quality ingredients. All of the products on this list are low in sodium and made with wholesome, natural ingredients you can feel good about feeding your dog.
Here are our top picks for the best low-sodium dog treats available online or at your local pet store:
These freeze-dried dog treats are made with 98% beef, organs, and ground bone for a protein-packed and nutrient-rich treat free from added sodium and artificial preservatives.
Made with 100% human-grade meat and no added salt, these freeze-dried chicken bites are a healthy, low-calorie snack safe for dogs with heart, liver, and kidney problems.
Bone broth is a rich source of nutrients and can be used to soften kibble or to rehydrate dehydrated dog food. Unlike broths made for human consumption, this brand has no added sodium.
Made with 100% USA-sourced turkey breast, a lean source of protein naturally low in sodium, these freeze-dried dog treats are packed with protein and flavor.
These freeze-dried treats are made with one ingredient and one ingredient only–real salmon. At just 2 calories per treat, these morsels are a guilt-free snack made without added sodium. If you’re considering a completely grain-free diet for your dog, check out our article Grain-Free Dog Food: Is It Always Better, and Which Brands Are Best?.
These soft-baked treats are made with premium natural ingredients like real chicken and fresh carrots in a healthy formula free from corn, wheat, soy, and added sodium.
Made only with USA-raised turkey free from antibiotics and added hormones, these freeze-dried dog treats provide a boost of protein and natural flavor without any added sodium.
These handmade treats are oven-baked and uniquely designed to be safe and gentle for senior dogs and dogs on low-sodium diets. They contain only human-grade ingredients with no artificial additives.
Featuring high-protein turkey, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon, these superfood treats are loaded with healthy nutrients but free from added sodium as well as grains, gluten, and artificial preservatives.
Low in calories and sodium-free, these crunchy dog treats are a guilt-free snack for dogs. They come in beef flavor and hip & joint recipe, both with just 2 calories per treat.
Loaded with smoky beef flavor, these low-calorie treats are grain-free and ideal for dogs on restricted, low-fat, and low-sodium diets.
Tips for Homemade Low Sodium Dog Treats
Animal experts agree that, when it comes to your dog’s nutrition, fresh is best. So, if you’re trying to limit your dog’s intake of sodium and you want to avoid commercial dog treats, stick to dog-friendly foods like cooked chicken or turkey, steamed white or brown rice, cooked eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Check out our post on homemade dog treats for more tasty ideas.
Kate Barrington is a writer specializing in pet nutrition and human health and fitness. She is the loving owner of three cats, one dog, and a rabbit who share her home in Pittsburgh, PA. Her love for pets started with her first family dog, a golden retriever named Alexandra.
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