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Food & Diet

Can My Dog Eat Salt?

At A Glance

Salt is an essential nutrient for humans and dogs alike. However, when consumed in excess, salt can prove detrimental to a dog’s health.

In this article, we will understand how much salt is safe for dogs, and how to treat them if they eat excess salt.

Last Updated on: May 23, 2022

Salt, or sodium chloride, is a key nutrient for human beings. The sodium content in salt helps aid cellular functioning and keeps the muscular and nervous systems in order. You may be wondering, Can My Dog Eat Salt?

Yes, Salt is an important nutrient for dogs and it’s recommended that dry dog food contains at least 0.3 per cent sodium to ensure normal growth and healthy development.

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Is Salt Safe for Dog?

Yes, dogs can eat salt. It is safe for dogs to consume salt in moderate amounts. Salt is an important nutrient that helps in ensuring that organs function smoothly.

If you’re the owner of a puppy, salt helps maintain the ideal balance of fluids in its cells. It is recommended that dogs are not given less than 0.25 grams or more than 1.5 grams of salt for every 100 grams of food.


What Happens If My Dog Licks Salt?

If your dog accidentally licks salt off a table or your plate, you don’t need to worry. However, if your pet has eaten a lot of salt or food that has high salt content, then it could be a problem.

If your dog ingests too much salt, it can lead to extreme thirst and excess urination. They can also become dehydrated, and in certain cases, it could also lead to poisoning, which requires immediate medical intervention.

How Much Salt is Okay for My Dog?

According to the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources, a healthy dog with a weight of 33 pounds should not eat more than 100 mg of salt per day. However, whenever a dog consumes too much salt, it will result in extreme thirst.

Drinking high volumes of water and urinating excessively will strain the dog’s kidneys and hinder blood circulation, which will also cause its body to swell. In some cases, the dog might also vomit, have diarrhea, or seizures. If not treated at the earliest, the dog’s organs could cease to function, which can prove to be fatal.

Feeding your dog anything between 0.25 grams and 1.5 grams of salt for every 100 grams of food is acceptable. However, anything greater than 1.5 grams can cause health problems. Before buying any snacks or food items for your pet, make sure that you read the label and check for the salt content in the ingredients.

dog looking at a cheese block

Salty Foods To Avoid Giving Your Dog

Before purchasing any food for your dog, ensure that you have complete knowledge of the ingredients. It is also advised to make sure that salt is not listed among the top five ingredients in the food product.

Some salty foods that you should avoid feeding to your dog include:

  • Chips and crisps
  • Salty biscuits
  • Cheese
  • Processed meat, including burgers, hot dogs, and sausages
  • Pretzels
  • Beef jerky
  • Peanut butter rich in sodium

If you’re preparing your dog’s meals at home, avoid adding salt because most ingredients already contain sodium. If in doubt, discuss diet options with a vet first.

Some dogs, particularly those battling illnesses related to the liver, kidney, or heart, or those that are overweight, are generally advised to be put on a diet that has low salt content. So, you should talk to a vet or a nutritionist to understand what works best for your pooch.

an image of a sick dog

Salt Poisoning

Hypernatremia or salt poisoning is a life-threatening condition that affects dogs when they ingest excessive amounts of salt. If not treated promptly, it can also lead to death. Thus, if the symptoms of salt intoxication start arising, rush to the nearest vet.
Salt poisoning can affect the nervous system, intestines, or even the heart. Some of the most common signs of hypernatremia in dogs include:

  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Extreme thirst and urination
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid buildup
  • Swelling in the body
  • Headache
  • High fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Watery stool
  • Lack of coordination
  • Swelling of tongue


an image of a dog with the doc

Treatment of Salt Poisoning

The vet may conduct a complete physical examination of your canine, including checking its reflexes, body temperature, height, weight, pulse rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and sugar levels, and a quick hearing and vision test.

The vet may also ask you to get a few tests done, such as an electrocardiogram, x-ray, MRI scan, CT scan, and an ultrasound.

In the interim, your canine would be kept under observation, till the sodium levels in its blood are brought back to normal. It may also be administered IV(intravenous) fluid therapy and electrolytes to manage dehydration.

This process can take a few days until all signs of hypernatremia have subsided.

dog looking at the owner

If the question Can my dog eat salt? ever springs up in your mind or during a conversation, you should know the answer.

Sodium is an essential component of your dog’s diet, so you must ensure that it meets the required salt intake and not more than the minimum requirement. Also, ensure that your pet doesn’t accidentally eat a lot of salty food, and check the ingredients of all food items before feeding it to your canine.
Check out this article to know if your dog can eat coconut.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.