I have another thread about looking for sodium content on 4Health, which my dog with CHF currently eats. I’ve considered switching, though, and I’ve contacted all three of these companies, who have been really helpful and forthcoming with their sodium info. All three have varieties with a low sodium content.
But even though they have good official reviews on this site, the comments on the reviews have me worried. Apparently a lot of dogs on Canidae have suddenly experienced digestive issues, some people don’t like Blue for various reasons, and Nutro might have had a formula change.
I guess I can rule out the Canidae since there are quite a few posts about issues with it (has anyone reported this to the company?), but I’m not sure how to choose between Blue and Nutro. Does anybody have any further info about them, or another perspective on the issues people might have with them?
I think I’m just overwhelmed–it seems impossible to find a food that has a good nutritional profile, doesn’t have any issues with quality control, has readily available info about sodium, AND is easy to find and not ridiculously expensive. Does a food that fits all those requirements actually exist?
I hope someone can come along with some other options for you. Of those three, I’d go with Canidae.
I wouldn’t feed any of those foods. Have you considered shopping online? Sites like Chewy, Wag and Petflow would really open up some options for better quality foods – they all have a wide variety and quality brands and offer free shipping. I’m not sure about the sodium content of any brands (you’d just have to start calling companies) so I can’t speak for that, but I know I wouldn’t feed my dogs Blue, Canidae or Nutro. How much are you looking to spend?
InkedMarie, do you use Canidae? I’d always heard good things about it, but now there are several comments on this site about it causing (or seeming to cause–it’s conjecture after all) digestive problems in dogs who’ve been on it for years. It worries me that maybe there’s a contaminated batch or something; wish I knew if there are actually a lot more people who *aren’t* having problems with it. The Platinum varieties are pretty low in sodium.
Hound Dog Mom, can I ask why you wouldn’t choose any of them? They get pretty good reviews here, so that’s why I picked them to ask about their sodium content. I actually was planning to order from Chewy, but there are so *many* options and variables that I don’t know how to narrow it down except the way I’ve been doing–making sure they have a good nutritional profile, checking the prices, then emailing the company to ask about sodium content (I *really* wish they’d start listing sodium on the package!). What brands are better but in the same price range? I’d prefer something that isn’t more than about $2 a can or $50 per 30lb bag. (I feed him both canned and dry food.)
I agree with the others and hope you can come up with some additional choices.
I used Canidae Pure Elements once when I though that the manufacturing had been moved to Canidae’s new manufacturing facility, Ethos; only to find out that much of the manufacturing is still through Diamond so you couldn’t be sure that what you were buying was being made by Ethos or Diamond. Diamond is a deal breaker for me. My dogs weren’t thrilled with it anyway and I used it only briefly for the duration of one small bag.
I’d check out Dr. Tim’s and I’d contact Dr. Tim ([email protected]) and ask him which formula he might suggest for your dog. Dr. Tim’s is budget friendly and Dr. Tim is a vet who is very hands on with the production of his food… he’ll get back to you very quickly with a response. I just checked the site quickly and didn’t see anything regarding Sodium. You need a combination of excellent customer service, budget friendly and a quality product. I’d also try Earthborn, NutriSource and Fromm ~ all three of those fit your requirements ~ assuming the Sodium is OK.
Flossie: I fed Canidae years ago. What maximum sodium level do you have to stick with?
Hi Flossie –
I wouldn’t feed Canidae because their food (or at least most of it) is manufactured by Diamond.
I wouldn’t feed Blue Buffalo because I believe they have poor quality control and no integrity. Last summer I purchased a bag of their dog biscuits and there were bugs in the bag. A month later I bought a bag of their cat food and upon opening it found that it was covered with mold. That same summer a friend of mine started her puppy on Blue Buffalo and the dog got very sick, the issues cleared up as soon as she switched foods. Many other have reported similar issues – the stories are all over the web – however Blue continuously denies that there are any problems with their products. Go to truthaboutpetfood(dot)com and type in Blue Buffalo – check out the articles.
I wouldn’t feed Nutro mainly due to the fact that they don’t have a single formula high enough in protein for my tastes. I also don’t like that Nutro is owned by Mars – a large corporation (also makes Pedigree and Royal Canin). There have been a lot of complaints about Nutro lately as well (you can also check these out on Truth About Pet Food).
Thanks, everyone. I’ll definitely check out your suggestions, BetsyGreer!
InkedMarie, I think I’m aiming for anything less than .3% dry matter sodium content (or around 50-80mg per 100 kcal); my vet hasn’t actually said he needs to go on a low-sodium diet, but so much of what I’ve read about CHF advocates controlling sodium intake and I thought it would be a good idea to at least be aware of it. Of course, it’s confusing; some of the companies I’ve contacted have given me a percentage “as fed” instead of the dry matter content (which I only just learned is the percentage I should be looking out for). I don’t want to severely restrict him yet, just make sure his food isn’t high in sodium.
I’ll admit that I’m not as concerned about Diamond as a lot of people here, since I feed all 3 of my dogs 4Health right now (I just discovered that the dry food is made by Diamond). And I think that eventually I could probably find anecdotal evidence against every brand, since I doubt one exists that hasn’t ever had a complaint. Ideally, though, I’d love to find a brand with no history of recalls that strikes the right balance of good nutritional profile, affordability, availability, and lower sodium content–but I realize that might be a pipe dream.
Hi Flossie –
I’m doing a bit of searching around and I think I found a good food for you! Fromm Classics adult recipe is 0.29% sodium on a dry matter basis. Fromm is a reputable company with no history of recalls. The food retails for $37.99 for 33 lbs. on Chewy(dot)com. If I find any more options I’ll let you know.
Precise Senior is 0.12% sodium and retails for $37.99 for 30 lbs. on Chewy(dot)com.
The Fromm Classics I mentioned is rated 3.5 stars and the Precise Senior formula is rated 3 stars – neither contain any bad ingredients and both are made by reputable companies, the lower ratings are due to the lower protein content. These foods could, however, easily be upped to 4 star quality by topping with some lean meat. Chicken gizzards, chicken hearts and beef hearts are generally pretty cheap at the grocery store – you could cook them up in a healthy oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) and they’d be a great high protein/low sodium topper.
Thanks so much! I was just about to email Fromm’s to ask about sodium; it really does sound like a good option. And adding some meat as a topper is a good idea–my dog would definitely be all for it! The day I started mixing canned food into his dry food was the best day of his life, so organ meat on a regular basis would enrapture him. (He still eats like a pig and is very energetic; my vet says he’s certainly not in the end stages or anything like that. But his heart is enlarged and there’s fluid in his lungs that causes coughing, and two diuretics and two heart meds haven’t been able to eradicate it. I’m hoping lowering his sodium and adding some supplements will help bring it to a minimum for now.)
Flossie, we all have to decide what food o feed. For me, I won’t feed a Diamond made food. You can google, if you want, to find he FDA report on the Diamond factory inspection. That might not be important to you but it is to me. There are so many other foods out there o choose from but that’s jmo.
If he has heart problems adding fresh heart as a topper an a regular basis could be very beneficial. Heart (also gizzards) are actually considered to be a muscle meat (nutritionally speaking), not organ meat so you could top the kibble daily with no issues – true organ meats (i.e. liver, kidneys, lungs, etc., while healthy, should be fed sparingly because they’re so nutrient-dense). Heart is rich in CoQ10 and taurine which are both known to be beneficial to heart health. The concept of glandular therapy also involves supplementing with the gland (or organ) that is experiencing problems – i.e. a dog with heart failure should eat heart, a dog with pancreatitis should eat pancreas, a dog with renal failure should eat kidney, etc. Glandular supplements that are much more concentrated can be purchased but feeding the fresh organ/gland is beneficial as well.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Thanks, Hound Dog Mom. Yes, by “organ meat” I meant the hearts you mentioned and nothing else. He’s already on a taurine/l-carnitine/coq10/vitamin supplement, as well as fish oil, but he’d be pretty happy with the chicken hearts as well.
InkedMarie, I wasn’t saying no one *should* be concerned about Diamond; I was saying that it wasn’t necessarily my primary concern, since I just discovered yesterday that one of the foods they’ve eaten for the better part of a year is made by Diamond and they’ve all done well on it. Clearly safety is important to me, since clearly that’s why I’m asking so many questions about these brands–I thought I’d made a decision on what to buy, but my concerns about their safety are what made me hesitate. As I said, I’m certainly willing to seek out alternatives that strike the right balance between all the various factors I’ve mentioned in this thread.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Flossie.
Flossie, I understand. I was stating a reason I won’t feed it. Same goes for Evangers and all the companies with poor customer service.
Something I just recalled…. I have a Cavalier that means the world to me and Cavaliers are predisposed to cardiac disease, so I was talking to my TCVM vet about different cardiac support supplements and in particular, I asked about Standard Process Canine Cardiac Support. He said its a great product, but he would only recommend it for a dog with a cardiac problem and that it wasn’t best for use in preventing cardiac disease. Do you see a TCVM or holistic vet, by chance?
My dog passed away last month because of CHF. The cardiologist suggested low sodium diet and the use of fatty acid, such as Salmon fish oil, as the supplement. Omega 3 & Omega 6 should be in the right proportion. I have also made nutritive consultation and the consultant suggested Salmon oil (in pill form) and L-Carnitine. My vet also recommended “Rx Vitamins – Formula CV”. Hawthorn is helpful too.
My dog was fed with “Karma” kibble which has a low sodium level of 0.06, you may also find the others as follows:
– Natura – Innova Low Fat Adult 0.12
– Natura – Senior Dry Dog Food 0.11
– Hills Prescription h/d (It was recommended by vet, but I really dislike it and stopped it, and used Karma instead) 0.07
I saw from books that the following dog foods also have low sodium level:
– Purina CNM Canine NF-Formula 0.22
– Select Care Canine Modified Formula 0.28
– MediCal Cardio 0.17
Hope you find the information helpful.
Best wishes for your dog!!
Thanks, everybody! I don’t see a holistic vet, but I give my dog fish oil, coq10 supplements, as well as something called Vetri-Science Cardio Strength (it has l-carnitine, taurine, and various other supplements; it gets really good reviews on a few different sites). My vet says he’s nowhere near the end stages, but I’d love to minimize the coughing as much as possible. He was diagnosed in March, and since then the coughing has been kind of up and down. Luckily, his behavior/activity level/appetite haven’t changed in the least, and I want to keep it that way as long as possible. (He’s a beagle, by the way, but we’re not sure how old he is; we found him on the street seven years ago.)
I’m still deciding on a food; I’ve emailed a ton of companies and am trying to sort through it all. None of the varieties I’ve asked about seem to have high sodium, at least. It’s confusing because some have given me “as fed” content, others dry matter content, still others milligrams, and I’ve just got to go through all my emails and figure out which brands meet all or most of the criteria I’ve mentioned. Thanks again!
I have no idea how much sodium this has, but I *always* recommend Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural simply because it’s a great food (great protein content, etc.). On chewy.com a 28-pound bag is $47.99 (~$1.71 per pound). If it was a 30-pound bag it would be about $51.42.
I also highly recommend Earthborn’s wet food tubs. On chewy you get a pack of 8 9-ounce tubs for $17.49. So about $2.19 per tub, and about $0.24 per ounce.
Obviously I really have no idea what the sodium levels are and both are a little bit above your $2/can and $50/30-pound bag limit but I thought I’d give my recommendation since I had great luck with both of these 🙂
Thanks, mah4angel. I did email Earthborn last week, and the Primitive Naturals is apparently .34% and the lowest sodium wet food is Toby’s Turkey at .16%. I asked for the dry matter percentage, but the person who answered didn’t clarify whether she was talking about dry matter or as-fed percentage. (The wet food is extremely low sodium if it’s dry matter, but kind of high if it’s as-fed.) It does sound like a good food, so I guess I’ll ask her to clarify.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Flossie.
Speaking of which, Pizza Garlic, do you know if the percentages you mention are on an as-fed or dry matter basis? I’m going to look into some of those as well. Yeah, I don’t like Science Diet either, and it seems like most of the Rx foods made specifically for cardiac conditions are similarly low quality.
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