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  • #79102 Report Abuse
    Rick O

    How much salt is acceptable in dog food and how do you determine how much is in the food.

    Please advise.


    #79287 Report Abuse

    I am a new member here. Joined a couple of days ago. I was an exhibitor and breeder of (English) Bulldogs for many years. About four years ago I stopped owning any dogs… lasted three years and last year adopted a retired racing Greyhound from the track in Tampa, FL.

    I had occasion a decade or so ago to want to determine the sodium level in the diet of pregnant Bulldogs. (I was seeking the info as regards to Anasarca.


    I found the only way to determine the sodium content was to call the individual food companies.. some were seemingly forthcoming, some evasive, and some didn’t seem to have a clue.

    AAFCO suggests a level of .08% for maintenance and .30% for growth – nearly four times as much.

    My interest was a result of a serious of articles suggesting that high sodium levels was the cause of Anasarca. Indeed, the misguided authors were suggesting buying “salt free” kibble only. (Obviously there is no such thing – they confused no salt added as an ingredient with “salt free.”) Of course, this notion has now been discarded.)

    Sorry I could not offer any other answer but suggesting you call and ask… back in the day that is precisely what I did.

    I’m learning a lot at this site.

    #79289 Report Abuse

    Hi Rick

    NRC reports ” the SUL [safe upper limit] of Na for dogs can be reasonably set at approximately 15 g Na.kg-1 diet DM basis.” This means 15 grams of sodium for every kilogram of diet on a dry matter basis of 4000kcal/kg, equivalent to ~3.5 grams sodium/1000kcals

    I agree with Gerald in that you’ll often need to call the company and ask them for the sodium level in the diet you are interested in. Some companies do post this information on line.

    #79290 Report Abuse


    Thanks! I’ll have to research to find what NRC is – see I told you I was new. lol

    That said, 15 grams per 1000 equates to 1.5% as opposed to the AAFCO .08% and .30% – considerably higher. Wonder why.

    PS I’m a retired US Navy submariner and thought the NRC was the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, or the AEC in my day.

    Again, thanks.

    #79292 Report Abuse

    Hi SaltiDawg,

    The NRC is the National Research Council of the National Academies. AAFCO is an interpretation of the NRC recommendations. AAFCO minimums for Na are .3% for puppies and .06 % for adults with an energy density of 3500 kcals/kg diet. The proposed AAFCO.. I don’t think yet adopted, mins for sodium are .3% puppies and .08% adults with an energy density of 4000 kcals/kg. AAFCO doesn’t specify a maximum allowed sodium content in dog food.

    NRC doesn’t report a min or SUL for sodium for puppies indicating that there is insufficient data. They do report an adequate and recommended sodium level for puppies of 2.2 grams/kg DM with an energy density of 4000 kcal/kg diet.

    NRC reports a min sodium for adult dogs as .3 grams per kg DM and a recommended amount as .8 grams/kg diet with an energy density of 4000 kcals/kg.

    Hope this helps

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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