Edible salt, sodium chloride, is the main source of sodium and chlorine, two micronutrients that are vital to everyone. Can dogs have salt and pepper?
Won’t salty and peppery food hurt your pet?
Should you salt and pepper your dog’s food?
If you look at the composition of commercial premium Chewy pet food, you’ll find that salt is present. Dog owners immediately have a question: can dogs have salt and pepper? So, it is still necessary in the diet of animals. People consume peppered or salty foods. But the needs of dogs for salt and pepper are very different.
The chemical formula of table salt is NaCl, the sodium salt of hydrochloric acid. The two most important elements, sodium and chlorine, the source of which is the spice that we are familiar with, are necessary for the vital activity of all organisms. Chlorine ions are involved in the production of hydrochloric acid, which forms the basis of gastric juice. In addition, sodium maintains the balance of calcium in the body. Also involved in muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses. Therefore, with a lack of salt in the body, a person feels weak, quickly tired. The same applies to pets – they have a lack of sodium can lead to neuromuscular disorders.
The daily salt intake for a large dog is 0.8-1.7 grams per day. For small-breed dogs, 0.15 grams is sufficient.
Salt content in products
A lethal amount of sodium chloride for dogs is considered 3 g per kg of body weight of the animal.
We must keep in mind that part of the pet’s need for salt is covered by feeding him natural super-premium wholesome heavy pet kibble – meat. The fact is that it, and for the most part, liver and other by-products contain blood, and it contains dissolved blood. Therefore, adding beef liver, spleen to the dog’s diet, you can be sure – with them the animal’s body receives both sodium and chlorine.
In minimal amounts there is salt and pepper in other foods – cottage cheese, even vegetables and white bread. This means that an animal needs no more than 0.5 g of dietary salt added daily, and the rest is covered with food. Food manufacturers also take the salt and pepper limit into account, even though the taste of cooked dog food would seem bland to humans.
Below is a small table of salt content in a number of products:
|Products||Salt (Sodium) content, mg/100 g|
What health problem do dogs have after eating too salty or spicy food?
Firstly, we’re talking about an overabundance of sodium in the pet’s system. For instance, it can lead to serious health problems. Also, too peppered and salty food, if consumed regularly, can cause fluid retention in the body, leading to hypertension (high blood pressure). Secondly, there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and kidney complications are possible. In the latter case, senior dogs are at risk, with symptoms only appearing in the last stages of the disease.
What are the dangers of too much salt and pepper in the food?
What can the feeding of a dog with salty and peppery food lead to:
- The body does not have time to process and excrete large amounts of salt or and pepper. As a result, salts and stones will accumulate in the urinary system and kidneys due to overload;
- Ophthalmologic diseases. Intraocular pressure increases, intraocular fluid accumulates inside the eyeball, which can eventually lead to glaucoma and blindness;
- Joint disorders. Osteoporosis is the loss of bone strength. Excess sodium makes it difficult for the body to absorb calcium, and it leaches out of the bones, causing bone thinning;
- Dehydration (dehydration). The water balance of the body is disturbed when an excess amount of sodium enters. Blood becomes thicker, and it is harder for the heart to pump it through the body. This causes an increased load on the heart, its work at its limits.
Vomiting and dry mucous membranes may indicate excess sodium in the animal. A blood test will show an excess of chlorine. As a result, excess chlorine alters potassium and calcium levels. Symptoms will include increased fatigue, frequent and unexplained nausea, and vomiting.
Signs of salt and pepper poisoning
Excessive salt and pepper intake is dangerous for the animal, it can cause severe intoxication. Signs of salt and pepper poisoning:
- uncontrollable thirst – the dog is always thirsty, while it does not matter neither the weather outside (hot or cold), nor the physical activity of the animal – sometimes the dog even lies down near the bowl and periodically gets up just to quench the thirst;
- increased urination associated with a large amount of fluid drunk. The urine is lighter than usual;
- gastrointestinal disturbances – the dog is nauseated, vomiting, frequent defecation, diarrhea may be prolonged;
- neuromuscular disorders – convulsions, limb paralysis.
Such signs of intoxication require an immediate visit to the veterinarian.
Can dogs eat salt and vinegar chips? What kind of dogs can’t have salt.
In some cases, even the smallest amount of salt or pepper can be fatal to the animal. Salt and pepper should not be added to the homemade dog food of dogs suffering from:
- Chronic abnormalities of the cardiovascular system;
- Diseases of the bones and joints;
- Gastrointestinal tract abnormalities;
- Kidney disorders;
- Diseases of the gall bladder and liver.
For these dogs, it is better to cook only fresh food. Also, exclude from the diet any products from the human table containing salt and pepper. Sausage, sausages, and tinned food should be off-limits to dogs, but for animals at risk we must stop them stealing even a morsel. The question often arises: can dogs eat salt and pepper? You can’t give your dog food that contains salt and pepper. Neither should you give them salted cookies, crackers or chips with salt and vinegar.
Do dogs need salt and pepper in homemade food.
Can dogs eat garlic and sea salt?
However, it is possible to add salt and pepper to homemade dog food, but do not exceed the dosage. But you can find different kinds of table salt and pepper on store shelves – which one is safe for animals?
Salt and pepper have different grindings and is divided into varieties depending on purity. And its sodium chloride content may vary – from 97% in the second-grade product to 99% in the “extremes”. In addition to it may include other impurities – potassium chloride, sodium sulfate, etc. Iodides, carbonates, fluorides are added to the salt. Iodized salt is undesirable for animals that suffer from disorders of the thyroid gland, and the finest salt grind – “extra” after processing contains a minimum of useful substances.
Therefore, preference should be given to sea salt. It contains a range of valuable minerals necessary for any living organism. It contains potassium, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and silicon. These trace elements are involved in various processes occurring in the body:
- Potassium is needed to regulate processes within cells;
- Calcium forms the bone skeleton, participates in blood clotting, and prevents infectious diseases;
- Magnesium participates in cellular metabolism, acts as an anti-stress, anti-allergic element;
- Bromine is necessary for the nervous system;
- Manganese, zinc support necessary defense functions of the body;
- Iron is involved in the transport of oxygen;
- Selenium protects the pet’s body from cancer.
Thus, even if in minimal quantities, sea salt as a supplement to the dog’s food performs a double role – it provides the body not only with sodium and chlorine, but also with other useful trace elements. Our dog food expert does not recommend using garlic salt.
A dog needs salt.
It is the most important source of sodium and chlorine, without which many of the animal’s body systems cannot function properly. But it is important to dose the amount of salt and pepper in your pet’s food. Norms for dogs are much lower than for humans. Industrial food already contains the right amount of micronutrients, and you can add sea salt during cooking when feeding balanced and nutritious dog food like Acana, but food from the human table can be too salty and cause dangerous complications for animals.