Can Puppies Have Salt?

When you adopt a new puppy, one of your responsibilities is to provide them with nutritious food every day. Luckily, many puppy food manufacturers have various foods explicitly made for puppies. Finding one that your puppy enjoys and helps them grow into a healthy adult dog shouldn’t be too difficult.

However, some puppy parents like to make their puppy’s food themselves. Whether to ensure their precious pup gets a well-balanced diet, give them more natural food, or save money, puppy food made at home can be nutritious and delicious as long as it’s made correctly and with the proper ingredients.

Now, truth be told, proper ingredients are where many folks who adopt a puppy get tripped up. You see, some things that are nutritionally OK for humans can make a little puppy very ill. Others your puppy doesn’t need or won’t like, so you should avoid those.

One ingredient that’s insanely popular with humans is salt. Indeed, salt consumption is massive worldwide, with humans consuming upwards of 3400 milligrams of the stuff every day. (That’s close to 2 teaspoons of salt!) So it’s no surprise that some folks put salt in their puppy’s food, thinking that if it’s good for humans, it should be good for their pup. 

I thought about this the other day as I made some food for my dogs. I don’t use salt in their food, but it did remind me of a question many readers ask me; can puppies have salt?

The answer is that, yes, puppies can have salt and, like humans, some salt is necessary for their daily diet. However, giving your puppy too much salt can lead to a slew of different health problems. That’s why it’s best to be careful using salt if you make your own puppy food. Also, when you feed your puppy snacks, experts recommend they aren’t salted.

So, yes, puppies can have salt, but like humans, they shouldn’t have too much salt in their diet. Knowing these salty facts, you might have other questions about salt for your puppy, including how much salt they can have and what to do if your puppy eats too much salt. If so, read on. I’ve got the answers to those questions and several more below.

How Much Salt can Puppies Have?

As with everything you feed your puppy, the amount of salt they can, and should, have is based on several factors. Their age and weight are the two most prominent. Younger, smaller puppies should get less salt than older, larger puppies.

The thing is, if you’re feeding your puppy prepared food from one of the better manufacturers, they will probably get all the salt they need. If you make their food yourself, putting a pinch of salt in their food is not only a good idea but necessary, as puppies do need some salt in their diet.

The recommended amount of salt in puppy food is between .25 G to 1.5 G for every 100 grams of whatever food they’re eating. This amount of salt helps your puppy maintain their fluid balance, acid-base balance, and nerve signal transmission in their nervous system. 

What Happens when your Dog has Too Much Salt?

As with humans, too much salt can definitely cause health problems for your puppy and your dog. Typically, if a puppy eats too much salt, they will counter the problem by drinking a lot more water. That’s why it’s essential your puppy has an endless supply of water to drink throughout the day. 

Of course, like children, puppies don’t always follow the rules. They can get into trouble with salt if they, for example, figure out how to get into the kitchen cabinet and grab a bag of potato chips or some other type of salty snack. When that happens, and your puppy is suffering from salt poisoning, some of the symptoms they will have include:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • A swollen abdomen
  • Inability to walk correctly

If your puppy is suffering from any of these symptoms, or several of them, you should call your local veterinarian right away. You should also know your puppy’s age and approximate weight, as well as the approximate amount of salty food that they have eaten. Making sure that your puppy has plenty of water to drink is essential while you’re trying to figure all of this out.

Salt and Dehydration in Dogs

As with humans, if your puppy eats too much salt, it can cause an imbalance in their kidneys which will then cause them to become dehydrated. When their body is dehydrated, it pulls water from other cells, which can cause a wide range of health problems and symptoms.  

One of the best ways to prevent dehydration is to make sure that your puppy always has a supply of water on hand. Several other preventative tips are helpful also, including:

  • When you take your puppy for a walk, bring water with you.
  • If it’s hot outside, make sure your puppy has a place to sit and relax in the shade.
  • When the weather is scorching, consider going for walks with your puppy in the morning or late in the day rather than during the middle of the day when it’s hottest.
  • Avoid excessive playtime during the hottest parts of the day. That includes the dog park, where your puppy can overexert themself.

Symptoms of Sodium-Ion Poisoning in Dogs

Sodium-ion poisoning in puppies is not good, as you might imagine. There are quite a few symptoms, however, that will give you an immediate clue about your puppy’s health problems. Knowing what to look for is essential so that if your puppy eats too much salt accidentally, you will immediately know it and be able to take steps to help them. The symptoms include:

  • Little or no appetite
  • Very low energy levels
  • A loss of balance
  • A weak pulse
  • Very dark urine
  • Rapid breathing and panting
  • A dry nose, mouth, and gums.
  • A slow response to practically everything.
  • A weak pulse 

What Can a Puppy eat that has Too Much Salt?

You might not know it, but many things around the typical home can cause salt poisoning in puppies. The thing is, like children, puppies will sometimes get into stuff they shouldn’t. However, unlike children, puppies won’t play with something but will typically eat it. If whatever it is they eat has a lot of salt, salt poisoning may result. Some of those things include:

  • Ocean water if you’ve recently been to the beach. 
  • Rock salt, which is commonly found in areas of the country that get a lot of snow.
  • Soy sauce, a common condiment found in most homes. 
  • Table salt, which is found in practically every home in the United States. 
  • Paintballs
  • Playdough, the popular toy.

What to Do if your Dog Eats Too Much Salt

If you believe that your puppy has consumed a high amount of salt, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. They might suggest that you try to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, which is why you should always have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide at home.

The fact is, though, that there’s no specific treatment for salt poisoning. Getting rid of the food or water that caused the poisoning is vital. Also, providing fresh water to your puppy in small amounts is recommended. 

Final Thoughts 

Yes, puppies can have salt, and it’s something they need in their diet. However, unlike humans, puppies do not need a lot of salt. If you purchase puppy food from the pet store, it will typically have all the salt they need, and you won’t have to give them extra. If you make your own puppy food, adding a tiny amount of salt is okay. However, it’s a good idea to prevent them from eating salty snacks like popcorn, salted nuts, and other things.

I hope you found today’s information helpful and that it answered your questions about puppies and how much salt they can eat. Please feel free to check out my other blogs if you have more questions. They all have interesting facts, helpful advice, and more that can help you become a better puppy parent.