Visceral leishmaniasis is the most important zoonosis in Europe and it is caused by Leishmania infantum, a protozoan intracellular parasite. Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is endemic in the Mediterranean basin, Middle East, and South America, and is emerging within non endemic areas such as the United Kingdom and North America. We have analyzed 24 polymorphisms in the canine Slc11a1 (formerly NRAMP1) gene: 19 new polymorphisms characterized by direct sequencing from 40 dogs of different breeds and five polymorphisms previously described. Data analysis in a case-control study including 164 dogs of 19 different breeds revealed that two of the 24 polymorphisms were associated with increased risk for CVL: one intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (A4549G in intron 6: odds ratio (OR) = 6.78, P = 0.001) and one silent SNP in exon 8 (C4859T: OR = 13.44, P = 0.004). In silico analysis of the significant SNP revealed that SNP in the promoter region affect putative transcription binding sites and SNP C4859T in exon 8 disrupts a putative exonic splicing enhancer (ESE). These results corroborate that Slc11a1 polymorphisms are associated with increased risk for CVL.