Pet food safety: sodium in pet foods

Top Companion Anim Med. 2008 Aug;23(3):148-53. doi: 10.1053/j.tcam.2008.04.008.


Healthy dogs and cats appear to be able to adjust to differing amounts of sodium in their diet via the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone mechanisms. There is no strong evidence that increased dietary sodium increases the risk of hypertension in dogs and cats, and the current recommendation for hypertensive animals is to avoid high dietary salt intake without making a specific effort to restrict it. The prevalence of salt sensitivity and its effect on blood pressure has not been determined for cats or dogs. The ideal amount of sodium in the diet of dogs and cats with cardiac deficiency has not been determined, as increasing may detrimentally increase the extracellular fluid volume, but decreasing it may detrimentally increase the activation of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Increased dietary sodium increases urine output and may decrease the risk of forming calcium oxalate uroliths due to the decrease in relative supersaturation of solutes. However, caution should be used in increasing the sodium intake of patients with renal disease as increased dietary sodium may have a negative effect on the kidneys independent of any effect on blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cat Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cats / physiology*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Dog Diseases / chemically induced
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / veterinary
  • Nutritional Requirements*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium, Dietary / adverse effects


  • Sodium, Dietary