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Foods to Avoid for Pets on Low Sodium Diets

Dogs and cats may like salty food but it's not good for them.

A common problem is that pets, especially dogs, are often fed human food that has hidden sodium.  If your veterinarian has recommended that your pet be restricted in its consumption of sodium, you should not feed the following:

  • Cheese or peanut butter
  • Deli or luncheon meats
  • Commercially prepared or cured meats or fish (bacon, ham, sardines for example)
  • Hot dogs
  • Ketchup, pickles or olives
  • Broth or soups
  • Crackers, chips, popcorn, pretzels
  • Canned vegetables or other packaged convenience foods
  • Breads made with self-rising flour or biscuit mixes
  • Salted nuts
  • Commercial salad dressings
  • Instant cooked cereal
  • Sauces that are commercially prepared

    Consult with your veterinarian for more information and recommendations.

    Pets afflicted with heart failure or high blood pressure should not be fed salty foods, as they cause fluid to be retained in the body and make it harder for the heart to work.  They also can lead to fluid developing in the lungs (pulmonary edema).  Most commercial dog foods have a decent level of sodium, although some have high levels, such as Hill's S/D. Pets that have non-life-threatening heart problems don't necessarily need to be restricted on sodium, but you still should keep an eye on whether the food you're feeding your pet has overly-high sodium levels. Once a pet has had an episode of congestive heart failure or has hypertension, the diet should be restricted in sodium.

    Most commercial dog foods have a sodium content of 1.0 gram per 1000 KCal . This description is just a way to measure the relative sodium content without having to calculate whether it is a canned or dry food. 1.0 gram is actually ten times the amount really needed by pets. As it turns out, dogs like salty foods just like we do!!

    Often veterinarians will recommend a renal diet (one made for kidney problems) for heart patients as these diets are restricted in sodium (0.3 gram per KCal) and heart patients usually become kidney patients eventually.  There is a diet made by Hill's specifically for heart patients (H/D) that has 0.23 gram of sodium per KCal, and in some cases veterinary cardiologists may recommend this.

      You should review the label of the pet food you are feeding to see if the percentage of sodium is listed. Usually it is not on the label, as it is not required to be listed, but you can contact the manufacturer to ask for the sodium content.  Remember, to compare, the sodium content should be given in grams per KCal.

    In order to administer medications, many people use Pill PocketsTM made by GreeniesTM.  These are tasty pillowcase-shaped products used to hide pills for dogs or cats. The Canine Pill PocketsTM are high in sodium, so it is better to use the Feline Pill PocketsTM for both dogs and cats.

     With advances in veterinary medicine, many heart patients can live happily and without symptoms for years.  It is up to you to make sure their diet is a good one!! 

Exclusive Offer

Return of the Rattlesnake Vaccination!

South Valley Animal Clinic is excited to announce the return of the Red Rock Biologics Rattlesnake Vaccination!  This vaccination is great for dog's planning on hiking, camping or just exploring the bosque.  Please call our office for scheduling or more information (505) 873-2590. 

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South Valley Animal Clinic Joins PACA's New Public Spay/Neuter Program

We are excited to announce our support of the 'Fix the 505' program.  Fix the 505 is a small scale FREE spay/neuter program for low income pet owners.  PACA (People's Anti-Cruelty Association) selected a few local veterinarian clinic's, including South Valley Animal Clinic to participate in this necessary program.  Please watch the short video above or visit http://paca-aar.org/index.php/donate/sponsor-a-spay for more information!

06/01/2015 UPDATE

This program has been restricted to South Valley residents struggling to spay or neuter their pets.  In order to get your pets scheduled, please request a PACA Voucher from The Animal Humane Society or from a Bernalillo County Animal Control officer .  Please call (505) 255-5523 for more information!

Testimonials

Dr. Heite and the rest of SVAC staff, Thank You! From the bottom of our hearts for your AMAZING care for our dogs. You're an awesome team, and we trust you above anyone else to provide immediate, compassionate, and reliable solutions. We cannot begin to thank you for going above and beyond to help Sissy. We know she has an amazing medical team. 

With heartfelt appreciation, Sanchez Family
Albuquerque, NM

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