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Yes, dogs can safely eat salt in small amounts. However, it is best not to feed your dog salty food since excess salt can cause serious health complications in dogs. While a small amount of salt is okay for dogs, excess salt can lead to sodium toxicosis.

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Safe: This food is generally considered safe by the veterinary community. Dogs can eat this food sometimes or in small amounts but contains little to no nutritional value.

Food Safety Safe in small amounts
Nutritional Value Salt is essential to keep body fluids in balance in dogs. It also helps maintain nerve and muscle function.
Potential Risks The major risk of feeding excess salt to a dog is sodium toxicosis. High levels of sodium in the bloodstream can draw water out of cells, affecting the dog’s nervous system.
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Salt is Safe for Dogs?

The safe amount of salt for a dog depends on factors such as breed and body weight. However, as a rule of thumb, the amount of added salt should not exceed 50mg per day for a dog weighing 30 pounds.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Too Much Salt?

If your dog eats a significant amount of salt in one go, it will risk sodium toxicosis and might exhibit these symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty standing/weakness
  • Tremors or seizures

In case of these symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance for your local veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A pinch of salt is essential for electrolyte balance in dogs. Therefore, it would not be harmful. However, excess salt harms dogs and can result negative health effects and can even be toxic.

  • Salt in small amounts is not harmful to dogs. If your dog is eating commercial dog food, it will already contain the amount of necessary salt. Therefore, you do not need to add salt to the diet.

  • While the salt on pretzels is not enough to cause sodium toxicosis, it is still not wise to feed salty foods to dogs. Pretzels are also high in calories and can be harmful to dogs.

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About the Writer
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.