Salt, or sodium, is a necessity for humans – it helps maintain the nervous system and it makes food taste great.  But should dogs eat salt? Will salt help dog food taste better? Dogs can eat salt – but like with humans – salt should be eaten in moderation. Typical dog food is already made with 0.3% salt because it is an essential nutrient. Do not salt your dog’s food because that is too much salt for them. Toxic doses of salt for dogs are 1.5 g/lb of body weight.  



What If My Dog Ate Salt? 


Dogs do need to eat additional salt, other than what’s already in their diet. Do not salt their food or feed them fast food that is loaded with salt and sugar. If your dog needs to be on a special sodium diet, ask your vet. They will determine what is the best diet for your dog’s health. 


Playing fetch on the beach is so fun – but – drinking salt water is not fun. Your pet will get thirsty after playing on the beach and drinking sea water can make them sick because of all the salt. Restrict your dog from drinking salt water and keep fresh water handy. This will reduce any potential health risks.  


On the other hand, too little sodium in their diet can be just as big of a problem as well. Check the sodium concentration of your dog’s food. It is important to consult your veterinarian about your dog’s diet, so they receive all the nutrients they need. 



What are the Symptoms of Salt Poisoning?  


Dogs that have consumed too much salt can result in the following symptoms:  

  • Fluid retention  
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Seizures   
  • Bloating 
  • Stiffness 


Toxic doses of salt for dogs are 1.5 g/lb of body weight. If your pet is experiencing salt poisoning, make sure to give them plenty of fresh water. Your dog will try and drink the water to flush out the excess salt. Make sure to keep excess salt away from your dog and in a secure place.  


Immediately contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline®, at 855-764-7661, if you think your dog is experiencing salt poisoning. 




Salt poisoning can be treated with IV fluids, and electrolyte supplements. Salt poisoning can cause brain swelling so your dog may be kept for observation. The most important thing is to get your dog to the vet clinic as soon as possible.  




Your dog should be feeling like themselves in a day or two. Most dogs can recover but it depends on how severe the salt poisoning was. For the future, make sure to keep excess salt away from your dog and provide fresh water when possible. Salt is a necessity but only in moderation.