Can Dogs Eat Salt?

Almost every one of our dishes contains salt and in certain amounts it is essential for the human body to survive.

As a dog owner, you ask yourself the legitimate question: Can my dog also eat salt? And if so how much?

That’s exactly what you’ll find out in this article!

In a nutshell: Can dogs eat salt?

Your dog may only eat salt in very small amounts. Foods with a high salt content such as seasoned meat, chips or fries are therefore a no-go for your dog.

Too much salt can cause salt poisoning, which can damage the animal’s kidneys and heart.

Dogs should not eat too much salt

Anyone who deals with the nature of dogs quickly realizes that particularly salty foods are not part of the animals’ classic diet.

Even high-quality dog food contains very little salt. For good reason. Because: Too much salt can damage the health of the animals.

Dog owners who feed their pet fries and the like run the risk of salt poisoning.

Especially in connection with young animals, it is important to be particularly attentive here. They tolerate even less salt than the adult animals.

Symptoms that may indicate salt poisoning include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Fever
  • muscle twitches
  • faster breathing
  • restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • cardiac arrhythmia

In this case, it is important to consult the veterinarian quickly to discuss further measures.


A low-salt diet is particularly recommended for sick dogs with kidney weakness or heart disease. These are less able to break down the salt in the body than healthy dogs, which in the worst case can lead to kidney failure.

Salt is not inherently toxic to dogs

A reassuring message: If the dog has tampered with the leftovers of the food without the master or mistress noticing, there is often no need to panic as a first step.

First of all, salt is not toxic for dogs and smaller amounts are usually well tolerated. After all, a dog is a classic predator that would ingest salt in the blood of its prey one way or the other.

This kind of “basic quantity” can even support the functions of the dog’s body. However, it makes a difference whether a dog (or its ancestors) would kill a prey animal in nature or whether an animal eats a whole portion of oversalted chips.

The latter case would result in the animal’s need for liquid increasing comparatively quickly and the dog quickly becoming thirsty.

If he’s otherwise healthy, he’s able to get rid of salt (and water) through his kidneys – up to a certain maximum.

However, if a certain level is exceeded or if the animal is old and ill, kidney damage and other diseases can occur. The function of the heart may also be impaired.

Good to know:

Eating a little salt is usually not a problem, especially in healthy animals. However, it is important to ensure that a certain maximum is not exceeded under any circumstances. Exactly where this is depends on various factors.

How much salt can a dog eat?

Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered in a standardized way. Because: How much salt a dog can eat depends on several factors, including:

  • the size of the animal
  • his weight
  • his general health

dependent. Most high-quality dog ​​foods contain as much salt as the animal needs to support its normal bodily functions, so that owners do not have to add anything here.

However, if you mainly bart, you should definitely consult the treating veterinarian again.

The easiest way to ensure that the recommended maximum amount of salt is not exceeded is to avoid feeding leftover food, such as seasoned meat.

The recommended daily amount for dogs in connection with food for humans is often significantly exceeded.


Dogs need a little salt to ensure their bodies can function ‘normally’. The required amount is usually contained in high-quality dog ​​food.

Of course, it is always advisable to contact the treating veterinarian in connection with dogs that are not physically fit or suffer from an illness.

Do you have a question about this topic? Surely we or other readers can help you. Just leave us a comment!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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