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Features May 2015 Issue

Hidden Sodium

While it’s not difficult to find a dog food that’s moderate, or low, in salt, what dog owners often don’t realize is that there can be a lot of sodium hidden in people foods routinely given to pets, especially to administer the heart disease medications meant to ameliorate the effects of the disease. Among those high-sodium foods: cheese, deli meats, peanut butter, and even bread, Dr. Linder says. “If you want to use peanut butter,” she advises, “make sure to get a no-salt-added brand.” Table scraps are often high in sodium, too — everything from ketchup to potato and rice mixes to soups. Even licking the bowl can add a lot of sodium to a dog’s diet.

For dogs who must have their medicine with food to make it more palatable, Dr. Linder recommends sticking it into a piece of watermelon or mashing a pill into some banana. The Cummings School’s HeartSmart website lists some other possibilities.

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