The purpose of a special diet in your pet is the same as it is with human patients: to provide foods containing only very small amounts of sodium (salt). Sodium tends to make the body retain water, and this can be harmful in a heart patient. Most commercial pet foods are well balanced and nutritious for normal dogs, but contain too much sodium for the heart patient. Since the low-sodium diet can extend your pet’s life and decease the heart medications needed, it is best to feed your pet accordingly.
There are two approaches to feeding:
- Use a specially prepared canned product (IVD ModifiedÒ) this is available at our clinic.
- Formulate a low-sodium diet to prepare at home.
Occasionally pets will not eat anything other than the foods they are accustomed to eating. You should still try to encourage him to try the new diet, if need be, you can mix small amounts of the regular diet with the heart diet. This is not perfect, but it does lower the daily sodium intake somewhat.
- Use no salts in food or cooking.
- Milk products are generally high in sodium.
- Canned, frozen, and prepared pet foods are high in sodium.
- Fresh meats are usually low in sodium.
- All shellfish and prepared fish are usually high in sodium.
- The maximum sodium intake should be 6mg/pound body weight.
- An average daily intake of 30-40 calories/pound body weights is desired.
FOODS HIGH IN SODIUM NOT ALLOWABLE:
- Cereals-all, except puffed wheat. (All brands)
- Snacks-milk, sherbet, ice cream, puddings, Jell-O, salted crackers.
- Meat, Fish, Poultry-luncheon meats, frankfurters, dried beef, sausage, brains, and kidney.
- Also cured meats and corned beef, fish fillets, clams, crab, scallops.
- Cheese and milk -all, except unsalted cottage cheese or low-sodium cheddar.
- Fats-salted butter/margarine. Fat from salted meats.
- Vegetables-all canned types, unless salt-free.
- Seasoning-all mixed salts.
- All salted nuts, potato chips, pretzels, olives, pickles, molasses, brown sugar, peanut butter, candy, and glazed fruit.
The mainstays of a good low-sodium diet may be fresh beef, pork, chicken, bland macaroni and/or low-sodium. Do not give “dog snacks.”
A good diet is 1/4-pound ground round or other lean beef, 2 cups cooked white rice without salt, add a tablespoon vegetable oil, and one tablet of Pet-Cal supplement. Cook beef in skillet, retaining fat, and stirring until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Keep covered in the refrigerator.
Feed 1/3 - 1/2 pound for each 10 pounds of body weight daily.
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