3 min read


Why Dogs Don't Like Salt



3 min read


Why Dogs Don't Like Salt




Canines are adventurous creatures that love to search for food, toys, and anything that is exciting. From their favorite findings to the many food items they go after, it is safe to say that most canines are scavengers. Yet, it is important that we feed our dogs the correct food for their body type. This can make all the difference in the world for their energy, their health, and even their personality. We must be aware of what we are feeding our dogs. Foods, such as salt, are not the best for our dogs and they will reject it just as much as their bodies do. 

The Root of the Behavior

As humans, we love salt. It seems like salt makes everything we eat taste better. Yet, canines are quite different than we are. In fact, canines will usually reject salt if you give it to them. Although this sounds odd, it is completely normal that your dog acts this way because large amounts of salt can be detrimental to your dog’s body. For good health, your dog should have a small amount of sodium in their diet. The Association of American Feed Control requires that there be less than 0.3% of salt in dry dog food. Due to this, all the sodium your dog needs will already be provided in their meal. If you give your dog a snack that has salt in it, you will want to make sure that you provide your dog with water after. Dogs have sensitive bodies and they can easily become dehydrated from any extra salt in their system. 

When your dog tastes salt, they are typically not going to like it. Dogs explore the world using their mouths as well as their noses, so salt is going to be an intense taste. It tastes extremely strong and potent to dogs when they eat salt because they are not used to tasting salt like humans are. You may notice if you give your dog a salty snack, they react a bit differently to it than they would to their normal dog food. It is important to notice this and know that salt is not something your dog should eat all of the time. In fact, if you give your dog too much salt, they can have symptoms of sodium poisoning. Your dog may throw up, become dehydrated, and have diarrhea. You want to watch out for these symptoms and watch over your dog’s health if you give them too much salt. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

Eating salt is a behavior that should not be encouraged. In fact, you will usually notice right away when you give your dog salt that it is not a food they are after, anyway. Dogs cannot handle large amounts of salt, especially if it is given in a way that comes across as potent and strong. You want to encourage your dog to follow a healthy diet. This will include the food they need that provides proper nutrients, large amounts of water, and minimal amounts of salt. Salt is not good for dogs or for humans, beyond the suggested dietary need. Encouraging your dog to not eat salt will usually be an easy task because it is not something that they will desire; yet, some dogs are scavengers who love all snacks and food. If this is the case with your dog, you want to encourage them to eat and chew on the proper foods that enhance their body. You may also want to encourage your dog to drink large amounts of water, if you find your dog eats more salt than he should. Yet, salt is not a food item that any canine is after, unless you find yourself enticing your dog with your favorite human treats that have salt sprinkled on them. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

When dealing with salt, you want to make sure that your dog is hydrated. Salt is known to absorb water in dogs just as it does in our bodies. If your dog is eating more salt than a normal diet would recommend, you want to make sure that your dog has plenty of water nearby. You may find that your dog is quite thirsty, needs more water to replenish their body and their energy level, and that your dog may even feel exhausted or sick from the salt. You should always provide your dog with plenty of fresh water no matter whether he eats salty food or not.


Canines love to scavenge to find the food that brings them delight. Although salt can enhance the taste and the flavor of food for us, it is not a recommended choice and your dog may agree with that. In fact, you should limit your dog’s salt intake as much as you can. They will thank you for it, in the long run. 

By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel

Published: 03/20/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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