Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

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JudyL
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Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby JudyL » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:08 pm

Most of you know that Benson was hospitalized for the second time with CHF, this time for 3 1/2 days before the vets were able to stabilize him. Even with the very high diuretics he's on, his kidney values are still perfect because of his younger age, but he was low on potassium and sent home with an Rx supplement.

The discharge instructions mentioned that most commercial diets are suitable, senior formulations are very suitable, and to avoid feeding highly salty foods or treats (>0.3% salt content).

Up until now he's been fed a variety of commercial foods including Wellness Small Breed Adult kibble, NV Instinct canned beef or chicken, and freeze-dried Stella & Chewy's patties in chicken or beef. I also have some THK Force variety that he likes and has had in the past. I purposely hadn't gone to senior foods because he's not yet 10 and needed the higher calories.

Is there such a thing as low sodium dog food, or which of the above would be lower than others? So that I can try to narrow this down, is it possible to generalize that kibble would be higher in sodium than canned or the other freeze-dried or dehydrated products, or doesn't it work that way?

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Re: Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby Sabine » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:11 pm

All foods with an AAFCO nutrition claim have to meet a minimum sodium requirement. This is 0.3% for growth/reproduction (puppy, all life stages) and 0.06% for "adult maintenance" (there is no separate table for seniors, depending on brand it can fall into either category), based on 3,500 kcal/kg on dry matter basis (not "as fed"). At greater than 4,000 kcal/kg the calculation needs to be adjusted for energy density. There is no maximum upper limit defined.

So what you'd need to do is actually find out the average sodium content, not just a guaranteed minimum or maximum. But overall it's more important to look at energy density too, since you'll need to feed more of a lower-calorie food to meet energy needs.

For example for THK Keen fed stand-alone the average is 0.18% on as fed basis, or just over 200 mg per cup dry measure (470 kcal), or 43.5 mg per 100 kcal. For a normally healthy 5 pound dog one cup would supply 60% of the weekly recommended intake. By raw weight, turkey breast supplies 44.1 mg/100 kcal, chicken breast 101.8 mg/100 kcal, and 95% lean ground beef 48.2 mg/100 kcal.
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Re: Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby JudyL » Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:47 pm

This is always confusing to me. I can see the differences in the sodium levels between the varieties of THK on as received and on dry matter basis, so I can see, for example, that Keen has about 1/2 the sodium of Force. What I can't figure out how to convert from dry matter or as received basis to "as fed" that you write about. It simply does. not. compute. in my tired and stressed out brain. Also, how does one find out the sodium of any of the other foods? Do I have to call or write to them? None of the companies list the sodium content at all.

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Re: Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby JudyL » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:19 pm

Uh, I was looking at the DM columns, not the as received. I see the 0.18% listed for Keen's sodium. Is it that I don't convert the "as received" figures at all because adding water doesn't change the nutrient profile, only the volume of it? Head spinning now. Am I on the right track?

It looks like Force that I have on hand has sodium of 0.38% and is a little too high going by what the vet wrote out on the discharge instructions. Guess I will be giving that to someone. Ugh, almost a new box too.

I wish I could commit to cooking for him but time is so limited that I'm not doing any of the shopping or cooking for us at this point so I know it won't happen for the dog. Tax season....it's not going well.

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Re: Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby Sabine » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:30 pm

You only really need to look at the as received figure (this is the same as "as fed" really, just different terminology from the testing lab), since water indeed ads very little in the way of nutrients.

For companies that don't provide this info (Petcurean does, btw., so look at their canned foods), you do have to call or email.
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Re: Benson's diet - CHF and lower sodium?

Postby JudyL » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:40 pm

Thank you!


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