Some dogs love to lick, which can lead owners to look for safe and fun things for their dogs to lick during their licking sprees. Some dog owners may consider giving their dog a salt lick or block as an outlet for their licking. However, dog owners should always ask themselves: can dogs have salt blocks?
No, dogs should not be given salt blocks or licks. Too much salt in a dog’s diet can cause long-term health problems. In addition, a dog could experience salt poisoning if too much salt is ingested at one time.
This article will explain all that dog owners need to know about salt blocks and why you should never give them to your dog. Of course, we will also be answering some commonly asked questions and providing dog owners with some additional things to consider about this topic. Let’s get right into it!
What Are The Salt Licks, And Why Are They Important
Salt licks and blocks are blocks or spheres that contain all-natural salt, which contains many essential vitamins and minerals to specific herbivores. For example, salt licks can be a great source of minerals like zinc and magnesium for these animals.
In the western world, salt licks are mainly used to ensure that livestock gets enough nutrients in their diets. It is recommended that livestock such as horses, cows, goats, and sheep are all provided with a salt lick for this reason.
In addition, some people use salt licks or blocks to attract specific animals such as different species of deer, moose, or elk. It also provides these animals with a great source of vitamins and minerals in the same way it does to domestic livestock.
However, other types of animals should not be given salt licks, which could negatively affect omnivorous and carnivorous animals’ health. This is because too much salt tends to cause long-term health issues when it is a regular part of these animals’ diets.
Plus, these animals tend to get plenty of essential vitamins and minerals from other food sources that herbivores wouldn’t necessarily get.
What Ingredients Are In Salt Blocks
There are many different kinds of salt blocks and licks out there, and some are even specialized for your animal’s specific needs. However, a general salt block usually contains the following ingredients.
● Zinc oxide
● Iron carbonate
● Calcium carbonate
● Manganous oxide
● Red iron oxide
● Copper sulfate
● Mineral oil
● Calcium iodate
● Cobalt carbonate
● Anise flavor
Every brand of a salt lick or salt block is different. It is always important to look at the ingredients list on the product before you purchase it to ensure that your animal gets a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals.
In addition, some brands have a variety of salt licks available. In these cases, it is also essential to research and choose the best salt lick or block for your specific situation.
Can Dogs Lick Salt Blocks
Dogs should never be given a salt block or salt lick. This is because an excessive amount of salt in a dog’s diet can cause health conditions such as heart and kidney problems down the road. In addition, dogs that tend to have a diet high in salt are at a greater risk of developing canine obesity.
The other risk that a salt lick could pose a dog is salt poisoning. This is because too much sodium in a dog’s bloodstream can become toxic. We will be explaining the signs of salt poisoning in dogs a little later on in this article.
Is A Salt Lick Good For Dogs
No, salt licks and salt blocks are not good for dogs. Giving your dog a salt lick could be very dangerous. Salt poisoning can occur if a dog ingests too much sodium too quickly, which is all a salt lick is. In addition, a high amount of salt in a dog’s diet could lead to weight, heart, and even kidney issues over time.
Although a dog needs to have a little bit of salt in its diet, high-quality dog food will have just enough salt to keep your dog healthy.
If you are making your dog homemade dog food, you still shouldn’t need to add any salt. This is because many ingredients contain enough sodium to keep your dog’s meals healthy.
Therefore, it is recommended that you keep your dog’s homemade dog food bland and as natural as possible.
Before making your dog’s meals at home, you must run this by your vet first and let them know what you plan on feeding them. This will prevent you from making dog food that lacks nutrients and ensures that your dog will be healthy on this new homemade diet.
Things To Consider
There are some other things to consider regarding whether or not dogs can have salt licks. These include some safe licking alternatives to salt licks for dogs and the signs of salt poisoning. Here are some other things that you should consider about giving dogs salt licks or salt blocks.
Safe Alternatives To Salt Licks
As we have mentioned extensively, you should never give your dog a salt lick or salt block. However, it is still true that many dogs love to lick things. Luckily, there are some safe licking alternatives to salt licks for dogs. These include lick mats, stuffable food toys, and hard toys/bones.
Lick mats are either placed on the floor or hung on the wall for your dog to lick. These mats have a texture that feels good on your dog’s tongue, and you could even place food or treats in it to make the mat more enticing to your dog.
Food or treat stuffable toys such as the kong work similarly, but these are usually round and are a bit more portable. In addition, many dogs love to lick and chew hard toys or bones as well.
Signs Of Salt Poisoning In Dogs
We have already mentioned that too much salt ingested all at once can be toxic for dogs. As a result, it is beneficial for dog owners to know the symptoms of salt poisoning even if they haven’t accidentally given a salt lick to their dog. Here are some of the common symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs:
● Extreme thirst and increased urination
● Increased heart rate
● A high body temperature
● Reduced appetite
● A swollen tongue
● Muscle spasms and seizures
Salt poisoning is a severe and potentially life-threatening medical condition in dogs. Therefore, you should immediately take your dog to the emergency animal hospital if you suspect that they are experiencing salt poisoning.