What Is Potassium Chloride?
Potassium Chloride is an organic compound composed of Potassium and Chlorine. Similar to other salts, Potassium Chloride is an odorless and colorless substance that is very similar to table salt (Sodium Chloride).
Potassium Chloride is used heavily throughout the world in industrial processes, including as a component of fertilizer and in some petroleum and gas operations.
However, Potassium Chloride is also heavily utilized in animal feed, especially in dairy cattle, where higher levels of Potassium have been shown to increase milk production.
However, you likely aren’t here to learn about the benefits of Potassium for cows but instead, you’ve discovered that trace amounts of Potassium Chloride are present in the ingredient list of your pet’s food.
Why Is Potassium Chloride In Pet Food?
Potassium Chloride is present in pet food recipes to provide the mineral Potassium to a dog or cat’s diet.
Potassium is an important mineral for several bodily functions and processes, including the maintenance, repair, and growth of muscles, regulating metabolism, and healthy neural function.
Potassium can also be found in higher levels in some fish ingredients like Tuna, Cod, Trout, and others. However, outside of Tuna, these fish ingredients are not commonly seen in pet food.
Despite higher Potassium levels in some pet food ingredients, there are some pet food recipes that either do not contain these ingredients or do not contain enough of them.
As a consequence, the levels of potassium must be supplemented to reach appropriate levels.
Is Potassium Chloride Bad For Pets?
Given the tiny quantities of Potassium Chloride used in pet food recipes, it is unlikely to have any noticeable adverse effects on dogs or cats.
In fact, for some dogs and cats, this added Potassium could actually have beneficial properties that may be noticeable after sustained consumption.
However, if somehow a dog or cat were to consume a very large portion of Potassium Chloride or consume high levels over a sustained period, there could be some noticeable adverse effects.
This could include symptoms such as tiredness or weakness, nausea, vomiting, and trouble breathing, among others.
Unlike some other minerals or additives to pet food recipes, we can’t find any evidence or studies showing adverse effects from small doses of Potassium Chloride.
Pet Food Brands That Use Potassium Chloride
Based on our research, Potassium Chloride is used heavily throughout the pet food industry, including by some of the biggest pet food brands.
The inclusion of all three of the “big three” pet food brands (Purina, Hill’s, and Royal Canin) is notable and shows the true scale of the use of Potassium Chloride.
If that wasn’t enough, while researching ingredient use in dog food recipes, we found that 93 of the top 100 most popular dry dog food recipes on Chewy.com contained Potassium Chloride.
Given that some of these 100 top recipes are veterinary recipes with limited ingredients, this widespread use of Potassium Chloride is almost universal with popular dog food brands.
You can see an example of its use in a dry dog food recipe below, which is the ingredient list of Diamond Natural’s Skin & Coat Formula.
While we do not recommend doing so, if you are looking to avoid feeding your pet’s food with Potassium Chloride, we recommend carefully studying the ingredient list of any recipe you are considering to see if it is present.