Sodium Selenite in Dog Food

sodium selenite in dog food

Sodium selenite is a commonly used selenium supplement in dog food. Unfortunately, if given too much to your pup, they could experience serious negative side effects.

Chewy Online Pet Supplies

35% Off at

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

Sodium selenite is an aggressive chemical that can cause lung, liver and kidney damage in dogs if given too much exposure. Additionally, it has been known to be carcinogenic so should never be given in large amounts to your pup.


What is Sodium Selenite?

Sodium selenite is a synthetic mineral supplement commonly used by pet food makers to meet trace mineral needs in their recipes. As it’s cheaper than actual selenium, many pet food producers find it an economical and convenient way to provide this nutrient.

This inorganic chemical can be highly toxic if given to your dog in large amounts, harming their kidneys, liver, blood, skin and central nervous system. Therefore it’s imperative that you are aware of this ingredient and ensure your pup does not consume it.

Sodium selenite is a commonly added ingredient to many commercial dog foods, such as Purina Pro Plan, Hill’s Science Diet, Blue Buffalo, Iams Royal Canin and Rachael Ray Nutrish. You will usually find it near the end of the nutrient list so be sure to read all ingredients before purchasing a new food for your pup.

Why is Sodium Selenite Used in Dog Food?

Sodium Selenite is frequently taken as a supplement to ensure dogs get enough selenium. This trace mineral plays an essential role in normal cell functioning and supports healthy immunity and fluid balance within the body.

Additionally, vitamin E is an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Unfortunately, too much of any vitamin or mineral can be toxic to a dog.

If you want to ensure your dog gets enough selenium in his or her diet, opt for high-quality food with a solid protein source and few additives. Furthermore, steer clear of dog foods containing animal digest or by-products as these items often come from diseased and rotting animals.

Another option is feeding your dog a grain-free or low carb kibble that contains selenium yeast. This natural form of the mineral is safer and more bioavailable than sodium selenite.

How Much Sodium Selenite is Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Sodium selenite is a hazardous additive that should never be given to your dog as part of their food. This poisonous chemical can poison them, resulting in serious damage to their blood, liver and kidneys.

Organic selenium can be found in fish, meat, poultry, whole grains and dairy products. But if your pup’s food lacks this vital nutrient, it’s essential to add a safe source such as an effective supplement with selenium.

This trace mineral may possess anticancer activity in prostate cancer cells due to its reduction to hydrogen selenide when reduced with glutathione. The superoxide radicals generated from this process inhibit the expression and activity of transcription factor Sp1, which in turn down-regulates androgen receptor (AR) signaling.

Sodium selenite is also employed in glass production to neutralize green impurities present in natural silica used to make colorless glass. This step is essential in the reductive sandglass process that produces clear glasses.

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Food Has Sodium Selenite?

Sodium selenite is an artificial nutrient commonly added to pet foods as an affordable substitute for selenium, the naturally occurring mineral. It’s found in most high-priced holistic and natural dog food brands as well as popular grocery store brands.

Thankfully, in small amounts this artificial nutrient is safe for your dog’s health. However, be aware that in excessive amounts it could pose a danger to their wellbeing.

To avoid synthetic nutrients like selenium, feed your dog a high-quality kibble that includes solid sources of protein such as deboned turkey or turkey meal. These ingredients will provide enough selenium for all your pup’s nutritional needs.