Have you ever enjoyed a tasty meal of chicken noodle soup when your dog starts looking up at you as if saying, “please let me have some”! Alternatively, your dog might be sick, and you’ve heard that chicken noodle soup is a great remedy. But what is the truth and is chicken noodle soup safe for dogs to eat. Let’s take a closer look as the answer is not as straight forward as you may think.
Can dogs eat chicken noodle soup? Dogs can eat chicken noodle soup in moderation, but due to the ingredients in canned and tinned soup brands, it’s far safer to let your dog eat homemade chicken noodle soup which won’t be as high in sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Homemade soup can also help settle a sick dog’s stomach.
So, there’s the short answer, but as I said, it’s not as simple as it sounds. I recommend you read on to ensure you don’t make your own dog ill on chicken noodle soup you bought at a store.
The bottom line is to feed your dog homemade chicken noodle soup when sick, or at any other time. You then have control over the ingredients.
Why tinned chicken noodle soup can be bad for a dog
Most times, people make the mistake of assuming that what is good for man is also good for the dog; after all, the dog is man’s best friend. However, this assumption is not true when it comes to food.
Food that might be harmless to you could end up being fatal for your dog. This is because dogs tend to ingest certain foods differently than humans do, with some ingredients even being toxic (for example, onions and chocolate).
Most of the food that humans eat such as fruits and vegetables cause no harm to dogs in moderation. In fact, vegetables such as carrots even provide nutritional value to your dog’s diet.
But, many of the tinned chicken noodle soups on the market will come with ingredients that can make a dog sick including high levels of salt, onions and garlic.
While there may be no harm for your own consumption, it can cause potential problems to your dog’s health.
For example, too much salt leads to brain damage in dogs. The salt tends to damage its brain cells as it stimulates the blood cells to release water so as to dilute the sodium chloride present in the blood.
Often, this leads to illnesses; and in some cases, it could even be fatal.
Please don’t panic though; your dog would need to eat a huge amount of chicken noodle soup before sodium poisoning took effect at fatal levels– I am talking liters of the stuff.
However, it pays to keep dangerous ingredients off your dog’s diet completely. Before you decide to let your dog have taste, check on the salt levels or you may end up having a dreadful trip to the veterinarian as even small amounts can lead to sickness.
Can dogs eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup?
It is no secret that Campbell’s chicken noodle soup is a sweet and lovable classic to most people. But the real question is, can dogs eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and is it safe?
Surprisingly, the answer is no.
You may think that this is quite unfair for the dog as it does not get to enjoy the deliciousness of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. However, there’s a very good reason why, and I’ve already touched briefly on this.
It’s all related to the ingredients of the soup. Campbell’s chicken noodle soup contains dehydrated garlic which is toxic to dogs. This soup also contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) which gives the soup its unique flavor.
MSG, which is usually used as a flavor enhancer, is classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (read more on the WSJ). Despite this, MSG can be harmful to your dog.
Tests conducted on mice by Dr. John Olney showed that MSG caused obesity, neuroendocrine disturbances and fetal brain damage in the offspring of mice which consumed MSG while pregnant (view the research).
Other studies also revealed the toxic nature of MSG to various organs such as the liver, brain, thymus and kidneys. In high amounts, it is proven to be fatal to dogs.
Bearing in mind that the Campbell’s soup company use soy protein isolate in their soup which also has traces of MSG, it is wise not to feed it your dog at all.
Then there are also the high levels of sodium in Campbell’s chicken noodle soup (about 800 milligrams of sodium per 250 milliliter of serving). Too much salt in a dog’s diet can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures and in severe cases death.
This alone is enough to make you reconsider feeding Campbell chicken noodle soup to your dog. Just don’t do it!
Can dogs eat Progresso chicken noodle soup?
Progresso is another popular chicken noodle soup that owners will often want to give to their sick dog…. it’s better for dogs than most tinned brands out there.
It is low fat and has no artificial flavors, hence has no MSG. The salt levels for the soup are also lower than most, being marked at 680mg per 242g. This is a far more tolerable ratio as long as you remember to keep your dog hydrated with plenty of water to counter the effects of any ingested salt.
On the downside, Progresso chicken noodle soup does contain onion powder, garlic powder and chives. Onions, garlic and chives can cause health issues to your dogs if consumed in large quantities.
These ingredients can damage a dog’s red blood cells and can end up causing anemia. The soy protein isolate used as an ingredient also poses no threat to your dog as it contains minute traces of MSG.
Considering this, can dogs eat Progresso chicken noodle soup?
Well, there is no harm to it as long as you serve your dog as little soup as possible and don’t make it a regular thing.
But do I recommend it… no.
The chances are your dog could get a little sick and an upset stomach so it’s really not worth the bother. Whilst the onion powder, garlic power and chives might be tolerable in low levels, it’s not worth taking any risks.
Can dogs eat homemade chicken noodle soup?
And lastly, this is my recommended route. Homemade is always best for your dog as you get to control the ingredients you put in the chicken noodle soup. It’s also great for sick dogs, as chicken broth sits easily in a dog’s stomach and can help with upset tummies.
Homemade chicken noodle soup can be fed to dogs with digestive complications or a case of sickness, plus as to compliment commercial dog food. Homemade chicken noodle soups can also give you an opportunity to provide a balanced diet for your dog.
So, if ever you are ever in the kitchen and ask yourself “can dogs eat homemade chicken soup?” then the answer is yes, but as long as you are cautious of what you use in the soup.
It’s also worth mentioning at this point that:
- You remove any bones from the chicken.
- Do not add any seasoning such as salt and pepper.
- Remove the noodles if your dog has wheat or gluten allergy.
Carrots are a great addition to the soup as they provide a good source for vitamin A.
You can also add anything in the soup as long as it is of nutritional value to your dog and is poses no health hazards. You could always ask for advice from your veterinarian so as to be sure of any risks when preparing the soup for your dog.
Homemade chicken soup recipe for dogs
There are many homemade chicken soup recipes on the internet. Here is a do-it-yourself chicken soup recipe from which doesn’t include noodles. To read it in full, check out the excellent Gone to the Snow Dogs website.
- A celery stalk
- 3 carrots
- A sweet potato
- Unseasoned cooked chicken
- A handful of raw green beans
- A teaspoon of chicken base with no onions
How to make it
- The first step is to cook the chicken bearing in mind not to add any form of seasoning. Then put sliced carrots, celery, sweet potato and green beans into pot and fill with water. Add a tablespoon of chicken base and let it simmer for about an hour.
- Add half a cup of chicken broth from the prepared chicken and add into the pot. Next you need to shred the cooked chicken and add it into the soup. Simmer till ready.
- Let the soup cool and then serve for the dogs. You can refrigerate any left-over soup for later use.
- Please note, when preparing any kind of chicken soup at home bear in mind that onions, garlic and chives should not be part of the ingredients used.
- Furthermore, the soup is best served bland. The soup can also be served along with normal dog food and act as a complimentary dog dish.
Other harmful ingredients to look out for
Salt, chives, garlic and onions are not the only ingredients that you should watch out for. Some people will add milk, butter or other dairy products into soups.
Other prefer adding raw eggs or fat trimmings to their chicken noodle soup.
- Fat trimmings from cooked or raw meat can even cause pancreatitis in dogs.
- The idea of adding raw eggs to your chicken soup is as harmful to the dog as it also can be harmful to you. This is because the dog, and human, can ingest bacteria such as the salmonella or E. coli and end getting food poisoning.
Either way, these ingredients are not good for your dog. For example, milk and other dairy products cause diarrhea and digestive track complications while some dogs might even be lactose intolerant.
Chicken noodle soup is often used as a food to make sick humans feel better. It can work for dogs too when they feel a little poorly!
There are various health benefits to letting your dog eat this soup, but just make sure you stick to homemade chicken noodle soups – they are far superior to canned commercial soups.
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. All of the advice in this post is based on personal experience of dog ownership, online research, plus talking with my own vet. Always consult with your dog’s vet before adding any unusual foods into their diet.
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