When we are feeling a little under the weather or have an upset stomach, a common home remedy that we find ourselves reaching for is chicken noodle soup. It is warming, comforting, and easy to digest, not to mention it is brimming with vitamins and nutrients that can aid our recovery.
Above everything else though, chicken noodle soup is simply delicious, so it makes sense that we would want to share a taste with our furry friends, especially when they are suffering from an upset stomach.
While there is a lot of debate around whether or not we should be feeding our dogs food made for humans, generally speaking, chicken noodle soup can be fine to feed to your dog provided that it has been made specifically with dogs in mind.
However, there are some important caveats and ingredients it is necessary to avoid in order to keep your dog healthy and safe while tasting this classic, healing soup.
While it is always best to stick to feeding your pup high-quality food that has been designed specifically for dogs, this article will help you to give your four-legged friend a taste of our favorite comfort food safely.
Ingredients To Avoid
The most important thing to know when exploring the recipes that you can feed your dog is the ingredients that you should avoid at all costs and why.
There are plenty of common ingredients that feature heavily in recipes, designed to make our food more flavorful and appealing to human taste buds.
However, some of these ingredients can be extremely dangerous for dogs, below are the ingredients that you should avoid using if you want to feed something to your pet.
A very common ingredient in the bases of most sauces, soups, and chili, garlic is very dangerous for dogs to consume. Garlic is toxic to dogs, it can cause your dog’s red blood cell count to decrease and lead to hemolytic anemia.
Even when consumed in small amounts, garlic can cause painful gastrointestinal problems for your dog. Painful gas, vomiting, and dehydration are common symptoms of garlic ingestion.
Onions belong to the same family as garlic and as such, are equally dangerous for dogs to ingest.
Onions contain an oxidant called N-propyl disulfide, while this is perfectly fine for humans to consume, dogs (and cats) have a much lower tolerance of oxidative damage to their red blood cells.
Dogs in particular have more areas on their red blood cells for the N-propyl disulfide to attach to. This oxidant can cause your dog’s red blood cells to break down resulting in anemia.
A dog that has consumed too many onions will display symptoms such as lethargy and weakness, they may also experience fainting spells.
Salt And Flavorings
As we know, too much salt isn’t good for anyone. In the same way that we regulate the amount of salt we consume in our diets, it is even more important to regulate the salt in your dog’s diet.
In high doses, salt can be poisonous for your dog and cause issues such as obesity, seizures, and organ damage, all of which can be very painful for your dog.
The flavorings that are present in some foods can have even worse effects on your dog’s health. MSG is the worst offender, causing damage to your dog’s digestive tract, as well as causing nerve and brain damage in dogs.
The biggest issue with MSG is its stealth appearance in food. Due to the way in which it is added to food products, it does not have to be specifically listed in the ingredients.
Instead, it can simply be grouped under natural and artificial flavorings. The risk of MSG in food products renders them risky at best for your four-legged friend, and fatal at worst.
Flavorings create the biggest argument against giving dogs any food designed for human consumption that is not 100% homemade. The side effects of consuming this common flavoring are extreme and brutal for both you and your dog to experience.
If you were planning on giving your dog store-bought chicken noodle soup, it would be wise to keep it for yourself to enjoy instead.
While there are many arguments that preservatives aren’t good for anyone to consume, they can be even worse for your pup.
Natural preservatives are usually fine for both humans and dogs to consume, excluding salt. In fact, a lot of canned dog foods will actually contain natural preservatives to boost the shelf life of the product.
However, many artificial preservatives can cause issues with your dog’s digestive system and organs. It is best to steer clear of all preservatives if possible with your dog’s food, both homemade and bought from a pet store.
While raw bones are often fine to give to your four-legged friend, provided that they are big enough to avoid the risk of choking, cooked bones should be avoided regardless of their size.
Bones become brittle when they are cooked which makes them prone to splintering when they are being chewed on by your dog.
Those splinters can cause your dog to choke, or they can pierce their throat, pipe, or internal organs. Even without the risk of splintering, chicken bones tend to be quite small and are the perfect size to lodge in your puppy’s throat.
Ensure that all bones have been removed from the soup before giving it to your dog if you are making it from scratch.
If you are concerned that your dog has ingested any of the ingredients listed above and they are displaying any of the symptoms mentioned, you should seek medical assistance for them as soon as possible.
As mentioned above, many of the ingredients that we add to chicken noodle soup to make it taste appealing to us are actually extremely harmful to dogs. This also applies to store-bought soups.
If you are looking for a store-bought chicken noodle soup for your dog it is imperative that you read the ingredients list thoroughly to ensure that there is nothing harmful to your dog in the soup.
Almost all store-bought soups however are going to contain high levels of preservatives, flavorings, and salt. It is unlikely that you will be able to find one that is safe for your dog.
Canned soups are full of preservatives and feature high levels of salt and MSG to increase the shelf life of the product. These ingredients make canned soups fundamentally unsuitable for giving to your dog.
While it may be possible to find canned soups that do not contain onion or garlic, almost all canned products will contain high levels of salt, preservatives, and flavorings.
Dry Packaged Soup
Dry packaged soups include cup soups and instant soups where powdered soup mix is combined with water, it can also include dry stock mixes.
These convenient packs of dry soup mix contain high levels of salt, flavorings, and preservatives that render them dangerous for consumption by dogs.
To make matters worse, dry packaged soup contains very few of the ingredients that would be safe for your dog to consume such as chicken (5%) and contains leek (3%) that is also dangerous for dogs to ingest.
In short, neither dry soup mixes nor canned soups from stores are suitable options for your dog.
With store-bought soups unsuitable for dogs, is homemade soup any better? Well, it can be.
The chicken noodle soup that you make for your family to enjoy when they are sick or to use up leftovers is also likely to be unsuitable for your dog to consume. As a general rule of thumb, if the soup tastes good to you, it is probably bad for your dog.
However, there is still hope for your pup. With a few simple alterations, you can make a delicious chicken noodle soup specifically for your dog.
Now that we know which ingredients are bad for your dog and the negative effects they can have on their health and wellbeing, we know what to leave out of our recipe.
The best chicken noodle soup recipe to follow for when your dog has an upset stomach includes only 3 ingredients.
- Plain cooked chicken
The best part of this recipe is that you can enjoy it alongside your furry friend (don’t worry you can season your portion in your own bowl!).
Simply boil the chicken and carrots in the water. Remove any fat and skin as needed, including any starchy foam that forms on the surface. If you taste the soup and think that it is repulsive and far too bland, it is perfect for your dog!
Once the soup has simmered for a couple of hours, remove from the heat and allow to cool to barely warm before serving.
If your pup is still suffering from an upset stomach and you are unsure whether they will be able to keep the soup down, remove the meat from the soup you serve leaving just the broth and well-cooked carrots, you could also mix in some of your dog’s favorite kibble and allow it to soften before serving.
If your dog is able to keep this down, their next meal of soup can contain the cooked meat as well.
Altering Your Favorite Recipe
If you prefer to take a tried and trusted chicken noodle soup recipe that you make for your family and remove the ingredients that are harmful to your dog, that is fine.
It is important to remember however that the pinches of salt and garlic powder that you would barely even taste could cause significant discomfort and illness for your dog.
It is imperative that you remain vigilant in your cooking process and make sure that you do not season the soup absentmindedly.
If you do realize that you might have accidentally added an ingredient that may cause harm to your dog, do not feed it to your pup.
If you make chicken noodle soup for your dog by altering a common recipe and your dog begins to show signs of ingesting toxic ingredients it is vital that you seek medical advice or attention for your pup immediately. Mistakes happen and your dog will likely make a full recovery from its symptoms.
Finally, you may be tempted to add some chicken stock into the soup for your dog. This can be absolutely fine as long as you can guarantee that there are no harmful ingredients within the stock. This can be quite difficult to do with store-bought stocks for the reasons mentioned above.
However, if you have made your own stock and can be sure that there are no traces of onion, garlic, or other harmful ingredients it can be a tasty addition to your pup’s chicken noodle soup.
In conclusion, dogs can eat chicken noodle soup, as long as it is prepared for their specific dietary needs. In general, this means omitting any seasoning, preservatives, or harmful vegetables such as leeks, onions, and garlic.
However, if your dog has additional allergies, there may be more extensive ingredients that should be avoided. If your dog has known allergies, it is important to consult their veterinarian on whether or not you should make chicken noodle soup for your pup.
Store-bought chicken noodle soup and other pre-prepared food designed for human consumption should be avoided when feeding your dog due to the high levels of toxic ingredients.
Even if the listed ingredients do not contain any known toxic ingredients, they may be hidden under the umbrella of natural and artificial ingredients.
In short, it is important to check the ingredients of the food that you give to your dogs and seek proper medical advice if your dog displays signs and symptoms of having consumed toxins.