Can I Feed My Sick Dog Chicken Noodle Soup? Canned vs Homemade


We all know just how comforting a nice warm bowl of chicken noodle soup can be, especially when we’re feeling a little under the weather. But can you feed it to your dog when he’s feeling the same way?

Dogs can eat chicken noodle soup, but you should avoid feeding them the kind that comes in a can. These are usually packed full of additives such as sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG)— neither of which are suitable for dogs. However, your dog can safely enjoy some homemade chicken noodle soup, providing that you leave out potentially harmful ingredients such as garlic and onion. 

If your dog is feeling unwell, some home-cooked chicken noodle soup can cheer them up and maybe even settle their stomach a little, as long as you use specific ingredients and approach the task with caution.

Why is canned chicken noodle not suitable for dogs?

The majority of the time, people assume that what is safe for humans is safe for dogs.  When it comes to food, however, this is not the case. Food that is perfectly safe for you could be lethal for your dog. This is due to the fact that dogs digest food differently than humans, making some of it potentially toxic.

Different types of chicken noodle soups can have different effects on your dog. Here are the most common types:

Canned Soup 

All kinds of preservatives are used in canned or tinned soups, including a lot of salt (sodium) and the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG). Campbells or Heinz are two common examples. While the ingredients list of different soups can vary, the majority contain high levels of sodium and MSG.

If a dog eats too much salt he can become dehydrated and suffer from a whole host of nasty symptoms such as diarrhea, tremors, depression, and seizures. Furthermore, because onions and garlic can kill red blood cells, they can induce anemia in dogs. Vomiting, weakness, and dullness are some of the symptoms of this illness. This is why it’s crucial to double-check labels!

Dry Mix Soup 

These include soups that you make in a cup with boiling water and usually come in powder form. These dehydrated mixtures are high in salt, which is bad enough, but they also contain a lot of dried flavors, including garlic and onion, which are both unhealthy for dogs.

is known to destroy red blood cells and cause severe anemia, which can be fatal if not treated promptly. Garlic is dangerous enough on its own, but when you add powder or salts to it, which are prevalent in soups, it becomes even more potent and harmful to dogs.

Home-cooked Soup 

As mentioned above, not all chicken noodle soup is harmful to your dog. If you make your own at home with specific ingredients, your dog can technically eat it. We recommend buying some made from a pet food specialist, though. 

Milk and most dairy products, as well as raw eggs, sugary items, and fat trimmings, are all considered toxic to dogs. Many of these ingredients can sometimes be found in canned chicken noodle soup, which can harm your pooch.

How to make dog-friendly homemade chicken noodle soup

Not all homemade chicken noodle soups are made equal, it’s all about what ingredients you put into it. If your dog is feeling unwell, some homemade chicken noodle soup can help to settle his stomach. It’ll even be safe for you to eat too, so you can eat it together!

Starting ingredients (safe for dogs):

  • Unseasoned cooked chicken breast meat, shredded
  • Chicken bones
  • 1 celery stalk (do not cut into pieces)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into pieces
  • Noodles
  • Water
  • A pinch of regular rock salt (not iodized)

Later ingredients (just for you):

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • More salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Fill a pot with water and toss in the chicken bones and add a little salt. Bring it to the boil then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the water looks like a chicken broth, whichever comes first. 
  2. Add your noodles to the broth. The amount of time you cook them will depend on your specific noodle instructions, so just follow what it says on the label. 
  3. Once the noodles are cooked, drain the broth using a strainer and put them aside to cool down. Once cooled, cut them into small pieces.
  4. Add the shredded chicken, celery, and carrots into the pot of starchy chicken broth. Simmer or boil until the vegetables are completely cooked.
  5. Remove the celery from the pot and set it aside. Place the noodle pieces in the pot. Serve it to your dog in a bowl. For added nutrition, you can also put some dry dog food in your dog’s bowl and mix it all together.
  6. Return the celery to your own bowl of soup. Add as much salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder as you like.

If possible, take your dog to the veterinarian for frequent checkups. Give them the best dog food you can afford and follow your veterinarian’s advice. Dogs are eager explorers and can find a way to eat just about anything they shouldn’t, no matter how careful you are. 

It’s a good idea to have your veterinarian’s and the local emergency clinic’s phone numbers handy. in general, you shouldn’t try to self-medicate your dog, but fortunately, a bowl of chicken soup won’t do any harm.

What noodles are safe for my dog to eat?

Before making your homemade dog-friendly chicken noodle soup, you’ll need to consider the type of noodle you’re going to use. Not all noodles are safe for dogs to eat, here’s how the most common noodle types compare:

  • Egg noodles: Because eggs are a good source of vitamins, proteins, iron, and minerals, they can be given to your dog. Just make sure they’re cooked thoroughly because eating raw eggs can increase your dog’s chance of getting salmonella.
  • Buckwheat/soba noodles: Buckwheat is a fantastic choice for dogs who are allergic to grains because it is healthy and gluten-free. You can give your pet soba noodles made from buckwheat flour on occasion, but the amount should be kept to a minimum. Shirataki, like soba, is a classic Japanese noodle that your dog may enjoy. Although it doesn’t contain many calories, sugar, and gluten, dogs may still experience digestive issues due to the presence of glucomannan, a soluble fiber.
  • Spaghetti noodles: Cooked spaghetti noodles in little amounts might be a tasty treat for dogs on occasion, but making it a regular part of his diet could be damaging in the long run.
  • Udon noodles: In recent years, a Japanese food company has made a kind of Udon noodles that’s specifically designed for dogs. They are composed of wheat flour and are low in calories and sodium. A packet of dashi (a type of soup) is included with the noodles since it goes well with most broths. However, we don’t recommend making it a regular part of your dog’s diet.
  • Instant noodles: These should never be given to your dog as they’re usually extremely high in salt and the flavored powder sachet is packed with preservatives and ingredients that can potentially harm your dog. If your dog has ingested one or two strands from your plate by accident, do not be alarmed; instead, monitor his behavior and call a veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

How do I cook chicken for my dog?

You can feed your dog either boiled baked or grilled chicken and all of which can be incorporated into your chicken noodle soup. The most important thing to remember is to make things simple and straightforward. Spices, butter, garlic, and really any other seasonings to the chicken should be avoided.

Always try to keep it as simple as possible. If it tastes bland to you, it’s probably perfect for your dog, especially if he’s feeling under the weather. Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so the taste of just about any meat is going to taste delicious and intense to them.

What vegetables can my dog eat?

Whether you’re making homemade chicken noodle soup or buying one from the store, you’ll need to check what vegetables are used, as not all of them are suitable for dogs. Any veg you give to your dog should be raw or boiled/steamed with no extra oils, butter, or flavorings. Always cut it into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking and feed in moderation, especially if your dog isn’t used to eating fresh veg.

Dog-safe vegetables include:

  • Broccoli – in small amounts, raw or steamed
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots – many dogs enjoy them raw, but they can be given steamed or boiled
  • Celery
  • Green beans – steamed, boiled, or raw
  • Peas – sugar snap peas, garden peas, and mangetout, but avoid tinned peas
  • Sweet potatoes and potatoes – plain, boiled, or steamed (not raw)
  • Sweetcorn – freshly cooked corn with nothing added can be given to dogs but it must be cut off the cob first.

Ingredients you should never feed your dog include:

  • Garlic – toxic to dogs
  • Mushrooms – certain types are toxic to dogs, so best to steer clear
  • Onion – toxic to dogs
  • Plums – stone/pit can be toxic or cause blockages and can often get left in the plum
  • Potatoes (raw) and potato plants – when raw they can be toxic and the plants and leaves can also be dangerous
  • Rhubarb – toxic to dogs
  • Tomato (unripe) and tomato plants – while the ripe red flesh is safe, the green parts can be toxic so best to avoid
  • Leeks – toxic to dogs

Is homemade chicken noodle soup good for dogs?

Yes, it can be! But this all depends on the ingredients you use. Bone broths, such as chicken broth, are beneficial to dogs because of the healthy acids they provide, among other things. Glycine, an amino acid, is commonly found in broth. Glycine aids in the detoxification of your dog’s liver and kidneys. These organs are in charge of cleansing your dog’s body, and glycine helps them in this process.

Glycine can also protect a dog from getting leaky gut, a condition in which the stomach’s openings get too large, causing digestive issues. Glycine aids in their blocking and shrinking. Bone broth is also great for joints as it contains collagen and stimulates collagen formation. This means that regular broth intake can help to improve joint health.

Can dogs eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup?

No, you shouldn’t let your dog eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. This is one of the many popular soup brands that use lots of ingredients and preservatives that can harm your dog. If your dog accidentally consumes a little bit, you shouldn’t worry. But too much Campbell’s chicken noodle soup has the potential to endanger your dog’s health. This is primarily due to the high amount of sodium in it. Where possible, you should always opt for a homemade chicken noodle soup or a store-bought one that is certified dog-friendly. 

Can dogs eat Progresso chicken noodle soup?

No, you shouldn’t feed your dog Progresso chicken noodle soup. Similar to Campbell’s, Progresso chicken noodle soup is a processed soup that contains preservatives and can include ingredients and spices that are safe for humans, but not for dogs. It should never be consumed by a dog in excess and we recommend only feeding your dog pet-store bought food or making your own homemade chicken noodle soup. 

What should I feed my sick dog?

If your pet is vomiting and unable to keep food down, you can try missing one meal, although still allow access to water. Then, offer small amounts of a white meat diet such as boiled chicken or boiled fish (cod or coley), with white rice. Provided there is no further vomiting, offer small amounts every two hours for the first day and then larger quantities less often for a few days. Then slowly introduce it into their regular diet.

If your dog is refusing to eat, don’t leave any uneaten food sitting in his bowl. Pick it up and wait a little while before offering a small portion of something different. Fresh chicken and gravy, ham, pilchards, and cat food are all great options that may just tempt your dog.  Alternatively, the vet can prescribe them specific foods. Try to serve the meals warm, as the scent will encourage your dog to eat. Be sure that it’s not too hot though, or they’ll burn their tongue. 

When a dog has no appetite, veterinarians occasionally use baby food to get them to eat any sort of meal. This simple and nutritious meal is easily digested and dogs usually enjoy the taste. Dogs undergoing chemotherapy, who suffer from allergies, have diabetes, problems with kidneys or other organs, or are seniors with delicate stomachs will need special attention to their diets to ensure they’re getting all the nutrition they need. Creating the best diet for your dog can be complicated, so always consult your veterinarian if you’re thinking of switching up your dog’s diet.

Final Thoughts

Dogs can eat chicken noodle soup, and may even benefit from it in the same way we do. However, just make sure the soup you feed them is safe for them to eat and free from potentially harmful ingredients. We recommend making your own, as this is the safest option.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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