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Can Dogs Eat Chicken Noodle Soup? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

A bowl of chicken noodle soup

Vet approved

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Chicken noodle soup is a go-to comfort food for chilly days and people feeling under the weather, and we’re sure you’ve noticed your dog sniffing the savory chicken aroma wafting through your kitchen. Before you go sharing some with your dog, though, you should know that your average canned noodle soup is pretty unhealthy for your pup.

Boiled chicken and water are very nourishing, but canned soup is concerningly high in sodium content that your dog just doesn’t need in their diet. It’s also pretty fatty, potentially leading to weight gain if your dog eats a lot of it. That’s not even counting additional toxic ingredients that might be included, like onion, garlic, preservatives, and so on.

Before you give up, there’s some good news: it’s super easy to make your own dog-safe chicken soup with ingredients you may already have on hand! Homemade is always best when it comes to feeding your dog, as commercial human foods tend to have a lot of salt or preservatives. Let’s talk a little more below about how to make that soup, what’s in a can of commercially available chicken soup, and some dietary tips for including soup in a healthy canine diet.

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What’s in a Can of Chicken Noodle Soup? Nutritional Facts Revealed

Chihuahua being fed soup
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Have you ever stopped to look at the ingredients of your favorite chicken noodle soup? Dry and canned soups alike are usually filled with unhealthy ingredients, and the more flavorful soups tend to be even more guilty of this. By adding more and more ingredients to make a richer soup, it strays farther and farther from being dog-friendly. Let’s check out what ingredients you can expect to see in your chicken noodle soup and how healthy they are for dogs.

Average Canned Chicken Soup Ingredients:
  • Chicken broth: Flavorful and aromatic chicken broth helps hydrate your dog with water and sodium, a key electrolytes.
  • Chicken: Bite-sized chicken chunks in soup provide protein and a small amount of iron.
  • Salt: Salt is used in large quantities to extend the shelf life of canned soup and to improve the taste for humans. In large quantities, it can cause salt toxicosis in dogs. However, a large amount of salt would need to be ingested.  In 120mls of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, there is 890 mg of sodium. A medium sized dog would need to ingest 7.39g of salt to be in danger of salt toxicosis.1
  • Noodles: Plain noodles are safe for your dog, providing fiber and carbs.
  • Veggies: Carrots, celery, and green beans are common in chicken noodle soup and are all great sources of fiber and assorted vitamins.
  • Seasonings: Dogs generally don’t need seasonings in their diet, especially considering the most common types used are garlic or onion-based.
  • Onion/garlic: Members of the Allium genus such as onion, garlic, chives and shallots are highly toxic to dogs. They harm your dog’s red blood cells and can cause severe anemia if served ingested.

Risks of Canned Soup for Dogs

Open can of unlabeled chicken noodle soup
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Canned soup is moderately healthy for us humans as long as we don’t eat it every day, but it still contributes a lot of sodium. Half a cup of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup contains 39% of a human’s daily sodium recommendation.  For our four-legged dog friends, the risks are much more concerning, as most chicken noodle soups contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Even a little bit can lead to serious health issues, due to the onion and garlic in the soup. Let’s take a quick look at some health risks posed by your dog eating canned soup.

Health Risks of Canned Soup for Dogs:
  • Toxic ingredients: Onion and garlic in whichever form they come e.g fresh, powdered, pureed, are highly toxic to all dogs, even in a small quantity. Call your veterinarian as soon as possible if you realize your dog has eaten something containing any plants from the Allium
  • Excessive sodium content: Too much salt can cause nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, and more dangerous cardiac symptoms. A dog would need to ingest a huge amount of salt to be at risk of salt toxicosis, but if you notice any of the above symptoms, you should seek veterinary advice immediately.
  • Preservative content: Preservatives such as monosodium glutamate and sodium phosphate are both salts that are used to boost a soup’s shelf life and can cause the above symptoms if given in large quantities.
  • Fragmented bones: Splintered chicken bones used to make a chicken broth should not be present in canned soup, but of course it can happen. Splintered bones can puncture your dog’s mouth, throat, or digestive system, so be mindful of this, particularly if you are making chicken noodle soup at home.

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What Can Dogs Eat?

maltese bichon dog eating peanut butter
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Homemade chicken noodle soup is a hydrating meal for your dog, and it of course doesn’t need to contain additional salt, onion, garlic or preservatives.  However, it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. Your dog should get the bulk of their nutrition from a balanced, high-quality dog food, with all the protein, fats, carbs, and other vitamins/minerals your dog’s body needs to grow and stay healthy.

But let’s be real: nobody likes eating the same thing all the time, and your dog enjoys a varied diet too! For a better idea of what foods you can offer to your dog in moderation, we’ve cooked up a quick list just down below.

Dog-Safe Foods:
  • Meat: Go with lean cubes of cooked chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey. Your dog can enjoy a little bit every day with meals or as training treats.
  • Fish: Salmon and tuna are excellent sources of beneficial fatty acids, protein, zinc, and a slew of vitamins.
  • Veggies: Some favorites include steamed sweet potatoes, roasted squash, and chopped carrots, but you can experiment with an astonishing variety of veggies yourself.
  • Fruit: A handful of blueberries or some diced apples contains water, dietary fiber and vitamins and will help hydrate your dog without any harmful artificial sweeteners.
  • Peanut butter: Brands with peanuts as their sole ingredient are the best, and even the most stubborn dogs go nuts for peanut butter. It’s loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamins E and B, and more. Make sure you thoroughly check the ingredients to ensure there is no xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener) contained in the peanut butter as this is highly toxic to dogs.
  • Eggs: Plain scrambled eggs are a great way to give your dog an extra shot of protein, fatty acids, folate, and vitamins.

Tips for Making Your Own Dog-Safe Chicken Soup

Chicken broth soup in a bowl
Image Credit: LisaRedfern, Pixabay

When it comes to sharing human food with our dogs, homemade is the way to go. Sadly, pre-packaged and canned foods like chicken noodle soup almost always contain harmful preservatives or harmful seasonings like garlic. However, how hard can cooking up some delicious and healthy chicken noodle soup for your dog be? Not that hard, thankfully. Scroll just below for some valuable tips on how to tailor your soup with your dog’s needs in mind.

Tips for Making a Dog-Safe Chicken Soup:
  • Choose a boneless chicken to avoid the risk of bones splintering and hurting your dog’s mouth, throat, or stomach.
  • If you’re using bones to brew a richer broth for your dog’s soup, remove them with a sieve before serving.
  • To include veggies, finely chop carrots and celery into small cubes for easier chewing.
  • Don’t add salt, sugar, onions, garlic or additional seasonings—your dog doesn’t need them.
  • To reduce fat content, trim the chicken fat before cooking or skim it off the top of the soup before serving.
  • If you’re including egg noodles, choose a plain, unseasoned brand without any included seasonings or preservatives.

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Conclusion

Chicken noodle soup out of the can may well contain ingredients that are toxic to your dog, and it is also too salty and full of preservatives. However, you can easily make your own tastier homemade soup with a few minutes and the right ingredients. Skip the salt and harmful seasonings like garlic and onions, and dice up some crunchy carrots instead.  Make sure to remove bones before serving!  Your dog will love a small topping of home-made soup over its dry food once in a while.


Featured Image Credit: Nina Firsova, Shutterstock

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