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Can Dogs Eat Chinese Food? What Science Tells Us!

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

chinese food

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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No matter what we have on our plates, we have a set of doe eyes silently pleading for just a taste. With something as yummy as Chinese food, it’s no wonder your dog wants to partake. With aromatic meats and veggies, it is sure to spark any pup’s appetite.

But is your dog really able to eat Chinese food? Like most human foods, the general answer is no. It isn’t a good idea for your dog to have certain items. But let’s break it down even further.

Divider 7Chinese Food Is a Broad Spectrum

Chinese food is a blanket term for all the ethnic dishes in the category. You have everything from Szechuan chicken to vegetable delight.

Each one comes with its special seasonings, sauces, and flavors. So while there are a ton of goodies, Chinese food is typically only great for dogs if the contents are plain, unseasoned, and unflavored.

Chinese Food

Dangerous Ingredients in Chinese Food for Dogs

Even though Chinese food has its fair share of doggy-friendly ingredients, like rice, animal, protein, and veggies, it has some potentially irritating and toxic ingredients, too.

Here are some of the most common:


Garlic, part of the allium family, is highly toxic to dogs. The small amount they would get in Chinese food might not be enough to cause a vet visit, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset and discomfort. 


Like garlic, onions are also part of the allium family. If your dog eats onions, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. Often, Chinese food has diced onions in the recipe. 


Dogs can be incredibly sensitive to certain spices and peppers. Often, Chinese food has a little kick to it. Sometimes there are whole cayenne peppers in dishes such as Szechuan chicken. Spices and peppers can really upset your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.



The sodium in a Chinese food dish will not be enough to kill your dog, but it’s not good for them either. Your dogs have an adequate amount of salt in their diet from their standard commercial recipes. 


In small amounts, MSG is perfectly fine. It is a type of salt found in many Chinese dishes. However, it can cause gastritis and contribute to ulcers if consumed in large quantities.

divider 9What Dogs Can Eat

You can toss your dog a thing or two if you have Chinese takeout. We highly recommend feeding your dog only plain items with no additional seasonings or sauces.

Plain Rice

Plain rice is an ingredient found in many fresh and commercial dog foods. It is an excellent carbohydrate source and makes for a filling snack. So, if you have some white rice on hand, you can let your dog have a bite or two.

Image Credit: ImageParty, Pixabay

Plain Veggies

If you have a dish of veggies with no additional sauces or seasonings, you can give them a piece, permitting it is not something upsetting to the system.

Plain Meat

If you offer your dog any Chinese food dish that has plain meat, you need to make sure it’s not breaded, and it isn’t drenched in sauce.

divider 9Will Chinese Food Hurt Your Dog?

If you choose to give your dog a helping of Chinese food, you probably won’t have to go to the vet. However, it can cause some unsavory symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Some people choose to give their dogs leftovers regardless of the potential downfalls. So if you are aware that your dog could be uncomfortable and even sick after consuming it, that is your call as a pet parent.

Here, we recommend something other than feeding your dog table food if you can help it.

a sick dog after surgery in vet clinic
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Divider 7Conclusion

While there might be some pretty terrific ingredients in Chinese food, you should steer clear of giving it to your dog. Chinese food has a lot of additives that could potentially upset your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and cause bad reactions.

However, if you do allow your dog to sample your takeout, it’s best to feed them only plain items to avoid a negative experience.

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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