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Can Dogs Eat Chow Mein? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

Chow Mein

Vet approved

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

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

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Chow mein is a delicious Chinese dish made with stir-fried noodles and vegetables. Some recipes add tofu or meat for a protein boost. It is one of the tastiest and most popular staples in Chinese American dishes, though it is just as popular In China.

But is this delicious dish safe to share with our canine family members? Unfortunately, this is one meal you shouldn’t be sharing with your dog. Dogs cannot eat chow mein. Read on to learn more.

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Chow Mein Breakdown

Chow mein can be made in different ways depending on the chef. The traditional recipe consists of fried noodles, though it can sometimes be made with other types, such as lo mein, chow mein, or yaki-soba. The noodles are then added to a stir-fry consisting of veggies like mushrooms, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Aromatics like green onions, garlic, and ginger are added for extra flavoring.

The sauce can vary from recipe to recipe, though it typically contains ingredients such as soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, cornstarch, and sugar.

Chow Mein
Image Credit: JumpStory

Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chow Mein

The main reason why dogs shouldn’t be allowed to eat chow mein is because the recipe consists of ingredients that are toxic to dogs. The main culprits here are onions and garlic.

Regardless of if the onion is cooked or raw, all parts are toxic to dogs. No form of onion should ever be fed to your dog. As with onions, garlic can be very harmful to dogs, whether it’s cooked or raw.

The toxic compound at work here is N-propyl disulfide. It will damage your pup’s red blood cells, leading them to break down and be destroyed. This process is known as hemolysis and will result in anemia. When dogs develop severe anemia, their organs will no longer receive the oxygen they require to function, leading to organ failure and death.

Chow mein is also high in sodium. While the sodium content in chow mein is not life-threatening, consuming too much salt in food may lead to dehydration.

According to the USDA, some chow mein dishes contain as much as 21% fat. Too much fatty foods over time will lead to weight gain and secondary problems such as joint pain and pancreatitis. Speaking of pancreatitis, even one high fat meal can put your dog at risk of developing this condition. Pancreatitis can be mild or severe and signs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.

To sum up, chow mein is not pet-friendly.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Do I Do if My Dog Ate Chow Mein?

We highly recommend reaching out to your veterinarian if your dog ate some of your chow mein, particularly if they ate a large amount. The toxic ingredients in the recipe are a cause for concern.

If your pup only had a small amount of chow mein, chances are your vet will recommend watching them, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

labrador dog at the clinic being checked by a vet
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

What Human Foods Can I Share With My Dog?

It is hard to resist those puppy eyes your dog gives you when you’re eating your meals. Lucky for them, there are some perfectly safe human foods you can share with your pup. The best options include:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Chicken (plain and boiled)
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Pineapple
  • Popcorn
  • Rice
  • Salmon (boneless, plain, and cooked)
  • Watermelon

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Final Thoughts

Chow mein may make for a delicious meal for us, but this is not something you ought to share with your pup. The biggest concern with this dish is that it contains ingredients known to be toxic for dogs, which can lead to a host of issues. If your dog has eaten some chow mein off your plate, we recommend contacting your vet for instructions. They may recommend monitoring your dog for signs, or if they ingested a lot, you may need to bring them into the office for testing and observation.


Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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