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Can Dogs Eat Clam Chowder? Vet Approved Facts

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

Can Dogs Eat Clam Chowder

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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Dogs can enjoy many foods that humans can eat, but it’s best to avoid feeding your dog clam chowder. While clams are healthy for dogs to eat, the soup base and additional ingredients can be harmful to dogs, especially if they eat large quantities of clam chowder soup.

So, while it may seem like your dog will enjoy a warm cup of clam chowder with you on cold winter days, there are plenty of safer alternatives for your dog. Here’s what you need to know about clam chowder and how to feed your dog delicious and healthy winter snacks.

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Can Dogs Eat Clam Chowder?

All types of clam chowder aren’t safe for dogs because of the many ingredients that go inside them. First, soup tends to contain a lot of salt. Canned soup can contain anywhere between 360-600 milligrams of sodium per serving.  While dogs need to consume a certain amount of sodium to stay healthy, they can also experience salt toxicosis if they eat too much of it.

Even though you can reduce the amount of salt by making your own soup, there are other unsafe ingredients for dogs. Onions, garlic, shallots, and other vegetables in the allium family are toxic to dogs. All forms and preparations of them are harmful because they contain thiosulfate. Thiosulfate damages red blood cells and can lead to anemia.

Bay leaves are also commonly used in clam chowder recipes, and they’re toxic to dogs as well. They contain eugenol and other essential oils that can cause an upset stomach.

Different types of clam chowder have ingredients that can make dogs sick. Manhattan clam chowder contains a large number of tomatoes. Dogs can eat small pieces of tomatoes without getting sick, but they shouldn’t eat any tomato-based soups. New England clam chowder is dairy-based, and most dogs are lactose-intolerant and can’t drink large quantities of milk.

bowl of hot delicious clam chowder garnished with fresh thyme
Photo Credit: Bochkarev Photography, Shutterstock

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Top 3 Healthy Alternatives for Clam Chowder

Fortunately, you can find several other safe alternatives for clam chowder. Just keep in mind that these alternatives aren’t to be treated as meal replacements. They’re suitable as occasional treats your dog can enjoy while you eat a warm bowl of clam chowder.

1. Clam Treats

Due to food safety, it’s best to refrain from feeding your dog raw clams to avoid food poisoning. However, dogs can still enjoy eating clams, and you can find several pet food companies manufacturing dried clam treats. Clams are also healthy snacks and are great sources of vitamin B12, iron, and protein, and they can help regulate blood pressure.

beagle dog lying on the ground
Photo Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

2. Broth and Meal Toppers

Many pet stores sell broths that are safe for dogs to eat. These broths are prepared safely and don’t contain a high amount of sodium. Many pet food companies also make liquid meal toppers that have similar consistencies to stews. Both broths and meal toppers can be heated up in the microwave and become more aromatic and enticing for dogs to eat. Just make sure to test the temperature before feeding your dog to prevent it from burning its mouth.

3. Dog-Friendly Soup

If you really want to spoil your dog, you can make your own dog-friendly soup. Use pet-safe bone broth as a base and add all your dog’s favorite ingredients to it. You can include traditional soup ingredients, like carrots, celery, chicken, and beef. Dogs can also enjoy eating rice, peas, and small quantities of plain cooked noodles. Just err on the side of caution and refrain from adding salt or herbs to the soup. Parsely in small amounts might be safe for dogs to consume. However, it does contain Furanocoumarins, which in large amounts is considered toxic to dogs and can cause photosensitization.

brown dog paws with soup in feeding bowl
Photo Credit: Nikky de Graaf, Shutterstock

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Clam chowder is a food to avoid feeding your dog. It usually contains a lot of salt and other ingredients that are harmful to dogs, like onions and dairy. Fortunately, your dog can enjoy clam treats, or you can make your own version of dog soup that contains healthy ingredients. Once your dog eats one of these safer alternatives, it won’t give clam chowder a second thought and will appreciate how you’re always looking out for its best interest and well-being.

Featured Image Credit: Foodio, Shutterstock

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