The Short Answer is:
No, Chow Mein noodles are not suitable for dogs. Garlic and onions are harmful to dogs in chow mein.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Chow Mein?“.
Friday night is when things tend to fall apart in our house.
Especially after a long week at work cooking dinner can seem like an impossible task.
You can view the menu for the local Chinese restaurant or open the Deliveroo app in seconds.
Not only do we get lazy with our dinner preparation but we also often just eat our Chinese food on the couch.
Our dogs love it because they can get up close and personal with the food!
Do dogs get woozy from the fumes or can they eat dishes like chow mein?
What is chow mein?
Fried noodles are chow meins simplest form. There are different types of noodles in chow mein but they must be fried to be authentic.
In a real chow mein the noodles take center stage- they are the stars.
You can add other ingredients or sauces but in amounts that are smaller than the noodles.
How does chow mein differ from lo mein?
There seems to be confusion in this area as well.
It isnot the type of noodle used or how it is cooked that makes a chow mein different.
It is instead in the relative balance of the ingredients.
Unlike a chow mein a lo mein will have noodles and may have a combination of meat and vegetables but it is distinguished by its sauce.
The sauce covers an authentic lo mein.
Further information on lo mein and dogs can be found here.
Can dogs eat noodles?
59% of Americans eat noodles or pasta at least once a week according to a survey from 2013.
Since then I would assume that number has increased.
It is simply mind-boggling how many choices there are.
However I would like to focus on the basic ingredients used in some of these noodles and whether they are safe for dogs.
Therefore I will look at egg noodles wheat noodles and rice noodles.
Based on a review of a couple of best-selling brands of egg noodles on Amazon the ingredients used to make egg noodles are not too long.
They are made with wheat flour and eggs.
Most dogs will not be affected by wheat flour or eggs.
There is however one obvious exception.
If your dog is wheat intolerant or has a gluten allergy consult your veterinarian
Iron Thiamine Riboflavin and Folic Acid are then added to these noodles
Plain wheat noodles are primarily made of wheat and a bit of salt like egg noodles.
There is no problem with these unless your dog is intolerant to wheat as I mentioned in the previous section.
Rice noodles are made from rice flour rather than wheat flour which is a big surprise.
You may want to consider rice noodles as a solution if you are desperate to add noodles to your wheat-intolerant dogs diet.
Rice noodles are probably the most dog-friendly noodle out there…
Its time to look at vegetables and see if there are any that might cause trouble for your dog now that we have covered three different types of noodles.
What vegetables can dogs eat in a chow mein?
Based on a few menus I found online from Chinese restaurants in my neighborhood there seems to be no limit to the variety of vegetables that can be used in a chow mein dish.
However cabbage red pepper carrots and spring onions seem to be the most popular.
With the exception of the spring onion none of these vegetables should alarm you.
Toxic to dogs are any members of the onion family (including yellow and red onions garlic leeks spring onions and chives).
To put themselves in danger a dog of about 45 pounds would need to consume a medium-sized onion.
On the one hand thats a LOT of spring onions but if you throw in a bit of garlic along with the spring onions the toxicity levels for your dog soon start to stack up…
Dogs should not touch very few vegetables when it comes to vegetables.
We have mentioned the onion family.
Asparagus is an unusual vegetable. It is a very tough vegetable for dogs to chew so even though it is not toxic they might swallow it whole and choke themselves.
The issue of whether or not dogs should eat mushrooms causes quite a bit of hand-wringing within the dog industry but as long as the mushrooms you use come from a local grocery store and not from your garden or local forest they should be fine.
Last but not least tomatoes. Canines can eat these in moderation but the stems and leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous.
In any case since I cannot find a recipe for chow mein that includes the stems and leaves from the tomato plant I think it will be okay to use one tomato in your recipe.
We have now looked at a variety of vegetables you could include in your chow mein it is now time to consider the possible meat choices.
What meats can dogs eat in a chow mein?
So long as the meat is cooked correctly dogs can consume any meat.
Moreover I believe that the danger comes from the fact that chow means are cooked very fast.
Its fine if you serve your noodles or vegetables a little “al dente” but not with your meat.
The most commonly added meats in a Chow Mein are chicken and beef and the chicken in particular needs to be thoroughly cooked.
Salmonella and campylobacter are sometimes found on raw chicken.
These bacteria can knock your dog for six just as much as they can knock us for six.
In the United States undercooked chicken is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.
As long as it is thoroughly cooked beef which many people eat partially cooked does not pose as much of a risk as other meats.
Last but not least I’m going to look at shrimp.
Although undercooked shrimp is not as dangerous as undercooked chicken it still needs to be handled more carefully than beef.
Next I would like to mention an ingredient that is neither meat nor a traditional vegetable.
Can dogs eat tofu?
How does tofu fit into the food spectrum- meat dairy or vegetables?
Tofu is typically made by soaking them in water boiling them then mashing them up and adding a chemical that binds them together.
We dog owners can rejoice in the knowledge that our dogs are perfectly safe to consume tofu.
- We’re almost there. In the next section lets look at chow mein sauce.
How many of the most popular sauces contain ingredients that could floor our dogs?
Can dogs eat chow mein sauce?
According to my online research there are not many dog-friendly chow mein sauces available.
The one from Blue Dragon contains onion puree garlic powder and garlic puree just to name a few.
This sauce does not contain onion and garlic ingredients in the top six ingredients so it might be that these ingredients are not used in amounts toxic to dogs. However we do not know for sure.
In my opinion there are so many variations of onion and garlic that I would leave this sauce alone.
There are fewer ingredients in this chow mein seasoning but garlic powder and salt do feature prominently on the list.
In my final section of this article I want to discuss one of the most important differences between chow mein you might get at a restaurant and chow mein you might make at home.
Can dogs eat MSG?
Chinese food that you purchase from your local restaurant or grocery store contains MSG a flavor enhancer.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes it as “generally recognized as safe” but its use is somewhat controversial.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence MSG has been linked (anecdotally) to many unpleasant side effects including headaches nausea and chest pains in humans.
People believe that MSG can cause even worse damage to dogs’ brains if it is fed to them.
There are no links on the pages that mention brain damage to any studies or other evidence that it causes brain damage.
Another study was conducted where dogs were fed a 10% solution of MSG for two years with no apparent ill effects.