Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth with Onions? A Critical Look

Chicken broth can be a wonderful way to help your dog relax. However, pet owners must be aware of the potential dangers of feeding their dogs chicken broth with onions. Onions, like some other foods, can be toxic to our furry friends. This blog aims to shed light on the risks of onion-flavored chicken broth and provide healthier alternatives for your beloved pets.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth with Onions

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth?

Yes, dogs can eat chicken broth in their diet without any harm. In fact, it can be quite beneficial. Some commercial brands even incorporate chicken broth into their formulas to enhance taste and nutrition. These soups, rich in proteins for muscle maintenance and calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium for bone strength, are perfect for dog diets. Chicken broth also has a soothing effect on the stomach and provides hydration, making it an ideal choice for dogs with digestive issues or those recovering from illnesses like vomiting or diarrhea. It is important to ensure that the chicken broth you use is free from contaminants.

When Can Dogs Have Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth may be given to dogs regularly, but it’s crucial to check the ingredients and adhere to the feeding directions. This ensures you’re providing the best care for your pet and maintaining their health.

  1. When your dog is unwell and refuses to eat: In such cases, this type of liquid can significantly improve your pet’s health, as mentioned earlier. It can help stimulate their appetite during the healing process, while also replenishing vital nutrients that are crucial for their recovery.
  2. Dog is dehydrated: When dehydration is caused by vomiting or diarrhea, giving meat sausages can act as an alternative source of fluids that replenish very fast into your pet’s body system. However, severe dehydration requires taking your pet immediately to a veterinary doctor, who might prescribe additional medications.
  3. Dogs need more hydration: Mix chicken broth with water and then serve it to the pet in a bowl for drinking. This is particularly useful when dogs and those who are not good drinkers do not drink enough water when it is hot or during heavy exercises.
  4.  Enhance the taste of kibble: Some people mix this meal with their pet’s kibble to make it a better dish for them to eat.
  5. Make A Special Treat: Chicken broth can also be a special treat for the dog on some rare occasions. Nonetheless, always go through the list of ingredients before using any product for your pets since some might contain onions, which are harmful to dogs.

Components of Chicken Broth That Are Harmful to Dogs

Chicken broth is a liquid that has flavor and it is prepared by boiling chicken together with vegetables and herbs in water. When cooked like this, the nutrients get out into liquid just as taste-making juice, which makes this soup rich and nutritious at once. Not all chicken broths are equal. There may also be additional additives used in the commercial production of these soups, which can harm your dog if consumed in certain amounts. However, large quantities of some components of chicken broth might prove detrimental or even poisonous for dogs:

  • Onions: Dogs should not eat onions in any form as they are toxic to them. There is N-propyl disulfide in onions that causes multiple health implications like anemia, vomiting, and sometimes death.
  • Garlic: Like onions, garlic contains N-propyl disulfide, which can potentially harm dogs in large amounts. Therefore, it’s best to avoid giving your dogs to eat chicken broth that contains garlic.
  • Sodium: While sodium is an essential nutrient for dogs, too much can lead to health problems like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Thus, it is important to check sodium levels, especially by reading labels. Some brands have high sodium levels in their products, hence the consideration of low-sodium options.  

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Why Are Onions Harmful to Dogs?

 All parts of the onion plant, including the flesh, leaves, juice, and processed powders, whether uncooked or cooked, are risky for dogs.

Why Are Onions Harmful to Dogs
  1. Allium Toxicity: Onions belong to the Allium family, which also includes garlic, leeks, chives, etc. Ingestion of any part of these plants can cause gastrointestinal irritation or harm red blood cells in dogs.
  2. Propensity for Hemoglobin Damage: If oxygen molecules in red blood cells combine with N-propyl disulfide from onions, the resultant molecule cannot carry oxygen. Hence, these vital cells are destroyed and causing anemia in dogs.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to onions, causing them to experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.
  4. Accumulative Effect: The toxic effects of onions are accumulative, meaning that the more a dog consumes, the more severe the symptoms can be. Therefore, even small amounts of onions consumed over time can be harmful to dogs.  

Symptoms of Onion Poisoning in Dogs

It is important to recognize signs and symptoms of onion toxicity in dogs, as early diagnosis ensures effective treatment. Some common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Loss of appetite or abdominal pain
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate or difficulty breathing
  • Reddish urine

Timely veterinary attention is required if you think that your dog has ingested chicken broth with onions. The vet will check blood to confirm if there is onion poisoning in the dog and administer appropriate therapy.

How Long Does It Take Onion Toxicity to Develop in Dogs? | Onion Poisoning Timeline in Dogs

Dog size, health status of a dog and quantity of onions eaten can all make the time for toxicity symptoms to vary greatly. In general, it can occur within few hours to several days after ingestion. Therefore, pet owners must be vigilant about their pets, especially if they suspect consumption of poisonous substances like onions. This includes a change in behavior or showing any other ill effects at all related to these actions, as support should be sought from a veterinary office immediately. On the other hand, more serious health problems can result from severe toxicity within no time, thus emphasizing quick action.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth with Onions in It?

No, chicken broth containing onions is not safe for dogs. Even small quantities of onion can be harmful to dogs’ health. Although consuming only a small amount of chicken broth with onions may not cause immediate damage to one’s body, taking it over long periods can lead to.

  1. Quantity Matters: Onions’ toxic substances are more concentrated when they are raw than when they are cooked. However, even small amounts of cooked onions can harm dogs, especially when consumed regularly.
  2. Hidden Onions: Sometimes, chicken broth may contain small amounts of onion as a seasoning or flavor enhancer. These hidden onions can be just as toxic and should be avoided in dog food.
  3. Other Ingredients: Besides onions, chicken broth with added seasonings or preservatives can also be harmful to dogs. Some ingredients like garlic, salt, and sugar may also cause health issues in our canine companions.

Is Homemade Chicken Broth Better for Dogs?

The supermarket’s broths cannot beat the homemade poultry-based ones for a number of reasons. You get full control over what ingredients go into your homemade chicken broth that will not only be safe but also provide multiple health benefits to your pets. Nobody understands your dog’s taste buds better than you do so can you bring him/her with a new fresh tasty meal at home on a low budget. You may boil chicken along with vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, or green beans in water and prepare a nutritious meal for your pet dog.  

Benefits of Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs

  • Boosts Immune System: Homemade chicken broth contains essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that help in boosting the dog’s immune system. This will keep your dog healthy and less prone to infections or illnesses.
  • Hydrates your Dog: Store-bought chicken broths can be high in sodium, which can cause dehydration in dogs. Homemade broth is a great way to keep your dog hydrated, especially during hot summer months or after a strenuous activity.
  • Helps with Digestion: The gelatin present in homemade chicken broth aids digestion and soothes an upset stomach. It also helps in the absorption of essential nutrients from food, making it easier for dogs with digestive issues to get the necessary nutrients.
  • Promotes Joint Health: The collagen present in homemade chicken broth has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate joint pain and improve mobility in dogs. It is especially beneficial for senior dogs or those suffering from arthritis.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs

Making homemade chicken broth for your dog is a simple and cost-effective way to provide them with a delicious and nutrient-rich treat. Here is an easy recipe to follow:

Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup of chopped green beans


  1. In a large pot, add the chicken and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Get rid of any fat left at the top of the soup.
  3. Add in the chopped vegetables and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Make sure to let the broth cool down completely and strain out the solids before you discard them.
  5. Keep homemade chicken broth in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container or freeze it for up to three months.

💡 Key Takeaway: A cautious selection of ingredients, proper cooking methods, and consultation with a veterinarian go a long way in ensuring the provision of safe and nutritious broths for your dog.

Safe Alternatives for Chicken Broth with Onions

With dog food containing onions being harmful, there are alternative options that are both secure and enjoyable:

  • Plain Chicken Broth: Plain chicken broth without added ingredients or seasonings can be a healthy and flavorful dog treat. Before buying, always check the label to confirm that there are no toxic elements, including onions.
  • Homemade Broth: Making your own chicken broth at home is an excellent alternative to store-bought options. This way, you have control over the ingredients and can ensure that no onions or other toxic substances are included.
  • Bone Broth: Bone broth is becoming increasingly popular for its health benefits, and it is also safe for dogs to consume. This nutrient-dense liquid contains vitamins and minerals that can promote joint health, improve digestion, and boost the immune system in dogs.


In general, dogs will eat chicken broth; however, it has to be free from onions and such like things because they are bad. In case your dog accidentally enjoys some chicken broth, which contained onions, then you should consider taking him/her to a vet for proper diagnosis as well as treatment. It is thus our duty as pet owners to know these hazards in their feeding and provide remedies so that they may be safer for them. Thus, next time you want to give some of that chicken soup to your fur buddy friend check the label; make sure no onions are used! Good munching!


  1. Can Dogs Eat Onions – AKC
  2. What You Should Know About Onion and Garlic Toxicities – 4pawshospital
  3. Onion Toxicity in Dogs and Cats – Pet Poison Helpline.
  4. Onion, Garlic, Chive, and Leek Toxicity in DogsVCA
  5. Onion Poisoning in Dogs – Wag!


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