Is it safe for dogs to eat beans? This is one of the questions dog owners often ask about their pet’s diet. It isn’t uncommon for people to wonder if giving their dogs typical human foods like beans is safe. So, if this question crosses your mind once in a while, know that it is a normal thing to ponder. So is it safe for dogs to eat beans, and if so, how should you serve them to your pet? Read on to find answers to these questions and more.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Beans?
Yes, It is safe for dogs to eat beans. Dogs are omnivorous, which means they have evolved to eat both animal and plant matter. Their diet is quite similar to that of their human owners. Generally, it is considered to include various beans as part of your dog’s healthy diet. However, there may be some exceptions to this rule and specific things to keep in mind in serving beans to your dog.
Beans are a high-fiber food that is rich in nutrients like Vitamins A, K, and C. They also contain protein and manganese. This makes beans a rich food to include in your dog’s diet. The fact that beans are rich in fiber also means this food is unlikely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
However, just like in humans, feeding your dog beans too frequently can lead to flatulence and constipation. Also, beans should be cooked properly before they are fed to dogs. Uncooked beans contain a chemical compound that can be toxic to dogs. It is also important to note that not all varieties of beans are safe for dogs. You should get familiar with the types of beans that are safe and which ones aren’t.
9 Types of Beans That Are Safe For Dogs
There are many varieties of beans that are safe for dogs to eat. You can cook small amounts of these bean varieties for your dog since they’re mostly safe.
- Lima beans: Lima beans are also known as butter beans. This large bean sold in dried or frozen forms can be easily added to your homemade dog diet.
- Green beans: While most varieties of beans should be cooked first before they’re served, dogs can eat green beans raw. You can also steam them before serving.
- Cooked kidney beans: Raw kidney beans can be toxic to dogs. However, you can serve your pet cooked kidney beans as a healthy alternative.
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans): This is a particularly nutritious variety of beans that can be great for dogs. It is rich in nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and folic acid. Although home-cooked chickpeas are safe for dogs, processed varieties such as hummus are considered unsafe because they contain additional ingredients and seasonings that are potentially toxic for dogs.
- Lentil: This is another legume that is safe for dogs, especially when consumed in moderation. Depending on your preference, you can cook split or whole lentils for your dog.
- Navy beans: Dried navy beans can be cooked for dogs at home. Note that there’s a canned form of this bean, and you might also find it in stores. However, this contains preservatives and salt, which makes it unsafe for dogs.
- Pinto beans: This is a creamy brown bean common in Mexican cuisines. However, if you’ll be serving this to your dog, it should be cooked without seasonings.
- Soybeans: Soybean is an excellent source of protein. It is a popular ingredient in commercial dog foods and can be cooked at home for your dog.
4 Types of Beans That Are Most Dangerous for Dogs
While the bean varieties highlighted above are generally safe for dogs, some types of beans are potentially toxic. Some should be avoided entirely, and some should be included carefully in your dog’s diet. The following are the types of beans that should not be included in your dog’s food:
- Baked beans: Baked beans is a processed variety of beans that typically contains high salt content. Additional ingredients, spices, and seasonings may also be added, and these are toxic for canines. It’s the same reason dogs should not be given chili and refried beans.
- Canned beans: to keep canned beans from getting spoilt, manufacturers often add preservatives and salt. Thus, it is always better to buy the dry varieties of any beans you intend to buy instead of the dry ones.
- Coffee beans: unlike the other types of beans, coffee beans are not leguminous, so it doesn’t even belong in this conversation. However, for the sake of clarity, dogs should not eat coffee beans due to their high caffeine content.
- Raw beans and bean shells: Generally, dry or raw beans should be cooked first before it is safe to serve for dogs. Some types, such as limba beans and fava beans, need to be cooked even more before they can be safe for dogs to eat. Bean shells or pods contain toxic chemicals as well, and your dog shouldn’t be allowed to chew on them.
How To Add Beans To Your Dog’s Diet
Although beans are safe for dogs to eat, certain precautions are necessary when feeding foods normally meant for humans to canines. Some of the precautions to note to safely feed beans to your dog include:
- Wash the beans thoroughly and ensure they are properly cooked before serving them to your dog. The only variety of bean dogs can eat in its raw form is green beans.
- You should mash the beans after cooking before serving them to your pet. This aids digestion and releases nutrients faster.
- To cook dry beans, soak them overnight in water and rinse severally before cooking begins.
- Do not add seasoning or salt to beans meant to be served for your dog. It is a best-served plain. This also means you should not give your dog beans from your own plate since it is likely to cause gastrointestinal upset for your dog.
- Canned beans are unhealthy for dogs. However, if you must eat it, you must rinse it in running water before serving it. This helps to get rid of the excess salt, making it healthier to serve.
- Beans can be mixed with other veggies and fruits for your dog. You can check out healthy food recipes that incorporate beans as an ingredient.
It is best to keep all of these potentially toxic bean varieties away from your dog. There’s nothing much to worry about if your dog eats a small amount of any of these beans. For the most part, they’ll only cause indigestion, stomach upset, or vomiting. However, if you suspect your dog has ingested large amounts of dry beans or any toxic varieties, you should visit a vet’s office immediately.
Before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, it is always advisable to consult with your vet. This is particularly important for dogs with specific medical conditions that may make certain foods unsafe to eat. Although beans are generally safe for dogs, you should still speak to your vet about any changes you’re making to your dog’s diet.
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