Can Dogs Eat Edamame, Is it Safe?

Close up of Edamame
© iStock.com/4kodiak

Written by Rebecca Mathews

Updated: January 24, 2023

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Edamame is a tasty soybean that’s full of health benefits for us, but can dogs eat edamame, is it safe for dogs too?

Because edamame’s had a lot of recent press suggesting it’s a “superfood” it may have led you to wonder if dogs could benefit from them too. Let’s take a closer look.

Is Edamame Safe For My Dog To Eat?

The good news is yes, plain edamame is safe for your dog to eat in small amounts unless they have a soy intolerance. In fact, soybeans like edamame are a popular ingredient in commercial dog food.

Plain edamame is important because when other dog-toxic foods such as salt, garlic, and onions are added, dogs can’t eat it. Edamame is often turned into a flavored paste or a dip for breadsticks and veggies and this isn’t suitable for dogs. Plain edamame only, no seasoning!

It’s also best to feed them fresh edamame rather than tinned because canned vegetables are often preserved in brine or salt. If fresh edamame isn’t an option, rinse tinned versions under the tap to remove all liquids before serving it up.

We’ll take a look at what other foods dogs should avoid a bit later on.

Bowl of raw edamame beans

Plain edamame is safe for your dog to eat in small amounts.

©iStock.com/brebca

What Is Edamame?

Edamame are immature whole soybeans (Glycine max) that are harvested before they’ve ripened. Edamame is available shelled or still in the pod and they’ve enjoyed a popularity boost over the past few years as a plant-based food full of fiber and protein.

Legumes like edamame are native to East Asia and they were first cultivated around 7000 years ago, but only recently in 2008 were edamame soybeans grown in Europe. Their unusual name is Japanese for “stem bean” because they are often eaten whole there.

The pods or beans can be boiled, steamed, or roasted often with salt and garlic for extra taste, but they should be left in natural state if they’re cooked for dogs.

Edamame beans

Edamame are immature whole soybeans

that are harvested before they’ve ripened.

©pro ust/Shutterstock.com

Can Dogs Eat Raw Edamame?

Yes, dogs can eat small amounts of raw or cooked edamame either in the pod or shelled, so long as they are plain. Some experts think that edamame in the pod is a choking hazard, but others disagree.

However, not all dogs like edamame beans, so don’t be surprised if they chew and spit or sniff and walk off whether they are podded or shelled!

Symptoms of Soy Intolerance in Dogs

Edamame is a soybean that some dogs (and other pets like cats and rabbits) are intolerant of or allergic to.

The symptoms of soy intolerance in dogs include:

  • Scratching their skin
  • Gastric upsets and diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Excessive chewing and licking that creates wounds (known as self-trauma”)
  • Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)

Soy is found in numerous types of food such as tamari, tempeh, miso, soy milk/cheese/yogurts, and tofu. If your pup has a soy intolerance avoid all these soy-containing foods.

Soy sauce is another, but the main issue here is the sodium content. Soy sauce is packed with salt, which is harmful to dogs.

What to Feed a Dog After a Soy Intolerance Upset

Much like when you have an upset stomach, food can become unappealing. Offer your pooch lots of fresh, clean water and a simple meal like rice with chicken or turkey.

If a gastric upset lasts for more than a few days consult a veterinarian because it can lead to dehydration.

Soy intolerance can also lead to itchy skin, so keep an eye out for excessive grooming, chewing and nibbling.

How To Give Dogs Edamame

If you’ve never given your dog edamame before, it’s best to start in small amounts and wait a few days to see if they develop any allergy or intolerance. If they don’t react, you can give them edamame beans or the whole pod raw, steamed or baked. The beans can be mashed up or fed whole.

Only introduce one new food at a time. For example, if you’re introducing cottage cheese as well and your dog develops symptoms, you won’t know if it’s soy or dairy causing the problem. This interesting article explains pet food allergies in more detail.

How Much Edamame Can a Dog Have?

The ASPCA suggests extra foods should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s diet. If you’re looking for a well-balanced dog food we have a list here.

Is Edamame Healthy for Dogs?

If your dog doesn’t have a soy intolerance then there are plenty of health benefits from edamame (for humans too!)  

Dogs are not solely carnivores, in the wild, canines eat all kinds of food including fruits and vegetables. They are omnivores that have evolved to eat plants and meat, so a varied diet is good for them.

Edamame is full of vitamins and minerals, but it’s especially full of:

  • Vitamin K – essential for blood clotting and healthy blood
  • Folic acid – necessary for red blood cell production and metabolic health
  • Amino acids – important for skin, coat, muscles, bones, organs and blood
  • Fatty acids – boost the immune system, joints, coat, and skin
  • Fiber – fiber is essential for good bowel health
  • Potassium – an essential mineral for electrical health in the nerves, muscles, and heart

Edamame is also an excellent form of satiation, which is the feeling of having had enough.

Feeling full after a meal is important for dogs, not only because they aren’t hungry any longer, but because it can help stop them from eating inappropriate things they find in the yard or field.

Plus, if your dog is dieting, edamame is an excellent way to fill them up with very little calorie content. This can reduce begging and stealing and make it more likely the weight will come off.

Raw Green edamame soybeans

Edamame is rich in vitamins and minerals and can help your dog feel full with very little calorie content.

©nada54/Shutterstock.com

Are Soy Beans OK For Dogs?

Generally speaking, if there are no intolerance issues, then plain unseasoned soybeans are OK for dogs as part of a balanced diet.

However, be warned! Beans, legumes, and any plant-based food often cause an increase in flatulence, which isn’t appreciated by everyone in the room. If your dog has excessive flatulence they may also have a stomach ache, so cut down on the edamame.  

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Eaten Edamame?

Don’t worry if your pooch stolen the edamame, it won’t harm them but may cause flatulence and gastric upset if they ate a lot. If your dog is soy intolerant or the edamame was prepared with other toxic ingredients, it’s best to call your veterinarian for advice.

Foods To Avoid Giving Your Dog

While edamame is good for your dog in small amounts, there are other foods that are toxic, even dangerous, that should be avoided at all times. Here’s a list of the some foods dogs should never eat.

Garlic and Onions

All alliums including garlic and onions contains several compounds that are dangerous for dogs, including one called N-Propyl Disulfide. This is an oxidant that human digestive systems can handle but dogs can’t. It binds to dog blood and causes hemolytic anemia in the long term. Garlic is more concentrated than onions, but neither should ever be fed to dogs (or cats).

Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale gums and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms of garlic or onion poisoning.

Chocolate

Chocolate of all types contain caffeine and theobromine. Both of these ingredients are dangerous for dogs because they are diuretics, blood vessel dilators, and stimulants that put a lot of pressure on their organs. Dogs can’t process them quickly like humans can and this leads to organ damage.

Grapes

Whether they are green, pink or red, grapes are toxic to dogs but experts aren’t sure why. They think that dog metabolisms can’t process the tannins, flavonoids, or monosaccharides. Whatever the cause, grapes lead to kidney failure in dogs. This includes raisins, wine, and any form of grape juice.

Macadamia nuts

The compounds in macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and symptoms can appear within an hour, even if they’ve only eaten a few. The symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and weak back legs.

If your dog has eaten garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, or any form of chocolate you should consult a vet as soon as possible.

Are Edamame Beans Safe For Dogs?

So, to round up can dogs eat edamame, is it safe? – yes dogs without a soy intolerance can eat plain edamame, but some experts think podded versions pose a choking hazard so they should be shelled beforehand.

As part of a well-rounded diet, edamame is a healthy treat that can help boost their health.

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About the Author

Rebecca is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on plants and geography. Rebecca has been writing and researching the environment for over 10 years and holds a Master’s Degree from Reading University in Archaeology, which she earned in 2005. A resident of England’s south coast, Rebecca enjoys rehabilitating injured wildlife and visiting Greek islands to support the stray cat population.

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