Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? What Are the Risks?

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Published: June 17, 2022
Image Credit pukao/Shutterstock.com
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If you’ve ever wondered if green beans were safe for dogs to consume, the short answer is: yes, dogs can have green beans. Not only are green beans safe for your dog to eat, but they’re also low-calorie, high-fiber, and make a nutritious treat that most dogs love. Let’s go over some of the health benefits of green beans and whether or not there are any risks associated with feeding them to your dog. Read on to learn more.

Health Benefits of Green Beans for Dogs

When we think of green beans, most people would consider them to be vegetables, but they actually aren’t. The fruit of the plant is a pod so that technically makes green beans legumes, rather than vegetables. Farmers harvest the beans before they’re fully mature, making the young fruit tender with small beans inside of the pods. If the beans were allowed to fully mature, they would become much larger and tougher.

There are even some types of green beans that do not contain beans at all. They can grow in a few different colors including green, purple, white, and striped, but they’re all from the same family and carry the same types of nutrients as the traditional green bean that most people are more familiar with. When they’re not green, we know them like string beans or snap beans.

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Green beans are full of nutritional benefits for both humans and canines. They make low-calorie treats that contain high amounts of fiber and many essential nutrients that will help boost your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Let’s take a closer look at some of the nutrients that can be found in green beans and how they can be beneficial for your dog:

  • Antioxidants: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta carotene all work together with flavonols, kaemferol, and quercetin in order to help combat the damaging effects of free radicals in your dog’s body. Free radicals are known to cause oxidative damage to cells. These minerals are able to reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn, helps boost your dog’s immune system and protects it from the negative impacts that free radicals can cause.
  • Vitamin K: This vitamin helps your dog’s blood clot and helps aid in their bone metabolism.
  • Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium: These are all trace minerals that can be found in green beans. They work together to help support the growth and healthy development of red blood cells in your dog’s body. They also play a role in the formation of healthy bones and teeth, as well as the smooth functioning of other bodily systems.
  • Vitamin B6: This is an essential vitamin that helps regulate your dog’s nervous system and metabolism.
  • Hydration: Foods that have a high water content like green beans are very hydrating for your dog. They make a tasty way to help keep your dog hydrated when the weather warms up.
  • Fiber: Green beans are a good source of fiber which can help add bulk to stools and keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly. Foods that are high in fiber can also help aid in weight loss since they can help keep your dog feeling full for longer.

Green Beans and Weight Loss for Dogs

Dogs that are overweight not only can experience a lowered quality of life, but they can also experience serious health effects, due to the added stress on their bodies and joints. One of the first things you can do to help a dog lose weight is to increase the amount of daily exercise that it gets. Suppose your dog is still having trouble losing weight, even with added exercise. In that case, you may want to consider taking him to the vet to check for any underlying health issues like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, before you begin making any alterations to his diet.

Veterinarians have long recommended healthy foods like green beans to add to dogs’ diets and help them lose weight. Adding in things like green beans to your dog’s healthy dog food brings in an additional source of fiber, hydration, and nutrients—all of which can help improve your dog’s health and aid in weight loss. Always speak with your vet before you begin adding new foods into your dog’s diet to be sure that it is healthy and safe for your dog especially if it has any underlying health issues that could be impacted by a change in diet.

How Can I Safely Feed Green Beans to My Dog?

Green beans are generally healthy and safe for your dog to consume. As with any new food, when you’re introducing it to your dog for the first time, be sure to start off small and only serve your dog a few pieces at a time. You can serve your dog raw, fresh green beans, or you could boil, grill, or lightly steam them. Just be aware that the cooking process can remove some of the nutrients from the green beans depending on how they’re prepared. Foods like green beans should consist of no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric needs. Any more than this and your dog is at risk for digestive issues, as it will be consuming too much fiber.

Dogs tend to gulp down their food quickly, so it’s always best to keep an eye on your dog when you feed him something new. Green beans can be large depending on what variety you get, so you may want to cut them up first into smaller pieces before you serve them. This helps to ensure that they don’t become a choking hazard for your dog if he eats them too fast without chewing properly—which is very easy for dogs to do. Cutting the green beans up into smaller pieces is especially important for small dogs, as they are at an even greater risk of choking.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is that while we may add things to our cooked green beans, such as salt, seasonings, or oil, these can be hazardous or even toxic to dogs. At the very least, if these things are served to your dog on green beans, they can cause an upset stomach. Therefore, if you plan on feeding your dog green beans, the best way to do it is to serve them plain.

Overall

Green beans make a tasty, nutritious treat for your dog that can also be a great alternative to some of the more heavily processed, commercial dog treats available on the market. Just be sure to start off slow and only feed your dog a few small pieces at a time and keep an eye out for how your dog reacts to them. Be sure to cut larger green beans into smaller pieces to lower the risk of choking, and only serve them plain with no added salt, seasonings, or oils.

Other Dog-Safe Foods to Consider

If you’d like to treat your dog to green beans as part of a convenient, easy-to-serve meal, consider this delicious canned dog food:

Best Featuring Green Beans
Purina Beyond Turkey & Green Bean in Gravy
  • Made with real turkey
  • Formulated for all breeds of adult dogs
  • Features nutrient-rich green beans
  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Free from corn, wheat, and soy
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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.

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