Can Dogs Eat Refried Beans

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: February 5, 2023
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Who doesn’t let their dog lick their plate clean now and then? I admit that I do – it makes them so happy!

But, we have to be careful which foods we share with our dogs. In the case of refried beans, it’s best to toss any extras in the trash or keep them as leftovers.

Refried beans often contain toxic ingredients like garlic and onion. They also contain a variety of spices that can upset your dog’s throat and digestive tract. Refried beans can lead to health problems like salt poisoning, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, and kidney damage.

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In this article, we’ll talk about why dogs shouldn’t eat refried beans, the risks, and more.

Refried beans are not safe for dogs
Refried beans often contain toxic ingredients like garlic and onion and a variety of spices that can upset your dog’s throat and digestive tract.


Refried Beans Can Be Toxic To Dogs

Refried beans can be toxic to dogs, but it depends on the ingredients. Often, refried beans will contain some or all of the following toxic or unsafe seasonings:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Jalapenos

Although not all of these are strictly toxic, they can irritate your dog’s throat or digestive system. Garlic and onion, in particular, can be highly toxic to dogs.

In general, spicy foods and dogs don’t go well together!

Be careful when sharing food with dogs
We have to be careful which foods we share with our dogs to ensure we do not put them at risk.


Other Risks To Refried Beans

In addition to often containing toxic ingredients, refried beans are also generally unhealthy for dogs. The following are some risks to feeding your dog refried beans:

Upset Stomach

Refried beans are very likely to upset your dog’s stomach, either mildly or severely. They might only experience a bit of tummy pain, or they might get very sick with episodes of vomiting, diarrhea, and intense abdominal pain.

If your dog cannot hold down food or water, has large amounts of diarrhea, or they’re in intense pain, please see a veterinarian right away. These can be symptoms of both gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines) or pancreatitis, which we’ll discuss further below. Both conditions can be deadly if left untreated.


Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, can happen when dogs eat fatty foods like refried beans. It’s an emergent and life-threatening condition, so it’s important to see a veterinarian right away if your dog shows symptoms. If your primary vet isn’t available, it’s best to call an emergency vet to ensure your dog is treated on time.

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Shock
  • Depression
  • A “downward dog” pose with their butt in the air and head lowered

Salt Poisoning

Dogs can suffer from salt poisoning if they consume too much salt. While salt is necessary for dogs in moderation, they get all they need from their daily dog food.

Salt poisoning is especially a risk if your dog consumes large amounts of refried beans. Small dogs will suffer from poisoning easier than small dogs since it takes less salt in their system to poison them.

Symptoms of salt poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

In extreme cases, salt poisoning can kill a dog. If you notice symptoms of poisoning after your dog eats refried beans, please contact a veterinarian or pet poison hotline for help.

You can help decrease the risk of your dog developing salt poisoning by giving them constant access to fresh water after they eat refried beans – but if they begin to vomit and can’t hold the water down, remove it and bring them to an emergency vet clinic. (This is a sign of pancreatitis.)

Kidney Damage

The salt content in refried beans can also cause kidney damage. This will occur if your dog consumes a large amount of salt compared to the water in their system.

As we discussed above, provide your dog with constant access to fresh water if they eat refried beans, especially in large quantities.

If your dog continually vomits the water, take it away as this is a symptom of pancreatitis. See a veterinarian immediately.

If your dog shows signs of salt poisoning or kidney damage, such as increased thirst and urination, appetite loss, depression, stomach upset, and bad breath, see a veterinarian for help right away. The sooner they’re treated, the less damage will be done to the kidneys. 

Please remember that kidney damage is irreversible, and you won’t see symptoms until they’ve already lost at least ⅔ of their function.

They Contain Harmful Preservatives

Lastly, refried beans can contain preservatives that are unsafe for your dog to consume. They might make your dog ill, especially in high amounts, or cause poisoning in the case of excess salts.

Dogs should not eat refried beans
Refried beans can put your dog at risk for a variety of health complications such as stomach upset, salt poisoning and pancreatitis.

©Roger costa morera/

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Refried Beans

If your dog eats refried beans, your best course of action is to call an emergency vet clinic or pet poison hotline immediately.

Let them know if the beans contain toxic ingredients, how much your dog ate, and if they’re showing symptoms of upset stomach, pancreatitis, or poisoning.

Waiting for your dog to show symptoms after eating toxic foods can be dangerous, because some symptoms cannot be seen. For instance, garlic and onion poisoning can damage red blood cells and the high salt content in refried beans can cause kidney damage.

Your vet can detect this damage through blood tests and perform other diagnostics, but you may not be able to see the damage from the outside until it’s far along and cannot be reversed. This could leave your dog with lifelong health problems or even result in their death.

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Frijoles Refritos - Bowl of Mexican refried beans on a colourful background.

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About the Author

I'm an animal writer of four years with a primary focus on educational pet content. I want our furry, feathery, and scaley friends to receive the best care possible! In my free time, I'm usually outdoors gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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