Can Your Dog Eat Lima Beans? 3 Things To Know First

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Published: October 18, 2022
© AndrasKiss/
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There are many “human foods” that dogs may benefit from being added to their diets. Not all foods are safe for dogs to eat, but for the ones that are, they can positively impact your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, lima beans are one of those healthy foods that dogs can eat. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of adding lima beans into your dog’s diet and whether or not there are any risks involved.

A Look at Lima Beans

Lima beans are a type of legume. They have a mild flavor with a texture that is creamy. Their color can range from beige to green and they are sometimes called butter beans, wax beans, or double beans. Lima beans can be eaten in their mature state or their immature state and come in various forms like frozen, canned, or dried. These beans are very nutritious and have many wonderful health benefits that both people and dogs can benefit from.

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Are Lima Beans Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Lima beans are safe for dogs to eat on occasion.

They are packed with protein which can be very beneficial for dogs. They are also high in fiber and contain many vitamins and nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy.

However, you do want to avoid giving your dog canned lima beans, as these can be very unhealthy. Canned lima beans usually contain added sodium, preservatives, and seasonings that can be toxic to dogs (like onion or garlic).

If you’re going to serve lima beans to your dog, they should be served plain without any extra ingredients or additives. You can mix them in with your dog’s regular healthy dog food.

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Health Benefits of Lima Beans for Dogs

As we mentioned, lima beans are packed with vitamins and nutrients that can help your dog remain healthy. Let’s go over some of the health benefits that your dog may receive from eating lima beans.

Blood sugar regulation: Incorporating lima beans into your dog’s diet may help regulate blood sugar levels. This is important for dogs that are overweight or diabetic, as stable blood sugar levels are crucial to health and longevity. This is because lima beans are low on the glycemic index. This determines the effect that different types of foods have on blood sugar levels. The lower the glycemic index, the healthier the food is for blood sugar levels.

Good source of fiber: Lima beans are also high in fiber, which is great for slowing down the absorption of sugar in the body. This really helps maintain normal blood sugar levels in your dog. Some studies have shown that certain types of legumes, such as lima beans, are able to help keep fasting blood sugar levels lower. This may be of benefit to dogs as well. Fiber also helps keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly and prevents instances of constipation or diarrhea.

Good for heart health: Lima beans are great for protecting your dog’s heart health. This is because they are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the kind of fiber that is able to easily dissolve in water. It has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammation. Both of these things are important when it comes to maintaining heart health, as they lower your dog’s risk of developing heart disease. Lima beans are also very rich in antioxidants. These work to fight against free radicals in the body and help protect against oxidative stress, which also supports a healthy heart.

Good for weight loss: Lima beans may be good for helping your dog lose weight because they are high in protein and fiber. Increasing the amount of protein in a diet can potentially help reduce cravings and increase the feeling of fullness. This might help prevent your dog from begging for extra treats in between meals. Fiber also helps a dog digest food more slowly, which can help your dog feel fuller longer. With the reduced feelings of hunger, your dog may begin to lose weight more easily. This can be really helpful for dogs that are overweight or obese, as well as those that are on restrictive diets for other health-related reasons.

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How to Safely Feed Lima Beans to Your Dog

Before you begin feeding lima beans to your dog, it’s important to know how to do so safely and if there are any precautions you should take beforehand. Let’s go over how to safely feed your dog lima beans.

1. Avoid Canned Lima Beans

As we mentioned earlier, you want to avoid giving your dog canned lima beans. This is because of all of the extra ingredients that can often be found in them. Canned lima beans can contain high levels of salt, and toxic seasonings and preservatives that are unhealthy for your dog.

2. Serve Lima Beans Cooked

The safest way to offer lima beans to your dog is to cook them first and serve them plain, without any added salt or seasonings.

Raw lima beans are not safe for dogs to consume because they can lead to the development of kidney problems. To cook the beans, boil them in water just until they are soft. After they’re finished cooking, you can remove them from the water and serve them whole or mash them up into a paste and then mix them in with your dog’s food.

3. Keep Portions Small

You’ll also want to keep the portion of lima beans that your feed your dog small. Foods like lima beans and other fruits and vegetables should comprise no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric needs. Although lima beans are considered healthy for dogs, they are only healthy in small dosages, and they certainly cannot replace high-quality dog food.

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Lima beans are safe for dogs to eat and can make a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. They are packed with protein, can help lower blood sugar, and are a good source of fiber.

Even with the health benefits that these legumes offer, they should only be fed to your dog on occasion and in moderation.

Too much fiber can cause your dog to have an upset stomach or suffer from other gastrointestinal issues like constipation or abdominal pain. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet if you have any concerns, especially if your dog has any underlying health issues.

Other Dog-Safe Foods (In Moderation)

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The Featured Image

Vizla puppy eating from red bowl on white background
Lima beans are only safe for your dog to eat when they are fed plain, uncanned, and in small amounts.
© AndrasKiss/

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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.

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