Peas are one of the many vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat. They are packed full of nutrients and your dog can greatly benefit from them being added to its diet. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of peas for dogs and whether or not there are any precautions you should take before you begin introducing them.
A Look at Peas
Peas are actually the seed from a fruit known as Pisum sativum. Each pod of this fruit contains multiple seeds which can either be green or yellow. They are annual plants meaning that they must be replanted each year in order for them to grow. Although we may be most familiar with green peas, they are known to come in a couple of different colors as well including golden yellow and purple. Peas grow in cool weather and actually don’t thrive during the summertime due to the excessive heat. They do much better in cooler temperatures and places that have higher altitudes.
Health Benefits of Peas for Dogs
There are many wonderful health benefits of peas for both humans and dogs alike. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why dogs can and should eat peas below:
1. Low in Calories
Peas are a type of vegetable that is low in calories. This is great news for dogs that may be overweight or are on restrictive diets for other health purposes. Feeding your dog peas as a treat won’t give your dog too many extra calories since they’re so low in them, therefore it’s very unlikely that they would attribute to the development of weight issues or diabetes.
2. Packed With Vitamins
Peas contain a wide variety of vitamins like A, B, C, and K. They are also rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, folate (folic acid), and manganese. These vitamins and minerals play a role in helping maintain your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. They help many systems within the body that are responsible for things like improving vision, healthy skin, good digestion, healthy immune system, heart, nerves, and so many others. Without these vitamins and minerals, your dog’s health would begin to decline as the systems are not able to get the nutrients they need to continue functioning properly.
3. Great Source of Fiber
Peas are a wonderful source of fiber, which dogs need just as humans do. They may not need as much as us, but the need is still there and without it, they can run into digestive issues. Many healthy dog food brands include peas as one of the ingredients in their food because of this very reason. They are an easy way to add more fiber into your dog’s diet and many dogs love the taste.
4. Extra Hydration
Peas, like many other fruits and vegetables, contain water—and water is essential for proper hydration. If your dog consumes dry food often, you may find that your dog needs to drink more water in order to stay hydrated. This is especially true during the summer or warmer months. Adding peas into your dog’s food is a simple way to add back a bit of moisture so that it isn’t so dry. This can help your dog stay hydrated a bit easier. Keep in mind, that your dog will still need to consume adequate amounts of water, even if you are adding other fruits and vegetables into its diet. Fruits and vegetables cannot take the place of fresh, clean water, but they may slightly reduce the amount that is needed.
Risks of Feeding Your Dog Peas
There are a couple of risks involved with feeding your dog peas that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not to feed them to your dog. Let’s take a look at them below:
Kidney problems: You want to avoid giving your dog peas if it has any form of kidney issues. This is because peas contain purines. These are chemical compounds that produce uric acid. When your dog’s kidneys are functioning as they should, they would filter uric acid without any issues. However, when the kidneys are not functioning at their best, too much uric acid can produce kidney stones and put your dog at risk of other related health issues.
Choking hazard: Peas can sometimes pose a choking hazard to dogs if they aren’t prepared properly beforehand. If you feed your dog peas like sugar snap peas or snow peas whole, it may eat them too quickly without chewing and choke on them. If you plan to give your dog whole peas in the pod, be sure to lightly cook them before serving them (this will help soften them up a bit) and cut them into smaller pieces if necessary. Small dogs are especially prone to choking hazards, but large dogs are known to gulp down their food too quickly as well. When feeding your dog any new food, keep an eye on it so that you can be sure your dog is eating it carefully and doesn’t have too much at once.
How to Feed Peas Safely to Your Dog
As we mentioned above, one of the simplest and safest ways to serve peas to your dog is to serve them lightly cooked and plain. Cooking the peas lightly will help soften them up so that your dog has an easier time consuming them—especially if you are serving them whole in the pod. If you are serving your dog loose peas that aren’t in the pod, this may not be necessary since they’re so small. One thing to consider is that you may want to avoid giving your dog canned peas. This is because canned peas will often contain extra ingredients that aren’t always necessary and can sometimes be harmful to your dog’s health. Canned peas can contain extra things like salt, seasonings, or preservatives.
Your dog can have lightly cooked peas in a serving size of about one or two spoonfuls on occasion, but they should not be incorporated as a regular part of its diet. You can also use them as an alternative to commercial dog treats and offer them one at a time as a form of training method.
Peas make a healthy and nutritious snack for dogs. As long as your dog is not suffering from any underlying health issues related to the kidneys, peas can be served as an occasional treat. Lightly cook whole peas to make them easier for your dog to consume and serve them plain with no extra ingredients like salt or oils.
Other Dog-Safe Foods
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