Beans are a prevalent part of our day-to-day diet. They are highly nutritious as well. But can dogs eat beans or not is a great question.
And the answer is YES. In a broad sense, most beans are healthy for dogs. There are quite a few exceptions too. Like dry beans, coffee beans, and jelly beans, which can be harmful to your pooch.
This 10-minute read will discuss the various health factors to consider when you feed your dog this healthy treat.
Are Beans Good For Dogs?
Most beans are a high source of plant protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and other minerals. They have a low-fat content. Including it in one’s diet can enhance the nutritional value. Your pup, too, can benefit from them. In fact, you can add this to your list of human foods that dogs can eat!
Pet owners should ensure a well-balanced diet for a healthy, playful fur baby. Beans can be given to dogs as a treat. Recommended they keep an eye on toxic ingredients that might have been added to them. Beans should also be at most 10 percent of your dog’s complete diet.
Top Benefits of Feeding Beans to Your Dogs
Beans treats have plenty of health benefits. Dogs can get great nourishment from them. Below are a few advantages of feeding beans to your dog:
Treats are mostly food items with more taste value than nutritional value. This might lead to obesity and other health problems if not given in moderation. So, the low-fat content in beans can be a good substitute for a dog treat.
2. High mineral content
Beans are rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, etc. These minerals provide plenty of health benefits, such as:
a. Calcium and phosphorus make up a large portion of bone matter.
b. Iron helps to carry oxygen through the body.
c. Zinc supports proper wound healing.
d. Selenium helps provide antioxidant support.
e. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium help with nerve transmission and fluid balance
Beans are filled with vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, etc. which improve the metabolism of dogs, boost antioxidant production, help with blood clots and maintain a healthy nervous system.
Amino acids constitute a big part of the bean’s nutrients. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein production in the body. Proteins provide energy to dogs and supply the body with what it needs to create a solid structure (skin, nails, muscles, and bones).
Dogs do not necessarily require fiber in their diet, but fiber helps maintain a healthy stomach and bowel movement.
Do Beans Have Health Risks For Dogs?
Like any other treat, excessive beans can be problematic for your pup. As stated earlier, beans should only constitute up to 10 percent of your pet’s diet. Moreover, beans should not replace animal proteins in any way.
Any beans you give your dog are well-cooked and free of salt, other seasonings, and ingredients such as garlic and onions. These can be hazardous to your dog’s health.
Consumption of too many beans can lead to your dog being gassy. The high fiber content in beans will produce gas that keeps their stomach full, but too much might induce vomiting and diarrhea.
What Type of Beans Can Dogs Have?
If you are high on a variety of beans in your pantry and wish to include them in your dog’s snack time, here are some dog-friendly beans that you can feed them without much repercussion:
- Black beans: These contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, along with protein and fiber.
- Lima beans: These provide fiber and fat-free protein.
- Garbanzo beans/chickpeas: These contain high fiber and protein. Avoid giving dogs canned chickpeas, though, as these may contain added ingredients or preservatives that cause digestive issues.
- Green beans: These provide fiber, magnesium, and vitamins. These can be eaten raw, frozen, or cooked (with no seasonings, obviously).
- Kidney beans: Raw kidney beans are toxic to dogs, but fully cooked kidney beans provide plenty of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, protein, and vitamins.
- Pinto beans: These provide protein, fiber, and magnesium.
- Lentils: These provide iron, fiber, and protein.
- Soybeans/Edamame: These contain proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamin C. Dogs can eat soybeans raw or cooked (without seasonings) (study).
Regardless of what you choose to feed them, it is always suggested that you consult your veterinarian before introducing your dog to any new food, especially ‘human foods.’ All dogs do not share the exact nutritional requirements. Large dog breeds require lower-calorie foods, while small ones with tiny stomachs have a high-calorie need.
Allergies should also be kept in mind for a safe and healthy dog. If not paid enough attention, these might be injurious to your dog’s health.
What Beans Should You Avoid Giving to Dogs?
Even if most beans are healthy for dogs, some can be potentially dangerous or even fatal. These are the ones that we recommend avoiding:
- 1) Canned beans with salt
- 2) Beans with added oils and spices
- 3) Baked Beans (may contain high levels of saturated fat and sugars)
- 4) Refried Beans (especially check for unhealthy preservatives)
- 5) Raw kidney Beans (high toxin levels dangerous to dogs, cooked can be given, though)
- 6) Coffee beans (contain caffeine which can be FATAL to dogs).
Pet owners always need to be extra cautionary when it comes to choosing what is the best treat for their canine companion. Their stomachs are not built like ours, and they cannot speak up about what is wrong. It is up to us to look out for what they eat.
How Should You Safely Prepare Beans For Dogs?
So, can dogs eat beans? Well, yes, if prepared appropriately. Here are a few tips to consider when giving your dog beans to eat:
- Adjust bean size based on your dog’s size and preferences: If your dog has the habit of not chewing properly, you should chop the beans up evenly. Large pieces can get stuck in your dog’s throat. Small dog owners might want to stay extra conscious.
- Serve in moderation: Like all fruits and vegetables, beans should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. We recommend commercially available dog food as your pup’s primary source of nutrition.
- Soak dry beans overnight and cook them in water/broth: This helps ensure they are both soft enough to chew and safe for your dog to eat. You can swap water for homemade or commercially available bone broth for dogs for a nutritious flavor boost.
Beans are among a few human foods that DO NOT harm your pooch to a huge extent. With some precaution, you will have a happy, healthy cuddly pup.
As a reminder, it is always advised that you don’t feed your puppy too many of these so that your dog does not get an upset stomach. Over-bean consumption WILL produce gas that will lead to stomach aches and loose motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What vegetables can dogs eat?
Dogs can safely consume various vegetables that offer nutritional benefits. Some are carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. These options provide vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants to support your dog’s health. But make sure to prepare them accordingly, avoiding any seasonings or spices.
No, canned beans should be mostly avoided. Canned beans may contain unhealthy preservatives, added salts and spices. These are very harmful to dogs. You can look out for low-sodium-added options when you buy canned beans and rinse the beans thoroughly.
Yes, beans can potentially pose a choking hazard to dogs, especially if they are not properly prepared or if the beans are too large. They might be large enough to get stuck in a dog’s throat, leading to choking. It is better to chop them up evenly.