Dogs love human food, and much of it is bad for them. Compared to a lot of it, beans really aren’t bad at all. In fact, many beans are good for dogs, due to the large quantities of protein per serving. So, can dogs eat beans?
Yes, dogs can eat most types of beans. Just make sure that you avoid beans that have been canned or flavored in some way. We list all of the common ones below.
There are many different types of beans, and many of them are ok for a dog to eat, in moderation. A lot of it has to do with the way that they are prepared.
Just like with humans, beans can make dogs extremely gassy. That is one of many reasons why it is important to not let your dog make a meal out of beans. Also, the protein in beans should not be used to substitute the animal protein that a dog needs. Even dry dog food is full of animal protein.
Beans are also full of vitamins and minerals. They are also a significant source of fiber, which helps to regulate doggy blood sugar. There aren’t a lot of food that you can get at the grocer that is going to be as agreeable to the dog as much as it is to yourself.
Feeding Your Dog Beans
When you decide to feed your dog beans, don’t feed them canned beans. They are usually best served boiled or dry. If you do want to boil them and have never done so, check out this youtube video. Be careful with what you add to the beans, as that would need to be taken on an ingredient by ingredient basis. Serving beans dry can be a reward/treat for a dog. Edamame is particularly great for this. And, you certainly can give your dog edamame.
Make sure that you consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Whatever kind of bean that you decide to feed your dog, just keep the serving small relative to the amount of kibble that they have been given.
Which Beans Can Dogs Eat?
Below is a list of the safe beans for a dog to eat. Remember, by safe we mean won’t harm your dog in small quantities. Any large change in diet is going to have some negative consequences for the dog. So remember, moderation is key.
While many beans are ok to give dogs raw. Beans with a yellow banner need to be prepared in a special way before it is ok. Usually all that means is that they need to be cooked first. A few beans have chemicals that can harm a dog in them. The cooking will make that chemical inert.
Kidney beans are fine for dogs to eat when prepared properly. Raw kidney beans contain a toxin that is bad for dogs This toxin is known as lectins, so make sure to soak them overnight and cook them thoroughly. Don’t use any spices, as these will only aggravate the dogs stomach and make the kidney bean less agreeable to him.
Kidney beans are full of antioxidants that are extremely beneficial to a dog’s overall health. Just remember, they must be cooked!
Chickpeas are completely fine when fed to the dog plain. They are high in dietary fiber and are a great source of protein for your dog. Most people feed their dog chickpeas by baking them in the oven and roasting them.
Steer clear of canned chickpeas, they are loaded with sodium. One can will have about seven times the amount of sodium that an average size dog needs.
That does not mean that it would be a good idea to give your dog hummus. Hummus can be very bad for a dog. Since onions and garlic are standard in all forms of hummus, go ahead and pass on giving doggie that pita chip slathered in the stuff.
We all love getting our latte on the weekends. It’s best to keep your dog out of it, since they are full of sugar and caffeine. Giving your dog coffee or coffee beans is a really terrible idea because of the caffeine. As a responsible dog owner, you should have a zero caffeine policy. Caffeine causes all sorts of problems for dogs.
If your dog has already ingested a decent amount of coffee beans, call the veterinarian and take a look at this helpful article from the Pet Poison Helpline.
Yes, dogs can eat pinto beans. They are full of fiber and are highly nutritious for the dog. Just like any other good bean, make sure to keep the amount that the dog eats low. If your dog has already gotten into the pinto beans, don’t sweat it.
Make sure that the dog is fed cooked pinto beans only. It would be better to avoid raw beans.
Baked beans are a summertime tradition. Many recipes call for bacon (dog catnip), onions, sodium, garlic, and tons of sugar. Unfortunately, none of these items is really good for doggie.
If you find yourself in a situation where your dog has already eaten some baked beans, don’t panic. You’re probably only looking at extra bathroom breaks and a really gassy dog.
Dogs really should not be allowed to eat chili. Chili is filled with so many things that are bad for them. These items include:
- Chili powder
- Lots of Sodium
All of these ingredients are bad for dogs. The beans that are used to produce chili on the other hand are perfectly acceptable. Most chili has red beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans. Just remember with the kidney beans that they must be prepared first. Some recipes call for kidney beans instead of red, both of which are ok for a dog to eat.
If you happen to find yourself in the position that your dog has eaten a bowl of chili, don’t stress too much, just be sure to let them out to the bathroom more over the next couple of days. Call your vet if the dog begins to appear uncomfortable, as all the gas can cause a lot of gastro-intestinal issues.
Edamame is a great source of nutrition and protein for a dog. They can be served when baked and make no mess. Edamame is pocket friendly and ready to be a quick and light adventure treat. Just make sure not to feed the dog the shell. See our full guide can dogs eat edamame for more information.
Lima beans are definitely ok for dogs to eat. They don’t have as much protein as some of the other beans. They come in at 5 grams of protein an ounce, which is about half of the amount found in edamame.
The problem with lima beans is that most of the time when they are prepared, lots of butter goes into them. Therefore, use caution in giving them to your dog, since butter is bad for your dog. If your dog just ate a whole bunch of prepared lima beans, just keep an eye on her and call the vet if there are any issues. There really shouldn’t be though. Here’s a whole article on giving your dog lima beans.
Dogs can certainly eat navy beans. We certainly recommend preparing them first. Navy beans are a dried bean similar to lima beans. Unlike most other beans on this list, navy beans do not lose their nutritional value during the canning process, which makes them the best candidate for your dog if they did need to eat canned beans for some reason.
Most of the foods that you would find navy beans in are going to be:
- White Chili
- Pork and Beans
- Some Baked items.
None of these foods are good for a dog at all. They are packed with sugar, spices, onions, and garlic. All of which makes a dog’s stomach upset.
Although refried beans are mostly just pinto beans, there’s a lot about that’s just terrible for your dog. The name implies they are fried, but they are not. Unless beans are made from scratch, they are also going to come canned.
Refried beans usually contain:
- Distilled Vinegar
- Chilli Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic or Garlic Powder
- “Flavors” or “Natural Flavors”
Many of these typical ingredients are bad for dogs. Lard, actually isn’t the worst thing in the world for a dog to eat in moderation. Let’s move on to salt. It’s never a good idea to give your dog extra sodium. Although dogs may handle sodium ok. They get the same side effects from an excess quantity that we do. Dogs should really never have onion or garlic, which safely moves refried beans to the avoid category.
They get upset stomachs and need to be observed carefully if they have eaten a large quantity of refried beans.
Here’s more on whether or not dogs can eat refried beans.
While canned beans do not pose an immediate danger to your dog, they are not recommended. Canned beans are both high in sodium, and loaded with preservatives. Buying the beans dry is a much better alternative for your dog, because none of the vitamins and nutrients are lost like when they are canned.
If your dog happened to get into some rinsed canned beans were laying around, the only penalty that you’ll end up paying is increased trips outside for bathroom breaks. If you have taken in a dog that has been eating canned beans for a while they may develop hypernatremia. Hypernatremia is the condition that happens when dogs have a high level of sodium in the blood stream for a prolonged period of time.
Symptoms of Hypernatremia include:
- An almost unquenchable thirst
It’d take a lot of sodium to get to that point for sure. Still, it’s much better for the dog to feed the beans to them in the recommended boiled form.
It is fine to feed a dog green beans. Green beans are high in nutritional value, and low in calories. Even a picky dog can enjoy some that have been boiled in bacon. Just make sure that they haven’t been boiled in onion as well. You can either boil them or fry them in a little olive oil to make them more desirable.
Conclusion: You Can Feed a Dog Most Beans
Most of the real side effects that come from feeding your dog beans are gastro-intestinal related. Dogs are prone to developing bloat when they eat too many beans. They are also likely to develop some really aggressive gas. This gas can also lead to constipation. That’s why it is never a good idea to give your dog too many beans. So, can dogs eat beans? Yes, dogs can eat most beans in moderation if prepared properly.
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