Can Dogs Eat Beans? Are All Types of Beans Safe For Your Dog?

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Yes, dogs can eat beans but can only safely consume some types of beans. Though beans, like green beans, can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and minerals for your pet, some kinds of beans can be toxic for canine consumption.

Dogs can safely eat most beans, but it also depends on how they are prepared. Many raw beans, like kidney beans, contain high toxin levels.

Legumes, lentils, chikpea and beans assortment
Legumes, lentils, chickpea, and beans in different bowls

Raw and undercooked beans can also be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset.

Keep reading to learn more about how beans are good for your dog’s overall health, what type of beans are safe for your dog, how to prepare and how much beans you can give to your pet, and the risks of adding beans to your pet’s diet.

What are the Benefits of Beans for Dogs?

Beans are low-fat treats that offer a range of health benefits for dogs. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and can be easily digestible when appropriately cooked. 

1. Beans are a great source of plant-based proteins: Beans offer an average of 15 grams of protein per cup, equivalent to 2 ounces of meat.

Some of the beans that contain the highest amounts of proteins are lima beans, soybeans, and black beans.

2. Dogs can have beans as an occasional treat: Beans, like green beans, can be used as training dog treats and as an excellent substitute for unhealthy commercial dog treats containing inexpensive fillers.

You can also add beans to your dog’s meal as a tasty topper to improve your pet’s appetite.

3. Beans are packed with antioxidants: Antioxidant-rich foods like beans can help protect your dog’s body from disease.

Beans contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that fights the effects of free radicals, damaging chemicals your dog’s body produces during metabolism.

In addition, some beans, like pinto beans, contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, which helps reduce chronic inflammation and suppress cancer growth.

4. Fiber in beans will help your dog’s gut health: 100 grams of pinto beans contain 16 grams of fiber, which helps your dog maintain a healthy balance in the gut

5. Essential fatty acids in beans keep your dog’s skin healthy: Beans are a great natural source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny. 

What nutrients in beans are beneficial for dogs?

A dog eating beans
A vegetarian dog eating beans – Image source

Beans offer plenty of vital vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. These include the following.

  • Vitamin B6: 100grams of beans in most forms contain between 0.2mg and 0.5mg of Vitamin B6, which is essential for your pet. This vital vitamin plays an important role in gene activation, as well as regulating hormones and assisting with red blood cell and nervous system functioning.
  • Calcium: Beans also contain about 113 mg of Calcium for every 100g or 3.5-ounce serving, which contributes to your dog’s growth and bone and teeth maintenance.
  • Potassium: 100 grams of pinto beans includes 1,393 mg of potassium. The potassium content in beans will help keep your dog’s internal organs, like the nerves, heart, and muscles, functioning at their best.
  • Niacin: There’s about 1 mg of niacin per serving of beans. Niacin can help keep your dog’s skin healthy while boosting the nervous system and assisting with better digestive health. 
  • Riboflavin: 100 grams of green beans contains about 0.66 mg of riboflavin. Also known as Vitamin B2, it’s responsible for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates into energy and produces red blood cells.

What are the Health Risks of Beans for Dogs?

An overweight Maltese dog
A Maltese dog on top of the digital weighing scale – Image source

Beans pose a few health risks to dogs, especially if they are not prepared and served properly.

  1. Risk of weight gain: Beans can have high-calorie content, leading to weight gain and causing digestive upset for your dog. There are about 347 calories per 100 grams of pinto beans. If your dog eats too many beans, you could be putting them at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and other health issues associated with excessive weight gain.
  2. Difficulty with digestion: Due to the fiber content of beans, some dogs may struggle to digest them. This could result in constipation, gastrointestinal stress, weakness, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 
  3. Tooth decay: Some beans have sugar added to their recipes. Feeding your dog these types of canned beans can also lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Be sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly to remove this risk.
  4. Choking: Beans can be choking hazards for pets, and this is particularly prevalent with small dogs and uncooked beans as they tend to get stuck in the esophagus.

What’s in beans that are harmful to dogs?

If consumed in large amounts, beans can contain elements that can make your dog sick, especially if he already has pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or cancer. These include the following:

  1. Sugar: As mentioned, specific bean recipes like baked beans and canned beans contain high levels of sugar which can be dangerous for diabetic dogs. 
  2. Sodium: Store-bought baked beans or refried beans can include about 422 mg of sodium per 100g. Beans are high in sodium and salt, which can be harmful to dogs if they consume too much. Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs, and high levels of sodium can lead to kidney failure and seizures.
  3. Lectin: Kidney and soybeans contain a protein known as Phytohemagglutinin or lectin. Eating in large amounts can cause toxicity in dogs, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, bloat, and uncontrolled bleeding.

Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Beans?

A Beagle dog scratching its neck
An allergic Beagle dog sitting and scratching its neck

No scientific evidence suggests that any dog breed is allergic to beans. However, some dogs may be more prone to gastrointestinal distress after eating beans due to their high fiber content.

Additionally, some dogs may be allergic to the proteins in beans, which can cause skin irritation and other adverse reactions. 

If you suspect that your dog may be allergic to beans, it is best to consult with your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Many Beans?

If your dog eats too many beans, he may experience gas and bloating. While this is usually not a cause for concern, it can be uncomfortable for your dog. In severe cases, your dog may also vomit or have diarrhea. 

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian. They will likely suggest feeding your dog a smaller amount of food or switching to a different type of food.

Beans are a healthy part of a dog’s diet, but it’s important to feed them in moderation.

How Should Dogs Eat Beans?

A dog with its kibble food and water
A dog about to eat with its kibble food and water – Image source

If you want to give your dog some beans, keep it to small amounts and only occasionally.

Opt for plain, unsweetened, and unsalted beans that don’t include any garlic or onions in the recipe, as these are dangerous ingredients for dogs.

Beans can be served to your dog plain, as a tasty topper to your pet’s regular kibble, or they can be added to various homemade pet-friendly treat recipes.

Are Beans a Good Treat for Dogs?

A French Bulldog got a vegan treats
A French Bulldog got a homemade vegan treats – Image source

Yes, beans can be used as an affordable treat for your dog. You can try giving your dog a few beans as training treats as a replacement for expensive store-bought dog treats. 

As beans are low in fat and calories, they can also be a healthy treat for dogs who are trying to lose weight. Of course, like all treats, beans should be given to your pet in moderation.

When should dogs eat beans?

There’s no particular time of the day or week when you should feed your pet beans. But you can try giving beans to your pet after training him as a reward treat. 

If you want to try feeding your dog beans for the very first time, why not give him beans on 6 January, which is National Bean Day!

When should dogs not eat beans?

If your dog has an allergic reaction to beans or develops any of the symptoms explained above, you should stop feeding him beans.

Dogs with certain health problems, like obesity or diabetes, should not be fed beans. Dogs with heart and kidney problems should also avoid beans due to the high potassium content.

What are the Food Recipes Made with Beans for Dogs?

A Golden Retriever got some smoothie
A Golden Retriever eating delicious strawberry-banana smoothie – Image source

Green bean soup and black bean chicken stew are some of the most popular homemade recipes that can be made with beans. These recipes are not only nutritious for your dog, but they are also tasty and filling. 

So if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to feed your dog, try making one of these bean-based recipes. Just make sure to cook the beans plain without additives or seasonings.

Which Types of Beans Dogs Can and Can’t Eat?

Mixed beans with kidney mung black and Soy Bean
Healthy and nutritious beans with kidney mung black and Soy Bean

Just like with most human foods, some types of beans are safe for your dog to eat, while others pose a health risk. Here’s a guide on what kind of beans you can feed your dog and what types of beans are toxic to them.

1. Bean Sprouts

Dogs can eat bean sprouts in minimal amounts. Be sure to serve bean sprouts as a treat to your dog and not their primary source of protein. Bean sprouts should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. 

2. Black Beans

Dogs can eat black beans. This type of bean is an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese, and Vitamin K. Avoid raw or canned black beans and be sure to soak them overnight before draining and cooking. 

3. Green Beans

Green beans are lower in calories than other beans and, as a result, can make an excellent low-calorie snack for your pet.

Be sure to reheat any frozen green beans before feeding them to your pet, and don’t add any salt, seasoning, butter, or oil before serving.

4. Lima Beans

Dogs can eat lima beans. They are rich in fiber and a very affordable treat for your pet. Avoid canned lima beans, which contain preservatives that aren’t healthy for your dog.

Dried lima beans will need to be soaked overnight before feeding your pet. 

5. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas. Like other beans, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and can be served to your dog plain and free of any added fats, sugar, or seasoning.

Chickpea flour is also safe if you are thinking of whipping up some homemade dog treats for your pet.

6. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans in a jute sack
Pinto Beans in a jute sack

Pinto beans are another excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber for your dog and can help your dog feel fuller for longer.

As with all beans, ensure they are free of dangerous ingredients for dogs, such as salt, soy sauce, onions, or garlic. 

7. Kidney Beans

While dogs can eat kidney beans, it is advisable to only feed your dog with small amounts of cooked red kidney beans due to the protein known as Phytohemagglutinin mentioned previously.

This protein can cause clumping of your dog’s red blood cells, leading to bleeding and clotting problems.

8. Baked Beans

You should not feed your dog baked beans as they typically contain onions and garlic, which your dog should not consume.

They also have high levels of sugar and salt which are unhealthy for your dog and thus should not be added to his diet.

9. Refried Beans

Refried beans should also not be fed to your dog due to the salt and seasoning added to these beans. Eating too much salt can make your dog seriously thirsty.

This can put a strain on your dog’s kidneys and result in sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms include fever, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, swelling, and lethargy.

10. String Beans

String beans are just another form of green bean, which, as we have mentioned above, are perfectly safe for your dog to consume. Cooking string beans before feeding them to your dog presents less risk of choking

11. Chili Beans

It is not safe to feed your dog chilies or chili beans. Capsaicin, which is found in chillis, is an irritant that gives off that hot, burning sensation.

This defense mechanism from the plant is designed to irritate your dog’s mouth and cause gastrointestinal upset.

12. Butter Beans

Butter beans are just lima beans under a different name, and as you have read, they are acceptable for your dog to eat.

If your dog doesn’t like whole butter beans or you are worried about choking, you can try pureeing or mashing butter beans and add the mixture as a topper to your dog’s regular meal.

Are Cooked or Raw Beans Better for Dogs?

Cooked pinto beans
A yummy cooked pinto beans

Most raw beans are not safe for your pet to consume due to the choking hazard they present. Ensure that raw beans are soaked and cooked thoroughly before adding them to your dog’s meal.

The only exception to this rule is green beans which could be served to your pet raw if appropriately washed to get rid of pesticides.

While cooking beans does kill off some of the nutrients this vegetable possesses, it will make it easier for your dog to eat as they will be softer. 

If you want to feed your dog cooked beans or sauces made from beans, be sure that they don’t contain any ingredients such as salt, pepper, garlic, and onions that are harmful to your dogs and could give your pup an upset stomach.

What Foods are Good to Mix In With Beans?

Wondering what can you add to beans to make them taste better for your pet?

Brown rice
An organic brown rice

Here’s a list of foods that you can try to mix with beans to make your dog’s mealtimes more fun and exciting.

1. Brown and White Rice

Can dogs eat rice and beans? Yes, fresh beans, such as kidney beans and black beans that have been soaked and completely cooked can be mixed in with your dog’s rice.

Just avoid canned beans as they have too much sodium added.

But what type of rice is safe for your dogs? Both white rice and brown rice are generally safe for your pet. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

White rice is more processed than brown rice and therefore doesn’t contain as many nutrients. It’s also higher on the glycemic index, meaning it can cause blood sugar spikes in dogs.

Brown rice, on the other hand, is a good source of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also less likely to cause digestive problems to your pet.

So, if you’re looking for a healthy option to mix with beans for your dog, brown rice is the best way to go.

2. Cooked and Unseasoned Pork

While dogs can safely eat pork, it’s also loaded with fat and salt, which is unsuitable for your dog. If you want to mix some pork with your dog’s beans, ensure it’s cooked, unseasoned, and served plain to your pet.

You also want to be sure you don’t overdo it when feeding your dog pork, as too much could cause a health risk for your canine.

Pork can also be dangerous for dogs as it can be infected with parasites, which can cause serious health problems. If you must feed your dog pork, cook it thoroughly to kill any parasites that may be present.

3. Plain Corn

A dog eating corn
A dog laying on the field while eating corn – Image source

If you want to give your dog some corn, keep it to minimal amounts and only occasionally. Opt for plain corn with no added salt and fat and it won’t lead to problems like obesity. 

Commercially packaged corn products like microwave popcorn, kettle corn, or caramel corn are also not something you should be feeding your dog due to the added salts, sugars, and chemicals.

4. Carrots

A bean and carrot mixture is a delicious treat for your dog. Carrots offer many benefits for your pet, and most pups love this vegetable’s delightful flavor.

They are well known for containing beta-carotene, converted to Vitamin A, and are great for your pup’s vision.

5. Plain Raw and Cooked Peas

Peas are a great low-fat, low-calorie vegetable and a good addition to your dog’s diet. They are an excellent source of carbs, protein, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals.

While it’s safe to feed your dog raw or cooked peas, just be sure not to add any seasoning to them.

6. Low-fat Cheese

While low-fat cheeses can be safe to feed to your pet in small amounts, try to avoid processed cheeses that can harm your pet or store-bought cheese sauces with too much-added salt and fat for your dog. 

Foods that are high in fat and calories can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. In more severe cases, it could lead to pancreatitis which is a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs.

Can Dogs Have Beans Instead of Meat?

A dog wearing socks
A dog wearing socks while waiting for the food – Image source

You might have switched your family to a vegan diet, but can you do the same for your pet? Believe it or not, various dog food brands offer your pup a healthy and nutritious vegan diet that caters to their growing needs.

These foods replace meat-based proteins with protein from plant-based products like beans.

While dogs are historically omnivores or carnivores, they can survive on a vegan diet, provided the nutritional value is of sufficient quality.

Your dog’s vegan food must include all the essential vitamins and minerals for health and wellbeing. 

Some large breed pets may require taurine, L-carnitine supplements, and other essential amino acids to maintain muscle mass when on a vegan diet.

Are foods made with beans safe for dogs?

Be careful of feeding your pet bean products made for human consumption. These are often loaded with sugar and artificial flavors, sugar, salt, garlic, and onions, which can be harmful to dogs.

Foods with high concentrations of beans and other legumes have also been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, a potentially life-threatening heart disease.

Are dog foods made with beans healthier for dogs?

Dogs can eat beans but feeding a dog food with just beans is not healthy for them. If beans will replace meat in their diet, they won’t get the quality of protein they need.

Even though dogs are omnivores, they require quality sources of protein such as real meat as the first ingredient of the dog food and beans just don’t have enough.

How Many Beans Can Dogs Eat?

Beans as a treat should never be more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. The exact number of beans you can feed your dog will depend on its breed size.

Small dogs can typically eat one to two green beans per day while larger dogs can eat a few more beans per day. 

However, it’s important to start slowly and increase the number of beans gradually, as some dogs may experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they eat too many beans at once.

As always, it’s best to consult with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet.

What are the Dog Food Recipes that Contain Beans?

A Golden Doodle with the puzzle feeder
A Golden Doodle dog fed using the puzzle feeder – Image source

There are several delicious bean-based dog foods that you can try making for your pet at home. Check out these recipes with beans if you want to whip up something fun for your dog:

  1. Easy Crockpot Dog Food
  2. Green Bean Diet for Dogs
  3. Chicken and Beans for Dogs

What are the best dog food brands that include beans?

If your dog likes the taste of beans, you can consider feeding him pet food with beans in the recipe. Here are some dog food recipes that contain beans that you can check out.

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Beans?

Dogs have a habit of eating what they shouldn’t. If your pet gets into a whole tub of beans, monitor your dog closely for gastrointestinal discomfort symptoms or any blockages, and contact your veterinarian if necessary.

Also, keep dogs away from raw beans that can cause your dog to choke or cause a blockage. 

What Diseases in Dogs Can Beans Help?

A Border Collie Sheltie mix dog eating beans
A Border Collie Sheltie mix dog eating green beans – Image source

As mentioned, beans are rich in antioxidants that can help strengthen your dog’s immune system and fight the effects of free radicals which damage the cells, causing serious illnesses to dogs.

Beans are also a great source of calcium and thus can assist dogs that suffer from brittle bones.

What Other Beans that Dogs Can Eat?

If your dog doesn’t like eating any of the above beans, you can try some other delicious beans that also provide some health benefits for canines. Here are a few of our favorite dog-safe beans.

  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, iron, and fiber. They’re also low in calories and high in fiber content that will keep your dog fuller for longer.
  • Edamame or young soybeans is another bean you can serve to your dog raw, cooked, or frozen, or you can add them to a variety of homemade pet-friendly treat recipes.

Conclusion: So, Can My Dog Eat Beans?

As you can see, there are quite a few positive outcomes for your pet when adding beans to his diet. Beans can be a delicious treat in training and provide your dog with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals.

When feeding your dog beans, we advise you first to consult with your vet to see if it’s safe to do so. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any food allergies and be sure only to feed beans to your pet in moderation.

Do you feed your dog beans? Does your pet enjoy them plain, as a tasty topper to his daily kibble, or mixed into a homemade recipe or commercial dog treat? Let us know in the comments below!

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