There are two things that carrots and green beans have in common. They are nutritious powerhouses and are perfect as a healthy treat for your furry friend!
Whether your dog needs a low-cal alternative to his milk bones or if you’re just looking for a healthier alternative for dog-training treats, green beans may just be the answer you’re looking for.
Keep reading to learn all there is to know about this legume, also known as snap beans or string beans.
Are Green Beans Safe for Dogs?
Not only are green beans safe for your doggo, but it is also highly beneficial. The only time green beans pose a risk is when they are served whole, as it could cause choking if your dog doesn’t chew it properly.
When feeding green beans, you can serve them raw, boiled, fried, canned, baked – as long as they are chopped into small pieces, you’re good to go!
However, you want to avoid giving your buddy green beans that have been seasoned or cooked with garlic or onion.
What are the health benefits of green beans for your dog?
Aside from being low in calories, this healthy snack is chock-filled with important nutrients such as iron, calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K.
Here’s a full breakdown of what one cup of raw green beans includes:
- Protein – 2 g
- Folate – 33 mcg
- Vitamin C – 12.2 mg
- Vitamin A – 690 IU
- Vitamin K – 43 mcg
- Thiamin – 0.1 mg
- Niacin – 0.7 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.14 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.41 mg
- Calcium – 37 mg
- Iron – 1.03 mg
- Magnesium – 25 mg
- Phosphorous – 38 mg
- Potassium – 211 mg
- Zinc – 0.24 mg
Can My Dog Eat Raw Green Beans or Should I Cook Them First?
As mentioned above, you can serve your dog both raw and cooked green beans. Cooked green beans contain much more digestible fiber than raw green beans, but cooking may decrease the amount of vitamins B6 and C.
Cooking makes green beans easier for your dog to eat, so don’t be too worried about the negligible amount of nutrient loss.
Also, raw beans contain lecithin proteins which can cause upset tummies. While one or two raw beans won’t cause any distress on your dog’s digestive system, it’s gentler on their stomach if you offer them cooked beans.
How Much Green Beans Can You Give Your Dog?
The best way to incorporate green beans into your dog’s diet is to use them as a replacement for treats.
Since dogs come in all shapes and sizes, it can be hard to determine what is a safe amount for your dog. As treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet, try to keep it within that range.
Can green beans help my dog lose weight?
Most dog biscuits and treats are empty calories, which doesn’t bode well for dogs that don’t get adequate exercise or dogs that are on the pudgy side.
Green beans can help combat obesity simply by being the low-calorie vegetable that they are. Plus, most dogs love how they taste.
Overweight dogs have a shorter lifespan simply due to their excess weight.
Aside from that, they are also at risk for diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, orthopedic problems, heart disease, kidney disease, and even certain cancers.
What is the “Green Bean Diet?”
The Green Bean diet simply means you substitute some kibble of your furbaby’s dog food with green beans in order to promote satiety and weight loss.
You generally want to start with 5-10% and gradually increase the portion until half their meal comprises green beans.
However, you shouldn’t change your dog’s diet without first consulting your vet, because you may be causing more harm than good.
One of the key problems with this diet is that it doesn’t address the underlying problems of your dog’s obesity and could be harming your dog’s health in the long run by decreasing key nutrients.
If you want to help your dog lose weight, you should ensure that your dog is fed an amount appropriate for his size and activity level instead of depriving him of calories.
Most of the time, we’re overfeeding our pooches and underexercising them.
When are Green Beans Bad for Dogs?
Dogs with sensitive digestion might react adversely to green beans due to their high fiber content. However, green beans are a low-FODMAP vegetable that is great for irritable bowel syndrome.
Never offer your dogs green beans with added salt or herbs. Whole green beans are also considered a choking hazard, so exercise caution, especially with smaller breeds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How should you feed green beans to your dog?
You can feed plain green beans to your pooch as dog treats, mash it and mix it in your dog’s food, bake with it, or whip up a homemade meal.
What you shouldn’t do is give your dog green beans from human foods that are filled with sodium and seasoning.
Are green beans a great snack for dogs?
There are low-calorie options on the market for doggy treats, you just have to be smart about reading the label. But, giving your dogs wholesome treats that haven’t gone through processing is considered healthier.
Plus, green beans are an excellent choice for dogs that have hypothyroidism or simply need a boost of fiber!
What are Alternatives to Green Beans for Dogs?
You might wonder what other vegetables are as beneficial as green beans. Here are a couple of other veggies that rival the benefits of green beans. Add it to their regular food or feed them as a treat, just make sure that moderation is key.
You can also look into fruits such as banana or blueberries, both of which are popular with all dog breeds. Popcorn is also a fun treat for dogs that can increase their fiber intake while keeping calorie count low.
Conclusion: Dogs Should Consume Green Beans Moderately
Can dogs have green beans? Yes! But as with everything, you don’t want to overdo it because too many green beans in your dog’s diet may cause deficiencies in other areas.
Don’t forget that dogs are carnivores and need at least 75% of meat in their diet.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need veggies to stay healthy, but fruits and vegetables can still offer some benefits such as antioxidants for a stronger immune system.
Have you given your dog green beans? Do they like it? Let us know in the comments below!