Can Dogs Eat Peas? Are There Any Health Benefits for Dogs?

Perhaps you’ve seen some dog foods containing peas and got you thinking, “Can my dog eat fresh peas?”

The answer? Yes, dogs can eat peas. Certain human foods, like peas, can have a range of health benefits for our pets, just as they do for us. It’s one of the reasons why peas are a common ingredient in commercial kibbles.

Family with their dog peeling peas together

But how safe is it? Are there any safety precautions you should be aware of before you start feeding these green veggies to your dog?

Keep reading to find out!

Are Peas Healthy for Dogs?

There is nothing wrong with dog owners adding peas to their dog’s diet as an occasional treat. Peas can be a great low-calorie snack loaded with health benefits.

However, because dogs are carnivorous in the wild, that means they don’t need fruits and vegetables in their diet the way we do.

They also don’t digest vegetables the same way humans do. Vegetation would only be included in a wild canine’s diet when meat is scarce.

Check out this adorable video of a doggie helping herself to fresh sweet peas in the garden:

What are the Health Benefits of peas for your dog?

Pea is a superfood with several health benefits for your dog. For a start, they are very high in various B vitamins and vitamins A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

They are also a good source of multiple minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Peas are also a rich source of fiber and protein.

They are also abundant in essential nutrients such as thiamin, manganese, flavonoids, phosphorus, and folate.

All of this makes peas excellent for building a healthy immune system and boosting your dog’s nervous and digestive system. 

Peas can also help prevent constipation, slow aging, ward off cancer, work as an anti-inflammatory, and avoid osteoporosis through the building of strong bones. 

In addition, peas contain the antioxidant lutein, which is good for your pet’s skin, heart, and eye health and can help reduce arthritis. Peas also contain the antioxidants alpha and beta-carotene.

What you need to know when giving peas to your dog

Chihuahua dog eating peas
White Chihuahua dog fed by the owner with peas – Image source

A variety of peas are available. Your pooch can eat all forms of green peas, specifically English or garden peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas. The nutritional benefits remain consistent across the different varieties of peas.

The general rule is that if you can eat the pod, so can your pup. So, for example, sweet peas, garden peas, or English peas would need to be shelled before feeding while snow peas or snap pea shells can be eaten. 

Either way, do be careful when feeding your dog pea pods, as they can lodge in the throat and be a choking hazard. 

How Should Peas Be Prepared for Dogs?

Peas make a tasty treat or meal topper for your pup. While fresh or thawed peas are acceptable for your dog, it is advised that you steer clear of canned peas

Canned vegetables have a high sodium content and are loaded with preservatives which can be dangerous for your dog.

Too much salt or sodium can dehydrate your dog, lead to a spike in blood pressure, and upset your dog’s tummy.

You can, however, feed your dog frozen peas and many pets love this crunchy treat! You can also cook peas into a delicious homemade meal that contains a meaty protein source.

However, stay away from adding any butter, salt, pepper, spices, onions, or garlic to your peas. While tasty for us humans, these can be toxic to dogs and cause an upset stomach.

Always try to buy fresh organic peas for your dog. If you can’t buy organic, or even if you do, be sure to wash the peas thoroughly before giving them to your dog to ensure you get rid of any harmful pesticides and toxins.

How many peas can you give your dog? 

When introducing peas to your dog, do so slowly as you would with any new food. Keep a close eye on your pet to watch for any adverse reactions.

If your dog develops digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea, then be sure to stop feeding them peas.

Be sure only to feed peas to your pet in moderation. Pups that overeat peas can experience stomach discomfort and extreme gas. Small quantities of peas fed to your pet once or twice a week should be more than enough.

When is Pea Harmful to Dogs? 

Chihuahua weighed at the vet clinic
A Chihuahua dog being weighed at the veterinary clinic – Image source

Peas should never be fed to dogs with kidney problems. This is because the naturally occurring chemical compound, purines that are found in peas, produces uric acid.

This acid is processed through the kidneys, and too much of it can aggravate the kidneys, leading to kidney stones or even kidney failure. Dogs that, therefore, already have kidney issues can’t eat peas.

Vegetables that are low in purines and would be a better option for your pet include carrots and bell peppers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Boston Terrier & Pomeranian waiting the veggie food mix with peas
The Boston Terrier & Pomeranian waiting for food – Image source

Can you give a homemade Pea recipe to your dog?

Are you looking to make a delicious meal for your pup that incorporates peas? Then give this tasty beef stew a try:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs of beef
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • one sweet potato
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Pan-fry the beef until thoroughly cooked 
  2. Make some holes in the sweet potato using a fork 
  3. Microwave the sweet potato for 10 minutes 
  4. Steam the peas and carrots until soft
  5. Add all the ingredients into a pot and add water just to cover the ingredients
  6. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes
  7. Wait to cool before serving

Can you use peas as a snack or treat alternative when training your dog?

Peas make for a fantastic low-calorie treat when training your pet. Their small size makes them a nifty treat to use when training your pet. 

What are some homemade Pea treat ideas for dogs?

A tasty homemade dog treats made from peas can be used as a meal topper or training your puppy. 

Here’s an easy recipe to try at home:

Green Pea Dog Cookies

Ingredients:

  • quarter cup whole grain oats
  • quarter cup shelled garden peas
  • one banana
  • half tsp cinnamon
  • half tsp honey
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor
  3. Scoop and roll the mixture into cookie dough balls 
  4. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly brown 
  6. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 10 to 15 minutes to cool
  7. These cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days

What should you take note of about peas in grain-free dog food?

Peas are often included in a grain-free diet. However, the FDA has warned against feeding canines a grain-free diet due to a possible link between grain-free dog foods and heart disease.

While still under investigation, food with high pea, legume, and lentil content seemed to drive the occurrence of dilated cardiomyopathy in canines.

One potential reason could be that legumes work to lower the body’s taurine levels. However, some dogs eating grain-free diets didn’t have low taurine levels.

Nevertheless, it is possible that peas can impact taurine levels and increase your dog’s risk of developing dilated cardiomyopathy, especially if consumed in large amounts.

Consult with your vet before introducing peas into your dog’s diet

Greyhound dog waiting for his food
Greyhound dog patiently waiting for his kibble meal mixed with peas and fruits – Image source

Already incorporated into many commercial pet foods, peas are one of those veggies that serve as a delicious source of fiber and protein and have a range of health benefits.

The chances are your dog will love peas, and these little green vegetables work fantastically as a heart-healthy treat.

While you can incorporate peas into many delicious recipes, just be careful of feeding too many to your dog, and you shouldn’t offer them at all if your pet has kidney issues. 

If you see signs of any digestive problems such as diarrhea or vomiting, contact your vet right away.

Are you a pet parent that feeds peas to your dog? Let us know in the comments below.

Further reading: What other veggies can dogs eat?

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