If your dog comes sniffing around the table when you are eating beans, you may be wondering whether it is safe to share a few with your pal.
The short answer to your question is that some types of beans are healthy and safe for dogs, while others are not.
In this post, we will share which beans are and are not okay to give your dog. We’ll also go over the health benefits of safe beans for dogs, tips for preparing beans for your pet, and more.
Table of contents
Are Beans Safe for Dogs? If so, Which are / aren’t?
Just as beans can be an excellent source of nutrition for you, they can be likewise for your furry companion.
For example, the American Kennel Club says that green beans are a great treat for dogs since they are rich with iron, protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They have a lot of fiber too, so if your pet is currently dieting, they can improve satiety.
Each bean has a unique nutritional profile, but no matter what type of healthy and non-toxic bean you feed your dog, your pet will appreciate the extra dose of dense nutrients.
What beans are safe for dogs?
Any of the following types of beans are safe for dogs to eat if they are cooked:
- Lima beans
- Black beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Pinto beans
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
- Green beans
- Butter beans
Note: there may be additional types of beans that are safe for dogs that are not on this list.
What Beans are Toxic to Dogs?
You should always double check if a bean is safe before you feed it to your pet. Some beans are toxic to dogs, including:
- Coffee beans
- Baked beans
- Refried beans
- Chili beans
- Canned beans
- Coffee beans
- Any fresh/uncooked beans
- Bean shells
The issue with many of these products is that they are processed with additional ingredients such as onion, garlic, salts and preservatives that are bad for your pet. As for coffee beans, the caffeine in them is toxic to your dog.
Beans that have not been cooked contain a compound called phytohemagglutinin, which will poison your pet.
Once again, this is not a completely comprehensive list. There may be some types of toxic beans we did not include here, so look up any new type of bean you are thinking of giving your dog!
What is the Recommended Serving Size for Beans for Dogs?
The AKC also offers recommendations on portion sizes. Beans are considered a treat. No more than 10% of what your dog eats each day should be treats.
You already know how many calories a day your pet eats. Calculate 10% of that to know the treat limit, and then check the calories for the beans you want to feed your dog to find out how many your pet can have.
If you feed your dog other treats on some days, that means you will need to reduce the amount of beans on those days.
How to serve Beans to Your Dog
When you feed beans to your dog, follow the steps below:
- Wash the beans
- Cook the beans
- Mash the beans
Remember, when you cook the beans for your dog, you should not season them. You should generally mash them in order to prevent your pet from choking on them and to make them easier to digest. Not only will this make them go down easier, but it will also help to maximize absorption of the beans’ nutrients.
Note that mashing the beans is not always necessary. In fact, this isn’t even a step in the two recipes we will share later on in this article. But the washing and cooking parts you should always do.
Can Dogs be Allergic to Beans?
Even though most beans are safe for dogs when prepared and served appropriately, you might wonder whether it is possible for your pet to be allergic to them.
The answer is yes. Hypothetically, a dog might develop an allergy to just about anything. So, a bean allergy is not out of the question.
Some signs that your dog might be having an allergic reaction to beans include:
- Itchy skin
- Itchy ears
- Itchy paws
- Weight loss
Whenever you introduce a new food to your dog, you should do so slowly to check how your pet is reacting to it. Beans are no exception. Once you are sure your dog is not allergic to beans, you can increase the amount of beans in your pet’s diet (within the 10% daily calorie limit, of course).
Bean Recipes That Will Make Your Dog Salivate
To prepare beans for your dogs, you can just boil them and mash them up, skip the seasoning, and give them in small amounts to your pets. But there are also some special recipes for making extra tasty beans for your pets.
Remember to wash your beans before you proceed with the steps in the recipes below!
Recipe 1: Simple Green Bean Dog Treats
This is a super basic recipe for making treats for your pet. It only requires two ingredients. You can prepare as many or as few treats at a time as you want.
- Green beans
- Olive oil
Recipe 2: Beef, Beans and Veggies
Unlike the recipe above, this one is not for a treat. This is actual homemade dog food, and makes enough for multiple servings. It should last for 3-5 days if you put it in the fridge. If you prefer, you can freeze some of it, and it will still be safe for your pet to eat for up to three months.
Note: You need a crockpot to prepare this recipe.
- 2.5 lbs. ground beef
- 1.5 cups diced squash
- 1.5 lbs. quinoa
- 1/2 cup peas
- 15 oz. rinsed and drained kidney beans
- 1.5 cups chopped carrots
Summary – Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit
In general, it is safe and healthy for dogs to eat beans, so long as those beans are cooked and are not on a list of toxic beans that dogs need to avoid.
Many dogs love the taste of beans. And with their high amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber, they offer many full-body health benefits to canines.
If you have checked that the type of bean you want to feed your dog is non-toxic, give it a try. It might just become your pet’s new favorite treat.
To wrap things up, here are answers to a few frequently asked questions about feeding beans to dogs.
In most cases, your pet should be fine. Sometimes some flatulence may occur, or digestive discomfort, particularly if the beans had some added ingredients.
If one of those added ingredients is toxic (rather than simply irritating), your dog might get sick, and require attention from a vet. An example would be if there were onions mixed in with the beans, and your dog reacted by developing anemia.
So, if your pet is displaying signs of distress, do not delay seeking medical care.
No, you should not feed your dog baked beans. For starters, they are packed with sugar, which is unhealthy. But worse, there are often ingredients such as onions, tomatoes and garlic in baked beans. These ingredients can have toxic effects on your pet.
In some cases, dogs might get gas from eating beans, just like humans. The reason for the gas is the presence of sugars called oligosaccharides.
Properly soaking, washing and cooking beans can help to prevent gas (this applies to you as well as your pet).