While it is true that meat and high quality dog food should make up the majority of your dog’s diet, dogs can’t just eat those for their whole lives, just like we can’t stick to one particular type of food either.
Dogs are allowed to eat “human foods” in the other 5% of their diet.
And one of those foods that comes to mind, and we get asked a whole lot about, is beans!
Beans in all their forms are very healthy and beneficial to us humans, but when it comes to dogs eating beans, do the same rules apply?
Can dogs eat beans? And if so, what kinds of beans can dogs eat? Should you expect your dog to develop a whole lot of gas from the beans they eat all of a sudden?
Let’s find out all about it!
Can Dogs Eat Beans?
YES, dogs can generally eat beans.
The fact of the matter is, just like beans are a healthy option for you to eat, they stand the same for your dog.
But, the answer isn’t as simple as that.
Some kinds of beans are allowed for your dog to eat, while other kinds are off limits.
Add to that the fact that there are right ways to prepare beans for your dog to eat and WRONG ways to prepare them, you have some reading to do! 🙂
But don’t worry, we have you covered on everything you need to know.
So, read on! 🙂
What Kind Of Beans Can Dogs Eat?
Here are some of the most popular types of beans that dogs can safely eat:
- Green Beans: Green beans is probably the most popular type of beans that people like to feed their dogs, and for very good reasons as well. To put it short, green beans is the best type of beans you could give to your dog, hands down.
- Black Beans: Just like green beans mentioned above, black beans are also a very good option of beans that dogs are allowed to eat safely.
- Legumes: Legumes are great for people who don’t want their dog to get gassy after they eat beans, thanks to the alkaline in them that inhibits the gassy aspect. The great thing about legumes also is the fact that they are very high in protein, which is excellent for dog owners trying to boost the protein intake of their dogs, alongside high-quality, high-protein dog food of-course.
- Red Kidney Beans: Which contain a whole lot of antioxidants that help lower cholesterol levels
What Kind Of Beans Can Dogs Not Eat?
On the other hand, here are some types of beans that should remain OFF-LIMITS for dogs:
- Coffee Beans: This type of beans tends to contain decent levels of caffeine, and caffeine can be toxic to dogs in excessive amounts, which is why it’s best if you don’t feed your dog any coffee beans. You never want to mess with your dog’s system with caffeine.
- Baked Beans: Baked beans are rich in sugar, which is a very bad idea when it comes to dogs. Excessive sugar levels in dogs can lead to very serious problems.
- Chili Beans: Chilly beans, and it’s obvious by the name, are very spicy. And what do spices do to dogs? Upset their stomachs, BIG TIME. So, keep this type of beans as far away from your dog as possible.
How Can Dogs Eat Beans?
If you get some dry beans you want to prepare for your dog, you must first put them in cold water and let them soak, leaving them there till the next morning.
The next morning, you will be able to cook the beans after you separate them from the water you soaked them in.
This is very important because any beans given to your dog to eat MUST be fully cooked, and never raw.
If you feed your dog any raw beans, you’re putting them at major risk of toxicity, not to mention the fact that raw beans are much more difficult for your dog to swallow than properly cooked beans.
Make sure to avoid adding any salt at any stage of the procedure, as salt is very toxic to dogs in even the slightest dosages.
Which brings us to our next point, canned beans.
Canned Beans For Dogs – Yay Or Nay?
Generally speaking, you should not feed your dog canned beans, because these beans are just loaded with sodium, which is very toxic to dogs.
The sodium is used to preserve them in the can and prolong their shelf life, and your dog doesn’t need any of that poison inside them.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably saying to yourself “I’ll just buy these canned beans, soak them in a big bowl of water so they lose all their extra sodium, and voila! Job done”.
Well, unfortunately it doesn’t work this way. Even if you do all of the above, you won’t be able to get rid of all the extra sodium in these canned beans, and your dog will still be taking in more sodium than they should be.
Some canned beans also come with heavily concentrated tomato sauce, which is catastrophic to dogs to say the least.
Not to mention the amount of chemicals, additives and preservatives that go into these cans, which just makes it a nightmare if you’re trying to keep your pooch healthy.
The thing with canned beans is also the same reason why wet, canned dog food isn’t as recommended as much as dry dog food – canned beans can be harmful to your dog’s teeth with time, due to their high moisture levels.
As a rule of thumb when it comes to anything your dog will eat, dry is almost always better than wet/canned.
This is a prime reason why dry dog food almost always gets all the spots on our recommendation lists, such as this list of the best dog food for pitbulls.
Either way, why would you ever want to feed your dog canned beans?
Down the line, you’ll be paying much more money for canned beans than you would be paying for dry beans, and you can only keep canned beans stored in your cupboard for a limited time, while dried beans can be preserved for a very long time for you to use whenever you want to.
Even though it’s going to take you a bit more time investment to prepare dry beans than you would need in the case of canned beans, it’s not worth it to go with canned beans at all.
Why Buy Dry Beans In Bulk
A while back we designed an infographic about 14 ways dog owners can become more environmentally-friendly people with their dogs, and one of those ways was to go less frequent trips to the grocery store and to buy in bulk instead.
Well, guess what? You can start off this journey by buying your dried beans in bulk instead of going back and forth and back and forth to the grocery store every-time you want to buy some canned beans!
Needless to say, any beans you decide to feed your dog must be thoroughly washed beforehand.
Here are some ways you can serve beans to your dog:
- Add a handful of beans to one of your dog’s meals. Something many people like to do is sprinkle in a few cooked beans into a small bowl of cooked brown rice, and serve that to Fido as a well deserved treat. This combination of cooked brown rice and a few cooked beans is a fan-favorite in the community.
- Steam some beans and give them to your dog
- Mash or grind some beans and give them to your dog
- Feed your dog some frozen beans, it’s one of their most favorite ways to eat them!
How Much Beans Can Dogs Eat?
While very beneficial to your dog’s health, feed your dog too much beans and a whole world of problems is going to open up its doors to you, most annoyingly of which (to both you and your buddy, and whoever else resides in your household for that matter) is gas, and lots of it!
All jokes aside, you don’t want to have your dog develop gas, because that could lead to other problems like constipation.
Just like you and I can easily develop an annoying case of gas when we eat some beans, the same holds true when it comes to our dogs as well.
(Quick note: If your dog seems to be getting excessive gas no matter what you’re feeding them, they may have a sensitive stomach. You may want to check out this read about the best dog food for sensitive stomachs if so).
Stick to feeding your dog only a handful of beans every now and then, and within the frame of a well-structured overall diet, and you will be just fine.
After all, there’s no real reason that should invite you to feed your dog a special amount of beans in their diet.
If you focus on feeding your dog a high quality diet that comprises of high-quality dog food (dry dog food, preferably), then chances are that many of these dog food manufacturers already make use of beans as part of their ingredients list makeup.
Besides the usual high-quality sources of carbohydrate ingredients being used nowadays, such as sweet potato, brown rice, whole fruits and vegetables, many dog food manufacturers are also opting to include beans in the mix.
Why Are Beans Good For Dogs?
Not really inspired to give your dog some beans? These reasons might change your mind 🙂
- Are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, potassium, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, B, C and K
- Thanks to the fiber in them, they quickly fill up your dog and can help overweight dogs lose a little bit of those extra pounds. The fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which goes a long way in preventing insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Are rich in protein, which is an essential macro-nutrient to include in your dog’s diet.
- Improve eye health and vision
- Improve heart health
- Help heal wounds faster
- Improve your dog’s immunity system
- Help prevent against different forms of cancer
- Are an overall awesome low-calorie, non-fattening treat for your dog! 🙂