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Can Dogs Eat Beans? Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dog Eat beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for the heart. The more you eat them, the more you…

We’ll stop ourselves right there. However, many dog owners wonder if this nutritious, protein-packed food is as good for their pups as it is for them. And with over 19,000 types of legumes available, there’s a long list of delicious beans to pick from.

But can your dog eat beans? The short answer is maybe. It depends entirely on the type of bean.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about beans and your pet to help you get a better understanding of if this veggie is good for your pup.

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The Benefits of Beans

Consuming beans comes with a lot of health perks. Not only do beans contain high levels of protein, but they’re also full of antioxidants, vitamin B, iron, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Scientific studies have also concluded that beans help to regulate your blood sugar.

lima beans in the brown pot
Image Credit: Niranjan Gaikwad, Shutterstock

Beans You Should Avoid Giving to Your Dog

But while beans are a great food for people, some can be harmful to your dog.

The types of beans you should never feed Fido include:
  • Chili beans – the onions and spices can upset your dog’s tummy
  • Baked beans – these beans are high in sugar and can contain tomatoes, garlic, and onions, which are harmful to canines
  • Raw kidney beans – can be toxic to dogs
  • Coffee beans – can result in neurological issues and even death
  • Refried beans – can contain seasonings that are dangerous to dogs
  • Canned beans – contains chemical preservatives and high levels of sodium

Now that we’ve covered the bad beans, let’s take a look at the beans that you can feed your pooch.

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Beans That Dogs Can Eat

Some types of beans that your dog can safely consume include:
These beans can enhance your dog’s health in many ways, including:
  • Supporting his immune system
  • Helping his body recover quickly from injury
  • Boosting heart and eye health
  • Supporting bone and muscle health
  • Creating red blood cells
  • Helping his body to thoroughly absorb nutrients efficiently
  • Fighting cancer
  • Minimizing arthritis
  • Lowering cholesterol

While all of these health benefits are awesome, beans should not be your pet’s primary diet. Your dog needs a high-quality kibble that satisfies his nutritional needs.

Beagle dog
Image Credit: Ross Stevenson, Shutterstock

How to Serve Your Dog Beans

To safely add beans to your dog’s diet, try these following tips:
  • Always be sure to wash the beans and thoroughly cook them before feeding them to your pet. The exception to this rule is green beans, which can be served raw and fresh.
  • Mash the beans before offering them to your dog. This will help aid in digestion and make them easier for him to consume.
  • The cheapest way to feed your dog beans is to buy dried beans in bulk. You can then soak them overnight and rinse them a couple of times prior to cooking. Never add seasonings or salt to the beans. Plain beans are always best.
  • If your dog doesn’t love legumes right away, try mixing the beans in with his regular kibble.

 Can I Feed My Dog Beans Instead of Meat?

No. While beans are a good source of protein, they should never be a meat substitute.

Pinto beans on wood bowl
Image By: Luis Echeverri Urrea, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Some types of beans can be safe, and even beneficial, for your dog. While you should never exclusively feed your pet beans, legumes added to his diet can offer major health benefits.

Always consult your vet before adding anything new to your pet’s diet, including beans.

So, go ahead and enjoy some magical beans with your pet today!

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