Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas? (Garbanzo Beans, Hummus)
Chickpeas are a fiber-rich source of protein that are part of the legume family. They are popular in Indian, Moroccan, and other cuisine, and they can also be safely fed to dogs in their pure form. You should avoid giving dogs chickpeas in hummus form or from a can, but they can make a beneficial addition to animal protein, served as a treat, or to replace regular flour in any recipe. Chickpeas are actually used in some dog food recipes, because the high levels of fiber mean that Garbanzo beans can fill your dog up without them consuming a lot of calories.
Are Chickpeas Safe for Dogs?
In their pure form, chickpeas are safe for dogs to eat. However, you should not feed hummus to your dog because store-bought variants include ingredients like garlic, high levels of salt, and lemon juice. All these ingredients are known to be potentially hazardous and dangerous for dogs.
You should also avoid feeding canned chickpeas to your dogs because they use preservatives to keep them fresh and prevent them from going to stale. These preservatives can be harmful to a dog’s digestive system. Short term problems include diarrhea and vomiting while continued feeding of preservatives can have serious and potentially dire consequences.
It is worth noting that chickpeas can make gassy dogs worse. They can lead to cramp and can eventually cause bloat, but if your dog does not suffer from gas, this shouldn’t be a problem.
How to Feed Chickpeas to Dogs
Always avoid giving your dog processed foods and food that has been added to human meals. These tend to be highly processed and contain preservatives as well as high levels of sodium and salt. This means you should not feed your dog canned chickpeas or store-bought hummus. You can make your own hummus using natural ingredients, but avoid including ingredients like garlic, onion, lemon juice, or salt: all of which are common in the packaged variants.
Cook the chickpeas and serve them whole or blended. If your dog likes the flavor, you can serve them as a snack on their own, or you can add the blended mix to other vegetables or to animal protein.
Another method of feeding chickpeas to your dog is to use chickpea flour in place of regular flour in any pet-friendly recipe. Bake them healthy cookies or vegetable treats and know exactly what ingredients have been used in the biscuits.
All food should be fed in moderation, and this is true of chickpeas because they are high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is beneficial for dogs but not if it is fed in too large a quantity. Consider feeding chickpeas or chickpea-based treats once a week to avoid potential gassiness and to ensure that they don’t consume too much fiber. Start with a tablespoon of the legume for smaller dogs, or two tablespoons for large breeds. You can always increase or decrease this level once you know how well your dog can handle this source of protein.
Despite their diminutive size, chickpeas are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, as well as being a great source of protein. They offer the following health benefits for your pooch:
- Combat High Blood Pressure – Being low in sodium and high in potassium, chickpeas can dilate blood vessels. This lower blood pressure and improves heart health. This is one of the reasons that dog owners are encouraged to eat more legumes, and this powerful little food source is equally beneficial to dogs.
- Maintain Blood Sugar Levels – Chickpeas are made up of complex carbohydrates. As such, the energy that is offered by the legume takes longer to release, providing a slow and steady supply and preventing the peaks and troughs associated with simple carbohydrates.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties – Osteoarthritis and other conditions can be debilitating for dogs. Chickpeas contain choline which has proven effective at reducing chronic inflammation caused by such conditions, alleviating arthritic, and other pain. Combine chickpeas with turmeric for an especially effective anti-inflammatory dog treat.
- Combat Obesity – Obesity is as dangerous to dogs as it is to humans, but because chickpeas are high in fiber, they fill your dog up without feeding a lot of calories. This not only helps keep the weight off but gives you peace because your puppy won’t be begging for food five minutes after they’ve eaten.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain vitamins A, B, and C along with a host of other essential nutrients. In their pure form, they are safe for dogs to eat, although you should avoid giving them to dogs that suffer from gas because they can make the condition worse. Do not feed your dog hummus, unless it is homemade and you have taken care to avoid ingredients like garlic and lemon juice, or canned chickpeas. You can cook them and feed them directly to your dog, add them to a daily meal, or use chickpea flour in place or regular flour.