Edamame has been growing in popularity recently, in part because it’s a healthy and delicious snack. Whether what you’re eating is tasty or not, you can bet your furry, four-legged friend will be right by your side begging for it! Before tossing some of this superfood to your pup, you should know if it’s safe for dogs. In brief, we can confirm it is — but read on for full disclosure. There are a few risks you should know more about.
Firstly, Is Soy Safe for Dogs?
Edamame beans are really just soybeans harvested before they’re fully ripe, so to understand if edamame is safe for your pup, you first need to ask if soy is dog friendly.
Experts at Purina, a major dog food provider, already include soy ingredients in many of their products, some of which your dog may already be eating. They also suggest that soy is perfectly safe for dogs to consume provided they don’t have diet restrictions for medical reasons.
Dr. Jack Stephens from Pets Best Health Insurance notes that soy is a common dog allergy, so you should be careful about giving your dog soy for the first time. Chances are your dog already consumes soy as a main protein source in his or her dog food, but you should be cautious anyway and pay attention for signs of an allergy. According to Dr. Stephens, signs of soy allergies include excessive scratching, vomiting, and diarrhea following consumption. Be sure to consult a veterinarian if you think your dog may have a food allergy.
So, Edamame Is Safe for My Dog?
Since edamame beans are soybeans, yes, they are safe to give your dog if there isn’t a pre-existing allergy. As with all things related to diet, moderation is key. This article from Rover.com suggests that, while soy is safe for dogs, it’s not a complete protein source for them, so it shouldn’t be the main ingredient in your dog’s diet.
Stacy Painter with Healthy Paws Pet Insurance warns that consistent consumption of soy by dogs can cause health issues related to their kidneys and liver, and it can also cause problems with their reproductive system. While it’s safe to give your dog soy or edamame beans every so often, you shouldn’t make it a common occurrence.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Edamame to My Dog?
If you do decide to treat your pup to this protein-packed snack, stick with edamame that hasn’t been prepared for human consumption to ensure there’s nothing unhealthy added. Some edamame snacks for humans are fried in oil, so stay away from bagged or crunchy edamame.
Edamame is also typically prepared with salt or enjoyed with soy sauce which contains a lot of salt. According to Pets Web MD, large amounts of salt in a dog’s diet can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other internal issues, and it can be fatal in extreme cases. For this reason, stay away from salty edamame snacks.
Lastly, edamame beans come in a pod that is stringy, very difficult to chew, and isn’t easily digestible. This can pose a choking hazard for your dog and can create some minor intestinal problems according to Healthy Paws, so it’s best to remove the beans from the pod before offering them to your dog.
To avoid these problems altogether, feel free to share shelled fresh or frozen edamame with your pooch, or bake it yourself without adding oil, salt, or other flavorings.
How Much Edamame Is Too Much?
The upper limit of edamame for your dog will depend on a lot of factors like size and weight, but let’s not find that limit! Edamame is fine for your pup in moderation, but just like with any other food, too much is too much.
Aside from the health issues related to common consumption of edamame, this superfood is packed with nutrition which also means that it’s fairly high in calories. Dogs need far fewer calories than we do, so overfeeding could become an issue if calorie-dense foods like edamame are given to your canine friend too often. When you find yourself occasionally munching on fresh or frozen edamame, feel free to offer some to your dog, but don’t make it an everyday occurrence.
The Bottom Line
Provided it’s shelled, unsalted, and not fried or baked with butter, oil, or other seasonings, edamame is a protein-packed snack that is safe to give to your dog every now and then. While there may be issues with everyday consumption, giving your pooch edamame as a treat every so often is perfectly safe as long as they don’t have soy allergies.
Featured image credit: takedahrs, Pixabay