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Can Dogs Eat Lima Beans? Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat lima-beans

Lima beans, or butter beans, are protein-rich and fat free and are rich in fiber, which means that they are not only safe for your dog to eat but can make a great dietary supplement. Feed them as part of their everyday meal, as a healthy treat, or as part of a homemade pet-friendly snack. As with any foods, you should avoid those that have been prepared for human consumption, which means you should not feed your dog canned beans, but you can soak them overnight and cook them before serving to your pet.

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Are Lima Beans Safe for Dogs?

Lima beans are part of the legume family. We, as humans, are encouraged to eat around ½ a cup of legumes every week, and they are known to offer many of the same benefits to our dogs as they do to us. They are not only safe for your dog but convey a number of health benefits, some of which we have detailed below.

Do not feed your dog human products that contain lima beans and avoid the canned variants. Canned beans use preservatives to ensure the food stays fresh while in the can, but these are not good for your dog’s digestive system. Buy them fresh and prepare them properly before feeding to your dog.

Dogs tend to be at their healthiest when they enjoy a varied diet, similarly to humans. This means feeding a combination of vegetables, fruit, meat, and other food stuffs including legumes. Foods like lima beans and chickpeas are becoming increasingly common in good quality dog food because they will fill without overfeeding.

lima beans
Image Credit: Claire05, Pixabay

Serving Ideas

Buy fresh lima beans, soak them in water overnight, and then boil or cook them. The cooked beans can then be fed directly, if your dog likes the buttery taste of the legume, or they can be added directly to a meal in order to provide additional protein and fiber. They can also be used to make healthy pet-friendly recipes, many of which contain a good range of legumes and other beans.


It is always best to introduce new food items to your dog gradually. With butter beans and other legumes, start with a tablespoon for small breeds or two tablespoons larger dogs. You can always increase or decrease this amount depending on whether they like the lima beans and whether they agree with them. Feed this amount once a week to promote a healthy, balanced diet.

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Health Benefits of Lima Beans

As well as helping ensure a varied and balanced diet for your dog, lima beans are especially beneficial because they are high in protein and have a decent amount of fiber. They are also rich in folate, iron, potassium, and manganese.

  • High in Fiber – Fiber is an essential part of a dog’s diet. Fiber helps prevent bacteria, especially in the gut, and it also assists the colon in reducing diarrhea and constipation. High fiber foods like lima beans, which are low in fat, fill your dog up without feeding calories. As such, fiber is not only great for maintaining a healthy weight, but it can be extremely beneficial when your dog is trying to lose weight. They will feel full while consuming fewer calories, which is key to healthy weight loss.
  • High Protein Levels – Lima beans also have a decent concentration of protein. Protein is used to maintain and rebuild muscle. If your dog does not get enough protein, they can become lethargic and lazy, and eventually they will lose muscle tone and strength. Older dogs, who require less food because they become less active, have higher protein requirements, so the combination of high-fiber and high-protein in lima beans makes them especially beneficial to aging pets. Protein is also good for maintaining healthy fur and skin.
  • Iron-Rich Legumes – Among the many beneficial ingredients found in legumes like lima beans, iron helps maintain healthy blood flow and ensures that the blood can carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. A good level of iron in a dog’s diet ensures that they can benefit from the other nutrients that you feed them.

Can Dogs Eat Lima Beans?

Lima beans are one of a number of legumes. Not only should dog owners consume more legumes, but so too should their dogs. They are a great source of fiber and protein, despite containing little to no fat, and this means that your dog will feel full without piling on the weight. They are also rich in iron, which helps ensure that other nutrients are effectively delivered around the body. Avoid feeding your dog canned lima beans, cook the beans before you do serve them, and start out with one or two tablespoons of the beans before increasing or decreasing this level according to their taste and requirements.

Featured Image: Stephen Smith from Pixabay

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