Bowls of different types of beans

Can Dogs Eat Beans?

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Beans, beans, the magical fruit—the more you eat, the more you…well, you know! Beans are wonderfully healthy food and make a great addition to a well-balanced diet. However, if you’re a dog owner, you may be wondering if beans are as good for your pup as they are for you.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing a human snack with your dog every now and then. It is necessary to feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet, but sharing food can be a fun way to bond when done correctly. Let’s take a look at the humble bean and learn whether it can be an appropriate addition to your dog’s diet.

Are Beans Bad for Dogs?

There are almost 20,000 varieties of beans! Most of them are packed with nutrients, fiber, protein, and vitamins. Beans contain zinc, copper, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B6, E, and K. The most common varieties found in the US are pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and fava beans.

As with most human foods, some beans are safe for your dog to eat, and some are not. Fortunately, all the beans that are safe to feed your pup are readily available in your local grocery store. They include pinto beans, black beans, soybeans, garbanzo beans, green beans, lima beans, and lentils.

Canned Beans vs. Dried Beans

Should you feed your dog canned beans or beans that you have prepared from dry? It should go without saying that you should never feed your dog dry beans. They pose a choking hazard and can expand in your dog’s stomach, causing bloating, blockages, vomiting, and other problems.

Beans that have been thoroughly cooked should be safe. Likewise, canned beans can be fine to serve your dog, as long as they are not high in sodium, sugar, or other additives. You should also check that the beans are unflavored—never feed your dog chili, or beans that have heavy seasoning on them.

How Many Beans Can I Give My Dog?

The most important thing to remember when feeding any human food to your dog is to give it in moderation. Any food can upset a dog’s stomach if your dog eats too much of it. Most vets recommend that only 10% of your dog’s total calories should come from a source outside their normal, veterinarian-approved dog food.

How Should I Prepare Beans for My Dog?

Always give your dog fully-cooked beans. Raw beans are difficult to digest and can upset your dog’s stomach. Use water to prepare the beans. Don’t add any salt or seasoning. If you are using canned beans, make sure to read the ingredients. Don’t serve your dog anything with lots of additives.

Never season beans for your dog. Even salt can throw a dog’s internal system out of balance. Never put spicy things like peppers into the beans, as these can cause gastrointestinal distress. Plain in the name of the game.

Don’t serve your dog too many beans at once, especially if you don’t want to be dealing with doggie farts all night! Dog farts might sound funny, but bloating, constipation and gas are not fun for your furry friend.

Final Thoughts

It’s fine to serve your dog beans every so often. They should be fully cooked in water, prepared without seasoning, and served in moderation. A half-cup of beans a couple of times a week should be sufficient.

Check out the articles below to learn whether other common foods are safe (or not safe) for dogs to eat:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.