A bowl of green beans on a burlap mat

Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Yes, But…

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Green beans are an easy, delicious food to prepare. Whether you have them as a side dish, like in green bean casserole, or as a snack, you may look at your dog and wonder, “Are green beans bad for dogs?”

Dogs love it when we share with them. The foods we eat are exciting and different, so of course, they’re interested. Our bodies work differently, though. We need higher amounts of calories and vitamins and process them differently.

Is it Safe for My Dog to Eat Green Beans?

Yes! Dogs can eat green beans, in moderation.

Green beans are a healthy vegetable that contains many vitamins that are great for dogs. While dogs generally don’t need the extra nutrients from our food, it can still benefit them. They contain antioxidants from vitamins A and C, which help your body run properly and prevent diseases. They are high in water content.

They can even help with weight loss due to the vegetable being low in calories. Another vital vitamin in green beans is vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.

What other foods can your dog eat? Learn more from our Vet’s List of Human Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

Safety Concerns

Like everything, dogs must eat green beans in moderation. They are high in fiber. Too much fiber can cause gastrointestinal stress for dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea. The biggest problem with feeding dogs human food is often the choking hazard. Break the beans up to avoid choking.

The green bean dishes we make often include onions. Always give them green beans by themselves. Do not give them canned beans, either, due to the salt content. Always follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to your dog’s diet.

Every day, 80% of their calories should come from their food. Then 20% can come from treats, such as green beans. Their food contains the nutrients they need when it is a well-balanced mix.

Consult your veterinarian about any concerns you have.

How to Prep Green Beans for Your Dog

You can feed green beans to your dog raw or steam or boil them. Cooking them will likely be safer. The process will make the vegetables more tender, but you can safely feed your dog raw green beans. Cooking green beans will cook away some of the nutrients. Do not cook them with oil or butter as fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Always cut them up before feeding them to your dog whether raw or cooked. When prepared, they make the perfect, low-calorie treat for your dog.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Green beans have great health benefits for your dog, but there are still potential issues. You need to monitor the amount of fiber they are getting. Watch them while they eat to ensure they don’t choke. If any problems occur, stop feeding your dog human food. Always have treats in moderation. If your dog enjoys it and you prepare it for them so they can safely enjoy them, you can indulge your pup a bit.

Learn what other foods are safe (or unsafe) for dogs to eat by visiting the articles below:

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.