Can Dogs Eat Beans?

Dried beans in bags

It’s common to wonder what foods you and your dog can both eat when you’re preparing a meal. Green beans are a vegetable you and your dog can enjoy, but they aren't even a bean! Can dogs eat other beans? Keep reading to find out about the types of beans your dog can eat.

Are beans good for dogs?

Yes. Beans can be a part of a dog’s healthy diet. They are rich in fibre and have some protein, too. Dogs can have beans as a treat. That means they should never be more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Since beans can be high in calories, you should not be feeding him many.

What types of beans can dogs have?

Your dog can eat a variety of beans. Some he may enjoy are:

  • Black beans
  • Lima beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Navy beans
  • Edamame
  • Soybeans

How should beans for dogs be prepared?

“Beans have to be prepared the way they would be for people,” explains Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey. Beans already contain a lot of fibre, but uncooked they are almost indigestible. Dogs can have beans or legumes that have been soaked first and then cooked. This helps your dog digest them and may help reduce flatulence. (Beans may still give your dog some gas!)

Can dogs have beans instead of meat?

No. Dogs can eat soybeans, but feeding just beans is bad for dogs if it’s replacing meat in their diet. Feeding dogs a diet rich in soybeans, like a human vegetarian diet, won’t give your dog the quality protein he needs. Even though dogs are omnivores, they need quality sources of protein and beans just don't have enough. 

Can dogs eat green beans?

Yes! Green beans are good for dogs. But the name is confusing. Green beans are a vegetable. They aren’t in the bean family like other legumes. But letting your dog have green beans is healthy, and dogs enjoy eating them, too.

Green beans for dogs are best served fresh or cooked. “Shy away from canned vegetables,” Dempsey advises. “They often have added sodium and potentially have preservatives. That is just adding excess salt and other things they don’t really need to their diet.” The ideal green beans for dogs are raw green beans in your store’s produce section.

Another option are flash-frozen green beans. “To prepare pre-cooked and frozen beans, steam them or microwave them to thaw until they are ready to serve,” Dempsey suggests.

Check out our dog nutrition section to learn more about human foods that are safe for dogs – and a few that aren’t.

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