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Can Dogs Eat Beans?

By Colleen Williams
published: January 16, 2017 - updated: September 28, 2021 • 2 min. read
dog eating from bowl with young boy

Key Takeaways

  • Health benefits of beans include potassium, magnesium, iron, protein, B vitamins and other nutrients dogs need.
  • Dogs should only eat beans in moderation to curb constipation and gas.
  • Wash and cook beans before serving them (green beans are okay, raw).
  • Do not feed your dog baked beans or canned beans with seasoning.
  • Lentils are a good addition to homemade dog food recipes.

Beans are good for the heart. And they’re good for dogs too, however the more they eat, the more they can get sick. And as with most human foods, there are some beans that are strictly off-limits for dogs.

The benefits of beans

The health benefits of beans are many: beans contain B-vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and iron, and can be great sources of protein, antioxidants, and fiber for your dog. Plus, they’re said to help regulate blood sugar. While beans are a great alternative to meat for vegetarians, your dog should not rely solely on beans for their protein intake unless recommended by your veterinarian.

Exercise caution, however, as not all beans are created equal – some are not safe for your dog to eat.

Protect your pet

What to avoid

  • No one likes a gassy dog! Feed your dog beans only in moderation to help curb gas and constipation. Beans can be given occasionally or as a healthy treat.
  • Always wash and cook the beans before giving them to your pup, except for green beans, which can be served raw.
  • Do not feed your dog any baked beans (they’re high in sugar and tomatoes, garlic and onions), chili beans (same reasons as baked beans, plus they can be spicy!), coffee beans (caffeine is toxic), or raw red kidney beans (also toxic).
  • Avoid any canned beans unless you carefully read the label for any additional seasoning or ingredients, which are known to be harmful.

Cooked beans (pinto, black, kidney, soybeans, and garbanzo) have various vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog, and are nontoxic. But of all the “beans,” most pet parents find green beans to be the one they consistently feed to their four-legged friends, especially as a snack. Additionally, cooked lentils and lima beans (no seasoning!) are just as safe. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, both are cheap, healthy treats your dog can enjoy regularly without worrying about extra calories. Plus, lentils are an easy addition to homemade dog food!

Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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