Can Dogs Eat Beans? Answered

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
There are over 40,000 bean varieties in the world, but which ones are safe to share with your dog? Are beans safe for dogs? In this article, you will find the right answer.

Can dogs eat beans? Should this popular food be part of their diet or not? Did you know that there are 40,000 bean varieties?

Beans are rich in protein, great, and easy to prepare in different ways, but that doesn’t mean that you should serve them to Fido without the right knowledge.

Let’s see if beans are safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Beans?

Some beans are safe for dogs, while others should be kept away.

When it comes to serving beans to your dog there are two major factors to think about:

  • Bean type, and
  • How beans were prepared

So – can dogs eat beans? It depends. Below, you will find a straightforward list of the most popular beans and whether or not they are safe for dogs to consume.

Beans Dogs Can Eat

Out of 40,000 bean varieties that exist in nature, there are quite some that are not only safe for canines but are also healthy and bring a great dietary boost to a dog’s nutrition.

If you want to include protein-rich legumes in your dog’s diet, you should know which ones to pick and which ones to avoid.

1. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a variety of kidney beans that are packed with minerals and vitamins.

They make a great source of quality plant-based protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber.

Feeding pinto beans as a snack to your dog will help to make your dog feel fuller and aid his digestion.

If your pup needs to tighten up his daily intake because of some additional pounds gained, cooked pinto beans might be a great choice.

2. Green Beans / String Beans

Out of all beans, green beans or string beans are the ones that are most commonly shared with dogs. They are a top source of protein, fiber, vitamins C and K, and Manganese.

Dogs usually love having green beans as a snack.

3. Lima Beans / Butter Beans

Lima or also called, butter beans make a perfect source of fiber and iron.

Being so rich in fiber, they prevent blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating them, which is why they are often used as snacks for dogs with diabetes.

Soak dried lima beans overnight, and then cook them plain. No seasonings or spices are included. Then, mix them with some rice and meat and you have just made a great raw meal for your pup.

4. Lentils

Lentils are another bean variety that is safe for dogs to eat.

Unlike other beans, they have a reduced risk of increasing flatulence in dogs because of their alkaline nature.

However, recent FDA investigation has shown that dogs that were fed with grain-free dog foods that included peas and lentils had a higher risk from developing heart disease.

So, until everything’s clear, it might be wiser to opt for a different bean type.

5. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are definitely the most common beans used in various international cuisines.

These are rich in antioxidants, but they also contain the toxin Phytohaemagglutinin (more than all other beans).

However, after kidney beans are soaked and cooked, the toxin drops to a much lower and harmless level that can’t cause any side effects.

6. Black Beans

What about black beans, can dogs eat black beans? Still high in antioxidants, black beans are also packed with vitamins A and K.

They can enhance your dog’s vision, and improve your pup’s cardiovascular system.

7. Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, commonly known as Chickpeas as well, are safe and healthy for dogs as long as they are properly cooked.

They should be prepared in water only, without any additions that are toxic to dogs, such as spices, onions, or garlic.

That’s why feeding that delicious hummus you love isn’t a good idea after all.

8. Soybeans

Soybeans are safe to feed to dogs under several circumstances.

What matters with soybeans is where and how they have been grown. If there’s a label saying the soybeans are grown organically, you can feed them to your pup.

If the origin of the soybeans you bought is somehow hidden or suspicious, it would be better to skip it.

Now that you know what beans are safe for dogs to serve, let’s learn about beans that are dangerous to dogs.

Beans Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat

While there are definitely a lot of beans that might benefit your dog if fed in moderation, there are also some that are better left avoided.

Most of the beans in this list are not actually a variety of beans themselves, but rather represent different ways of preparing them.

Let’s find out which ones might be toxic or harmful to your dog’s digestive system.

1. Baked Beans

Although you might be a big fan of the delicious baked beans, sharing them with your pup isn’t quite a great idea.

Baked beans are usually sweetened with sugar to achieve that incredible tastiness.

Not only, but they also often contain tomatoes, onions, and garlic which aren’t really the safest foods you could feed your pup with.

So, can dogs eat baked beans?

No, dogs should never eat baked beans.

Baked beans are food for humans and as such, it is usually packed with various ingredients, including spicy seasoning and salt.

2. Chili Beans

Nothing that contains garlic and onions basically shouldn’t be given to dogs. Therefore, just like baked beans, avoid feeding chili beans to your pup.

These contain garlic, onions, and spices that can lead to severe gastric upset, diarrhea and flatulence.

3. Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are still beans.

No matter how big a fan you might be of your coffee cups, you should be aware of how much caffeine is dangerous to your dog.

Just small amounts of caffeine can damage your dog’s neurological system and potentially result in death.

4. Raw Red Beans

Cooked red beans are fine and even healthy for humans, but can dogs eat red beanbut?

Before you offer these beans to your dog know that raw red beans have a high concentration of phytohaemagglutinin which leads to severe gastrointestinal issues.

It can lead to severe diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

Be aware that ingesting a couple of uncooked red beans can even be dangerous to you as well. So make sure raw beans are held in a safe place.

What about red bean paste? Can dogs eat red bean paste?

No, dogs should not eat red bean paste if it’s prepared for humans. Reb bean paste is usually sweetened and can even contain salt which is dangerous to dogs.

5. Canned Beans

When it comes to canned beans, it’s difficult to give a univocal answer. Some might be ok, others are a definite no-no.

What you should do before feeding your dog canned beans is to read the label. If there is salt or sugar in the bean water, then sharing is not a good idea.

Look for sugar-free, low-sodium, spices-free canned beans as those are safe to share with your dog.

Just to be sure, rinse canned beans under running water for a couple of minutes to eliminate eventual traces of salt or sugar.

All other variations aren’t supposed to be fed to dogs.

Good to know: Canned fruit, such as canned peaches or canned nectaries should never be served to dogs.

6. Fava Beans

There is no reason not to love fava beans if you’re not a dog.

Fava beans are perfectly fine for humans, but in dogs, they can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Not quite the treat you had in mind for your puppy, right?

7. Refried Beans

Refried beans are a staple side dish of Mexican cuisine.

Can you even imagine tacos without them?

To achieve that amazing flavor, refried beans are packed with seasonings such as garlic, salt, cumin, and chili powder, none of which is suited for dogs.

Instead of being tempted to share some of it with your pup, leave some plain, cooked beans by the side before you prepare your homemade refried beans, and give them to your pup as a treat.

8. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are known to be great boosters to heart health and weight loss in humans.

Unfortunately, these beans aren’t supposed to be shared with dogs because it was found that they are poisonous to dogs.

Feeding Your Dog With Beans – Benefits

Beans are packed with protein making them food that is highly rich in protein.

As you may know, already protein is a big part of a dog’s diet, especially in senior dogs.

Proper protein amount can help dogs keep lean and strong muscles, but it should be well-mixed and balanced with other ingredients.

Although beans are high in protein they aren’t really considered a low-calorie legume.

Some of the benefits of beans are:

  • High percentage of vitamins C and K
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Folate

Potassium is a very important mineral for dogs and it’s necessary for good muscle growth, healthy heart, stronger bones, strong immune system, and healthy nervous system.

So, if beans contain all these nutrients, why can’t we feed all beans to dogs?

The truth is that it’s mostly a matter of how the beans are prepared.

What we know is that pinto beans and green beans are the most nutritionally dense representatives of the legume family.

Now that you know what are the benefits of serving beans to your dog and which beans are safe for dogs, and which should be avoided no matter what, let’s see how to serve beans to your dog.

How To Serve Beans To Dogs?

There are several basic steps you should follow when feeding beans to your dog.

  • 1. Wash and rinse – Wash your beans thoroughly and rinse them several times to remove any potentially harmful toxins or preservatives.
  • 2. Soak overnight – By soaking the beans overnight, the toxin contained in beans will lose its strength making the beans safe to eat.
  • 3. Cook – Make sure that you cook the beans plain. So no salt, sugar, or other spices are added. Only water and beans.
  • Pro tip – Mash the beans for an additional nutritional boost. Mashed beans are also easier to digest than entire beans because our canine friends don’t tend to chew their food quite enough.

Serving Canned Beans: Although it is not the best choice, you can also feed canned beans to your dog by doing the following: rinse the beans for 2 minutes under running water.

This way a large amount of sodium will be eliminated, making it a safer option for pups. – We do not advise this, so make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

Green beans can be safely served raw without adverse effects, as long as they are thoroughly washed.

Benefits Of Including Beans In Your Dog’s Diet

So, now that we’re well aware of the bean varieties that are safe to share with dogs, and those that aren’t, we can tell you more on what are the health benefits of including beans in your dog’s diet.

However, it is important to know that beans are only beneficial when they are properly served and fed in moderation.

  • High In Antioxidants – The increased level of antioxidants helps fight free radicals causing damage to body cells.
  • Lowers Your Dog’s Cholesterol Levels – Beans can lower cholesterol levels in the blood, which makes them a great protector of heart health in both dogs and humans.
  • Improved digestive health and bowel movement – Thanks to the high levels of dietary fiber found in these legumes, beans are a great way to prevent constipation and improve bowel movement.
  • Slight energy boost – Although dogs need meat-source protein as the primary protein of their diet, beans contain twice to four times more proteins than grains. These will provide your dog with a natural energy boost.

Risks Of Feeding Beans To Dogs

Apart from dog-unsuitable beans, and raw beans that contain toxic, feeding your dog with too many “good” beans can also be dangerous.

As you may know, too many beans usually mess up our digestive system for a little while, and the same is true for dogs too.

Eating too many beans can lead to diarrhea, excessive gas, and stomach ache. Plus, feeding too much of them might even end up in constipation.

Also, the plant-based protein contained in beans shouldn’t be used as a replacement for the meat-sourced protein that dogs need in adequate amounts.

To Sum Up…

If your dog refuses beans do not force him to eat them. You can serve cooked beans to Fido as an occasional treat and only in small amounts.

Make sure that you always offer beans well-cooked and only safe types of beans.

If your dog eats a large number of beans that is not good for them, make sure that you contact your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions On Serving Beans To Dogs

1. Can Dogs Eat Adzuki Beans?

Adzuki beans should never be served to dogs. This type of bean contains ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs.

Adzuki beans contain oxalates which can be toxic to dogs. What if adzuki beans are packed as canned food?

It is still a no, since canned food only adds dangerous ingredients, such as salt and sugar, to the mix.

2. Can Dogs Eat Kidney Beans?

If Fido eats a really tiny amount of cooked kidney beans, he should be fine. However, raw kidney beans contain phytohemagglutinin (a toxic ingredient).

3. Can Dogs Eat Pinto Beans?

In general yes, once they are properly cooked and served plain.

As for the refried pinto beans, or any other refined bean type it should be a big no. Dogs cannot eat refried beans.