It’s time to spill the beans about dogs and one plant-based protein source that dog owners have lots of questions about! First, you might be panicking because your dog “stole a quick bite” of the black beans you had in your burrito, salad, or soup. Is it safe for dogs to eat black beans? Absolutely! There’s no need to panic if your dog ate black beans. Dogs can eat black beans without any worries because they are not considered toxic or dangerous for dogs. In fact, this is one of those human foods that can technically be part of a healthy diet for dogs because it’s full of many different vitamins and nutrients that just happen to be essential for dogs. That doesn’t necessarily mean that beans are right for every dog. Take a look at what every dog owner should know about how black beans fit into a dog’s diet.
Should I Feed My Dog Black Beans?
There’s a good case to be made for allowing a dog to eat beans. First, beans provide a great source of plant-based protein. As omnivores, dogs need a wide variety of nutrients with a big emphasis on protein. However, it is possible for a dog to thrive on an all-vegetarian diet as long as the right amount of protein is in the mix. The general rule for the number of protein dogs need daily is 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight daily. A dog weighing 25 pounds requires roughly 25 grams of protein per day.
How might black beans fit into the picture as you try to achieve that gram-per-pound ratio for your pooch? A 1/2 cup serving of black beans contains 8 grams of protein. Compare that to 7 to 9 grams of protein found in a 1-ounce steak!
What’s in Black Beans That Makes Them Good for Dogs?
It’s not just protein that makes black beans so healthy for dogs. These little wonders are packed full of other nutrients that serve as the building blocks for healthy muscles, organs, and coats. Here’s a look:
- Dietary Fiber: This can be important for dogs dealing with weight issues! The zero-calorie fiber found in beans actually causes your dog to burn calories during digestion without actually adding fat or calories. This can help to keep things moving along in your dog’s digestive system to help him lose weight!
- Antioxidants: Dogs need antioxidants for all the same reasons humans need them. Antioxidants protect cells in the body from damage caused by oxidation stemming from the free radicals that are all around us. They fortify the body against disease and degeneration while protecting against everything from inflammation to heart disease.
- Potassium: Helps with nerve function, muscle function, and heart health!
- Folate: Crucial for the health of red blood cells.
- Vitamin B6: Great for muscle repair and brain function.
- Vitamin C: Essential for body tissue repair, eyesight, and immune function.
- Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting.
- Manganese: This trace mineral is important for the metabolism of amino acids.
Black beans are also beneficial for keeping blood sugar in check! In fact, they are considered a “superfood” for diabetes control among humans. This is owed to the fact that the fiber in black beans causes digestion to take longer. As a result, they help to keep blood glucose levels stable.
How to Prepare Black Beans for Your Dog
Uncooked black beans aren’t appropriate for dogs! In fact, dogs can’t digest uncooked black beans. When preparing black beans for a dog, prepare them the same way you would for human consumption. This typically means purchasing beans, soaking them, and cooking them!
Can’t I just feed my dog canned black beans? Yes, that is a much easier option than soaking and preparing bulk beans. However, it’s not the healthiest option. Eating canned beans won’t technically harm your dog. While canned beans are not poisonous or harmful to dogs, they still aren’t the healthiest option out there. That’s because canned beans tend to be filled with extra salt, carbohydrates, and preservatives that simply aren’t ideal for dogs. One option is to rinse canned black beans before feeding them to your dog. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually get rid of all of the salt that the beans have been soaking in for a long time. Feeding your dog too much salt can trigger a condition called hypernatremia that’s caused by increased sodium levels in the bloodstream. Some signs of hypernatremia include sudden increased thirst, confusion, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is a very serious condition that can actually result in seizures or coma if not treated immediately.
Good to Know: Black Beans Don’t Create a Complete Meal for Dogs
Keep in mind that dogs cannot live on beans alone! Think of beans as “treats” or “additions” that are part of a complete, well-balanced meal. Beans simply don’t offer all of the nutrients that dogs need to thrive. While they are seen as a vegetarian protein base for some dog owners, you can actually mix them in with the meat when making homemade dog food for your dog using beans. Many people create “clean” dog food by combining black beans, lean meats, and rice. This is also a potential option if your dog is taking a break from regular dog food due to some stomach issues.
Beyond Black Beans: Dogs Can Eat a Wide Variety of Beans
While the black bean is a real superstar in terms of protein and nutrients, it’s actually just one of many bean varieties that dogs can eat. All types of beans are pretty much on the table for dogs. This includes black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, and soybeans. If you’re looking for something a little “greener” for your dog, green beans are actually really good for dogs.
Watch Out for Gas When Your Dogs Eat Beans
The downside to black beans is that they can make some dogs very gassy. Be careful to not “overdo it” when it comes to feeding your dog beans. Start with just a few beans to see how your dog tolerates this high-fiber food before making it a regular thing. If your dog is already prone to gas, you might want to skip the beans.
Final Thoughts on Feeding Your Dog Black Beans
First, don’t panic if your dog accidentally ate beans! Beans are generally great for dogs. In fact, your dog may be missing out if he’s not occasionally getting some black beans for a treat. Always check with your vet to see if beans are appropriate for your dog prior to introducing this food into his diet. You want to make sure that your dog doesn’t have anything in his health history that prevents beans from being beneficial. Lastly, keep in mind that beans are considered treats instead of “meal replacements” for dogs!
Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs and Black Beans
1. What happens if a dog eats black beans?
Nothing! Black beans are considered perfectly safe for dogs. You do not need to panic if your dog accidentally ate black beans. What’s more, black beans are actually very healthy and delicious for dogs.
2. Can black beans make a dog sick?
Only if a dog eats large quantities of black beans. Black beans are considered very safe for dogs. However, canned black beans can potentially make your dog sick if they are not rinsed. The high salt content in beans can sicken dogs. Try to stick to only feeding your dogs raw beans that have been rinsed and cooked to avoid the health issues caused by black beans for dogs.
3. Are canned beans safe for dogs?
Canned beans are technically safe for dogs. However, high levels of salt can be very dangerous for dogs. It’s not recommended that you feed your dog canned beans. If you do feed your dog beans from a can, be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before they are given to your dog. Canned beans contain high amounts of salt that can cause vomiting, confusion, diarrhea, and coma for dogs! Please see a vet immediately if your dog is having symptoms of poisoning after eating canned beans.
4. Are beans good for dogs?
Yes, beans are full of protein and nutrients that are the building blocks for a healthy canine body.
5. What types of beans can dogs have?
Dogs can typically eat all types of beans. In addition to black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, and soybeans are all safe for dogs.
6. How should beans for dogs be prepared?
Purchase raw beans for your dog. You can then soak and cook them. Dogs cannot digest raw black beans!