Green beans are a healthy, nutrient-rich, budget-friendly vegetable that can be prepared in various ways. If you have a dog that likes to beg for bites from your plate or have children that might sneak vegetables under the table to the family pet, you might be wondering - can dogs eat green beans? What to do if your dog eats green beans? Are green beans good for your dog? When are green beans bad for dogs?
Below, we'll discuss whether dogs should eat green beans and how to go about feeding green beans to them.
Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?
Yes, your dog can eat green beans. Green beans are not toxic to dogs and have many health benefits. However, a dog's diet does not require green beans, and they should not be on a green bean diet, as eating too many green beans can lead to health concerns.
Health Benefits Of Eating Green Beans
Green beans are filled with nutrients. They are sometimes referred to as a "crossover food," meaning that they combine the health benefits of legumes with the health benefits common to most vegetables. This is because when you eat a green bean, you eat both the immature bean (legume) and the entire bean pod (vegetable).
High Water Content
A solid 95% of a green bean is water! This makes green beans a hydrating food, surprisingly.
Green beans are a great way to get the essential vitamins A, C, and K, as well as some B vitamins. These vitamins work to strengthen bones, promote healthy eyesight, and boost the immune system.
Green beans contain three antioxidants that can help prevent free radicals from causing cell damage and leading to chronic health conditions.
Low In Fat And Calories
For overweight dogs, green beans are great alternatives to dog biscuits or traditional treats and may even help your dog lose weight. It is low in all kinds of fats and has very few calories, and green beans can be a healthy treat to help your dog reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
Green beans offer lots of fiber! Fiber helps regulate digestion, as well as creates a feeling of fullness. This makes fiber another great way to help lose weight!
In green beans, minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, potassium, zinc, and copper are all found in good amounts. These minerals do amazing things! Manganese supports bone health and promotes wound healing; iron is great for the entire circulatory system.
The Downside Of Dogs Eating Green Beans
Despite all of the nutritional benefits of green beans, there is the potential that feeding dogs green beans could backfire. Most of these can be avoided, however, by only offering green beans in moderation.
Too Much Fiber
Green beans are high in fiber, which is not necessarily bad! However, if a dog eats too many beans, it may experience digestive upset, mostly appearing as loose stool or diarrhea.
While green beans are not a common food allergen, any food that is not part of a canine's natural diet has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms, and take your pet to your veterinarian if you notice any of them:
- Swelling of the face
- Nausea and vomiting
Green beans contain two compounds that, if eaten in excess, can cause problems. Phytic acid can prevent important minerals from being absorbed. Lectin can lead to gastrointestinal upset, which can spiral into bigger problems.
This downside isn't really anything against green beans themselves. But, a dog's regular diet does not contain green beans or hardly any grains or vegetables at all. If your pet eats too many green beans, they will be too full (high in fiber, remember?) to eat their dog food. While green beans provide many nutrients, they are not well-rounded dog food. Your dog will start to show signs of nutritional deficiencies.
Whole green beans can pose a choking hazard for small dog breeds and puppies. Dogs are not meant to chew their food, as their teeth are meant to bite, rip, and swallow. Uncut green beans can get stuck in the throat of small dogs.
What Is The Best Way To Feed Your Dog Green Beans?
So now that we know green beans are a healthy snack for your pet and are a great healthy choice for an overweight dog when given in moderation, how do we feed green beans to our dogs?
Green beans are prepared and served in a wide variety of ways. They can be raw, canned, cooked using many methods, or frozen. Dogs can eat green beans in some forms but not in others.
Raw Green Beans
Raw green beans contain phytic acid and lectin, which can only be neutralized by cooking. However, if you only offer dog raw green beans as an occasional healthy treat, this shouldn't be a concern.
Frozen Green Beans
Frozen raw or cooked first and then frozen, frozen beans are a nice treat on a hot day. Some dogs love a nice and cold summer treat, including green beans, frozen in an ice cube tray. It is a cooling treat and mentally stimulating as they work towards the piece of green bean stuck in the middle of the ice cube.
Cooked Green Beans
One of the best ways to prepare green beans for dogs is by cooking them. By cooking green beans, you neutralize the harmful compounds found within them. Steaming them helps the green bean retain most of its nutrients, but boiling is fine too. If you boil green beans long enough, they become soft enough, so it is not a choking concern.
Canned Green Beans
Giving green beans to your pet that were canned is never a good idea unless you canned them yourself in water alone. Canned beans in the grocery store usually have a large amount of salt and preservatives added to them, which are not beneficial for your dog.
Can Puppies Eat Green Beans?
While it is perfectly safe to feed your puppy green beans, be sure to introduce small pieces at a time. Also, monitor your puppy afterward to ensure it doesn't experience any allergies.
Are Green Bean Plants Safe For Your Dog?
If you are growing green beans in your garden, it is possible that your dog is interested in munching on them. It is best to keep your dog away from the plant (leaves, stems, flowers) and only provide them with bean green beans instead.