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Can Dogs Eat Beans? | Are Beans Good for Dogs?

can dogs have beans

Beans are a dietary staple of many humans around the world.  Whether they’re being prepared plain or as a part of a meal, many people wonder whether they can share this food with their dogs.  Can dogs have beans?  With so many different varieties of this seemingly simple food, it’s tough to know off the top of your head!  We’ve made your life easy and compiled a comprehensive guide to help answer the question, “can dogs eat beans?”  Enjoy!

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Can Dogs Eat Beans? (The Short Answer)

Most beans are safe for dogs to eat with a few conditions.  They should be cooked with no added ingredients and not served canned or raw.  However, there are some beans which are completely safe for our pups to eat in any form and some other beans which are toxic and could be deadly to your pup.  For that reason, it’s important to research the particular type of bean you’d like to feed your dog.  For a list of the most common types and whether they are safe for dogs, keep reading!

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Are Beans Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs have beans?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Are beans good for dogs?

While beans should never replace meat in a dog’s diet, they do have great nutritional value to our pups when fed in moderation or as a treat!

Beans are high in fiber which helps regulate bowel movements and prevents constipation.  It also regulates blood sugar levels.  Beans contain a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.  Your dog food should provide all of these on a daily basis, but it never hurts to have other sources!

Finally, beans are known for their protein.  While they don’t provide enough to completely replace meat out of a dog’s daily diet, they are a tremendous source to incorporate in addition to meat.

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Are Beans Bad for Dogs?

Beans are high in calories which is why they should be fed in moderation or as treats, not as a complete meal replacement.  They also can cause excessive gas so keep that in mind before feeding more than a few!

Beans can also be a risk to pets when fed raw or canned.  Raw beans are almost indigestible and canned beans contain too much sodium, preservatives, and added ingredients to make them healthy.

What’s more dangerous is that some specific types of beans are toxic and can be deadly to pets if fed.  This is why it’s important to always look up the specific type of bean you’re considering giving to your dog before feeding them!

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Varieties of Beans & Bean Products:

Can Dogs Eat Lima Beans? / Can Dogs Eat Butter Beans?

Yes, lima beans are safe for dogs!  However, it’s best to avoid the canned variety as they can contain preservatives and other additional ingredients that aren’t good for our pups.  As long as you buy dried beans, soak them, and then cook them without seasonings, lima beans are a great healthy treat to share with your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Black Beans?

Yes, black beans make a healthy treat for your dog!  They are safe as long as they are cooked without seasonings and not canned.  Avoid feeding your dog raw beans as they are practically indigestible.  Instead, soak them overnight and cook them plain.

Can Dogs Eat Pinto Beans?

Yes!  Just like with many other varieties of beans, you have to make sure they are prepared right.  Don’t feed your dog raw or canned pinto beans.  Instead, buy dried beans, soak them overnight, then cook them without added ingredients the next day for a tasty and healthy treat for your pup!

Can Dogs Eat Kidney Beans?

Be careful!  While it’s not suggested to feed your dog raw beans in general, raw kidney beans are toxic to dogs and must be avoided at all costs.  However, if you cook the kidney beans without any added seasonings or ingredients, they are not only safe for your pup, they’re also healthy!  Avoid canned beans that contain preservatives and other unsafe ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Baked Beans?

No!  Baked beans are high in both fat and sugar, making them unhealthy for dogs.  Not only that, but they can also contain tomato paste, onions, and garlic which are all unhealthy, or even worse, toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas / Can Dogs Eat Garbanzo Beans?

Like many other types of beans, garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are safe for dogs!  As with other types of beans, don’t feed them raw or canned.  Make sure to avoid adding additional ingredients as well. For more information, see our article “Can Dogs Have Chickpeas?

Can Dogs Eat Refried Beans?

No!  Dogs shouldn’t eat refried beans for two reasons.  First, they come in a can which means there are preservatives that aren’t healthy for our four-legged friends.  More importantly is that refried beans often contain onion, garlic, and other potentially toxic seasonings.

Are Soybeans Safe for Pups?

While not common anyway, soybeans shouldn’t be given to your dog raw.  However, soy products are generally safe for your dog to consume as long as other ingredients are also safe.  Keep in mind, there is a debate about the long-term effects soy can have on dogs so it’s best to not feed it regularly to be on the safe side.  Check out our article on whether dogs can have edamame!

Are String Beans / Green Beans Safe for Your Pup?

Yes!  Green beans, also known as string beans, might be the safest of all the beans discussed in this article!  They are safe for your dog raw, cooked, canned, chopped, or however you’d like!  They contain lots of health benefits as well including calcium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.  Just make sure no additional ingredients are included.

Can Dogs Eat Bean Sprouts?

Yes, bean sprouts can be given to your dog in moderation!  They’re great at helping to prevent liver diseases and kidney disease.  They can be served both raw and cooked.  As always, make sure no additional ingredients are included. 

Are Coffee Beans Safe for Your Pup?

No!  Coffee beans contain caffein which is extremely toxic to dogs.  Consuming coffee beans can be very dangerous and easily life-threatening.  If your dog eats coffee beans contact your veterinarian immediately!

Can Dogs Eat Chili Beans?

No, you should not feed your dog chili beans.  Chili beans could have garlic and onion in them which, even in powdered form, is toxic and dangerous to dogs.  Not only that, but they tend to be spicy which dogs do not handle well.  At minimum your dog will likely have an upset stomach, but much worse could result depending on the ingredient list.

Can Dogs Eat Great Northern Beans?

Great Northern beans are safe for dogs to eat as long as you take the typical precautions with beans.  Don’t feed them raw or canned and cook them without added ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Navy Beans?

Yes, navy beans are safe for dogs.  Just remember that cooking them yourself is the safe method of preparation with no added ingredients.  Don’t feed your dog raw or canned navy beans.

Can Dogs Eat Fava Beans?

Fava beans, also called broad beans, are not safe for dogs to eat.  This is due to a compound called PHA that is toxic to our furry friends.  Unlike other beans where they may be toxic raw but are safe cooked, Fava beans are toxic both cooked and raw so keep your dog away completely!

Are Jelly Beans Safe for Your Pup?

While obviously not a real bean, they are a sweet treat in the shape of beans!  However, just because they are fun and tasty for humans doesn’t mean they are safe for dogs.  Jelly beans are very dangerous for dogs and should never be given to them.  Not only is the sugar unhealthy, but they contain toxic ingredients like caffeine, xylitol, and pectin that could easily make your dog ill or put their life at risk.  If your dog eats jelly beans, contact your veterinarian immediately.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Beans?

It depends on the type of bean.  Most beans are safe if fed cooked with no additives and not canned.  However, there are a few varieties of beans which are toxic and a few which can be eaten raw no problem!  In short, do your research depending on which variety of bean you are looking to feed to your pup!

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.