The short answer: It depends.
The long answer: Rich in protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, beans are pod-borne seeds of leguminous plants. There are more than 19,000 varieties of legumes, but not all of them are safe for your dog. Dog-friendly beans include edamame beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, garbanzo beans, green beans, butter beans, lima beans, and lentils.
On the other hand, avoid feeding your dog any of the following: raw kidney beans, fava beans, baked beans, refried beans, canned beans, and chili beans. These may contain high levels of sugar, salt, spices, and preservatives not suitable for dogs. Coffee beans are also a big no-no as they contain high levels of caffeine which are lethal for them.
How to feed beans to your dog: Wash the dried beans by soaking them in a bowl and draining the water completely. Repeat the process several times. Cook the beans by boiling or steaming them without any flavourings or sauces. Make sure to serve soft and thoroughly cooked beans to your dog.
Do not serve him raw beans because they may contain the toxin phytohaemagglutinin, which is effectively destroyed after the beans are properly cleaned and cooked.
Here are three ideas for bean-based treats your dog will love:
- Try this easy crockpot dog food for your pet featuring kidney beans.
- Serve the beans mashed as a protein-packed treat, but be sure it doesn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s recommended daily calorie intake.
- Create turkey meatballs using green beans, turkey, and other healthy ingredients.
In summary: Beans are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. They support the heart, eyes, and immune system, and aid in muscle and bone development. Though beans contain high levels of plant-based protein, keep in mind that your dog requires meat-based protein to stay healthy.