Can Dogs Taste Beans?

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Introduction

Certain kinds of beans can have health benefits for your dog since they are high in protein, fiber, and have tons of minerals and vitamins. However, there are some varieties of beans that are strictly off-limits for dogs. Beans should only be given to your dog in small quantities as too many beans can cause a ton of gas and upset tummies - and we know this is not going to be fun for anyone. 

If you do want to include beans in your dog's diet from time to time, we will discuss the benefits of some beans, what beans you need to avoid, and how to best serve beans to your pup! 

Signs of a Dog Liking Beans

Deciphering whether or not your dog likes a kind of food or if they are not a fan is very easy. You spend tons of time with your dog and you know them well, so telling if they love a new food will vary a little from dog to dog. However, there are a handful of common signs to look out for to tell if your dog likes beans or if they do not. 

If you try to give your dog beans and they like the taste and the texture of the beans, they will gobble it up quickly and without any signs of hesitation. Your dog is then likely to beg for more of the food. 

Some ways they may beg for more beans is by standing close to you and the food until they are given more, pawing at you, staring, wagging their tail and perking their ears up. They may also have an alert gaze at you and the beans, and they will likely drool and lick their lips, often excessively. Other common signs of a dog begging for more food than like are pacing, spinning in circles, and jumping up at you or on you.

If you find your dog does not like beans, they are probably going to attempt to try the beans, but then they will spit out the beans out after trying them. Perhaps your dog will walk away from the food to indicate they are not interested or they may try and play with the beans they did not eat. Pawing at the food, flinging it around, growling, exposing their teeth, or giving it the snarly "ugly face" is a sign they do not like beans. 

Body Language

These are some signs you may notice if your dog likes beans:
  • Staring
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Wag tail
  • Pacing
  • Lip licking
  • Drooling
  • Ears up

Other Signs

Here are some other signs you may notice if your dog likes beans:
  • Pawing at your leg
  • Drooling and lip-licking excessively
  • Staying close to you and staring

History of Dogs And Beans

There are many different varieties of beans, all of which are considered legumes. We know that beans are actually one of the earliest plants that were cultivated on Earth and they date back thousands of years. 

Beans were first grown and used for food about 9,000 years ago in Thailand. Wild beans, such as fava beans, were found in Afghanistan, and we have also found the remnants of beans in the tombs of kings in Ancient Egypt. Beans were left in tombs so the Kings could eat in the afterlife. Beans were then cultivated starting around 4,000 years ago when many different bean varieties were planted for food. Some common beans were soybeans, lima beans, and fava beans. 

Whether or not undomesticated dogs would eat wild beans while out hunting and gathering food is largely unknown and is something that has not been studied. It is safe to say that dogs likely did not eat beans as a main source of food and would stick to eating wild meat and freshly caught fish from time to time. It is possible that as dogs became more domesticated and wolves started eating the scraps of discarded human food, they may have been introduced to beans and would eat any leftovers. 

Science Behind Dogs and Beans

Beans contain a lot of protein, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Beans also contain levels of antioxidants that can help fight off many kinds of cancer and remove free radicals from the body. Beans can also help to regulate your dog's blood sugar levels, so beans are helpful for dogs who suffer from diabetes. Of course, you will want to discuss any specifics with your vet so you can come up with an appropriate feeding plan. 

Dogs need to eat a lot of protein, so adding beans to your dog's diet can help boost their protein levels without adding any more meat to their meals. Beans are also lower in fat than meat, so they are a healthy and nutritious way to keep up protein levels. 

Training Dogs to Like Beans

Some ways are better than others when trying to include beans in your dog's diet. First and foremost, if your dog does not like beans, do not force them to eat it. There are many other foods with similar nutrient profiles that your dog may like more. If your dog does like beans, you can add small amounts of cooked beans to your dog's meals. You also want to cook dried beans first so they become soft and easier to digest. You should wash the beans before serving as well. 

You can also opt for canned beans, but you need to look very carefully at the ingredient list. You do not want to give your dog canned beans with seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, onions, or any added sugars. These ingredients are not healthy for dogs and foods like onions can even be toxic. 

Buying dried beans is much cheaper though, especially if you are feeding beans to more than one dog. It is easy to make a big batch of plain, dried beans for your dogs to eat over a few weeks. Dried beans also contain far less sodium than canned beans. Even reduced sodium options can have higher levels of sodium that are unsafe and unnecessary. Dried beans should be soaked in cold water overnight, washed a few times before cooking, and then boiled in unsalted water on the stove for a few hours until they are soft. 

With that being said, you should never give your dog baked beans, spicy beans, or pre-seasoned chili beans. 

You should stick with the following types of cooked beans when looking for safe beans for your dog to eat: 

  • Pinto 
  • Black
  • Kidney
  • Soybeans
  • Garbanzo
  • Green beans 
  • Lima beans 
  • Lentils 

How to React if Your Dog Doesn't Like Beans:

  • Take any uneaten beans away from them.
  • Don't force them to eat the beans.

Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Beans:

  • Do not give baked beans or seasoned beans.
  • Always cook beans before serving.
  • Do not overfeed beans to your dog.