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!
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Signs of a Dog Liking Beans
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.
- Wag tail
- Lip licking
- Ears up
- Pawing at your leg
- Drooling and lip-licking excessively
- Staying close to you and staring
History of Dogs And Beans
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
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
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:
- Green beans
- Lima beans
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.