By hannah hollinger
Published: 06/05/2019, edited: 08/20/2021
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Just like humans do, dogs enjoy a little variety in their diet. Can you picture facing a bowl of the same kibble day after day? We don’t imagine you can, so how about considering adding some protein variations to your dog’s daily dish?
Although our canine friends cannot express their likes and dislikes, their food cravings, or their desire to experience different tastes, as pet parents we should consider these possibilities. A quality protein is always a welcome addition to the dog bowl and can offer a pleasing change to the day to day food regimen.
When pondering the idea of adding variety to our pet’s food bowl, we need to think outside the box now and then. Rather than adding meat to your pup’s dinner, give thought to a plant-based protein.
We’ll delve into the benefits of serving your dog beans and some of the precautions that need to be taken. As well, we will take a quick look at the type of beans your dog can and cannot eat and then, discover ways to serve these healthy legumes to your best buddy.
Giving your dog a small serving of beans a few times a week can be beneficial to their health. Beans are full of nutrients in addition to protein, like iron, potassium, and B-vitamins. They are high in fiber, an important component in a properly working digestive system. Additionally, beans contain disease-fighting antioxidants and are known to help regulate blood sugar levels.
So, if you are asking the question, “can dogs eat pinto beans?” The answer is yes. There are rules and parameters to consider, however, when looking at feeding your dog beans. Never feed your dog raw beans and avoid canned beans when possible. We’ll look more closely at the reasons why as we examine a few types of beans below.
Kidney beans and navy beans are common substitutes for pinto beans in recipes. This means that they are all safe for your dog to consume. Kidney beans are darker in color than navy beans and pinto beans, meaning that they are richer in antioxidants than the lighter colored beans. But, there are important considerations to take regarding the use of these beans as a protein addition to your pup’s meal.
Never feed your dog raw beans. When preparing them for cooking, they must be soaked overnight first. Use cold water and soak one pound of dried beans in a large pot filled with ten cups of water. Soak them at least four hours, although overnight is better.
Beans can be almost impossible to digest if not soaked and cooked properly. Lectins are naturally occurring proteins found in beans and some plants. Soaking the beans lessens the amount of lectins once cooked, making them easier to digest.
Soaking and cooking the beans also reduces the likelihood of excessive gas after eating. No one wants a pup with an uncomfortable gassy stomach. It’s not nice for your dog, or for you either. A hard or barely cooked serving of beans can cause your pet to experience nausea and even vomiting, in some cases.
We’ve covered kidney, navy and pinto beans which all deliver a flavor that varies from the other. You may ask if pinto beans are okay, can my dog eat refried beans? Even though recipes for refried beans call for pinto beans, this popular dish is not suitable for your furry companion – not even as a small topping on their meal.
The spices used in the preparation can cause your pup’s stomach to be irritated. Dogs cannot have cumin, which is a key ingredient in refried beans. Onions and bacon fat are also part of the recipe and these are not suitable for any dog’s diet.
While humans love a good bowl of hearty chili, this is not a meal for canines. Despite the fact that chili is typically made with kidney beans (and sometimes pinto and navy), the spiciness of the dish is too much for your dog’s stomach.
Diarrhea and stomach pain can occur if a dog consumes spices. Dogs cannot eat chili powder, and the garlic and onions typically added to make this tasty meal can be toxic to dogs. A dog’s red blood cells can be destroyed by consuming garlic and onions – even in the smallest amounts.
Consider your four-legged pal’s sense of smell, too. With their super-enhanced olfactory receptors, a bowl of spicy chili will not only upset their stomach but make their eyes water to a large degree.
Canned beans are not the ideal option as a treat or topping on a dog’s meal either. The sodium count is often high and additional preservatives can cause stomach discomfort. These are unnecessary to your pet’s diet and have no benefit. Baked beans, a popular canned form of beans, are not suitable because of the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and preservatives. Additionally, there is sometimes added pork.
Adding a tablespoon or two to your pet’s bowl every few days is a nutritional way to give your pup variety and a change of taste. Keep the beans to ten percent of the weekly food allocation, though; they are not meant to replace the protein in a good quality dog food.
Add beans to other preparations meant for your dog, such as an oatmeal mix or in combination with dog-safe vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato. As with any change in food regimen, start slow and watch to see that your pet tolerates the food.
There is a chance that your dog will not tolerate beans. If this is the case, look for healthy alternatives like green beans (really a vegetable but typically loved by dogs for their fresh and crunchy taste).
Dogs also enjoy cooked plain oatmeal; add a few teaspoons to their breakfast as you prepare your own. If you are having brown rice with your meal, set aside a portion for your dog before you add spices and flavoring. Cooked lentils are another source of protein that can be added in small quantities.
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