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Beans are used for human cooking all over the world. They are a healthy, versatile, and delicious food item that your dog might be asking for a taste of.
Dogs will usually eat anything, so it is important to know what you can offer them without putting their health at risk, and what would be better left on your own plate.
So, can you feed your dog black beans?
Yes, the good news here is that black beans are completely safe for dogs.
Nutrients in Black Beans
The nutrient in Black Beans that can best benefit a dog is protein, as protein is what gives dogs the energy to run around and have fun.
Many people associate protein solely with animal products, but beans – like the black bean – are also packed with this essential nutrient.
Dogs are not biologically made to be vegetarian, and they do need protein from meat and animal products too, but by adding black beans to your dog’s diet – you get a chance to provide them with an extra nutritional boost.
In black beans, you also find a good supply of dietary fiber, which can benefit overweight dogs as it burns fat. These dietary fibers may not serve much of a purpose for dogs that are already in shape, but they could speed up the metabolism and aid the digestion for those that could benefit from losing a few pounds.
Black beans are full of antioxidants, and when fed in the right amount they can promote a healthy gut and resolve problems with constipation. This is also the reason why it is so important to feed in moderation, as too many black beans can cause loose stools and diarrhea.
Black beans are also a good source of potassium, and they are known to help regulate the blood sugar levels in the body, which could lessen the risk of diabetes and other similar health conditions.
Downsides of Feeding Your Dog Beans?
Avoid refried black beans, as these are often full of condiments like oils, salt, and more. You should skip adding anything to beans during the cooking process if you intend to share them with your dog.
Raw beans should also be avoided, as they could cause obstruction both in the throat and the intestines and be difficult to digest.
The other potential downside is the gas black beans could provoke. It is not a myth that beans make dogs (and people) gassy, even though it does sound a little funny, but it is a fact due to the high protein content and the dietary fiber.
This only tends to be an issue if you overfeed beans to your dog, or if your pup has a sensitive stomach that isn’t used to having new foods introduced. Give it some time after starting to feed beans, and if the problem persists – consider a different treat for your furry friends instead.
Unless your dog needs an alternative protein source that isn’t animal-based, there isn’t any good reason for why you should have to feed them beans. If they don’t seem to do well when fed beans, it is better to skip them and look for a treat that doesn’t cause stomach upset or unpleasant side-effects like gas.
How to Add Black Beans to Your Dog’s Diet
The best way to use beans is by cooking them yourself, with no salt or pepper, and mashing them up and mixing them together with fresh meat and rice.
You can then add a tiny bit of this to your dog’s regular kibble, to convince a picky eater to finish their meals. If you make your own dog food, make sure it contains all the additional nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy.
You can also use cooked beans as fun and nutritious treats when training and playing, as a substitute for other store-bought dog treats which often contain additives that could result in weight gain.
Beans are easy to carry with you in your pocket, just like dog treats, but you need to make sure they have been properly rinsed and cooked before they reach your fur friend’s mouth.
How Much Is Too Much?
The amount of black beans you can feed your dog depends on a few different things.
Do you own a small Chihuahua sized dog? Or, is your dog closer to the size of a Saint Bernard?
The body weight of a dog always needs to be considered when you decide how much of something to feed, so use common sense. It also depends on whether you plan to use black beans as a treat, or as part of a homemade dog diet.
Dogs should get most of their nutrients from their everyday dog food, so if beans are just an occasional treat – make sure you don’t overdo it.
Only 10% of what a dog eats in a day should be treated, and the rest would be their regular kibble or wet food.
Black Beans in Dog Food
Black beans are sometimes used as an ingredient in natural dog food products, and it comes with both a plus and a minus. Black beans are very nutritious, and they will likely raise the overall protein content in the dog food you give your dog.
The bad thing about this is that it likely means the dog food contains less meat than you could be led to believe, as a part of the overall protein content will be vegetable-based.
Other than that, the existence of black beans in a dog food product is usually a good sign, as it is not considered a cheap filler and is rarely found in low-quality dog food brands.
So yes, black beans are great for your dog, when fed in moderation. It supplies an active pup with protein, fiber, and antioxidants, and it is a natural food with few to no downsides.
Dogs don’t necessarily need beans, though, but it is good to know that they can have some without any negative health consequences.