Black beans are an excellent source of fibers, proteins, minerals, and vitamins such as C, K, and manganese. Since they are full of protein and fibers they are great for burning fat, regulating blood sugar, and strengthening the immune system. These protein powerhouses are very beneficial to your health and they are a perfect addition to your diet especially if you are looking to cut on meat consumption.
Anyhow, since we are not here to talk about us, humans, let’s focus on our today’s topic – and that is can dogs eat black beans?
What Are Black Beans?
Black beans are also known as “turtle beans” because of their purple-black shiny shell. These legumes are small, oval, dry, and very high in nutritional value. They are a great source of protein and fibers which makes them very beneficial to the gastrointestinal tract for both dogs and humans.
Black beans are great since they are flavorful, versatile, easy to store, grow, and prepare. In general, if you want to include more human foods into your dog’s diet black beans are the one you should consider first since there is no real risk for their health, except bloating and gasses.
Can Dogs Eat Black Beans?
Like all other human food, dogs can eat black beans but in moderation. Make sure there are no added spices or salt during preparation, just plain black beans. This high-quality nutrition superfood is also beneficial to your doggo.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Black Beans For Dogs?
Black beans are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients like saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and quercetin. Antioxidants will prevent constipation but overdose might lead to stomach upset. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient for dogs.
They are also fully packed with mineral selenium that boosts liver enzyme function and helps to detoxify some cancer-causing compounds that can be found in the body. Magnesium is another vital mineral for dogs since it helps their body to properly function, boosting the nerve system and muscle mobilization. Any change in your dogs’ muscle strength or tone can be caused by a lack of magnesium.
Black beans are high in fibers which will help overweight dogs to burn excessive fat since their stomach is not able to digest them fully.
Since I already mentioned how black beans are high in fibers, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6 I can freely say that black beans are cholesterol-free, and including them in your dog’s diet will help you support their heart health. Since they are loaded with all these fibers, minerals, and vitamins they also help regulate blood sugar levels lowering the risk of diabetes.
If you include black beans in their diet in small portions and from time to time they can be used as a healthy alternative to high-fat treats which is great since going all-natural is always a better option than buying processed treats.
How To Feed Black Beans To Dogs
You can buy canned or dry black beans. It is always the best option to buy dry black beans. On the other hand, you can buy canned black beans but you must be aware that they are often high in sodium and other additives which can harm your dog’s health. If you must buy canned black beans look for ‘sodium-reduced’ and make sure you drain and rinse them well before use.
I recommend you soak your dry black beans overnight or at least about eight hours before cooking them. This will make them easier to digest and it will enhance the flavor significantly. Soaking them overnight will as well reduce the number of oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate commonly found in legumes, onions, garlic, wheat, asparagus, etc.) reducing the chances of an upset tummy and bloating.
Every time before you soak the beans make sure you wash, sort, and dry them so you can be sure you discarded debris and damaged beans.
It is very simple to cook black beans. Just place them in a stockpot and cover them with water. Then bring the water to the boiling point, reduce the heat, and simmer slowly, uncovered, and stir occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the bottom. This process will take no more than an hour and a half. If you notice that water disappeared add more since keeping beans submerged throughout the cooking process is a must.
Always mash the beans into a smooth paste to avoid choking hazards since we all know how dogs when they are hungry tend to not chew their food well.
A great way to incorporate black beans into your pup’s diet especially if you know they are not the biggest fans of it is to mix it in in some of their favorite homemade meals you prepare for them such as meatballs. You can use any kind of meat you prefer or you have in leftovers.
- 1 pound leftover meat (turkey, chicken, beef) without bones and skin
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons of low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup mixed veggies in which you will add black beans
- ¼ cup fresh parsley optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put leftover meat into the food processor and pulse a couple of times to break up the meat and add oats. Now it is time to add the wet ingredients such as eggs and yogurt and mix them until it becomes smooth and incorporated. Add veggies and parsley and roll them into small balls and place it on the cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and voila.
What Are Concerns With Feeding Black Beans To Dogs?
Generally, black beans are okay for your dog as long as you keep the amount small and do not add any spices or salt. Always mix black beans and rice, or with sweet potato or polenta to make it tastier, and keep it plain as much as you can to avoid any stomach ache and bloating.
If you must buy canned black beans always rinse them thoroughly to wash away all possible salt and spices. Always thoroughly read the label on the can before giving the beans to your dog since many brands can contain garlic, onions, or hot peppers which are toxic to your doggo.
Never ever feed your dog with raw black beans since it can obstruct their intensities or airways. Remember that excessive amounts of black beans will cause bloating, abdominal pain, gases, and diarrhea. That is why it is highly recommended that black beans should be given as a side dish or as a treat more than as a main dish.
Like with all other foods, your dog might experience an allergic reaction to black beans. When feeding them with black beans for the first time, give them small quantities and monitor their behavior for the next 24 hours or so. If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms that I will list in the row below contact your veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- Appetite loss
Moderation is essential when you feed your dog with human-graded food. The best way to incorporate black beans into your dog’s diet is to add them into the kibble or any other type of meal you serve them during the day. Remember, do not give them black beans each and every day. One or two times per week will be more than enough.
Too many legumes can be rough on your puppies’ tummy and make them bloated and gassy. Also do not be surprised if your dog does not like the taste of black beans. Of course, he will likely try the black beans and if he does not like it he will spit the beans out. If they do not like it and you try to mix it in with other foods they will sense it and walk away from the food so do not try to force the black beans on them.
In the end, as long as you treat black beans as a supplement and not the main food ingredient your furry best friend will highly benefit from it.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods