Soybeans are one of the most important parts of the Asian diet and healthy diets in general.
Since they’re healthy, why not share some with your furry friend, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
The common misconception is that what’s good for us should be good for our dogs as well, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There are quite a few foods that we enjoy and benefit from that could really hurt our pups.
Since there are numerous differences between us and our dogs, it’s best to inform yourself before giving them anything that is not regular dog food.
With that in mind, can dogs eat edamame?
Can Dogs Eat Edamame?
The short answer – it depends. In most cases, yes, but there can be exceptions. Humans and canines are omnivorous, meaning our digestive systems allow us to eat both meat and plants. It’s because we both have midsized intestines which are ideal for this type of diet.
Where we differ is in how fast we process food and what we can eat. Sugar and sweets in general are known to be harmful to dogs since they cause inflammation.
Although there’s a very low percentage of sugar and not that many carbohydrates in edamame, dogs should eat them in very moderate amounts.
We highly suggest you let your dog have a small portion of edamame, see how it reacts to it, and only then decide if it’s something you want your dog to have on a regular basis.
All of the potential benefits and drawbacks of edamame that we will mention later in this article can often apply to dogs as well.
What Is Edamame?
Edamame is a Japanese name for immature soybeans; they differ from regular soybeans in color, they can be bought with or without a shell.
Japanese have been consuming edamame for thousands of years. They often serve it as a light snack in restaurants for guests to chew on before the main dish.
Edamame has become a common ingredient in the US. You can pretty much find it in any grocery store, be it fresh or frozen.
Americans have been growing this crop for a few decades now and like most soy products it’s becoming more and more popular.
Edamame is a soy product and a very nutritional one. However, like most soy products it can have some drawbacks as well. We will go over those in a second.
Let’s look at some nutritional facts of Edamame:
NUTRITIONAL FACTS ( in 100g)
Health Benefits Of Edamame
Edamame is mostly considered a healthy food.
It’s a great option for vegans and vegetarians since it’s surprisingly full of protein.
They have a reasonable amount of fat, predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
They’re low in carbs as well. A low amount of sugar and carbs adds to the feeling of “fulness” after a meal and keeps your blood sugar low, meaning it’ll keep you satiated for longer.
Also, they contain quite a few vitamins and minerals. Again, this is good news for people with plant-based nutrition since edamame can help boost their daily vitamin intake.
Since edamame is full of fiber it can help with managing your dog’s weight.
Food that contains a lot of fiber satiates for longer and generally helps in lower calorie intake.
Edamame can also help in lowering dog cholesterol since healthy fats and isoflavones in edamame are known to reduce the risk of heart attack and regulate blood pressure.
Estrogen (for hoomans)
Although full of health benefits, edamame has some potential drawbacks as well.
Since edamame is a soy product, it’s full of the predominantly female hormone estrogen.
Although men also produce estrogen, they do it considerably less than women.
Estrogen is essential for bone health, cognitive, and cardiovascular health.
However, excess levels of estrogen are linked to acne, osteoporosis (weakened bones), and even sometimes depression.
Elevated levels of this hormone often cause obesity and heart problems.
What’s more, estrogen can increase the risk of cancer so it’s definitely something to be aware of.
Genetics (for dogs and hoomans)
If you have a sensitive stomach, soy products might not be the best option for you.
This also applies to dogs as well. Your pup might not be able to process edamame in the right way. That’s why we suggest giving them a very small amount first to see how they react to it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that soy is a known diuretic and can often cause bloating for both humans and dogs.
Monitoring your pup’s behavior after giving them edamame for the first time is highly recommended.
Adding to that – soy products may impair thyroid function. This mostly applies to us humans.
This can often result in sleepiness, enlarged thyroid gland, and stomach pains.
Allergies (for dogs and hoomans)
Food allergy is a very common thing.
Yes, your dog can have a food allergy.
There are a lot of people with a peanut allergy, what about our dogs?
Soy products contain food allergens that can often have undesirable reactions.
Common signs of food allergies in dogs are:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Ear inflammation
- Licking their feet
How To Properly Serve Edamame To Your Dog?
There are several ways of serving edamame to your faithful friend.
Serve Only The Pods
Since they are rather hard on our teeth, pods can prove to be a good treat for our dogs and in a way, we’re not wasting food.
We suggest letting the dog try it out first, if it likes the pods, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make them a part of your dog’s diet.
If you don’t have the time, you may serve edamame raw. It’s not toxic in any way so you shouldn’t worry about harming your dog.
Cooked Or Steamed
When serving them cooked or steamed, make sure you don’t add any salt.
Unlike us, dogs don’t suffer from salt deficiency and don’t need it in their diet.
The Final Word
It’s always tempting to give your pup the same food you are eating.
Especially one like edamame that has so many potential benefits, but we highly suggest you get a green light from your dog’s veterinarian first as it can do them harm as well.
It has been proven that vegetables can play a role in maintaining your dog’s weight and health.
Even though edamame is considered generally harmless for dogs and can potentially help with their diet, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you decide to give it a try, remember to give them a small amount first, to test how they react to it and whether or not you should incorporate it into their diet.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods