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Can Dogs Eat Lentils? Are Lentils Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Lentils? Are Lentils Bad For Dogs?

We get it, you like healthy food. Things are crazy out there right now. Finding comfort in healthy food is a lot better than stuffing yourself with a bunch of snickers bars. 

But can you let your best friend enjoy healthy food with you? After all, that cute and fluffy ball of fur is always there to make your day. 

Today, we’ll be answering the question, can dogs eat lentils? We’ll try and cover this in-depth. A yes or no answer is possible, but why not learn a few things in the process? 

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • Can dogs eat lentils?
  • What are lentils?
  • Should dogs eat lentils?
  • Lentil recipes and servings

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Can Dogs Eat Lentils?

Yes, they can. But you can drink 3 gallons of lemonade every day; it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It’s a common misconception that just because something is considered healthy, eating a lot of it will automatically enhance that effect. 

But you can have too much of a good thing.

It’s the same with our dogs. 

Feeding it with ‘healthy’ foods can sometimes have the opposite effect. 

For example, tomatoes, we know they’re healthy, but can dogs eat tomatoes? Click here to find out.

Anyway, to learn how to implement lentils into our dog’s diet properly, we need to know more about lentils themselves.

So put on your learning hats kids, this is just pure conversation gold for your next house party. 

What Are Lentils?

Lentils are a part of the legume family – the third biggest plant family in the world. Peanuts, chickpeas, beans, and soybeans all belong to the legume family.

Lentils have been around for a long time, as early as 11.000 years B.C. They’re often seen in kitchens throughout Europe, Asia, and some parts of Africa. Canada and India hold around 60% of the world’s lentil production, not sure how Canada got there, but good for them.

But enough of the fun fact Friday, let’s look at some of the characteristics of lentils. 

Nutritional Chart

One Cup (198 Grams) Of Cooked Lentils

Carbs: 39.9 grams
Protein: 17.9 grams
Fat: 0.8 grams
Fiber: 15.6 grams
Thiamine: 22% of the RDI*
Niacin: 10% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI
Folate: 90% of the RDI
Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI
Iron: 37% of the RDI
Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
Phosphorous: 36% of the RDI
Potassium: 21% of the RDI
Zinc: 17% of the RDI
Copper: 25% of the RDI
Manganese: 49% of the RDI
*RDI: reference daily intake

All you vegan and vegetarian people out there, you should build a monument to lentils. This little unit has enough protein and iron to compete with the big boys any day of the week. With all the processed stuff they put in our meats nowadays, lentils might prove to be a better option for that pure protein intake.

But besides iron and protein. Lentils have a high fiber count, too. So you should be good on those trips to the bathroom. Magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins are also strongly present in this amazing food. 

Dh Can Dogs Eat Lentils

Should Dogs Eat Lentils?

As we said, dogs can eat lentils; some dogs should even have them on a somewhat (somewhat!) regular basis.

However, not to flog a dead horse here, but as we said countless times before, dogs should primarily eat meat and have a meat-based diet.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let’s break this down into a few easily digestible points. 

Why And When Should Dogs Eat Lentils?

1. The Descendants Of Wolves

As technology gets better and we spend more and more time inside, we are getting softer. Our ancestors didn’t spend their time in front of the computer screens, but by being outside, working the land, and just being active in general. 

By being inside all the time or being surrounded by concrete buildings when we’re outside, we’ve gotten weaker and more prone to chronic diseases. The sad thing is, we’ve made our pups weaker as well. Nowadays, you have dogs with food allergies, lung inflammation, and even diabetes. 

If your dog is suffering from diabetes, lentils can be a good addition to its diet. They have a low sugar count and, when properly prepared, can help in the reduction of toxins. Since they have a high fiber count, they’ll make the dog feel fuller for longer. 

It would be best if you asked your veterinarian about the suggested daily dose. 

2. Irondog 

As we said, lentils are a great source of iron. Iron plays a major role when it comes to proper blood and cell production. Iron deficiency in both us and our doggos can cause severe immune system issues. 

However, we have a moral obligation to say that iron is also present in meat. This ties back to our statement that dogs should primarily have a meat-based diet.We really like to hammer this point in. Sure, your dog could potentially have a lot of different food, but meat is essential.

If you’re tempted to make them a vegetarian, don’t. You can hurt them in the long run. With all the upcoming holidays, one of the meats that will most definitely find its way to your fridge is turkey.

What do you think? Can dogs eat turkey? We’ve got you covered there as well; click this link to find out.

Why Shouldn’t Dogs Have Lentils?

1. Starch

If you start feeding your dog with too much starch, he or she might start experiencing stomach problems.

Although lentils have a good amount of fiber, they can cause digestion to slow down in our little pooches. The more lentils you give your dog, the slower their digestion becomes. This can lead to gas and diarrhea. 

If you decide to include lentils into your dog’s diet, be sure to do it slowly. See how the dog reacts to it. Not all dogs are the same. What can work your grandpa’s 60 lbs golden retriever might make your 7 lbs chihuahua squeal. 

2. Toxicity

Unlike animals, plants can’t run. I didn’t know that either. So to protect themselves from predators, plants have developed another kind of defense mechanism. They produce toxins (this is some general knowledge gold right here).To be more exact, they contain lectins, which are mostly responsible for the undesired side effects.

When eaten raw, food like lentils can cause stomach issues and raise toxicity in your body or the body of your pupper. To avoid this, we cook food that has those toxins. Not just for ourselves but our pups as well. 

We mentioned that beans are also part of the legume family; does that mean they have toxins as well? Read our article on can dogs eat black beans and find out more about this topic.

Lentil Dog Food Recipes and Serving 

Things To Keep In Mind

Keep It Natty

If you’re giving your dog lentils, don’t buy the packaged, pre-seasoned, full of additives type. Instead, buy them in their regular form, as plain as they come. 

Food makers often try to make their product tastier; they make it less healthy by doing this. Your dog should stay away from sugars and too much salt as much as possible. 

Sharing Is Not Caring

You made a dish with lentils; since we told you dogs could eat lentils, you decide it’s fine to share that dish. Well, it’s not fine, in fact, we would get angry if you did that. 

We like to put all kinds of spices and extra ingredients into our dishes to make them taste better. There is nothing wrong with that. But if we give our pups a taste of that delicious dish we just made, we can potentially hurt them. 

Dogs don’t go well with spicy food. We have a short article on exactly why, right here. Read Can dogs eat spicy food, and save your four-legged friend some pain.


Cook the lentils before serving them to your dog. Eating a few raw lentils shouldn’t hurt your dog, but only if it’s a small amount. If you’re thinking of making them a part of your dog’s diet, they need to be cooked, every time. 


This is fairly simple. Cook lentils and then serve them with your dog’s regular dinner. 

Treating your dog with some extraordinary recipes can be a huge waste of time. Please keep it simple and keep it meaty. Keep away from garlic and onion. Please don’t add any salt either; your dog gets enough salt from the meats in his/her regular diet. 

You can try and serve them plain, but the dog might not like it. Mixing them up with some meat is a great way to spice up (figure of speech, don’t put spices) your pup’s meal. 


Yes, yes, they can. With a few things to keep in mind. Although considered healthy, lentils can cause some gas and stomach issues.

If your dog is already healthy with the current diet, he or she is on, having lentils might be unnecessary. If your dog is suffering from diabetes, having lentils can help alleviate some of that pain. 

Whatever the case may be, make sure to always cook the lentils before giving them to your dog. Also, make sure you’re not giving them anything seasoned, spicy, or salted. 

It’s a dog, not a cooking journalist.

Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods