It’s Sunday afternoon, and you are preparing a delicious dish made of lima beans and bacon. It tastes and smells really good, but should you give some to your dog?
Or maybe you spilled some cooked lima beans on the floor, and your dog ate them. So, now you must be wondering – will lima beans hurt my dog?
But most importantly – can dogs eat lima beans? Will Fido benefit from such a meal? Can lima beans be dangerous for your dog’s health?
There are so many unanswered questions, but fret not! We did some thorough research, and some of the findings are actually surprising. Let’s find out together what happens when your dog eats lima beans!
Can Dogs Eat Lima Beans?
The short answer would be – yes, dogs can and should eat lima beans, but not just any kind. Lima beans must be adequately prepared so that the dog’s digestive system can properly digest them.
Firstly, dried lima beans are not suitable for the dog’s teeth or stomach. They will most likely damage their teeth and hurt their tummy if eaten dried.
Furthermore, canned lima beans are also bad for your pooch. This version is full of sodium and other preservatives, which are very bad for your dog’s overall health. High levels of sodium can cause severe health conditions and even be lethal to your dog.
How Much Lima Beans Should My Dog Eat?
Lima beans should never exceed more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Lima beans are high in calories and fiber, so you should limit the intake to 20-30 grams (2-3 tablespoons) per serving. If your pooch is small to medium size, don’t give him more than 10-15 grams (1 tablespoon) per serving. Moreover, consider feeding your dog lima beans only 2-3 times a week, with a 1-2 days interval between serving.
About Lima Beans
Lima beans sometimes called ‘butter beans’ because of their buttery and starchy texture, originated from Central America’s tropical fertile valleys. Mayans, Aztecs first cultivated them, and later Incas. Lima Beans were prized for their high levels of protein.
These beans are high in protein and dietary fibers. That basically means you and your dog don’t have to eat many of them to feel full and reap their benefits.
You can buy lima beans fresh, canned, frozen, or even grow them yourself. If you decide to purchase them fresh, know that they are in season from late summer to early fall.
Extra tip: When buying them fresh, look for whole, plumb, uncracked beans. Avoid buying beans that seem yellowish, wilted, dried, or spotted.
Don’t feed your dog lima beans daily because too much fiber might give your dog diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or may even cause him to vomit.
Here are some nutrition facts about lima beans:
What Are The Benefits Of Lima Beans?
Lima beans are an essential source of plant protein. They are stacked with a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
There are many health benefits of lima beans in a dog’s diet. They are full of fibers, protein, and even healthy carbohydrates. Low-fat levels are especially suitable for obese, diabetic, or pre-diabetic dogs.
Fibers are fantastic for a dog’s digestive system, and lima beans are full of them. Fibers will not only help your dog stay regular, but will also make him eat less and feel fuller. Vets usually prescribe a fiber-rich diet for overweight pets.
Fibers also protect the colon, where they can fight the cancer-causing chemicals. Moreover, dietary fiber can help in regulating blood sugar content. However, you should be careful not to cross the line with fibers, because that might lead to diarrhea.
Your dog must eat enough protein-rich food as protein builds up muscles. That is extremely important for young pups who are growing. It is also essential for older dogs, who use their strengths less but need more protein to maintain their muscles.
If coupled with weight loss and other age-related issues, less protein intake can cause early mortality in older dogs. Older dogs naturally lose their muscle mass faster, so a protein-rich diet will help them stay healthy for a more extended period.
Fat And Essential Vitamins And Minerals
Low-fat levels in lima beans are good for your puppy as they will help with obesity. Lima beans also have high iron levels in them; thus, they will be good for your dog’s cardiovascular system and red blood cells. These healthy legumes are also a good source of folate and potassium.
Are Lima Beans Bad For Dogs?
There is, however, one drawback in letting your four-legged friend eat lima beans – gas. Lima beans cause gasses because of the particular sugar they contain. As the digestive tract can’t break down this sugar completely, it leads to gassiness.
However, gasses won’t cause any harm to your dog’s health, so you don’t have to worry. You should worry about symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach ache, which can be caused by too much dietary fiber consumption or a simple legume intolerance.
How To Prepare Lima Beans For Your Dog?
Any preservatives, especially sodium, are very bad for your dog and can lead to severe health conditions such as bloat. Therefore, avoid canned lima beans, as they have a high content of sodium and other dangerous preservatives such as sulfur dioxide and potassium sulfite.
Before you cook lima beans, you should let them soak in water for at least five hours or best overnight. If you are going to serve lima beans to your dog, don’t use any spices. Well, indeed, you like your lima beans spiced up to combat their plain natural taste, but your dog will like them plain anyway and won’t know the difference.
Fido might not like the taste of lima beans, and you shouldn’t try to force him. Different dogs have different taste preferences, just like people. However, you can try to mix lima beans with some high-quality dog food every once in a while. You can mash lima beans with wet and dry dog food or mix them with some rice or even chicken bits.
Extra tip: After cooking the lima beans, let them cool of. You can then drain and freeze them for later use. Such lima beans can keep fresh for up to three months. You can also freeze lima beans in smaller portions so that you can have just the right amount for one serving. After thawing, you can heat them a little, mix them with high-quality dog food or rice and chicken bits, and you’re golden!
Lastly, uncooked, dried lima beans are challenging for your dog to chew, and they should never be given to your dog in such a state. Your dog will most likely damage his teeth and stomach if he tries to eat some uncooked dried lima beans.
In conclusion – yes, dogs can eat lima beans. However, they must be prepared in the right way to be able to enhance your dog’s diet. First of all, make sure to use fresh lima beans when cooking them for your dog. Also, they need to be cooked without any additional spices (like garlic or onion) or extra ingredients.
There are many health benefits lima beans can offer your dog. Fibers will be good for Fido’s digestive system, and the protein will help its muscles grow and strengthen. In addition, these legumes are free of any fat, which is especially beneficial for obese dogs, as well as dogs with diabetes.
Remember, canned lima beans are full of preservatives that can be harmful to your dog’s health, so you should avoid that version at all costs.
You can mix lima beans with your dog’s regular food, or maybe with some rice, and even chicken bits. Too much lima beans can prove bad for your dog’s digestive system, so be moderate with lima beans. You can serve them every once in a while, but definitely not every day.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods