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Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? What You Need to Know!

Green beans are a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet and a delicious addition too! But can your dog eat green beans? Are green beans safe for dogs? The short answer is yes! Green beans are not only safe for dogs, but they can also provide important health benefits. Plus, most dogs seem to love them, so they make an ideal treat.

In this article, we’ll look at the potential health benefits of green beans for your pooch, the potential concerns, and how many are safe for them to eat.

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Green Beans 101

Green beans are the un-ripened young fruits of different cultivars of common beans and are known by a few different names, including string beans, snap beans, and French beans. The whole pods are harvested while still young and before the beans inside are fully mature, and they are often eaten fresh and raw. They are commonly sold canned, dried, and frozen and come in a wide variety of shapes and textures.

West Highland White Terrier dog at home eating_alejandro rodriguez_shutterstock
Image Credit: alejandro-rodriguez, Shutterstock

Potential Benefits of Green Beans

Not only do green beans contain various vitamins and minerals, but they are also comparatively low in calories. Green beans are commonly recommended by vets as a safe and healthy snack for your pooch. They are packed with digestible fiber and full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as protein, iron, manganese, calcium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K.

While your dog may not necessarily need these extra vitamins and minerals if they are on a healthy and balanced diet, it’s nice to have the option of a healthy treat that is nutritionally beneficial. Most dogs love green beans due to their sweetness and crunchy texture, so they make great on-the-go snacks.

Potential Risks of Feeding Your Dog Green Beans

Green beans
Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay

While green beans are a healthy snack for your pooch overall, there are a few concerns to be aware of. We recommend always cooking green beans before giving them to your dog. When served raw, green beans contain lectin proteins, which can cause digestive issues in large amounts. Cooking the beans largely removes these proteins and makes them more digestible for your dog.

Always make sure that you cook the beans on their own and that they are free from too much salt, butter, vegetable oil, or other potentially harmful ingredients, like spices and onions. Plain, unsalted beans are best for your pooch. Also, be cautious of canned versions, which can contain high amounts of salt, spices, and preservatives. Always check the ingredient label on the can before dishing them up for your pooch.

Green Beans for Weight Loss

The “green bean diet” is an often-touted diet for overweight dogs, and with over half of the dogs in the U.S. being overweight, many owners feel that it’s worth a try. The diet consists of supplementing 10% of your dog’s regular diet with green beans, which is gradually increased in 10% increments over several days until all their meals consist of 50% green beans. Your pooch then stays on this formula until they have reached their target weight. The high fiber content, low-calorie content, and vitamins and minerals found in green beans are thought to help your dog lose weight safely and quickly. The fiber content will make your dog feel full without adding a significant number of calories.

young Jack Russell Terrier dog near bag with organic herbs and vegetables_simonvera_shutterstock
Credit: Simon Vera, Shutterstock

Does it work? The verdict is still out, and the diet may work for some dogs, but there are significant risks involved. While green beans contain important vitamins and minerals, they are still missing vital nutrients essential to your dog’s well-being, which could rapidly lead to serious deficiencies. It is not a long-term solution either, as once they do reach their target weight and go back to their regular diet, they will likely put on the weight again, anyway.

The real way to help your dog lose weight is to pay careful attention to their diet, reduce unnecessary, empty calories, and make sure they get plenty of exercise every day.

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Final Thoughts

Green beans are a healthy, low-calorie snack for your pooch, and in their pure form, they are perfectly safe too. Given in moderation and lightly steamed or boiled, they can even provide health benefits from their vitamin and mineral content, and most dogs love the sweet and crunchy texture.

While we don’t recommend giving them to your dog too much or using them for weight loss, green beans can be a great addition to your pooch’s overall diet.

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Featured Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay