Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?

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Can you feed your dog green beans or foods with green beans added? Can dogs eat green beans in general? If you want to add human foods like green beans to your dog’s diet, read this article first. Many foods that are safe for us to eat, are harmful to your pup!

Dr. Jess describes the risks and the benefits of feeding green beans to your dog, as well as which styles of green beans dogs can even eat, and which varieties are best left out of Fido’s food bowl.

close up of bushel of fresh green beans

As delicious as beans are to us, is it a health concern to feed them to our dogs or are we overreacting over this legume?

Let me, the veterinarian, explain my thoughts…

It’s always best to double-check which foods your dog can and can not eat because many foods that are safe and healthy for humans, are actually quite harmful for your dog to eat, or even poisonous or deadly to them.

That’s why I am so glad that you are here making an informed decision before feeding your dog green beans!

What Do Dogs Eat?

Just like some humans, there are some dogs that are just not picky about what they eat. They’ll eat whatever you offer them- they’re like vacuum cleaners sucking up anything you put in front of them and then some more on top of that.

Some dogs are on the pickier side of things – which may be an issue if you offer your dog beans, but I’ll get to that here in a little bit.

Pickier pups can be harder to properly feed because they just won’t eat any old food we give them. Try feeding a picky dog something like okra or cabbage – good luck!

A common canine diet for pet dogs consists of a complete dry or wet food, usually from a commercial source, and possibly some form of supplement in some specific cases. Not all pet dogs will need supplements to live a healthy lifestyle.

Foraging can also be included in the diet if the dog is an outdoor dog, is allowed to roam, or if the dog is feral, and of course there are treats that are a part of many dog’s diets!

The diet of every dog breed will very when you are looking into a healthy and complete diet for your pup.

Other things that you and your vet should consider when discussing proper diet for your dog, is their lifestyle, age, and any medical issues that they have or are prone to getting in the future as they age.

So it is important to know when offering food to your dog, what constitutes a healthy choice, and what does not.

An improper diet could put your dog at risk of having problems properly digesting their food and absorbing nutrients correctly. And we don’t want that now do we?

So let’s talk specifically about beans, since that’s why you clicked over here today, and talk about how it could affect your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Bean Basics:

Beans are a very common type of legume that can be seen grown and consumed all over the world.

Beans are a Summer crop, meaning that they are a plant that needs warmer weather to grow.

Beans come in many different varieties, including kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, and green beans

Each one of these types of beans has a different shape, size, color, and flavor profile.

Some are routinely eaten raw or dried, many are cooked, as in boiled or steamed for the most part, and others are canned or processed even more, such as refried beans or baked beans.

Green Bean Basics:

Green beans are commonly named string beans, french beans, snap beans, and green beans, along with a few other less widely-used terms in the U.S.

These beans are typically consumed while still having immature seeds. They are usually consumed with the pod enclosed around the seeds itself.

Green beans are eaten fresh, canned, and cooked – usually by sauteing or oven-roasting.

Green beans are in the legume family and are sought after for their affordability, accessibility, and their many healthy benefits.

Let’s look a little deeper into what green beans are comprised of so that we can better decide if they should be a part of your guinea pig’s diet.

Green Bean Nutrition:

According to Verywellfit.com, green beans contain:

“One cup of green beans (100g) provides 31 calories, 1.8g of protein, 7g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Green beans are an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and A.”

https://www.verywellfit.com/green-beans-nutrition-facts-calories-carbs-and-health-benefits-4169523

Green beans can offer a range of important nutrients and health benefits to your canine companion, such as:

  • High water content (about 95% water) which is good for keeping well hydrated
  • A good source of vitamins A, C and K. Green beans also contain certain B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and folate [source]. Vitamin K helps keep your dog’s bones healthy and strong. Vitamin A will help to keep their eyes healthy and sharp. Vitamin C is wonderful for your dog as it helps maintain a healthy and strong immune system.
  • Rich in the antioxidant L-ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C), flavonols, and quercetin [source], which may help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals
  • Low in fat and low in calories. This is great news for all of the pups out there with weight issues!
  • Source of fiber (helps in digestion and reduces some GI issues). Green beans are high in fiber!
  • A good source of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper.
fresh raw green beans on white background with scrabble letters spelling out green beans

Can You Feed Beans To Dogs?

While beans are not toxic to dogs and some types can be quite beneficial even, too many beans could lead to some health issues

So yes, dogs can have beans, as long as you feed the right kind of beans, prepared the correct way, and in moderation for your dog.

Let me dive a little deeper and explain myself so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should let fido eat beans off of your plate.

Can They Have Green Beans?

Yes! Dogs can eat green beans!

In fact, I highly recommend green beans as a treat for dogs who are overweight.

Swap out a raw green bean for a calorie-dense dog treat.

Dogs can safely be given green beans in many forms – raw green beans, steamed, baked.

Cooked green beans are safe for your dog as long as they are cooked without oils, butter, or spices – they need to be kept plain.

Do Dogs Like Green Beans?

Dogs are natural carnivores.

Some dogs find the flavor of green beans to be a delicious one, just as some people love beans, from their casseroles to their side dishes.

So yes, some dogs like green beans. Some dogs even LOVE them.

Other dogs will definitely turn their nose away from the legume. There is only one way to find out.

Are Green Beans Beneficial For Dogs?

The random taste of a green bean or two, or a small bite as a treat is totally fine – it will not harm your dog as long as the green beans are prepared and offered properly. 

However, there’s no need to offer them in large quantities, as this can cause some major health issues for your pup, as I discuss below.

Basically, if your dog consumed a few green beans, you don’t need to drive them straight to the vet to get their stomach emptied. 

If they start showing any odd signs of being affected by this new food (a list of signs and symptoms to look out for is further down in this article), contact your local veterinarian to get more information on what to do next.

So, yes there are some negative effects that can be seen with some dogs who consume beans.

However, this does not mean that a large number of dogs see many more health benefits versus those few health concerns.

Some of the health benefits for dogs who consume green beans include:

  1. High Fiber: Fiber is great to keep the digestive system flowing smoothly and also helps dogs feel satiated (feeling full for longer after eating).
  2. Low Calorie: If your dog is overweight, you are liking looking for low calorie options for treats, etc.
  3. Low Fat: Again, if you are looking for lower-fat options to serve your overweight dog, may be a good add-on option.
  4. Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants: A has many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help keep your dog happy and healthy.

Can Green Beans Be Harmful to Dogs?

We need to understand some of the risks involved if we do feed our dogs green beans.

Keep these factors in mind before offering your dog this type of bean:

Harmful Reason #1: Loose Stool, Diarrhea, and the Farts

Too much fiber can mean hypermotile, or increased movement, of one’s digestive tract.

Some dogs are more sensitive to additional fiber in their diets, so they are more likely to have loose stool and in some cases, full-blown diarrhea.

Other dogs will not be impacted by any additional fiber in their diets.

Many dog owners also report that their dog has increased flatulence after eating beans.

This is very common and typically go away after the increased gas is removed from their systems.

AKA, after your dog has a case of the farts.

If your dog acts uncomfortable due to extreme gas from their bean consumption, stop offering them beans and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Harmful Reason #2: Allergic Reaction to Green Beans

A dog can develop an intolerance or an allergy to any food, so there is always the possibility that your dog is allergic to beans.

If you suspect your dog is allergic to green beans, do NOT feed it to your dog.

If your dog is allergic to beans and accidentally ingests it, go to your nearest animal emergency room immediately.

When this happens, the attack sets off a hypersensitivity reaction and can result in any of the following symptoms:

Common symptoms of adverse/allergic reaction to food:

  • Swelling of body parts (ex. facial swelling)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching/Increased grooming
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • etc.

Harmful Reason #3: Harmful Substances

There is a natural compound in beans called phytic acid, that can add up and affect your dog is fed beans in large quantities, as it can hinder the absorption of important minerals. [source]

There is also a compound, a type of lectin [source] found in green beans that can cause gastrointestinal upset that may lead to more serious effects if not stopped.

This is why it is important to know which beans you can offer to your pup, and how they should be prepared in order to keep your dog safe.

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How Many Green Beans Can a Dog Eat?

This depends on the specific dog in question that you are wanting to tempt with string beans.

Most the time, green beans, prepared correctly and given in moderation, is most likely just as healthy for your dog as it is for you.

In fact, I suggest green beans offered as dog treats instead of dog cookies or bones for those overweight pups out there.

Moderation is key here; never go overboard when feeding green beans to your dog, no matter if your dog has a stomach of steel or not. Small amounts every once in a while is likely okay for most dogs.

Smaller dogs do not need as many green beans as a larger dog to have the same effect.

Dogs with loose stool do not need to be fed green beans at all.

The best thing to do to gauge how many green beans you should be feeding your dog safely, would be to contact your veterinarian about the specific pet in question.

I have specific bean serving suggestions are broken down below.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Green Beans?

Many types of raw beans, including green beans contain a toxin, as I described above.

To rid the green beans of this, the beans are typically cooked.

Even though green beans contain this toxin, you can feed your dog raw green beans.

You will not be giving the amount of green beans that would be needed in order for the toxin to build up and cause issues for your pup.

Most dogs will not eat a raw green beans when offered. Instead, offering them a cooked green bean is the way to go.

Can Dogs Have Baked Green Beans?

Dogs can have baked green beans as long as they are not cooked with any fats, such as oil or butter, and no seasonings or spices either.

Is The Rest Of The Green Bean Plant Safe To Eat?

The green parts of the green bean plant – the leaves, stems, flowers, should not be given to your pet. There are other treats that are much better options.

Medical & Health Concerns of Feeding Green Beans to Dogs:

  • Pesticides: Green beans should always be washed to make sure they are free of any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to dogs.
  • Parasites: Green beans should be checked over for parasites that can lead to potential parasite problems with your dog.
  • Overly Ripened: Avoid rotten fruits that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Processed Green Bean Products: Canned or cooked green beans are full of sugar, can contain chemicals, and are higher in acidity if cooked, so avoid feeding any type of green bean product besides ripe and clean green beans to your dog.
  • Puppies: Puppies have a more sensitive digestive system than adults do, and therefore you shouldn’t give your baby canine any fruits or vegetables until they reach around 12 weeks of age or older.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Green Beans?

Nope! 

Dogs can not eat cooked green beans as canned green beans have added preservatives, salt, and/or spices that are not safe for dogs to consume.

Can Dogs Eat Steamed Green Beans?

Yes. Like I mentioned above, your dog can eat cooked green beans as long as they are not prepared with fats or spices.

fresh raw green beans in black bowl sitting on wooden table

How to Serve Green Beans to Dogs:

After checking with your vet to make sure that beans should be a part of your dog’s menu, start by offering your dog 1 green bean.

If your dog does not show any adverse reactions after 24 hours or more, then you are likely safe to continue feeding your dog green beans, gradually increasing the amount according to your vet’s guidelines.

Keep the following in mind when serving food to your dog:

And remember that dogs need more than a bowl or plate of beans – they need a complete and balanced diet.

Whichever complete food you choose for your dog, it needs to have the AAFCO label indicating the diet is complete and balanced for your dog’s life stage.

AAFCO approved foods have gone through testing and compliance to make sure that the diet is safe and healthy for your pet.

Dogs already get everything that they need from their kibble or canned food.

How Many Green Beans Can My Dog Have?

Most dogs are safe consuming green beans if they are a healthy adult dog.

A smaller dog will be good with one or two green beans, while a large or giant-size dog could handle a few more green beans after a ‘ramping up’ period.

So don’t give your large dog an entire plate of green beans the very first time they eat the veggie!

Too many green beans can lead to digestive upset, increased flatulence (stinky stinky dog gas!), and other bodily conditions.

I highly recommend contacting your vet first before starting your dog on green beans, and also suggest that you start by offering your dog one green bean and then working up to a full amount (AKA a ‘ramp up‘ period).

A small amount of green beans typically goes a long way.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Talk to your vet about the appropriate serving size of green beans for your dog.

Can Puppies Eat Green Beans?

I would never advise a puppy owner to feed green beans to their puppy unless your veterinarian is recommending it due to specific medical needs.

Why do I say this? Because your pup’s first months of life should consist of specialized puppy diets approved by your local veterinarian upon puppy examination.

Puppies tend to have an even more sensitive digestive system than adult dogs so giving your puppy green beans might cause diarrhea, vomiting, or other adverse reactions.

Find Out If Your Dog Can Eat These Foods!

What to do If Your Dog Eats Green Beans:

If it is just a bite or two of beans, just watch them for the next 24 hours – just in case, for any signs of adverse reaction. 

If you are concerned with this small amount, of course, contact your veterinarian right away.  Most dogs can tolerate a small amount of green beans on occasion and do just fine.  

If it is a large amount of green beans, contact your veterinarian right away to discuss details and what to do next. 

In the later case, it is extremely likely that your vet will request that you bring your dog in immediately to get evaluated if they have gotten themselves into a large amount of green beans, or a rotten beans.

We vets want to help and we will best help if we are notified right away.

Trust me, us vets are happy to help!

veterinarian signature

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

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