We all love a bit of variety in our diet, as it can get a bit boring eating the same thing every day. Adding some different ingredients into your dogs' regular food and changing things up a bit can also provide some extra nutrients and benefits. Cooked beans are a great alternative to consider when you are looking at bulking up your dogs' regular food, as beans are packed full of protein and dietary fiber.
There are many different beans that you can try, and they have a multitude of health benefits. Pinto beans are a very popular option because they are easily accessible in all parts of the world and are something that many people would already consume daily. There are some critical factors to consider, especially concerning how to prepare and how much to serve. Let's take a look, in more detail, at the humble pinto bean.
What Is A Pinto Bean?
Pinto beans are a common bean widely used in Mexican and South American cuisine, famous in dishes such as chili con carne and as a filling for burritos. Pinto comes from a Spanish word meaning spotted, painted, or speckled.
Beans are an extremely rich source of plant-based protein and contain more than four times the protein of most grains.
Pinto, Black, and Kidney beans provide high doses of antioxidants, which are vital to regulating blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and contains cancer prevention properties.
Varieties Of Beans That Your Dog Can Eat
There are thousands of varieties to choose from when it comes to suitable beans/legumes for your dog. Beans are a great economical alternative as they are great value for money, and when bought dry and in bulk, they are stored easily in your pantry. They won't spoil or expire early. Perfectly accessible for any food emergency for either yourself or your pets.
The most common choices to incorporate into your dogs' diet include the following:
- Pinto beans
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Garbanzo / Chickpeas
- Butter beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Green beans
Green beans can be served raw, and your dog will enjoy the crunch of a fresh string bean, which can be fed regularly as a healthy treat.
Note all other beans will need to be soaked and cooked as per below.
How To Prepare Pinto Beans For Your Dog?
The most important thing to remember when preparing any beans for your dog is that they are well cooked. Raw beans contain phytohaemagglutinin (PHA). Some plants, including legumes, contain lectin, which is toxic to dogs. Kidney beans, in particular, have the highest concentration of the lectin. Soaking beans overnight and then cooking beans for at least 30 minutes can destroy most toxins so that they are then safe to consume.
When using dry beans, it is best to soak the beans overnight, which can help speed up the cooking process.
After soaking the beans, rinse several times, and then cook until soft.
Whole beans can be difficult for dogs to digest, so it is best to mash them before serving, this will also increase the nutritional benefit it provides to your dog.
Never add any seasonings to your beans, dogs do not need any additional sodium in their diet, and many seasonings can irritate their stomachs.
Dogs need meat in their diet. While there is some protein in legumes, it does not provide the essential nutrients found only in red meat that is essential for your dog's health. Do not use beans as a protein substitute and feed as a supplement to their original dog food.
With any new foods that you offer to your dog, it is advisable always to start small as some dogs are sensitive and can not tolerate certain foods. Watch your dog after they have eaten to check for any allergic reactions or discomfort.
Health Benefits Of Beans
Beans are a great way to provide some additional vitamins and minerals to your dog and can help to keep your dog feeling fuller for longer, which can assist with those who have diabetes or who have weight issues.
Beans contain valuable several valuable nutrients, some of the health benefits associated with eating beans include:
Beans are a rich source of Vitamins including:
Vitamin A helps your dog's hearts and eyes.
Vitamin C supports their immune system.
Vitamin K assists with injury recovery.
A great source of natural plant-based protein and fiber, beans can help your dog to reduce their calorie intake.
Potassium helps to support muscle and bone health.
Iron to help create red blood cells.
Magnesium helps to aid the absorption of other nutrients.
Phosphorus to help maintain healthy bones and cartilage
Manganese to help the body function more effectively
Antioxidants help regulate your dog's blood sugar levels, maintain healthy cholesterol, and minimize arthritis.
When it comes to eating beans, your dog will receive similar health benefits as we do. It is always good to incorporate as many healthy food options into their diet as possible and to eliminate the unhealthy snacks, and beans are an excellent well balanced alternative.
When feeding beans to your dog, it is essential that you only feed in moderation. Beans should constitute no more than 10% of your dogs' daily food intake. Overfeeding beans can disrupt your dogs' digestive balance and can be responsible for several issues, including:
Stomach pain or bloat
If your dog already has a lot of gas, it may not be suitable to introduce beans into his diet. One way to help control the gas is to divide his meals into two portions per day. Fast eating or gulping their food can often cause excessive wind. Try to incorporate foods into your dogs' diet that are easy to digest.
It is essential to be aware of your dogs' food sensitivities and allergies and prepare appropriate meals accordingly. Some dogs may exhibit excessive gas if they have digestive issues with particular foods.
Diarrhea can often lead to dehydration in dogs. It is crucial if your dog is experiencing loose bowel motions that you try to increase their water intake and always have water available for them.
Stomach pain or bloat in your dog is a serious issue and can be potentially fatal. Be vigilant and know what signs to look for. If your dog has swelling or sensitive areas around their stomach, you should consult your veterinarian for expert advice.
Which Beans To Avoid?
Always avoid feeding raw beans to your dog. Raw kidney beans, in particular, are very toxic to dogs. The only exception to this rule is green beans.
Fava beans or broad beans and cannellini or white beans are toxic for your dog. They will cause severe stomach issues, are very difficult to digest, and often result in vomiting.
Do not feed your dog baked beans; they are high in sugar, salt, preservatives, and contain tomatoes, onion, and garlic, which are very bad for dogs. Onion and garlic can destroy red blood cells in your dog, which will have severe consequences.
Refried beans contain several ingredients that are not good for dogs to consume, including seasonings, chili, cumin, salt, and onion.
Chilli beans are not suitable for dogs, their spices upset dogs stomachs and the garlic and onion are toxic for dogs.
Canned beans contain large amounts of salt and preservatives, which can be harmful to dogs. Often foods lose some of their flavor and nutrition in the canning process.
Caffeine is toxic to dogs, never give coffee beans to dogs. Unlike humans, they do not have the same digestive system, and many foods that we can tolerate and enjoy have a detrimental effect on our furry friends.
It is always important to know what foods are safe for your dog to eat, and if unsure, consult your veterinarian for further advice.
- Try incorporating some new foods into your dogs' diet as well as beans, and consider some other options like white rice, oatmeal, pasta, mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or cooked lentils.
- For a healthy protein boost, your dog will also enjoy a wide variety of vegetables, like green beans and broccoli. Carrots are a great low-calorie snack that is vitamin-rich, and their crunchy texture is great for your dog's teeth. Try freezing some fruits or green beans on a hot summer day for a delicious treat.
- Buy beans dry and in bulk, as well as a more cost-effective and convenient alternative to store-bought you also can control what ingredients are given to your dog, making sure that they receive the right vitamins and minerals that they need.
- Try making your own doggie version of hummus by cooking and mashing chickpeas or pinto beans and serve with their regular dog food or as a snack with sticks of carrot.
- If you only have canned beans in your pantry and have to get a meal together for your dog in a hurry, remember to rinse the beans thoroughly in running water as it can remove most of the excess salt and preservatives.
- If your dog does not like the beans by themselves, try adding some mashed vegetables, rice, or mixed in with their regular dog food.
- Ensure that you always have fresh water available for your dog to drink. Mainly when feeding different foods such as beans as it can also help to keep their teeth free from plaque and food remains.
Pinto beans and many other beans are an ideal plant-based protein that can be fed to your dog regularly. Pre-soaking and cooking them is important because raw beans are toxic to dogs. Make sure whenever possible, that you make the beans yourself. That way, you will always be assured of exactly what food you are giving your dog. Avoid beans in cans as they contain many preservatives and ingredients that are not healthy for your dog.
Always feed in conjunction with your dogs' regular balanced diet and should not be used as a substitute for their meat-based protein. As always, your dog should eat in moderation, beans, in particular, can be a little gassy if consumed in excess.
It is always essential to have fresh water available for your dog, especially if they eat foods of a mashed consistency.
This cost-effective and convenient superfood is perfect for your dogs, and they will enjoy the numerous health benefits.