Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?

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Vegetables are essential for human health, so the next time you make yourself a healthy snack or meal, you might wonder whether it's safe to share with your dog. For example, can dogs eat green beans? Green beans of all types are safe for dogs as long as they're plain. These delicious, low-calorie vegetables are high in fiber to promote healthy digestion and offer several other health benefits. 

Can dogs eat green beans? They sure can. Many vets even recommend feeding overweight or diabetic dogs green beans as a substitute for treats to keep them fuller for longer and promote gut health while reducing hunger. 

Are All Types Of Green Beans Safe For Dogs?

All types of green beans are safe for dogs, including chopped, steamed, raw, and canned. However, your dog should only eat plain green beans. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether they come raw or in a can; they should not be cooked with butter, salt, oil, garlic, or any other ingredients you use to make your green beans taste better. In addition, feeding your dog whole green beans can be a choking hazard, especially if your dog tends to swallow without chewing their food.1 

Can dogs eat beans? Green beans are legumes, not beans. Therefore, just because green beans are safe for dogs doesn't mean beans are. While there are several safe beans for dogs, including kidney, black, and lima beans, some beans should be avoided, including refried, baked, and fava beans. However, green beans for dogs are safe and can even be part of your dog's healthy diet. 

Of course, it's important to remember that only plain green beans are safe for your dog. Therefore, you should not feed them green beans with additional ingredients, such as green bean casserole or seasoned green beans you feed yourself for dinner. 

Nutritional benefits of green beans

Are Green Beans Good For Dogs?

Can dogs have green beans? Yes, they can safely eat green beans. However, green beans provide many health benefits, unlike other safe fruits and vegetables for dogs that provide little nutritional value to our canine counterparts. Are green beans good for dogs? They're one of the healthiest snacks you can share with your pet, and many vets recommend them for dogs on special weight loss diets, such as for overweight or diabetic dogs. 

Green beans contain several beneficial nutrients, including:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamins B6, A, C, and K
  • Fiber

They're also low in calories. However, your dog doesn't technically need green beans in their diet. Dogs should get all the nutrients they need from their regular commercial dog foods. However, green beans may be a good alternative to unhealthier options like dog treats and table scraps.1

Green beans can help dogs lose weight, and there's even something called the green bean diet used by vets and pet parents to prevent weight gain and associated health problems. Replacing your dog's regular, unhealthy treats with green beans can promote weight loss. However, if your dog is on a weight management diet or plan, they should also get enough exercise and regular kibble or canned food based on your vet's instructions. While diet and nutrition are crucial in overall dog health and weight, feeding your dog green beans will only help them lose weight if you're monitoring their caloric intake and giving them enough exercise. However, since green beans are full of fiber, they may keep hungry dogs more satiated, which can prevent overeating. 

Of course, when you're trying to help your dog lose weight, you shouldn't substitute food for green beans because their kibble has more nutrients. In addition, reducing their calories too quickly can cause health complications. Therefore, the green bean diet, which consists of replacing 10% of your dog's regular food with green beans and increasing the percentage to 50% over time, is not a safe or effective way to help your dog lose weight.1 Instead, consult a vet who can devise a weight management program for your overweight dog. Still, green beans can be an effective solution for overweight dogs, but you should always discuss it with your vet. 

Treats should not exceed 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. Therefore, you'll need to count your dog's calories, even when feeding them green beans, instead of unhealthy treats. In addition, green beans and other vegetables safe for dog consumption are typically full of fiber, which can cause GI issues. Dogs that eat too much fiber may experience gas, cramping, and constipation. 

Tips for serving green beans to your dog

Tips For Serving Green Beans To Your Dog

Since plain green beans can be a healthy snack for your dog, you might wonder how to start sharing with them. Of course, any treat, even one as healthy as green beans, should follow the 10% rule we mentioned earlier. Therefore, green beans and other treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog's daily food intake; most of their food should come from their actual dog food because it contains all the vitamins and minerals they need for optimal health. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for sharing green beans with your dog: 

  • Consider serving size The size of your dog dictates how much they should eat of any food, so you should only feed your dog a safe amount of green beans based on their weight. For example, small dogs under 20 pounds can safely consume one or two green beans, while large breeds can eat a small handful.2
  • Properly prepare them: If you're feeding your dog frozen or canned green beans, there's very little preparation you'll need to do. However, if you're sharing raw green beans, you should always rinse them and remove stems and strings. In addition, always cut your dog's green beans into small pieces to make it easier for them to eat and swallow. 
  • Avoid seasoning: Your dog doesn't need seasoning to enjoy green beans as you might. Instead, they should only eat plain green beans because seasonings can harm them. For example, garlic and onion are toxic in raw or powdered forms. In addition, too much salt in your dog's diet can lead to dehydration and other health problems, and butter increases their fat consumption, which can be dangerous for dogs with underlying health issues. Therefore, plain green beans are the only type of green beans to feed your dog. Anything else can be dangerous to their health. If you believe your dog ate seasoned green beans off your plate, consult your vet as soon as possible, especially if they contain harmful ingredients. 
  • Use as a treat substitute: Green beans can be used as a substitute for treats but not regular meals. Therefore, if you're using green beans to help your dog lose weight, you should only give them green beans as a treat. Green beans also make a good food topper to entice your dog to eat, but they should never replace your dog's regular meals. 
  • Introduce slowly: Introducing any new food to your dog's digestive system has potential risks because many dogs have sensitive stomachs. This is the reason why vets recommend slowly transitioning your dog's food. For example, while green beans are gentle on the stomach, they contain a lot of fiber, and giving your dog too much fiber too quickly can result in GI issues. 
  • Monitor your pet: Always monitor your pet when feeding them something new because they can experience GI issues. Many dogs have sensitive stomachs, and feeding them anything other than their regular kibble can result in digestive upset. In addition, since green beans contain fiber, adding too much fiber to your dog's diet can result in gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.2 These symptoms should subside in a few hours but not become severe or persist for more than a day. If your dog experiences severe GI issues after consuming green beans, consult your vet as soon as possible.
  • Only feed in moderation: Green beans aren't a necessary part of your dog's diet. Therefore, unless your vet has recommended feeding them to your pet, they're not something you should feed them every day. Instead, you can feed your dog green beans in moderation as a treat a few times per week or whenever you're making green beans for yourself.  

Dog owners standing with dog in kitchen

Final Notes 

Green beans are full of nutrients and low in calories, making them a great snack for dogs of all types. They can be served raw, frozen, or cooked as long as they're cut into small pieces and free from seasonings and other additives like butter and oil. However, while green beans are a healthy snack alternative, you should always consult your vet before feeding your dog anything new. 

Whether you want to use green beans to help your dog lose weight or wonder whether green beans are safe for your dog based on their current health, you should always get an expert opinion. Worried about your dog's weight and think green beans can help? Talk to a Dutch vet. We can help you determine the right diet for your dog based on their current health to prevent and treat obesity and associated health problems. Try Dutch today. 

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References

  1. Burke, Anna. "Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?" American Kennel Club, 25 Aug. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-have-green-beans.

  2. "Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?" PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-green-beans.

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