Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Here's Everything You Need to Know

by Richard Walther, DVM
Pawlicy Advisor
Pet Care Blog
Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Here's Everything You Need to Know
Not only can dogs eat green beans, but some argue they should eat them every day. Plain green beans may be a healthy addition to your dog's diet, but just like with every new food, it’s always a good idea to consult your vet first.

We know that vegetables are an important part of a healthy human diet, but are greens good for pets, too? When it comes to green beans, the answer is yes: dogs can safely eat green beans. They contain high levels of vitamins, folate, and dietary fiber, offering a healthy, low-calorie treat for our four-legged friends.

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of green beans for dogs and how to safely add them to your pup’s diet.

Table of Contents:

Pro Tip: Dogs can get into all sorts of mischief (like eating something they aren’t supposed to), so make sure you’re protected with a pet insurance plan that can help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary expenses.

Are green beans good for dogs?

Yes, green beans are good for dogs. They're packed with essential vitamins, like vitamin A, B6, K, and C. These offer numerous health benefits for dogs. For example, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps strengthen the immune system, whereas vitamin A helps support vision and reproduction.

They’re also a good source of essential minerals, including iron, which helps with anemia, and manganese, which supports bone health and promotes wound healing.

Green beans are rich in dietary fiber and low in calories, so they can help dogs (and their pet parents!) feel full for longer. On top of that, most pups love these crunchy veggies for their sweet flavor, making them a perfect alternative to refined biscuits - especially for overweight dogs who need to shed a few pounds.

According to AKC, more than 50% of dogs in the US are overweight. This is a serious problem, as obesity can lead to a number of health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, orthopedic problems, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, as well as some types of cancers. What’s more, obesity can decrease your pet’s life expectancy up to two years!

What's the green bean diet for dogs?

The Green Bean Diet for dogs involves substituting 10% of a canine’s conventional diet for green beans, then gradually increasing the serving over time until it comprises 50% of their daily food. The advocates of this diet claim that it will help overweight dogs lose weight quickly, especially those who have had trouble losing weight with other methods.

The problem is highly restrictive diets like this can even harm your pet’s health. While it is true that green beans offer lots of vitamins and minerals, they are lacking many of the nutrients that make up a balanced dog diet (especially proteins) and can result in serious nutritional imbalances and deficiencies for your pet.

In addition, this diet is not an effective long-term solution and once you return to feeding your pooch their regular diet, they are very likely to gain the lost weight back.

Finally, if your canine friend has difficulty losing weight in spite of diet restrictions and exercise, they might have a serious health problem, such as Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism.

So, what is the final verdict? Green beans can be a part of a weight-loss diet, as long as they’re combined with increased exercise and a moderate diet appropriate for their breed, age, and lifestyle prescribed by your vet.

When are green beans bad for dogs?

Green beans are very rich in dietary fiber, so they might cause digestive issues in dogs who eat too many.

As noted, feeding dogs too many green beans can cause nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. The majority of your pet’s diet should be made up of their complete, balanced food and green beans should only be given as an occasional treat in small amounts. As with any treat, they should not exceed 10% of their daily diet.

If your dog eats green beans for the first time, watch for any signs of allergic reaction and possible stomach upset.

Are raw green beans good for dogs?

If you give your dog raw green beans, chop them up so they can safely ingest them. Smaller slices are also easier to swallow and reduce the choking hazard.

Raw green beans contain lecithin proteins which could upset your dog’s stomach and lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The best way to solve this issue is to cook the beans. However, cooking does take away some of the important nutrients, so it’s important not to overdo it. Steaming the beans a little bit before serving them to your pup should do the trick.

When cooking green beans, you should stay away from additives like spices, salt, butter, oil, garlic, and onions. Many of these ingredients are bad or even toxic to dogs. For instance, onions can cause blood problems, whereas large amounts of salt and butter can harm your dog’s heart.

Are canned green beans good for dogs?

When it comes to canned beans, they might be a great choice for older pups or those with sensitive teeth, as they’re softer and easier to chew. However, it should be noted that canned vegetables usually contain little to no nutritional value, as well as salt and other additives, so be sure to check the label before serving them to your dog.

Whenever possible, buy unsalted green beans as they contain less sodium, pesticides, and additives.

Tips on feeding dogs green beans

Many dogs love frozen green beans as it gives them something to gnaw on. Moreover, frozen beans are a perfect treat for hot summer days.Whether you decide to feed your pup frozen, raw, baked, boiled, steamed, dehydrated, or canned green beans, be sure to remove any stringy ends.

If you feed your dog green beans to help them lose weight, use them as a substitute for treats, not for meals. Work with your veterinarian to come up with a diet that meets your pet’s nutritional needs while also lowering their daily caloric intake.

If your dog isn’t very enthusiastic when it comes to eating green beans,try sneaking them into their diet by combining them with other foods. For instance, you can prepare quick and easy pup popsicles by combining some chopped green beans and plain yogurt. Pour this mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for your furry friend to enjoy during hot summer days.

Just like any other new food, introduce green beans into your pet’s diet slowly. Giving too many beans too quickly can cause tummy upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Green beans diced on cutting board

Pro Tip: Make sure you will be able to give your loved one the best medical care possible by comparing pet insurance plans and finding the provider who fits your needs. It’s best to sign up while your dog is young and before any health concerns arise.

What are healthy vegetables for dogs to eat?

If your furball refuses to eat green beans, there are many other healthy treats you could try. Dogs can eat a variety of veggies, including broccoli, carrots, celery, and potatoes, to name a few examples. All of these vegetables can be excellent alternatives to traditional treats, so long as they’re properly prepared and given in moderation.

Key Takeaways

  • Nutritious and low in calories, green beans are a good choice that dogs actually like!
  • Dogs can eat them raw as well as cooked. Just make sure the beans are sliced into bite-sized pieces and stay away from additives like butter and salt.
  • Too many green beans can upset your dog’s stomach, so make sure they don’t make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.
  • When it comes to introducing your pet to a new food like green beans, it’s best to consult your vet.

Ricky Walther, DVM

About the author

Richard Walther, DVM

Associate Veterinarian - Petco

Ricky Walther, DVM, is a small animal general practitioner in the greater Sacramento, California area. Realizing the positive financial and medical impact that pet insurance can provide for pet parents and the profession, he lends support and advice to companies like Pawlicy Advisor that simplify the process of connecting with veterinary financing resources.

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