Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas? (Nutritional Guide)
If you’re trying to feed your dog a natural, healthy diet, you’re probably wondering what role fruit and veg should play in the average canine meal. As you’ve doubtless noticed, many good quality dog foods contain extracts from fruit, veg, seeds, and more, to help your dog live a happy, healthy life.
You might be surprised to know that dogs can also enjoy beans and pulses, just like their owners. One particularly good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals are chickpeas. Also known as garbanzo beans, these peas can be just as good for your pooch as they are in hummus.
If you’re considering feeding your dog this healthy ingredient, read on, as we run through the dos and don’ts of giving your canine friend chickpeas.
Are Chickpeas Safe for Dogs?
Yes, chickpeas are safe for dogs. Although the odd individual might develop a chickpea allergy, which you can read more about below, this is extremely rare, and shouldn’t put you off trying food that contains chickpeas or whipping up a chickpea recipe at home.
Although the majority of a dog’s diet should usually consist of animal protein, adding fruits and vegetables will help your pooch get all the nutrients they need.
Not only are they safe for the vast majority of canines, chickpeas can also be highly beneficial to your pooch’s health. These satisfyingly nutty beans have been grown in the Middle East for millennia, and they’re packed with fiber and protein, as well as a few vital vitamins.
Chickpeas contain iron, important for energy levels, phosphorus, which helps maintain teeth and bones, and manganese, a strong antioxidant.
How to Feed Your Dog Chickpeas
There are a few easy ways to cook nutritious garbanzo beans for dogs:
- Mixed into homemade dog food
First of all, chickpeas are a healthy addition to any homemade dog food. Simply mix in a handful of cooked, unseasoned, chickpeas, for a protein, fiber, and vitamin boost, without throwing in too much fat.
- Honey roasted chickpeas
It sounds good enough to eat, but it’s for dogs! To make this canine treat, drain and rinse canned chickpeas, before whisking together ½ a tablespoon of light olive oil, ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt.
Add the washed chickpeas to this mixture and ensure they are all coated. Next, bake them in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes, shaking occasionally. The chickpeas should be golden and crispy when done.
Remove them from the oven, toss with ½ a tablespoon of honey, and return to the oven for 7 minutes. Cool them completely before serving to your dog in small doses.
- Chickpea flour treats
These make a great alternative to traditional crunch dog treats for pets with allergies. To make them, mix together 1 cup of chickpea flour with ½ a cup of unsweetened applesauce and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Be sure to choose a peanut butter brand without the ingredient Xylitol, as this is toxic to dogs.
Combine these ingredients into a dough, and roll out to a quarter inch thickness, before cutting into consistent shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. Bake the treats for 22 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, on baking parchment.
They should be just beginning to brown around the edges when they’re done. Cool completely before giving to your dog as the perfect natural treat.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Are chickpeas bad for dogs? Certainly not. But there are a few important pitfalls to avoid when it comes to serving the humble garbanzo bean to your pooch:
- Dog chickpea allergy
Although it’s very rare, the occasional dog may develop an allergic reaction to chickpeas. However, allergies to beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, pork, and soy are far more common.
Signs of an allergic reaction include wheezing, tiredness, swelling, and, over time, poor skin. If you think your dog is suffering from a food allergy, seek veterinary attention.
- Windy pets
As with humans, consuming a lot of beans can cause pets to be gassy. For this reason, if your pet is quite windy to begin with, you might want to avoid feeding them chickpeas—or any type of pulse. The excess windiness they trigger is caused by bacteria in our stomach tackling the hard-to-digest fibers and sugars inside the beans. On the bright side, this long digestion time promotes feelings of fullness.
- Adding onion or garlic
Many chickpea recipes, including some types of hummus, pair the bean with onion or garlic—both of which are poisonous to dogs. In fact, all members of the allium family are toxic to dogs to a greater or lesser degree. Garlic is particularly bad, but you should also avoid feeding your pooch leeks and chives. If you are preparing chickpeas for your dog at home, be sure that the recipe you use steers clear of these ingredients.
- Feeding beans too often
Feeding your dog beans too often can cause issues like gassiness and constipation. View them as a supplement to your dog’s diet, and not their main source of calories or protein.
- Feeding beans raw
If you want to feed your dog beans, be sure to wash and cook them first. This ensures they’ll be tasty, easy to digest, and won’t damage your furry friend’s teeth.
If you avoid these pitfalls, you can safely feed your dog chickpeas for many years to come.
Other Beans for Dogs
If you want your pooch to be full of beans, you can also try them on some other canine-friendly legumes. Black beans, green beans, pinto beans, soybeans, and kidney beans.
On the other hand, you should avoid baked beans, because they’re high in sugar, and tomato can be harmful to dogs. You should also avoid coffee beans since coffee is toxic for dogs and any beans that are pre-seasoned.