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It’s not unusual to come across a dog earnestly begging for human foods. Neither is it unusual to find a pet parent gladly sharing people foods with their canine friends.
But as you may already know, many human foods are considered nutritionally useless for dogs. Some are outright toxic and could leave your pooch battling a host of adverse effects.
So, where does that leave green beans? Can dogs eat green beans?
Dogs can comfortably eat green beans. Not only are these grains harmless to dogs. They’re also chockfull of useful minerals and vitamins that your furry companion may benefit from.
However, there are various precautions to take when feeding green beans to your adorable pooch. This article serves as a definitive guide to green beans for dogs.
What Are Green Beans?
Green bean is a term for any young, unripe fruit produced by any cultivar of the common bean. The botanical name for the common bean is Phaseolus vulgaris.
However, green beans may also denote the young or immature pods of the yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), and the hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus).
Green beans go by numerous other names, including French beans, snap beans, and string beans. In the Philippines, these beans are known as Baguio beans to distinguish them from similar yardlong beans.
How Might Green Beans Benefit Your Dog?
To understand the potential health and nutritional benefits of green beans for dogs, it’s best to start by finding out what these beans constitute.
Now, a 100-gram serving (approximately 3.5 ounces) of raw green beans contains 90 grams of water, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein. The same serving amount contains 31 calories and varying portions of other minerals and vitamins.
The following are the various ways green beans might benefit your dog:
1. Building Muscle Mass
A 100-gram serving of raw green grams contains 2 grams of protein.
A 2% protein content may not seem like much. But it can go a long way in supplementing your dog’s daily protein requirement.
Protein contains amino acids that help in the building of muscle mass. The nutrient can also strengthen your dog’s tissues, bones, and hair.
2. Aiding Digestion
Nearly all plant-derived foods are high in dietary fiber. And green bean is no exception.
Fiber-rich foods are famous for their positive effects on digestion.
Fiber nourishes the useful microorganisms that inhabit an animal’s gut, otherwise known as gut microbiota. Studies have shown that keeping the gut microbiota well-nourished might reduce the risks of certain disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Fiber also possesses stool-bulking properties. Consuming high-fiber diets like green beans may relieve digestive complications like constipation. And the fact that green bean is a low-FODMAP food makes it all the more recommended for dogs with an upset stomach.
FODMAPs refer to undigested carbohydrates which are metabolized by gut microbiota, leading to gastrointestinal issues like bloating, abdominal discomfort, constipation, and diarrhea.
3. Preventing Weight Gain and Dehydration
Green beans are considerably high in both dietary fiber and water, a combination that might help guard against unhealthy weight gain.
Fiber- and moisture-dense foods create the sensations of fullness. This reduces the food portions that your pooch can down in one sitting, ultimately preventing weight gain.
But that’s not all. The high water content in green beans can also help combat dehydration in dogs.
4. Boosting Immunity
Like humans, dogs aren’t immune from chronic illnesses. Lifestyle diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are ever on the rise among the canine population.
Fortunately, supplementing with green beans may cushion your dog from certain chronic diseases. That’s due to the high number of antioxidants in these grains.
Green beans are loaded with powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, flavonoids, kaemferol, and quercetin. These compounds work synergistically with vitamins A and C to minimize the risks of disease.
Vitamin A and beta-carotene are particularly noted for their ability to improve vision by counteracting macular degeneration. On the other hand, Vitamin C and flavonoids pack anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect your pooch from inflammatory diseases like cancer and arthritis.
The following are other noteworthy minerals in green beans and how each might benefit your dog:
• Vitamin B6 – Supports your dog’s metabolism and regulates his nervous system.
• Vitamin B9 (Folate) – Supports healthy fetal development, making it especially suitable for expecting dogs.
• Vitamin K – Aids blood clotting processes while also promoting bone metabolism.
Are There Precautions To Take When Serving Green Beans To Your Dog?
While green beans may provide several benefits to dogs, these grains are by no means risk-free.
For starters, a dog’s diet should comprise at least 80% animal-derived compounds. Evolution hasn’t prepared a dog’s digestive system to process plant-based foods. So, your pooch may not drop dead after snacking on green beans. But he could still develop an upset stomach, especially if he consumes more than his fair share of the grains.
Choking is another risk associated with green beans for dogs. The fact that these beans are traditionally cooked with their pods intact further increases choking risks. Again, this underscores the significance of moderation if feeding green beans to your canine friend. Keep the portions small and measured to minimize choking hazards.
The following are other precautions to take when serving green beans to your dog:
• Only give your dog cooked green beans
• Cook green beans in plain water and keep it mildly-seasoned
• Avoid giving your dog green beans prepared with spices in the Allium family (such as garlic and onion) as these are highly toxic to dogs
Green beans are loaded with beneficial minerals and vitamins that your dog might enjoy. However, these beans are only safe if served in moderation and as an occasional treat. Never replace your dog’s regular diet with green beans!