Can Dogs Eat Black Beans?

Picture of food made with black beans

There are so many different kinds of beans that you probably use some of them in your diet. Have you wondered whether dogs can eat beans? Specifically can dogs eat black beans? The answer is a qualified yes. Black beans are especially popular with Mexican and Caribbean dishes. Your dog doesn’t need to eat spicy foods to enjoy black beans but he can partake of plain black beans for some of their nutritional value.

Keep reading to learn more about black beans and how your dog can benefit from them in small amounts.

Black Bean nutrition

Black beans (cooked – boiled without salt) can be healthy for humans. They are about 23 percent protein, 74 percent carbohydrates, and 3 percent fat. They are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. They are also a good source of thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, as well as dietary fiber and folate https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4284/2.

One cup (172 grams) of cooked black beans contains 227 calories. Black beans are relatively high in calories so you shouldn’t give your dog a lot of them. They satisfy hunger and make you (and your dog) feel full but too many can add up.

Black beans are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which means they can be good for digestion. The vitamins and minerals in black beans help strengthen bones https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/289934#benefits.

Black beans contain quercetin and saponins which can protect the heart. Selenium, saponins, fiber, and folate tend to help inflammation and cancers.

Black beans are also believed to help reduce blood sugar spikes after eating a meal https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-beans-legumes#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6. This means that they may help reduce the risk of diabetes. They have a lower glycemic index compared to other high carbohydrate foods.

Can dogs eat black beans?

Yes, dogs can eat black beans in small amounts but there are a few things to know.

Black beans provide a good source of plant protein for humans. The situation is more complicated for dogs who don’t usually digest plant protein as easily as meat protein. Too much plant protein via legumes (black beans are legumes) has been linked to certain health problems, including a dietary form of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still investigating https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2021-01-01/fda-urges-collaboration-dilated-cardiomyopathy-afflicts-more-dogs.

Beans, including black beans, cannot be a replacement for meat or animal protein in your dog’s diet. However, your dog can enjoy small amounts of black beans as a treat. You can also add black beans to your dog’s regular diet.

Legumes such as black beans contain oligosaccharides called galactans. Some people cannot digest these sugars which leads to intestinal gas and discomfort. Dogs, too, can have trouble digesting them and experience gas and discomfort.

There are several ways to cope with the gas from black beans.

  • Give your dog fewer black beans
  • Soak the dried black beans longer before you cook them

How many black beans can you give your dog?

How many or how much black beans to give your dog depends on his size and his stomach. Some dogs are more sensitive than others to gassy foods. For many small dogs you can give them a couple of tablespoons of black beans. Medium and larger dogs can eat half a cup until you see if they will have an upset stomach from eating the beans.

Preparing black beans for your dog

The best way to prepare black beans for your dog is by buying dried beans and soaking them overnight. Letting them soak longer allows the gasses from the beans to bubble off so they won’t bother your dog’s stomach.

Canned beans are usually high in sodium so they aren’t recommended to give to your dog.

After soaking you should drain them and cook them according to the package directions. Cook them slowly. Do not add salt or spices. Keep the beans plain since they are for your dog.

After the beans have finished cooking you can mix some of them with rice, meat, or some vegetables to add to your dog’s meal. Use in small amounts as a topper or treat.

How often can you give your dog black beans?

Black beans are a healthy food but because they are very high in fiber it’s best not to give them to your dog every day. You can give them to your dog as a special treat a couple of times per week.

Keep an eye on your dog’s poop to make sure it’s not too loose after eating the black beans. If your dog is gassy after eating black beans, cut back on the amount you are feeding. 

Dogs and black beans: conclusion

Black beans are a healthy treat for dogs but too much can lead to gas and stomach discomfort. Buy dried beans instead of canned beans because of the sodium content. Prepare dry black beans as you would for yourself, minus salt and seasonings. Share with your dog in moderation.

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Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.

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