Are Green Beans a Healthy Snack for Dogs?
If you’re looking for a healthy snack that is an alternative to dog biscuits and can make you feel less guilty about denying your pet a bite when you're snacking, look no further: green beans are a natural, safe option that dogs go crazy for.
Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?
Happily, the answer is an enthusiastic yes! Especially if you’re getting your green beans fresh, there are few better, tastier options. Not only are green beans a natural treat, they’re also packed with nutrients, including vitamins B6, A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, and a dash of protein. While these are all things your dog should already be getting plenty of with good quality dog food, it’s nice to know that green beans can act as a tasty little vitamin that you won’t have to fight your dog to eat.
“Green beans are an excellent snack,” says Denver-based vet Kaci Angelone, DVM, MS. “Green beans straight from the can are fine. They’re very low in calories and high in fiber.”
Additionally, green beans can be used as a treat in place of traditional dog biscuits, which can help cut down on calories for overweight dogs and help chunky bois stay trim.
"The fiber content in green beans can act as an appetite suppressant by making dogs feel fuller faster," Angelone explains.
So I Can Give My Dog All the Green Beans Then?
Not so fast. While fresh green beans are a safe treat, there are a few things to watch out for. First off, not all of us have access to fresh beans from the garden. Which means a lot of us are getting our green beans from the grocery store shelf, canned. There’s nothing wrong with cracking open a can and giving our dogs a couple, but check the labels and make sure there isn't a lot of sodium that was added to the beans as they were prepared.
If you’re cooking with green beans and giving Fido a few as you work, make sure that you’re not giving them beans cooked in oil or strong spices, as both can give your dog some digestion issues.
“I would definitely avoid things like green bean casserole, because that most of the time has cheese or cream in it, which is higher in salt, higher in fat, and can upset their stomach,” Angelone explains.
Finally, if you’re giving your dog raw whole green beans, make sure that they aren’t too large, and thereby become a choking hazard.
What Other Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
Speaking in the broadest sense possible, it’s hard to find a vegetable that is going to outright harm your dog. In addition to green beans, some other healthy, generally pet-safe vegetables include:
Though these veggies are usually safe, there are some caveats, so make sure you do your research and talk to your veterinarian before feeding your dog any new foods—vegetables or otherwise. And always ensure you feed your dog any treats in moderation!
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If you're a big fan of a vegetable medley, you're in luck: for the most part, combinations like green beans and peas, green beans and corn, green beans and broccoli, or any combination therein is considered safe for your dog to eat. Just remember to keep an eye on the packaging if you’re not cooking them fresh yourself, and make sure that you’re getting ones that aren’t packaged with a lot of extra sodium. Also, be sure to avoid any package that comes ready-mixed with any kind of cheese, sauce, or gravy.