Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas?

Garbanzo beans, more commonly known as chickpeas, are a staple in most salad recipes and convenient food that is well worth the price.

Chickpeas are a plant protein that fits most diets, ranging from regular, to vegetarian, to vegan. With protein being a large part of a dog’s diet, you might have thought to feed your furry friend some chickpeas.

Are Chickpeas Safe for Dogs?

Most commercial dog food brands tend to use legumes for their protein boost. Since chickpeas are a type of legume, they are safe for your pup.

However, it would be best to feed your dog chickpeas in moderation.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas for Dogs

They are an all-around healthy legume that could benefit your dog. You can use them to make snacks that are much healthier for your dog than processed dog biscuits.

Chickpeas are:

Rich in Fiber

The fiber content in chickpeas helps support your pup’s heart health and reduce inflammation. Fiber also has antioxidant properties that support and boost the immune system.

The fiber in chickpeas can also be beneficial to your dog’s stomach health. It helps add bulk to your dog’s stool, making it firm and helping dogs with diarrhea. While at it, chickpeas help regulate your dog’s bowel movements, express their anal glands, and alleviate constipation.

Another benefit of the fiber is controlling the absorption of sugar in the blood, preventing dogs from having high blood sugar and fostering the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract.

A Source of Protein

Chickpeas contain high levels of plant-based protein. This protein is great for building and maintaining muscles. It also helps control hunger, making them useful for dogs with weight problems. A few chickpeas in your dog’s meal will make them feel full, ensuring they don’t overeat. You can even give them chickpeas as a treat, especially for peckish dogs, to keep their hunger at bay until their next feeding time.

As healthy as plant-based protein is, you should not use it to replace meat protein. Dogs require more meat protein for a balanced diet because it contains essential amino acids that dogs need to stay healthy. Therefore, regulating the amount of chickpeas you feed them is important.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

These legumes contain a ton of vitamins and minerals. For example, the phosphorous, potassium, and calcium in chickpeas are electrolytes that control electrical impulses. This allows your dog’s heart to beat properly, ensures their nerves send the correct signals, and enables their muscles to move. Phosphorous and calcium also play an important role in the growth of strong bones.

Chickpeas contain magnesium, which assists in the absorption of minerals. They also have iron that helps maintain healthy blood cells, enabling efficient oxygen transfer around your dog’s body.

Zinc is also another essential mineral found in chickpeas. It assists in multiple metabolic functions, is necessary for forming DNA and hormones, and helps keep your dog’s brain healthy.

Can Dogs Eat…

As a dog owner, you must be very careful to ensure your pup doesn’t eat something that can harm them. When it comes to chickpeas, it would be best to consider whether your dog can eat the following before giving it to them:

Canned Chickpeas

One chickpea variety you need to keep your eye on is the canned kind. They are technically safe for dogs to eat as they don’t contain any toxins. However, as with most canned foods, they have a high salt concentration which can lead to high blood pressure, dehydration, and, even worse, sodium poisoning. Dogs don’t require a lot of salt, only around 0.1g in a day. Most canned varieties have way more than this.

Some dogs can also have dietary restrictions, for example, dogs with kidney or liver problems. Others might have underlying conditions that can worsen when exposed to a high sodium diet. You have to be very careful with the amount of salt in their food, so staying away from canned chickpeas might be the best decision.

You can try reducing the amount of salt by rinsing the chickpeas before adding them to your pup’s food. While this is not the most efficient way to get rid of the salt, thoroughly washing the chickpeas can be a last resort option when you run out of dog food. Do not do this with dogs on a low salt diet, as it can still be dangerous.

Canned chickpeas also contain a ton of preservatives to elongate their shelf life. Some of the preservatives used might be toxic to dogs. Check the labels to ensure the preserving agent and the other ingredients in the can are dog friendly.

Luckily, some canned chickpeas brands only use water as a preservative/brining solution. These are the safest option for your pooch and are more palatable. This kind of canned variety usually contains low amounts of sugar, salt, calories, and fat, making it healthy for dogs. Regardless, you should still ensure you rinse the chickpeas.

Raw Chickpeas

Most people have only had canned chickpeas. The good thing is these chickpeas are already cooked, so you don’t need to cook them again before giving them to your dog.

If you have access to fresh chickpeas, you will need to cook them. For the dried variety, you will need to soak them in water to re-hydrate them before cooking.

Raw chickpeas contain several toxins that can endanger your beloved pet’s life and contain substances that can be hard for your dog to digest. Feeding your dog raw chickpeas can consequently result in stomach upsets and be a great source of discomfort.

Do not feed your dog raw chickpeas under any conditions.

Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour contains all the health benefits you get from chickpeas and is safe for your furry friend as long as it is cooked.

The flour is quite nutritious and can be used to make homemade treats. You can also use chickpea flour as a wheat flour substitute, which can be handy for dogs with wheat allergies.

Hummus

This Middle Eastern dip is popular in most of our cuisines. It is made using blended chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper. As you can tell from the ingredients, your dog should not come anywhere near hummus.

The concentrated lemon juice, onions, and garlic in the dip are toxic to dogs. Garlic, for example, triggers the rupture of red blood cells, making your dog vulnerable to anemia. The other seasonings used in the spice can cause irritation and inflammation of your pup’s stomach. Hummus is also high in sodium, and we know the dangers of sodium poisoning.

The dip contains more sugar and fat than canned chickpeas, making it more harmful to dogs. Your dog only needs small amounts of salt, sugar, and fat in their diet to be healthy.

Please do not give your dog any hummus regardless of how much they whine or give you the puppy dog eyes.

Are Chickpeas Bad for Dogs?

The legume can be bad for your pup if you feed them excessively.

Chickpeas’ rich fiber concentration can result in stomach upset, which can manifest itself through diarrhea, loose stool, and flatulence.

Too much chickpeas can also cause bloating, making your dog very gassy and might require a trip to the vet.

Chickpeas are not inherently bad for your dog. You only need to control the amount they eat and ensure they don’t eat them raw.

Only feed your dog plain, cooked chickpeas with minimal salt.

In Summary

  • Dogs can eat chickpeas, provided you take the necessary measures before feeding them.
  • Only give your dog canned chickpeas with water and low salt, sugar, and fat levels. Before feeding them to your dog, make sure you rinse them. Also, check the label to ensure they don’t contain any potentially harmful additives.
  • Your dog can eat dried chickpeas, but you should soak and cook them before serving.
  • Chickpea flour is safe for dogs and can be a wheat flour alternative.
  • Dogs should not eat hummus because of its harmful ingredients and high levels of salt and sugar.
  • Feed your dog chickpeas in moderation to ensure there isn’t an overload of fiber or plant protein.

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