Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, have become quite the cornerstone of healthy eating nowadays.
However, as we work to introduce ever more healthy foods into our diets, we often can’t help but wonder if our dogs can reap the same rewards as us.
But many dog owners are also abundantly aware that a lot of foods that are good for us are not good for their pets. That being the case, can dogs eat garbanzo beans?
Are garbanzo beans good for dogs?
Whether you call them garbanzo beans, chickpeas or legumes, these little treats pack plenty of punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals – as well as a surprising amount of fiber.
But better still, although it might not be the first thing you reach for, it’s easy to see how chickpeas can be introduced into your dog’s diet – and bring plenty of benefits with them.
Before getting into the details, it’s important to remember that canned chickpeas are better avoided when compared to garbanzo beans you have cooked yourself, or dried garbanzo beans. Canned chickpeas are often higher in salt than their counterparts, meaning they can be a little more hazardous to your dog’s health than fresher kinds of garbanzo beans.
Dried chickpeas are best cooked before being given to your pet, and many dog owners like to prepare a garbanzo bean paste or dice the little legumes up into easier to nibble pieces – especially for young dogs, old dogs or puppies.
Getting the goodness into your dog’s system needn’t be problematic if you’re the loving owner of a somewhat fussy pooch.
This is especially an issue if you consider the fact that chickpeas are somewhat bland for the most part, and you might thereby find that your dog just isn’t interested in this healthy treat you’re trying to give to him or her.
Many prepackaged garbanzo beans try to overcome this by adding some flavorings to the mix, but keep a very close eye on these before handing them over to your dog.
After all, if they contain onion or garlic in any way, they might well cause toxic harm to your pet.
Whether you bake the garbanzo beans up to feed to your dog or mash them into a pulp to mix in with their dinner, you’re bound to find the solution that works best for you.
And let’s not forget, some dogs are happy and grateful to gobble down whatever their masters offer them, and this may well be the case here.
Health benefits of garbanzo beans for dogs
Chickpeas are packed full of goodness that can help your dog feel vibrant and refreshed.
Of these, you’ll find that there’s also a surprisingly high amount of plant-based protein to enjoy in garbanzo beans that your dog can find much value from.
Although dogs certainly get more than their fair share of protein from chicken, pork or even their own specially formulated dog food, a little extra supplementary protein from the likes of garbanzo beans can help out.
In fact, a lot of companies who produce dog food are turning to garbanzo beans and the like to boost the protein levels in their formulas nowadays.
Protein leads to good muscular development, as well as a great deal of resilience and strength overall – important for growing dogs, healthy for adult dogs, and a good boost for elderly dogs to help their more worn-out limbs keep them going in their later, comfier years.
Garbanzo beans also contain plenty in the way of vitamins. Those include Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C – all very important for helping your dog remain alert and energized.
On top of this, those vitamins contribute towards overall health and well being in quite a visual way – your dog will show a much more shiny coat of fur, for instance, and bright twinkling eyes that show he or she is ready to play whenever you are.
These vitamins also help your dog to feel healthy, both in terms of fighting off illness and speeding up the recovery of your pet, but also giving them a bolstered immune system that fights off sickness before it can take hold in the first place. Not bad going for just a handful of garbanzo beans!
Talking of which, there’s a superb amount of fiber in chickpeas that works wonders on your dog’s digestive system.
Just like we do, dogs need a good fiber intake to make sure that everything flows through their digestive system without complications.
Of course, as plant-based food, your dog is not altogether well equipped, biologically speaking, to handle a lot of this kind of fiber at once.
That’s why it’s important to know that garbanzo beans can only be handed over to your dog in moderation – these are meal supplements rather than meals in themselves.
How many garbanzo beans can a dog eat daily?
It’s important to make sure your dog has the right amount of chickpeas per day, although luckily that’s not because there are any severe dangers to eating too many of them.
After all, garbanzo beans are not toxic to dogs, unless they happen to have been mixed in with garlic or onions.
It’s more a question of saving both you and your dog some embarrassment. In other words, a dog who eats too many garbanzo beans in a day will spend his or her evening with a gassy belly that will, unfortunately, lead to more than a few gurgles and unpleasant smells wafting through the room.
A couple of tablespoons of chickpeas, cooked and mixed into your dog’s dinner, is a good barometer to go by.
And of course, by all means, half that for smaller dog breeds, and halve it again for puppies.
Experiment up and down around these amounts to see what your dog enjoys – some pooches have different levels of appetite than others.
This is important because garbanzo beans can help a dog feel full, meaning that pups who always seem to be hungry can be dissuaded from snacking if you’re concerned about his or her weight gain.
What to do if your dog eats garbanzo beans
Dogs who get something new added to their diets can – no matter how loyal and well behaved they are – always be relied upon to try and get their paws on some more when their owners aren’t looking.
It only takes one unattended packet a mite too close to the edge of the kitchen counter for some dogs to feel a bit too opportunistic for their own good.
The only real danger of your dog eating garbanzo beans, however, is if those have been salted or flavored.
This is especially the case with flavorings that come with chickpeas of the onion or garlic variety – toxic, dangerous and something you need to contact your vet about if your dog has eaten some.
However, the bigger risk if the chickpeas your dog is eating are plain is the issue of indigestion, gas and overall stomach upset.
A dog who has really pushed his or her luck might well throw up not long after eating, which can be harshly humiliating and unenjoyable for your dog indeed.
Stand by with some water if this becomes the case – and if the vomiting persists over a few days, consider asking your vet for advice.
In most cases though, your dog will get overeating too many garbanzo beans by lounging around feeling some tummy gurgles and creating a bit of a stink – so maybe keep a window open near your dog’s bed to save you and your family some nasal discomfort!
In these sorts of cases, it’s best to tell your dog not to repeat this behavior, although their stomach ache might well do all the talking for you – your pet is unlikely to want to repeat this kind of feeling.
If this experience puts your dog off garbanzo beans, you might have to get a little more crafty in keeping them as a part of your dog’s diet.
Try mashing them into meals or otherwise smuggling them into treats in portions you set personally, to help your dog get the benefits of these surprisingly powerful legumes.
Legumes, garbanzo beans, chickpeas – whatever you prefer to call them, these little treats are packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber to keep your dog regular and a neutral enough flavor to be added to their meals without too much fuss.
However, those same advantages can cause a bit of a stomach upset and some particularly nasty gas if taken to extremes, so certainly don’t think that garbanzo beans ought to form the core of your dog’s meals.
These are supplements rather than the center piece, so to speak, but in being so they will certainly last you well – your dog needs only a little to get a lot of advantages from garbanzo beans in their health and well being.