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Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Vet-Approved Feeding Facts

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

close up of green beans

Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Vet-Approved Feeding Facts

VET APPROVED

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

BVM BVS MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Our canine companions are excellent at sneaking food off our plates or out of our hands, but human food isn’t always the best for them. Sometimes, our food has more fat and sodium than our dogs need, while other times, it contains ingredients that are toxic to them. Some vegetables are relatively safe for dogs to eat, but what about green beans?

Can dogs eat green beans? The answer is yes! Green beans have been deemed safe and healthy for pups. So, if you’ve been hunting for a healthier treat for your favorite dog, green beans could be ideal! However, there are a few factors to consider before feeding green beans to your pet.

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Why Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?

Why is it safe for dogs to eat green beans? For starters, there is nothing toxic about green beans, so you don’t need to worry about them harming your pet. They’re low-calorie veggies and make fantastic treats (in moderation, of course). Green beans are also an excellent source of essential nutrients (as you’ll see below), making them a healthy snack for your dog. Plus, many dogs actually enjoy green beans!

Green beans
Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay

Benefits of Feeding Green Beans to Dogs

Green beans contain a wealth of essential minerals and vitamins your dog requires.  If your dog is fed a good-quality, balanced kibble, these minerals and vitamins should already be taken care of.  However, there’s no problem in offering some healthy snacks alongside your dog’s regular food. Just a few vitamins and minerals found in green beans are:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B3 (Niacin) and B9 (Folate)
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Green beans are heavy on fiber, which is great for helping dogs feel full for longer and keep their bowel movements regular. Add in the fact that green beans are low-calorie, and you can see how they can be a healthy snack for your dog! However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise caution when feeding this veggie to your pup.

Dogs can have sensitive stomachs, and an overabundance of green beans could cause stomach issues because of all the fiber they contain. While all the previous minerals and vitamins are essential, if your pup is eating a balanced diet already (as they should be!), they don’t necessarily need the extra nutrients in green beans.

So, green beans are safe and healthy; just remember to give them to your pet in moderation!

golden retriever dog eating food from feeding bowl
Image Credit: AYO Production, Shutterstock

How Should Green Beans Be Fed to My Dog?

The most important thing to remember about green beans is that they should be plain if you give them to your pet. Green beans are often covered with other ingredients, which can be unhealthy or even dangerous to your dog. For example, canned green beans are high in salt. In half a cup of canned green beans (120 g), there is 290 mg of sodium.  For a medium-sized dog, more than half a teaspoon of salt can lead to salt toxicosis, so staying away from highly salted foods is a good idea.

You also want to avoid any green beans cooked with any member of the Allium genus, such as onions or garlic, since they are toxic to canines. If the green beans have been cooked with spices or oils, they should also be avoided, as those can upset a sensitive dog’s stomach.  You should always be careful of the size of the green bean you’re giving to your pup. If you don’t chop it up for a small dog, it could pose a choking hazard (although this isn’t likely).

So, as long as green beans are plain, they’re fine. You can serve them to your pup however you want, whether raw, steamed, or baked.

Green beans
Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Canines & The Green Bean Diet

If your dog is carrying extra weight and you’ve spent time online searching for ways to help them lose a few pounds, you might’ve encountered the “green bean diet.”  It’s a diet plan that slowly incorporates green beans into your dog’s diet by replacing a percentage of their regular food with the veggies. Since green beans are safe and healthy for canines, it sounds like a good weight-loss plan, but it’s not.

While this diet sounds good in theory, in reality, it has serious downsides, as described below:

  • Your dog missing out on important nutrients they would be getting from their regular food (as green beans don’t contain every vitamin and mineral they need) could lead to malnutrition.
  • Green beans don’t contain enough protein to meet a dog’s daily needs, which could lead to muscle mass loss.
  • Because dogs are missing out on vital nutrients while on the green bean diet, any weight they might lose could be regained the moment they switch back to dog food due to changes in their metabolism.

Overall, this diet isn’t safe (and you should speak to your vet before attempting any diet with your dog; your pet may have an underlying health condition causing them to gain weight). So, avoid using the green bean diet if your pup is carrying a few extra pounds.

You can replace some of their dog treats with green beans as part of a vet-approved weight loss plan. This will reduce your dog’s overall calorie intake, but the green beans are not replacing balanced nutrition; they are replacing high-calorie treats.

a sick vizsla dog lying on a dog bed at home
Image Credit: Edgar Feliz, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Green beans are a delicious and healthy treat for most canines! Remember that you should only serve plain green beans to your pet, and they should be offered in moderation. Green beans contain several healthy minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to your dog, but they also lack in other areas, so they aren’t a replacement for a balanced diet, even in overweight dogs.

You should also avoid the green bean diet, which replaces a portion of your pup’s food with green beans to lose weight since it can be dangerous for your canine pal and lead to malnutrition.


Featured Image Credit: flockine, Pixabay

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