Every dog owner is guilty of occasionally sneaking some snacks to their pooch. After all, who can say no to a pair of adoring puppy eyes? As a pet owner, however, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re not feeding them anything potentially harmful.
So, what’s the case with chickpeas? Are they safe for your dog to eat or should they be avoided?
This guide will take an in-depth look at whether or not chickpeas are suitable for dogs, including the health benefits, the potential side effects, and how best to serve them.
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Are Chickpeas Safe For Dogs?
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have Mediterranean and Middle Eastern roots, and are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. They may be small, but they pack a big nutritional punch.
As long as they’re cooked plainly, chickpeas are a viable and beneficial food for dogs. They provide a great source of protein and fiber, and also contain potassium, folate, magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B and C.
Moreover, chickpeas are often used as an essential ingredient in natural brands of commercial dog food. Due to their low cost, high protein and fiber content, and ability to make your dog full for longer, they’re a great addition to most dog food recipes.
Health Benefits Of Chickpeas For Dogs
Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-rich foods. They’re packed full of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and can help tackle a wide range of health issues. Listed below are some of the common illnesses in dogs that chickpeas can help with.
- Obesity – high fiber and protein content makes dogs feel full for longer, so you’re less likely to be hassled by your dog begging for food every 15 minutes.
- High blood pressure and other heart issues – low sodium and high potassium levels help to dilate blood vessels. This helps to improve heart health and lower blood pressure, while the fiber-rich quality of chickpeas also reduces cholesterol in the blood.
- Diabetes – as a complex carbohydrate, chickpeas release energy more slowly, helping to control blood glucose levels.
- Cancer – chickpeas are by no means a cure for cancer, but they do contain a number of substances that aid cancer prevention and growth. For example, selenium decreases tumor growth and helps the liver detoxify cancer-causing agents.
- Inflammatory conditions – contains choline which reduces chronic inflammation and fights against issues such as osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Constipation – chickpeas can offer relief and help regulate bowel movements due to their high fiber content.
Negative Side Effects Of Chickpeas
Like with any food, you’ll want to start feeding it to your dog slowly to make sure that they tolerate it. Keep an eye out for any signs of indigestion or allergies.
You can also consult with your vet – who based on your dog’s overall health and nutritional needs – can make more specific and informed recommendations about whether or not it’s worth including chickpeas in your dog’s diet.
As a general rule, avoid giving your dog chickpeas with onion and garlic. These ingredients are commonly found in chickpeas and chickpea products and can be toxic or harmful to your dog.
Also, take care when feeding your dog canned chickpeas. You may want to avoid them altogether as they contain a fair amount of sodium and preservatives that are bad for your pooch.
Despite these negative side effects, there’s nothing inherently bad about chickpeas. As long as they’re cooked, plain, and fed in moderation, they’ll be perfectly safe for your dog to consume.
How To Serve Your Dog Chickpeas
One of the best ways to serve your dog chickpeas is to mash them up and serve with some cucumber or carrot sticks. This will almost resemble hummus, just without the garlic, olive oil and lemon.
You can also replace flour with chickpea flour in dog treats. This can prove hugely beneficial to dogs who are allergic to wheat and gluten or tend to stick to a grain-free diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Hummus?
Ideally you should keep your dog away from hummus. This is because the hummus typically available in most stores contains a lot more than just chickpeas. Other ingredients include garlic, onion, concentrated lemon juice, and other additives such as oil, salt and spices.
Lemon juice, onions and garlic are all considered toxic to dogs, while the oil, seasonings and spices present in hummus can irritate and damage your dog’s stomach. Furthermore, hummus has far more fat, salt and sugar in it compared to chickpeas canned in water.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chickpeas?
All canned chickpeas have already been cooked, so there’s no need to cook them a second time before feeding to your pooch. All you need to do is drain and rinse them before throwing a few to your dog or sprinkling a handful on the top of their dinner.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that you can’t feed your dog dried chickpeas straight from the packet.
It’s imperative that dried chickpeas are soaked and cooked before they’re safe to consume. This is the case not only for dogs, but also humans.
Can Dogs Eat Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea flour is safe for dogs to consume, just as long as it’s cooked into something. In other words, don’t just pile some flour onto their food as this will do them no good. Interestingly, chickpea flour can often be used to make homemade dog treats.
As mentioned earlier, it also provides a popular and effective substitute for wheat flour if your dog has a wheat allergy.