Chickpeas are safe for dogs when cooked and served plainly. Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) become detrimental to dogs when they are mixed with other ingredients i.e., spices like garlic and onion that are known to be harmful to dogs. Chickpeas are legumes like beans, which are packed with nutrients useful to dogs.
Human foods aren’t recommendable to pets because of the additives included that may not be good for dogs. Plain chickpeas on the other hand are so nutritious to dogs that they are common in many natural commercial dog food brands.
If you are snacking on cooked plain chickpeas with no additives like spices, salt, etc., it’s not advisable to give your dog a bite. While your dog's begging eyes may be hard to ignore, you’ll do your dog more harm than good by giving them chickpeas with spices and herbs.
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Here’s a summary of the health benefits your dog stands to enjoy from snacking on plain chickpeas.
1. Protein benefits: Chickpeas are great sources of protein. Dogs can benefit greatly from proteins. A dog needs proteins to grow. All cells and muscles in a dog's body need protein to grow. However, it's worth noting that dogs benefit more from animal protein than plant protein. As a result, chickpeas shouldn't replace animal protein in your dog's diet.
2. Fat benefits: Dogs need good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those in chickpeas). Fats provide energy. They are also important for proper development and functioning of nerves, body cells, body tissues, and muscles.
3. Fiber benefits: Chickpeas also contain dietary fiber, which has notable digestive benefits. In moderate quantities, dietary fiber can prevent constipation, diarrhea, and risks of chronic diseases like colon cancer.
Fiber can also reduce weight-related issues in dogs by reducing appetite and promoting satiety. However, too much plant fiber is bad for dogs. You risk exposing your dog to stomach upsets, flatulence, among other digestive system problems if you feed them too much chickpeas.
4. Vitamin and mineral benefits: Chickpeas also contain minerals like potassium, sodium, and many others known to be crucial for a dog's health.
Potassium is critical for metabolism, muscle health, neural function, and bone health in dogs. Sodium is also necessary for cell and muscle function. However, there should be a strict balance in regards to potassium and sodium, as excessive consumption is linked to health risks such as heart failure in dogs.
Chickpeas also contain other minerals in small quantities that have critical roles in a dog's health. The minerals include copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, choline, folate, and phosphorous.
Chickpeas contain vitamins (A, B-Complex, C & K). Vitamin A is critical for eye health. B-Complex is important for organ health and overall immunity. Vitamin C prevents cellular damage.
Spice and additive risks: As mentioned above, spices like garlic and onions added in human foods are harmful to dogs. Since your likelihood of eating plain chickpeas with no salt, garlic, onions etc., is very low, you should be deliberate when feeding chickpeas to your dog. You shouldn’t have them taste your spicy chickpeas. Instead, cook some plain ones for him/her.
Processed chickpeas and canned chickpeas are also out of the question for dogs given they contain additives like salt and preservatives, which are bad for dogs. Some remedies like washing the chickpeas can work when you have canned chickpeas. However, there's no sure way of knowing if you have gotten rid of all the risky ingredients.
Bloating and gas risks: Legumes like chickpeas are notorious for causing bloating or gas. Some dog breeds like bulldogs, may be more susceptible to this risk. This health risk is also higher if you feed a lot of chickpeas to your dog.
Chocking risks: Dogs also tend to choke on chickpeas, especially if they don't chew them well. It's therefore advisable to feed your dog in small quantities of cooked chickpeas at a time.
Can dogs eat chickpeas? Yes. But it matters how you serve chickpeas to dogs. As mentioned below, you should feed small amounts of chickpeas at a time. The chickpeas also need to be cooked without seasoning. Don’t feed your dog chickpeas with salt, onions, garlic or any other spice or food additive that are common in human foods.
You can blend the chickpeas or feed them whole mixed with some animal protein and vegetables. You can also feed chickpeas as a dog treat whether whole or blended. Chickpeas can also replace regular flour in dog food recipes.
Dogs have a hard time eating dried chickpeas. The dental formula of dogs isn’t meant for chickpeas or a plant diet. To make it easier and safe for your dog, don’t feed them dried chickpeas. Instead, soak and cook chickpeas before serving them. You just need to boil chickpeas in water without adding anything.
You should not feed your dog canned chickpeas even if they are cooked since they have preservatives in them that are harmful to dogs. You should also avoid chickpeas and hummus otherwise, you'll expose your dog to stomach problems.
Dog owners can give their dogs chickpeas, but they'll have to prepare them in a manner that is safe for dogs. It's not advisable to give dogs chickpeas with additives like salt and spices. So, don't be tempted to throw chickpeas at your dog just because you are munching on them.
Dogs are bound to benefit from the minerals, protein and fiber of plain boiled or steamed chickpeas only! However, don't forget the fact that dogs are meant to eat a carnivorous diet. Healthy dog foods can provide all the nutrients your dog needs. So, chickpeas should be treated as dog treats as opposed to a substitute for healthy pet food.
If your dog eats chickpeas or garbanzo beans in large quantities of your chickpeas packed with salt and spices, monitor them for side effects. Spices and other food additives in human food tend to cause digestive system problems. If your dog develops such symptoms, visit a vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Chickpea Flour?
Yes, chickpea flour can be included in your dog's diet as long as it is cooked. You could use this ingredient to make homemade treats or substitute it for wheat if your pup has an allergy to that grain!
Can Dogs Eat Hummus?
Dogs can eat hummus that’s completely plain in small amounts. Unfortunately, most store-bought hummuses are seasoned with things like lemon juice and garlic, both of which can be dangerous for your dog to eat.
Lemon juice, while not directly toxic, can upset your dog’s stomach greatly in large amounts. Lemons themselves, including some of the oils present in them, are toxic to dogs. If your hummus contains lemon zest or actual lemon rather than just juice, it should be avoided.
Garlic, on the other hand, is extremely toxic to dogs, and can cause issues with your dog’s red blood cells that can lead to anemia. If your dog has eaten hummus with large amounts of garlic, you’ll need to contact a vet as soon as possible.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chickpeas?
You and your dog should not eat raw chickpeas. Raw chickpeas contain certain elements that can be toxic if not cooked out, to both humans and dogs. They are likely to cause you both an upset stomach if given raw, if not a more severe reaction.
Instead, cook them thoroughly and serve them plain. If you would like to season your chickpeas, turmeric can be a tasty addition. Pureeing your chickpeas with that, or with another dog-safe spice, can turn them into a delicious treat!
Even when cooked, though, chickpeas have been known to cause gas and mild upset due to the complex sugars present in them that can be difficult to digest. To prevent this, introduce them into your pup’s diet slowly, in small amounts over time. This gives their digestive system a chance to adjust to the sugars and understand how to break them down.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Chickpeas?
While it’s possible for dogs to eat canned chickpeas, it’s not a good idea. Canned chickpeas are often processed and packaged with a lot of sodium, which isn’t good for your dog’s overall health. They can also be processed with preservatives and other additives that are dangerous for dogs to eat.
If you must use canned chickpeas, try to get one that is packaged with as few additives as possible. Look for organic and specifically labeled “low sodium” chickpeas. You should also strain and wash them before serving them, to remove as much of the excess sodium as possible.
If that’s not possible, it’s probably best to just skip the chickpeas altogether.
The information on this page is not a substitute for veterinary help. Please contact a vet for help with any concerns that you have.