Yes! Edamame is safe for dogs. Edamame pods are rich in omega 3, Vitamin C, and Calcium, among other nutrients that your dog can benefit from in many ways. However, since Edamame (immature soybeans) is cooked in many ways in different parts of the world, the method of preparation can determine if Edamame is safe or not for dogs.
Plain steamed or boiled Edamame is safe for dogs. However, when additives like spices and salt are added, they introduce health risks, as discussed below.
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If you need a formal definition, Edamame are soybeans that have been picked young. They are common in Asian cuisines as an appetizer or starter. Since they are picked young, they tend to be sweeter and softer.
1. Vitamin C benefits: According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), Vitamin C gets rid of harmful free radicals in a dog's body. The powerful antioxidant also reduces cognitive aging and inflammation in dogs. However, while dogs can synthesize Vitamin C in their livers, some supplementation may be required to maximize benefits.
2. Calcium benefits: Dogs need Calcium to develop strong bones and teeth. In fact, Calcium must constitute approximately 0.6% or more of your dog’s daily diet. Besides supporting bone and teeth health, Calcium promotes muscle health and supports the essential processes in the cells. However, the mineral works optimally alongside Magnesium.
3. Omega 3 benefits: Omega 3 is a popular ingredient in dog supplements given the variety of benefits dog's stand to gain. Omega 3 helps with kidney function, skin conditions, allergies, lymphoma, arthritis, cognitive function, and more. While there is a need for more research on how Omega 3 benefits dogs, there is no doubt that Omega 3 acids boost a dog's health.
4. Protein benefits: Edamame also contains protein, which helps dogs build and repair muscles as well as other body tissues. Protein is vital for the growth of hair and new skin cells. Protein also helps dogs create enzymes and chemicals in their bodies. Protein performs many other functions in a dog’s body.
5. Fiber benefits: Edamame is high in fiber, which offers benefits like weight management. High fiber foods keep dog's full. This can be incredibly beneficial to dogs susceptible to gaining weight. Adding some Edamame in your dog's weight can prevent overeating.
While the above health benefits may tempt dog owners to feed their dog's plenty of Edamame, feeding Edamame to dogs comes with its own risks. The most notable risks include:
Salt and spice risks: The answer to the question “can dogs have Edamame” can be yes or no depending on how the Edamame is prepared. Edamame meant for dogs should be boiled or steamed, as it is, without adding anything.
However, most people add additives like salt and spices, which are known to bad for dogs. Dogs can suffer side effects like thirst, depression, tremors, diarrhea, seizures, and high temperature from eating too much salt. In some instances, too much salt in a dog’s diet can cause death.
Spices also pose health risks to dogs. While some may be good, most are not. This is precisely why it’s recommendable to stick to dog food. Giving your dog human foods with onions, and garlic can pose serious health risks such as causing hemolytic anemia that causes symptoms like lethargy, rapid breathing, and jaundice. As a result, don't prepare Edamame for your dog using garlic, onions, or any other spice.
Fiber risks: Edamame is packed with dietary benefits that can be bad for dogs. Since a dog's digestive system is meant for a carnivorous diet, too much plant food isn't good. Excess fiber can make your dog have stomach problems like diarrhea and stomach upset.
Edamame pod risks: Can dogs have Edamame shells? No! Soybean pods can be a bit tough and difficult to digest. This risk applies mostly to large small dogs. Their size makes them susceptible to stomach blockages because of soybean pods. The pods also pose choking risks.
Allergy risks: There's always a chance that your dog will be allergic to some plant foods. As mentioned above, dogs are supposed to maintain carnivorous diets. They are extremely sensitive to plant foods, which is why you must test out any plant foods first before you decide to include it regularly in your dog's diet.
Some dogs can be allergic to soy, even if it is classified as non-toxic to dogs. If your dog vomits, bloats, constipates, or suffers from diarrhea after eating Edamame, stop feeding your dog Edamame immediately and give your dog a lot of water. You should also visit a vet immediately if the negative symptoms persist.
Edamame can be bought raw, frozen, baked, or mixed with vegetables. Raw shelled Edamame is the best for your dog since it's free of pods, which eliminates choking risks. Shelled Edamame also eliminates stomach upset problems.
What's more, the Edamame should either be boiled or steamed without using seasoning, salt, or any other additives. Cooking and serving Edamame as it eliminates numerous risks posed by spices, herbs, and salt. The Edamame shouldn't be cooked with oil to avoid weight gain.
Edamame should be served alone or with dog food or other vegetables. The Edamame should also be fresh and preferably organic. 100% natural vegetables are free of pesticides, among other chemicals that can cause allergies or poison dogs. To avoid compromising your dog's health as well as yours, stick to food that has been grown naturally without using pesticide additives.
Edamame should also be served moderately. Since dogs aren’t supposed to eat a vegetable diet, giving your dog too much Edamame will do more harm than good. A small amount (a handful) of Edamame is enough a few times a week. Vegetables shouldn’t substitute dog food.
Dogs can eat edamame! However, they shouldn't enjoy Edamame the way humans do. Dogs don't need spices, salt, and the oil we add when cooking Edamame. What's more, dogs don't need to eat as much Edamame as we do. A handful of steamed or boiled Edamame one to three times a week is enough.
The information on this page is not a substitute for veterinary help. Please contact a vet for help with any concerns that you have.