Today’s question: can dogs eat chickpeas? Scroll down for detailed answers.
Do you ever feed your dog anything else besides his usual dog food, kibble or the occasional doggy treat? Do you find that your pet is looking hungrily when you are eating certain foods such as vegetables, piece of fruit, nuts or a candy? What do you do in a situation like that? Do you give in? Do you resist? How is a dog owner supposed to distinguish what their dog can or cannot eat?
As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to yourself and to the dog, to offer him/her a diet full of nutrients and vitamins made for his/her particular needs. The dietary requirements of dogs vary from that of humans; therefore you must be careful when giving your dog the food s/he is begging for. In the event of offering nuts and candy, definitely talk to a vet first to make sure there are not any toxins or choking hazards involved. With fruit and veggies, dog owners have more wiggle room in which to offer food the dog is whimpering for.
Chickpeas are eaten on their own, similar to popcorn, or within a recipe or meal such as a salad or soup. Obviously, the chickpea is completely safe for human consumption, but are they safe for dogs? We know that they have several nutritional and health benefits for humans. These legumes are excellent protein alternatives for vegetarians and vegans alike. Chickpeas are important addition to a diet, but can they serve the same purpose for your canine friend? Dogs and humans have different digestive systems and different dietary needs. Just because the chickpea is a good source of nutrition for the dog owner, does this mean the chickpea is safe to share with the pet?
Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas?
Fortunately, chickpeas are among the foods that are safe for canine consumption. They can make great treats and there is no reason why you should not be able to feed them to your pooch. Just make sure that you start out by only feeding a small portion to see how he reacts to this new food. Observe for any behavioral changes or allergic reactions. If everything seems fine, you can continue to feed chickpeas to your canine pet in small quantities and not very often. Speaking with your vet before offering chickpeas is a good measure of safety, given that the specific size and breed of your dog may not be conducive to certain types of human food.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein. The size of the chickpea is small and round, the texture of the chickpea is smooth and a bit mushy. Dogs can eat cooked, plain chickpeas as treats or you may also puree and add them to a number of recipes, or smoothed over kibble to make a treat for your dog that is also beneficial and nutritious.
How do You Serve Chickpeas to Dogs?
If you plan on giving chickpeas to your pet, make sure to cook them first. However, do not add any additional ingredients to the chickpeas. Cooked and plain chickpeas are best for dogs. Cooking the chickpeas allow for the texture to soften and become a bit more mushy and easy to swallow. Peas of any kind may present a choking hazard to a dog given that the round nature of the pea may become lodged in the dog’s throat. Dogs also tend to ‘inhale’ their food and eat rather quickly rather than chewing fully and swallowing slowly. Making the chickpea less of a choking hazard is a smart thing to do for both you and the dog.
Cooking the chickpea first prevents choking, but cooking the pea without seasoning is just as important. Dogs are unable to digest seasonings as humans do, and onion and garlic may actually cause death in your dog. Be sure you are aware of any seasoning that may have been done to the chickpea and be sure not to offer your dog a chickpea that has been altered. Even traces of onion and garlic can be deadly to a dog.
What you should also be mindful of is the fact that chickpeas can be quite salty, so you have to be careful to limit the amount your dog has access to. Salt reacts in the body of the dog even stronger than in the human body. Salt can raise blood pressure and cause health problems in your dog simply by offering a ‘treat’ of a veggie. Wishing to do your pet well by offering a healthy treat is quickly diminished by offering a treat laden in salt. Salt can also cause poisoning in dogs and even death in extreme cases.
It’s also good to know that sodium or saturated fat are not contained in chickpeas, your pet is not at any risk unless the package indicates any added salt content. Be sure to opt for low sodium chickpeas if available. In the event your dog has eaten a batch of chickpeas before you could stop him/her, be sure to call your vet or take your dog to the hospital. The advent of salt poisoning should be prevented at all costs.
Can Dogs Eat Hummus?
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should not feed hummus to your dog. Hummus is made from chickpeas, but the effect is definitely not the same since hummus is a different product than the chickpea. Adding ingredients to the chickpea, or turning the chickpea into something else entirely, should be avoided when offering your dog this food. Dogs react best when offered whole foods free from seasoning and free from altering.
While hummus is more likely to appeal to human taste buds, it will not do much for dogs so it is best to avoid the hummus altogether. Dogs do not have a need for hummus, do not crave the creamy texture on a cracker, and do not buy hummus at the store. You are in charge of preventing this food from being eaten by your dog. Moreover, hummus can be harmful for dogs. A store-bought hummus is a processed product that contains a series of other ingredients that are not exactly dog-friendly. You would not want to feed your dog questionable substances, so it is best to keep hummus to yourself.
Many hummus varieties contain lemon juice, onion or garlic and these ingredients are not suitable for dogs. According to ASCPA, garlic and onions can be even toxic to dogs. Unless, you make the hummus yourself without any other ingredients, you shouldn’t include that food into your dog’s diet. In the event your dog has eaten hummus, take your dog to the vet to be checked out asap. Your vet will be able to determine if any reactions are taking place or if poisoning is a risk factor.
What are the Benefits of Chickpeas?
Fiber and protein are the two major nutrients that dogs will get from chickpeas. Offering a dog human food is generally not advised, but if you are going to offer human food anyway, offer the food that is nutritious and low risk for allergens. In addition to fiber and protein, chickpeas may also help dogs with constipation. Keeping he digestive tract of your dog healthy and moving freely is incredibly important. The dog food you offer your pet should allow for proper digestion, but adding a bit of fiber into the diet of the dog is beneficial on some occasions.
Chickpeas are great for dogs that do not usually get any other protein varieties in their daily menu. One of the greatest advantages is the lack of added ingredients and the fact that they contain no sugar. High sugar content is dangerous to dogs. Therefore, chickpeas offer the best of both worlds – variety and health benefits. Human food offered to dogs must be eith low sugar or sugar free due to the lack of processing ability dogs have in this regard.
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Disadvantages of Chickpeas
The common problem with most legumes is that they cause gas. If you are introducing your dog to chickpeas for the first time, make sure to only serve a small amount. Examine your pet’s reaction and whether or not he gets excess gas. Gas may cause discomfort and pain in your pet, and worst case scenario is that gas will cause a condition called ‘bloat’.
Dried or Canned Chickpeas
Canned Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) contain more sodium. It is best to purchase dried chickpeas which are cheaper and easier to store too. Additionally, dried beans come without any additives.
It’s easy to prepare dried garbanzo beans. Simply soak them in cold water overnight. Drain them and rinse them out before cooking. After that, replace them with fresh cold water. Don’t add any salt or other ingredients. Cook the chickpeas thoroughly. It’s also good to mash them before feeding it to your pooch. Dogs tend to not chew their food well and mashing the beans will help with better digestion which also provides better absorption of nutrients.
All in all, chickpeas are definitely a useful food variety, both for humans and pets. You just have to remember that hummus is not suitable for your pet because of the added ingredients. Cooked chickpeas, on the other hand, may seem bland to you but are excellent treats for your pooch.
Generally, chickpeas should be appropriate for all dogs but if yours is showing any signs of an allergic reaction or illness, you should definitely exclude them from his diet.