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Puppy laying on a basket of green beans

The essentials

  • Plain green beans are a safe treat for dogs. Dogs can safely eat them as long as they’re prepared properly and have no added salt, oil, or spices.
  • Green beans shouldn’t replace a balanced diet. Though healthy, green beans lack the calories and nutrients that dogs need daily.
  • Consult your veterinarian first. Every dog is unique, so it’s best to ask your vet if it’s okay for your dog to consume the vegetable-based on other health considerations.

Whether you like green beans or squirm at the thought of them, there’s no denying their health benefits for humans. High in fiber and protein, the vegetable can lower cholesterol and improve your immune system. But what about slipping our dogs some of these stringy delights? Are they as nutritious for our four-legged friends as they are for us?

Are green beans safe for dogs?

The short answer is YES, you can safely feed your dog green beans as long as they are plain. This means no added salt (as is the case with most canned green beans), oil, spices, or toxic human foods mixed in like onions or garlic. For this reason, you’ll also want to avoid whipping up a green bean casserole for your dog.

Veterinarians not only consider the vegetable to be non-toxic, but a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet. And many dogs love them because of their crunch and semi-sweet flavor. But that doesn’t mean feeding your dog plain green beans is as simple as forking a handful over to them. Read on for the safest ways to supplement your pup’s diet with this healthy veggie.

What kind of green beans can dogs eat?

Dogs are omnivores, just like their humans, and green beans are just one of the many “people foods” our pups can safely enjoy (or not enjoy, depending on their preferences). You can rest assured that all plain green beans are safe for your furry friend to consume, whether they’re frozen, chopped, steamed, roasted, or dehydrated.

It’s also okay for dogs to consume raw green beans, as long as they’ve been rinsed well. You’ll want to avoid canned green beans, as they tend to have sodium or other preservatives that can increase the risk of heart disease or high blood pressure .

Benefits of feeding dogs green beans

You may be asking yourself if there are any nutritional benefits in feeding your dog green beans. While the vegetable doesn’t contain all of the nutrients essential for a balanced canine diet, it does have several health benefits.

  • Fiber – Green beans are high in fiber, which can help dogs digest their food more easily.
  • Protein – They’re also a good source of protein, which can give your pooch a healthy coat and aid in muscle development.
  • Low in calories – The vegetable is a low-calorie alternative to many other commercial dog treats on the market.
  • Vitamins and minerals – This includes protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K.
  • A satisfying crunch – Dogs typically like green beans because they pack a little crunch. That said, if your pup has sensitive teeth you can also cook them to soften the treat.

The green bean diet trend

Because they’re low in calories, there’s a popular fad among pet parents known as the “green bean diet”. Essentially, owners of overweight dogs will try to get their dogs to rapidly shed pounds by replacing 10% of their dog’s meals with green beans and then gradually increasing it to 50% over a week. However, veterinarians consider this to be an unhealthy method of obesity management.

Though packed with vitamins and nutrients, the green beans will leave your dog short on their daily nutritional and caloric needs, possibly resulting in dietary deficiencies and a weakened immune system. This is why green beans should only be given to dogs in addition to their regular diet, not as a meal replacement.

Using green beans as a treat

Ideally, owners should look to green beans as a healthy treat to replace store-brand biscuits and dog treats that are higher in calories. As discussed, these vegetables are also a good source of fiber, which makes dogs feel full quicker and for longer, so you don’t have to give them as much. One good idea is using green beans as a food topper to entice less food-motivated dogs to eat their meals.

How many green beans can a dog have?

This all begs the question of just how many green beans we should be giving to our dogs. As with any new food you’re introducing to your pet, you should always ask your vet for guidance on how to portion it according to your pup’s weight and any other health issues unique to them, such as an underlying illness.

The following chart is our guide on how many green beans a dog should generally eat per their weight, though recommendations may vary depending on the individual dog(s).

Weight Amount of green beans Example breeds
20 pounds or less 1-2 pieces Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, shih tzu, Pomeranian, pug
21 to 30 pounds 3 pieces Basenji, beagle
31 to 50 pounds 5-6 pieces Australian cattle dog, Basset hound, Siberian husky, border collie
51 to 90 pounds 1 small handful German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Australian shepherd, American pit bull terrier
Over 91 pounds 1 large handful St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Bernese mountain dog

How to prepare green beans for your dog

Okay, great, let’s eat, right? Not so fast. Green beans are only truly safe for dogs when prepared properly to minimize adverse reactions like choking or stomach upset. Follow these simple steps to ensure your pup is safely consuming this healthy snack.

  • Wash. First, wash the green beans to rinse off any potential pesticides or bacteria.
  • Chop. Green beans can be a choking hazard for dogs. Slice off the strings or stems and then chop them up into small pieces.
  • Start slow. Give your pooch a small amount of the vegetable at first and monitor their reaction. It’s also possible they may not like the treat, in which case you shouldn’t push it.
  • Don’t overdo it. Dog treats should never account for more than 10% of their daily calories.
  • Cook plain. If you decide to cook the green beans, do it without oil or added ingredients like spices and vegetables deemed toxic to dogs, including chives, onions, and garlic.

More healthy fruits and vegetables for dogs

Green beans aren’t the only natural food that dogs can try. Here are some of the best organic produce that can be used as low-calorie, highly nutritious snacks, treats, and supplements.

  • Apples. High in protein, low in fat, and a good source of vitamin C and fiber make apples a great treat for your favorite furbaby.
  • Bananas. Rich in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper, bananas are a good snack for your dog. But keep in mind that they are also high in sugar and should only be served in moderation.
  • Blueberries. The fruit has antioxidants , which can prevent cell damage. And much like green beans, blueberries are also full of fiber to help curb appetites.
  • Brussels sprouts. This veggie is filled with nutrients and antioxidants. That said, keep in mind that Brussels sprouts can also cause gas.
  • Carrots. These are an excellent low-calorie, high-fiber snack. Carrots are also great for your dog’s teeth.
  • Celery. Packed with lots of vitamins, they have the nutrients needed for a healthy heart. Celery is also known to freshen your pup’s breath.

Introducing new things to your dog – whether it be foods, toys, or destinations – can be nerve-wracking to owners. But as long as your vet signs off on it, you can rest assured the next time you pick up green beans at the supermarket that they’re not only a healthy treat for your best friend, but one they commonly enjoy!

Frequently asked questions

Can I feed my dog green beans for weight loss?

While green beans can serve as a low-calorie alternative to store-brand treats in weight management, they should never be given as a replacement for a dog’s diet. Although they’re healthy, they don’t have all the essential nutrients necessary for your pup, such as amino acids and certain minerals.

How many green beans can I feed my dog?

The amount of green beans you feed your dog should be per their weight, with smaller dogs being fed fewer pieces than larger dogs. For example, a dog 20 pounds or less can have 1-2 pieces, whereas a dog over 90 pounds can have a handful.

How should I prepare green beans for my dog?

Dogs should only eat green beans that are plain with no added salt, oil, or spices. Rinse them thoroughly, then trim off the stems and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Only give your dog a little at first and monitor their reaction.

Can dogs choke on green beans?

Feeding large, whole green beans to dogs can be a choking hazard, so it is recommended that you chop them into smaller pieces before serving.

What kind of green beans can dogs eat?

In addition to fresh green beans, dogs can have them frozen, roasted, or steamed, so long as they are plain. Avoid canned green beans that have added salt.