Yes, dogs can eat baked beans. Beans are healthy legumes – they are loaded with proteins and have health-boosting effects. However, baking is not an ideal cooking method. While beans are dog-friendly, baking removes most of the nutrients.
However, giving your dog some plain baked beans on infrequent occasions is perfectly fine. Just keep in mind that giving boiled beans instead of baked beans is a healthier alternative.
- Why are Baked Beans Good for Dogs?
- Can Baked Beans be Bad for Dogs?
- How Much Baked Beans Can my Dog Eat?
- How to Prepare and Serve Baked Beans for Your Dog?
Why are Baked Beans Good for Dogs?
Baked beans can be a nice addition to the dog’s menu. They are loaded with health-boosting ingredients and have smooth and soothing texture. Here are some of the reasons baked beans are good for dogs.
Baked beans are a good protein source for dogs. As carnivores, dogs need meat as a primary protein source. However, plant-based proteins make excellent additions.
Rich in Antioxidants
Beans are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are critical for preventing oxidative damage and boosting cellular health. They are also important for cancer prevention.
Beans are a good choice for dogs with diabetes. They have a low glycemic index and do not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This is a healthy feature, especially for dogs with diabetes.
Baked beans are suitable for dogs on weight-loss regimens. The low glycemic index paired with the dietary fiber content results in appetite suppression. In other words, baked beans keep dogs satiated for quite some time.
Can Baked Beans be Bad for Dogs?
Yes, baked beans can be bad for dogs. While beans are good for dogs, baked beans can be troublesome, especially if overfed or prepared using dangerous ingredients or in non-dog-friendly ways.
Baked beans pose various health hazards. To help you understand the hidden dangers of baked beans, we will review each potential risk.
Beans are hard to digest. Therefore eating too many baked beans is likely to result in a heavy stomach upset – vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. In some sensitive dogs, even small portions can put too much pressure on the stomach.
Tomatoes and Ketchup
Most baked beans recipes include a sauce made of tomatoes or ketchup. Both options are dangerous for dogs. Namely, while ripe red tomatoes are safe, the green parts are toxic (contain solanine). On the other hand, ketchup often includes xylitol – an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs.
Garlic and Onion
Other commonly added ingredients are garlic and onion. They can be added fresh or powdered (as spices). In both cases, they are dangerous. Garlic and onion belong to the Allium family, and all members contain chemical compounds that damage the red blood cells, thus causing anemia.
Although not particularly common, bean allergies in dogs are possible. This is because beans contain proteins, and proteins are most likely to confuse the immune system and trigger allergic reactions.
Beans are a choking hazard. Most dogs are voracious eaters and tend to gulp down on as much food as possible (especially when served with something new). Because of their size, beans can easily enter the wrong pipe and make your dog choke. Since choking is an emergency, dog owners must be familiar with the Heimlich maneuver.
Finally, it is a well-known fact that beans make people gassy. Well, the same issue applies to dogs too. While not a health hazard, gasses are uncomfortable and worth mentioning.
How Much Baked Beans Can my Dog Eat?
When it comes to baked beans, the safe serving size would be one tablespoon for medium-sized dogs. Smaller dog breeds like Maltese and Pekingese dogs should be offered half a tablespoon and larger breeds like Mastiffs and Great Danes up to two tablespoons.
In terms of serving frequency, once every two weeks is more than enough. In theory, you can serve beans more often. However, in such cases, it is best advised to stick to plain boiled beans instead of baked versions.
If serving baked beans for the first time, do not give the entire portion. When introducing new foods to the menu, the general rule of the thumb is to start slow and gradually work your way up. While healthy adult dogs can occasionally snack on baked beans, puppies must not be offered this food. Puppies have sensitive tummies and strict dietary needs.
How to Prepare and Serve Baked Beans for Your Dog?
To safely prepare and serve baked beans for dogs, forget about commercially available versions (fresh and canned). You need to put the cooking apron on and make them from scratch.
Ideally, you should purchase raw organic beans. Then soak them overnight, boil them and afterward put them in the oven for baking. Ending the cooking procedure after boiling is a better alternative. Baking removes most of the nutrients, but if done properly, it is considered to be dog-friendly.
Another important factor is to bake the beans alone – no added spices, seasonings, and definitely no traditionally included ingredients like tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
Finally, once the baking is done, you should let the beans cool down (you do not want to cause burn injuries in your dog) and serve them as snacks, on top of the kibble, or mixed with a homemade meal.
All in all, beans are healthy and nutritious. However, baked beans not so much. First, baking changes their nutritional profile, and second, some ingredients commonly added to baked bean recipes are harmful to dogs.
Therefore, baked beans can occasionally be added to the dog’s menu but only if properly prepared (free from troublesome ingredients) and combined with otherwise complete and balanced meals.
- Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?, Anna Burke, 2016
- Toxicology Brief: Allium species poisoning in dogs and cats, R.B. Cope, 2005
- Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs – Not All Sweeteners are Created Equal, Jessica Hamilton Seid, 2020
- Vegan Dog Food: 7 Protein Sources to Know, Lavanya Sunkara, 2021