Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a cheap and convenient food for us humans to throw in a soup or salad to bulk it out and boost our protein. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, chickpeas have probably become a staple food and a significant source of protein in your diet. We all know protein plays a big part in a dog’s diet too, so you might have wondered can dogs eat chickpeas and are they as healthy for your furry friend as they are for you.
Chickpeas are a kind of legume after all, and legumes are a common ingredient in many brands of commercial dog food. Let’s explore whether chickpeas are counted among those beans that are safe for dogs to eat.
Yes, dogs can eat chickpeas. Like many foods, your dog should only eat chickpeas in moderation but there are a few caveats that come with eating these legumes. Generally though, chickpeas are perfectly safe for your pooch to eat.
Your dog can technically eat canned chickpeas because they are “safe” to eat and non-toxic to canines. However, they are high in salt and can have other preservatives packed in the can to extend their shelf life. Make sure you check the label to see what the chickpeas are preserved in and what other ingredients are lurking inside the can.
Too much salt is bad for your dog and can lead to dehydration, high blood pressure, or sodium poisoning. A medium dog should only have about 0.1g of salt per day. Some dogs with underlying health conditions need to eat a low salt diet, so if your pooch has high blood pressure or problems with their kidneys or liver, you’ll want to be particularly careful about how much salt they eat and consider keeping clear of canned chickpeas.
Rinsing off canned chickpeas can remove some of the added salt, and it’s advised that you always wash canned chickpeas anyway before you feed them to your dog.
Luckily, some brands of canned chickpeas contain nothing but chickpeas and water, making them much more palatable for your pup and safer to eat too. If your chickpeas are canned in water they should be low in salt, fat, sugar, and calories so they make a healthy snack for your dog. You should still rinse these chickpeas in water before feeding them to Fido.
Canned chickpeas have already been cooked, so there is no need to cook them again before feeding them to your dog. You can simply drain them, rinse them, and toss a few to your pooch as a treat or topping on their dinner.
You can’t feed your dog dried chickpeas straight from the packet though. Dried chickpeas need to be soaked and cooked before they are safe to eat, whether you are a human or a hound.
No, dogs shouldn’t eat hummus. Hummus you buy from the shop is made using much more than just chickpeas. Hummus usually contains concentrated lemon juice, garlic, and onion, and other additives like oil, spices, and salt. Lemon juice, garlic, and onions are all considered toxic to dogs. Meanwhile, the oil, spices, and seasonings used in hummus can irritate your dog’s stomach, and generally just aren’t good or necessary for them to eat.
Plus, when compared to chickpeas canned in water, hummus has much more fat, salt, and sugar in it. These three things need to be moderated in your dog’s diet to keep them happy and healthy. All in all, keep your hummus for your crudites and not your canine.
Yes, chickpea flour is safe for dogs to eat. (Provided it’s cooked into something. Don’t just scoop some flour on their food!) Chickpea flour can be used to make homemade dog treats or as a substitute for wheat flour if your dog has a wheat allergy.
Chickpeas are often praised for all the nutritional benefits they offer us humans, but what about our pets. Are chickpeas good for dogs too?
On the most part, yes. A few chickpeas in your pup’s diet could benefit them, or simply make a healthy snack as opposed to processed brown biscuits.
For starters, chickpeas have been found to benefit our bodies in all sorts of fantastic ways. They are full of fibre which helps to reduce inflammation and support heart health. They’ve even been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties too. Not to mention, it’s believed that chickpeas can reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer, and it’s possible these benefits transfer to dogs too.
Your dog will definitely benefit from the fibre in chickpeas as it helps to keep their bowel movements regular and their stools firm, which can help to naturally express their anal glands. (Gross to think about, but very good for your dog!) Fibre also helps your pooch to regulate the absorption of sugar into their blood, and it even feeds the good bacteria in their digestive tract.
As well as fibre, chickpeas are full of plant-based protein. Both of these dietary components are paw-some at helping to stop hunger, so if you have a pooch that needs to lose a few pounds, or just always seems peckish, try putting a few chickpeas on top of their meal or in a Kong for them to snack on to keep hunger at bay.
Plant-based protein is also great for helping your pooch to build and maintain their muscles. However, you should never replace the animal protein in your dog’s diet with plant protein because they need the essential amino acids from meat to stay healthy.
Chickpeas aren’t just super sources of protein and fibre, they’re packed full of vitamins and minerals too. There are tons of goodness inside these little legumes, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
Calcium, potassium, and phosphorus are all electrolytes that maintain the vital electrical impulses in your dog’s body, allowing their heart to beat, muscles to move, and nerves to send signals throughout their body. Calcium and phosphorus are also im-paw-tent for strong bones, while magnesium helps the body to absorb these minerals. Iron helps to keep your dog’s blood cells healthy and able to carry oxygen around their body. Meanwhile, zinc plays a part in a ton of metabolic functions and is needed for your dog’s body to make hormones and DNA, to grow hair, and it keeps their brain healthy.
Chickpeas can be bad for dogs if they eat too many of them. Because chickpeas are packed full of fibre, eating too many can give your dog a pup-set stomach and might give them excess flatulence, loose stools, and paw-haps diarrhoea. If your dog eats a lot of legumes and gets very gassy there is a risk they could be bloated, which is considered a veterinary emergency. If you suspect your dog might be bloated, you must take them to your vet right away.
However, there’s nothing inherently bad about chickpeas and they aren’t toxic, so they are considered perfectly safe for your pooch to eat as long as they’re cooked, plain, and only fed in moderation.
Yes, dogs can eat chickpeas as long as they are cooked and kept plain. Even canned chickpeas are fine as long as they’re canned in water, but you must check the label to make sure they’re not canned in salt water or alongside any additives.
Dried chickpeas are perfectly good for your dog as long as they are soaked and cooked before being eaten, just like if you were going to eat them yourself. Chickpea flour is also safe for dogs and you can use it as an alternative to wheat flour to make homemade dog treats.
You shouldn’t feed your dog hummus though as this contains a lot of additional ingredients that aren’t safe or healthy for your dog to eat.
Although chickpeas are full of fibre and protein which is obviously great for your dog, why not just feed them a meal that already includes all that good stuff? Pure offers wholesome, tasty food that is nutritionally balanced and complete, so your dog gets all the nutrients they need in every morsel. Full of fibre and packed with protein, Pure is a natural diet that only includes the very best ingredients.
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.