Can dogs eat hummus?

Health and Wellbeing

We humans love hummus, and in recent years it’s exploded in popularity as more people have tried to eat healthier, or include more plant-based protein in their diet. Any time I’ve snacked on some carrots and hummus, my spaniel has sat sniffing the air and giving me her best puppy eyes, hoping to bribe a bit off me. However, this isn’t a treat you should share with your pooch.

Can dogs eat hummus?

You may already know that chickpeas are safe for Fido to eat, and since hummus is mostly chickpeas, you might think it means this tasty dip should be pretty safe too. However, that isn’t quite the case. Let’s sniff around for some answers to the question, “can dogs eat hummus”?

CAN DOGS EAT HUMMUS?

No, your dog can not eat hummus. Although the main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are safe for hounds to eat, there are several other ingredients in that thick and tasty dip that could harm them.

As well as chickpeas, hummus contains tahini, oil, concentrated lemon juice, salt, and garlic.

Tahini is a paste made from toasted and ground sesame seeds, and this is safe for dogs to eat too. Meanwhile, the oil used is usually either olive oil or rapeseed oil and this is safe for dogs to eat but only in strict moderation.

Even a big dog should have no more than a teaspoon of oil per day. Because oil is rich and fatty, eating too much of it can upset your pup’s stomach and cause gastrointestinal illness, or it may trigger more serious illness like pancreatitis. Not to mention, munching on fatty foods can also lead to weight gain. It’s always best to limit the amount of oil your pooch eats, and hummus is packed with the stuff.

Another problem with hummus is the lemon juice, garlic, and salt which are all bad for dogs to eat and can cause sickness ranging from gastrointestinal irritation, to dehydration, and even poisoning. We’ll talk more about this below.

Although the quantity of these ingredients is so small that a tiny dollop of hummus probably won’t cause a big dog any serious harm, it’s still better to be safe than sorry and avoid feeding Fido hummus. Small breed dogs are much more sensitive to harmful ingredients, so even a little bit of hummus can potentially make them sick.

CAN DOGS EAT RED PEPPER HUMMUS?

Your dog shouldn’t eat red pepper hummus for the same reasons they shouldn’t eat regular hummus. This dip contains a lot of fat, as well as garlic, lemon juice, salt, and various oils that should be limited in your dog’s diet, or avoided entirely.

CAN DOGS EAT ONION HUMMUS?

Dogs can not eat onion hummus because it contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. This tasty dip is packed with both onions and garlic, which are both poisonous for pooches, and eating both together means your pup more likely to ingest a harmful amount. Most onion hummus recipes contain a lot of onion, garlic powder, and garlic puree so there is quite a concentrated amount of these harmful ingredients.

Onion hummus can also contain an ingredient called grape must, which is a sort of pulp made using grapes. As you probably know, grapes are also toxic to dogs.

Secondly, this hummus still contains lemon juice and salt which aren’t great for your dog to eat and can upset their stomach. All in all, it means onion hummus should be off the menu for your furry friend.

CAN DOGS EAT CHOCOLATE HUMMUS?

No, your dog definitely shouldn’t eat chocolate hummus. This sweet treat might make a moreish snack for us humans, but the chocolate inside it is toxic to dogs. Not to mention, there’s as much salt in chocolate hummus as there is in regular hummus, as well as a lot of fat and sugar which are unhealthy for your dog to snack on.

CAN DOGS EAT CARROTS AND HUMMUS?

They can eat the carrot part, that’s for sure. As you know, hummus isn’t good for dogs and they shouldn’t be eating it. However, carrots are perfectly safe and very nutritious for your pooch, and most dogs love the crunch of a sweet carrot as a treat.

So if your mutt is giving you the puppy eyes while you enjoy some carrot sticks and hummus, feel free to toss them a bit of carrot to munch. Just don’t dip it in the hummus first!

CAN DOGS EAT CHICKPEAS?

Dogs can eat chickpeas if they are cooked and served plain. Your pooch can eat canned chickpeas if they’re tinned with water, and they can eat dried chickpeas as long as they’ve been soaked and cooked properly. If you’re using canned chickpeas, remember to drain them and rinse them to try and wash off some of the excess salt before serving it to your pooch.

Chickpeas have some nifty nutrients inside, like fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. These are all really beneficial for your pooch and will benefit almost every inch of their body, as this blend of minerals will do everything from strengthening their bones, allowing new hair and muscle growth, and helping their organs to function properly.

As good as they are, you should always feed chickpeas in moderation, as they are still considered an extra or a treat and shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pup’s daily calories.

IS HUMMUS BAD FOR DOGS?

While hummus might be healthy for us humans, it certainly isn’t for our hounds. Although plain chickpeas make a safe snack for our furry friends, hummus is one treat that isn’t for puppies because it contains a few ingredients that are bad for dogs.

The problem with hummus is the lemon juice, salt, and garlic because this trio of ingredients can be harmful to your furry friend.

Garlic is considered toxic to dogs. Although there isn’t a lot of garlic in hummus, and eating a tiny splodge shouldn’t cause your pooch serious harm, it’s still best to avoid feeding it to Fido. All kinds of garlic are poisonous to pooches, whether it’s raw or cooked, fresh or dried, so it doesn't even matter what sort is in your hummus because it will still be a problem. Garlic can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and in large amounts, it can damage your dog’s red blood cells and cause anaemia.

Lemon juice is an irritant for dogs and often causes sore, unsettled stomachs and abdominal pain. The kind of juice in hummus is highly concentrated too, meaning it’s more likely to make your pup sick because it is more potent.

You should also avoid feeding your dogs salty foods. In small doses, it can be fine, but salt is toxic in large quantities and can cause dehydration or sodium poisoning. The amount of salt in hummus shouldn’t be enough to harm your dog if they only eat a little bit, but it’s still safer to avoid it.

Some brands of hummus also contain “spices”, and this vague ingredient isn’t helpful for anyone trying to figure out if it’s safe for dogs. A number of human seasonings and spices are known irritants for our furry friends, so if you don’t know exactly what’s in the dip, it’s safest not to feed it to your pooch.

As well as some unsavoury ingredients, hummus is very high in fat. Looking at a few brands, just 50g of hummus could contain anything from 7.1g of fat, right up to 15.5g! Rich, fatty foods like hummus aren’t good for dogs because they can contribute towards unhealthy weight gain, and they may trigger a serious illness called pancreatitis.

ARE DOGS ALLERGIC TO HUMMUS?

It’s highly uncommon for dogs to be allergic to chickpeas or hummus, but an allergy is possible. Almost every food has the potential to cause an allergy or intolerance in an individual dog, and most problems are caused by proteins. Common allergies include beef and soya, but the plant protein in chickpeas could also trigger an allergic reaction.

RECAP: CAN DOGS HAVE HUMMUS?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat hummus because there are a number of ingredients in this dip that aren’t good for dogs and can make them unwell.

If you want to share a treat with your dog while you’re munching some hummus, consider tossing them any raw veg you’re dipping into it. Cucumber, pepper, and carrot are all safe for dogs to eat and most pooches happily scoff them as a treat even if they’re healthy!

Alternatively, you could try making some doggy-safe hummus by blending chickpeas with a tiny bit of oil and some water. It’ll be very bland for us humans to munch, but it’s safe for both humans and hounds to eat.

However, there's no point going to the effort of making a bland dip for your dog, you might aswell feed them something tasty instead! A complete and balanced meal such as Pure is not only tasty, but it's also got loads of nutritional benefits too. Discover your dog's tailored plan today.

Dr Andrew Miller BVSc MRCVS

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.