Can dogs eat peas?

Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. - Our editorial process

Although dogs don’t need to eat as many vegetables to stay healthy as we humans do, they still benefit from the nutrition fruits and veggies provide as part of a healthy diet. Many plants like peppers and celery make tasty and satisfyingly crunchy snacks for our furry friends that also offer some surprising health benefits. But what about other veggies we might have to hand, like the petit pois that are always lurking in the freezer? Can dogs eat peas? Are they as nutritional for our pooches as they are for us?

Can dogs eat peas?

Yes, dogs can eat peas. Specifically, they can eat varieties of green peas including garden peas, petit pois, and sugar snap peas.

Peas make tasty and healthy morsels you can incorporate into your dog’s diet as a topping on their dinner or even as little treats. Given their size, they can make tasty tidbits to use as training incentives. (Although they perhaps aren’t as exciting or high value as cheese or chicken.)

These little green spheres are low in calories but high in protein and fibre, making them surprisingly filling but without introducing tons of calories into your doggie’s diet.

Discover delicious food your dog deserves

Learn more

Peas also happen to be packed with plenty of nutrition. They contain vitamins A, B, C and K, which help to keep your dog’s eyes, bones, teeth, and nervous system healthy and well as providing antioxidant properties to fight cell damage and cancer. These little legumes also provide minerals like magnesium and potassium, which will help to maintain a healthy heart. They also contain iron and folate, which are important for their blood health.

Despite the nutritional value peas have, you will still need to exercise moderation when feeding them to your pooch as they may cause bloating. And if your dog has known kidney problems, then you should avoid feeding them peas.

Can dogs eat frozen peas?

Yes, dogs can eat frozen peas as long as they are a green variety. You can serve frozen peas to your dog thawed or cooked.

Truth be told, you could even let your dog eat a few peas that are still frozen, as they’ll be nice and crunchy and cooling on a hot day. Given their size, frozen peas do not pose the same choking risk as ice, provided they’re not all frozen together into a bobbly green lump. If you’ve got a hot dog, perhaps offer them a few frozen peas to help cool them down.

Frozen vegetables like peas and carrots are an affordable and convenient way of storing and preparing vegetables for your family, the furry members included. As frozen vegetables are usually already diced or chopped, you need only thaw or cook them and you will have tasty treat-sized pieces ready to offer your pup.

Can dogs eat garden peas?

Yes, dogs can eat garden peas. They are another variety of pea that is perfectly safe for dogs to eat. Just remember only to feed them in moderation and never feed your dog the pod of a garden pea as this is inedible.

Can dogs eat canned peas?

Technically, it is “safe” for dogs to eat a small number of canned peas; however, they’re best avoided. You should not feed your dog canned peas as they are high in sodium since salt is used as a preservative. Salty foods are prone to upsetting dogs’ stomachs and too much in their diet can lead to problems including dehydration, raised blood pressure, or even sodium poisoning.

If you’d like to treat your pup to a few peas, you should give them fresh or frozen peas. Find out if you should feed canned baked beans here.

Can dogs eat pea pods?

Yes and no. Some pea pods are perfectly safe for dogs to eat and make a fibre-packed, crunchy snack. However, some pods are not edible and should never be given to your dog, such as the pods of garden peas. The rule of thumb is that if you can safely eat the pod, so can your pooch.

Whole pods can pose a choking risk, particularly to small dogs, so cut it into pieces before feeding it to your dog.

How many peas can I give my dog?

A handful of peas is way too many to give even a big dog. Peas should always be fed in moderation to prevent flatulence and bloat. Stick to a teaspoon of peas for small breeds and a tablespoon for larger breeds. If your dog has never eaten peas before, feed them only one or two to see how they take to them. If they enjoy the taste and don’t suffer from any illness, you can slowly introduce more.

As always, exercise the 10% rule when feeding your dog any treats. 90% of your dog’s calories each day must come from complete dog food, like their Pure dinners. They can then eat up to 10% of their recommended calorie allowance in treats and extras, like peas.

So, if your dog is allowed 800 calories a day, they should not eat more than 80 calories worth of treats. That’s regardless of whether they are veggies like peas, carrots, or celery, or their dog treats.

Are peas bad for dogs?

On the contrary, peas are good for dogs when fed in moderation. But as with almost anything, there are exceptions.

If your dog suffers from kidney problems, they should not eat a large amount of peas and be sure to select a low purine dog food that has a low inclusion of peas.

Dogs with kidney problems shouldn’t eat a large amount of peas as they contain a chemical called purine. Purine is naturally occurring and can be found in most foods and drinks at varying levels. The problem with purine is that it is converted into uric acid by the liver. The uric acid is then filtered by the kidneys to be excreted in your dog’s urine. Some uric acid is vital in your dog’s diet as it is a powerful antioxidant. However, too much can cause issues like kidney stones. This means that if your dog has any existing kidney problems they will need to eat a low purine diet, which usually means avoiding purine-rich foods like liver, peas, or cauliflower.

Some breeds, like dalmatians, are predisposed to have issues metabolising purine which results in excess uric acid being produced. For dogs with problems metabolising purine, they would benefit from eating a low-fat diet containing highly digestible meat like chicken. This will lower the risks of issues with urate formation.

The other problem with peas is they can cause bloat if eaten in excess. Like many vegetables, they can be difficult for dogs to digest and create a lot of gas as they ferment and break down. If your dog eats too many peas, you may notice they have excess flatulence. More worryingly, your dog may become bloated which will require urgent veterinary assistance.

Recap: Can dogs eat peas?

Yes, dogs can eat peas as a healthy treat or topping on their dinner. They can eat most kinds of green peas regardless of if they are fresh or frozen. Just avoid feeding your dog canned peas or inedible pods.

We include peas into our Pure recipes because they're a great little veg packed with loads of vitamins to keep your dog looking and feeling good. Pure is complete and balanced, bursting with both nutrients and flavour, helping to keep your dog's digestion, gut, skin, coat happy and healthy.