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- Dogs can eat lima beans as these are packed with protein, fiber, carbohydrates, as well as vitamins which are all good for dogs. It is also low in calories and cholesterol.
- While lima beans have so much nutritional value, these should be given in moderation. Overconsumption can cause stomach discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and even developments of kidney stones.
- Add only a small portion of properly cooked lima beans to your dog’s food for a more balanced diet.
Lima beans, also called butter beans, are recognized by nutritionists as a superfood because they’re bursting with nutritional benefits while having virtually zero disadvantages. So, can dogs eat lima beans? Are lima beans safe for dogs?
While the general consensus around letting dogs eat green beans is positive, I advise dog owners to still keep moderation in mind when feeding their pets—even a healthy snack. Though there isn’t really anything to make lima beans bad, per se, eating too many of them can still pose some downsides, as with any food really. I’ll go over the things that make lima beans good and explore the risks involved with overconsuming them.
Why You Should Feed Your Dog Lima Beans
There are a wealth of health benefits that come with letting dogs eat lima beans. Let’s take a look at how much lima beans can help boost your dog’s immune system and overall health.
They’ve got lots of protein
Dogs get plenty of protein from dog food to begin with, but if your furry friend looks as if he or she could stand to pack on a bit more muscle, lima beans can be a big help in that regard. The fact that lima beans have very little fat and carbs certainly helps.
Every 100 grams of lima beans contains up to 12 grams of protein . For comparison, dogs need around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to maintain their muscle mass.
So if your dog needs to up its protein intake, lima beans make for a great supplement. A protein boost is useful if you’re training your dog for physical exertion, or simply to keep up when you want to know how much exercise a dog needs.
They’ve got plenty of essential nutrients
Lima beans also contain a significant amount of essential vitamins and minerals. Chief among these are vitamins A, B1, B9, other B vitamins in smaller amounts, C, E, and K.
In terms of minerals the major ones included in lima beans are potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. It’s also a fantastic source of iron, which we’ll get to later.
They promote good digestive health
Lime beans are rich in fiber which act as the digestive system’s broom.
Fiber works by passing through the gastrointestinal tract practically undigested, picking up residue along the tract, particularly in the colon. It also adds bulk to the stool, keeping it together and thus making it easier to pass without straining or leaving residue.
While a dog’s diet doesn’t really need fiber as much as human diets do, it still helps to boost their supply of dietary fiber. What’s more is that fiber helps you
They can help regulate blood sugar
The dietary fiber present in lima beans also helps pace the body’s absorption of carbohydrates. In so doing, it makes it much less likely for your dog’s blood sugar to spike to dangerous levels.
Lima beans being very low-carb only helps this out even more. This makes it particularly advantageous for managing diabetes in dogs or overweight pets, since it lets them snack without much worry of aggravating their condition.
They’re a good source of iron
Lima beans contain a lot more iron than most other beans. Iron is one of the essential nutrients responsible for maintaining good circulatory health. Without it, a dog can become anemic, and their immune system can weaken making them a lot more vulnerable to diseases.
Some Caveats to Letting Your Dog Eat Lima Beans
While there seems to be an overwhelming number of benefits to eating lima beans, there are still some caveats you need to keep in mind.
Non-fresh lima beans can be harmful to your dog
When it comes to feeding your dog lima beans, your only option is pretty much only fresh ones. Avoid canned lima beans especially! These come with a lot of preservatives, particularly salt.
Dried lima beans, on the other hand, can be difficult to chew and digest, and might even cause intestinal blockage.
Do not give your dog canned lima beans, dried lima beans, or any otherwise preserved variant of it.
It would be much more ideal to feed them cooked lima beans as well, because raw lima beans can be a choking hazard.
Too much fiber and protein comes with diminishing returns
This is the usual problem with foods that, on paper, could seemingly only be good for you, like persimmons for dogs. The benefits of lima beans are impressive, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing.
When dogs are given an overly fiber rich diet, they are very likely to become constipated, or in some cases give your dog diarrhea. At best, they’ll probably experience stomach pain and bloating.
On a related note, your dog may turn out to be sensitive to some of the natural sugars present in lima beans, which will also cause stomach pain and bloating.
Too much protein on the other hand can make your dog more susceptible to kidney stones. This is part of the reason why feeding your dog pepperoni is inadvisable. While lima beans may not have the amount of sodium or protein present in pepperoni, they can still contribute to kidney stone development if you do not watch the portions carefully.
Your dog may not like the taste
It’s likely that your dog won’t appreciate the taste of lima beans right away. They can be trained to like them with time, but there is a good chance that they may not respond positively to that course of action at all.
How to Feed Your Dog Lima Beans
Prepare the beans properly
How does one prepare lima beans for dogs? Since your dog might not like the taste right away, it would be wise to mix lima beans in with their regular food.
It’s good practice to cook lima beans as well, since this makes the flavor more interesting. Baked beans, for example, will go much better with meat or dog food, and will thus help them get familiarized with the taste much faster.
Control their portions
As we’ve discussed, prolonged consumption of protein- and fiber-rich foods may lead to some serious side effects. So it would be best to keep an eye on how much protein and fiber goes into Fido’s food. This way, you can add lima beans as a part of your dog’s healthy diet at just the right amounts.
Check for signs of bloating or abdominal pain
Despite careful measuring of protein and fiber consumption, your dog might still exhibit signs of discomfort after a while of lima beans having been introduced to their diet. Watch carefully for these signs so you know to tweak the amount when you feed lima beans to your pup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can lima beans hurt dogs?
In excessive quantities, yes. Since lima beans are rich in protein, too many of them will make it more likely for your dog to develop kidney stones. Also, since lima beans are also rich in fiber, overconsumption can lead to stomach discomfort, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
What beans are toxic to dogs?
In general, any beans that have been processed, by canning, flavoring, or otherwise, can contain substances that are toxic to dogs. When it comes to raw beans, coffee beans, cocoa beans, and red kidney beans are some of the most well-known ones that can poison dogs.
Can dogs eat lima beans and corn?
Yes. Both are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. However as with anything they should be eaten in moderation and accounted for when you’re trying to ensure that your dog’s diet is balanced.