Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas? A Comprehensive Guide

A versatile bean, many humans add chickpeas to various meals, but can dogs eat chickpeas too? If prepared correctly, they can be a healthy snack in moderation.

can dogs eat chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in many kitchens due to their health benefits. Rich in protein, fibre, and essential nutrients, they’re not just a favorite among humans but are often considered for inclusion in our furry friends’ diets. But can dogs eat chickpeas? This article dives into the details to look at the safety precautions needed.

Are Chickpeas Good For Dogs? 

Generally, chickpeas can be beneficial, but, there are scenarios where chickpeas might not be suitable for every dog:

  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some dogs may be allergic to chickpeas. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, and digestive upset. Discontinue use if you notice these signs.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Due to their high fiber content, chickpeas may cause upset stomachs, especially in dogs not used to fiber-rich diets.
  • Canine Obesity: While nutritious, chickpeas are calorie-dense. They should be given in moderation, especially to overweight dogs.

How Many Chickpeas Can Dogs Eat?

Determining the appropriate amount of chickpeas for dogs based on their size is important to avoid any digestive issues and ensure they are receiving a balanced diet. Here’s a guideline for how much a dog can generally eat:

  • Extra Small Dogs (<10 lbs): Start with a very small amount, about less than 1 teaspoon of cooked, mashed chickpeas. Monitor their reaction.
  • Small Dogs (10-25 lbs): For small dogs, begin with 1 teaspoon of cooked, mashed chickpeas. 
  • Medium Dogs (25-60 lbs): Medium-sized dogs can start with about 2-3 teaspoons of cooked, mashed chickpeas.
  • Large Dogs (60-100 lbs): Large dogs can begin 1 tablespoon of cooked, mashed chickpeas.
  • Giant Dogs (100+ lbs): Start with 1-2 tablespoons of cooked, mashed chickpeas for giant breeds. 

It’s crucial to remember that chickpeas should only make up a small portion of your dog’s diet, ideally less than 10% of their daily calorie intake. This ensures they are primarily eating a well-balanced pet food diet formulated for their specific nutritional needs. Always introduce new foods gradually and consult with your veterinarian to ensure that these recommendations fit your dog’s health status and dietary needs.

Nutritional Benefits of Chickpeas 

Chickpeas are packed with various nutrients beneficial for dogs:

  • Protein: Chickpeas can be a great source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair, making them a great option for vegetarian diets.
  • Fiber: Aids in healthy digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Chickpeas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium, which support overall health.
can dogs eat chickpeas

Preparation Tips

While chickpeas are non-toxic and generally safe for dogs, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Dried Over Canned: Choose dried chickpeas when possible, as they don’t contain the added sodium and preservatives found in many canned versions. If you use canned chickpeas, select a low-sodium version and rinse them thoroughly to remove any excess salt and preservatives.
  • Soak Before Cooking: Soak dried chickpeas in water for at least 12 hours before cooking. This helps to reduce cooking time and makes them easier to digest.
  • Cook Thoroughly: Always cook chickpeas thoroughly before offering them to your dog.
  • Keep It Plain: Do not add salt, garlic, onion, or any spices when preparing chickpeas for your dog, as these can be toxic to dogs.
  • Mash for Easier Digestion: Mashing cooked chickpeas can make them easier for your dog to eat and digest, especially for smaller dogs or those with sensitive stomachs.
  • Introduce Gradually: When introducing chickpeas to your dog’s diet, start small to monitor their reaction.
  • Moderation is Key: Chickpeas should only make up a small portion of your dog’s diet and thus, should only be served as an occasional treat or supplement to their regular diet.

Allergies 

Allergies to chickpeas in dogs, while not extremely common, can occur. Like humans, dogs can develop allergies to nearly any food, and chickpeas are no exception. If your dog is allergic to chickpeas, their immune system will mistakenly identify proteins found in chickpeas as harmful, leading to an allergic reaction. Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate your dog is allergic to chickpeas:

  • Skin Irritations: This is one of the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs. You may notice itching, redness, or rashes. 
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Allergic reactions can also manifest as digestive problems. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive gas, and abdominal pain.
  • Respiratory Issues: Though less common, some dogs might experience respiratory problems due to food allergies, which include symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Chronic Infections: Dogs with food allergies, including allergies to chickpeas, may experience recurrent ear infections or skin infections due to the constant irritation and scratching.
  • Behavioral Changes: The discomfort caused by allergies might lead to changes in behavior, such as lethargy, restlessness, or even aggression due to irritation and pain.

It’s important to note that these symptoms are not exclusive to chickpea allergies and can be indicative of allergies to other foods or environmental factors. If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian. Always seek professional guidance before making significant changes to your dog’s diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met safely and effectively.

Chickpeas can be a healthy snack when prepared correctly and served in moderation. They provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that can support your dog’s health. However, it’s essential to observe your dog for any adverse reactions after introducing new foods. Always consult with your veterinarian before making significant changes to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has pre-existing health conditions.

FAQ 

Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas Raw?

It is not recommended to feed raw chickpeas to dogs. Raw chickpeas contain substances that can be difficult for dogs to digest and may lead to an upset stomach or other digestive issues. For the safety and health of your dog, it’s best to serve chickpeas cooked and without any added salt, spices, or oils. Cooking chickpeas makes them easier for dogs to digest, making them a better, safer option for your canine friend.

Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas From a Can?

It depends on the can of chickpeas. Canned chickpeas that are filled with salt, seasonings, or oils can be harmful to dogs. Always be sure to check the label, and if selecting canned chickpeas, opt for ones in water without any additives like sodium. Other added ingredients or seasonings, like onions and garlic can be toxic and harmful to pets, so beware. First consult with a vet before letting your dog eat any kind of chickpeas to ensure it aligns with their specific health needs.

Can Dogs Eat Chickpeas and Lentils?

Dogs can eat lentils in moderation and if they are prepared properly. As with chickpeas and other legumes, lentils should be cooked thoroughly before feeding them to your dog to improve digestibility and to eliminate potential harmful factors like lectins and phytic acid. Raw lentils should be avoided as they can cause digestive upset. When introducing lentils into your dog’s diet, do so gradually to ensure they do not have an adverse reaction, and always ensure lentils are plain, without added spices or ingredients that could be harmful. Remember, lentils should only be a small part of a well-balanced diet tailored to your dog’s specific nutritional needs. Be sure to contact a veterinarian first to ensure lentils are safe for your specific pup.

Can Dogs Eat Chickpea Pasta?

Dogs can eat a bit of chickpea pasta, made out of chickpea flour, in moderation. When cooked plainly and without added seasonings or sauces, a little bit occasionally can be okay. Be sure to first contact a vet to see if pasta is safe for your dog’s health needs.

Can Dogs Eat Hummus?

Despite chickpeas being a main ingredient in hummus, it is not safe to feed your dog. Common ingredients in hummus include things like lemon juice, garlic, onions, paprika, and other additives that are harmful or even toxic to dogs. Thus, offering your dog a replacement snack like homemade dog treats, using dog-safe ingredients, or just sticking to their regular commercial dog food is a much healthier and safer option.

Recipes 

When incorporating chickpeas into your dog’s diet, it’s essential to keep recipes simple and free of any ingredients that could be harmful to them. Here are some easy and dog-friendly chickpea recipes to consider:

Plain Cooked Chickpeas

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup dried chickpeas 
  • Instructions:
    • Soak dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse them the next day.
    • Place the soaked chickpeas in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until they are tender (about 1-2 hours).
    • Drain the chickpeas and allow them to cool completely.
    • Serve a small amount of the cooked chickpeas mashed, ensuring they are plain without any added salt, spices, or garlic.

Chickpea and Chicken Dog Food

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup cooked, mashed chickpeas
    • 1 cup cooked, finely chopped chicken (ensure it’s cooked without any harmful seasonings or oils)
    • 1/2 cup cooked carrots, mashed
    • 1/4 cup water
  • Instructions:
    • Mix the cooked, mashed chickpeas, cooked chicken, and mashed carrots in a large bowl.
    • Gradually add the chicken broth or water until the mixture is well combined but not too wet.
    • Serve this mixture as a part of your dog’s meal or as a special treat. Ensure it’s cooled down to room temperature before serving.

Remember:

  • Always introduce new foods into your dog’s diet gradually to monitor for any adverse reactions or allergies.
  • Consult your vet before making significant changes to your dog’s diet.
  • These treats should not replace your dog’s regular diet but can be given occasionally as a snack.