Vegans and vegetarians have long lauded the mighty chickpea aka garbanzo bean as a great source of protein that can be cooked in a wide variety of ways to prevent food boredom. If you’ve never had chickpeas or garbanzo beans chances are your dog hasn’t, either. Many whole foods are fine for dogs to eat, and chickpeas happen to be one of those.
Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans and Your Dog
Chickpeas are definitely safe for your dog, but only if they’re plain and without any seasonings or additives. You can buy chickpeas in a couple of different ways. Canned is how most people buy them, but you can purchase them dried or roasted as packaged snacks.
Canned chickpeas are safe for your dog if they’re plain and rinsed very well. Canned legumes typically have a ton of salt in the liquid they’re canned with, and a lot of sodium isn’t good for your dog. A 30-pound dog should only have 100 milligrams of sodium per day, and one serving of canned chickpeas has over 700 milligrams of sodium! If you give your dog the canned variety, toss the chickpeas into a colander and give them a very thorough rinsing before passing them on to your pup.
Chickpeas are very high in dietary fiber. It fills dogs up quickly, making this a great option for dogs who are on a restricted calorie diet to lose weight. Dieting dogs often feel hungry for the first couple of weeks, so giving them extra fiber keeps them feeling full on less calories. Second, fiber is good for giving loose stools some solidity. Remember, though, that too much fiber can lead to loose stools, so avoid giving your dog large amounts of chickpeas in one go. Third, you can expect some extra gas coming from your dog after chickpeas. If you can’t handle the silent-but-deadlies, you should probably skip the chickpeas completely.
If you buy dried chickpeas, they’ll need to be cooked before you can give them to your dog simply because there isn’t any way they’d be able to comfortably eat or digest them. As for the roasted chickpea snacks, skip them. They’re seasoned with things like garlic and onion, both of which are toxic to dogs in any form.
Cooking with Chickpeas for Your Dog
For those who have a particularly spoiled dog, you are probably wondering how you can make chickpeas special for your dog. Garbanzo beans / Chickpeas are pretty bland tasting, but since you can’t load them up with seasonings, what can you do? Remember dogs will eat almost anything, and a lack of salt has never stopped a dog from enjoying their snack.
Roasting is the best way to give them to your dog. Just toss them on a baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until they’re brown in color and appear to be toasted. A small drizzle of olive oil is fine, but don’t overdo it. Dogs don’t need the extra calories, and too much oil is going to lead to an upset stomach.
A Warning About Hummus
Most Americans have never had a chickpea / garbanzo bean unless it’s blended into hummus. Hummus is a healthy food for you, but it isn’t that healthy for your dog. Commercially produced hummus is filled with a variety of spices and artificial ingredients. Since garlic and onions are usually used in hummus, you’ll want to skip it. You can make your own hummus for your dog, but you can also just save yourself the time and give your dog whole chickpeas.
Chickpeas offer a hefty amount of fiber, but that’s about all they offer for your dog. If you’re searching for a healthier treat, these will work just fine, but be prepared for an increase in your dog’s gas output!