Lentils are a staple among vegetarians and vegans, but a lot of carnivorous people don’t know about these healthy little legumes. They offer plenty of fiber, protein, and iron, and getting a decent amount of iron and protein is difficult for people who don’t eat meat. While they’re definitely good for you regardless of your dietary choices, are they a healthy choice for your dog?
Are Lentils Dangerous for Dogs?
Unlike some other foods, lentils aren’t toxic or dangerous to dogs. There are some higher end brands of dog food that use lentils as healthy fillers instead of something like corn because they add more nutrition to the food. At the worst, too many lentils are going to end up giving your dog gas or loose stools, but there is no danger of toxicity.
Side Effects of Lentils
Like humans, dogs get gas and digestive upset when they consume too many legumes. It’s unlikely that lentils will make your dog completely sick, but don’t be surprised if you hear some new noises coming from their stomachs. Dogs don’t handle legumes as well as humans do, so flatulence and loose stools are common in dogs who have never eaten any sort of legumes.
If you decide to feed lentils to your dog, then you should definitely keep it to a minimum. While they’re a good source of protein and fiber, a quality dog food is going to ensure your dog has enough of these nutrients in their diet without having to supplement anything.
Feeding Your Dog Lentils
Lentils should always be cooked thoroughly before you give them to your dog or you’re going to end up exacerbating any GI symptoms they could get. Don’t add any salt or other seasonings. Dogs have much different taste buds than you do, so while you would probably never eat lentils without any flavoring, your dog certainly won’t care if they’re a little bland. Start with small amounts; a few tablespoons will be enough to get your dog st arted and let you know if it’s going to cause any stomach upset.
A well-made dog food is all your dog needs for balanced nutrition. Unless your dog is eating a poor quality food, there’s no need for you to supplement their diet with anything else, including human food.