Can Dogs Have Green Beans? Raw, Canned, and String Beans for Dogs

Pet care & safety
Can dogs eat fresh green beans?

Looking for a vet-approved treat your dog will go crazy for? When it comes to sharing “people food” with our pets, it is important for owners to be aware of what is and is not okay to share with their four-legged friend. Can dogs have oranges? Can dogs have apples? Can dogs have green beans? There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are good to  share, and several that are not safe. Green beans are a safe snack to sneak your furry friend, but with a few stipulations. Read on to find out more! 

Are Green Beans Safe for Dogs? 

Green beans can be a safe and healthy snack for pups. While green beans do contain nutrients like fiber, iron, folate, magnesium and antioxidants, when considering the recommended amount of green beans for dogs, they are unlikely to gain much nutritional benefit. Only 10% of a dog’s diet should consist of treats. The other 90% needs to consist of a complete and balanced diet to ensure your fur baby is getting all the nutrients they need at the appropriate ratio.  

Green beans can be a great treat for any dog, but especially those trying to lose weight as they are low in calories and in carbs and high in fiber. I often recommend green beans as a treat to my furry diabetic patients who are looking for alternatives that won’t spike their blood sugar.  

Feeding Green Beans to Dogs 

While we as humans may enjoy a few variations of green beans, the variations safe for dogs are a bit more limited; therefore, we must be careful before offering green beans straight off our plate. No sharing your green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.    

Both raw and cooked green beans are okay, but the most important thing to consider is whether or not there are added spices or additional ingredients. Green beans from our plate often contain salt, oil, other seasonings or even other vegetables, like onions which are harmful to dogs. Canned green beans often have added salt, which is not a good idea for our pups, especially those trying to lose weight. Canned green beans can be purchased with no salt added; this is the version I recommend for my patients as it makes snack time easy, and a refrigerated can may stay good for a few days.  

When preparing green beans for your precious fur baby, they should be washed, the strings at the end should be cut off, and the bean should be cut into bite sized pieces as the full-length bean can be a choking hazard. From there they can be served raw or cooked. 

How Many Green Beans Can a Dog Have? 

Green beans are a tasty, low-calorie snack at only about 2-3 calories per bean, but they should be enjoyed by our pets in moderation only. A small dog could have 1 to 3 green beans, while a medium dog can have 3-5 green beans and a large dog may tolerate 5-7 green beans. Some dogs may not tolerate green beans as well as others. It is important to watch for symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, like flatulence, vomiting or diarrhea. If these occur, consider avoiding green beans in the future. If these symptoms persist more than 24 hours, it is important to take your pet to the veterinarian for evaluation. 

Veterinary visits can be expensive, especially when it comes to unexpected visits related to a dog getting into foods or other substances that they shouldn’t. Whether your furry friend decides the houseplant looks like a tasty snack or discovers a hidden stash of forbidden chocolates, you want to ensure they receive the best veterinary care possible. Be prepared with insurance for your pet. Embrace offers comprehensive coverage for injury or illness allowing you the ability to afford the best diagnostics and treatments for your furry friend and to focus on your pet’s health without focusing on the price tag. Get a pet insurance quote and ensure your furry friend receives the best care possible, no matter what they munch on. 

What is the Green Bean Diet? 

In all honesty, until I began researching a little for this article, I had never heard of the “green bean diet”. From what I’ve gathered, the green bean diet involves steadily increasing the ratio of green beans while decreasing kibble to promote weight loss. While the science behind this diet makes sense - higher fiber helps us feel full while we restrict calories, resulting in more comfortable weight loss-, this is not safe for dogs. Green beans do contain good nutrients, but this diet involves replacing up to 50% of a dog’s food intake with green beans. The green bean diet can cause severe nutritional deficiencies, leading to issues worse than obesity as it lacks essential vitamins and minerals our pets require. 

There are safer ways to obtain weight loss, such as exercise, feeding a weight loss formula diet, measuring food for a pet’s ideal weight (not their current weight) and offering a fiber supplement, such as psyllium husk. Green beans should always be offered as a treat or supplement, making up no more than 10% of a dog’s diet. 

Can Dogs Have Green Beans? 

The verdict: Yes, dogs can have green beans, but they should be unseasoned, bite sized and offered in moderation. As owners, we are responsible for our pet’s health and well-being, which involves being educated and aware of what is okay for them to have. There are many safe human foods to share with your dog in moderation. Check out our frozen dog treat recipes for some safe and tasty summer snacks. What may be okay for one dog, may not be for another, so it is important to always consult with your veterinarian about what your individual pet can be offered as a treat. Consider picking up a can of unsalted green beans next grocery store trip to mix up snack time for your canine companion.