Black beans are high in protein and a good source of fiber as well. Beans are a carbohydrate dense food but it is not impactful to the blood sugar as it is slowed down in the metabolization by the fiber content. Fiber digests more slowly, helping the blood sugar to not spike.
Black beans are one of many foods that dogs can eat in moderation. It is recommended that they only are eaten in moderation because of the potential for causing gas. Dogs can get gas from changing diet and eating foods that are known to cause gas. Their constitution is not like that of a human. Small changes can have an adverse impact on their gastrointestinal tract.
All legumes are otherwise safe for dogs. There is nothing in beans that could be harmful to dogs. A few lentils or black beans with rice added to their kibble would make them very happy. Dogs welcome additions to their diet that have more flavor than the kibble that they are used to.
What Can Dogs Eat?
It’s easiest to first talk about what they need in their diet. Dogs need protein, healthy fat, fiber, and a few carbohydrates. Their need for carbs is less than our own because of the way they metabolize proteins. Carbs should be the healthy sort of carbs, such as those which come from vegetables and fruits.
There are a few rules about things that aren’t healthy for dogs.
- A) These are not healthy for dogs:
- High-fat foods
- Dairy products, including milk
- Raw eggs – salmonella risk
- B) Foods that are poisonous and/or toxic for dogs:
- Apple seeds
- Peach and plum pits
- Grapes/ raisins
Foods from list A are not good for them but with moderation will not kill them. They will impact their overall health in time if these foods are given regularly.
Foods from list B are toxic. These can and will cause death if ingested in enough quantity, which may differ for each dog and be weight dependent.
These lists are not complete. There are other items that your dog shouldn’t have but these are the main ones to look out for.
Raw eggs and raw meat should be treated with caution, especially raw chicken. These can pass salmonella very easily and while salmonella is typically not fatal, it can kill an older dog with a compromised immune system, or pups that contract salmonella from a mother or from food directly ingested.
Salmonella is frequently found on the outer shell of eggs and can contaminate the inside of the egg when the shell is cracked open. Make sure all foods are handled with care and cooked thoroughly.
Can I Feed My Dog Homemade Food?
Feeding your dog homemade food is an excellent choice if you have the time and energy to do so. Foods can be varied a bit each day but should have the same general ingredients so you don’t upset their stomach too much.
Dogs love green beans, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and some fruits as well. Fruit should be given more sparingly because of the high natural sugar content. Dogs often enjoy a slice of watermelon or a few chunks of cantaloupe. Some dogs love tomatoes and strawberries too. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are fine to feed your pet and blueberries are especially good for them as they are rich in antioxidants that provide a boost to the immune system.
Have an older dog? Boosting their immune system by feeding them some blueberries is a great way to improve their health.
Make sure that you add fiber to the food you create that will add some bulk, be filling, and help with digestion. Rice is a simple option. It will help their food be more filling and add bulk to bowel movements, combating diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be threatening to the dog’s health as it causes extreme dehydration in very short order. Dehydration can cause body functions to slow and even cease functioning. Do all you can to prevent diarrhea and make sure that your dog always has a bowl of clean, fresh water.
You should note that some of the foods that are on the ‘bad for dogs’ list are common things that people give dogs all of the time. They may be listed as bad due to just causing some gas or loose stools. Stopping for a Puppicino for your dog once a month is probably not going to hurt them if you are getting a coffee and would like them to have a small treat.
Moderation is the key and that should be the practice in your own diet as well. You can even feed them too much of a good thing. Broccoli, for example, isn’t good for dogs in large quantity. It can make them very sick. A few pieces, however, they love and is fine. Moderate amounts and not very often.
One thing that helps to combat a diet that has a few too my indulgences is to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. People often assume that a brisk walk in the morning and again in the evening is enough exercise for their dog. It is not. In fact, it falls drastically short for most dogs.
Dogs need to run, play chase, and spin and bark. Dog parks are a great place to let them stretch their legs and bark at will. If you have a back yard, make the effort to go outside with your dog and toss a ball to encourage them to play. Some dogs love frisbee and other dogs just want you to be there with them. If you open the door and shew them outside, they may just sit there.
Take 20 minutes each day and go outside with your dog and get them to move! It will be good for you too. There are clubs that do agility and play flyball as well. If your dog is tennis ball crazy, flyball might be the most fun you’ve ever had with a dog. Go watch a club race and see what this sport is all about.
Dogs, like humans, that stay active will live longer and maintain a healthier weight. Muscle burns calories more efficiently and helps to combat developing type two diabetes as well. If there are things that you and your dog can enjoy together, then feeding them the occasional extra treat in their bowl will not be an issue. You’ll also have a more meaningful bond and stay healthy together.
Know Your Dog
I cannot stress how important it is to know your dog. This means to know what is normal for him or her. How pink are their gums typically? Do your dog’s ears always have a certain smell or is that new? You need to know their baseline before you determine what is abnormal for them.
Do they always scratch, or only after certain foods? They may have a food allergy. Believe it or not, food allergies are very common for dogs. You can try different foods and watch how they react to determine if the food disagrees with them.
Is your dog suddenly panting for no reason? Check his gums. Are they pale? Are they red? Do they look normal? How would you know if you don’t make a habit of looking at them at any other times?
Make it a practice to look at your dog’s skin, gums, teeth, paws, and nails every day. Spend a few moments just loving on them and using the chance to touch them all over. Feel for ticks, bums, and growths. Dogs can develop a cancerous growth and if you don’t notice it until it has metastasized, you can’t save their life. Many owners notice a mole that seems to grow overnight because they know what is normal and inspect their dogs.
Dogs cannot tell you when they don’t feel good or something is wrong. It is important that you know your dog and how to look for the signs and indications of potential trouble. If you take just a few minutes each day from the time you have your dog, he or she will grow comfortable with these physical inspections and stand more politely for the veterinarian as well.
Make it an early part of training to have your dog socialized to this type of inspection and they will never be a problem when you need to look in their mouth or pull a thistle from a paw.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.