Lentils are legumes, or what you know as beans. There are many different types of beans but lentils are the beans that have the highest level of protein and are very small. They take less time to cook and do not have a strong flavor. Lentils take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with.
Beans and lentils are delicious, and very popular beans in many cultures. For some people around the world, beans offer their best source of protein. Beans pair well with most vegetables and are very good for you. But are they good for your dog?
Let’s find out!
What Should Dogs NOT Eat?
Dogs are not over discriminating when it comes to food. If they like the smell, they eat it. They have very little instinct not to eat things that might be bad for them. There are many foods that are bad for dogs because of the health issues that they can eventually lead to. There are also foods that dogs shouldn’t have because they are toxic and even a small portion can lead to death. Let us explore some of these foods that are off limits.
- Grapes and raisins – These are extremely toxic to dogs and just a small handful of grapes or raisins can cause the kidneys to shut down and kill dogs. While it is unlikely that one grape would do any harm, this is not a food you should introduce to your dog’s diet.
- Chocolate – Chocolate has a chemical in it that makes it very toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are more potent and dangerous to dogs. Chocolate can cause seizures and death.
- Alcohol – Alcohol can cause liver and kidney failure. Dog’s brains also react to alcohol and intoxication more powerfully and can suffer several side-effects, up to and including death.
- Sugar – Sugar is not going to kill your dog on contact but will lead to health problems, weight-gain and potentially cause type two diabetes.
- Salt – Salt is known to raise blood pressure and cause cardiac issues. It will not harm your dog immediately but prolonged exposure to salt will cause poor health and raises the potential risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Xylitol – This is a neurotoxin and will kill your dog, even tiny amounts. It is used as an artificial sweetener in some sugar-free gums and candies. One piece of gum can kill your dog. Xylitol has no place anywhere near your dog.
- Dairy – Dairy will not kill your dog directly but can cause weight-gain and diarrhea. Severe bloating and stomach pain are also a potential threat from dairy products, which includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
- Raw eggs – Raw eggs pose a risk of salmonella bacteria which lives on the shell of the eggs. It will at the very least cause extreme illness and, in the worst-case scenario, can lead to death.
- Raw meat – Raw meat poses a risk of e-Coli which can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration and potentially lead to death if not treated. Some raw meat can also carry salmonella bacteria. Recent information from the CDC says that you should not clean raw chicken on your kitchen counters as it can spread salmonella to other places in the kitchen.
- Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts have a chemical that makes them toxic to dogs. They should never be given to dogs.
- Broccoli – This can be given to dogs a few pieces at a time but you should not over-feed broccoli. This vegetable can give dogs too much of certain vitamins that can overwhelm their system and cause issues. Broccoli can also cause bad gas problems for them too.
As you can see, lentils are not on the list. Beans are good for dogs but you must remember to feed human foods in moderation. There are many foods that dogs can eat and enjoy but the best advice is to always introduce new things to them very slowly.
It doesn’t take much to upset their stomach and cause diarrhea or gas. A dog with an upset stomach is a royal pain because they are suffering. They need to run outside constantly, sometimes can’t hold themselves and make awful messes inside that require carpet shampooing and the gas can cause the house to smell horrible. Go slow with new food so that he doesn’t go through such an awful experience, and neither do you.
Dogs don’t put two and two together to understand that the food they ate made them sick. They will continue to eat things that make them very ill. Dogs will, in fact, gorge on foods that are very bad for them.
Some dogs will overeat as a rule of thumb. Sometimes a dog will get into their own bag of dog food and eat until they have to have their own stomach pumped. No one really knows what causes them to do this, but some will do it while others don’t.
When you introduce new things to their diet, keep foods safely away from where they can help themselves. Give them very small amounts at first. You can increase amounts over time. If you change their diet completely, such as switching from one type of food to another, you should gradually make the change by adding some of the new food and slowly adding more of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old.
When you make changes slowly, they won’t have as much stomach upset or gas. This keeps them from having stomach pains that are uncomfortable or diarrhea that can be dehydrating to their system. Dehydration can become dangerous if it goes on for more than a few days.
Another thing to point out is that if you are a person who opens the door and lets the dog out to the yard, never paying much attention to their bowel movements, how do you know if their food is upsetting them? You must pay attention to these things. This can’t be stressed enough.
What Should I Do If My Dog Gets Diarrhea?
It is advisable to take away food for at least 8 hours to give their bowels a chance to normalize. When you introduce food back to them, give small amounts and it is a good idea to try some bland, boiled chicken with rice to start with.
Rice or pumpkin is good for the stomach and adds fiber to the bowels to try to add bulk to stools. Dogs with sensitive stomachs do really well with lamb and rice dog foods and there are even some brands that add pumpkin to the dog food because of how good it is for them.
If diarrhea persists for more than a day, you may give them some Pepto-Bismol to settle their stomach and stop diarrhea. If it still persists, see your veterinarian. Don’t let your dog have diarrhea that lasts for more than 48 hours with no sign of improvement.
Your veterinarian can give your dog a shot that is an anti-diarrheal that will typically stop diarrhea within hours. There is no point in allowing it to go on and diarrhea can be dangerous if it goes unchecked.
Most dogs who contract an illness, like Parvo as an example, will not die from the disease itself. They die from the extreme dehydration that ensues from the disease. Keeping them hydrated is the key to giving them a fighting chance. That is how devastating to their body extreme diarrhea can be. Don’t let it go ignored.
So now you know that your dog can have lentils as well as other beans. Dogs tolerate green beans really well too. They also love sweet potatoes, carrots, green peas, snow pea pods, and more. You can give your dog some limited amounts of fruit if you like. Keep fruit to small amounts because it is very high in natural sugars.
Dogs love watermelon and cantaloupe which are high water content foods. They are a wonderful summer treat. You are far better off giving your dog a wonderful bowl of juicy watermelon as a treat than ice cream. Natural sugars are far better than added sugars with dairy.
Remember that moderation and good choices can help your dog live longer and be healthier. A healthy dog costs less to take care of as well. No vet bills is a nice thing. When a dog becomes unhealthy due to diet, you will be forced to pay for prescriptions, possibly insulin, and special dog foods that can cost as much as 5x what you pay for regular brands of dog food. Taking the time to give them good food early in life will be like preventative care.
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.