Yes, green beans are generally safe for dogs to eat as long as they are plain, and frozen, chopped, steamed, or raw. The green bean diet can be a great way to help overweight dogs reach a healthy weight. The plan is that you replace a gradually increasing portion of your dog’s regular food with green beans. First, you’ll start by replacing around 10% of your dog’s diet. After two or three days, you’ll start replacing 20% with green beans. You continue this pattern until 50% of your dog’s food is green beans.
After your dog reaches your goal weight, you start to slowly wean your pup back to eating the recommended amount of dog food with green beans being used as a supplement or treat.
Green beans are low-calorie and very high in fiber. Fiber causes your dog to feel fuller faster and for longer, which can help curb overeating habits. However, there are a few potential risks to consider alongside the advantages of the diet.
Pros of the green bean diet
Green beans are packed with fiber. Like in humans, added fiber helps dogs feel fuller faster to help curb their appetite.
Dogs typically like green beans. This means you likely won’t have to fight with your pup about eating them rather than their normal food.
Green beans are filled with important vitamins and minerals. This includes protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K.
Green beans are low in calories. Even though they pack a ton of nutrients, green beans are not a high-calorie food.
Cons of the green bean diet
Potential for nutritional deficiencies. According to PetMD, green beans are not an adequate replacement for specially-formulated dog food mixes. “Although weight loss patients are fed the calories appropriate for their ideal target weight, they still need amino acids, fats, vitamins and minerals for their present weight.” When you replace so much of your dog’s food with green beans, your pub could start missing out on important nutrients not found in green beans.
A diet may not be the solution for your dog’s weight gain. Weight changes in dogs can indicate more serious health problems, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and more. It’s not advised to put a pup on a weight loss program such as the green bean diet without consulting a vet first to ensure the only issues are overeating or inadequate exercise.
Using green beans as a treat
While the green bean diet may not be the best weight loss solution for your pup, they do make a great supplement to an already sufficient diet. They also make great low-calorie and highly nutritious dog treats since they’re so tasty.
Consider replacing high-calorie sweet treats with natural green beans, which could help your dog lose weight or maintain a healthy weight without causing a nutritional imbalance.
Never pick green beans out of a frozen or homecooked meal unless you know exactly what ingredients were used. Certain ingredients and seasonings can make your beans less healthy — and even dangerous. Here are scenarios to avoid:
- Canned beans with added salt
- Green beans cooked with any type of oils or spices
- Green beans cooked with garlic and onions, which are harmful to dogs
- Feeding large, whole green beans to dogs, which can be a choking hazard