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Can Dogs Eat Pinto Beans? 4 Health Benefits + 3 Dangers

Can Dogs Eat Pinto Beans

Mmm…  delicious pinto beans.

They’re good in soups, burritos, or chilis.

And contain high levels of protein and fiber.

But can dogs eat pinto beans?

Read more to find out:

  • If your dog can eat pinto beans.
  • How much is too much pinto beans?
  • 4 benefits of feeding your dog pinto beans.
  • 3 dangers of feeding your dog pinto beans.
  • How to safely prepare pinto beans for your dog.
  • And this is just the beginning…

Can dogs eat pinto beans?

Dogs can eat pinto beans but only in small amounts. They contain a lot of nutrients, including fiber and protein. You can prepare them in different ways but make sure you soak and cook them first. You can also add in other dog-safe ingredients to make them tastier.

Can dogs eat pinto beans and rice?

Dogs can eat pinto beans and rice, as when they’re served together, they’re considered a complete protein.

This means that they contain essential amino acids like:

  • Valine.
  • Lysine.
  • Leucine.

But this doesn’t mean that they should be a staple in your dog’s diet.

You can replace one of your dog’s meals with pinto beans and rice every few weeks.   

As your dog also needs proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Which pinto beans and rice don’t have.

If you prepare pinto beans and rice, make sure to prepare them with dog-safe ingredients.

Meaning, no onions, garlic, spices, or spicy chilis as these are toxic for your dog.

How much pinto beans can I give my dog?

Pinto beans are a good source of fiber and protein, but they shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s weekly diet. 

Any more than that, and it can cause stomach problems like gas and constipation.

They’re not meant to replace protein in their meals.

As high-quality dog foods should already contain your dog’s daily protein needs.

Also, dogs need meat-based proteins more than plant-based ones as they are omnivores. 

How to prepare pinto beans for your dog?

To add pinto beans into your dog’s diet, you can add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 g) to their food every few days.

You can also mix them with other dog-safe ingredients.

Like oatmeal, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.

Just make sure the pinto beans are soaked first then cooked. 

It’s also recommended to mash them so your dog can easily digest them and reduce flatulence.

Never give your dog uncooked pinto beans as they’re indigestible.

A study shows that uncooked beans contain Phytohaemagglutinin,

Which is toxic to dogs in large amounts.

Luckily, cooking pinto beans lowers these toxins to a safer level. 

Also, avoid adding onions and garlic with pinto beans, as these are toxic to dogs.

Lastly, avoid giving your dog canned pinto beans.

As they have high levels of sodium and preservatives.

But if you need to feed your dog canned pinto beans, make sure to rinse them under running water for 2-5 minutes.

As this can cut up to 40% of its sodium content.

Note: When giving your dog pinto beans for the first time, start with small amounts first. So you can see how their stomach would react to them.

4 benefits of feeding pinto beans to your dog

#1: Lowers cholesterol levels

Dogs Can Eat Pinto Beans Because They Lower Their Cholesterol Levels

Dogs with a high-fat diet are at higher risks of having high cholesterol.

This often leads to several health complications like:

  • Diabetes.
  • Hyperlipidemia.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Cushing’s disease.

When dogs eat a high-fat meal, their cholesterol levels rise in their blood.

But then come back down to normal levels after 3-10 hours.

But dogs that constantly eat fatty meals can develop hyperlipidemia.

Where their fat levels remain high for over 12 hours.

Symptoms for hyperlipidemia include:

  • Itching.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Hair loss.
  • Cloudy eyes.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Bloated abdomen.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Fatty deposits under the skin.

One treatment for hyperlipidemia is changing your dog’s diet to contain less fat.

So if your dog has high-cholesterol levels, they can enjoy eating pinto beans.

According to this study, pinto beans can lower cholesterol levels.

As it contains active agents like:

  • Saponins.
  • Flavonoids.
  • Polyphenols.  

So supplementing your dog’s diet with pinto beans can lower their cholesterol levels.

Pinto beans decrease cholesterol synthesis in their liver.

As well as slow down cholesterol absorption in their small intestine.

They also contain soluble fiber that turns into a watery gel in your dog’s stomach.

This gel then absorbs cholesterol before their bodies can.

Which is a good thing.

Lowering cholesterol levels can help prevent heart disease and stroke in your dog.

Caution: Do not use pinto beans as medication for your dog’s high-cholesterol level. 

#2: Aids digestion

A half-cup of cooked unsalted pinto beans contains 0.28 oz (8 g) of dietary fiber.

Foods rich in dietary fiber can help prevent constipation and improve bowel movements.

That’s because fiber is fermented into fatty acids.

By the beneficial bacteria in your dog’s intestine.

This fatty acid then helps prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria. 

And helps their colon recover from injury.

Fiber also helps reduce the risk of colon cancer.

That’s because it speeds up their bowel movements.

Reducing their exposure to carcinogens from their food. 

Another benefit of dietary fiber is it keeps your dog feeling full longer.

This is beneficial if you have an overweight dog. 

Feeding them a high-fiber diet allows them to feel full while eating very few calories.

This way, they wouldn’t be asking you for treats a couple of hours after eating their meal.

You might also like: 9 Ways To Deal With A Dog That Is Always Hungry

#3: Boosts brain and metabolic functions

Pinto beans can also boost your dog’s brain and metabolic functions. 

As it contains choline and folate.

According to AKC, choline supports your dog’s healthy brain and liver function. 

Aside from their brain and liver, it can also help your dog:

  • Improve memory.
  • Keep lungs healthy.
  • Treat high cholesterol.
  • Protect the liver from toxicity.
  • Help maintain body water balance.
  • Possibly help reduce cardiac disease.
  • Help control cell growth and gene expression.
  • Produce the major nerve transmitter, acetylcholine.

According to research, an average adult dog needs 425 mg of choline daily.

While if your dog has a choline deficiency, symptoms include loss of body weight and a fatty liver.

While folate plays a role in your dog’s amino acid and nucleotide metabolism.

It helps your dog:

  • Produce nucleic acids.
  • Form blood cells in their bone marrow.
  • Use amino acids in building new proteins.
  • Control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
  • Ensure rapid cell growth at any age and in pregnancy.

A folate deficiency can lead your dog to develop anemia as it’s important for normal blood function.

Aside from anemia, folate deficiency can also lead to:

  • Irritability.
  • Depression.
  • Elevated blood homocysteine.
  • Reduced absorption of nutrients.
  • Reduced production of blood platelets.
  • Impairments in white blood cell development.

So feeding your dog with pinto beans can help avoid choline and folate deficiencies.

#4: Good source of energy

A half-cup of cooked unsalted pinto beans contains 0.28 oz (8 g) of protein. 

So it’s an excellent source of plant-based protein, as an average adult dog needs 0.88 oz (25 g) of protein in their diet daily. 

Your dog needs protein to give them energy and to keep their immune system strong.

According to PetMD, protein also has several roles in your dog’s body, such as:

  • Growing new hair.
  • Building muscle tissue.
  • Forming new skin cells.
  • Repairing muscles and other tissues.

Your dog can’t store protein in their body, unlike fats and other nutrients.

So they need to supply it in their diet every day.

Your dog’s activity level can also indicate how much protein they need daily.

A working dog or a more active dog will need more protein than a dog that doesn’t get much exercise.  

You also need to ensure that feeding your dog with pinto beans won’t imbalance your dog’s daily protein intake.

Excess protein can be eliminated from their body through peeing.

But if you keep feeding your dog very high protein levels daily, unused protein can be stored as fat.

3 dangers of feeding pinto beans to your dog

#1: Flatulence

If you’re planning on adding pinto beans into your dog’s diet, then you better be prepared to have a very gassy dog.

That’s because pinto beans contain raffinose.

It’s a type of carbohydrate that your dog’s body has trouble digesting, which then results in flatulence.

According to VCA, flatulence is caused by a diet that is poorly digested by your dog.

It causes excessive fermentation in their colon and thus causes gas formation.

Symptoms of flatulence include:

  • Bloating.
  • Mild abdominal discomfort.
  • Rumbling from the abdomen. 
  • Expulsion of gas from the anus.

So if you don’t want to have a very smelly house, make sure to limit feeding your dog pinto beans.

Further reading: Top 9 Foods That Give Dogs Gas (Avoid #3 At All Times)

#2: Constipation

As mentioned, pinto beans contain dietary fiber.

It helps your dog’s digestion and bowel movements.

But, eating too much fiber without drinking water, can cause constipation.

Constipation in dogs is the inability to pass a normal stool regularly.

Symptoms of constipation include:

  • Discomfort.
  • Bloody stool.
  • Mucus with stool.
  • Painful defecation.
  • Difficulty defecating.
  • Hard, pebble-like stool.
  • Lack of defecation for a few days.
  • Straining without producing much stool.

Pinto beans cause constipation in large amounts as it is made up of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber needs water to help it move through your dog’s system.

So if they don’t drink water after eating high-fiber foods, they may suffer from constipation.

If your dog is suffering from mild constipation, watch this video on how to massage them:

Warning: If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms, consult their veterinarian immediately.

#3: Phytohaemagglutinin

Phytohaemagglutinin, or lectin, is a protein that attaches to carbohydrates.

Allowing them to bind together.

They’re in several fruits, vegetables, and legumes, including pinto beans.

Lectins, when ingested, can be poisonous to both humans and dogs.

As in their active form, lectins can decrease the absorption of certain nutrients, such as: 

  • Zinc.
  • Iron. 
  • Calcium.
  • Phosphorous. 

Lectins can also attach to your dog’s small intestine lining and cause damage.

As well as harming their stomach’s beneficial bacteria.

To eliminate the dangers of lectin, properly cooking the food is necessary.

So if you’re going to feed your dog pinto beans, make sure they’re soaked in water for at least 5 hours before cooking them.

Also, slow-cooking pinto beans is not enough to destroy toxic lectins.

So after soaking and draining the beans, make sure to cook them in a pot of fresh water for at least 1 hour instead. 

People also ask:

Are pinto beans bad for dogs?

Pinto beans are bad for dogs in excess amounts as they can cause flatulence and constipation.

If eaten raw or improperly cooked, it also contains a toxic protein called lectin.

Lectin decreases the absorption of several nutrients in your dog’s body.

Leading to nutrient deficiencies.

But feeding your dog cooked pinto beans can help them absorb several nutrients like:

  • Iron.
  • Fiber.
  • Protein.
  • B-vitamins.
  • Potassium. 

Just make sure to give them occasionally and in moderate amounts.

Can dogs eat refried pinto beans?

Dogs can’t eat refried pinto beans as it contains ingredients that are harmful to your dog.

It contains onions and garlic, which contain a toxin that can be poisonous to dogs in large amounts.

Spices like cumin and chili powder are also bad for dogs in large amounts.

As they can result in digestive problems and gas.   

Refried pinto beans are delicious in tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

But feeding them to your dog may not be a fun experience for you and your dog.

Can small dogs eat pinto beans?

Small dogs can eat pinto beans but in limited amounts.

A bite or 2 of cooked beans is enough.

 As larger amounts can lead to stomach problems like gas and constipation.

Tip: Consult your dog’s veterinarian for the appropriate serving size of pinto beans for your dog’s size.