Can dogs eat chickpeas?

Every pet owner is guilty of occasionally sneaking snacks to cherished canines. But, it may not always be wise to give in to those begging puppy eyes. As a pet owner, you are responsible for separating safe from unsafe foods, because your dog doesn’t care if her treats are healthy.

So, what’s the scoop on chickpeas? Are they safe for your dog to eat? Read on to learn if chickpeas are a nutritional addition to your dog’s diet.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are most commonly seen in hummus form, but they are also used in salads, soups, and stews. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas have Mediterranean and Middle Eastern roots, but now grace tables all over the world. Chickpeas are small, but they pack a big nutritional punch. In addition to fiber and protein, chickpeas provide more than their fair share of these nutrients:

  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Choline
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium

Sharing “people food” with pets is not typically recommended, but your dog may reap health benefits from a small amount of chickpeas added to her diet.

What are the benefits of chickpeas for dogs?

Chickpeas are chock-full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can apparently tackle many health issues. Check out these common canine illnesses that chickpeas may help:

  • High blood pressure and heart issues — Chickpeas are low in sodium and high in potassium, which helps dilate blood vessels. Both of these qualities help to lower blood pressure and aid in heart health. Fiber-rich chickpeas also help lower the cholesterol amount in the blood.

  • Diabetes — Chickpeas are complex carbohydrates and release energy slowly, which avoids the dips and spikes in blood glucose levels that simple carbs can cause.

  • Cancer — Chickpeas are not a cure for cancer, but they do contain numerous substances that aid in cancer prevention and growth. For instance, selenium  helps the liver detoxify cancer-causing agents and decreases tumor growth. Folate and saponins help prevent cancer cells from forming and multiplying. In addition, chickpeas contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free-radical damage.

  • Inflammatory conditions — Caring for an older pet who suffers with osteoarthritis pain can be challenging. Chickpeas contain choline, which reduces chronic inflammation, assists in nerve impulse transmission, maintains cell membrane structure, and aids in fat absorption, all of which help keep an arthritic pet comfortable.

  • Constipation and anal gland issues — Occasionally feeding your pet chickpeas, which are full of fiber, may help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. A properly formed stool helps with anal gland expression.

  • Obesity — Foods high in fiber, like chickpeas, increase satiety, or the feeling of being full. Since fiber helps your pet feel full for a longer period of time, you’re less likely to be pestered by your dog begging for food every 15 minutes.

Can chickpeas cause negative health effects in dogs?

Chickpeas can make gassy pets worse (sorry, bulldogs—we’re calling you out!) and lead to abdominal cramps and bloating. Introduce these legumes slowly and watch for gastrointestinal issues. Avoid processed chickpeas, such as those turned into hummus, which are full of spices and seasonings that, while delicious to you, can harm your dog. Stick with bland, cooked chickpeas, and skip the seasonings.

Also, take care when feeding your dog canned chickpeas. Canned foods tend to be high in sodium, so rinse well to wash off most of the salt. Always cook chickpeas before offering them to your dog, because pets tend not to chew them if uncooked, and they can easily become choking hazards.

How to incorporate chickpeas into your dog’s diet

Ready to bake your dog a chickpea cookie? Check out the recipe below, which is from The Honest Kitchen. And, in any pet-friendly recipe, swap out the flour for a chickpea option to boost the snack’s protein and fiber content.

Turmeric chickpea dog treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour

  • ½ cup cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 1 tablespoon Instant Bone Broth Beef and Turmeric Spice

  • ½ cup hot water

  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Boil water. Pour hot water in a small bowl and add bone broth. Stir until mostly dissolved.

  3. In a medium bowl, add chickpea flour, cornmeal, and chia seeds. Stir together until combined.

  4. Slowly add the bone broth to dry mixture and stir until both are combined. Add egg to the mix. The dough should be moist.

  5. Roll a tablespoon amount of dough in your hands until a ball is formed. Place ball on cookie sheet and flatten with a spoon or fork. Repeat until all dough is used.

  6. Place in oven and bake for 20–23 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Let cool for 1 hour, then place in airtight container. Store in refrigerator or freezer.