We’re always looking for ways to make our animals’ diets better and better. Whether with food or natural supplements, there are plenty of options to up the health factor when it comes to out pets.

On that list are numerous fruits and veggies – ones you can add on a regular basis to the dinner bowl, turn into smoothies or popsicles, or just to replace those high-carb, high-calorie treats. But what about green beans for dogs? Do they make the cut?

Yes! Raw, frozen, steamed, or even canned in a pinch – green beans are safe for your dog to eat. Green beans for dogs are not only safe, many veterinarians also recommend them as part of a health diet.

That said, there are a few things to note first, including how to feed them, and how many are too many!

The Benefits of Green Beans for Dogs

We’ll start with the nutritional profile. Green beans are full of:

  • fiber
  • magnesium
  • vitamins A, C, and K
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • calcium
  • folic acid
  • iron
  • potassium
  • beta-carotene

For a humble bean, these babies are power-packed…

So, how do you go about adding them to the rotation?

How to Feed Green Beans for Dogs

There are many ways to incorporate green beans into your dog’s diet. Thankfully, most enjoy the taste, so it’s typically pretty easy to get your dog to eat these greens.

The easiest way is just as they are – raw. Frozen works too. Just toss a bean to your pet freshly washed from the garden and watch them chomp away.

Worried about the whole bean being too big for your dog? You can always chop them up into smaller pieces. Or, if you want to soften them up a bit, you can steam them or sauté them lightly. You don’t want to cook them too long – they’ll lose some of their nutritional value – but a little time in the heat won’t hurt.

Cooked or raw, you can add them to your dog’s dinner bowl mixed in with her regular food, or just as a snack throughout the day. At our house, we make popsicles with different ingredients, and often add chunks of green beans to the ice cube tray after the liquid ingredients are already in there. They’re also great in bone broth, or even blended up in a pup-friendly smoothie with some pureed pumpkin or kefir.

Just remember, green beans are great on their own. Don’t add spices or seasonings, or fry them in oil or butter. Your pup doesn’t need those additives (in fact, they could completely negate the healthiness of the beans and make them unhealthy or even dangerous). Also, try to find organic green beans when you can.

[READ NEXT] What other vegetables top the list of healthy ones for dogs? Check this out!

What’s the Green Bean Diet?

Now, we’ve made it clear that green beans are a healthy addition to any diet. They offer valuable vitamins and minerals, and because they’re low in calories, they can help with a weight management plan to keep your pet healthy and trim.

However, there is such a thing as too many green beans.

We’re talking specifically about the green bean diet.

With so many dogs overweight (experts estimate as many as 1 in 2 American dogs), it makes sense that pet parents are trying to find ways to get that extra weight off. And one of the ways that seems to have become popular is the green bean diet. This involves gradually substituting green beans in place of a percentage of your dog’s food. For example, an owner might start out by supplementing 10% of her dog’s regular meal with green beans, and work up to 50%. Once the dog reaches their ideal weight, the green beans are reduced until the dog’s back to just her regular food.

Sure, this is going to help any dog lose weight. It’d be the same for a human – if you ate green beans for 50% of your total food intake, you’d likely lose weight, and fast.

The thing is, not only can this lead to nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in the diet, your dog may regain the weight she lost as a result of metabolic changes. Dogs need a diet made up primarily of protein, and cutting out as much as half of your pet’s protein source isn’t a great idea.

If you’re keen on helping your pet lose weight, it’s best to work with a nutritionist or your trusted veterinarian to make sure you’re providing a balanced diet and giving your dog everything she needs to thrive.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy veggie addition to change things up, or for a yummy low-calorie snack to help keep your pet’s weight in check, green beans for dogs are the perfect option!