Hello there, Lula the Labrador here, and today we’re going to be talking all about chickpeas.
Chickpeas are a healthy, nutritious snack that feature heavily in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
They’re most commonly seen in hummus form – a snack that you humans love – but they are also used in salads, soups, and stews.
They’re also known as garbanzo beans and can be bought canned, roasted, or dried. Chickpeas are small, but they sure pack a big nutritional punch.
They contain lots of fiber and protein, but also a whole host of other vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Can dogs eat chickpeas?
Yes, we can! Chickpeas make a nutritious snack for dogs, they’re packed full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can even help us tackle health issues such as high blood pressure and heart problems.
Chickpeas are a healthy snack to give us every once in a while, but you should ensure they aren’t seasoned, as salt and spices aren’t good for us, and flavorings such as garlic are toxic!
We love chickpeas that have been roasted in the oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown in color. Wait for them to cool before giving them to us though, as otherwise, they might burn our mouths!
For easier eating and digestion, you can also mash the chickpeas together into a paste as if you were making what you humans call ‘hummus’, and you can even stir the mashed chickpeas in with our regular dog food to mix things up a bit!
What kinds of chickpeas are safe for dogs?
Chickpeas can be bought dried or undried, and if you choose the dried variety, you’ll need to soak them in water and cook them first, as, like humans, we struggle to eat dried chickpeas as they’re way too hard for us.
Canned chickpeas are usually safe for us to eat as long as they’re not too high in salt and don’t contain extra ingredients like preservatives.
Because canned foods are generally high in salt, it’s best to drain canned chickpeas and soak them for 10-15 minutes to remove as much salt as possible before feeding them to us.
You might also see roasted chickpeas at the store, and, while these are a moreish snack for you humans, they’re not so good for us dogs.
These kinds of chickpeas are often heavily seasoned with salt, and may also contain onion and garlic, both of which are highly toxic to us!
Plain and unsalted is your best bet, and follow the instructions above to gently roast them until crispy and golden!
Are chickpeas good for dogs?
Yes, chickpeas offer many health benefits for dogs and humans alike as they’re chock-full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Chickpeas can even help tackle health issues and illnesses such as the following:
High blood pressure and heart issues
Chickpeas – as long as they’re unsalted – are low in sodium and high in potassium, which helps to dilate our blood vessels.
This lowers our blood pressure and keeps our heart healthy, and the fiber found in chickpeas can also help lower the cholesterol in our blood.
Chickpeas are complex carbohydrates which means they allow us to release energy slowly, avoiding dips and spikes in blood glucose levels that simple carbohydrates commonly cause.
While not a cure for cancer, chickpeas can still help prevent cancer and the growth of tumors.
The selenium found in chickpeas helps the liver detoxify cancer-causing agents and has been found to decrease tumor growth.
They also contain folate and saponins which help prevent cancer cells from forming and multiplying, as well as vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free-radical damage.
As an older dog, I know how uncomfortable conditions like osteoarthritis can be.
However, chickpeas can help ease the pain as they contain choline, which reduces chronic inflammation, assists in nerve impulse transmission, maintains cell membrane structure, and aids fat absorption, all of which can help increase the comfort levels of an arthritic pet like myself.
Constipation and anal gland issues
Seen as chickpeas are rich in fiber, occasionally feeding us these can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Healthy bowel movements and normal stools help with anal gland expression, and a healthy gut also prevents other knock-on health issues concerning our skin and coat.
As a labrador, I can be prone to easily putting on weight. Foods high in fiber, like chickpeas, fill me up easily and keep me feeling satiated for longer.
This stops me from harassing my owner for a snack every 10 minutes!
Can chickpeas cause negative health effects in dogs?
If your pooch is a particularly gassy dog (cough, cough, sorry bulldogs!), feeding them chickpeas can make gassy pets worse as they may lead to abdominal cramps and bloating.
If your dog struggles with these issues, it’s important to introduce them to chickpeas slowly and monitor them for gastrointestinal issues.
Like we said previously, you should avoid feeding your dog any chickpeas that are spiced or seasoned, as they may contain toxic ingredients or could at least upset our tummies.
You should also take care when feeding us canned chickpeas as these tend to be high in sodium, which is why we recommend rinsing them thoroughly to wash off as much of the salt as possible.
You should also be sure to cook the chickpeas before offering them to us, as we’re more likely to avoid chewing them if they’re uncooked, meaning we run the risk of choking on them!
Can dogs eat hummus?
As I said earlier, it’s fine to mash up cooked chickpeas into a doggy-safe hummus, however, you shouldn’t feed us hummus itself as it’s usually packed full of spices and garlic which is toxic for us dogs.
Stick with bland, cooked chickpeas, and skip the seasonings! You should also avoid any commercial hummus and should always make a homemade variety instead, using plain cooked chickpeas that are low in sodium.