Yes, dogs can eat soybeans as an occasional treat in smaller quantities, provided they are not allergic to soy proteins. The younger pods of soybeans are known as edamame, whose inclusion benefits your dog’s health. Although soybeans are safe for consumption, you must serve them in moderation to avoid digestive issues in dogs.
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What Are Soybeans?
Soybean belongs to the legume family. They are native to East Asia and are cultivated for their nutritious edible beans. They are pretty popular for their by-products, such as tofu, soy milk, oil, and tofu skin. Soybeans are known for their rich nutritional profile as they are protein-rich with high fiber content. Further, these beans are endowed with an abundance of vitamins. Here is the nutritional profile of a cup of cooked soybeans without salt:
Are Soybeans Safe for Dogs?
Soybeans are safe for your dog’s consumption. Although uncommon, some dogs are allergic to soybeans. Hence, soy-allergic pets shouldn’t consume soybeans. In addition, when consumed as edamame, its pods can pose a choking hazard to your pet. Further, spiced or salted edamame or soybeans are harmful to your pet.
Why Are Soybeans Good for Dogs?
Soybeans contain vital nutrients for your dogs, which are explained in detail.
A good source of fiber: Soybeans are fiber-rich and enhance your pet’s digestion. It helps in the movement of waste and helps him feel full for a long time. Therefore, it promotes weight management for overweight dogs.
Contain omega-fatty acids: Soybeans contain ample amounts of omega-fatty acids, necessary for your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
Contain vitamins: Ample amount of vitamins and minerals boost your pup’s immune health. Hence, it helps to fend off diseases.
An alternative source of protein: Soybeans are an excellent source of vegetable protein and are good alternatives to meat proteins. Further, they are included in most dog foods due to their cheaper price. These soy products offer specialized health benefits for sick dogs. In addition, they are an exceptional source of energy, helping your dog thrive in an active lifestyle.
Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. In addition, manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints.
Iron is a mineral your dog requires to accomplish critical processes, including transporting oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells; this helps cells to generate energy. Iron is also required to metabolize various enzymes in the body.
Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for your dog’s health. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or have no desire to eat. Potassium also helps in:
- Regulating muscle contractions and heartbeats
- Optimizing cognitive functions
- Boosting metabolism
- Aiding normal blood flow
- Increasing bone density
Folate: Folate ensures fast cell development during puppyhood, adulthood, and pregnancy, regulates homocysteine levels in the blood, and employs amino acids to construct new proteins. Vitamin B9 or folate has a role in regular blood production, immunological function, cell division, and tissue development.
Copper: Copper is necessary for producing bones, tendons and ligaments, collagen, and myelin in dogs. Copper also aids in absorbing iron, making it an essential component of red blood cell activity.
Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium.
Protein aids in forming new skin cells, hair growth, and the development of organs, enzymes, antibodies, hormones, and other biological functions.
Why Are Soybeans Bad for Dogs?
Soy Allergy: Some dogs or dog breeds are predisposed to experience allergic reactions due to soy consumption. If you are introducing such foods, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Chronic Ear infections
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Hair loss
Health issues: Frequent consumption of soybeans can adversely affect your dog’s health as it damages his reproductive health and organs like the thyroid and liver. Overconsumption of soybeans can negatively impact your pet’s health due to the following reasons:
- Fiber-rich: Soybeans are fiber-rich. Hence, its overconsumption can cause bloat, gas, and constipation.
- Silicates: Soybeans are known for their higher levels of silicates which can cause stone formation in dogs.
GMO Soybeans: Some soybeans grown in the USA are genetically modified and may thus contain high levels of glyphosate that kills the good bacteria in your canine’s gut, thus weakening his immune system.
Lectin, a sticky protein found in soybeans, can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs.
Here are some health issues that lectin can cause
- Excessive drooling
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps in dogs.
- Urinary tract infections in dogs.
- Liver damage in dogs.
- Blood disorders in dogs.
- Pneumonia in dogs.
- Death in dogs.
- Kidney damage in dogs.
- Allergic reaction in dogs.
Choking hazard: The outer shell of soybeans is pretty tough, challenging digestion in dogs. Although it does not affect a large breed, a small breed dog can potentially experience an internal blockage or choking.
Spiced, salted young soybeans (edamame) or processed edamame snacks: Spiced or salted soybeans or edamame are pretty unhealthy for your dog as they contain sodium and other additives. Therefore, prefer to feed plain, boiled edamame to your dogs.
How Much Soybeans to Feed Your Dog?
Soybeans are a nutritious snack if fed in moderation. However, overconsumption of the same can cause medical issues. Hence, it’s safe to feed them a tablespoon of it once in a while.
How to Serve Soybeans to Your Dog?
Here are some interesting options to serve soybeans. You can serve young soybeans or edamame to your dogs in the following ways:
Raw: The easiest way to serve soybeans is to serve the young soybeans raw. However, you must pop out the seeds and top them on their meals.
Frozen: Alternatively, you can freeze the soybeans and serve them without the pods. However, exercise care as frozen soybeans with pods, can cause a choking hazard.
Steamed or Cooked: You can steam or boil the edamame beans without pods or seasonings. Alternatively, you can mash the cooked beans and add them to their food.
What if My Dog Ate Soybeans?
If your dog eats soybeans in large quantity then check out for the below symptoms:
- Obsessive licking
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
Once after noticing any above symptoms, approach your dog’s veterinarian and follow the instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Soy Sauce?
No, dogs cannot have soy sauce as they are laden with sodium which can make them sick. Further, if your canine licks a drop of it, ensure to make her drink plenty of water.
Is Soybean Oil Safe For Dogs?
Yes, soybean oil is safe for dogs. However, avoid feeding any fried foods to your canine as it can lead to weight gain.
Can Dogs Drink Soy Milk?
Yes, dogs can drink unsweetened soy milk. Nevertheless, you must ensure it is devoid of xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and has to be avoided.
Summing up, your canines can safely consume soybeans in moderation. Although soybeans are a healthy legume beneficial for dogs, they can cause medical issues when consumed in significant quantities.