Can I Give My Dog Lentils?

Can I Give My Dog Lentils?Lentils are certainly healthy for people but what about for your dog? You might say the answer is complicated because of all the pros and cons. Learn more here so you can smartly make up your own mind.

Dogs can and literally will consume almost anything and sometimes they eat dangerous things. Not true regarding lentils as there are much worse human foods for pets.

Lentils are a bean food group that offers much in the way of nutrients. So this type of legume, in particular, is tempting when it comes to feeding the family dog. Let’s take a closer look for your pup’s sake.

Can I Give My Dog Some Lentils? Answer: Not necessary but okay

They are a good source of protein,iron and fiber but expect your dog to be gassy afterwards.

While generally harmless, and even nutritious, lentils also cause some mild digestive issues for your canine. If you know which types of legumes cause bouts of indigestion, or excessive gas, then you can be selective. Give your dog these types of healthy foods occasionally but don’t overdo it. There are so many different kinds of beans, and your dog will likely not be able to digest some of them very well.

Overall, lentils can make a good meal for your dog. Not only will they enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal, but it will also be quite healthy for them assuming they are found to be agreeable. The only way to really find out is by providing a small amount for your dog and then observing them for digestive or bowel issues.

Diabetes & Lentils

This ancient food is a favorite of those who are diabetic because the starch makeup is very favorable. If you have a dog with diabetes then you may wish to consult with your vet on incorporating lentils into their diet.

Legumes Can Be Bad

The fact is that there are negative aspects to lentils even for humans. Trypsin inhibitors and somewhat high levels of phytate content are not considered this legume’s best health attributes. One way to reduce phytates is to soak, in warm water, your lentils overnight. This would be a good preparation idea for both you and your dog prior to chow time!

Also, stick to plain lentils when it comes to feeding your dog something from this food group. With all the different bean types out there, some can give your dog terrible bouts of indigestion. It could also stress your dog out and lead to some behavioral changes, not to mention some very bad gas!

What to Watch For

There are plenty more ingredients that would-be chefs often add-in along with lentils to make a meal more wholesome. While your human guests are likely to thank you for such a delicious meal, it can be very dangerous to serve your dog the same thing (though they will still likely thank you for it).

This is because dogs have a very simple digestive tract, which can only break down certain kinds of edibles. This does not include processed food of any kind, nor does it include treats such as chocolate or pastries.

Watch out for the onion! It can be very bad for your dog and it’s often prepared with lentils.

Other Foods to Consider

While lentils on their own if cooked well make a plenty good enough meal on its own, adding certain things such as vegetables can really liven up the meal and keep your dog happy and healthy. Chicken, beef or turkey make good meals that go along with lentils if properly prepared.

Conclusion on Lentils

Your dog needs quality protein but mostly from meat. Lentils are packed with nutrients, including protein, but they probably shouldn’t be fed on a regular basis. Sure, there are many positives to serving this human food but there are also potential drawbacks. Lots of flatulence, gastro upset and irregular bowel movements are all common. It’s prudent to start out with a very small portion to see how your dog reacts.

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Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Some Lentils? Below

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Dolly December, 2015

I wanted to just add lentils occasionally to turkey, chicken or fish which I always add to her Honest Kitchen base food or sometimes Wellness food. So are lentils safe or not? I’m still confused about it. Thanks!


Cindy April, 2015

I am very proud of all the people who are saying that they are giving their dogs meat even though they are choosing to be vegans themselves. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for some of you to do this given your beliefs. In the end, it is a testament to your love of your dogs and your selfless character. Bravo.


Cynthia September, 2015

Depends on what you mean by vegan diet. Certainly, it’s very bad to feed your dog vegan human food if you have no or little knowledge about nutrition and pet food. But a complete vegan dog food contains everything a dog needs. It just has a different protein source which is easily digestible for dogs. In fact, there are plenty of vegan dog foods on the market which are complete and contain everything your dog needs (Amidog, Yarrah and V-Dog).


Eliana October, 2014

Hi! I am just starting giving lentils to my dog as I want to put him in a vegan diet. I am doing extensive research on this and I can give you some feedback later on. So far, my dog has enjoyed them very much and his digestion is okay. I simply cook the lentils with carrots and serve them with rice. No salt or any condiment added.


May November, 2014

How is your dog doing? Mine is also eating lentils and following a vegan diet. She looks and acts healthy. However, she does have large stools. I’m wondering if it’s too much fiber for her. I would love to know about your experience.


Lisa December, 2014

Dogs did not evolve on vegan diets. They are meat eaters. Please don’t starve your dog because you are trying to avoid animal killing or else you will then kill your dog. Don’t try to turn a dog into a person. Vegan diets don’t always work on people either.


Mark January, 2015

Google “189 year old vegan Collie dog”. He lived to be 27 years old eating a vegan diet.


Camila December, 2014

Please make sure you do extensive research before making the complete switch. As a vegan myself, I was very tempted to place my dog on a vegan diet, but found that was a huge mistake. Dogs are carnivores, they are raised on eating meat, bones, organs, and rarely if ever eat veggies and fruits.

I learned the hard way, thinking I was helping my dog by maintain a “clean-healthy” diet as a vegan, but in the long run ended up harming my dog. Do lots of research for the well-being of your pup. As I said, I had to learn the hard way, not to impose my personal views on my dog’s health.


Roberta January, 2015

Yes, I agree. Dogs are carnivorous and need meat to sustain good health and nutrition. I prepare a large container of the following ingredients and freeze them in small containers:

1. Mixed beans. I don’t add the included flavoring packet, too many additives.
2. Lentils
3. Beef, chicken or turkey
4. Frozen mixed vegetables. It’s delicious and very healthy.

Brown rice or quinoa is another option as well. Do not use white rice because it produces sugar and the pancreas can’t handle it. Over time the dog will develop diabetes. I learned this the hard way with a beloved Shepherd of many years. Do not give processed human foods either.

I also did a lot of research on processed dog food. When I found out what goes into most of them, I was appalled and will not feed processed dog food to my dog. It is loaded with chemicals, preservatives and poor quality ingredients that bring sickness to your animal over time. Do the research, if you haven’t already done so, and you will understand. Happy New Year to you and your poochies.


Joyce February, 2015

Don’t do it! The last dog I saw on a vegan diet lost all his hair. He was a funny looking Schnauzer and sickly, too. Please give him meat and don’t make him a vegetarian. It’s the current fad and people are misguided in not giving meat proteins to a meat eater.


Fernando April, 2015

I have had over 30 dogs, of all breeds and mixes, as I work with two different rescues. All of them have been on vegan diets while at my house. None, not one, has had any type of health issue. As a matter of fact, they have all improved in regards to their coat, weight and overall activity level. My personal dogs have been vegans for 7 years now. Their blood work, joint exams and stool samples always come back perfect. Their coats are as shinny and smooth as can be.

Dogs are not carnivores. They are omnivores which means they can create enzymes and proteins naturally through their digestive systems, just like people do. If your choice is to feed your dog a vegan diet, it can be done very successfully. But just like buying regular food, I only stick to high quality food whether it’s kibble or raw to be cooked myself. Check the ingredients and make sure that it contains the right amount of proteins and other essential nutrients.


Sans May, 2015

Hi Fernando. Would you mind sharing with me what you feed your dogs? I am struggling with mine because she came back with allergies to soya, carrots, peas, corn, milk and chicken. I am vegetarian and have had dogs my whole life who were vegetarian and healthy but this one is a stray from the streets of Mumbai. I am working to change her diet now and I really do not want to feed her meat.


Miro May, 2015

Hi Sans! My dog has been vegetarian for about five months now. I’ve been modifying his diet during this time and the current ingredients in his diet are eggs, brown rice, green lentils, green peas and cooked carrots. He gets some oatmeal porridge occasionally, as a side dish, instead of rice.

Eggs are a super food that should be part of every dog’s diet. They are a versatile and delicious source of many vitamins. Just remember to cook them first to ease the absorption of proteins and to prevent biotin-avidin complex. If you boil them with the eggshell on, eggs are also a good source of calcium. My dog doesn’t eat all the shells unless I make a mixture of the food. I mix all the stuff in a bowl from which it’s difficult to separate the shell.

The cholesterol issue is, according to current knowledge, a thing in the past. I eat five to fifteen eggs per day and my dog eats about ten or so and no issues thus far. But make sure he gets enough vitamin B9. Folic acid deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia which can disturb the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. Again, eggs are a great source of vitamin B12 and perhaps there’s no need for synthetic supplements when eggs are part of the diet.

Penn September, 2015

Dogs are not omnivores, they are carnivores. Just look at the teeth, the jaw and the digestive tract. Their teeth are designed to cut and tear off chunks of meat and crush bone. The jaw moves up and down, not side to side like a bear or a human to grind food before swallowing. A short digestive tract moves meat, organs and bone through a quick acid bath to limit or destroy harmful bacteria.

It is unnatural for a dog to eat only plant based foods. Dogs are meant to have small, hard stools. Large stools are evidence that their digestive system is not making use of what they are being fed. Dogs and wolves share 99.99% DNA and a common ancestor. I don’t think anyone would mistake a wolf for an omnivore.

Health issues can take years to develop from a biologically inappropriate diet. Dogs may survive on plants but thriving and reproducing healthy offspring for the next generation is another thing altogether. By feeding this misguided diet, a disservice is done to the animal by depriving them of what they need and instinctively crave.


juju November, 2015

Actually, I stumble upon wild coyote poop where I like to go walking and I remember being very impressed the first time I saw it years ago. The scat was full of juniper berries. That was not a one time sighting. So called wild dogs eat plant foods.

Laurie December, 2015

Fernando, could you please tell me what and how much do you feed your dogs? My dog is on either Benadryl or Prednisone for itching and biting. I can’t seem to find a dog food that works. I am a vegetarian. Just trying to figure it out without breaking the bank. Thanks!


Ruth March, 2016

My 5 year old Rat Terrier had been on Prednisone for almost a year. He was 25 pounds and got 2.5mg per day along with Benadryl for allergies. He ended up having major tummy problems and emergency stomach surgery from pancreatitis. This was most likely caused by the Prednisone. Watch for vomiting and diarrhea since this was a major sign.

He now is diabetic and has to have a low-fat special diet as well as insulin twice a day. Just wanted to share my dog’s issues so you could be aware.

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