Can I Give My Dog Lentils?

Can I Give My Dog Lentils?Lentils are very healthy for people but what about for the family dog? Sharing this type of legume comes with pros and cons, so you may or may not agree with our answer. In any case, learn more here so you can make up your own mind.

Some dogs can and literally will consume almost anything. There are many dangerous foods that need to be withheld from precious pets but the lentil, thankfully, is not one of them. They are generally not harmful for canines.

In fact, this delicious bean offers much in the way of valuable nutrients. So legumes, and lentils in particular, are tempting to feed to your dog due to the health benefits. Sharing is okay, but learn more!

Can I Give My Dog Some Lentils? Answer: Yes

They are a great source of protein, zinc, iron and fiber but your dog could be gassy afterwards.

Probably the most consistent way to incorporate this nutritious legume into your pet’s diet is with a high-quality duck, rice and lentils dog food formula. The Omega 6 & 3 will help keep Fido’s skin and coat looking beautiful. Giving too much pure lentils, while harmless and healthy, may cause mild digestive issues. Certain beans bring on bouts of indigestion, or excessive gas, so be selective. Give your dog healthy foods, such as lentils or chickpeas, but remember that canines also need meat protein to really thrive.

Lentils for Diabetes

This ancient food is a favorite of those who are diabetic because of the starch makeup. If you have a dog with diabetes then consult with your vet on adding lentils into their daily diet. Alternatively, if you are caring for a geriatric, there’s a fantastic grain-free chicken and lentils formula made specifically for older dogs.

Dog Food Supplement

So we’ve established that lentils, and some grains, can make an excellent addition to your dog’s regular meals. You can do this yourself by adding or mixing these beans to their food. It will surely be healthy but this assumes your dog’s stomach will agree. Start out by providing small amounts and observe them closely for signs of any digestive or bowel issues.

Soak Your Legumes

No food is perfect and there are negative aspects to lentils even for humans. Trypsin inhibitors, and somewhat high levels of phytate, are not considered this legume’s best health attributes. The best way to reduce phytates is by soaking lentils in warm water overnight. This is a smart preparation technique that applies to both you and your dog prior to chowing down on lentils!

Lentil Soup Lessons

We do not recommend lentil soup for your dog unless you make it yourself. Store-bought lentil soup is likely to contain preservatives and other ingredients, such as onions, that are questionable for canines. You should always know exactly what you are feeding your dog. This is one of many reasons why cooking at home is far healthier, for any family member, than buying mass produced lentil soup as an example.

Pack on the Protein

While cooked plain lentils can make for a great meal on its own, adding certain foods like vegetables and meat will really liven things up. Keep your dog happy and healthy by incorporating chicken, beef or turkey with lentils. This combination makes sense because it will be loaded up with high levels of protein which your best buddy requires to thrive.

On a per calorie basis, only soybeans contain more protein than lentils. Great for dogs!

Conclusion on Lentils

Yes, you can give your dog lentils. They contain lots of valuable nutrients, particularly protein, and are not toxic for animals. Understand that sharing this human food may increase flatulence, but gastro upset and irregular bowel movements are also possible. So lentils offer health benefits for dogs, but there are also negative factors so don’t overdo it. Small portions, mixed in with regular chow, is a reasonable way to go about providing plain cooked lentils to your beloved pet dog.

Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can Dogs Eat Lentils? Below

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol September, 2016

I added a cup of lentil Soup, with no onions, to 2 cups of cooked rice and 2 cups of cut up pieces of chicken. Do you think that this is a good mixture? I have 3 small dogs, ages 8 – 12 years old. Thanks


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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