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Lentils are an excellent health food, but does this hold true for dogs?
Here’s the deal:
While there are lots of dangerous foods to withhold from pets, this legume is not one of them! Fed in moderation, lentils won’t harm your dog.
Sharing some of this bean and its valuable nutrients is A-OK.
Your Dog Can Eat Lentils
They are a great source of protein, zinc, iron and fiber.
Your buddy could be a bit gassy afterwards, but that is to be expected.
Don’t mind that?
The Omega 6 and 3 could help keep your dog’s skin and coat looking beautiful.
Nevertheless, go easy…
Conservative For Canines
Pure lentils, while harmless and healthy, may cause mild digestive issues – especially if too much is fed.
Getting carried away with beans can cause indigestion and excessive gas.
Besides, when it comes to lentils or chickpeas always remember that dogs require meat protein to thrive.
Lentils For Dog Diabetes
This ancient food is a favorite of diabetics due to the starch makeup.
Talk with your vet about adding lentils whether they have diabetes or not.
Alternatively, if you are caring for a geriatric, there’s a fantastic grain-free chicken and lentils formula made specifically for older dogs.
Food Supplement For Fido
Lentils, and some grains, can be added to regular canine meals.
You can do this by mixing healthy beans with your dog’s food. Hopefully their stomach agrees.
It’s best to start out by providing small amounts of lentils.
Observe your dog for signs of digestive or bowel issues. That’s smart whenever introducing new foods to a furry friend.
Soak Legumes In Water
No food is perfect. There are negative aspects to lentils — even for humans.
Trypsin inhibitors, and somewhat high levels of phytate, aren’t this legume’s best attributes.
Reduce phytates by soaking lentils in warm water overnight.
Seriously! This preparation technique applies to both you and your pet dog.
A Lentil Soup Lesson
We do not recommend lentil soup for dogs unless it’s homemade.
Store-bought lentil soup is likely to contain preservatives and other questionable ingredients like onions.
Know what you’re feeding your dog!
This is one of many reasons why cooking at home is healthier. Avoid cheap, mass produced lentil soup.
Packing on the Protein
Cooked plain lentils is a great meal on its own, but adding certain vegetables and meat will liven things up.
Keep your dog healthy by incorporating chicken, beef or turkey with lentils.
A meat and lentil combination makes sense. It’ll be loaded with protein.
On a per calorie basis, only soybeans have more protein than lentils. Great for dogs!
The Bottom Line
You can give your dog lentils. They aren’t toxic and, in fact, have valuable nutrients including protein.
Just don’t overdo it! And obviously an increase in flatulence is possible.
When you do feed lentils be sure to watch for gastro upset and irregular bowel movements.
A good way to share is by giving your dog small plain portions mixed in with regular chow.
25 thoughts on “Want to Feed Your Dog Lentils? Read This First!”
I’ve heard that lentils, chickpeas and other legumes can cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. I feed my buddy homemade food that includes lentil and chickpeas, not the commercial dog food. Now I am really confused. Can you help?
Fiber creates larger stools which is healthy. Feed as much healthy food as the dog will accept, same as you’d do for yourself. A minority of dogs are intolerant to legumes.
A holistic alternative is Quercetin. It is non-toxic and does the job.
Is it possible to feed lentils if a dog has a leaky gut or an allergy related to food sensitiveness? Some articles say starch is not good.
But given lentils are supposed to be very healthy compared to other starch, I don’t really know if a dog can take it along with meat.
I have a Shih Tzu with a chronic allergy. The vet prescribed lentils and rice while being treated with corticosteroids.
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
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!
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.
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).
Dogs have a very short digestive tracts for digesting meats, not high fiber diets. Humans have bigger intestinal tract than dogs for digesting lentils, chickpeas and other high fiber foods.
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.
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.
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.
Google “189 year old vegan Collie dog”. He lived to be 27 years old eating a vegan diet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Lauri try Wysong foods. I swear buy them. Their foods are all extremely well made and they even have a great allergy formula. They aren’t cheap but have seen miracles, first with their horse feed then with their dog food.
They had the only food my allergy dog could eat and in no time she wasn’t chewing herself bloody. Her coat all grew back soft silky and shiny and she never had another problem.
WOW! That is so wonderful! That gives me confidence knowing my little Shih Tzu should be okay on veggies and proteins from grains.
Also, I just started giving him Barlean’s Pet Essentials Flax Oil for Animals and I can tell the difference in his poop! I add dry cranberries and/or organic Kalonji (Nigella Sativa) and sprinkle a bit of Hawthorn berries powder on his food.
I try to remember to add a pinch of Bob Mill’s baking powder in his water daily and, when possible, add it to distilled water.