OK, the chickpea might not be the first thing you think of when you want to treat yourself or your dog, but it has an awful lot to offer.
This humble legume, known as a Chickpea in the UK and as a Garbanzo bean in the USA packs a powerful nutritional punch.
Not only are they an excellent source of protein but also iron, magnesium, potassium and fibre. So don’t dismiss these little legumes, they may be dull and a little uninspiring but with a bit of work they can be magnificent!
Garbanzo beans for dogs, are they safe?
The good news is yes they are safe for your dog with a few cautionary words. The majority of chickpeas available are either canned or dried. Although you can also buy chickpeas ready roasted as a snack.
The canned beans often contain high amounts of salt that is not good for your dog. If you are using chickpeas from a can rinse them thoroughly first. The legumes themselves contain very little natural salt so with a good wash they are ready to go.
If you buy dried chickpeas, you will need to cook them first. Most beans contain a toxin that is destroyed once they are soaked and then cooked. Don’t take any chances with dried pulses as they can make you and your dog very ill.
Not sure if you can share your pack of ready roasted chickpeas with your four-legged friend?
Be careful, unfortunately, although the chickpea is mighty, it is also a bit bland. So most snacks will be full of additional flavour enhancers like onion or garlic that aren’t suitable for your dog.
What are the benefits of Chickpeas?
Chickpeas, along with other dog-friendly legumes like black beans and soybeans are a rich source of plant-based protein.
Plant based proteins are finding their way more and more into commercial dog foods because they are exceptionally cost effective.
They also provide essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and folate that all go towards keeping the cells in our and our dog’s bodies healthy.
What’s more Garbanzo beans contain vitamins A, B, and C that help support eye health and aid in the regulation of blood sugar.
But perhaps the best-known benefit of all types of beans is the amount of fibre they contain. Although there can be embarrassing side effects of eating a lot of fibre, it is essential for our and our dog’s digestive health.
Not only that fibre can help us feel full for longer. So if you have a dog that needs to go on a diet legumes can assist in providing low-calorie filler so that your dog isn’t constantly hungry.
Moderation is the key, to begin with. If you have never given your dog beans before, start with a small amount and build up.
Too much fibre all at once will result in loose stools and unpleasant gas, but at least when you blame the dog it will actually be true this time!
The best way to feed your dog garbanzo beans
If you want to give your dog to a tasty chickpea treat, you can either give them as they are or you can roast them.
Since most dogs don’t chew food thoroughly it’s advisable to either mash the beans or bake them into one of the doggy chickpea recipes shared at the end of this article.
Can dogs eat hummus?
Hummus or houmous as its also known is a dip usually made with chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and salt.
Despite the main ingredient being chickpeas that are your safe for your dog to eat, the rest of the ingredients are not.
Although the jury is still out on whether sesame seeds are OK for your dog the garlic, lemon juice and salt are a no go when it come to your dog’s health.
While the internet abounds with footage of dogs and lemons, citrus fruit presents a danger to your dog. Lemons and limes contain chemicals that can cause vomiting; diarrhoea and depression so keep your dog safe and stay away from hummus.
What about gram flour?
Gram flour is also known as besan and is made from a variety of ground up chickpeas called Bengal gram.
Just like whole chickpeas it is safe to give to your dog and is often used in gluten-free cooking. Containing all the nutritional benefits of the whole chickpea it can be used to make healthy, low-fat dog treats.
Garbanzo beans for dogs? Go ahead.
Chickpeas are little legumes with big benefits. They can provide a low-calorie, low-fat treat that is packed with both protein and fibre.
Make sure that they’re plain, without any seasonings or additives and well rinsed from a tin. If you want to get adventurous why not try one of these recipes and let us know how you get on.
Dog Biscuit with Pumpkin & Chickpea Flour
From Fido’s bakery
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pure pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.
- Add the egg and pumpkin puree.
- Mix thoroughly and knead the dough a few times into a ball.
- Put the dough between two sheets of saran wrap. Press it down a bit, and roll it out to approx. 1/4″ thick.
- Cut with cookie cutters of your choice.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and allow the biscuits to cool inside the oven completely before removing.
- Store in an airtight container.
Grain free dog treats
From A Cozy Kitchen
- 1 medium banana, mashed
- 3 tablespoons creamy (natural) peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- *1/4 cup rolled oats (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the banana, peanut butter and egg; mix until completely To a medium bowl, add the flour and rolled oats; mix. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough to a piece of heavily floured wax paper. Note: The dough will be sticky so flouring everything (wax paper, rolling pin and cookie cutter) is important. Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut out the cookies using a cookie cutter of choice. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies. (I used a small heart cookie cutter and ended up with 22 cookies.) Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. These cookies won’t spread so placing them close together is okay. If you don’t want to roll the dough out, alternatively, you can scoop teaspoons of dough onto a baking sheet, flattening the cookies with the ball of your palm.
- Bake the cookies for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature on a cooling rack. Cookies will be good for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.