Baked beans are such a simple, not to mention inexpensive go-to meal that we often eat them ourselves or serve them up for our kids without much thought about whether they are healthy.
If you have a dog that likes to help out with the washing up by dealing with any leftovers and licking plates clean when you have finished eating, you may have found yourself wondering – can dogs eat baked beans?
In this article, we will look at why baked beans are not a recommended food to offer your dog, what you should do if your dog eats them, and what alternatives you can provide your dog as treats and snacks.
In this article, we will discuss the following:
- Are baked beans safe for dogs to eat?
- Why are baked beans bad for dogs?
- What will happen if a dog eats baked beans?
- How does pancreatitis affect your dog?
- What to do if your dog eats baked beans
- What types of beans are safe for your dog to consume?
Can dogs eat baked beans?
Are Baked Beans Safe For Dogs To Eat?
Not all types of beans are the same when it comes to nutritional value and safety for pets.
We will look at different kinds of beans that are safe, and that you might like to try with your dog later on in the article, but for now, let us focus on the popular canned baked beans that you can easily buy in the supermarket.
The baked beans that you find in cans, ready to eat cold straight from the can, or heated up in a saucepan or the microwave, are made from haricot beans.
Haricot beans, also known as the navy bean, Boston bean, or white pea bean, are white beans that have a high nutritional value. But this does not necessarily mean that canned baked beans are healthy.
Canned baked beans are not baked at all; they are cooked through a steaming process. The tomato sauce is made with a secret mix of spices, sugar, starch, and vinegar.
Typically we love to eat our baked beans on buttered toast, inside a buttered jacket potato topped with cheese, and as part of a full English breakfast.
While baked beans are perfectly safe and not entirely unhealthy for us to eat, it is not recommended that you allow your dog to eat them.
This is due to the high fat and sugar content of baked beans, which can be detrimental to your dog’s health if consumed regularly or in high amounts, potentially leading to pancreatitis.
We will take a closer look at how pancreatitis affects dogs later. There is a notably higher risk of feeding baked beans to dogs that suffer from diabetes.
Why Are Baked Beans Bad For Dogs?
It is the high sugar and salt content that a can of baked beans contains that is the primary concern when it comes to your dog’s health.
Your dog’s digestive system is not designed to handle this kind of food, and therefore feeding your dog baked beans can lead to significant digestive discomfort, resulting in vomiting and even diarrhea.
Often the types of foods that baked beans are served with are not healthy choices for your dog either, such as fatty bacon and fried eggs, cheesy baked potato, and buttered toast.
You would rarely have baked beans with a salad, put it that way. Therefore you should think twice before allowing your dog to help clean up any leftovers because it will not just be the baked beans that they consume.
While your dog may seem eager to lick your plate clean of baked beans, bean juice, and any other foods that have been left behind for them, the after-effects of consuming highly fatty food that is not good for them can be painful and depressing.
Nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer, so it is wise to ensure that your dog is not offered any baked beans, even the leftovers from yours or your child’s plate, and certainly not the empty baked beans can, as the sharp edges can cause horrible injuries if your dog tries to stick their nose into lick out the contents from the very bottom.
This is also why it is so vital to ensure that you dispose of food and food packaging carefully, making sure that your dog does not have access to the waste bin.
Even if you think your dog is well trained, there is no telling what a dog will get up to when your back is turned, especially when there is food involved.
It is always best to be on the safe side when it comes to our pets and assume the worst.
What Will Happen If A Dog Eats Baked Beans?
If your dog eats baked beans, the immediate effects may only occur if your dog already has underlying health problems.
For example, it could exacerbate the symptoms of pancreatitis. But even if your dog does not suffer from an underlying health problem that you know of, eating baked beans can still cause gastrointestinal upset.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Upset Stomach
- Decreased Appetite
An upset stomach usually resolves itself, but if your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it can give you peace of mind to be in touch with your vet for advice, should your dog’s condition worsen.
Sometimes symptoms may not be caused by what we think, and your dog may be having an allergic reaction to the food or suffering from something else entirely.
How Does Pancreatitis Affect Your Dog?
If you regularly feed your dog unhealthy foods that their body finds difficult to digest, like baked beans, they are likely to develop pancreatitis later on down the line.
Pancreatitis is a severe health condition, which causes acute pain when the pancreas swells due to inflammation.
Baked beans contain many preservatives and highly saturated fat, and these can be difficult for your dog’s digestive system to process.
This is what can lead to the pancreas becoming inflamed and causing your dog pain. It is called a “flare-up.”
Once your dog has experienced this condition, certain foods will cause flare-ups in the future, and your dog may have to be put on a permanent special diet to avoid the painful episodes.
These special diets are usually very bland and can be expensive, depending on how big your dog is and how much your dog eats.
You may not realize at first that your dog is suffering from pancreatitis. This is because dogs are very good at disguising when they are in pain. In the wild, this skill would have protected them by hiding their weakness so that the pack didn’t turn on them.
Sometimes a dog can go for a very long time enduring pain that we don’t know about before it gets discovered.
If you suspect that your dog might have pancreatitis, here are some clues:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased thirst
- Swollen abdomen
- Abnormal posture
- Sitting uncomfortably
You should consult your veterinarian for professional diagnosis and discuss treatment options for your dog.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Baked Beans
Whenever your dog experiences any of the symptoms described in this article, or when they exhibit behavior that you would consider to be unusual for them, it is a good idea to call your veterinarian for advice.
If your dog’s symptoms seem mild, then your vet may advise you to observe your dog over the next 48 hours and contact them again if their symptoms worsen.
Alternatively, they may ask you to bring your dog in for a check-up or treatment if you have told them that your dog had eaten a large quantity of something he shouldn’t have eaten or a substance that is toxic to dogs.
You should never ignore symptoms just because they seem mild to you. Contacting a professional can be the difference between life and death for your dog.
What Types Of Beans Are Safe For Your Dog To Consume
As stated at the beginning of this article, not all beans are bad for your dog.
If you would like to add some variety to your dog’s diet and help to keep them fuller for longer, the following beans can be added instead of other filler ingredients that have little to no nutritional value.
- Lima Beans
- Green Beans
- Butter Beans
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- String Beans
Many cheaper commercial dog foods tend to use filler ingredients that are unhealthy for your dog like grains. Beans can be a healthier alternative to these.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat baked beans?
No dogs should not eat baked beans. Baked beans are high in sugar, and also often contain tomatoes, onions, and garlic, which can be dangerous for dogs.
Can dogs eat canned beans?
Canned beans are loaded with sodium and preservative chemicals, which are unhealthy to a dog’s digestive system.
Can baked beans kill dogs?
While baked beans are not deadly, they are most surely unhealthy as they may contain excessive amounts of salt, garlic, onion and tomato base. If you want to give your dog bean, it’s recommended you soak dried beans in water and add them to their normal meal.
It can be fun to try your dog with new foods, especially when they look up at you with those pleading eyes of theirs, but making informed choices is essential for your dog’s health and safety.
Baked beans are not the right choice of snack or treat for your dog if you want them to lead long, healthy lives with you and your family.
Avoiding any processed food is recommended to keep your dog in excellent health and prevent vet bills.
Skin the baked beans and opt instead for healthy veggies like green beans. Your dog will enjoy them just as much.