If you enjoy a snack of edamame beans now and again and you’re a responsible dog parent before you offer any to your dog, you’ll want the answer to the question, can dogs eat edamame?
If it’s a snack you regularly enjoy, then the good news is you can start to share a few with your dog. There’s no toxicity in edamame as far as dogs are concerned, but there is a little controversy because edamame is soy, and some sources cite edamame as a food allergen in dogs.
But we will speak about that a little later in the article. First, let’s talk about what edamame is for anyone unsure of what we’re discussing.
The Japanese call young unripe soybeans edamame. When beans are not fully mature, they taste sweeter and contain umami (there are at least five primary flavors: bitter, sweet, sour, salty, and umami). Basically, this happens because the immature bean contains greater concentrations of amino acids and sucrose.
You’ll most likely find them in the supermarket freezer section because the easiest and most popular way to prepare them is by boiling (in plain or salted water) and then freezing them. When you fancy a healthy snack, thaw a few in the microwave, pop the beans out of the pods and eat them as is.
Generally, you wouldn’t eat the pods; at least I’ve never eaten them. I have eaten the beans while still frozen, though, and they taste just as good.
Edamame For Dogs
Let’s go back to the problem with soy being an allergen in dogs, shall we?
The strange thing is that if you look closely at many of the dog foods sold today, one of the vital protein sources is derived from soy, and dogs digest their plant proteins better than most of the others, including even animal proteins. Dogs are quite capable of digesting plant materials, vegetables, etc.
In fact, the biggest culprit for food allergens turns out to be animal sources, more so than anything else. A study proved this to be the case when it took a look at two hundred and seventy-eight cases of food allergies in dogs. The study found the worst problem came from beef with over thirty percent of cases; dairy accounted for over twenty percent, and wheat causing fifteen percent. Soy was the source of only thirteen instances.
There only seem to be any allergen issues with soy when the proteins are intact. Dog food soy has had the proteins broken up into their amino acid constituents and is known as hydrolyzed soy. The rest is down to a dog’s specialized digestive system that can convert the amino acids back into proteins; this way, the soy doesn’t create any allergens.
What’s the controversial aspect of edamame for dogs? Well, when you feed your dog edamame beans, you’re feeding your dog soy in its original form; in other words, it hasn’t gone through the same process dog food soy has and hasn’t been broken down into amino acids; therefore, it’s not hydrolyzed soy.
The bottom line is this; don’t feed large amounts to begin; it’s better to provide your dog small quantities of edamame. Wait and see if there is any reaction or any sign of allergens. Because your dog is eating soy in its natural state and not hydrolyzed, there might be an issue with edamame, so go slowly.
As we always like to point out in our articles when discussing a dog’s diet, it’s essential to remember that any treats you feed your dog, no matter how healthy, contain calories. You should deduct these calories from the dog’s daily calorific intake.
Is Edamame Healthy For Dogs?
Edamame is very healthy for dogs, assuming there are no allergen issues, as we discussed previously.
Soy has a reputation for reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides in humans, so it may very well have the same impact on dogs suffering from high cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels are said to increase the risk of heart disease, and there was a study suggesting eating forty-seven grams of soy protein every day can lower LDL cholesterol by 12.9%. There’s no definitive proof, but eating small amounts of soy cannot be a bad thing.
Edamame provides tremendous amounts of fiber, and vitamin K, and antioxidants.
Dog obesity is a growing problem, so if food offers our dogs the potential to prevent overeating, we should look closely at edamame. The high levels of dietary fiber in edamame might help with weight loss, so too might the healthy fats such as omega-3 help with diabetes.
Edamame Nutrition Facts For Dogs
The USDA supplies this information for 156 grams of edamame beans (without pods).
- Calories: 188
- Protein: 18.4 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
- Sugars: 3.4 grams
- Sodium: 9.4 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 13.8 grams
Carbohydrate For Dogs Eating Edamame
We know if we feed our dogs too many carbohydrates, they can put on weight, so how feeding our dogs edamame affects this situation. When we compare other common legumes such as lentils, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans, edamame has roughly one-third of the carbohydrates.
Another thing that makes edamame a good choice is it’s low in sugar; if your dog has diabetes or you are trying to find low-sugar snacks for him, edamame only contains 3.4 grams for each cup of boiled beans.
An excellent way to help dogs with obesity or diabetes is to give them food high in fiber. Edamame is helpful on this front as well. The same cup of boiled beans provides eight grams of dietary fiber.
Are The Fats In Edamame Bad For Dogs?
Even though a well-balanced diet for dogs should contain fats, saturated fats is another matter. Dogs should have limited saturated fats in the same way we have to limit our intake.
How does edamame stack up as far as fats go? Using the same cup as a guideline, edamame contains eight grams of fat, but only one gram is saturated. Not only is edamame a low-fat snack for your dog it’s also low in saturated fats.
A high percentage of the other fats are considered good fats, i.e., monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. There are roughly 3.4 grams of polyunsaturated fats in edamame, mostly omega-6 and some omega-3 fatty acids. Plus approximately 2 grams of monounsaturated fats, which are said to help control blood sugar levels.
Are There Good Protein Levels In Edamame For Dogs?
If you’re looking for a high-quality protein source for your dogs while trying to reduce protein from animal proteins, then you couldn’t have chosen a better food source than edamame.
One cup of boiled beans contains 18.4 grams of protein. But it’s not just the amount of protein; it’s the quality. Edamame includes all nine essential amino acids. Having all nine amino acids is as good as any animal protein without the risk of saturated fats. I’m not suggesting you should stop giving your dog high-quality animal protein, but as an additional source of quality proteins for your dog, there isn’t anything better.
Edamame has 188 calories for every 156 grams of beans; this isn’t much for us; for a small to medium dog, that’s quite a lot of calories for him to eat on top of his usual diet. So however many beans you give him, remember to deduct the calories from his daily total.
Edamame is soy, it might not look like the typical white soy we see, but edamame is immature soy hence the green color. Ensure your dog does not have an allergic reaction to soy before feeding many edamame beans.
Can Dogs Eat Edamame Pods?
Edamame pods are what contain the green beans. They are a fibrous plant material that will not do your dog any good if he eats them. They are quite rough and incredibly chewy. Your dog will very likely get very bored with chewing edamame pods and swallow them before he’s broken them down to something his stomach can handle.
If you are buying ready-cooked and frozen edamame, you can still pop the pods and feed a few frozen beans to your dog, especially on hot summer days; they can be a refreshing snack, but not too many.
Can My Dog Eat Cooked Edamame?
Yes, this is the best way to feed them to your dog. Boil them without adding any salt or seasonings. If you buy the frozen ones from your supermarket, you need to double-check if they are pre-cooked. If they are, the likelihood is they’ve been boiled in saltwater. It’s not a good idea to feed them those.
The question was can dogs eat edamame? The answer was yes; they can in moderation and not prepared with any salt or seasoning. There are quite a few calories in edamame for small to medium dogs, so don’t go overboard with how many you feed your dog, and remember to deduct the calories from his daily total.
Edamame contains high-quality protein levels, omega fatty acids, fiber, low carbohydrates, and additional minerals and vitamins. Finally, feed only the beans to your dog and not the pods.