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A Guide to Adding Green Beans to Dog Food

Jan 18, 2021
AUTHOR Dr. Ross Bernstein

Reviewed by Dr. Ross Bernstein

Dr. Ross Bernstein is a seasoned veterinarian who we’re fortunate to have as the head of our Board of Pet Experts. Dr. Ross earned his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was trained under the guidance of some of the country's most renowned veterinary professionals.

Adding Green Beans to Dog Food—Is It Safe? 

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Our little fatty furry friend needs help. They have just taken a look in the mirror, and they don’t like what they see. Chubby cheeks and chubby legs… It’s decided—this Monday, they are starting to exercise and eat healthier. 

Well, we might have an enjoyable solution for them. Luckily, our furry pals seem to enjoy veggies a bit more than us. So, let’s take advantage of that!

Green beans, or string beans, help your pooch lose weight and can be pleasant to their taste buds as well. Even the pups who don’t enjoy these string beans can grow to love them. And we’ll tell you how!

Alpha Paw team is here to give you all info on the green bean diet and its positive and negative sides. The downsides do exist, but it’s all the matter of moderation. If you use our guidelines, green beans will help your pooch be less voracious and tighten that waist while keeping your dog healthy.

Why Do We Add Green Beans to Dog Food?

Green beans provide your pooch with lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vitamins that are found in these beans are A, C, K, and B6, while calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium are their most important minerals. These veggies are also low in calories and come in handy in between meals.  

Lots of dog owners opt for introducing green beans to their dog’s diet if they notice their pooch suffers from excess weight. When fiber is added to a dog’s diet, pups get fewer calories, which results in a positive weight loss. Fiber provides a sense of saturation, and it reduces the need for calories. If you want your pooch to lose a few pounds, add some green beans in their nutrition, and you will be surprised by the results.

People usually believe that green beans fall under the category of vegetables, when in fact they are classified under the “beans and legumes” food group.

What Is the Green Bean Diet?

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The green bean diet refers to introducing green beans into your pooch’s diet for a short while. Green beans are considered highly nutritious dog food, but you shouldn’t give them to your dogs as a whole meal. They are an addition to their diet. 

String beans should not turn into a permanent part of the dog’s diet. Lots of veterinarians also advise you shouldn’t introduce this diet to your pup before you do all the analyses that confirm your pooch is safe for this diet addition. Even then, the vet’s guidance is advisable.

Can Dogs Regulate Their Body Weight if They Eat Green Beans

As many as 50% of dogs in America are overweight. This is the consequence of insufficient exercise and poor nutrition. Inadequate diet means giving your pooch meals that don’t meet their nutritional needs. Each dog has their dietary requirements which must be fulfilled if you want your canine to grow strong and healthy. 

Helping your pooch lose extra weight can prolong their life. If you notice that your hairy beastie is putting on weight, think about adding green beans to their diet. If you adhere to the guideline you see below, you will see the results in a few days!

If the pup doesn’t struggle with too much fat, you can introduce green beans as treats. Use these healthy beans in the training process. This is a perfect solution for introducing more treats and not increasing the risks of obesity. Green beans are an excellent snack to munch on. 

How Do We Add Green Beans to Dog’s Diet

Green beans can help your dog lose weight. They add lots of beneficial nutrients to their bodies, but only if you use them right. 

They should never comprise your pooch’s entire meals, and they need to be given in combination with regular food. The switch to this mixed diet should be done gradually. 

Do not add too much fiber to a dog’s diet, especially not all at once. A sudden switch to food high in fiber can cause gases, but in more severe cases, it leads to:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

It’s important to keep your dog’s diet complete and balanced so that they can grow healthy. 

The first day you start with this nutrition, give them only 10% of green beans mixed with their original diet. If they don’t have an adverse reaction to it, you can continue incorporating more beans. Every few days, add 10% more until you achieve the ratio of 50% kibble and 50% green beans. 

This high percentage of green beans in the dog’s nutrition should not be made into a permanent diet. You can use these guidelines only if you want to put your furry friend on a short weight loss regime. In general, green beans should not account for more than 10% of your pooch’s diet. 

What Do We Need to Pay Attention to When Adding Green Beans to the Dog’s Diet

Switching your pup to green beans mixed with their regular food diet can sometimes be harmful to your hairy companion. Calories that you’re depriving them of can contain lots of essential nutrients, such as vitamin D or calcium. Dogs who are on the special diet program usually require extra fatty acids and protein to compensate for the lack of calories.

Even if you haven’t achieved the desired weight, switch them back to their previous diet after 10–25 days, so that they can replenish all lost nutrients. The switching back process also needs to be carried out slowly. 

Before switching your dog to a weight loss program, we advise you to consult with your vet.

How Can We Serve Green Beans to Our Canines?

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In case your pooch is not a veggies-fan, you need to find a sneaky way to feed them green beans. Mix the beans with their regular food to the point they can’t see it. If you use palatable regular food, they will devour the mix before you know it. 

You can always blend the beans with their favorite yogurt, and it will taste almost the same to them. Cut off the stringy ends, and chop the veggies to avoid the potential hazard of choking on bigger pieces.

You can add green beans to your pooch’s diet using:

  • Fresh green beans
  • Frozen green beans
  • Cooked green beans
  • Canned green beans

Fresh Green Beans

Food that comes right from the garden is our farmer canines’ dream. Lots of food vitamins and minerals can be lost in the cooking process, but consuming fresh green beans provides your pooch with all the nutrients they contain.

Always wash the raw food properly before offering them to the dog. If your lovely canine doesn’t like fresh food, there are some more options on how you can prepare these beans for them. 

Frozen Green Beans

If you bought fresh green peas and decided to freeze them, you will provide your pooch with a fantastic treat, especially in the summer season. The crunchier the treat, the better. Our canines also enjoy frozen green beans as they provide them with something to gnaw on.

If you opt for purchasing frozen green beans, check if the product contains any salt or flavors, as they won’t sit well with your buddy’s tummy. 

Cooked Green Beans

For dogs who aren’t fans of raw food, here’s a solution. Try cooking their green veggies, let them cool down, and serve. 

Lots of dog owners opt for cooking green beans for their pups. Their greatest concern is a protein named lecithins, which is dangerous if eaten in large quantities. It is found in the green beans but can be killed in cooking. 

A smaller amount of lecithins can improve your pup’s coat, as this protein contains essential fatty acids. If they eat too much of it, their tummy can get irritated and end in symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Don’t use any spices while cooking, such as onion, oils, and garlic.

Canned Green Beans

This is perhaps the preferable option for dog owners because it’s the quickest one. All you need to do is go to the shop and pick out the can. 

Don’t buy canned green beans that contain sodium and lots of salt. Try to find the product that’s the least processed. 

Canned green beans are also a great option for grandpa canines and the ones who suffer from sensitive teeth. They are soft and much easier to chew on!

Can Puppies Munch on Green Beans?

Green beans are perfectly safe for puppies. You need to cut the food into slices to reduce the risk of choking. 

Puppies should also get lots of treats as part of their training process. They hop, jump, twist, and twirl, so we guess these little munchkins deserve a delicious treat for their efforts. Instead of the high-calorie ones, give your pooch green beans and reduce the chances of obesity. 

Green Bean Dog Treats

Even if your pet is struggling with weight, you can’t deprive them of treats. Treats are highly useful in the training process, but they also make your gorgeous beastie feel loved. In case you feel they should cut back on candy for a while, look for the food rich in fiber. 

This is when green beans come in handy. Imagine delicious candies that don’t contain too many calories. It’s a dream come true! The fiber in green beans maintains dogs’ digestive system and supports healthy stomach flora. 

But don’t exaggerate with these treats. Even the pups who eat healthy food can gain weight if you feed them too much of it. 

Alternatives to Green Beans for Dogs

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Sometimes you can prepare a delicious snack for your pooch, make a lovely presentation, or use all of your sneaky hiding skills, but nothing helps! They simply don’t want a taste of it. Luckily, there are many other healthy treats and diet additions that you can try out. Some of them are:

  1. Popcorn
  2. Celery
  3. Olives


Popcorn is rich in fiber, and also contains Vitamin B, protein, and iron. Unless your pooch eats popcorn with salt, sugar, or butter, they are perfectly safe! If you give them these additives, your dog will be prone to:

  • Dehydration (if they eat too much salt)
  • Kidney issues
  • Obesity


This is another perfect weight-loss treat. Celery contains lots of fiber, and it’s low in fat. It abounds in vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as minerals potassium and manganese. Vitamin K keeps your dog’s joints healthy and prevents your dog’s bones from getting brittle. Cut celery into smaller pieces, especially for puppies and smaller breed dogs. 

Although they are the tastiest part of celery, we don’t advise you to give your hairy companion celery leaves. They usually contain pesticides or other toxins. 


Olives are highly nutritious. They contain good fats and lots of minerals and vitamins. Olives also reduce the risks of heart diseases and help your dog with allergic reactions. But, can your canine eat them?

If you remove the pits, your pooch can eat olives safely. You shouldn’t give them too many, though. The first time you treat your pup with an olive, feed them only a small piece, in case of a food sensitivity.

Be careful with your choice of dog snacks. Even if you pay a lot of attention to their regular food and meals, harmful snacks can ruin it all.

What Are the Ideal Macros for My Dog?

If you want to provide your buddy with a complete and balanced diet, pay attention to their specific dietary requirements. Dogs need to get their macronutrients in a specific ratio. The macros include carbs, fat, protein, minerals, and vitamins. Green beans add lots of vitamins and minerals to your dog’s nutrition. When these veggies are used together with their usual diet, you need to be careful that none of them exceeds its recommended quantity. 

In the table below, you will find what an average adult dog’s nutrition should contain:


Percentage in complete dog diet








Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Vitamin K

Vitamin E









The greatest advantage of green beans is that they are low in carbs. A cup of cooked green beans (150 grams) has around 14 grams of carbs, and around half of that is fiber. These string beans’ fiber maintains healthy digestion and regulates colon bacteria. 


As our canines receive fewer calories in their green beans diet, the quantity and quality of protein should be fortified. 


In case you switch your pooch to a weight-loss regime, remember that your dog’s body needs some fat intake, but not much. Fatty acids are essential for their lustrous coat and strong immune system, and green beans already contain a certain dose of these acids. 


Green beans contain vitamins A, C, K, and B6. 

  1. Vitamin A provides your pooch with good eyesight. It also supports your pup’s immune system and cell function.
  2. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that decreases inflammation, and it slows down cognitive aging. 
  3. Vitamin K is needed for allowing blood to clot and protect our pups from bleeding a lot after a teeny-tiny injury.
  4. Vitamin B6 is useful for dogs who suffer from obesity. It is also suitable in case the pooch shows the signs of hair loss.


An average adult dog should get food that has from two to four percent of minerals. Green beans mostly consist of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

  1. The appropriate amount of calcium in a dog’s nutrition is essential. This mineral supports neuromuscular, endocrine, and bone function. The lack of calcium can lead to skeletal demineralization, while excess calcium sometimes causes abnormal bone growth.
  2. Iron helps the formation of blood cells in the dog’s body. The lack of it results in anemic symptoms and susceptibility to illnesses. Excessive iron is dangerous for your pup’s heart.
  3. Magnesium helps with muscle and bone development. The excess of magnesium causes diarrhea and gases, while its deficiency leads to cardiovascular issues.
  4. Potassium maintains good muscle function and heart activity. If you don’t provide your pooch with enough potassium, they will suffer from dog dry skin, hair loss, and dehydration. Canines shouldn’t get too much of it too, as it can be dangerous for their kidneys.

Adding Green Beans—Final Thoughts

Our team hopes we cleared up all unknown things related to green beans that you were baffled about. There’s nothing that would make us happier than knowing that our advice helped you and your little beastie.

Stick to our guidelines, and your pooch will be thankful!

While here, check out the lists of the best dry dog food for small dogs and best large breed dry dog food that we selected for you. If you are in a search for the best-canned food, we recommend you skim through the best canned dog food.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Dog_food_brands
  2. Larson, P.s., et al. “Effects of Adding Gamma-Irradiated Green Beans or Fruit Compote to the Diet of Dogs.” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, vol. 3, no. 1, 1961, pp. 57–62., doi:10.1016/0041-008x(61)90008-4.
  3. Morgan, Judy, and Hue Grant. Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs. Thirty Six Paws Press, 2017.

Dr. Ross Bernstein

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Ross Bernstein is a seasoned veterinarian who we’re fortunate to have as the head of our Board of Pet Experts. Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University, earning his B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Economics and Psychology. He then went on to pursue his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was trained under the guidance of some of the country's most renowned veterinary professionals.

After UC Davis, Dr. Ross completed a one-year rotating internship in Medicine & Surgery at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, and recently completed an additional year of further training in small animal surgery at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center, where he gained extensive experience in complex soft tissue, orthopedic and neurological procedures.

Dr. Ross shares his home with a Golden Retriever named Duma. We’re lucky to have someone as experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate as Dr. Ross in our pack – not only as our trusted advisor, but also as our good friend. Thank you, Dr. Ross!

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