The answer to whether dogs can eat soybeans is complicated. While soybeans are not technically toxic to your dog, there are plenty of concerning risks associated with soybeans that make them inadvisable as a regular treat. At the same time, there are positives to soybeans that make some people lenient enough to feed their dogs some foods containing soybeans.
In short, soybeans are somewhat controversial when feeding them to your dog. The best way to ensure you are feeding your dog a proper and healthy diet is to consult your vet, especially before adding any new food to your dog’s meals. To learn more about the pros and cons of soybeans, keep reading below.
What Are Soybeans?
The soybean is a legume that is native to East Asia. Unfermented uses of the soybean include soy milk, tofu, and tofu skin. Fermented products include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, and foods such as natto (a Japanese meal made with fermented soybeans and rice) or tempeh (a traditional Indonesian food).
Soybeans are often used as a cheap source of protein for animal feed. They are also used as substitutes for meat and dairy products.
Pros and Cons of Feeding Soybeans to Your Dog
When feeding soybeans to your dog, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons with your vet. Before you add anything new to your dog’s diet, you should always consult your vet and add new foods slowly so that your dog can adjust.
As mentioned before, soybeans are not toxic for dogs. If fed in careful moderation, they can even offer some benefits. Soybeans can provide your dog with boosted nutrition since they contain healthy vitamins, amino acids, and folic acids.
However, these positives may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately, if your dog is fed a well-balanced diet, it already receives the necessary vitamins, amino acids, and folic acids. Your pup does not need soybeans to supplement its meals, so soybeans are not very beneficial.
One major drawback to feeding your dog soybeans is the possibility of an allergic reaction. If your dog has a soy allergy or intolerance, feeding soybeans may trigger a reaction.
If you choose to feed your dog soybeans, you should strictly limit how much you feed it. Foods containing soy may induce bloat in your dog if served in excess. Bloat is a severe condition in which the stomach fills with air, building enough pressure to prevent your dog’s blood from flowing back to the heart.
This causes blood to pool near your dog’s hindquarters and sends it into shock. Bloat is a rapidly fatal condition, so if you notice symptoms such as vomiting or enlargement of the abdomen, seek emergency veterinary services immediately.
It’s best to avoid serving tempeh or soy sauce because foods containing soy tend to have additional spices or high sodium content.
Is Edamame Safe for Dogs?
Edamame is a popular soybean-based food. Although it is not strictly toxic for canines, it can have negative consequences that you should be aware of.
Pros and Cons of Feeding Edamame to Your Dog
Much like soybeans, edamame has pros and cons when feeding it to your dog.
Edamame is low in calories, so it isn’t a fattening treat when given to your dog on occasion. It also contains plenty of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C is a critical component of edamame. It is also an antioxidant, which means that it can reduce inflammation. Calcium is another benefit of edamame. It is essential to the structure of the skeleton as well as the function of the nervous system. It also assists muscular contraction, reduces blood clots, promotes enzyme activity, and releases hormones.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in edamame. They are vital to the health of your dog’s skin and coat and can also reduce the odds of developing diabetes.
There is plenty of fiber in edamame, which is essential for digestion and maintaining a healthy weight. The vitamin K in edamame reduces blood clots, and the folate assures proper metabolic processes. Again, however, all benefits of edamame are already adequately provided, assuming your dog is fed a healthy and well-balanced diet.
All of the cons that apply to soybeans also apply to edamame. In addition, since edamame is high in fiber, it can cause your dog to experience digestive issues. Another potential concern with edamame is the pods. The pods are tough, and if your dog chews on them, it may choke. This is especially true for smaller dogs.
Soybeans may have their benefits, but for the most part, there is no need to feed them to your dog. The benefits that soybeans provide are already covered in a healthy, well-balanced diet. Since soybeans are not toxic to dogs, there shouldn’t be an issue if your dog sneaks one without you looking. If you want to feed soybeans to your dog as treats, consult your vet before making any decisions.
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