Are red kidney beans toxic to dogs? Expert Advice


Dogs must only eat cooked kidney beans. This is because raw kidney beans have high levels of Lectin which will cause severe gastrointestinal upset both in humans and dogs if eaten.

By the time kidney beans are cooked enough to be edible, the Lectin levels have been reduced and the beans are perfectly safe for consumption.


Technically, yes, canned beans are “safe” for your dog to eat in small amounts. Because canned kidney beans are already cooked, there’s very little chance of your dog being affected by Lectin poisoning, (We’ll talk in detail about Lectin below.)

However, much like other canned vegetables, canned kidney beans are high in sodium and may contain other additives and preservatives to extend their shelf life and maintain their freshness.

Some brands of canned kidney beans are preserved in water, with no other listed ingredients beyond water and beans. That makes these more suitable for your dog to eat.

If you’re going to feed your dog canned kidney beans, drain and wash the beans before boiling them for at least ten minutes to ensure they are soft and edible. If the beans are palatable, they’re safe to eat.

If you’re worried about the amount of sodium or the presence of other preservatives in canned beans, you can try buying dried kidney beans instead. Dried kidney beans are cheaper to purchase and have no additives, but they are raw so they must be cooked thoroughly before being fed to your dog.

The nutritional benefits of beans

Beans are legumes, the family of foods that include beans, peas, and lentils. They provide two to four times more plant-based protein than grains and are rich in fiber and nutrients.

Legumes add an inexpensive source of protein to foods, which is why many commercial dog foods use them to boost protein values. But your dog needs protein from animal sources to remain healthy; meaning vegetarianism is not the daily diet choice for our dogs.

Beans add some excellent health benefits when fed properly. They are bursting with antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Antioxidants: Vitamin C, and vitamin A found in beans offer powerful antioxidant properties to boost your dog’s immune system. Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause cell oxidation because of stress and illness. They also aid in slowing or preventing some cancers and improve cognitive function to help prevent dementia in older dogs.

Vitamin K: Aids in blood clotting, and metabolizes calcium into your dog’s blood to prevent calcium deposits that can clog arteries and the heart.

Minerals: Beans provide iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and manganese to aid in growth and metabolism.

Folate: Also known as folic acid, is a B vitamin (B9) that aids in metabolism and red blood cell production.

Dietary fiber: Dogs need dietary fiber to keep their digestive system healthy and moving smoothly, ensuring healthy bowel movements. Fiber also stabilizes blood sugars and lowers bad cholesterol levels.

Too much dietary fiber can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and excessive gas. Beans, fed as an occasional treat, are fine.

Low calories: Beans are low in calories, making them an ideal occasional snack for diabetic dogs, or dogs on a weight-loss diet.

Can Cat and Dog Eat Kidney Beans for Diet and Grain-free Foods? | Dr. Ruth Roberts, Your Pet’s Ally

Not all beans are safe for dogs to eat. Fortunately, kidney beans are one type of beans that are on the safe list as long as they are prepared correctly. A small amount of kidney beans is good for dogs to eat because they are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber.

Before you let your dog eat any kidney beans, it is extremely important to have the beans cooked first. Raw kidney beans do contain some toxins that are dangerous to pet. The toxin in question is hemagglutinin, which can cause problems by clumping red blood cells together. Cooking pre-soaked kidney beans will reduce the amount of toxin to below-detectable levels.

Make sure you are only letting your dog eat small amounts. Beans, in general, are known for making you feel gassy. Too many kidney beans may make your dog suffer from problems like bloat.