Edamame is one of the veggie snacks that became popular for the past several years. A lot of people love munching on edamame as routine snacks. But, if you are a pet parent, you might be wondering if you can also share it with your fur baby. So, can dogs eat edamame?
This article will discuss the possible health benefits and risks of edamame for dogs.
What is edamame
Edamame is yummy, crunchy, and great for you. If you love Japanese cuisines such as sushi or stir-fries, you are probably familiar with these tiny green soybeans. Edamame is traditionally boiled or steamed and plays a long and important role in the history of mankind, cultivated for the very first time more than 7,000 years ago in China.
Edamame is a type of soybeans boiled in pods then shelled afterwards. These can be consumed plain although most of the time, these are cooked with sugar or salt to prepare a sweet dish known as edamame beans. You can steam or boil edamame in the pods or you can also shell them before you add them raw to salads. These beans can also be used for making edamame dip, edamame hummus, and more.
Edamame is often sold frozen or canned. This is also available fresh all throughout the year at supermarkets and Asian markets. Edamame beans are found in pods growing upright on the tall plants that have big leaves. This plant is a close relative of lentils, beans, and peas and is cultivated for many years across China, Japan, and other Asian countries and regions.
However, the oldest known use of the word edamame dates back to 1270, only a modest 700 years ago, by the Japanese monk who wrote a thank you note to the parishioner who gave him edamame as a gift.
Even if it is often added in dishes, one of the best and common ways of eating edamame is directly out the pod that is steamed or boiled and tossed with some salt. Edamame in Japan is bleached using 4% saltwater then served with no salt.
These make a wonderful snack and similar to other snacks, pet parents are often wondering if they can also share it with Fido.
Can your dog eat edamame
Yes and no. Edamame is not toxic and is one of the healthy human treats that you can give to your pet. But, there is actually some controversy there. This is because edamame is a type of soy, and as you might already know as a pet owner, soy is actually among the top food allergens for canines.
But, soy also happens to be a common source of protein used in many dog foods. In fact, this is also the most digestible of all the plant proteins, easily beating out several animal proteins.
What is the deal with edamame, then?
For starters, unlike wolves and wild dogs, dogs are better equipped as omnivores instead straight carnivores. In fact, dogs have enzymes that let them digest plant materials that other canines lack.
Second, it was also found out that beef is the cause of most food allergies compared to soy, making this a minimal offender than wheat and dairy. So far, if your pet has any allergic reaction to the food they ate, this is probably because of an animal source.
Third, it also seems more likely for soy to act as allergen if the proteins are just left intact. The soy added to dog foods are already broken down into smaller pieces known as hydrolyzed soy that breaks up the proteins into the individual amino acids forming them. The digestive system of your dog can reform such amino acids to proteins without setting off the allergen component.
The last but not the least, edamame is not yet broken down, which makes it more likely to act as allergen when given to your pup compared to the soy added to their dog foods.
Having said all these, it might be completely fine to let your pooch eat edamame and it might even be healthy for him. But, just because your pet ate soy before and didn’t experience any issues doesn’t mean that the same thing will also happen when he eats edamame.
This is why it is better to take things slowly and just first try giving your pup one or two beans depending on his size. If he handles it just well, you can then make him munch a bean or two more than before the next time.
As always, make sure you consider the amount of calories in edamame so that you don’t mess up the diet of your dog.
What possible health benefits can your dog get from eating edamame
Edamame is a tasty soybean that provides numerous health benefits including being a great source of magnesium and protein.
Edamame also contains high amounts of folate, iron, phosphorus, and zinc that help in supporting immune function. All of these are essential nutrients for maintaining the body’s healthy cell growth.
However, you have to take note that the high amounts of trypsin inhibitor in edamame can result to weight gain if your dog eats it every day. But, it doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid giving edamame to your pup. You just need to be careful as to how often he eats it so that his edamame intake doesn’t outpace his activity levels and other diet aspects such as calorie consumption.
Edamame also contains high amounts of iron, antioxidants, protein, and several vitamins. This bean may also help with heart disease through preventing the formation of clots or lessening the size of the existing clots blocking the arteries.
These beans also have some anti-inflammatory properties that can help in decreasing arthritis-related pain. When boiled, edamame releases oligosaccharides, the natural sugars that function as probiotics for the good bacteria like Bifidobacterium lactis Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Streptococcus thermophiles.
What possible health risks can your dog suffer from eating edamame
There are many people who seem to think that edamame is completely safe because it comes from vegetables. But, edamame has high amounts of oils such as soybean oil and protein. These items are not often recommended to be consumed by dogs because their protein content can cause diarrhea and pancreatitis issues. Once combined with excessive amounts of fats, it can also result to greasy syndrome.
The estrogenic properties of soybeans can also mimic the female hormones, lowering the potency of male hormones. It may affect the fertility of your dog or even lead to risks of reproductive cancer as he gets older. As such, you should only feed edamame to your pup sparingly and give it in smaller quantities as occasional treats.
Edamame poisoning is also possible if ever the edamame is already spoiled or has been sitting out for several days through the illness called salmonella poisoning. If your dog consumed edamame that already went bad, he may suffer from seizures or blood sugar level concerns.
You have to take note of these risks when trying to decide if you should give your dog raw edamame from the pod just like how you eat them. While these might taste better, there are possible consequences that you wouldn’t want your pup to suffer from. If your dog consumed raw edamame, it can cause a food-borne illness that may result to stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting that is not always severe.
It would be best for fur parents to avoid letting their dogs eat edamame as it can cause digestive distress or even lead to sickness if they don’t have other restrictions in their diet.
Is edamame considered healthy
An incredibly healthy food, edamame is rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron, fiber, omega-3s, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It is found to potentially address different health concerns. It can help reduce bad cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce risk of some types of cancers.
How much calories can you find in edamame
There are around 189 calories in a single cup of cooked edamame beans. This amount is decent enough for dogs, particularly for the small ones.
Always take note of the amount of calories from the snacks that you give to your pet on average when trying to avoid the amount of regular dog food you need to give them.
Can your dog eat edamame beans
Yes, you can let your dog eat some edamame beans. Just make sure that you limit the amount you give them and monitor your dog to ensure that it doesn’t make them itch or show other signs of allergies?
Can dogs have cooked edamame
Yes, dogs can eat cooked edamame provided that it doesn’t contain salt or other seasonings. There is not much difference between giving cooked or raw edamame to your dog. Just see to it that you limit the amount that you give to your dog.
Can your dog eat the edamame pods
No, dogs shouldn’t eat edamame pods. Whether it is the whole casing holding several beans or that thin translucent skin sticking between the beans and other shell, it is not recommended for your pet to eat edamame pods.
Edamame pods are quite rough, are difficult to digest, and requires some amount of boiling for them to become edible enough for dogs.
Can your dog feed on edamame shells
No, you should never let your dog eat the shells of edamame because this can cause irritation on their stomach lining.
Why dogs love eating edamame
Dogs simply love almost all types of foods but they seem to love foods that have high amounts of protein such as edamame.
This also applies to other animals including cats. While it remains to be a mystery as to why dogs love edamame, this is probably better than letting them eat other unsafe and unhealthy alternatives.
Tips to prepare and serve edamame to dogs
You need to remember several important things before you prepare and serve edamame to your pup. Take note that edamame is not suitable for all pups in the same way that it is not meant to be part of all dinner tables.
Before you offer edamame, you have to know first is edamame is suitable for your dog. It can become dangerous or even deadly if given to dogs the wrong way. Confirm first that edamame is not toxic to your dog and that he doesn’t have any known allergies. Always consult with your vet to know if edamame is really safe to feed to your dog or not.
There are several ways of preparing the edamame beans for your dog although many pet owners prefer boiling them first. Boiling can help kill off any bacteria found on the bean pods before you serve them in can or raw. Boiling edamame first at home is one of the best ways to avoid potentially harmful toxins or bacteria present in the edamame beans that came from outside sources.
Edamame should also never be served as a single meal and you have to serve it together with other foods like pasta, rice, vegetables, fruits, and bread for their suggested daily intake of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and proteins. There are also high amounts of protein in edamame pods so these can never replace the essential nutrients if given to dogs exclusively for a long time. Just like people, dogs also need balanced meals.
Edamame must never be given raw since it can result to intestinal obstruction or chocking if your dog swallows it whole without properly chewing it first. See to it that there is nothing else in the pod that you would never want inside the mouth of your dog.
The high fiber content of edamame beans may also make them hard for canines to digest so make sure that you feed your dog well before you let him eat edamame. You should also avoid overfeeding your dog with just edamame pods any time of the day as it can cause digestive problems due to being an incomplete diet.
Shannon work as nurse practitioner in Alliance Health Medical Group. She own pets and she love pets. With her knowledge in medicine, she know what can the pet eat and what can’t