The first question that comes to mind is probably, what is lentils? It was my first thought too. Lentils are a type of dried bean grown in pods, a part of the legume family, that is relatively easy to prepare. They are not seasonal, can easily absorb flavors, and are high in nutritional value. Lentils are rather small in size (smaller than the tip of a pencil eraser) and come in different colors: brown and green are the best at retaining their shape after cooking. There are different cooking times for each different kind of lentils. Lentils include black beans, soybeans, and green beans and are an amazing nutritional food that benefits humans in many ways. However, the questions remain: Can dogs eat lentils the same way we do?
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The Health Benefits
Much like all other beans, lentils are high in dietary fiber. It is also known for lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels. According to a research that examined heart disease, eating legume can provide an 82% reduction of risk. In the Archives of Internal Medicine, the author claims that a high fiber food helps with lowering heart disease. Many people believe that if lentils are nutritious for them, then that is true for dogs as well. For humans, lentils are an amazing way to stay healthy. However, can the same be said for dogs?
DON’T FEED THEM BEFORE YOU MAKE SURE!
There are many instances when your dog would look at you with that “begging face”, seemingly jealous of the food that you are eating. Being the loving dog owner, you are simply tempted to give in to the dog’s wishes. However, never do that until you are sure they can eat it! Always do a decent amount of research before you feed your dog anything.
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YES! Your dog can eat lentils! But…
Lentils are a great source of protein, zinc, iron, and fiber and it is an amazing food to share with your dog. However, too much intake of any food is bad for the body, even for humans. Although lentils are extremely nutritious, they have a relatively high level of phytates. Phytates are often referred as an “antinutrient”, though it is not poisonous. It prevents the body from absorbing minerals such as calcium and iron. The best way to avoid the phytic acid is to soak the lentils in warm water overnight. This preparation technique applies to both humans and dogs and is a rather normal way of preparation for many different kinds of beans.
Raw lentils may be tempting to eat because people believe them to be more nutritious as the minerals are not “cooked away”. Yet, raw lentils include phytic acid that may be harmful to the body after eating. It may even lead to food poisoning. Lentils are actually the most healthy after they are cooked thoroughly. Certain beans, such as kidney beans which are highly toxic, can be confused for lentils. Do not make this mistake! Always cook and soak beans of any kind and know what you are feeding your dog.
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Eating too many lentils can result in gastric upset and irregular bowel movements. Imagine your dog releasing gas all the time… eww. Gas in dogs can be painful and cause bloat. Bloat can eventually lead to death if it is left untreated. Always remember that dogs cannot survive on lentils alone; it is not healthy like that either. In the end, a dog’s regular meal should always include meat proteins. The best way is to feed a dog lentils is to give them small portions that are mixed in with their regular food such as grains and meat. Split yellow lentils and split red lentils are the best and most digestible to feed to dogs.
- Start with small portions of lentils and observe the dog for digestion or bowel issues.
- A owner can gradually add more by day, but always remember to limit.
- Always remember to soak in warm water.
- Always prepare the lentils yourself. Do not feed dogs store-bought canned ones as there are preservatives and other ingredients.
- Monitor the dog for reactions, take note of symptoms, and notify the vet when something goes wrong.
A great way to feed a dog lentils, according to indigreeangels.com, is to boil the lentils with a little turmeric powder and serve it as a soup or mixed with rice, meat, and vegetables. Turmeric reduces inflammation and can help with arthritis or joint pain.
Medical Advantages for Dogs
Lentils are a healthy treat for humans and dogs. However, one must be careful to soak and cook them properly before offering them to a dog. Always remember that too much can result in medical issues.
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