Can Dogs Eat Peas? Are Peas Bad for a Dog
Many people enjoy eating fresh green peas—snow peas, sugar snap peas, and English peas—straight from the garden or purchased from the farmer’s market. As peas are perfectly safe and healthy for us to consume, we often wonder, is it okay for dogs to eat peas? Luckily, this is a vegetable that you can safely share with your dog. If you’re looking for a way to add more veggies to your dog’s diet, there’s good news: peas are safe and even healthy to give to dogs. They are not toxic to the animal in any form, however, there are a few things to watch out for.
While fruits and vegetables aren’t necessary to a dog’s diet, like they are to our diets, they are perfectly fine as an occasional treat. There’s nothing wrong with giving your dog peas either in their food or as a special treat. In fact, peas are often used as an ingredient in high-quality dog food. Garden peas must always be shelled. As far as pea pods go, if humans can eat the pod, so can your dog; this is a common rule of thumb. Be careful with pods, since they can get stuck in your dog’s throat and cause choking.
As with many human foods, peas are perfectly fine as long as you feed them to your dog in small amounts, every once in a while. Always check in with your vet and have extensive knowledge of your pet’s medical history before you feed them a new food. Take note of how they react to it as well; dogs may have adverse reactions such as diarrhea or vomiting, and if they exhibit these, stop feeding them the new food right away.
How Peas Can Be Good for Your Dog
The good news is that peas are among the healthiest human foods available that you could give as a snack to your dog. They’re a great source of vitamins A, K, and B, and are packed with minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. They’re also rich in protein, and high in fiber. Peas also contain lutein, an antioxidant that is good for skin, heart, and eye health.
How Peas Can Be Bad for Your Dog
Keep in mind, however, that as healthy as peas are and despite all of the benefits they offer, peas can have drawbacks for dogs since they’re a human food. You shouldn’t give peas to dogs who have any kidney problems, since peas contain purines, a naturally occurring chemical compound that’s found in other food and drinks. Purines produce uric acid that’s filtered through the kidneys, and if there’s too much uric acid, this can lead to kidney stones and other negative kidney conditions.
You should also make sure that any peas you give to your dog, whether frozen or fresh, are unsalted and don’t contain any seasoning. Too much sodium can have a negative effect on dogs, and seasonings such as onion or garlic powder are toxic for the animal. If you do buy a bag of peas with the intent of giving them as a snack to your pet or incorporating them into their meals, you should check to make sure that the only ingredient is “peas.” Your best bet is to purchase peas from your local farmer’s market, or grow them yourself, to ensure there are no additives that may be harmful for your dog.
As you give peas to your pet, you should also be very careful with the pea pods. Some peas, such as sugar snap peas or snow peas, are typically consumed by humans with the pods still on. Dogs can digest the pods as well, but the pods can also pose a choking hazard similar to asparagus stalks. Cut the pods up into very small pieces, or, simply avoid giving these types of peas to your dog to ensure there is no danger to them.
How to Feed Peas to Your Dog
You can definitely feed your dog fresh, frozen, or thawed peas; in this form, peas are fine and can even be good for them. However, you should not give your pet canned peas. Like many other canned vegetables, canned peas usually have a lot of added sodium, which can be very harmful for dogs. As a general rule, avoid giving your dog any canned human food.
And even though they’re healthy, peas should be fed in moderation. They can be given to your dog as an occasional treat, but not as an everyday meal staple. Always watch to see how your dog reacts to the introduction of any new food, before you give them more. You should be on the lookout for signs of any digestive problems such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog does have problems after eating peas for the first time, contact your vet immediately. As always, consult your vet if you have any serious concerns about your pet’s diet.
Can Dogs Eat Peas Conclusion
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need fruits and vegetables to be included in their diets. Dogs are carnivorous in the wild, and only eat vegetation when meat sources are scarce. As an occasional snack or treat for your dog, peas are definitely very safe and are a healthy, low-calorie option. They even offer many health benefits.
However, take care to feed your dog fresh or frozen peas, not canned, to avoid the large amount of sodium. Also, make sure that none of your peas have any added salt or seasoning. Be mindful of pea pods, which can pose a choking hazard, and avoid feeding your pet snap peas in general, or take care to cut the pods into small pieces.
Before feeding your dog peas for the first time, check in with your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you for sure if it’s safe for your individual dog. Luckily, in general, peas are perfectly safe. You can enjoy sharing this health vegetable with your dog, and won’t feel guilty as they share the benefits with you.