Can dogs eat edamame? Is edamame good or bad for dogs? Is edamame safe for dogs? As a dog lover, we want to share snacks with our furry friends but we want to do so in a safe and healthy way.
Read on to learn more about what edamame has to offer your dogs!
In short, the answer to whether you can feed your dog edamame is a definitive yes!
Chock full of nutritional benefits, the edamame bean is also fun to eat. Enjoyed as a snack or as a treat, this vitamin-rich, high-fiber, immature soybean packs a powerful punch.
In addition, there is Omega 3, calcium, carbohydrate, and protein that your dog can gain many advantages from. More on the benefits of what this simple yet mighty bean has to offer later.
The video below shows the top 20 countdown for veggies and dogs. Edamame made it at #20 for them – so near the end.
For an extensive collection of articles that focus on what dogs can eat on our “Your dog’s health” page.
Edamame has been a popular legume for some time now. Most often, people encounter them for the first time when served as a starter before indulging in a tasty meal at your favorite Japanese restaurant.
Picked while still young and green, edamame are delicate soybeans, sweet to the taste and both easy and fun to eat. I prefer to eat the entire edamame shell all at once although I’ve heard that isn’t recommended.
Despite the studies done over two decades on soy as a miracle foodstuff, there are no conclusions to be drawn on the proposition of the benefits of soy. Without large, long-term studies, there are no firm conclusions to be made in this regard.
That said, recent studies of plant-based polyphenols, such as flavonoids, have shown significant anti-inflammatory health benefits.
In particular, the subclass, isoflavones mainly found in soybeans and other legumes, are well-known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial health benefits.
Polyphenols have been on my own radar of late, which makes this article about edamame extremely interesting to me. The idea that my dogs can benefit in the same way that I can from eating them is really something to consider.
Health benefits of edamame – as good for dogs as for humans
Soybeans are the richest source of isoflavones that you can include in your diet. They are a class of phytoestrogens, the plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity.
The available Omega 3 fatty acid found in edamame is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and helps your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin. Omega 3 and 6 also help reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Soybeans are known to assist in reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides. By reducing the potential for plaque build-up in the veins and arteries, blood vessels are better able to relax thus reducing the potential for blood clots that are known to lead to heart attack or stroke.
The high dietary fiber content in edamame can benefit your dog in weight management. Fiber tends to give one a feeling of fullness, which aids in preventing overeating.
The vitamins and nutrients in edamame include:
- Two key antioxidants – Vitamins A and C
- Iron, to transport oxygen throughout the body
- Calcium, required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, nerve transmission, muscle function, hormonal secretion, intracellular signaling and strong bones and teeth
- Protein (soy protein), the power source of life
- Carbohydrate, the macronutrient essential for energy
For the most comprehensive nutrient breakdown of edamame, see the facts displayed on this USDA webpage.
Which is best: Raw, steamed, or boiled?
This is a good question since, as humans, we enjoy a variety of seasonings to enhance our meals. Edamame can be included in a wide range of human recipes.
As for your dogs, raw edamame is better than cooked edamame. It is best to just pop them right out of the shell raw and give them to your dog as an infrequent snack. In other words, not as a daily treat but spread out; that way they can always be a special surprise. Actually feeding the entire edamame pod to larger dogs is fine as well, just be aware of the extra fiber the pod contains. They could be a choking hazard for smaller dogs so be careful in this respect.
You can boil or steam them, too. Just separate the dog’s portion from yours so Fido is not getting your seasoning with his share. In reality, though, raw is preferred as it’s a quick snack rather than part of a meal.
For human consumption, we tend to include many different seasonings in our recipes.
My advice: Avoid the minefield of any and all seasonings for your dog altogether.
When preparing with salt or soy sauce, is edamame safe for dogs to eat? I would definitely say no. Your dog needs no salt in his diet.
Is edamame safe for dogs?
My answer here is a resounding yes, you can feed your dog edamame. It is a safe and healthy snack for dogs.
The super-powerful benefit of edamame need not exceed a couple of pods every couple of days. This is not a treat to allow your pooch to chow down on, although that would not be hard to do as they can easily become a favorite.
Here are the reasons you must proceed with the caution of restriction on how much edamame you feed your dog:
Edamame is high in dietary fiber. Remembering that while we can consider our dogs omnivorous since they have become accustomed to sharing much of what is on our own plates, they are still carnivores.
As this relates to the digestive tract, an overload of fiber will get the digestive system working overtime resulting in an upset stomach, gas, bloating, diarrhea or vomiting.
The edamame shells or pods are particularly fibrous. For small dogs, they can be a choking hazard or a cause of digestive blocking.
Even if large dogs seem to be able to gobble them up without a problem, be aware that too many of them can lead to gas, constipation, or diarrhea. It is often recommended that people don’t eat the shells.
While it may not be obvious immediately, any time you feed your dog something they have not tried before, you want to observe just in case they may have an allergic reaction. This is yet another reason to offer edamame in moderation. Soy allergy is real and you want to watch out for it with your dog.
Be prepared if you see signs of scratching, licking, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss or ear infections to seek assistance from your local vet.
Various health issues
Veterinarians will likely advise against a regular addition of soy to the diet as overdoing it can lead to thyroid or liver damage as well as disrupting the reproductive health.
Can dogs eat edamame – conclusion:
Can dogs eat edamame? We most certainly agree that edamame is one of those snacks your dog will greatly benefit from. The challenge for you will be to keep your dog’s portion to a minimum no matter how much he shows you he loves them. As with all other discussions along these lines, we strongly recommend your dog’s diet consists of 90% dog food rather than human food, treats, or snacks.
We often hear “can dogs eat [fill in the blank]” so we are working on a series of articles to discuss these topics. Please see our additional articles on our main dog health page.
Also for a more information overview about what your dog should and should not eat, be sure to take a look at our “Can dogs eat…” article where we cover over 80 different items.