Soybeans are among the most common culprits of food allergies in dogs. Dogs with hypersensitivity to soy products often suffer from itchy skin, non-seasonal pruritus, and ear canal infections.
Nonetheless, what if your pet can tolerate soy very well? Will you consider soy products for him? Read this first to find out more information regarding the effects of these beans to canines.
Soybeans: Are They Good for Our Dogs?
This depends on the dog’s tolerance on soy products. It’s a case to case basis. Dogs have different reactions to certain foods. Soybeans are tolerable in some canines but more often than not, dogs tend to have issues digesting them.
Soy is not really the first thing your vet would recommend. There are even vets who advocate against the use of soybeans in dog foods. Still, there is nothing in soybeans that is toxic to dogs.
In fact, soy is widely used in many brands of dog food, even in the premium ones. While some dogs don’t have a problem digesting soy, there are some who have the runs because of it.
Don’t give your pet too many soybeans, though. Eating excessive amounts of these beans has been linked to stomach ache and other intestinal issues such as constipation and bloating.
It is said that soybeans should be avoided at all costs when your pet has a deep chest. Some breeds such as the Setters and the Great Danes are known for this characteristic. Because these breeds are more prone to bloating, just avoid giving them soybeans to be on the safe side.
This is because the soy used was probably made from a texturized soy product that can leave the pet with a runny stool. A textured soy protein is often used as an alternative to meat products. It’s very popular among vegetarians as the main ingredient for the veggie nuggets, bacon-like products, and the likes.
Do note that it’s still a good idea to seek your vet’s advice prior to giving anything new to your pet. Should you wish to include soy in your pet’s regular meals, at least let your vet know about this decision.
How About Edamame?
Edamame is green soybeans in their pods that are either steamed or boiled. They are safe for dogs given that you only offer them in small amounts. Don’t forget that dogs don’t really need as many plant-based foods as humans do.
What about soy chunks? Soy derivatives, such as soy chunks can be fed to dogs but only in small amounts. If you’re planning to give some soy chunks to your pet, consider soaking them in water first to make them easier to digest.
What Are the Benefits of Soy to Dogs?
There are potential benefits of adding soy into your pet’s diet. Here are the reasons why it’s okay to give canines soy from time to time:
- Soy is a great vegetarian source of protein. If you need a viable source of protein, soy is definitely one of your best choices out there. Did you know that the protein content of soy is equivalent to the amount found in cow’s milk? A cup of cooked soybeans provides as much as 29 grams of protein.
- It reduces the risks of coronary heart disease. Soybeans are known to prevent heart attacks and strokes in humans. Just like us, our pets are also vulnerable to heart diseases. That is why it would help to give them heart-healthy foods on a regular basis.
- Soy promotes healthy bones because it is packed with trace minerals that support bone health. It contains potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium that are all essential for stronger bones.
- It supports a healthy coat. Soybeans contain fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat in canines.
- It can ward off many types of diseases, including cancer, due to the rich antioxidants in it. It is ideal for boosting Fido’s immune system.
- Soybeans promote healthy weight gain and loss and are ideal for pets with obesity and weight problems. They are also a friendly treat for canines with diabetes because they can regulate cholesterol levels.
- Soy boosts the metabolic activity in the body. As an excellent source of dietary fiber, it can help dogs suffering from digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea.
When Not to Give Soy to Your Pet
Avoid giving soybeans to your dog if he is suffering from hypothyroidism. Eating soy can slightly lower the levels of your pet’s thyroid hormone.
Another concern with soybeans is the anti-nutrients they contain such as isoflavones which are known for being estrogen-mimicking compounds. They might cause estrogen-like actions even in spayed or neutered dogs.
Still, it would take very large amounts of soybeans to have this effect so don’t worry too much if Fido accidentally gobbled down more than he should have in one sitting.
Stop giving soy to your pet if he displayed ill effects after eating it. If he has been suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, call your vet for assistance. The vet may prescribe antacids to ease the dog’s stomach.
To prevent these problems, consult your vet first before introducing soybeans into your pet’s diet. With a green light from your vet, you can feed these beans to your pet in moderation.
The Bottom Line
Soy can be considered a healthy treat for dogs as long as the pet does not display any adverse reaction after eating soybean. Always follow your vet’s advice and practice moderation in feeding anything to your dog. This is very important, especially if you are giving beans for the first time.