Being the owner of a dog is no doubt a difficult job and it gets evens more challenging when faced with the daily what do I feed my dog today dilemma. Sure, there's doggy treats and doggy mix but sometimes your four-legged pet gets bored of it’s every day, monotone food and just wants to sit and enjoy a meal with you. So how do you know whether or not it is safe to feed your dog what is on your plate? Well, this article focuses more whether or not it is safe to feed your dog a good would plate of hummus.
For all of you out there who don't quite know what hummus is, well, it's a dip or a spread made of cooked and mashed chickpeas and other beans mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Though it originates from the Middle East today, it's popular in grocery stores all over the world. It's known to be very nutritious as it contains good proportions of dietary fiber and protein B. Today, worldwide, hummus is considered a delicacy and people usually prefer eating it as a snack with corn chips, pita bread, carrot or cucumber sticks. While this is relevant to us as human beings, let's now discuss it in the perspective for a dog.
So for all you hummus lovers out there, despite hummus being very healthy, unfortunately, it wouldn't be safe for dogs to consume hummus. Dogs can eat chickpeas and they even benefit from its nutritional value, but it's the other ingredients in hummus that make it dangerous for dogs to consume hummus. The high fiber content of beans make it beneficial for a dog's digestive system and also helps with constipation issues. Also available in chickpeas is lecithin which is known to stimulate a dog's memory and help them learn faster and easier. Chickpeas are also rich in potassium, which helps kidney functions in dogs. Vitamin A in chickpeas also helps improve vision and reduces macular degeneration, which is one of the main causes of blindness in dogs.
Why Is Hummus Dangerous?
Garlic is one of the top reasons you should avoid giving hummus to your dog because garlic can be mild to moderately poisonous to dogs. Small amounts of garlic are acceptable to feed a dog, but excess can lead to damage of the red blood cells and once they're damaged they cannot oxygen. This in turn can put the dog at risk of anemia, which a condition of low red blood count. Cases of anemia in dogs can lead to internal organ failure or organ damage. Garlic in a dogs system can also lead to blood from their excretions. In large amounts, garlic can also lead to death amongst dogs.
Even though symptoms of garlic poisoning take several days to appear, they are rather common and easy to catch. Listed below are some of the symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs:
- Elevated heart rate
- Red or brown urine
- Excessive salivation
Another main ingredient is lemon juice, more specifically the citric acid from the lemon juice. Any citric acid fruits or foods should be avoided by dogs as the excess of citric acid can cause abdominal pain and high levels of discomfort.
What If Your Dog Already Ate Hummus?
Well, if you have already fed your dog hummus it's alright, you now know that it can moderately dangerous to your dog. But it also depends on how much hummus your dog has consumed. If it was a small portion then it is okay, because as aforementioned a small amount of garlic is okay. But, if by chance, your dog has managed to consume a large portion of hummus then it's highly recommended you visit a vet, because even though you may not see any visible changes, your dog could be in pain and in dogs, garlic poisoning often has a delayed onset and the symptoms usually don't appear till a few days later.
Hummus Without Garlic
Although by tradition, hummus is made of garlic and lemon juice, if you can manage to acquire or make hummus without both of these ingredients then it is safe to feed your dog hummus, unless of course, the replacement ingredients are also dog-friendly. Garlic can be replaced by roasted beets. But also keep in my mind, excessive amounts of legumes like chickpeas can cause gas to develop. Even though gas just causes temporary mild discomfort in some severe yet rare cases it may cause a potentially fatal condition called bloat, which causes a swollen abdomen.
Given below is a recipe for hummus without garlic. Just follow these simple steps and within a few minutes you have a perfect dog safe hummus prepared:-
1. In a blender just combine the following ingredients
- 1 can chickpeas; retain some of the juice
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- Pinch of paprika
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cold water
2. Just blend it till desired consistency!
And that's it! There you have it your doggy friendly hummus. Serve it to your pet using doggy treats or corn chips. You can also store this hummus in the refrigerator for a week, preferably not longer.
Well, to conclude, no it is not safe to feed your four-legged furry little friend hummus as it may lead to garlic poisoning and abdominal pain, but chickpeas have a lot of benefits for dogs including, improved eyesight, faster motor skills, and better a functioning bladder, so if you're making hummus at home, you can set some aside for them without garlic and lemon juice and while you enjoy your chips and hummus, your dog can also enjoy his/her treats in their doggy friendly hummus! Just remember to always recheck every ingredient you use, as to whether or not it's safe for a dog because it's always better to be safe than sorry!