Chances are that when you order “bean sprouts” for your salad or sandwich, what you are getting are sprouted mung seeds. Cooked mung beans are also a common addition to Indian and other Asian cuisines. Bean sprouts or cooked mung beans are also inexpensive and nutritious additions to your dog's diet.
Mung bean sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouts are a good source of iron, folate and vitamins K and C. Vitamin C is important in boosting your dog’s immune system and folate is important for cell growth. Bean sprouts also contain enzymes that aid in the digestion of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Mung beans are not only a great source of folate and iron, but also protein, thiamine and fiber. While beans are a good source of protein, dogs should receive most of their protein from meat. Dried mung beans must be cooked in order for your dog to digest them.
If your dog already enjoys vegetables in his dinner, he may dig right into some sprouts. You can add them raw or cooked, whole or whirled up in a food processor. As with any new food, introduce mung bean sprouts gradually, working up to about 1/4 cup of raw sprouts for a 40-pound dog.
If you’d rather feed your dog whole beans, you will have to boil them for about 45 to 60 minutes. Mash them up with a fork and serve.
The high fiber content of mung beans can have the same effect on dogs that it does on people: excess gas. The best way to avoid the flatulence problem is to introduce the cooked beans slowly and see what your dog can tolerate.
The great thing about bean sprouts is that you can usually find them at the salad bar of your local grocery store. It’s an easy way to see if Sandy will eat them without investing a lot of money. If he doesn’t like them, you can always add them to your salad. And if he does like sprouts, you can consider growing your own. The same is true for whole beans, which you can find at grocery stores, natural food stores and on the Internet.
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