Dogs & Chickpeasby Elton Dunn
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, make a convenient and cheap protein that's perfect for pups. The beans offer fiber that can ease canine constipation, as well as lecithin, potassium, and vitamins A, B and C. Whether you give your dog plain hummus and carrot sticks or add cooked chickpeas to his dinner, there are many ways to work this protein into Fido's diet.
Chickpeas are a natural source of protein and fiber, and are completely safe for pups to eat when cooked. Because these are cheap to purchase and cook, they make an inexpensive and healthy supplement to doggie treats and doggie diets. Types of chickpeas suitable for dog food include dried chickpeas, canned chickpeas and dried chickpea flour.
Chickpea Cooking Tips
To prep dried chickpeas for your pup, soak the beans in cold water overnight or for at least three hours. To shorten cooking time, boil the chickpeas in the soaking water for 30 minutes, then drain the water. Add fresh water to the partially cooked chickpeas and continue cooking until the chickpeas are tender, about an hour and a half altogether. As a time-saver, cook a large batch of chickpeas and create freezer doggie bags for the extras. Dried chickpeas may be cooked without soaking, but this takes up to 30 minutes longer.
Made from ground dried chickpeas, chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour works well in dog biscuits. For dogs with gluten sensitivities, chickpea flour is gluten-free and provides the same binding properties as wheat-based flour. If cooking with chickpea flour, use 7/8 cup of the flour for every cup of wheat flour called for in your recipe.
If you're tempted to feed Fido those leftovers from your plate, think twice. If your chickpeas have been cooked with food items that are toxic to dogs, like garlic and onions, don't let your pup lick that plate. Additionally, avoid feeding Fido overly salty food -- such as sausages or super-salty chickpea leftovers -- since excess salt may lead to kidney disease in dogs.
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