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Can dogs eat peas? Dietary advice and feeding tips

Can dogs eat peas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're a dog owner, you've probably asked: can dogs eat peas? Dogs are always interested in whatever is on their humans' plates, but that doesn't mean they can eat anything and everything you do. But what about peas? 

Spring means fresh peas, whether you grow them in your own garden or grab them at the grocery store, so naturally, you'd be curious if your dog can try some of the green goodies.

Most responsible dog owners check what human food can dogs eat to make sure they aren't giving them anything that is toxic or could cause negative side effects in the long term. In some cases, it's safest to stick to the best dog food and healthy dog treats when deciding your dog's diet, but we get it if you're looking to add some variety. It's important to know what kind of "people" food your dog can safely eat, and we've got you covered here. 

The good news is dogs can eat peas, but what kinds of peas are safe, and how much can your dogs eat? Let's break it down. 

Are peas good for dogs?

Peas have some seriously good nutritional value for both humans and dogs. Peas have a ton of iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, as well as a ton of vitamins like A, K, and B. Peas also have a lot of protein and fiber - if you've ever read the back of your dog's food, chances are you've noticed there are peas in there. 

Yup, they're that good for dogs that they're included in proper dog food. Peas also contain something called lutein, which is an antioxidant that helps heart, eye, and skin health.

can dogs eat peas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When are peas bad for dogs?

Peas are very healthy for dogs, but there are some instances where the green goodies aren't a good choice for your pup. If your dog has kidney problems, avoid giving them peas (and ask your vet if they can eat dog food that has peas in it), as peas contain purines, which is a chemical compound that produces uric acid, which has to be filtered through the kidneys. 

If they have too much uric acid in their system and have kidney issues, they could end up having kidney conditions or kidney stones.

Also, dogs aren't like humans - they don't need fruits and veggies in their diets as they were carnivores before they were domesticated. Peas are fine as a snack, but they can't replace meat.

Tips on feeding your dog peas

Green peas are the kinds of peas that are good for dogs, and that includes snow peas, garden peas, English peas, and sugar snap peas. Dogs should not have canned peas, as there is a ton of sodium in canned veggies, but they can safely have frozen, fresh, or thawed peas. 

Dogs can consume pea pods but garden peas must be shelled, as they can cause choking if your dog eats them. 

And as far as any new food goes: introduce it to your dog's diet in small amounts, maybe even as a sprinkle on top of their food. Watch for any adverse reactions like diarrhea or vomiting, and contact your vet if you're concerned. 

Summary

Peas are in fact quite healthy for dogs, so much so that they're often included in traditional dog foods. But peas, like any treat, should be offered in moderation and should not be used as a replacement for proteins gained from meat. 

Also, remember to avoid canned peas or unshelled English peas, and avoid peas as a snack altogether if your dog has kidney problems. But as far as an occasional treat goes, you and your dog can be two peas in a pod when it comes to the green stuff!