Plenty of folks all over the world love dipping into a delicious bowl of hummus, a Middle Eastern classic that is creamy, rich, and savory – and also loaded with all kinds of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The fact that something this delicious can also be so healthy has a lot of people thinking it’s perfectly fine to slip their furry little family member – their dogs – a scoop of hummus every now and again, but is that safe?
Is it possible to do some serious damage when dogs eat hummus?
Let’s find out right now!
Can Dogs Eat Hummus?
Truth be told, a small amount (a very small amount) of hummus is probably safe for your dog to eat – but you have to be careful that you’re not feeding your dog hummus all the time and that they aren’t eating it by the spoonful, either.
The main backbone ingredient in hummus – cooked chickpeas – shouldn’t cause dogs that much trouble when they eat it, but garlic and lemon juice (other cornerstones of a good hummus recipe) need to be avoided at all costs.
Especially garlic in large doses!
There are few things as toxic to dogs as garlic, and even just a relatively small amount compared to a dogs body weight can prove to be devastating to their long-term health and wellness.
At the end of the day, sure, dogs eat hummus without having horrific side effects more often than not – but it isn’t a habit you’re going to want to get into with your pup!
What Happens If a Dog Eats Hummus?
A couple of different things are going to happen if your dog eats too much hummus, and the first thing is almost always going to be a violent removal of the hummus that they’ve eaten – one way or another.
It isn’t at all uncommon for dogs to vomit up hummus that they have eaten when the garlic and lemon juice proves to be too toxic, but it’s not at all uncommon for dogs to have diarrhea from hummus, either.
It really all depends on the specific sensitivity level that your dog has for this Middle Eastern treats.
Some dogs are going to be able to eat quite a bit of hummus without having it really do a number on their health. Other dogs can’t even have a small amount of garlic without getting garlic poisoning – and that’s never something you want to put your dog through.
At the end of the day, expect your dog to have a tough go of things as hummus works through their digestive system. Human foods just don’t need to be regular parts of your dog’s diet.
Are Chickpeas Alone Bad for Dogs?
As we highlighted earlier, some of the ingredients in hummus are safe for dogs to consume and some definitely aren’t – but it’s important to know which ones are in the clear and which ones you’ll want to stay away from as much as possible.
Chickpeas are Safe for Dogs to Eat (In Moderation)
Canned Chickpeas on their own are probably not going to do any organ damage to your animal anytime soon.
This is why a lot of people like to feed their dogs “plain hummus”, with maybe just a little bit of olive oil and the tiniest amount of salt mixed in.
Chickpea is actually a fantastic source of soluble fiber, rich in animal protein, and loaded with essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and folate. All of these will have a positive impact on your dog’s health and well-being.
You just don’t want to go crazy with them.
Tahini is (Generally) Okay, Too
Tahini (an oil like condiment made from sesame seeds that have been toasted) also isn’t going to do any real organ damage to your dog, either.
In moderation, you’ll be providing them with plenty of healthy fatty acids, a little bit of extra calcium, some extra potassium and manganese, and even a little bit of zinc and phosphorus that they probably wouldn’t have been getting anywhere else.
Add in the fact that you’ll also be helping to lower their cholesterol and blood pressure and it’s not a bad idea to add some of this into their diet every now and again.
Lemon Juice Can Cause Problems
No, the real dangers when people are thinking about giving their dog some of this mashed chickpeas dip comes from lemon juice salt and garlic.
Lemon juice – and citric acid in particular – absolutely devastates the red blood cells in a canine body, threatening organ damage, causing toxicity throughout their body, and creating a whole bunch of other health problems at the same time.
There’s no real protein coming out of lemon juice, there aren’t a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals, and (at the end of the day) this is a “treat” you are going to want to steer clear of as much as you can.
Garlic is a Major Toxin to Stay Away From
Garlic is another major toxin that you absolutely have to stay clear of if you want to avoid even accidentally make the decision to feed your dog something that will make them sick.
Even tiny amounts of garlic can really ruin their digestive system, jack up their blood pressure, and create a cascade of other negative health effects along the way.
Just How Much Garlic is Toxic to Dogs?
The reason behind it only taking a tiny amount of garlic to cause real trouble for your smaller dogs is because our furry little family members metabolize this ingredient differently than humans do.
Dogs have a horrible time trying to metabolize thiosulfate, something that we as people are going to have absolutely no trouble working through our body with the help of red blood cells.
For dogs, though, those same red blood cells end up getting significantly damaged. It doesn’t take very long for hemolytic anemia to start kicking in, and that’s when you’re going to start to see symptoms that can include:
- Really dark, almost black colored urine
- Yellowing around your dogs eyes
- Almost no energy whatsoever and significant weakness
- Rapid breathing and difficulty moving
Have you also might find your dog vomiting, struggling with diarrhea, having absolutely zero appetites, and ending up completely dehydrated with just a bit of garlic poisoning.
Only about 15 g to 30 g of garlic is needed to trigger these kinds of health emergencies. Just as a point of reference, your average clove of garlic comes in and between 7 g and 10 g of weight – which just goes to show you how quickly things can get out of hand.
What Other Foods Should Never Be Given to Dogs?
Hummus isn’t the only dip or dog food that’s going to cause your dog to struggle with health issues, either.
It’s a good idea to steer clear of these foods as well!
Pretty much everyone knows how important it is to avoid your dog getting into chocolate. There may not be anything else people eat without a second thought that proves to be more toxic to your dog than this.
Avocado is super popular with health enthusiasts these days, and for good reason – but it’s a food that you want to steer clear of giving your dog for sure. The amount of fats in this human food can really wreak havoc on their short and long-term wellness.
Onions have (almost) the same impact that garlic has on the health of your dog. It fits into the same family of food or ingredients you want to steer clear of, with absolutely zero health benefits for your animal at all.
Raisins, believe it or not, are one of the last things you want to reach for when you give your dog a treat “dog treats”.
They might look like something you could speak to them about without much trouble, but your vet can tell you that there’s no faster way to feed your dog something that shuts down their kidneys. These are highly toxic and need to be avoided completely.
Other things you want to steer clear of include salt, alcohol, and anything whatsoever to do with caffeine.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Something Toxic?
If you think that your dog has too much dog friendly hummus (or even anything else that isn’t going to agree with their canine body), it’s a good idea to run through this quick safety checklist.
First, you’re going to want to try and figure out exactly how much hummus they have already consumed – and how much of that hummus was just dried chickpeas/dog chickpeas and all of the oil (or tahini olive oil) and how much of it was garlic, lemon, and salt.
Secondly, you’re going to want to monitor your dog just as closely as you can.
Keep an eye on them, looking out for obvious signs or symptoms of them being in pain, sick, or otherwise acting out of the ordinary.
Third, it’s not a bad idea to get your dog into a safer space where they can relax, unwind, and sort of coming down from whatever it is your dog ate.
While that is happening, you’ll need to make sure that you have contacted your veterinarian and told them exactly what you are observing – and what you are afraid they have consumed.
Your veterinarian will be able to tell you how best to proceed from here, giving you certain signs and symptoms you want to look out for but also telling you if you should bring them into the office for an in-person inspection.
Whatever you do, make sure that you DO NOT induce vomiting with your dog unless they tell you so expressly.
At the end of the day, can dogs eat hummus without it really wrecking their digestive system and potentially putting their health in jeopardy?
But unless you’re willing to find out how your dog handles hummus personally, the next time that you make a promise you’ll want to be sure that you avoid any of the ingredients making their way into your dog’s stomach.