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Can Dogs Eat Refried Beans? It Depends!

Refried beans are a common side dish at Mexican restaurants, but can dogs eat refried beans? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know in this helpful guide.

A terrier in front of refried beans.

A traditional staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, refried beans are as delicious as they are filling. Despite what the name suggests, refried beans aren’t beans that have been fried twice. Instead, they’re made of mashed pinto beans or red kidney beans that are then baked or fried. They’re usually served as a dip for corn tortilla chips or rolled in a bean burrito tortilla.

If you have refried beans left over from lunch, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to share the rest with your dog. Can dogs eat refried beans, or are they best avoided?

Can Dogs Eat Refried Beans?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat refried beans! Traditional refried beans are made with pinto beans, onion, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. Pinto beans aren’t toxic to dogs, but all the other ingredients are. Onions and garlic are especially dangerous as they can damage the red blood cell membranes of dogs, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia.

Canned refried beans and those purchased from fast-food restaurants come with added preservatives that aren’t good for your dog’s health. Even the sodium in refried beans is unhealthy for dogs. A 100-gram can contain up to 450 milligrams of sodium, which far exceeds a dog’s recommended daily sodium intake.

If you want to make dog-friendly refried beans, skip the baking, frying, and seasoning process. Simply mash the pinto beans and serve it plain.

A bowl of refried beans on a white background.

What Happens When a Dog Eats Refried Beans?

Dogs that eat refried beans may experience a number of symptoms. This includes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort

If the above symptoms don’t improve after a few hours, take your pup to the vet straight away.

Dogs that eat refried beans on a regular basis may experience serious health issues like kidney failure, anemia (from the garlic and onion), high blood pressure, enlarged heart muscle, and more.

A bowl of refried beans on a table cloth.

Can Dogs Eat Beans?

Yes, dogs can eat plain beans. There are over 19,000 known varieties of legumes, so there’s a fairly decent selection of pet-safe beans to choose from. Some of the best dog-friendly beans are as follows:

  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Green beans
  • Lima beans
  • Lentils
  • Butter beans
  • Soybeans

Keep in mind that not all beans are dog-friendly. For instance, canned beans, coffee beans, baked beans, and fava beans should all be avoided as they can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

When feeding beans to your dog, make sure it’s thoroughly cooked and served plain. Legumes are great sources of protein, potassium, carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. Even so, they should always be served in moderation. When over-served, beans can cause excessive flatulence and gastrointestinal discomfort.

A bowl of refried beans on a blue background.


Dogs should never eat refried beans. Refried beans contain tons of toxic ingredients and are generally unhealthy for dogs.

To avoid serious health issues, stick to unseasoned pet-safe beans like pinto beans, kidney beans, and lima beans. Thoroughly wash and cook the beans before serving them to your dog.

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