No dip has gained more popularity than hummus, at least not in our living memories. It is quite amazing, how a dip of Middle Eastern origin became so popular that now even the North Americans cannot seem to get enough of it. Something found commonly at parties these days, hummus is certainly a dip savored by most. Some of us are tempted to share everything we have with our loyal little companions, without realizing the consequences. Hummus is one such food item that you need to be cautious about. The simple answer to the question can a dog eat hummus is no, they cannot. However, the longer answer will help you understand why hummus is not a healthy snack for your dog. Let us get into the debate, shall we?
Ingredients in hummus
Hummus is quite tasty, thanks to its flavorful ingredients. Let us have a look at the basic hummus ingredients for a better understanding of its impact on your dog’s health status:
- 1- Chickpeas
- 2- Tahini
- 3-Olive oil
- 5- Garlic
- 6- Lemon juice
Let us see. Chickpeas first. We will talk about these in detail, just a little later. However, chickpeas are great for you, as well as your dog. There is nothing wrong with gobbling chickpeas. However, it must be noted here that chickpeas must be properly cooked. Improperly cooked chickpeas can lead to some gastric issues, for example, gas.
Tahini is made using sesame seeds. So far, we have not come across any evidence that tahini can be dangerous for your pup or dog. If moderately used, olive oil is given the nod of approval as well by most vets. So, where does the problem lie? Yes, you guessed it right. It is the two ingredients that give hummus its characteristic flavor are also the most toxic ones, at least for your dog. These are garlic and lemon.
Garlic and lemon poisoning
For humans, there are a few healthy food items as such garlic. The benefits associated with garlic are numerous, we are sure you know some of these already. However, that is hardly the point. This is a discussion about your beloved pet. The way dogs metabolize garlic is a lot different, as compared to us humans. The culprit behind garlic poisoning is thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is found in vegetables like onions, garlic, etc. For humans, consuming thiosulfate is not a big deal. However, for your dog, it can have some serious complications. The compound has an oxidative effect on your dog’s blood cells, especially the red blood cells. This can lead to a condition known as hemolytic anemia. In simple terms, red blood cells are destroyed faster than they are made in this disorder. The following list of symptoms can tell you if your dog is suffering from this condition or not:
- 1- Dehydration
- 2- Diarrhea
- 3- Abdominal pain
- 4- GI tract issues
- 5- Signs of depression or anxiety
Enough with garlic, what about lemons? A little bit of lemon is ok. It is not fatal, though admittedly, it can still lead to GI tract-related disorders. However, give your dog too much lemon and it is as good as signing on its death warrant. It is no joke, have a look at the symptoms of lemon poisoning:
- 1- Diarrhea
- 2- Loose stool
- 3- Weakness and laziness
- 4- Nausea
- 5- Vomiting
Both these ingredients have hardly any nutritional value for your pup. Hence, if you feed them hummus without these ingredients, it is no big loss.
Chickpeas: an alternative to hummus
We know you still want your dog to have a taste of this dip that has enticed the world through its flavor. However, you must not do that, simply because of the harmful effects of lemon and garlic that we have just described for you. So, what do you do? Either you can make your dog-safe hummus, or, you can go for chickpeas! Chickpeas are the key ingredient in hummus. The good news is that chickpeas have great nutritional advantages to offer, to both humans and dogs. In terms of cost-effectiveness, you will be challenged hard to find a protein source that is so cheap. Chickpeas are walking off the shelves all the time. Good boys and girls simply love them!
What are the health benefits associated with chickpeas, not for you, but for your dog? Firstly, these are a great source of fiber. We all know that food that is rich in fiber content is ideal for the digestive system. If your dog suffers from constipation, fiber-rich food can be the solution to your problem. In terms of nutrient content, chickpeas are loaded with potassium and vitamins like A, B, and C. Apart from that, chickpeas are rich in lecithin. This useful little learning stimulant can speed up your dog’s training program by improving its learning capacity. You can either mash the cooked chickpeas or add them to your dog’s daily diet.
Make your hummus
We mentioned this earlier; you can make a dog-safe hummus. You must be wondering how you can do that. Well, exclude the harmful ingredients like garlic and lemon juice, and you have your version of hummus. While we are at it, go easy on the salt also. Too much salt is not going to do a world of good to your dog. Well, the thing that you just made from scratch might not be recognized as hummus by most humans. However, your dog is still going to love it for the very fact that it is loaded with chickpeas. You must remember that any hummus you purchase from a supermarket is likely to have a lot of lemon juice and garlic. Hence, it is safe to make these dips at home.
What to do if your dog has eaten hummus?
Do not go all panicky. That is the first thing to remember. The damage that commercial hummus can cause depends on the quantity consumed by your dog. A bit is not too bad. At most, it might lead to a little bloating or gastrointestinal pain. However, rushing to vets is not recommended in such a scenario. However, if too much of it is consumed by your dog, then it is time to worry. If hummus contained a lot of garlic, rushing to the vet is the ideal thing to do. Garlic poisoning takes some time to show its effect. If you are aware of the fact that your good boy has been a bad boy by slurping a large quantity of hummus, you must not be complacent. Take the dog to the vet immediately, which is our suggestion!
The popularity of hummus in humans does not change the fact that it can be damaging to your dog’s digestive system. Simply because it is loaded with substances that are not a part of a dog’s diet, it is better to keep the dip out of reach of your puppy. Have you ever seen dogs go crazy for a bunch of lemons? The rule applies, just not to hummus, but all dog snacks. You must avoid garlic or lemon in your dog’s diet. Otherwise, the consequences can be quite distressfully disturbing, to say the least.