Are Edamame Beans Safe for Dogs? Answered

It is no secret that most dog food on the market today isn’t made from good things. In fact, cheaper brands of dog food are often made from the leftover scraps that weren’t good for anything else.

Although dogs can certainly survive on refuse, they really should not have to do so. With that in mind, a lot of people are looking at alternative foods and snacks for their dogs.

If you’ve tried Edamame beans, you might have wondered if they might make a tasty treat for your dog. Naturally, you have to be careful what you give your furry friend, so let’s see if we can help you in your research.

Can dogs eat Edamame beans? Can dogs eat Edamame shells?

The short answer is yes, but you don’t want to give them too much.

What Are Edamame Beans?

Edamame is a Japanese word for immature soybeans that are still in the pod. They are a traditional delicacy throughout Asia and are commonly found in Asian cuisine. The word Edamame means “stem beans” because they would often be sold in a bunch while attached to the stems (much like a bunch of grapes today). Technically, the beans are only considered to be Edamame if they are still in the pod. Otherwise, they would be called Mukimame. By the way, that green pod is not supposed to be eaten.

Is Edamame Toxic To Dogs?

As far as we can see, soybeans are not toxic to dogs in any way. In fact, there are quite a few dog foods that contain soy. In many cases, cheaper dog foods will use soybean as a filler with which to pad the product. It’s cheaper than meat by far, so it gives these companies a way to cut corners. However, soy is high in protein and doesn’t seem to pose any danger of poisoning your dog.

However, with all that being said, there are reasons that we do not recommend giving it to your dog in large amounts. As we can see from looking at this study, dogs are not always able to process all the protein from soybeans. Although dogs naturally eat plant material, their bodies are meant to derive protein from meat.

Carbohydrates are also essential for any living creature to get the energy that it needs. It seems that soy-based carbohydrates are a poor dietary source in dogs, and this study would seem to confirm that fact. In fact, they even went so far as to say that soy protein could interfere with the digestion of other foods.

More to the point, there are some dogs that are allergic to soy. If you have never given your dog this stuff before, we would recommend that you give them a very small amount and see what happens. When we say “a very small amount,” we mean one bean and no more for at least 24 hours. If no adverse effects happen, you can assume that it is safe for your dog to eat Edamame.

More Info About Edamame For Dogs

Although it isn’t a good idea to give large amounts of soy to your dog, there are some definite health benefits as well. As with humans, it is not good for dogs to eat huge amounts of soy, but small amounts are unlikely to cause any serious effect. This particular bean has certain effects on the hormonal system, but only in large quantities. A few of them here and there can be a healthy thing.

This isn’t just rhetoric, as there is some evidence to show that Edamame (and other vegetables) can be good for dogs. For one thing, they are very high in protein. If you think your dog isn’t getting enough protein, soybeans can be a great treat to give them. Dogs need to get a lot of protein in their diet, as they are mostly predatory in the wild.

Apart from the high protein content, soybeans are also very high in omega-3 fatty acids. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about “the good fats,” this is probably one of the ones they meant. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have beneficial effects on the hair, skin, and immune systems of canines. In fact, we don’t even have the time or space to list all the ways in which this stuff is good for dogs. For one example, take this study, which found that supplementation with omega-3 fish oil was helpful for dogs with arthritis.

When preparing Edamame for your dog, you can use a variety of methods. A lot of people just like to eat them raw or steamed, as is traditional in Asia. However, your creativity is the only limit here. The raw soybeans can also be baked, fried, or even ground to a powder and mixed with something else. As for flavoring, Edamame is usually cooked or seasoned with a little bit of salt and nothing else. Asian bars often keep them around as salty snack foods (much like peanuts in the west). Because dogs don’t really care much about this sort of thing, there is no need to season or flavor your dog’s Edamame. If you choose to do so, it is purely a matter of personal preference.

As we said earlier, there can be some hormonal side effects from the soybean plant, and these may not be desirable. Soy contains high levels of isoflavones that are similar to estrogen in their chemical makeup. The emotional effects of this can cause depression and/or behavior problems. This is why we say you should never give your dog too much Edamame at one time. Limit it to an occasional treat, and there should be no issues.


This is a case in which we have a straightforward answer to the question at hand: Yes, Edamame is safe for dogs, but only if you don’t go too far. The only real exceptions are cases in which a dog is allergic to the plant itself. As the Buddhists say, “all things in moderation” is the way to go here.