One day I had a hankering for split pea soup, so I started to prepare a pot. As I was getting my ingredients out of the pantry, I remembered that peas are safe for dogs, so I decided to make a dog-friendly version I could share with my pups. Somewhat to my surprise, they loved it! Afterwards, I did some more research on feeding dogs peas, and I’ve been feeding them split pea soup ever since.
It turns out that peas are great for dogs. They offer them many nutritional health benefits, and it seems that most dogs enjoy eating them – though a little seasoning may be required. Continue reading to learn more…
Peas Are a Common Ingredient Used in Dog Food
While feeding your dog peas might sound weird, they are actually used in many dog foods.
Peas Are High in Fiber
Many people often assume dogs are carnivores. This is not true. Dogs are in fact omnivores, and like all other omnivores, fiber is an important part of their diet. Peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help your dog maintain a healthy bodyweight and healthy cholesterol levels.
Peas Are Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Peas are high in vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K. Vitamin K is particularly important for your dog’s bone health. Peas also contain good amounts of copper, iron, manganese, and phosphorous.
Peas Contain Lutein
Lutein is an antioxidant that is beneficial to your dog’s eye, skin, and heart health.
Peas Are Easy to Digest
Even though dogs have a hard time digesting most vegetables and legumes if they are not pureed, peas are certainly an exception. Peas are naturally easy on their stomach and digested well, which means your dog will actually absorb a large amount of the beneficial nutrients. Peas may also be a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Peas Are a Good Source of Protein
You might not think of peas when you think of protein, but they actually contain a good amount. A 1 cup serving of split pea soup contains almost 9 grams of protein. That’s fairly close to the recommended amount of protein that should be in a cup of dry dog food. What you might also find interesting is that too much protein is actually bad for dogs. Again, dogs are not true carnivores, so they don’t need as much protein as some might assume.
Peas Are Dirt Cheap
If you’re looking to save some money on feeding your dog, peas are a great way to do it. A 1 lb bag of generic split peas typically costs about one dollar or little more. There are 13 1/4 cup dry servings per pound, so that breaks down to a little less than 8 cents per serving.
How to Prepare Split Pea Soup for Dogs
Dogs can’t handle as much salt and spices as humans, so you’ll want to be sure you prepare the split pea soup in a way that is best for them, not necessarily your own palate. Here’s how to do it…
Things You’ll Need
- Dried split peas
- Dried or fresh herbs, including oregano, rosemary, and/or basil
- Heavy bottom pot with a lid
To make a large batch, add 1 lb of split peas to a heavy bottom pot along with at least 8 cups of water. It’s important that the peas get cooked down to mush for best digestion, so lots of water is necessary.
Add a teaspoon of baking soda to help the peas break down and cook faster.
Add a pinch of dog-friendly herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, and basil for seasoning and additional health benefits. Fenugreek is also good for dogs and adds a nice flavor to pea soup. Just make sure to use fenugreek powder or dried leaves for easy digestion rather than the whole seeds.
Bring the water to a boil, then cover with a lid. Let the soup boil until the peas have broken down and turned into a thick stew.
Let the peas cool down for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. 1 to 2 cups is a good serving size for most medium to large dogs. You can feed it to them as is or alternatively spoon some over their regular dry food. I like to feed it to my dogs as is with a little bit of tahini and nutritional yeast on top for added health benefits and flavor.
Store the leftover soup in Tupperware containers, and refrigerate for later use. Split pea soup will keep in a fridge for about one week. Alternatively, you can freeze it, in which case it will keep for a few months.
PetMD Editorial (April 28, 2017). Healthy Foods Checklist: Peas for Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/healthy-foods-checklist-peas-dogs
Hill’s (October 1, 2018). High Protein Dog Food: How Much Protein Is Good for Your Dog? Retrieved from https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/too-much-protein-in-dog-food