With a quick dip in hummus, any bland bread or veggie would be drowning in rich flavors.
But when it comes to giving this Middle Eastern classic to your dog, would you be humming “Uhmmm” out of doubt or exclaiming “Hmmmm” out of excitement? Is it safe to feed your dog this delicious dip? And can dogs eat hummus in the first place? Can dogs eat plain hummus?
What is Hummus?
Before we delve deeper into the question of whether or not it is safe for your dog to eat hummus, let’s first define what this intriguing dish is.
Hummus is a savory Middle Eastern dip with a reputation as a clean and healthy superfood for us, humans. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, potassium, manganese, folate, vitamins A, B, C, K, and other important nutrients.
In most traditional versions, this rich and creamy food is made from mashed chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, and sesame seeds (tahini). With all of these ingredients in hummus, it’s not surprising why it is highly regarded as a nutrient-dense human food.
But, can dogs get the same nutritional benefits from eating hummus? Or should we even let our pup have a lick of this protein-rich dip?
Can Dogs Eat Hummus?
As a pet parent, you definitely know by now that you cannot feed hummus to your dog considering that it contains garlic.
And not only that, but other versions of hummus also contain a generous amount of salt, lemon juice, red pepper, or the Middle Eastern spice s’chug.
And all of these can upset a dog’s stomach and even cause serious health issues when consumed, especially in large amounts.
Is Hummus Toxic to Your Dog?
Garlic is toxic for dogs, and since it is one of the core ingredients of the traditional hummus, then, we can say that hummus is toxic to your dog.
Hence, you should never let your pup eat or even lick a small amount of this Middle Eastern recipe that contains garlic and lemon juice.
A small amount of hummus may not cause serious side effects to your dog, but if you stick to that mentality you may put your dog at risk for more serious complications in the future.
You may not always know the amount of garlic, and other harmful ingredients that are present in hummus unless you were the one who cooked it.
So, it is always best to err on the side of caution and to simply avoid giving your pup this dip, or hide it away from him whenever you are enjoying it with your pita bread and vegetable sticks.
Is Humus Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Yes, dogs can safely eat hummus. That is if the hummus is without garlic, lemon juice salt, and other potentially toxic ingredients for canines, it is safe to consume in moderation. When given in large quantities, it can still upset your dog’s digestive system, cause gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
However, garlic, as well as all of these other spices and ingredients are what make hummus irresistibly good for us humans. Hence, hummus without these tasty ingredients won’t be palatable for you. So, it’s very much unlikely that you will make this dip unless you are doing it entirely for your dog.
The other ingredients that are present in traditional hummus are also safe for dogs to consume. And these include chickpea, tahini, and olive oil. You can make use of roasted beets in exchange for garlic.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Hummus?
As a pet parent, you can’t blame your pup if he decides to sneak into your kitchen to have a taste of what you are cooking. And this can be expected especially if you are preparing a dish with a strong and mouthwatering scent such as hummus.
So, if your dog slurped on some leftover hummus sitting on your countertop, the first thing that you should do is take him away from the dip and figure out the amount of hummus that he consumed.
If you are sure that he only ate a little, then, you don’t have to panic since the worst thing that can happen to your pup is for him to experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
However, there is a bigger chance that you won’t know exactly how much hummus your pup ate while you are attending other errands.
Also, some dogs are more sensitive than others. For some canines, even a small amount of hummus can already cause significant side effects.
Generally, it’s best that you keep an eye on your pup and watch out for the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
If you notice any of these, you should visit your nearest vet clinic right away so that prompt diagnosis and treatment can be started.
In more serious cases, which can most likely happen when your dog has eaten large amounts of hummus with garlic and lemon juice, the same symptoms can be observed, but with the addition of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy and weakness
- Jaundice (yellowing)
- Pale mucus membrane
- Rapid breathing
- Dark, almost black-colored urine
How Can Hummus be Bad for Dogs?
With the nutritious and tasty ingredients of hummus, it is not surprising why this classic Middle Eastern recipe caught the hearts of food lovers and health enthusiasts across the globe.
Considering the health benefits that you can get from adding this delicious dip into your diet, it isn’t hard to go crazy about it.
However, it is also because of most of these ingredients why hummus is bad and even dangerous for your canine companion.
As discussed earlier, the main problem with hummus is the presence of garlic, not to mention that it also contains other harmful ingredients such as lemon, salt, and spices.
The most important ingredient in hummus – cooked chickpeas – should not cause any major health issues in dogs. You can even make some dog treats or healthy snacks using chickpeas.
And because of their fiber content, chickpeas can also make your pup fuller, which can be beneficial for his weight loss journey, in the long run.
Chickpeas also contain other beneficial nutrients such as proteins, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and a lot more.
The next core ingredient in question is tahini, which is an oil-like condiment that is made from toasted sesame seeds. Just like chickpeas, tahini is not harmful to dogs.
When consumed in moderation, it can even be healthy for them. It is also a good source of protein, healthy fatty acids, as well as other important nutrients like calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese.
Tahini also contains components that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure in dogs. Hence, when combined with chickpeas and when consumed in moderation, it can definitely be good in promoting your dog’s overall health and wellness.
The two other core ingredients of hummus are garlic and lemon juice. And while both are harmful to your dog, garlic is undoubtedly the worst among the two.
The strong aroma and flavor of lemon juice make it a key ingredient in a lot of human foods and drinks. And while lemon and its juice are healthy for us, humans, we can’t say the same thing for our dogs. The citric acid in lemon juice can upset your dog’s stomach and cause pain and discomfort.
Also, when you are using fresh lemon in making hummus, there’s also a chance that your dog may play and eat its peel, rind, and seeds, which contain psoralens and essential oils that can be toxic for dogs.
Dogs can’t metabolize psoralens, so, when they consume even a small amount of food that contains these toxic compounds, they could easily get ill.
In particular, psoralens can cause health problems in dogs that involve the nervous system, skin, heart, and digestive system.
And finally, as has been mentioned repeatedly earlier, garlic is the primary ingredient that makes feeding hummus to your dog a bad idea.
As a pet parent, garlic is constantly on the list of the top ingredients that are toxic to dogs along with onions, chocolates, spices, and artificial sweeteners.
Can Dogs Eat Garlic Hummus?
Apparently, dogs cannot eat garlic hummus. And one of the reasons has something to do with the way dogs metabolize certain food components.
In particular, dogs cannot properly digest thiosulfate in garlic and onions. And this leads to the buildup of thiosulfate inside your dog’s system and can result in hemolytic anemia.
In layman’s terms, garlic can damage the red blood cells circulating inside your dog’s body. Once these cells are damaged, they cannot transport oxygen throughout the body leading to serious complications.
Below are the symptoms that you should watch out for:
- Body weakness
- Rapid breathing
- Pale gums
- Drooling or excessive salivation
- Dark, almost black-colored urine
- Yellowing around the eyes
- Severe cases can lead to organ damage, organ failure, and even death
Our Final Thoughts
Hummus is a healthy dip for us, humans. However, just like with a lot of human foods, it can be toxic to our dogs because of its key ingredients.
If you want to give hummus to your pup, you may still do so, but as mentioned earlier, it’s best that you do it at home without adding garlic, salt, lemon juice, and other potentially harmful ingredients.
Better yet, simply pick another healthy dish that your dog will enjoy without compromising his health and safety.