Lima beans are known for being healthy, but are they safe and healthy for our pus? And what about raw lima beans… are they safe for anyone?

lima beans

Are Lima Beans Poisonous?

Lima beans… the classic healthy food choice of the 90’s! I remember as a kid being fed lima beans and canned spinach because my mom thought I could only be healthy if those two foods were a part of my diet. Thankfully, there’s a wide array of healthy foods that are much more popular now.

But how healthy are lima beans really? Are they safe for dogs to eat? And do they need to be prepared a certain way to be safe?

Health Benefits of Lima Beans

Lima beans are named after the capital of Peru—the city of Lima. These little beans have been a popular nutrient in Central and South American dishes since 800 BCE. Lima beans, also known as butter beans, come in several varieties. But they are best known for their pale green color.

“Beans are packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients, making them a superfood.” Lima beans are great for controlling diabetes, helping with digestive health, heart health, and preventing anemia. Lima beans contain vitamins and minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phosphorus.

Although these special beans are quite nutritious, some people—though very few—can actually be allergic to legumes, specifically lima beans. In addition to that, “lima beans contain antinutrients, which are compounds that may impair the absorption of minerals in the body.

Do Raw Lima Beans Have Cyanide in Them?

Have you ever heard that there might be cyanide in raw lima beans? Well, it’s true! According to, Raw lima beans also contain linamarin, which is a cyanogenic compound some consider toxic to humans [and dogs].” But thankfully, cooking, soaking, and processing lima beans will greatly reduce the amount of cyanide—which prevents any problematic effects on a person or dog’s health.

“Furthermore, lima beans sold in the United States are usually well below the regulated limits of 90.9 mg of cyanide per pound (200 mg per kg), which is lower than the levels known to be toxic to humans.” So as long as you cook your lima beans, you and your pup should be totally fine.

Can I Feed My Dog Cooked Lima Beans?

Cooked lima beans are completely safe to feed your precious pup. They are non-toxic to dogs and full of great health benefits. And if you soak the beans before you cook them, this can help your dog digest them better, and may help reduce the flatulence they’ll get from the beans.

can dogs eat lima beans

Can Dogs Eat Legumes?

In addition to lima beans, there are many other legumes that are completely safe and healthy for your pup to eat. Just keep in mind that all beans are not created equally. And some aren’t safe for your pup. So here’s a list of safe legumes for your dog to eat.

  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Soybeans
  • Garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas)
  • Green beans
  • Lima beans (a.k.a. butter beans)
  • Lentils
lima beans for dogs

What Beans are Not Good for Dogs?

There are definitely certain types of beans that dogs should never eat. Below is a list of beans to avoid letting your dog have. And if they accidentally eat some, it’s always best to contact your veterinarian for advice on next steps. And try to keep track of how many your pet has digested.

  • Baked beans – These are often made with lots of sugar, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. All of which are bad for dogs—especially the garlic and onions.
  • Canned beans – Any type of canned beans you might purchase from the store are going to have lots of sodium and chemical preservatives, which would not be healthy for your dog.
  • Chili beans – Chili beans are made with onion and garlic—both of which are toxic to dogs.
  • Coffee beans – “Can cause neurological damage and even death.”
  • Fava beans (or broad beans) – These beans can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Raw red kidney beans – Raw red kidney beans are toxic for dogs.
  • Refried beans – They usually contain garlic, onion, salt, cumin, and chili powder, plus preservatives.

Can Dogs Eat Lima Beans?

The answer to your question is yes! As long as your lima beans are cooked first, and you only feed them to your sweet pup in moderation and in small amounts—these can be a great choice for a health-packed treat.


In conclusion, lima beans are indeed a nutritious choice both for humans and dogs, packed with essential vitamins and minerals. While raw lima beans contain a cyanogenic compound that can be toxic, proper soaking, cooking, and processing eliminate this risk, making them safe for consumption.

Dogs can enjoy cooked lima beans and other safe legumes such as pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils, but it's essential to avoid feeding them harmful beans like chili beans, coffee beans, and canned beans.

Overall, lima beans represent a healthy and safe treat for your pup when prepared correctly, adding to the wide array of nutritious food options available today. Whether you're looking to control diabetes, promote heart health, or simply offer your canine companion a delicious snack, lima beans can be a versatile addition to a balanced diet.

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