Can Dogs Eat Falafel? – No, and Why?

We have often seen diet-conscious people choose healthier food options. Falafel is one such food item that is also completely vegan. Dog owners who worry about their pet’s health would definitely want their dogs to share the same taste. But can dogs eat falafel without any worries?

Falafel is a famous Mediterranean “junk” food commonly found in the streets of the Middle East. Traditionally, they are made with chickpeas and herbs blended with a bunch of spices. The mixture is then shaped into balls or flat patties. They are then deep-fried or baked and are served solo or between bread. Let’s find out whether you should feed your dog this delicacy or not!

Can dogs eat falafel?

No, dogs better not eat any falafel. This is because there are just too many ingredients in a falafel that can potentially make your dog sick, such as garlic and onions.

As mentioned above, falafel is primarily made with chickpeas. You can swap chickpeas with fava beans, but even then, it is not exactly safe for a dog to eat falafels as fava beans are not good for your dog either. You may think that a baked falafel might be a healthier version, but you’d be wrong again. The reasons behind this are much graver than mere fat.

Why are falafels bad for dogs?

Sadly, falafel contains more than one ingredient that may harm your dog’s digestive system. These include onions, garlic, excessive salt, spices, oil, and fava beans. Let’s see why they are bad for your dog.

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Onions

A traditional recipe of falafel calls for one large onion, chopped or diced. The bad news is that onions are unhealthy for dogs and can cause onion toxicosis. Consuming one might not put your dog in a health emergency right away, but it is sure to upset their tummy for a while.

Garlic

Middle Eastern food is incomplete without garlic; the more, the merrier. This is all the more reason for you not to feed your dog anything that contains garlic. Garlic not only causes vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea to your dog, but it may also be the reason behind abnormal red blood cells, which in turn causes anemia.

Salt

Salty food is already deemed inappropriate by the vets. An adult should not have more than 200mg of salt. A regular falafel contains at least 300mg of salt. High sodium levels do nothing but bad for dogs and humans alike, so it would be better to avoid salty falafel to create a balance for your dog.

Spices

Falafel may contain a variety of spices. Some people like their falafel mild, while others increase the spiciness by adding cayenne, chili flakes, and black pepper. Sorry to break it to you, but your dog cannot handle spices as you do. The capsaicin adversely affects the doggo’s stomach and may cause vomiting.

Some other spices and herbs can help maintain your dog’s digestive health, but the ones in a falafel are a big no.

Oil

Traditional falafel is deep-fried in cooking oil until it gets a golden brown color. Fried food is not particularly healthy for humans either, but they are the worst for dogs. It causes obesity, liver issues, and indigestion since oily food is harder to digest. Oil in moderation can be welcomed safely by your dog’s stomach.

Fava beans

While chickpeas are the primary component of falafel, fava beans are also used as an alternative. They might be healthy for you, but you must avoid feeding them to your dog. Fava beans cause abdominal pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea if consumed in excess. Dogs with sensitive tummies may also show symptoms of an upset stomach even if a small amount is eaten.

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What to do if your dog eats falafels?

The number of unhealthy ingredients in falafel is staggering. We wouldn’t blame you if you fed a falafel or two to your dog before knowing how bad they could be.

You need to keep a close watch over your dog for the next few days. It may get a tummy ache or, worse, vomit after a few hours. If you observe continuous uneasiness in your dog, call a vet and relay the details to them. The vet will tell you whether a visit is necessary or the dog can get well on its own.

Can dogs eat chickpeas?

We have established that falafel is a no-deal for dogs. But what if you want to feed chickpeas alone? Would that be harmful as well?

Chickpeas are healthy for dogs (if cooked plainly). They are full of beneficial elements and are super easy to feed.

All you have to do is set aside a handful of plain chickpeas while preparing falafel for the family. Dogs love to eat cooked (mashed or blended) plain chickpeas, and you won’t even have to worry about their health going bad.

Health benefits of chickpeas for dogs

Your dog can’t enjoy the taste of falafel, but you can give your pup a healthy boost by feeding it plain chickpeas. Here are all the health benefits chickpeas can provide to your dog:

Protein

Vets strongly recommend feeding your dog chickpeas as an alternative to meat. Chickpeas are full of healthy proteins; 1 cup contains about 14.5g of protein!

Vitamins and minerals

We don’t exaggerate when we say chickpeas are really healthy. They are packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, and folate. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins. All these are excellent for your four-legged friend, supporting their eye health, strengthening their immune system, regulating blood sugar levels, helping in cell recovery, and much more!

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Easy digestion and low fat

Chickpeas contain close to zero fats. Even a bowl full of mashed chickpeas won’t harm your dog’s metabolism. Their richness in fiber also helps promote a feeling of fullness, which helps prevent overeating. These fibers are also responsible for maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut lowers the chances of your dog getting severe diseases like cancer and other intestinal issues.

Related FAQs

Can dogs eat baked falafel?

No, dogs should avoid eating falafel in any form, shape, or recipe. The overall ingredients in a falafel are too harmful to a dog whether it is baked or deep-fried.

Can dogs have hummus?

No, dogs should not eat hummus as it contains processed chickpeas that have seasonings. Hummus also has garlic and spices, which are bad for dogs. Only plain, unprocessed chickpeas are safe for consumption by your pooch.

How do I feed chickpeas to my dog?

Avoid feeding dried chickpeas to your dog. It would be best if you always give cooked chickpeas to your dog. Mash them up or blend them into a mixture so that your dog can digest them easily. You can feed them processed chickpeas, but make sure to read the label to check if they’re good.

Final thoughts on whether dogs can eat falafel

Although delicious to our taste buds, falafel is not a healthy thing to feed your dog. It may sound absurd since baked falafel might be the healthiest food for you, but it is not the best option for your dog.

Instead, feeding them chickpeas is a better and healthier option. You can’t go wrong with some plain, cooked chickpeas!

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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