Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
One of the best dips for casual gatherings or snacking solo, hummus is a creamy treat that tastes good with pretty much everything. But when your furry friend starts giving you those pleading eyes, is it really a good idea to share it with them?
Dogs can’t eat hummus, it’s actually toxic for them because it contains poisonous ingredients such as garlic and onion. Furthermore, the lemon juice can cause stomach upsets and the amount of oil in the hummus is incredibly fattening.
But what happens if your pup eats hummus? What are the harmful ingredients? Is there any way to make it safe for them? All of your questions, and more, are answered here.
Is Hummus Toxic to Dogs?
Hummus is definitely toxic to dogs, but not because of chickpeas. In fact, chickpeas are a fairly safe and healthy treat for dogs and can be given to them from time to time. It’s some of the subtler ingredients that you need to watch out for.
The main ingredients of concern are onions and garlic, which is found in the vast majority of hummus brands as they are the most common ingredients. You can learn more about what makes these harmful to your dog later in this guide.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Hummus?
What happens to your dog if they eat hummus really does depend on their size and the amount that they ate. A fatal case of hummus consumption would only happen if your dog ate masses of it. Otherwise, they are likely to have some stomach upsets such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Is there a specific amount of hummus that is deadly? Not really. If a small dog ate a whole tub of hummus, you should call the vet for advice because they are only small and can’t handle as much of the toxic ingredients as a larger dog.
Larger breeds can likely handle a few tubs of hummus before they start to get sick, but ideally, they won’t get that far. It can also depend on the concentration of harmful ingredients in the mix – there are a lot of different factors at play here.
Some of the key symptoms of hummus poisoning you should look out for are:
- Abdominal pain
- Drooling (excessively)
Even if you don’t see these symptoms but you feel worried after your dog has stolen a little hummus, make sure you call their vet. It is better to be safe than sorry, and your vet won’t mind the call.
The Harmful Ingredients in Hummus
#1 Lemon Juice
Dogs shouldn’t have citrus fruits because the high concentrations of acid tend to lead to upset stomachs. Not only that, but dogs don’t enjoy the taste of lemon (generally speaking) and it has no nutritional value, so it should be avoided for these reasons.
#2 Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions are dangerous for dogs, and we discuss the risks that come with garlic and onions for dogs in our guide here. The consumption of garlic can lead to a condition called hemolytic anaemia in dogs – damaging the red blood cells and leading them to become sick.
If left untreated, it can be fatal, and so it is important to watch out for the symptoms and take them to a vet immediately. Here’s what to look out for:
- Dark-coloured urine
- Lethargy and weakness
- Pale mucous membranes
- Rapid breathing
Some dogs are also more sensitive to poisoning than others, and maybe more easily affected by the consumption of garlic or onions. This is why avoiding giving your dog hummus is recommended – it’s not worth risking them becoming seriously ill.
But what about the ingredients that aren’t harmful to your dog? Are there any benefits for them?
Chickpeas are a fantastic source of fibre, which will help your dog to feel fuller for longer and also help to ensure that their digestive tract functions smoothly. They are also rich in protein, for strong muscles as well as increased energy for active dogs that like to be on the move.
They also contain potassium, magnesium, and folate which are ideal for cell recovery and overall health. There is also plenty of vitamin A for eye health, and vitamins B and C to support a strong immune system as well as regulate blood sugar levels.
These seeds are not toxic to dogs and can be fed to them in small amounts for some nutritional benefits. The reason they should only be given in small amounts is that dogs can have difficulty digesting seeds and too many could cause them to have an upset stomach.
Tahini seeds contain a good amount of protein and healthy fatty acids. They are also rich in calcium, manganese, potassium, zinc and phosphorus for a healthy immune system, muscles, joints, and bones. It contains sesamin and sesamolin, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
How to Make Hummus Safe for Your Dog
If you’d like to make your dog a little hummus that they can have when you are snacking together, there are two different methods you can use. The first is a very healthy alternative with nothing added, and the second is a little fatty and should be given very rarely.
Method 1: Plain (and we mean plain)
All you need to do for this homemade recipe is to mash up a load of chickpeas. Blend it up until it is creamy and smooth, then give them a little spoonful of it to enjoy as a tasty treat.
Method 2: Fancy (but safe)
So, for this recipe you are going to need the following:
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons of tahini
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 pinch of paprika
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of water
All you need to do now is chuck it all in the blender and zap it until it is your desired consistency. You should only give your dog a little spoon of this, and it tastes so good that you can have some too. The perfect way to share your favourite snack with your best friend.
Can dogs eat plain hummus?
You shouldn’t give your dog plain hummus unless it is just mashed chickpeas and nothing else. Many brands of hummus still contain ingredients such as garlic and onion, which are toxic to your dog, as well as high amounts of oil.
Can dogs eat sabra hummus?
Dogs cannot eat sabra hummus. It contains toxic ingredients like onion and garlic, but is also incredibly fatty thanks to the oils included. Sabra hummus also contains higher concentrations of potassium, which could cause your dog to ingest more than they need.
So, hummus is not a treat that you can share with your dog – for a good reason as well. While this particular snack isn’t suitable (unless you follow our strict dog-safe hummus guidelines) there are plenty of other foods that you can share with your best friend.
You can find out more about these foods in our canine care guides, a series of informational pieces that cover everything from diet and health all the way to training and behaviour. It’s written by us, the experts, to help you become the best possible dog owner.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.