Can My Dog Eat Pea Pods?

If your life is anything like mine, you might find that as soon as you start to chop vegetables, your dogs come and sit by you to keep you company.

And yes, my dogs will do this even if I am only chopping or peeling vegetables- when there isn’t a bit of meat in sight.

And although at times it gets on my nerves, because they make moving around the kitchen that much harder, I know that it is my fault.

I have trained my dogs to do this because I frequently throw them scraps as I go.

In today’s article, I’m going to look at part of this behaviour by talking about whether dogs can eat pea pods.

Because just like me I think there are many dog owners who feed their dogs scraps as they are preparing their vegetables.

But do pea pods have any nutritional value or are we just feeding our dogs “empty calories”.

If you want to know the answer, keep reading! 

Have pea pods got any nutritional value?

It is very difficult to gauge whether pea pods have any nutritional value because I can’t find any specific information on them.

Which isn’t surprising, I guess.

And so I have used the next best thing- nutritional data for other types of peas with edible pods, such as sugar snap peas. 

But I’m not sure whether this data is for the pea pods or the peas and the pods.

Not that it really matters for this rough guide…

Like any other food, the amount of nutritional data that is available is mind boggling. 

I will try and stick to some of the biggest highlights.

Pea pods are just over 89% water, 7.6% carbohydrate, 2.6% fibre and 2.8% protein.

A 100g serving also contains over 67% of a person’s recommended daily amount of vitamin C and 22% of your daily amount of vitamin A. 

Why might feeding pea pods to dogs be dangerous?

Feeding pea pods to dogs will only be dangerous to dogs in very exceptional circumstances.

You would need to be very unlucky to have to rush your dog off to a vet after eating a pea pod.

Things that might go wrong, include:

[1] Your dog choking on them. 

And when you think about it, this does make sense.

Some pea pods can be a few inches in length and because they are so thin it is easy to see that they might get stuck in the roof of your dog’s mouth or at the back of their throat.

But to avoid this, you can easily just cut a pea pod up into smaller chunks.

And even better would be to cut the pea pods up and then mix them in with your dog’s food!

[2] Contaminated pea pod

OK so for this one perhaps we are really entering the realms of the “very unlikely” but hear me out!

If you have your own allotment or grow peas in your garden, it could be that your pea pod might be contaminated with something that might make your dog sick.

It could be that your pea pod has some fertiliser on it or that it has a bit of dog, fox or cat faeces on it.

Either way, to prevent your dog from getting into any harm it would be best to thoroughly wash and rinse the pea pods before chopping them up and adding them into your dog’s dinner. 

Why might a dog be fed pea pods?

Now to some people the idea of feeding pea pods to your dog might come across as a bit strange.

After all, why would you bother feeding your dog scraps or waste products? 

Just feed the dog peas and get over it!

But I was always brought up to believe that vegetable skins are full of nutrition, which we are missing out on because we are peeling our vegetable skins.

And science has backed up this idea about how great vegetable skins can be.

Vegetables with their peelings left on have up to ⅓ more fibre

But there are other reasons why a dog owner might feed pea pods to their dogs.

Firstly, you could be someone who hates waste and you feed pea pods to your dog in the same way that you might feed your dog peelings from different vegetables.

This sounds like me and I regularly feed my dog chopped cauliflower leaves and sweet potato peelings!

Secondly, it could be that in an ideal world you wouldn’t feed pea pods to your dog…

It is just that your dog comes and sits next to you as soon as you start chopping vegetables…

And throwing scraps to your dog is the only way that you can stop them from stalking you.

Now, I feel your pain because I have a 14 year old Golden Retriever who is supposedly deaf but she still manages to leap up as soon as she hears the chopping board come out!

What are the nutritional values of peas?

Did you know that peas have slightly different nutrition values than pea pods?

Well, I guess that isn’t as surprising as the fact that these values have been analysed in the first place!

And here are some of the biggest differences. 

Peas are only 79% water, 14% carbohydrate, 5.7% fibre and 5.4% protein.

And to make a comparison much clearer I had created a pea pod vs pea chart below!

NutrientPea PodsPeas 
water89 %79 %
Carbohydrate 7.6 %14 %
Fibre2.6 %5.7 %
Protein2.8 %5.4 %

Are there any forms of peas that you shouldn’t feed to your dog?

There are three main types of peas and they are all completely safe to feed to your dog (in moderate amounts.) 

And they are; garden peas, mange tout (or snow peas) and sugar snap peas. 

In fact, it is not the type of pea that you need to be wary of but the “form” that they come in.

Peas, like any vegetable, come in a variety of forms such as fresh, canned or frozen.

Fresh peas and frozen peas are fine because they are just peas with no additives- unless you count ice as an additive to frozen peas!

Canned peas are the ones to watch out for because they might contain added salt (as a way to preserve them.) 

Check the nutrition label on the side of the can and look for how much sodium the can contains.

If it contains more than 0% of the recommended daily amount of sodium, then rinse the peas thoroughly before giving them to your dog!

Closing Thoughts

So after all of that, my message to you is that if you want to feed pea pods to your dog, go for it.

As long as you have rinsed the pods, cut them up and added them to your dog’s main meal then the pea pods should boost your dog’s nutrition slightly.