Can Dogs Have Falafel? What You Need To Know

You may be wondering, can dogs have falafel? After all, it’s vegan and filled with delicious ingredients! However, you should be cautious.

In this article, we will discuss some ingredients found in falafels that can be dangerous for your pup. Keep this dish strictly for humans!

BUT – we will also provide a delicious and dog-safe recipe for you to make at home.

What Ingredients Are In a Falafel?

Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish that typically consists of ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs and spices, formed into small patties or balls, and then deep-fried until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The exact ingredients can vary depending on the region and recipe, but some common ingredients in falafel include:

  1. Chickpeas or fava beans (or a combination of both)
  2. Garlic
  3. Onion
  4. Cilantro or parsley
  5. Cumin
  6. Coriander
  7. Salt
  8. Baking powder or baking soda (to help the falafel rise)
  9. Flour or breadcrumbs (to help bind the mixture together)
  10. Oil (for frying)

Some recipes may also include additional spices like paprika, turmeric, or chili powder, as well as lemon juice or vinegar for added flavor. Toppings such as tahini sauce, hummus, diced tomatoes, and pickled vegetables are also often served with falafel.

Bad Ingredients in Falafel For Dogs

Falafel typically contains several ingredients that may not be suitable for dogs. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, and some ingredients that are safe for humans can be harmful to dogs. Here are some ingredients in falafel that may not be safe for dogs:

Garlic and onion

Garlic and onions are bad for dogs because they contain compounds called thiosulphates, which can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to a condition called hemolytic anemia. When dogs consume garlic or onions, these compounds can cause the red blood cells to break down, leading to a shortage of oxygen-carrying cells in the bloodstream.

Symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs can include weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, and dark urine. In severe cases, it can even lead to death.

The toxic effects of garlic and onions are cumulative, meaning that the more a dog consumes over time, the more severe the damage to the red blood cells can be.

Salt

Too much salt can be harmful to dogs, just as it can be for humans. Dogs require a small amount of sodium in their diet to help regulate bodily functions, such as maintaining proper fluid balance and transmitting nerve impulses. However, excessive salt consumption can lead to health problems, including:

  1. Dehydration: High levels of sodium can cause dogs to become dehydrated by drawing water out of their cells and into their bloodstream. This can lead to excessive thirst and urination, as well as dry mouth, lethargy, and weakness.
  2. Electrolyte imbalances: Too much salt can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in a dog’s body, leading to problems with the nervous system, muscles, and heart.
  3. Kidney damage: Excessive salt consumption can also put a strain on a dog’s kidneys, leading to damage and potentially kidney failure.

Spices

Some of the spices used in falafel, such as cumin and coriander, are safe for dogs in small amounts. However, other spices, such as chili powder or paprika, can be irritating to a dog’s digestive system and may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

Can Dogs Have Falafel

Cumin and coriander are not considered toxic or harmful to dogs in small amounts. These spices are sometimes used in small quantities in dog food as flavoring, and are generally safe for dogs to consume.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to certain spices or herbs, including cumin and coriander. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itching, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.

Additionally, excessive consumption of cumin or coriander may cause digestive upset in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. As with any new food or ingredient, it’s always a good idea to introduce cumin and coriander to your dog’s diet slowly and in small amounts, while monitoring for any signs of adverse reactions.

Chili powder and paprika contain compounds called capsaicinoids, which are responsible for the spicy or hot taste of these spices. While small amounts of these spices are generally not harmful to dogs, consuming large amounts can cause various negative effects:

  1. Gastrointestinal Upset: Consuming large amounts of chili powder or paprika can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  2. Irritation of the Mouth and Throat: The capsaicinoids in chili powder and paprika can cause irritation of the mouth and throat in dogs, leading to coughing, gagging, and difficulty swallowing.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to chili powder or paprika, which can cause symptoms such as itching, hives, and swelling.

Overall, while some spices are not particularly harmful for dogs, it might be best to avoid them.

Oil

While small amounts of oil are not harmful to dogs, the high fat content in deep-fried falafel can be difficult for a dog to digest and can lead to stomach upset.

Some cooking oils can be harmful to dogs if consumed in large quantities, while others may be relatively safe in small amounts. Here are some cooking oils that may not be good for dogs to consume and why:

  • Canola Oil: Canola oil is generally considered safe for dogs in small quantities, but excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, some studies have suggested that canola oil may have negative effects on dogs’ heart health.

  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is a common cooking oil that is often used in processed dog foods. However, vegetable oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation and other health problems in dogs if consumed in excessive amounts.

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is generally considered safe for dogs in small quantities, but excessive consumption can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Additionally, olive oil is high in calories and fat, so it should be used sparingly as a treat or supplement to your dog’s regular diet.

  • Corn Oil: Corn oil is another common cooking oil that is high in omega-6 fatty acids. Like vegetable oil, excessive consumption of corn oil can contribute to inflammation and other health problems in dogs.

Recommended cooking oil for dogs:

Good Ingredients in Falafel For Dogs To Eat

Now that we’ve gone over the doom and gloom of some of the ingredients in falafel, here are some great ingredients that we will co-opt for our dog-friendly falafel recipe that we will share shortly! In this section, we will go over why these ingredients are beneficial for dogs.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can offer a number of potential health benefits for dogs. Here are some of the main benefits of chickpeas for dogs:

  • High in protein: Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, which can help support muscle growth, repair, and maintenance in dogs.

  • Good source of fiber: Chickpeas are high in fiber, which can help support healthy digestion and bowel movements in dogs.

  • Low in fat: Chickpeas are relatively low in fat, which can make them a good option for dogs who need to lose weight or who have a history of pancreatitis.

  • Contains vitamins and minerals: Chickpeas are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as folate, potassium, and iron, which can help support overall health and wellbeing in dogs.

  • May help manage blood sugar: The complex carbohydrates in chickpeas can help regulate blood sugar levels in dogs, which may be beneficial for dogs with diabetes or other blood sugar issues.

Cilantro or coriander

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an herb that is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, and can offer a number of potential health benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of cilantro for dogs:

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Cilantro is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as potassium and calcium. These nutrients can help support overall health and wellbeing in dogs.

  • May have antioxidant properties: Cilantro contains compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to aging and disease.

  • Can help freshen breath: Cilantro contains chlorophyll, which has natural deodorizing properties that can help freshen breath in dogs.

  • May help reduce inflammation: Cilantro contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and pain in dogs with conditions such as arthritis.

  • May have antibacterial properties: Some research suggests that cilantro may have antibacterial properties, which can help fight off harmful bacteria in the digestive system and promote overall digestive health.

Keep in mind that cumin and coriander are relatively okay in small amounts for your dog, so it’s up to you if you want to add a little zhush to your falafels.

Now that we’ve gone through some good ingredients, we will share our dog-friendly falafel recipe with you!

Dog-Friendly Falafel Recipe

can dogs have falafel

Falafel For Dogs

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup oat flour (or other dog-safe flour, like rice flour)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 small carrot
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, oat flour, parsley, cilantro, carrot, baking powder, and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and forms a coarse paste.
  • Shape the mixture into small balls, about the size of a walnut.
  • Place the falafel balls on a lined baking sheet and flatten them slightly with your fingers.
  • Bake the falafel for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
  • Allow the falafel to cool completely before serving them to your dog.

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