You might be wondering if you should feed your dog cassava if you’re a fan of the tasty root vegetable.
Yes. Cassava is edible for dogs. Because of its high calorie content, however, cassava should only be consumed in moderation as part of a varied and substantial diet. To prevent food poisoning, cassava must be properly peeled, cooked without seasonings, and only then fed to animals.
Knowing the nutritional value of cassava will help you decide what meal to incorporate it into before you even learn how to cook it for your dog.
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What is Cassava?
Cassava is an indigenous South American woody shrub. The edible starchy tuberous root of this plant is a major source of carbohydrates, so it is widely cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and sub-tropical regions. After rice and maize, cassava is the third most important source of food carbs in the tropics.
The cassava root, which has a long, tapered shape and a firm, white interior, is a popular food staple in Africa. Flours, breads, and pasta are all made from this starchy grain. You can also make a mashed vegetable out of the root.
Can Dogs Eat Cassava – With Nutrition Facts
Cassava is a root vegetable that dogs can eat, but only in moderation. This refers to the plant’s starchy parts. For this reason, your dog should not rely on cassava as a primary source of protein or fat in his diet.
These nutritional considerations may help you decide whether or not to feed your dog cassava:
- Vets recommend giving your dog at least 20% of its calories from carbohydrates and no more than 45%-50% of its calories from carbs. Cassava is high in carbohydrates (38 g per 100 g) and most dog foods, including meat, already contain carbohydrates, so it is best to give it in moderation so as not to exceed the required amount.
- Calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin C are some of the minerals present in cassava. Indeed, your dog may benefit from that. But these are present only in negligible amounts, and other fruits and vegetables are more reliable sources. However, commercial dog foods and fruits like bananas have more fiber and are more beneficial than cassava, which only has 1.8g of fiber per 100g of the root.
For reference, a healthy 22-pound (10-kilogram) dog requires about 400 calories per day of food alone. If the dog is extremely active, that number rises to 550-600 calories. Dogs of different sizes have different caloric requirements.
With only 159 calories per 100g, cassava is a great low-carb alternative. Potatoes, on the other hand, have only 77 calories per 100 grams. For this reason, it is a good idea to give children only a small amount of this food, as it is quite dense and filling, right before they engage in physical activity. Cassava is a source of calories, and a high-frequency diet of it may cause weight gain.
Cassava, like cheese and cashews, is one of those foods that is best eaten in moderation because of its nutrient content. As a filler to complement protein-rich lean meats, it should be served cooked in small portions. If your dog is allergic to grains, this is a great alternative.
Can Dogs Eat Cassava Flour?
It’s okay to feed your dog flour made from cassava roots. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet or eliminate grains from your diet, this may be a good option.
The major difference between cassava and tapioca.
The next time you’re shopping for cassava flour or dog food, keep that in mind. Some of the packages could be cassava, while others could be tapioca. Despite their frequent synonymy, there is an important distinction between these two concepts.
Cassava flour, also called yuca flour, is a type of flour made from ground up cassava root. Whereas cassava flour contains fiber, tapioca does not. It is obtained by extracting it from cassava roots and then processing them so that any remaining fiber is eliminated.
Briefly, while tapioca is just starch, cassava flour also contains fiber.
Tapioca, not cassava flour, is a common ingredient in commercial dog food. Grain-free dog foods rely on tapioca as a carbohydrate source, while grain-based dog foods use it as a filler and binding agent. Other than that, it offers no nutritional benefit.
When making your own dog food, keep in mind whether the added fiber in cassava flour or tapioca is more important to you than the binding properties it provides.
Tapioca is preferable because it can be continuously nourished. Due to its lack of grain, it is ideal for dogs with food sensitivities. Tapioca is a great bulk-adding ingredient for high-protein foods. It’s a great way to give your dog more satisfaction from his wet food.
How Is Cassava Good For Dogs?
Vitamin B9 (folate) is crucial for normal cell growth and function and for maintaining a healthy immune system, both of which are aided by the presence of folates in abundance in cassava.
Cassava root, like many other types of root vegetables, is naturally devoid of gluten. If your dog has celiac disease, this may make it a safe treat option.
Cassava is high in calories and is better used as a treat than a source of vitamins and minerals, despite its potential health benefits. Better vegetable options, such as squash, offer the same health benefits with fewer carbohydrates.
Cassava root contains small amounts of the poison cyanide, and eating too much of it can be fatal.
How to Prepare Cassava for Dogs
Raw cassava, even in small amounts, is harmful to humans and dogs. Prepared cassava is safer for dogs to eat and reduces the risk of poisoning.
- Peeling the cassava roots is the first step. The skin contains toxic levels of cyanide, so remove it thoroughly. After that, cut the root up into little bits. First, you should clean them, and then you should soak them for 12 to 24 hours. Approximately half of the cyanide and toxins in cassava roots are eliminated through soaking. After letting the cassava soak for some time, pour off the water.
- It’s time to get the roots in the pot. In order to make them tender, you can either boil them or roast them. How your dog responds to each option will determine its preference. Heating the root in water before eating makes it more digestible and removes any remaining toxins.
- Serve the cassava with a lean meat like chicken or turkey for maximum satiety. Cassava is filling, but it doesn’t have the protein your body needs, which is why it’s not part of a healthy diet. The meal loses all of its nutritional value if it is not served with meat. Cyanide that has not yet been metabolized by proteins is also eliminated with their help.
How Can I Safely Give Cassava To My Dog?
In order for cassava to be safe for your dog, it must be cooked in the right way. Raw cassava contains cyanide and should not be fed to dogs or humans. Cassava needs to be washed and peeled before it can be cooked properly.
Cassava is versatile and can be steamed, roasted, or boiled. Don’t just throw it at your dog whole; cut it up into manageable chunks.
Cassava, when properly prepared, is completely safe to give to your dog and can be a welcome change from standard treats for your dog, but it must be given in moderation to avoid accidental poisoning.
For added safety, soak the cassava for 24 hours before cooking to reduce the cyanide content.
Cassava For Kidney Disease – Is There Any Benefit?
You may be wondering if the widespread belief that feeding cassava to dogs with kidney disease will improve their health is true. Is there any use to it?
Cassava is helpful for canines with kidney problems. However, this is not due to the fact that cassava contains nutrients or minerals that boost renal function. The answer lies in the starch found in cassava.
Cassava and tapioca, which is made from cassava, are both high in calories and starch, making them satisfying dog food options. Dogs with kidney infections or failure benefit from a low-protein diet, and this root vegetable can provide all the calories they need. Their kidneys benefit from a low-protein diet.
Tapioca flour is preferable because you can’t give your dog cassava very often. If you’re looking to add bulk to your dog’s food, this ground and processed cassava root is fiber-free and ideal. It’s easy enough to incorporate into regular meals.
Before making any dietary changes, consult with the veterinarian caring for the kidneys.
Precautions to Take When Feeding Your Dog Cassava
Cassava is a new food for your dog, and you should take the same safety measures you would with any other novel food.
Cassava is not edible until it has been cooked. It must be peeled, soaked, and boiled before it can be consumed. Both cyanide poisoning and choking hazards can result from eating uncooked cassava. Even heartburn!
Give It a Try!
Small amounts of cassava should be introduced gradually, just like any other food. As they become accustomed to it, you can gradually increase the number of courses you serve.
Even after your dog develops a taste for and tolerance to it, you shouldn’t feed it to it on a regular basis. Consistently consuming large amounts of cassava can lead to mild but potentially serious health problems.
Allergies Or Upset Stomach
Problems are uncommon when eating cooked cassava. However, if your dog consumes excessive amounts of it on a regular basis, he may experience stomach discomfort and indigestion.
When dogs experience abdominal distress, they lose their appetite. Allergic reactions to cassava are uncommon, but not unheard of. They might make you sick to your stomach. A food allergy can be diagnosed shortly after eating the offending item.
You should know by now that cyanide poisoning is only possible if the cassava is improperly prepared. Remember to watch for signs like rapid breathing, shakiness, and heavy breathing. Take your dog to the vet if you see any of these symptoms after giving it cassava.
Can Dogs Eat Cassava Chips?
Different preparations of cassava are safe for dogs to eat, but the chips should be avoided at all costs.
Yes. Although dogs can consume cassava chips, they should not. They’re fried and loaded with salt and other unhealthy seasonings.
Many chip recipes call for slat, flavors, and seasoning to complement the deep-fried base, making them inedible to your dog.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Have Cassava?
Dogs can eat cassava with no worries. To get the most out of it, though, make sure to cook it thoroughly and add no extra flavorings.
Cassava is high in starch and calories, so it should only be fed in small amounts. Tapioca can be used as a substitute for cooked root when adding bulk to your dog’s wet food or as a source of carbohydrates.