All pet owners adore their pets, and usually, their first concern is to keep them healthier, stronger, and happier. Sometimes, it may be necessary for dog owners to make some nutritional modifications to their dog’s diet in order to improve their digestion and general well-being. Because their safety and health come before anything else.
Grain-free dog food, gluten-free dog food, home-prepared pet food, commercial wet and dry dog food, canned foods, and raw foods are all forms of dog food products. With so many dog foods to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Moreover, your dog’s eating plan will be determined by what best fits them, so it is very important to consult your vet before adding new food to his regular meal.
Sometimes, a particular food doesn’t work out for him, or the dog might develop some food allergies. You have to find an alternative in such a case. For example, soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk are fed to lactose-intolerant dogs. Similarly, tapioca is used in grain-free dog foods as an alternative carbohydrate source. Some dogs are intolerant or allergic to grain-based starches such as wheat flour.
What Is Tapioca?
Tapioca is a starch extract of the cassava root. Cassava is a common vegetable in South America. Like potatoes and yams, it is a root vegetable which means that the underground part of the cassava plant is edible.
The cassava root is grounded, and a starchy liquid is obtained. The starch extracted by evaporating the liquid is in the form of tapioca powder. Unfortunately, it is a white, flavorless, and colorless powder that has meager nutritional benefits.
This processed tapioca is used as a substitute carb source for grain-based starches in many dog food products. It is also used as a thickening agent in many human foods, including puddings, sauces, and doughs.
Is Tapioca Safe for Dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat tapioca. Because it has a maximum starch content, it is totally non-toxic and safe if you feed your dog tapioca, but make doubly sure that your canine companion isn’t allergic to it or has intolerance against the new food. Although Dogs in moderate amounts can eat tapioca, it should not be served to dogs as the main food.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Starch?
Yes, dogs can eat tapioca starch. In fact, it is commonly found in canned dog food and wet food, where it is used as a thickener. It is not harmful unless it makes up the majority of your dog’s diet. Excess carbohydrate consumption might lead to digestive issues and increased body weight.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Flour?
Tapioca flour is nothing different from tapioca starch. Both are two different names for the same products. Manufacturers sometimes stamp the product under the name of tapioca starch and sometimes tapioca flour. It follows the same rule of edibility by dogs as the tapioca starch.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Pudding?
Whether a dog can eat human food or not entirely depends on that food’s ingredients. The same answer is given to the question: can dogs eat tapioca pudding or not?
Tapioca pudding contains tapioca pearls, sugar, eggs, cream or milk (mostly coconut milk), salt, and vanilla extract. Apparently, there are no toxic ingredients in the tapioca pudding. However, though they are safe for human consumption, the case is different for dogs. You can’t give your dog tapioca pudding because of the following reasons:
- Tapioca pudding is high in its sugar content. Dogs are not allowed to consume much sugar as it can cause many health issues in them. Even if you decide to feed him a sugar-free one, it is probably loaded with artificial sweeteners that can cause many harms to your dog.
- Tapioca pearls are not safe either, which will be discussed later in the article.
- Coconut milk is safe to add to a dog’s diet, but it does not offer any major nutritional benefit.
- Salts can cause dehydration and sodium ion poisoning in dogs. So although tapioca pudding doesn’t have too many salts in it, we all know the least little things sometimes matter a lot.
- Vanilla extract in tapioca pudding is harmful to dogs. This is because the vanilla extract has alcohol and xylitol in it, both of which are extremely toxic for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Pearls?
Tapioca pearls, also called boba, are small balls made up of tapioca and are edible. They are commonly used in bubble tea, shaved ice desserts, tapioca pudding, and many other desserts. But dog food products should not include tapioca pearls. These pearls can absorb water and, as a result, expand after in your dog’s stomach leading to gastric dilation.
Gastric dilation is a serious life threat common in large dogs, but smaller dogs are also affected equally. In this condition, the stomach is filled with gas, or we can say it becomes bloated. In severe conditions, the stomach might twist on its own, blocking the passage of other material in and out of the stomach. It can also become the reason for intestinal obstruction.
Suppose we sum up the effects of all these conditions. In that case, your dog might suffer from abdominal pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, and loss of appetite due to consumption of tapioca pearls.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Chips?
Tapioca chips are made by deep-frying cassava root and are a popular snack in many countries. But unfortunately, they are not healthy for your dog. Deep-fried foods are high in their fatty content and can cause severe pancreas and intestine issues in dogs.
Moreover, the chips are seasoned with many spices that are safe for humans but not for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Tapioca Syrup?
Tapioca syrup is better than corn syrup if one wants to add it to their dog’s food. It is because tapioca syrup has less sugar content and is low on calories. Moreover, it also lacks the artificial color and flavor that is present in corn syrup.
The syrup also has a starch base and contains all the nutrients, just like ordinary tapioca. All these facts reflect that it’s safe for dogs and has no negative reactions if consumed in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Cheese Fritters?
Tapioca cheese fritters are made up of grated parmesan, tapioca pearls, whole milk, vegetable oil, and black pepper. They might have a pinch of paprika in it. All of these ingredients are unhealthy for your dog. So for the sake of his health, you should never let your dog eat even a small bite of it.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Treats Bought from Stores?
Ready-to-eat tapioca treats are specially formulated for humans. Though the material contained in it is safe for dogs, it can cause many concerns if used as pet food. Therefore, it’s better to avoid store-bought treats for your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Treats Made at Home?
If your dog prefers tapioca over grain starches, you can bake a tasty treat for him by using tapioca starch instead of wheat flour and adding a bit of peanut butter to enhance its flavor. Homemade treats are always safe and healthy. Moreover, dogs eat them with relish.
Is Raw Tapioca Bad for Dogs?
Raw cassava contains cyanogenic glycosides that are converted into cyanide when ingested in a large quantity. If it is not processed into tapioca properly, it can cause cyanide poisoning within a few minutes of consumption. It can be fatal enough to cause the death of your pet.
How Much Tapioca Can A Dog Have?
You can serve your dog tapioca in the forms that are edible for him in moderate amounts. Regularly feeding tapioca can cause harm to his health. It’s best to let your pooch have it once in a while.
Nutritional Benefits of Tapioca
Unlike grain-based starches, tapioca is pure starch and a rich source of carbohydrates. Other nutrients in low quantities are also present, but unwanted cholesterols and fats are absent.
Tapioca is entirely starch. In other words, it is a high-carb food. Carbohydrates are the most commonly used energy source since they are transformed into energy as soon as they are consumed. These are the most immediate source of energy in the body of animals. For example, the brain and body of the dog are both powered by this energy.
If your dog is diabetic, you should avoid serving him tapioca because of the high glycemic index.
Protein should make up 18% of an adult dog’s daily diet. Tapioca contains proteins that are necessary for almost all the functions of the body. Not only do they make up most of the dry weight of the cell, but they are also necessary for the regulation of all body functions and catalyzing all bodily reactions.
Potassium and Calcium
Tapioca is rich in calcium and potassium. Calcium is essential for strengthening the bones and teeth of your dog. Potassium helps in the regulation of fluid balance in his body. In addition, it is an important component in the conduction of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
Other than these, some other minerals are also present, which help support the dog’s digestive health.
Tapioca flour is used in the manufacturing process of several gluten-free products. It’s also a fantastic choice for allergen-free cooking of homemade foods for dogs as a substitute for wheat flour.
Because tapioca is gluten-free, nut-free, and grain-free, it is safe for dogs with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or nut allergies.
One of the best things about the nutritional value of tapioca is its low-fat content. Fat is the slowest digesting of the macronutrients.
Unlike fatty foods with high-calorie content, consumption of tapioca in moderate quantities is less likely to cause obesity in dogs and hence less vulnerable to a large number of other diseases associated with obesity, including heart problems.
Possible Risks to Dog’s Health
Consuming tapioca in moderate quantities is safe for dogs. But the dogs often suffer after eating tapioca. It only happens when the amount of tapioca in dog food is more than the dog is allowed to have.
Downsides of Eating Too Much Tapioca
Regularly feeding a large bowl of tapioca treats can negatively affect a dog’s body, including skin pigmentation disorders, development disorders of bones and muscles, dry fur, and wounds that might take a bit longer than usual to get healed.
Affects Gut Health
Tapioca is a source of resistant starch as well. It is a form of starch along with its degradation products. It acts similarly in function to dietary fiber, but a large dose can cause stomach ache, constipation, and gas.
Not Good for Diabetic and Overweight Dogs
Tapioca has a pure starch base. Starch has long chains of glucose. Too much intake can lead to diabetes and excessive weight gain. If your dog is already suffering from any of these diseases, it’s best to avoid tapioca in dog foods.
A diabetic or an obese dog is vulnerable to many other diseases, including skin abnormalities, hair loss, arthritis, as well as some kidney and heart problems.
If any of the symptoms of eating tapioca in large quantities is observed, dog owners are advised to immediately take their four-legged friends to a veterinarian. Unfortunately, self-made remedies often worsen the case. Besides a vet, there’s no one who can treat a pet the right way.
Tapioca has limited nutrients that are good for adding to your dog’s food once in a while. However, too much tapioca can cause health concerns. If you notice your pup suffering from any ill health symptoms, take him to a vet as soon as possible.