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Can Dogs Eat Jicama? What You Need To Know
As a dog owner, you know that canines will eat just about anything that they can get ahold of, even if it is not healthy or safe for them. Food scraps, garbage, and even poop are typically considered delicacies by dogs of all shapes and sizes. So, what if your pooch gets their paws on a piece of (or a whole) jicama? Is it safe and healthy for them, or could it be harmful? In general, dogs can eat jicama just as we humans can. Following is everything that you should know about the topic before deciding whether and how to feed jicama to your beloved furry family member.
The Benefits of Feeding Jicama to Dogs
Jicama is not just safe for your dog to eat, but it is also full of beneficial nutrients that can help enhance your dog’s overall quality of life. This root vegetable is low in calories yet full of fiber, which can help keep your dog’s digestive system in good shape as time goes on. Sometimes called a Mexican potato, jicama is loaded with vitamin C, which will help keep your pooch’s immune system healthy.
Also in this crunchy veggie are calcium and iron to help support proper bone growth. Minerals like magnesium and potassium are also inside, which are necessary to ensure your dog’s optimal health. Jicama happens to contain antioxidants that help prevent the development of damaged cells. It is believed that jicama can even increase beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Because jicama is so crunchy, it can help keep your pooch’s teeth clean so you do not have to worry about brushing them or dealing with gum disease when they get older. Also, being neutral in flavor means that dogs with upset bellies or illnesses can handle eating jicama for nutrition when they are not interested in eating heavy, meat-based meals.
Precautions to Take When Feeding Jicama to Your Dog
It is important to note that only the fleshy root of the jicama plant should be eaten by dogs and humans. The root is the white, potato-like part of the plant that grows underground. The stems and leaves contain a toxin called rotenone, which is a natural compound that acts as an insecticide and is toxic to humans, dogs, and other animals. The seeds of the jicama are not typically dangerous when young, but mature seeds are toxic and can be a choking hazard for dogs.
Therefore, it is crucial to remove the stems, leaves, and seeds from jicama before it is offered to your dog. Also, the jicama should be thoroughly washed before being consumed to ensure that pesticides and chemicals that have been sprayed on it during production are not coating it.
A Few Jicama Feeding Recommendations
Adult dogs with healthy teeth can simply chew a piece of jicama up without any special preparation requirements to worry about. However, if you are feeding a puppy that is just starting to grow their adult teeth in or an older dog that is losing their teeth, you may have to shred up the jicama so it can be easily chewed and consumed. You can also steam or boil jicama to soften it up for blending if your dog cannot chew their food for any reason.
If you are enjoying crunchy jicama at home, why not offer a little to your dog? At worst, they will not like it. At best, they will benefit from the nutritional content of the root veggie and enjoy a break from their commercial kibble. It can be served alone or with peanut butter or mixed into meat dishes depending on your pooch’s personal preferences. Are you planning to feed your dog jicama? Why or why not? Get in on the discussion by posting a message.
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Featured Image Credit: Nungning20, Shutterstock
Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.