Can Dogs Eat Jicama?

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Can dogs have Jicama

Jicama is a type of tuber that not everyone is familiar with. It can be an overpowering root vegetable, particularly for first time users.

Jicama, also known as yam bean, Mexican potato, or Mexican turnip, is an edible root vegetable from Mexico and Central America. The root is the only edible part of the whole plant— its white flesh is crunchy and juicy, with a slightly nutty and sweet taste. Many describe Jicama as a superfood that contains numerous vitamins and minerals. 

For years, there have been raging debates as to whether Jicama is good for dogs as well. So, can dogs consume jicama? Let’s find out and put an end to these inquiries.

Can Dogs Eat Jicama?

Yes, dogs can eat Jicama on the condition it’s offered in moderation. Moreover, this veggie has minerals and vitamins which are good for your dog’s well-being. Even more remarkable is the fact that all dogs can eat Jicama. 

Jicama for Dogs

However, not the whole plant is safe to consume. Only the taproot is edible; the seeds, stems, leaves, and flowers contain rotenone, a natural insecticide intended to protect the plant from pests. This rotenone is acutely toxic and must be tossed out. It is necessary to ask a vet before offering your dog a Jicama. If the dog displays any unusual behaviors and expressions after eating the tubers, call the vet.

Nutritional Value Of Jicama

Jicama has a unique nutrient profile. It contains large percentages of vitamins and minerals that assist in regulating the immune and digestive systems. They include:

  • Calories
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin C 

Jicama also has small quantities of thiamine, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin E, and pantothenic acid. 

Let’s discuss how these nutritional components give Jicama its notable health benefits. And why it’s good for dogs to consume Jicama !

Health Benefits Of Jicama For Dogs

Jicama has many health benefits for humans and dogs alike. Adding this tuber to your dog’s intake helps:

Improves Digestion

Jicama helps remedy any digestive conditions in dogs. The inulin fiber in jicama has been tested to increase the frequency of bowel movements. This is good if your pet has difficulty passing stool. It can soften your dog’s poop and eliminate the risk of constipation. High-fiber diets also improve bowel movement and lower the risk of colon cancer.

Boost to Heart Health

By improving insulin sensitivity and preventing blood sugar spikes, Jicama also lowers the odds of developing heart diseases. It has a significant amount of soluble dietary fibers, which can help lower blood pressure, lessen cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation. 

Potassium in Jicama is a vasodilator and reduces the stress on arteries and blood vessels, thus reducing tension on the cardiovascular system.

Health Benefits Of Jicama For Dogs

Benefits Their Bones

The inulin in jicama keeps your dog’s bone healthy by mitigating bone loss, enhancing and calcium absorption. Additionally, this tuber has minerals essential to healthy bone development, like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and manganese..

Facilitates Weight Loss

Jicama has high percentages of water and fiber. Moreover, it is low in calories,  which will help your dog shed a few pounds. When your dog eats Jicama, he will stay satiated for longer, provided he consumed an appropriate amount.

Prebiotic and inulin fiber is also associated with weight loss and affects hormones that induce appetite. In the long run, this prevents overeating.

High in Antioxidants

Jicama also holds vital antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C, and E. Antioxidants help suppress cell damage by removing bad bacteria and unstable cells that precipitate oxidative stress. Foods high in antioxidant properties, such as jicama, can help combat oxidative stress, thus lowering the odds of acquiring long-term complications.

Lowers the risk of Cancer.

According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, about 1 out of 4 dogs will manifest neoplasia, and 50% over 10 develop cancer in due course. Jicama can be beneficial when your dog begins aging. Vitamin C & E, beta-carotene, and selenium fight free radicals that generate cell anomalies in dogs. Inulin, likewise lowers the odds of cancer by boosting the immune system and cultivating healthy bacteria.

Stimulates Gut Bacteria

The prebiotic inulin helps increase healthy bacteria in the dog’s gut and reduces the number of bad bacteria. Having more healthy bacteria in the stomach promotes gastrointestinal health, while too much unhealthy bacteria results in many digestive conditions.

Are there Any Concerns with Feeding Jicamas to Dogs?

Rotenone Toxicity

As explained above, Jicama’s skin, stem, leaves, and seeds contain rotenone, which is poisonous to dogs. Never give these parts of Jicama to your dog.

If your pet has eaten either of those parts accidentally, bring them to the vet right away. Some of the typical signs of rotenone toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Drooling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary hesitancy
  • Muscle tremors

Allergies

Although most dogs can handle Jicama, a few have allergic reactions to it. Common symptoms of food-related allergies in dogs are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Aggression
  • Lack of energy 

If your dog displays one or more of these signs, stop giving them Jicama. It’s also good to keep a close eye on your dog the first time you feed him Jicama to ensure he doesn’t develop any allergies. It’s likewise fair to incorporate this tuber root into your dog’s diet in moderation.

How to Properly Serve Jicama to Your Dogs?

Jicamas can be served to dogs, either raw or cooked. All you have to do is thoroughly rinse the Jicama, then remove the seeds and the stem.

The easiest way is by peeling and slicing Jicama into smaller pieces and adding them to your dog’s food. However, we recommend serving it to them cooked to prevent any digestion problems. Take note that when you prepare the Jicama, do not add any seasonings. 

Alternatively, you can also boil them before chopping them into strips and blending them in your pet’s meal. A Jicama mash is advisable if your dog has a dental problem or sensitive stomach. 

You can also bake the Jicama strips, giving the vegetable a nice crispy texture that may be satisfying for your dog. It will also be a great treat during training.

How to Properly Serve Jicama to Dogs

Conclusion

Dogs can certainly eat the fleshy part of Jicama. This root vegetable is loaded with vital nutrients and fiber, making it an excellent addition to your dog’s intake. You can feed Jicama to your dog occasionally in moderate amounts. And ensure that you cook it first as raw food can lead to digestive complications. 

Don’t forget to consult a vet before introducing new food to your pet.

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