The Short Answer is:
In terms of your dog’s health, cassava consumption cannot be said to be safe or unsafe as it depends on several factors and the level of consumption. A large amount of cassava consumed over a long period of time can be harmful and toxic to your dog, so consumption must be carefully controlled.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Is Cassava Safe For A Dog To Eat?“.
- What is cassava?
- Cassava vs yuca vs tapioca. How are they the same and different?
- How nutritious is cassava?
- Why is tapioca used in commercial dog food?
- When is cassava toxic to dogs?
- What are more nutritious forms of carbs and why?
- How should you prepare (cook) cassava for dogs?
- Is tapioca a good food for a dog with kidney disease and why?
- What other vegetables are toxic to dogs?
- Is Cassava Safe For A Dog To Eat? (Watch Video)
Dog owners have always been concerned with choosing the right food for their pets.
The food that you choose for your dog must be safe to eat this means that it must not result in any illnesses or diseases for your dog and that it must not cause any allergic reactions. It should also be tasty for your dog in order to keep him happy and finally it must provide him with the necessary nutrients he needs.
Before you include cassava in your dogs diet consider its nutritional value. To determine if it is right for your canine you must do your research.
To answer the question of whether or not it is an excellent decision to include it in your dogs diet we must first understand what cassava itself is what ingredients it contains and how it affects your dog as well as how you plan to introduce it to your dog: Is your plan to feed your dog a homemade diet? Are you looking for a cheap source of carbohydrates?
Do you plan to make it a staple carbohydrate in your daily diet?
As you read this article you will learn more about all of these topics.
What is cassava?
The root vegetable cassava (Manihot esculenta) is cultivated primarily in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
Nigeria produces more cassava than Thailand while Thailand exports more cassava than Nigeria. After processing it is consumed in many forms as a major source of diet throughout the world.
Rice and maize are the two most important sources of carbohydrates in the tropics respectively. As a major staple food in developing countries it is consumed by more than half a billion people.
Raw cassava contains toxins that are harmful to humans as well as dogs; therefore it must be thoroughly processed before it can be considered safe to consume.
When poorly prepared cyanide intoxication ataxia goiters paralysis or even death can result.
Cassava vs yuca vs tapioca. How are they the same and different?
There are many regional names for cassava including yuca which is not to be confused with yucca (a shrub in the Asparagaceae family). Consequently they are often used interchangeably.
The two are not the same however despite the fact that many people mistake tapioca for cassava. Tapioca is the starch extracted from cassava tubers so it can also be called cassava starch.
It is important to note that cassava flour is distinct from tapioca flour in the sense that there is no fiber in tapioca flour; this fiber has been removed during processing while cassava flour contains both starch and fiber; basically the tuber as a whole dried and ground.
Humans consume tapioca in various ways but dogs eat it as a source of carbohydrate in grain-free dog food.
How nutritious is cassava?
As a result it is often referred to as a low-grade dog food filler due to its low nutritional value.
Approximately 191 calories are contained in 100 grams of cooked cassava which consists primarily of carbs fat and protein. It also contains some minerals in small amounts. It contains 1% calcium 2% iron and 6% potassium. The trace amounts of vitamins A B6 C E and K are also present but they are very small.
It is disappointing to learn that cassava is primarily made up of starch and carbs.
Why is tapioca used in commercial dog food?
You must be wondering what the answer is. The question is “Why is tapioca being used in commercial foods when it is not a nutritious ingredient?” but the answer is in the question. Tapioca does not offer much nutritional value.
Thus it is possible to create recipes with specific nutritional profiles. It is beneficial for dogs that require specific nutrient levels in their food. Adding tapioca filler to the dogs food provides the dog with the nutrients it needs.
Tapioca is also an excellent choice for dogs with a low protein requirement as it contains virtually no protein.
Because tapioca lacks protein it isnot considered a source of food sensitivities or allergens making it a great option for dogs with adverse food reactions especially those who have trouble digesting grains.
Tapioca is increasingly used because it adds bulk to kibble and wet food resulting in a higher level of satisfaction in dogs especially small breed dogs.
The fiber in tapioca helps your dog keep constant digestion which is why it is a great source of energy for your pet.
When is cassava toxic to dogs?
As long as it is taken as part of a larger meal tapioca is an excellent choice of diet. Cassava is however harmful and toxic to dogs when consumed raw.
Raw cassava contains chemicals called cyanogenic glycosides which release cyanide into the body when consumed.
If your dog consumes raw cassava or poorly processed tapioca frequently he could be poisoned with cyanide.
Tapioca is a good choice for managing your dogs allergies but it is not a good choice as a staple food.
Due to its high glycemic index it raises your dogs blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
Furthermore tapioca is not recommended for overweight or diabetic dogs for the same reason.
What are more nutritious forms of carbs and why?
About 70% of dogs’ food is made up of carbohydrates. The fiber in them aids digestion in your dog and they provide a great source of energy for your dog.
However it is important to understand that carbohydrates do not have nutritional value for your dog but the fact that they are surplus and do not spoil easily in combination with the fact that they make your dog fuller has made them a preferred choice in dog food.
When choosing a carb diet for your dog choosing complex carbs over simple carbs is the best choice.
Because simple carbs are converted to energy (glucose) immediately if the energy is not used up quickly by the dog it is converted to fat and stored in the dogs body causing weight gain which may lead to obesity in your dog.
Complex carbohydrates however convert to energy more slowly which makes them easier to burn.
The fact that they take time to digest makes them more filling and they help to control weight.
Also they contain nutrients like fiber minerals and vitamins which are essential to the overall health of your dog.
Complex carbohydrates include oats brown rice sweet potatoes barley whole corn whole wheat millet etc.
How should you prepare (cook) cassava for dogs?
Whenever you prepare cassava for your dog you must peel the cassava because it contains cyanogenic glycosides.
You should never feed it raw to your dog because it contains cyanide which can be harmful to him unless it is thoroughly cooked. Make sure that the cassava is thoroughly cooked by following these steps:
- Prepare the cassava root by peeling it
- Slice it into small pieces
- Slices soaked in water will lose up to half their cyanide content
- Cassava should be boiled until it is soft and very well cooked: if cooked properly it can eliminate all toxins.
- Drain the cooking water.
Cassava varieties that are bitter contain more cyanide than sweet varieties; for this reason they may need to be grated pounded and soaked in water for several hours before extensively boiling to ensure that the harmful chemical compounds are well reduced.
Is tapioca a good food for a dog with kidney disease and why?
Definitely and for a very good reason. Tapioca a low-protein diet has proved to be a better meal choice for dogs with kidney disease over the years.
As the body works to rid itself of protein metabolites protein consumption increases its workload significantly.
Healthy dogs’ kidneys do not seem to be affected by protein consumption. Dogs with kidney disease however usually suffer more damage due to increased strain on their kidneys.
As a result patients with kidney disease are advised to eat LSDs to rest their kidneys. Plant protein is also better than animal protein because it puts less stress on the kidneys.
What other vegetables are toxic to dogs?
Although there are many human foods that are perfectly safe and healthy for your dog to eat you should lookout for a few that could be potentially harmful so that your dog does not suffer.
In the event you make the wrong choice of vegetable your dog may suffer from long-term illnesses or even die as they may be toxic.
Onions and mushrooms are toxic to dogs.
They can rupture the red blood cells in your dog and result in vomiting diarrhea stomach pain and even death. Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are safe to eat in small quantities but can be potentially harmful when consumed in large amounts.
In large quantities spinach can cause kidney damage and broccoli can cause mild to severe gastric irritation.
In terms of your dogs health cassava consumption cannot be said to be safe or unsafe as it depends on several factors and the level of consumption. A large amount of cassava consumed over a long period of time can be harmful and toxic to your dog so consumption must be carefully controlled. Keep in mind that the health of your dog is of utmost importance.