Yes, dogs can eat jicama as long as it is served in moderation. Jicama contains nutrients and minerals which are beneficial for your dog’s health.
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What is Jicama?
Jicama is an edible root vegetable that is grown naturally in Central America and Mexico. It is also known as Mexican yam, Mexican turnip, or Mexican potato. Jicama’s only edible part is the root and is said to have a sweet and starchy flavor as it is a cross between an apple and water chestnut. Jicama contains a lot of vitamins and minerals which are needed for a healthy diet. A single cup of raw sliced jicama contains about: 40 calories. 0.1 of fat, 4mg of cholesterol and 9g of carbs.
Is Jicama Safe for Dogs?
Yes, jicama is safe for dogs as long as only the fleshy root of the jicama plant is consumed. The white and potato-like part of the plant that grows underground is the jicama plant’s root, and it is also known as fresh jicama.
The stems and leaves are unsafe for consumption as they contain a toxin called rotenone. This compound is an insecticide and is toxic to dogs. In addition, the seeds of the jicama are toxic and can cause choking in dogs. Therefore, the stems, skins, bean pods, leaves, and seeds should be removed from jicama before it is offered to your dog.
Why is Jicama Good For Dogs?
Low in calories: Jicama is low in calories, which means that it can be fed to your dog without worrying about weight gain and risk of obesity.
Jicama contains the following nutrients and vitamins:
- Antioxidants: A mere ¼ cup of jicama has antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and beta carotene for dogs. Antioxidants shield dogs against damaging molecules that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to diseases like cancer, heart problems and cognitive brain disorders. Antioxidants protect your dog against these diseases.
- Vitamin A: In addition to improving your dog’s eyesight, vitamin A also helps in maintaining your dog’s growth, immunity and cell functions.
- Vitamin C: Jicama is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in boosting your dog’s immune system.
- Calcium: Jicama is also a good source of calcium which is integral for maintaining your dog’s bone health.
- Iron: Jicama contains Iron as well. Your dog’s body requires iron as it carries oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells that produce energy.
- Potassium: Potassium keeps the blood pressure in check and maintains your dog’s heart health.
- Fiber: Jicama is regarded as a great source of fiber. Fiber helps in maintaining your dog’s digestive health, as it prevents gastrointestinal problems in your dog.
- Inulin: The presence of inulin in jicama helps maintain your dog’s digestive tract.
Why is Jicama Bad for Dogs?
Generally, jicama is considered to be suitable for dogs. But, it can be harmful if it is not served correctly. In the case of a few dogs, it can also evoke allergic reactions.
Risk of Toxic Poisoning: Your dog should only eat the bulbous root of jicama. Its skin, stock, leaves, and seeds are poisonous. Anything above the plant’s root is poisonous as it contains rotenone – a chemical with acaricidal, fish-killing, and insecticidal properties. Rotenone can result in side effects such as vomiting and growth retardation in dogs.
Risk Of Allergy: A few dogs might be allergic to jicama. Symptoms of food-related allergies in dogs are diarrhea, skin problems, and vomiting.
How to Serve Jicama to Your Dog?
Keep in mind that all vegetables or leaves should be washed thoroughly before being served to dogs. As mentioned before, only the root of the plant is safe for dogs.
1. Raw Jicama: An Adult dog with healthy teeth can easily chew a piece of jicama. But, if you are feeding a puppy that is just starting to grow its adult teeth, you may need to shred the jicama so that it can be chewed easily.
2. Steamed or Boiled: Jicama can also be steamed or boiled to soften it before serving it to your dog.
3. Served with other dishes: It can also be served with peanut butter or meat dishes depending on your dog’s personal preferences.
4. Jicama Sticks: Peel jicama and cut it into small sticks before offering it to your dog. It can also be diced into tiny pieces.
You can also fry the little strips with dog-friendly oil and seasoning. Fry it until it is slightly brown and then serve it to your dog.
5. Bake in Oven: Preheat your oven to 400℉ and put jicama in it for an hour. Take them out. Let them cool off before you serve it to your dog.
How much Jicama can be fed to your Dog?
Jicama should not be a part of your dog’s daily diet, and it should only be served as an occasional treat to your dog.
Yes, jicama is safe for dogs to consume, but only in moderation and as an occasional treat. Only the fleshy root of jicama can be fed to your dog. The leaves, skin, seeds, bean pods and stems can prove to be toxic to your dogs.