Can Dogs Eat Yams? Everything You Need To Know

Yes. Dogs can eat yams in moderation as they are rich sources of vitamins and fiber. They make a healthy addition to the dog’s diet. Cooked yams with no seasonings can be fed in small servings to the dog. Yams are packed with vitamin B6, minerals, and beta-carotene, which help build immunity. Feeding yam to your dog regularly will help to fight infections and diseases.

What is a Yam?

Yam is a root vegetable that looks similar to sweet potato and is cultivated in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa. Yams have rough, brown skin that almost looks like a tree bar. Yams are invasive plants and are also widely grown in America. They are tubers and cultivated for starch and fiber. They grow in colors from white to yellow, pink, or purple. The taste varies too from sweet to bitter and sometimes tasteless and dry. In the US, sweet potatoes are primarily consumed in the name of yams, but not many know that both are two different plant species. However, they make a hearty meal on Thanksgiving Day for every American family.

Nutritional Value

Yams are highly nutritious and are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and iron. A single yam comprises 369% of one’s daily Vitamin A requirement. A  cup of chopped yam contains the below nutritional value:

Total Carbohydrates42g
Dietary Fiber6g
Vitamin B620%

Are Yams Safe for Dogs?

Yams are safe for dogs to eat in moderation when cooked and served with no seasonings. Raw yams contain toxic substances and make the dog sick. Cooked yams remove the harmful properties in the vegetable and thus make it a healthy diet. Yam is full of nutrients and contains vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. An adequately cooked yam improves immunity and thus aids the dog’s health. The vegetable also helps the digestive system and keeps the coat shiny and healthy. In addition, Yam has cancer-fighting substances and keeps the heart healthy. Also, yams contain dietary fiber that helps to have a healthy gut. In addition, they are low in fat, calories, and sodium, thus making the vegetable safe for dogs to consume. However, yams are high in carbohydrates and sugar and should be fed in moderation.

Types of yams that are safe for dogs:

  • Garnet yams
  • Red yams
  • Purple yams
  • Yellow yams
  • Japanese yams
  • Chinese yams

Why Is Yam Good for Dogs?

The nutrition benefits of yam for dogs include the following:

Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant and an immune system regulator. In dogs, it’s also a provitamin A. Both cell-mediated immune responses are influenced by beta-carotene. In addition, beta-carotene boosts plasma antibody levels and improves hypersensitivity in dogs.

Magnesium is essential for a dog’s health and helps in numerous ways to keep your canine’s health on point. Magnesium helps in improving:

  • Urinary Tract Issues 
  • Constipation
  • Digestive disorders 
  • Cures the irregular heartbeat
  • Generate energy 
  • Reduces stress and anxiety issues
  • Helps in bone development 

Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. In addition, manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints.

Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy immune system. However, vitamin B6 is engaged in over 100 different interactions during the breakdown and digestion of meals. Vitamin B6 also aids the correct development of a puppy’s brain during pregnancy and early puppyhood. 

Zinc is a mineral found in numerous things in the dog’s body, including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also necessary for the immune system and thyroid function. Therefore, zinc insufficiency can cause various issues in dogs, including incapability of infection protection.

Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for the health of your dog. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or have no desire to eat. 

Potassium also helps in: 

  • Regulating muscle contractions and heartbeats 
  • Optimizing cognitive functions 
  • Boosting metabolism 
  • Aiding normal blood flow, 
  • Increasing bone density 

Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that the cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to function various enzymes in the body properly.

Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium.

Dietary Fiber helps maintain bowel regularity and reduces the risk of colon cancer. They also help to keep the gut healthy.

Why Is Yam Bad for Dogs?

Yams are bad for dogs when not fed in moderation. Raw yams comprise toxic substances like solanine and oxalates that seriously affect a dog’s kidneys, digestive system, and nervous system and cause kidney failure. Yams are safe for dogs only when appropriately cooked. Cooked yams are free from toxic and harmful substances and thus become a healthy addition to a dog’s diet. Also, yams have sugar content which is not suited for dogs. It leads to obesity and diabetes in dogs. Although fiber helps a dog’s health, it may lead to the below health issues:

  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive problems,

However, feeding your dog cooked yam in moderation is the key and keeping it healthy and safe.

How Much Yam to Feed Your Dog?

Any dog can eat cooked yam in moderation. For example, a small dog or puppy can eat only a teaspoon of cooked yam. Larger dogs can consume one tablespoon of cooked yam.

How to Serve Yam to Your Dog?

Although yam has many health benefits, it must be fed in moderation to your dog. Follow the below rules while feeding yams to your dog.

  • Always feed only a small amount of cooked yam that is grown as organic to your dog, be it big or small.
  • Wash and peel before cooking and chop them into small pieces to avoid choking hazards.
  • Always serve cooked yam as it is free from toxic ingredients like solanine and oxalate.
  • The best way to prepare is to steam or boil the yam to retain the nutrients.
  • Never add extra ingredients as they may irritate the dog’s digestive system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dog eat canned yams?

No, dogs can not eat canned yams. They may contain sugar and preservatives which are unsafe for dogs.

Can dogs eat yam leaves?

No. Yam leaves may cause an upset stomach.

Can dogs eat baked yams?

Yes, baked yams are not toxic to dogs as long as it is plainly baked.

Is fried yam good for dogs?

Feed your dog cooked yam. Fried yam may cause problems to their digestive system.

What kind of yams can dogs eat?

Dogs can eat cooked yams without extra ingredients like garlic, onion, or nutmeg.

Are yams and sweet potatoes the same?

Yams and sweet potatoes are completely different vegetables from two other plant species.

Final Thoughts

Dogs can eat cooked yam safely in moderation. Raw yam contains toxins that may harm the dog’s health in the long run. However, when fed in moderation, cooked yams are a healthy addition to the dog’s diet. In case of any symptoms after consuming yam, contact your nearby vet immediately. 

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