Can Dogs Eat Taro

Can Dogs Eat Taro

Our pets always want a piece of what we ourselves are eating or cooking– they may be drawn in by the smell, or simply come running at the sound of a can opening! If you are making something with taro, you may be wondering if it is okay to let your pup try a taste. This is a more unusual ingredient, so you may be unsure whether or not it is safe for dogs.

So, can dogs eat taro? The answer to this question is no– taro plants are actually toxic to most pets, dogs and cats included. You should avoid giving your dog any part of the taro plant. Read on to learn why.

What Is Taro?

Firstly, you should understand what taro is. It is also known by a few other names, such as elephant’s ear or purple sweet potato. It is grown in over 40 different countries and has a different name in many of these areas. Essentially, it is a root vegetable and is most commonly referred to as taro. The root vegetable is used for its corns, leaves, and petioles. 

The starchy vegetable is native to Southeast Asia and is believed to be one of the world’s oldest crops. Many people say that taro is a sweeter version of potatoes, and absorbs other flavors easily. 

Also Read – Can Dogs eat Rutabaga

Can Dogs Eat Taro?

Now that you know what taro is, can Fido eat some, too? The answer is a resounding no. Unfortunately, taro plants are not safe for your dog. This includes the root vegetable itself, as well as other parts of the plant like its leaves. This is because of the ingredients in the plant– taro contains something called calcium oxalate crystals. They can be found in all parts of the plant, which is why it is entirely unsafe for your dog to eat. The calcium oxalate crystals are more potent when the plant is raw, but do still remain when taro is cooked as well. 

Risks of Feeding Your Dog Taro

What, exactly, are the risks involved in feeding your dog taro plant? Take a look at the below in order to learn what taro can do to your pet. 

Digestive Issues

One of the main issues that can be caused by your dog eating taro root is a disruption to its regular digestive system or schedule. Taro is a starchy vegetable, so too much can lead to constipation or trouble passing stools, due to the amount of fiber that it contains. The food is not something that is part of your dog’s daily diet, either, so this could lead to vomiting or loose stools as well. This could also exacerbate issues such as diabetes, if your dog is already dealing with it. 

Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Even worse than the digestive issues that taro can bring on is the toxic ingredients that can be found in the taro plant. While these are not necessarily toxic to humans, and taro remains safe for us to eat, they are unsafe for pets to consume. Calcium oxalate crystals are very potent when the plant is raw, and can also be found in the leaves of the plants, too. Even when cooked, these crystals can remain, and that is why it is unsafe for dogs to eat cooked taro or taro products as well. These crystals are so dangerous because they can cause incredible pain when consumed by pets. They release into the mouth when the plant is eaten, and from there, they go on to tear through the tissue found in the mouth, throat, and stomach. This will end up requiring medical attention from a vet, so not only is it dangerous or painful for your pet, but it is potentially expensive, too. 

Additional Reading – Can Dogs Eat Mung Beans?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat fried taro?

Fried food is not something that you should be feeding your dog, because it can cause issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive complications. Taro is also not a safe food for dogs– it contains toxins that can cause a lot of pain– which makes fried taro doubly unsafe for your pooch. Avoid feeding your dog any sort of taro product, cooked or raw!

Are taro leaves poisonous to dogs?

Yes, taro leaves can be poisonous to dogs. This is because the taro leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can lead to intense pain in dogs, and the leaves themselves are poisonous if eaten raw. If taro root or taro leaves are cooked, it does reduce the toxins as the heat will help to destroy the acrid calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves, but they are still not safe for your pet’s consumption and should be avoided. 

Are taro plants poisonous to cats and dogs?

Taro plants are poisonous to both dogs and cats– sometimes, one species is able to eat a food that the other cannot, but in this case, neither your dog nor your cat is safe eating taro plants. This is due to one of the ingredients that is found in the plant, especially in the taro plant’s leaves. The ingredient is known as calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are much more potent when the plant is raw, and they release into the mouth when the plant is eaten. Then, they go on to tear through the tissue located in the mouth, throat, and stomach, which causes intense and immense pain to the animals. 

Is taro powder toxic to dogs?

You may be aware that taro plants are unsafe and toxic to pets, so may be wondering if the same is true for taro powder. It is important to be aware that, yes, all parts of the taro plant are toxic if they are eaten raw. When the plant is cooked, it does reduce the toxicity, but is still unsafe for animals in this cooked state as well. Taro powder is something that should be avoided when feeding your dog, too, because of the toxicity of the plant that the powder comes from– it is not safe for pets. 

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