Can Dogs Eat Jicama?
One of the many questions asked by dog owners is, “can dogs eat Jicama”? In a nutshell, yes, dogs can eat Jicama. Jicama is perfectly nutritious for your fuzzy canine.
Pieces of Jicama can be given to your dog as treats for good behavior and can also be incorporated into their everyday meals. However, make sure you only feed your dog the fleshy part of Jicama and refrain from feeding them, the skin, the roots, as well as the seeds.
What Is Jicama?
Before moving towards the detailed answer to can dogs eat Jicama, health benefits of Jicama and why certain parts aren’t suitable for dogs, let’s spare a moment to talk about Jicama itself.
Also known as Mexican Turnip or Mexican Potato, Jicama is a native vegetable from Mexico. The shape of Jicama is similar to that of a globe. Its skin has a bright golden-brown tone, and the flesh is starchy and white.
The root of the Jicama plant also gives birth to beans, which are almost similar to Lima Beans. However, these beans are toxic, and not the best food for your four-legged buddy. Native to Mexico, Jicama has also spread quickly to the Philippines and other parts of Asia. It grows in areas that experience a warmer climate.
As discussed above, the flesh of Jicama is starchy, juicy, and crunchy. As far as the flavor is concerned, Jicama tastes sweet and nutty on the tongue. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the taste of Jicama is somewhat of a cross between pears and potatoes. Some people even say that Jicama tastes like a water chestnut.
Can I Feed My Dog Jicama?
Now that we have talked about Jicama let’s switch gears and talk about whether or not Jicama is good for dogs.
As mentioned before, dogs can eat Jicama. However, they must only eat the fleshy parts because the rest of the parts aren’t suitable for dogs and can be toxic if fed in large amounts. As discussed above, the seeds, skin, roots, and leaves aren’t good for your dogs.
These parts of the Jicama plant contain rotenone, which is potentially toxic to dogs. We will talk about rotenone toxicity in dogs as the article progresses. Also, these parts of the Jicama plant contain pesticides which are sprayed to get rid of plant-eating insects. Enough of toxicity, let’s talk about the benefits of feeding Jicama to your pooch.
If your dog has an upset tummy, a few pieces of Jicama can calm things down in its gut. In case your dog’s stomach is upset, Jicama can solve digestive problems. Furthermore, just like other crunchy vegetables, Jicama too is rich in fiber, which helps your dog’s bowel movements. Besides fiber, Jicama also contains potassium, iron, and Vitamin C.
Besides benefiting your dog’s digestion, these nutrients enhance your dog’s immune system. There are many other benefits of Jicama, which we will discuss in detail below.
You may not know this, but the majority of dog foods available in the marketplace have Jicama in them as an additional ingredient. Jicama also contains a nutrient called Inulin. Apart from Fiber, Inulin also assists digestion in dogs.
As discussed above, Jicama has a pleasant sweet taste, which dogs find tempting. Also, Jicama is low in calories, so you don’t have to worry about it making your dog obese. A single serving of Jicama (approx 4 ounces) contains about 6 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, and 43 calories, thus making it perfectly balanced and healthy for dogs.
Feeding Your Dog Jicama
Whether it’s Jicama or anything else, make sure to speak to your vet before incorporating it into your dog’s diet. Regardless of how beneficial Jicama is to your dog’s health, you must introduce the vegetable in their diet gradually.
Doing so, you will avoid the chances of your dog developing digestive problems. Most dogs respond well to Jicama. However, some of them do not take it too well. Some dogs might even have an allergic reaction to Jicama when they eat it for the first time.
Some of the major symptoms of food allergies in the dog are as follows:
- Skin allergies
- Nausea and vomiting
Before feeding them Jicama in bulk, try feeding them a small slice, and see how they react to it. You need to make sure whether or not Jicama makes your dog gassy. Also, try to figure whether or not the dog likes the taste of the new food. Also, look out for any unusual symptoms the dog may exhibit after gobbling down a few slices of Jicama.
If your dog doesn’t have an adverse reaction, you can give them a bigger portion. One thing that you must remember is that Jicama is not a replacement for your dog’s everyday food. However, you can add a small amount of it to your dog’s diet to balance it.
Dogs can eat both raw as well as cooked food. Some dogs prefer cooked Jicama over its raw counterpart because it is softer and easier to chew. However, make sure that the Jicama you are feeding your dog isn’t seasoned with onion and garlic as they are acidic for dogs.
As discussed above, the root of Jicama is toxic for dogs, and should not be given to your dog regularly.
Watch the video of dog eating Jicama.
What Are Some Nutrition Facts of Jicama?
Up until now, we have talked about whether or not Jicama is good for dogs. Now, let’s look at the comprehensive nutrition breakdown of Jicama.
Nutrients of Jicama
The nutrients contained in a single cup of Jicama (approx 130 grams) are as follows.
- Manganese (4% RDI)
- Magnesium (4% RDI)
- Calories (43-49)
- Carbs (12 grams)
- Fat (0.1 grams)
- Protein (1 gram)
- Fiber (6.4 grams)
- Iron (4% RDI)
- Foliate (4% RDI)
- Vitamin C (44% RDI)
Jicama also contains Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Copper, Zinc, and Phosphorus. This vegetable contains water, which makes it a weight loss friendly food, and keeps your dog from getting obese and lethargic.
Rich in Antioxidants
Jicama contains a variety of antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B6 are three of the major antioxidants found in Jicama. Antioxidants in Jicama prevent cell damage by harmful molecules and free radicals that result in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to diabetes, heart problems, and cancer.
These antioxidants contained within Jicama fight oxidative stress and keep these chronic diseases at bay. Studies have shown that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables prevent the possibility of heart diseases and obesity in dogs and humans alike.
Keeps Heart Healthy
The nutrients contained within Jicama are said to be beneficial to heart health. The soluble dietary fiber keeps cholesterol levels low, thus keeping cholesterol from being absorbed into the intestines. Because of fiber, the liver produces a lesser amount of cholesterol. Studies have shown that eating fiber-rich diets reduces bad cholesterol or LDL to a greater extent. The potassium in Jicama relaxes the blood vessels by lowering the level of blood sugar.
Also, the potassium content in Jicama reduces blood pressure while minimizing the possibility of heart disease. Furthermore, Jicama contains iron and copper, which enhances the flow of blood while making red blood cells healthier. Also, the nitrate in Jicama improves blood circulation and makes your dog more active and playful.
As mentioned above, another plus point of feeding Jicama to your canine friend is improved digestion. The dietary fiber it contains increases the stool bulk. It also enhances bowel movement, thus making defecating easier for your dog. As discussed above, Jicama also contains another type of dietary fiber known as Inulin.
So, if your dog has chronic constipation, the Inulin in Jicama will increase bowel movement by at least 31%. Speaking of constipation, the water content in Jicama also aids bowel movement, easing your dog’s constipation. It also fulfills your dog’s daily fluid requirements.
Helps With Gut Bacteria
As we already know, Jicama is rich in Inulin, which is a probiotic fiber. This prebiotic fiber is needed by the bacteria in the gut and provides several health benefits. There are times when the gut fails to process and digest probiotic like Inulin. In such situations, the bacteria in your dog’s gut can ferment them easily.
Also, Inulin increases the number of good bacteria in your dog’s gut while eliminating the bad ones, which are potentially harmful to a dog’s health. Studies have shown that gut bacteria can impact your dog’s immune system, digestion, mood, and health at large. Inulin improves stomach health and immune system while mitigating the chances of chronic diseases in dogs.
Minimizes the Chances of Cancer
We have already discussed that Jicama contains Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, and Selenium. These antioxidants can neutralize the harmful free radicals, which in some cases, are the primary cause behind cancer and cell damage.
Also, Jicama is rich in dietary fiber, which is known to battle the causes of colon cancer. Also, the probiotic Inulin in Jicama increases the number of good bacteria in the gut, thus minimizing the chances of colon cancer.
The probiotic Inulin increases the production of fatty acids, which benefit the immune system against cancer and other harmful health conditions. Besides minimizing the chances of colon cancer, Inulin also serves as a powerful antioxidant, which protects the lining of your gut.
Assists in Weight Loss
The last nutritional benefit of feeding Jicama to your dog is weight loss. Jicama is packed with a variety of nutrients with very few calories. At the same time, Jicama contains water and fiber, which makes your dog feel full and less hungry.
Also, Jicama keeps blood sugar low, thus keeping your dog healthy and active. The fiber in Jicama also assists in digestion, as mentioned above, and reduces the amount of blood sugar. One of the many reasons why some dogs are fat and sluggish is that they are insulin-resistant. In this case, the cells become less vulnerable to insulin.
Consequently, it becomes difficult for sugar to enter the cells and get utilized for energy. When glucose has a hard time reaching the cells, it remains within the bloodstream and increases the level of blood sugar. Research suggests that feeding Jicama to your dog makes the cells more sensitive to insulin.
As a result, the blood sugar levels remain well under control. Inulin directly affects the hormones that produce feelings of fullness and satiety, thus making your dog feel less hungry.
What About Rotenone Toxicity by Jicama In Dogs?
As discussed in the beginning, the roots, seeds, and skin of Jicama contain rotenone, which is toxic to dogs. A dog owner should never feed these things to their dog. If your dog has the roots, seeds or skin by mistake, take them to the vet immediately
It is essential to know that Jicama seeds and skin aren’t the only things containing rotenone. Rotenone is found in a variety of dog products such as sprays, powders, and flea dips. If your dog’s skin comes into contact with this agent, it is essential to bath your dog with soap and water.
Afterward, the dog should be taken to a vet for a thorough checkup. If your dog has ingested rotenone, do not induce vomiting right away. Instead, call your vet to evaluate the options you have.
What Are Symptoms of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs?
As discussed above, dogs like to take a bite of whatever they can find, regardless of how harmful or toxic it is to their health. Unlike cats, dogs are more prone to toxicity. If your dog has ingested rotenone, you will notice the symptoms of abdominal disturbance brought about by toxicity. Some of the most common symptoms of rotenone toxicity in dogs include.
- Difficulty breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Disturbed urinating
- Respiratory issues
- Muscle tremors
- Lethargy and weakness
How to Perform Diagnosis of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs?
Prolonged exposure to rotenone in dogs can result in prominent bronchial secretion. In such a situation, it is better to take your dog to the vet. Only a medical practitioner can determine the extent of poisoning your dog is experiencing. The vet might ask you the following questions.
- What product was applied
- What did your dog eat?
- How many times was the product applied?
- What was the amount of product applied?
- How long has it been since you first noticed the symptoms?
- What was the first weird thing that you noticed?
What Is the Treatment for Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs?
If rotenone has been ingested by your dog, the vet will induce vomiting, either through gastric lavage or by administering charcoal. If rotenone has come into contact with your dog’s skin, the vet will bathe your dog if you haven’t been able to do it on your own. The vet will rinse your dog’s skin to make sure the pesticide is eradicated.
To control seizures and tremors, the vet might give some medication to your dog. If the toxicity is severe, your dog might be hospitalized for some time, until they don’t show any symptoms. The chances of recovery are much higher if toxicity is treated earlier on. If there are fleas and mites, the vet might need to resort to aggressive therapy to minimize the use of toxic products.
If the seizures and tremors aren’t going away, the medication will be continued. As a responsible dog person, your job is to make sure whether or not your dog has difficulty breathing while the treatment is in progress. After your dog has recovered, make sure not to use any products containing rotenone. Also, make sure not to skip on your follow up visit to the vet.
Final Thoughts on Can Dogs Eat Jicama
If you are a devout dog person, you can understand that dogs are absolute individuals. Contrary to popular belief, dogs feel things more acutely and have their own opinions about a lot of things, which they express in different ways. They also have certain fears, which they exhibit from time to time.
Furthermore, dogs have exciting food choices, which may seem weird to us. Speaking of food, most dogs have a penchant for chewing onto crunchy vegetables and fruits. Whether its carrots, watermelons, or cabbage, you can give them to your dog as occasional treats.
By now, you must have gotten the answer to the question, “can dogs eat Jicama?” Jicama is extremely nutritious for your dog. However, the roots, skin, and seeds shouldn’t be fed to your dog on purpose.
Also, try to limit your dog’s access to the kitchen, where it can find things that aren’t suitable for it to gobble down.
Also, keep your dog hydrated and make sure it gets enough physical exercise. Also, bathe your dog regularly and never skip out on the regular visits to the vet.
Daniel Bloom is the mind behind the Dog Pages blog. He created this blog for the love his dog, Augustine. He manages his team of contributors who love dogs as much as he does. When he is not blogging, he spends his time cooking and reading. He never misses his daily walks with his dog and loves to play Frisbee with Augustine whenever he gets a chance.