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Can Dogs Eat Bamboo Shoots? Keep Your Dog Healthy!

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

Can Dogs Eat Bamboo Shoots

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Bamboo1 shoots are robust plants used in Asian cuisine that were once considered exotic. Bamboo grows quickly and adds a nice touch of décor to any home or garden; they are even edible. The canes are an excellent source of fiber and can also be used for building materials and medicinal purposes. But what about our canine friends? Can dogs eat bamboo shoots?

The short answer is, yes, dogs can eat bamboo shoots, but in moderation. According to the ASPCA2, bamboo of the type Phyllostachys aurea, is non-toxic for dogs and cats.

Bamboo shoots are not only safe for your dog to eat, but they also have proposed health benefits and are full of vitamins A and C and calcium3. Let’s explore bamboo shoots more in-depth and learn how to safely give them to your dog.

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What Are the Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots for Dogs?

The calcium in bamboo shoots can aid in strong bones and teeth. Bamboo shoots are part of the soft core of the plant that is chocked full of vitamins and fiber.

You should only give your dog bamboo in moderation because too much can cause digestive issues for your doggie’s sensitive digestive tract. Bamboo shoots are low in calories and sugar, making them a good occasional treat for your dog.

The brown dog bites the bamboo
Photo Credit: Benzkrat, Shutterstock

Are All Types of Bamboo Safe for Dogs to Eat?

This question is important because not all bamboo is safe for dogs to consume. Raw bamboo contains cyanide glycosides, and you should never feed your dog raw bamboo shoots. Instead, you’ll need to boil or cook them for a few minutes to ensure all cyanide is absent.

Only give bamboo shoots to your dog and refrain from giving the leaves, skins, stalks, or seeds, as these parts of a bamboo plant are toxic to dogs. You should also give fresh bamboo shoots and avoid canned or dried, as these versions could contain toxic ingredients for your dog.

Heavenly Bamboo, also known as nandina, is off-limits for dogs, as they contain cyanide. These types of bamboo are shrubs that bloom white blossoms and red cherries, and you should avoid planting this type of bamboo in your dog or anywhere your dog roams and plays.

cut bamboo
Photo Credit: Twiggy Jia, Pexels

Tips for a Healthy Diet for Your Dog

Now that you know you can give your dog the occasional bamboo shoot treat, bamboo should never replace your dog’s regular diet. Dogs require complete and balanced diets for optimal health and nutrition. Your dog’s diet should include high-quality protein (this should be the first ingredient listed), carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Any dog food you’re contemplating feeding should adhere to AAFCO’s standards of nutrition, and it should indicate that it’s complete and balanced. You should also look for dog food formulated by veterinary nutritionists and/or veterinarians to ensure all ingredients are healthy.

As for treats, look for healthy options that have no-added artificial flavors or preservatives. Healthy treats will have a good source of natural ingredients of meat, veggies, and fruit. When in doubt, your veterinarian can advise on what to buy and look for.

dog eating
Photo Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Bamboo shoots are safe to give your dog as an occasional treat in moderation. Ensure you only provide the shoots and not the leaves, seeds, skins, or stalks. Cook the bamboo for a few minutes before giving it to your dog, and avoid canned or dried bamboo.

Bamboo has health benefits for humans that may extend to dogs, and as long as it’s given safely, your dog may enjoy a bamboo shoot treat. Remember to also avoid heavenly bamboo, as this type of bamboo is toxic. 

See Also: Can Dogs Eat Lightning Bugs? Vet-Reviewed Safety & FAQ

Featured Image Credit: Nungning20, Shutterstock

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