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Can Dogs Eat Jicama? Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat jicama

Jicama is a delicious root vegetable with several health benefits for humans. This tuber is relatively unknown in the United States, but due to its vitamin and mineral-rich nutritional content, it is fast becoming a popular addition to healthy diets. Jicama is a great addition to your diet, but can your dog eat jicama? Is it safe for dogs?

Yes! For the most part, jicama is safe for your pooch and has several potential health benefits. It is nutrient-dense but low in calories, making it an ideal healthy snack to add to your dog’s diet. However, there are several caveats that you need to be aware of. In this article, we’ll examine the potential benefits and health risks to help you decide if you should feed jicama to your dog.

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What Exactly Is Jicama?

Jicama, also known as the Mexican Turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine with highly nutritious and edible tubers. The name “jicama” commonly refers to the tuber rather than the whole plant. The leaves and seeds are toxic when ingested, but the tuberous root holds all the nutritional benefits. It originated in Mexico and Central America, and its use dates back as far back as 3,000 B.C.

English Bulldog eating
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Potential Health Benefits of Jicama

Packed with fiber, vitamin C, and low in calories and fat, jicama is a great addition to a dog’s diet, especially for overweight or obese dogs.

Here are the benefits that jicama can have on your dog’s health:

  • Jicama is jam-packed with prebiotic fiber or inulin. This prebiotic fiber is great for your dog’s digestive health because it feeds their digestive tract with healthy bacteria that aid in their gut health, immune health, and weight moderation.
  • Jicama is also packed with beneficial antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants are essential to your dog’s health. They help fight against free radicals and chronic inflammation.
  • Jicama is rich in calcium and phosphorus, both of which are great for bone and cartilage health and hormonal regulation. It is also high in potassium, a mineral essential for cardiovascular health that helps improve circulation and protects against heart disease.
  • Low in calories and fat. If your dog is battling weight issues, jicama is a great nutrient-rich, low-calorie addition to their diet.

Potential health risks of jicama

Although jicama is packed with nutrients and minerals and is low in fat and calories, these benefits are all located in the edible, tuberous bulb of the plant. The leaves, stalks, and seeds are toxic to dogs and humans and should not be eaten. They contain a toxin called rotenone, an isoflavone compound with insecticidal and pesticide qualities.

However, unless you are growing your own jicama, this is usually nothing to worry about, as the bulbs are always sold alone, without any leaves or seeds.

Image By: lauryann, Pixabay

Jicama preparation for dogs

Jicama can be served raw or cooked, but we recommend cooking it to avoid any digestion issues. The bulb’s skin may be mildly toxic, so be sure to peel it before cooking. Once cooked, jicama is soft and easy to chew and can be served as an addition to your dog’s regular food or as a snack on its own.

We recommend serving jicama in small quantities, especially at first, and monitoring their reaction. Also, jicama should just be an addition to your dog’s existing diet, as it is by no means a replacement, and it should not be served daily. A small piece added to their meals or as a treat is suitable.

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Final Thoughts

Jicama has recently taken the health world by storm, and it has excellent benefits for you and your pup. Its low-calorie and low-fat benefits, combined with a host of vitamins and minerals, make it a great addition to your dog’s diet. Just be sure to feed them the bulb and not the leaves or seeds, and use it as an occasional snack only.

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