Tapioca is a very versatile starch that is actually in a variety of foods. For example, many people eat it in desserts, but can you share tapioca with your dog? Can dogs eat tapioca? We will explore this topic in this article and find out the benefits of tapioca for dogs.
What is Tapioca?
Tapioca is a very interesting food that is harvested from the roots of the cassava plant. The harvested part is the starch that comes from the root. This plant is native to Brazil but has also been seen in Africa and Asia.
Thanks to modern manufacturing, we have been able to process this and turn it into tapioca. Tapioca is the liquid that gets squeezed out of the plant. Just like if you were squeezing the oils out of an olive to make olive oil. If the root was not processed, it would be toxic for people to eat.
After that, it gets dried into all different forms to be used in a variety of ways. You will usually find this ingredient in desserts, puddings, or now the new popular pearls that people put in tea.
Can I Feed My Dog Tapioca?
Yes, you can certainly feed your dog tapioca. You may not even know this, but tapioca is already used in a lot of dog food brands. It is used in place of a lot of gluten fillers or flour.
After tapioca has been processed, it is sold as flour, flakes, and even pearls. You can use the flour inside of your dog’s food to bind it together better and make it thicker. This is a great gluten-free option for both you and your dog. If your dog has issues with gluten, definitely look into tapioca as a filler or in its dog food.
Is Cooked Tapioca Good for Dogs?
Yes, cooked tapioca is safe for your dog to consume. All you are doing is cooking the same tapioca that your dog would eat anyway. When you cook it, you can also think about adding other things into it. For example, you can add a variety of dog-friendly vegetables into it, such as jicama, brussel sprouts, and carrots. You can even add meat into it to beef it up with some protein.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Pudding?
No, unfortunately, some of the added ingredients that make up pudding are harmful to dogs. Tapioca pudding is made out of:
- Tapioca – Well, we know that this is safe for dogs and considered non-toxic. The common tapioca product that you will purchase is the flour variety.
- Milk –Milk is safe for dogs unless yours is lactose intolerant. Even though this is an ingredient that you don’t really see in a dog’s diet, it can have some great benefits. Even though some dogs may not be allergic, some can develop gestational stomach upset, so keep a close eye on your dog. You can always try a dog-friendly alternative.
- Sugar – Not good for dogs because too much can cause a lot of problems for your dog. Sugar affects dogs very differently than it does us, humans. It can cause your dog to develop dog diabetes.
- Eggs – Eggs are safe for dogs to eat in moderation, and it will also give your dog some added benefits.
- Salt – Can be harmful if given too much. On the other hand, a little bit of salt can provide your dog with some great nutrients, but you should try to stay away from it as much as possible.
- Vanilla Extract – Toxic for dogs because it contains alcohol inside of it.
As you can see, some of the ingredients are safe while others aren’t. If you could possibly make this pudding without the harmful ingredients, then your dog could certainly have it.
Benefits of Tapioca For Dogs
Below you will find some benefits your dog will get from eating tapioca.
Large source of Carbohydrates
If you didn’t know, tapioca is made up of mostly all carbs. It is one of the third largest sources of carbs. Carbs are what give people and dogs energy. For regular body function, your dog needs a certain amount of carbs to sustain itself.
If the type of dog you have is a working dog like a German Shepherd or one with high energy like the Jack Russel Terrier, then your dog may need even more carbohydrates throughout the day. Adding some tapioca to your dog’s food can boost the carb intake for your dog.
Many dog breeds around the world can not handle gluten well in their diet. More and more dog food brands are starting to switch over to gluten-free or grain-free products. This is because so many dogs develop an allergy to the gluten.
Tapioca is gluten-free, and this is huge if your dog can’t handle gluten. Dog food brands are trying to find gluten alternatives that will work but also be beneficial for the dog in the ways of nutrition. Thankfully, tapioca is one of those foods.
Helps Combine Dog Foods
As you know already, many commercial dog food brands add tapioca to it. In dry food, it is used to help combines pieces of kibble together. The most common form seen in dry dog food is the flour variety. You can also see tapioca in wet food. It will make the wet mixture thicker and give it a better look making it appear shiny.
Side Effects of Tapioca for Dogs
With everything, you have the good and the bad. Unfortunately, even the healthiest things can have some negative side effects if overdone or abused. Here are some side effects to watch out for.
It has a High Glycemic Index
Since tapioca is so starch forward, it can have a high glycemic index. This can be a deal-breaker when someone is trying to watch their blood sugar intake or if your dog has diabetes. This means the sugars will release fast into the bloodstream.
So, if your dog does have diabetes, it can mean that your dog will have a blood sugar spike. If your dog consumes too much, it could cause major health issues and, in extreme cases, death. I suggest avoiding tapioca if this is something your dog struggles with.
Allergic reactions can happen with any food. It really depends on each dog. Now while tapioca isn’t something that your dog will typically be allergic of but there will be a few cases of dogs who can’t consume it. If you notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms, your dog could be allergic:
- Acting different
- Skin issues such as itching or hair loss
- If your dog appears to be having abdominal pain.
How Much Tapioca Can a Dog Eat?
Even though your dog can enjoy tapioca, it should be given in moderation. You can give your dog added tapioca into their food but remember not to replace important things in your dog’s diet with tapioca. Make sure your dog is getting an adequate amount of protein because that is one of the most important things your dog needs.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Flour?
Yes, dogs can certainly consume tapioca flour. This is the most common way it is consumed by a dog. It is usually added to a dog’s food for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people confuse tapioca flour with cassava flour, and they are different. The tapioca starch is turned into tapioca flour.
Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Bobo?
If you have ever ordered a boba drink, the black pearls at the bottom of the drink are called tapioca pearls. These pearls are made from the same tapioca starch but remember these drinks and pearls can have added ingredients, especially a lot of added sugar.
Too much sugar can be very bad for dogs, so no dogs should not eat tapioca boba. Instead, stick with the natural stuff and add your own ingredients to it.
Now you have the answer to can dogs eat tapioca. If you give your dog tapioca in moderation, it can greatly benefit your dog. It can be added to your dog’s dry or wet food. You can even add vegetables and meat into it. Let me know if you have ever given your dog this treat or if you are going to try it.