Taro is a root vegetable popular for its multiple nutrients, which help improve blood sugar management, heart health, and gut health.
Originally cultivated in Asia, this root vegetable has brown outer skin and white flesh with speckles. It assures you of a sweet taste, texture, and consistency similar to a potato.
While it is a perfect choice for humans, you are unsure whether it is suitable for your dog. Here are insights into this root vegetable and whether it is pet-friendly.
Can Dogs Eat Taro?
Taro is toxic to dogs, meaning your dog should not eat them, whether cooked or raw. This plant contains calcium oxalate, which predisposes your pet to calcium oxalate urinary crystals and stones. Calcium oxalate also causes taro poisoning in dogs and cats.
Various symptoms show taro poisoning, including the following.
- Inflamed skin
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Eye irritation
- Swollen tongue and mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Breathing difficulties
The symptoms above will vary with the amount of taro consumed.
At the same time, eating taro contributes to various health complications in dogs, including these:
Dogs can experience gastrointestinal obstruction after eating taro, preventing food and water from passing through the tract. In extreme cases, a gastrointestinal blockage can cause the dog’s death in three to seven days.
Taro contains calcium oxalate that causes kidney stones in humans and dogs. They also contribute to significant kidney and organ damage in dogs.
Digestive System Issues
Dogs have a fragile digestive system that taro can adversely affect. Taro poisoning will trigger stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs.
Eating taro can cause gastrointestinal obstruction, resulting in inadequate air supply to the body. It also causes the upper airways of the pet to swell, causing breathing and swallowing issues.
Taro Poisoning Diagnosis and Treatment
While you might notice taro poisoning symptoms, only a qualified vet can diagnose the condition. This professional shall conduct a comprehensive physical examination, checking blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and reflexes. Various laboratory tests will also suffice to confirm taro poisoning.
The vet will collect tissue samples through endoscopy to test for inflammation and bleeding, particularly in the dog’s digestive system. This test will also help establish whether there are any obstructions.
Once confirmed, the vet will consider induced vomiting, detox, or medication. Induced vomiting requires the dog to ingest peroxide, which triggers the process within ten to 15 minutes. You could also use activated charcoal to absorb contaminants in the body.
Rehydrating your dog will help flush out toxins from the body. You could use different fluids via the IV line. On the other hand, the vet can consider different prescriptions, including antacids, electrolytes, and corticosteroids.
What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Taro?
While preventive measures will help protect your dog against tar poisoning, it can still find access to this root vegetable. The dog will exhibit taro poisoning symptoms, including those above. In such cases, you’ll need urgent medical help.
Ensure that the dog does not access any more taro. You must also avoid inducing vomiting unless the vet authorizes it.
Alternatives to Taro
While taro is a root vegetable, it is not ideal for your pet. You’ll need to consider other root vegetables that can provide similar nutritional value as alternatives, including sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets.
Related: Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can’t Eat
A healthy dog is an excellent partner at home. Yet, its health will depend on what you feed it. You’ll avoid various vegetables, including taro. While taro is a good root vegetable, ensure that you keep it away from your dog, as it causes taro poisoning.