Can Dogs Eat Cooked Yucca? What Are The Risks?
Yucca is a popular ornamental plant, but it’s also widely used for medicinal purposes in some countries. While some eat parts of this plant, many wonder, can dogs eat cooked yucca?
Before we proceed, I want to clarify that the yucca shrub is different from the yuca root crop. They are not interchangeable and have major differences.
Below, I discussed these differences together with other things you need to know about this ornamental plant. Keep reading, especially if you own one in your garden.
What is yucca?
Yucca is a shrub typically found in areas with arid climates. It’s a group of shrubs with over 40 types, which are mostly found in Mexican deserts as well as the southwest region of the United States.
All these varieties have tall stalks and white flowers as well as long, thin leaves. Nowadays, it’s used for ornamental purposes, though it also contains medicinal properties.
Moreover, there are commercial products blended with yucca extracts. It’s because yucca contains resveratrol, which is believed to ease high blood pressure.
Aside from that, yucca extracts are used as a natural foaming agent, thanks to their saponin content. You can find it on some soap and shampoo products.
In terms of medicinal purposes, the yucca root contains Vitamins A, B, and C. It’s also a good source of minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Some make it into tea or as a skin regimen due to its inflammatory properties.
Overall, yucca is a hardy plant, which can survive intense heat. It’s also a favorite of many gardeners since it doesn’t die easily, not to mention that it’s also decorative.
Is cooked yucca safe for dogs?
Take note that the yucca plant is dangerous for dogs. The saponin content of all of its parts can easily put a canine’s life in danger.
In fact, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) lists yucca as a toxic substance for dogs, cats, and horses.
When ingested, yucca will trigger diarrhea and vomiting in pets. If consumed in large amounts, your doggo may suffer from a serious case of poisoning.
Although some cook parts of yucca for medicinal purposes, it should never be given to dogs. Sure, yucca extracts can potentially ease joint pain in humans, but they won’t be the same for animals.
Whether it’s the root, leaf, stem, or flower, it should never be fed to dogs. If your pooch accidentally consumed or chewed your yucca plant, it’s best to bring the dog to the vet immediately.
Take note that yucca also contains cyanide, which is deadly for a dog. Even if you cook it, the saponins will remain and still make all the plant’s parts toxic.
Again, you shouldn’t mistake the yucca shrub for the yuca plant. The latter is just another term for cassava, which is widely used for cooking.
Signs of yucca poisoning in dogs
Dogs are naturally curious beings, so don’t be surprised if they will try to taste your yucca plant. If you suspect that your pooch indeed consumed parts of the plant, you should watch out for the following symptoms:
- Intense drooling
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- High blood pressure
- Labored or rapid breathing
- Abdominal pain
It’s important to bring your dog to the vet if diarrhea and vomiting aren’t subsiding. Dehydration is your enemy here, which can put your pet’s life at risk.
In some cases, the dog may not exhibit immediate signs of poisoning until its condition is already worse. You should be proactive and call the vet immediately.
If your dog’s veterinarian isn’t reachable, you can call a local pet hotline. Your goal is to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
Treating yucca poisoning in dogs
If your dog consumed or nibbled on yucca, it’s important to bring it to the vet immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage the toxin can do to the dog’s body.
Depending on the extent of your dog’s consumption, the vet may order a urinalysis and a complete blood count. Endoscopy may also be performed if parts of the yucca shrub got stuck in your dog’s throat.
In most cases, the vet will induce vomiting to flush out any undigested yucca. After that, your dog will be placed on an IV to replenish all lost fluids.
Some dogs will need antibiotics and other medications to combat the damage yucca may bring. This is especially true for canines already suffering from kidney or liver disease.
Why is yucca not pet-friendly?
Yucca is not safe for furry pets due to its toxicity level. All parts of this shrub can put your dog’s life at risk, especially if chewed in substantial amounts.
Aside from that, yucca has steroidal saponins, which keep it safe against fungi and insects. For dogs, these saponins will lead to signs of poisoning.
Why is yucca in dog food?
Interestingly, some pet food brands use a small amount of yucca schidigera in their formulas. It’s intended to reduce poop smell by inhibiting the production of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.
Still, the yucca content is extremely minuscule and has to undergo thorough commercial processing. Also, very few pet food manufacturers use it due to the associated risks.
Overall, you should never attempt to add yucca to your dog’s homemade meals. Since it’s not processed properly, the yucca content can cause poisoning.
Is red yucca toxic to dogs?
Red yucca, also called hummingbird yucca, is also toxic to dogs. If ingested, your pet will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.
It also contains saponins and cyanide, which are both poisonous to canines. Still, this is a popular long-blooming plant used in landscaping and gardening.
If possible, you should avoid planting it in your garden if your dog is notorious for chewing plants.
Can dogs eat cooked yucca? No, you should never feed your dog yucca, whether it’s cooked or not.
This plant is toxic, especially in large amounts. If your dog accidentally consumed it, you must seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
You should never waste time because poisoning gets more life-threatening by the hour. Also, some dogs won’t exhibit signs of yucca poisoning until it’s already worse.