Can Dogs Eat Yucca? The answer is No, dogs cannot eat yucca in its raw form. If you’re a dog owner, you may have heard that yucca can be used as a natural remedy for inflammatory conditions like arthritis in your pup.
While this may be true, you need to look out for what kind of yucca you’re feeding your dog since raw yucca is toxic and only specific forms of the plant are suitable for dogs.
So, can dogs eat yucca in forms other than raw? Keep reading to find out what kind of yucca is safe for your pup and what to do if your dog eats raw yucca.
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Different Forms of Yucca
Yucca is a succulent plant that is a member of the Asparagaceae family. There are several types of the yucca plant and they can be found naturally growing in dry climates in many places in the US.
Yucca comes in many forms, with some being safe for dogs to consume, and other forms being toxic. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the different forms this plant can come in and which forms are safe to feed to your dog.
- Root Powder – Yucca root powder is ground from the root of the yucca plant. This form of yucca is safe for dogs to have in small quantities to address health issues like inflammation. It can also help with itching and promote joint health. If you are considering giving your dog yucca root powder, be sure to check in with your vet first. It’s important that she knows about all the supplements you give your dog, and she can offer guidance on dosage and how to find quality and safe yucca root powder for your pup.
- Leaves – The leaves of the yucca plant are long and thin and do not contain toxins. For this reason, they are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, yucca leaves don’t contain the same beneficial ingredients that the root does, so it’s best not to feed your dog the yucca leaf since there is no health benefit. Keep in mind that leaves are different from the long pointy green spines that you might see growing from certain types of yucca plants. Spines do have toxins and should be avoided altogether.
- Plant – The stems or trunks of the yucca plant contain saponins, which are chemicals that the plant uses to store carbohydrates during times of drought. Saponin not only has a gross soapy taste that your dog wouldn’t like, but it is also very toxic to dogs. You should never feed yucca plants to your dog for this reason, as it can cause serious health effects that can be fatal if left untreated.
- Fries – Yucca fries are pieces of the yucca plant that have been prepared and cooked for human consumption. You may think that because we can eat yucca fries, our dogs can too. But this is not true. Yucca fries still contain active forms of saponin, so they are still toxic to your pup. You should never feed yucca fries to him or leave them out where your dog can get them without you seeing them.
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What Can Happen If My Dog Eats Yucca?
Now that you know which forms of yucca are safe to give to your dog, you can be diligent in making sure he doesn’t get into any toxic forms of the plant.
But even still, accidents happen. And in certain parts of the US, yucca plants grow in the wild and some people use them in their landscaping.
For this reason, you should be aware of common symptoms your dog might show if he has yucca poisoning, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble walking or moving
- Sensitivity to light
In advanced untreated cases of yucca poisoning, your dog may lose control of his bodily movements, have acute liver disease, or lose consciousness.
The key to successful treatment is fast recognition so you can get your dog to the vet and start treatment immediately. So, make sure you know these signs and have your veterinarian’s phone number somewhere accessible in case of an emergency.
What to do if your Dog Eats Yucca
So, you caught your dog eating yucca. Here’s what you should do:
- Call your veterinarian immediately. They will tell you to come in right away or to get to an emergency vet if they can’t see you. Do not wait. The sooner your fur baby gets to the vet, the better his chances will be at a full recovery.
- Take note of when your dog ate the yucca and how much was ingested and give this information to the vet.
- If possible, grab a sample of the yucca plant to give to your vet to help with the diagnosis.
- At the vet’s office, the doctor will perform a physical exam and any diagnostics that may be necessary, such as x-rays, blood tests, and endoscopy if part of the plant is caught in your pup’s throat.
- After diagnostics, your vet will treat your dog based on the severity of the poisoning. The first line of defense if the yucca poisoning is caught early enough is inducing vomiting to stop your dog’s body from absorbing any more of the toxin. IV fluids and liver-supporting medications might be needed along with monitoring overnight to make sure your dog recovers well.
- When you get home from the vet, be sure to follow all discharge instructions to give your pup the best chance at a comfortable and speedy recovery.
- If your dog got his mouth on yucca on your property, remove all yucca plants as soon as possible to keep it from happening again.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Yucca?
No. Never feed yucca to your dog, even if it’s cooked.
It might be safe for you, but the saponins in the yucca plant are toxic to your pup and can cause liver damage. When you enjoy cooked yucca like yucca fries, always be sure to keep it away from your dog.
Even with your best efforts to keep cooked yucca away from your pup, dogs can be sneaky! So be on the lookout for common signs of yucca poisoning just in case he sneaks a bite without you noticing.
Are Yucca Plants Toxic or Poisonous?
Toxins are poisonous molecules produced by organisms that can be poisonous to other organisms. So that makes yucca plants both toxic and poisonous to dogs since they produce saponins. Saponins are toxic molecules made by the yucca plant that are poisonous when consumed by dogs.
Yucca is not harmful to humans, though. Our bodies are able to deactivate the toxic properties of saponins so they don’t harm us the way they harm dogs.
Is Cooked Yucca Safe For Dogs?
No form of the yucca plant is safe for dogs to eat, cooked, or raw.
The one exception is the root of the yucca plant that can be given in the powdered form in small quantities to help relieve some symptoms of arthritis or skin disorders in dogs. This should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Yucca can be a beneficial natural remedy for dogs if given in the right way in small amounts. But overall, you should be very careful when it comes to yucca and your dog. In most cases, yucca plants are toxic to your furry friend and you should not feed this plant to them.
Yucca root powder is okay in small doses if you get it cleared with your veterinarian. If you think your dog has eaten part of a yucca plant, it’s important to act fast and get him to the vet as soon as possible. Treating yucca poisoning becomes harder and less effective the longer you wait, so be proactive to help your pup recover fast.