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Can Dogs Eat Taro? (Is it Safe or Harmful?) 

Dogs cannot eat taro. It is fatal to them whether eaten raw or cooked. The calcium oxalate crystals found in taro cause fatal health complications when consumed.

A dog will eat anything it sees, including harmful foods if given a chance. Dog owners are responsible for choosing the right food for their dogs. 

Root crops, like potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes, are beneficial to dogs. But what about taro? Is it harmful or safe? Can dogs eat this tropical root crop?

This article looks into whether taro is safe or harmful to dogs. 

Can You Feed Your Dog Taro?

Dogs should not be fed taro as it is toxic to them. This root crop is rich in calcium oxalate, a compound that causes health complications, such as toxicosis, kidney damage, and renal failure. 

Taro is a tropical root crop native to Southeast Asia[1]. Its appearance is similar to a potato but with hairy brown skin. This root crop is toxic to dogs and can cause various health problems[2]

If your dog has eaten taro, immediately seek the assistance of your veterinarian or animal poison control. Signs of taro poisoning include: 

  • Frequent urination
  • Skin inflammation 
  • Infrequent urination
  • Halitosis
  • Change in appetite and behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy drooling
  • Red skin and eyes

Can Dogs Eat Raw Taro?

No. Dogs cannot eat raw taro because it contains high amounts of calcium oxalates. Raw Taro can be fatal to dogs. 

Can You Feed Your Dog Taro

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Taro?

Although a study found that cooking lessens vegetable oxalate levels, cooked taro still contains significant amounts of calcium oxalate. No matter the method, do not feed your dog taro. 

Is Taro Safe for Dogs to Eat?

No. Taro is not safe for dogs to eat. It is rich in raphide crystals which can cause tissue injuries, gastrointestinal complications, and urinary tract problems. 

Taro contains plenty of nutrients[3] including: 

  • Fiber
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E

Although rich in essential nutrients, this root crop contains calcium oxalate crystals with different shapes. 

Calcium oxalate is a type of crystal that makes taro harmful to dogs. Its shape can be druse or raphide. Both shapes have sharp edges that can penetrate tissue or obstruct the digestive or urinary tract, causing numerous health complications:

  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Mouth swelling
  • Oral Irritation
  • Stomach irritation, resulting in frequent vomiting
  • Renal Failure
  • Respiratory arrest 
  • Nausea

Even in small amounts, taro can irritate your dog’s digestive tract. Avoid serving your dog taro and consider taro alternatives. If your dog ate taro, remember to seek veterinary care immediately. 

Is Taro Safe for Dogs to Eat

Is Taro Harmful to Dogs?

Yes. Due to its high calcium oxalate content, taro is harmful to dogs. Seek medical assistance if you suspect your dog ate taro. 

Feeding taro to your dog is harmful regardless of its serving. Each part of taro (root, leaves, stem) contains Calcium oxalate crystals that penetrate, irritate, or obstruct your dog’s digestive and urinary system. These crystals are insoluble – a material that does not dissolve in water and body fluids.

What Does Taro Do to Dogs?

When your dog eats a dish with taro, its severity depends on how much your dog ate. Small amounts can cause minor health problems: 

  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling
  • Red skin and eyes
  • Nausea 
  • Excessive flatulence 

Eating too much taro can lead to more severe issues: 

  • Renal Failure 
  • Respiratory arrest 
  • Kidney Failure
  • Urinary Tract Infection

Treatment for taro poisoning depends on its severity and present symptoms. Avoid feeding your dog taro or any taro-based product to avoid health complications. 

What To Do When Your Dog Eats Taro?

If your dog ate taro, you should immediately bring your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic. Treatment depends on its severity. The usual treatment is to remove the toxins in your dog’s body. 

Do not induce your dog to vomit. Forcing it to vomit can make it worse. Avoid feeding your dog salt water or hydrogen peroxide without your veterinarian’s discretion. 

If necessary, your vet will instruct you about the proper measurements should your vet require your dog to vomit. 

What To Do When Your Dog Eats Taro

Alternatives to Taro

Taro contains essential nutrients, but it is high Calcium oxalate content makes it harmful for dogs. 

Here are nutritious alternatives to taro: 

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Snap Peas
  • Soy
  • Swiss Chard

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a low-carb fruit that contains various nutrients such as Carotene, Potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. This fruit strengthens your dog’s immune system and eyesight, muscle, heart, and more. 

Avoid feeding your dog too much spaghetti squash as it can upset your dog’s stomach. 

Nutrient Per 100g (Boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 27 kcal
Total Fat 0.26 g
Protein 0.66 g
Carotene, beta 59 µg
Potassium, K 117 mg

Data taken from the U.S Department of Agriculture[4]

Related: Can Dogs Eat Spaghetti Squash?

Snap Peas

Snap peas are beneficial to dogs and a better alternative to taro. This vegetable is rich in Vitamin A, C, Magnesium, Potassium, and more. Remember to serve snap peas in moderate amounts as it is rich in sugar and carbohydrates.

Nutrient Per 100g (Boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 40 kcal
Total Fat 0.23 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin C 47.9 mg
Potassium, K 240 mg

Data taken from the U.S Department of Agriculture[5]

Related: Can Dogs Eat Snap Peas?

Soy

Soy is an excellent alternative to taro. It is low in sodium, cholesterol, and sugar. This legume also has several nutrients: 

  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Zinc
  • And more

Before feeding your dog soy, make sure that it is not allergic to it. Serve soy to them in moderate amounts because too much can upset your dog’s stomach.

Nutrient Per 100g (Boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 172 kcal
Total Fat 8.97 g
Protein 18.2 g
Potassium, K  515 mg
Phosphorus, P  245 mg

Data taken from the U.S Department of Agriculture[6]

Related: Can Dogs Eat Soy?

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is a leafy vegetable rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin A, iron, and other essential nutrients. This legume is similar to taro but without the risk of fatal health complications. 

Large amounts of swiss chard can lead to excessive flatulence or, at the worst, diarrhea. 

Nutrient Per 100g (Boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 35 kcal
Total Fat 0.14 g
Protein 3.29 g
Vitamin A 536 µg
Potassium, K 961 mg

Data taken from the U.S Department of Agriculture[7]

Related: Can Dogs Eat Swiss Chard?

Conclusion

Dogs cannot eat taro. This root crop contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause several health complications. These crystals can damage your dog’s body, whether in small or large amounts.  

If your dog ate taro, immediately contact your veterinarian to determine the proper course of action. Consider feeding them snap peas, spaghetti squash, swiss chard, and soy as healthy alternatives to taro. 

FAQs

How Much Taro Can I Feed My Dog?

Do not feed your dog taro, whether in small or large amounts. All parts of the taro plant contain calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can penetrate your dog’s tissue and irritate its mouth or stomach. It can even obstruct your dog’s breathing by penetrating its respiratory system. 

Are Taro Plants Poisonous?

Yes. Taro plants are toxic to dogs. These plants contain large amounts of calcium oxalate crystals which causes health problems. Cooking taro plants makes it safe for human consumption but not for dogs. 

What Happens When My Dog Eats Taro? 

Calcium oxalate crystals enter your dog’s body. These crystals then penetrate your dog’s tissues, which causes irritation, difficulty breathing, or pain. 

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.