Last Updated on 11/17/2021 by Veronica Jones
It’s Friday night. Your pup won’t leave your side as you tuck into your regular Chinese takeaway dish with bamboo shoots. Sound familiar? All dog owners can relate to this scenario.
As a responsible pet parent, you’re probably worried about the implications of sharing your food with your furry friend. So, can dogs eat bamboo shoots? This article will tell you everything you need to know.
What are bamboo shoots?
Bamboo shoots are the soft, edible parts of the bamboo plant that are often found in Asian cuisine, Asian dishes and Chinese food such as stir-frys. Bamboo shoots come in different forms including fresh, canned and dried. Dogs in Asia come into contact with bamboo frequently, but as more and more households cook or eat bamboo shoots, pooches all over the world are witnessing this form of vegetable.
Can dogs eat bamboo shoots?
Yes, dogs can eat bamboo shoots because they are not toxic to dogs. Bamboo shoots can actually benefit your dog’s health as they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as long as they are prepared and fed correctly. However, too many bamboo shoots can make your dog’s tummy poorly.
Are bamboo shoots poisonous to dogs?
In Chinese dishes, bamboo shoots are often cooked with ingredients such as soy sauce and spices, which can make your dog sick if they contain toxic ingredients such as onion and garlic.
Onion and garlic belong to the Allium family of herbs, which are poisonous to many pets, and can affect a dog’s heart health. Vomiting may be an early sign of toxicity in dogs, however the most dangerous part of these herbs can damage your pup’s red blood cells, preventing oxygen from being carried around his body. A rapid heart rate, panting, weakness and discolored urine are all signs that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t and an emergency trip to the vet is needed.
If you want to give your dog bamboo shoots, opt for the fresh variety rather than canned or dried bamboo to avoid putting your dog at risk of consuming toxic ingredients. Also, you should avoid giving your dog raw bamboo shoots.
If you think your pup has eaten too much bamboo, contact your vet to discuss what to do.
Health benefits of bamboo shoots for dogs
If given in moderation, fresh bamboo shoots can have the following health benefits for dogs:
• Low-calorie and zero sugar – unlike most snacks, bamboo shoots do not contain high levels of salt or sugar that can lead to obesity. They make a great choice for a healthy snack.
• A good source of protein – the protein in bamboo shoots can help your pup maintain and repair muscles to keep them strong, benefiting your dog’s overall health.
• Anti-inflammatory – it’s believed that bamboo shoots contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can be used to treat wounds and stomach ulcers.
• Promotes good cardiovascular health – studies show that bamboo shoots can have positive effects on cholesterol and lipid levels in dogs by reducing arterial blockages and improving blood circulation.
• Strengthens the immune system – Vitamin A and E is known to protect a dog’s immune system from diseases.
• High in minerals and vitamins – zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus all contribute to your dog’s energy and promotes strong bones. Bamboo also contains Vitamin E which can help maintain healthy cells and even prevent some cancers.
- Bamboo shoots are one of many antioxidant rich foods that can help dogs fight diseases.
What happens if a dog eats a bamboo plant?
If you like to keep bamboo plants in your home or backyard, you’ll be pleased to know that a bamboo plant is not toxic to dogs either and will not harm them if they chew on it or take a bite.
Bamboo can actually be good for a dog’s teeth and act as a good chew stick. However, it is advised that bamboo shoots should be cooked to remove any signs of cyanide that can be found in the raw shoots.
Not all species of bamboo are safe for dogs, so it’s important to make sure you’re aware which ones to avoid before letting your pup tuck in. Heavenly Bamboo and Sacred Bamboo are shrubs that bloom white blossoms and red cherries. These contain cyanogenic glycosides that are toxic to animals and should be kept away from your dog.
Are canned bamboo shoots safe to eat?
Canned foods usually contain lots of added salt, so it’s best to avoid giving your pup canned bamboo shoots to snack on. Excessive levels of sodium in dogs can lead to weight gain, heart disease and other health problems. Canned bamboo shoots may also contain additives that could lead to gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
How to prepare bamboo shoots for Dogs
Firstly, bamboo shoots should not become a daily treat as they can cause digestive issues and an upset stomach if eaten in large amounts.
Secondly, if you decide to treat your pup to some bamboo shoots, they should always be cooked first. Cyanogenic glycoside is found in raw bamboo shoots and other foods such as peaches. This harmful ingredient is toxic to dogs and humans. You should inform your veterinarian immediately if your canine eats raw bamboo shoots.
Cut the freshly cooked bamboo shoots up into small pieces to ensure your dog can easily eat them without choking. As with all new foods, you should introduce bamboo shoots slowly as they are not a natural part of a dog’s diet.
Dogs and bamboo shoots
So, the next time your dog manages to snatch a bit of your Chinese takeout, there’s no need to call your vet immediately. If you take the right precautions and only feed your pup small bits of cooked bamboo shoots, you can rest easy knowing that they won’t cause your pet any harm.
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- ASPCA “non-toxic food for dogs” https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/bamboo Accessed 15th October 2021
- VCA Hospitals “onion and garlic toxicity in dogs” https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/onion-garlic-chive-and-leek-toxicity-in-dogs Accessed 15th October 2021