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Can Dogs Eat Tapioca? Health Benefits & Dangers (We Asked A Vet)

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Tapioca is a starchy root vegetable that is often used as a thickening agent in soups and pies.

It is also found in many foods like tapioca pudding.

While tapioca is safe for humans to eat, can dogs eat tapioca? Is tapioca safe for dogs?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat tapioca. Tapioca is a gluten-free starch that does not contain harmful toxins to dogs. Since it’s mostly carbohydrates, tapioca shouldn’t make up a large part of a dog’s diet, but in moderation, it’s safe. Dangers only arise from allergies or overeating.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The health benefits of tapioca for dogs
  • The dangers of tapioca for dogs
  • What to do if your dog eats too many
  • And other frequently asked questions

Let’s dive in.

can dogs eat tapioca

What Is Tapioca?

To determine if dogs can eat tapioca, we need to determine what it’s made of.

Tapioca is a grain-free and gluten-free starch extracted from the cassava root. The cassava root is a woody shrub that is native to South America.

The tapioca starch is then used to make tapioca flour, a common ingredient in gluten-free baking.

You can also find tapioca in many different foods, such as:

  • Tapioca pudding
  • Boba tea
  • Pearl milk tea
  • Cassava flour
  • Cassava chips

You can even find some tapioca flour dog treats.

Nutrition Facts

The USDA’s nutrition information for a 100-gram portion (about 2/3 cup) of dry tapioca pearls is as follows:

  • Calories: 358
  • Fat: 0.02g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Carbs: 88.7g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sugars: 3.35g
  • Protein: 0.2g

Can Dogs Eat Tapioca?

Now that we know what tapioca is and what it’s made of, let’s answer the question can dogs eat tapioca.

The short answer is yes, dogs can safely eat tapioca.

Tapioca is a cassava root starch containing no known toxins that are harmful to dogs.

While it is safe, tapioca should not comprise a large part of your dog’s diet.

It’s high in carbohydrates which should only make up a small part of your dog’s food.

Is Tapioca Good For Dogs?

As dog owners, we always want to ensure our babies are eating dog food that is good for them.

Tapioca flour is actually used as a thickening agent in many dog foods.

Tapioca is also a good source of energy for dogs and can help to settle an upset stomach when given small amounts.

However, too much tapioca can do the opposite and cause an upset stomach.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of dogs eating tapioca.

5 Health Benefits Of Tapioca For Dogs

can dogs eat tapioca

While too much of anything can be bad for your dog, there are some health benefits for dogs eating tapioca.

Coat & Skin Health

Another benefit of tapioca for dogs is that it can help to improve their coat and skin health.

This is due to the high levels of vitamins and minerals found in tapioca.

Tapioca can also help to soothe itchy skin and hot spots.

Digestive Health

Tapioca can also be beneficial for dogs that have digestive issues. The soluble fiber in tapioca can help to add bulk to your dog’s stool. It can also help to regulate their digestion.

Tapioca can also help settle an upset stomach and can be given to dogs with vomiting or diarrhea.

Bone Density

Tapioca can also help to improve your dog’s bone density. This is due to the high levels of calcium found in tapioca.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong bones and teeth.

Cardiovascular Health

Tapioca can also help to improve your dog’s cardiovascular health.

This is because tapioca can help to lower cholesterol levels and can also help to regulate blood sugar levels.


Tapioca can also help to give your dog an energy boost. This is because its gluten gree and contains high levels of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates can provide an energy source and help keep your dog active and playful.

4 Dangers Of Dogs Eating Tapioca


While tapioca can be safe and even beneficial for dogs to eat in small amounts, there are some dangers of dogs eating tapioca.


Some dogs may have an adverse reaction to tapioca, although this is not common. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and difficulty breathing.

Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has any of these symptoms after eating tapioca.

Toxic Ingredients

While tapioca is not toxic to dogs, some of the ingredients often found in foods containing tapioca can be.

Some of these ingredients include vanilla extract, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Vanilla extract can be toxic to dogs in large quantities and can cause seizures.

In addition, sweeteners such as xylitol can also be toxic to dogs and cause a drop in blood sugar levels.

This can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Make sure to read the ingredient list of any food that contains tapioca before feeding it to your dog.

Choking Hazard

Tapioca can come in various forms, some of which can be choking hazards for dogs.

For example, tapioca pearls are a choking hazard for dogs.

They can get stuck in your dog’s throat and cause them to choke.

If you give your dog tapioca pearls from Boba (milk tea) or pudding, make sure it’s in small amounts.

Over Consumption

While tapioca is safe for dogs to eat, too much can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

In addition, tapioca is low in fiber but high in carbohydrates, making it relatively high in glycemic index.

This means it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities.

This can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs.

As with any food, moderation is key when feeding tapioca to your dog.

How Much Tapioca Can Dogs Eat?

If you decide to feed your dog tapioca, do so in moderation. Too much can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

If you have a high-energy dog like mine (Enzo), then their daily diet should consist of at least 20% carbohydrates.

However, their diet can contain around 15% carbohydrates if your dog is less active.

It depends on your dog, its lifestyle, and its unique characteristics.

What To Do If Your Dog Accidentally Eats A Lot Of Tapioca?

can dogs eat tapioca

I reached out to Dr. Littlejohn to find out what he’d recommend caring for a dog that overate tapioca.

When you call to speak with a veterinarian over the phone, they will attempt to find out if your dog has any health issues by asking questions.

This is done to see if your dog has had enough to eat first.

They usually ask about the following things:

  • Ingredients in the food 
  • Amount consumed
  • The size of your dog
  • How long ago they consumed it
  • Any changes to your dog’s behaviors
  • Your dog’s energy level
  • Signs of physical pain or discomfort
  • If your dog’s drinking or eating
  • If they vomited or pooped since eating it (and what it looked like)

Each scenario will be unique depending on how much they ate, what they ate, and how big your dog is.

After they have all the information, the veterinarian will give you specific instructions on what to do next based on the situation at hand.

Dogs who overeat tapioca may experience an upset stomach with minor symptoms but nothing severe.

Symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased gas
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal enlargement/distension
  • Distress or inability to get comfortable

In most cases, these signs subside when your dog’s digestive system has had time to process the meal.

They may have diarrhea and vomiting, but it usually subsides after 24 hours. However, if it lasts longer than 24-48 hours, get in touch with your vet.

During this time, be sure your dog is drinking plenty of fluids. If your dog’s condition changes significantly or you are concerned, contact your veterinarian.

Of course, you know your dog best, so if you think something is off, you’re likely right.

Click here if you wish to speak with a vet online right now.

How To Prepare Tapioca For Your Dog To Eat

There is dog food tapioca on the market. Many dog foods will have tapioca listed as an ingredient.

You can also find recipes online for homemade dog food that includes tapioca.

When preparing tapioca for your dog, always start with a small amount to see how they react before serving them.

Tapioca can be given to dogs in a variety of forms.

Owners with dogs that have lactose intolerance can combine tapioca and coconut milk and add the mixture to their dog’s food.

You can also cook tapioca and add it to your dog’s food or feed them cooked tapioca as a treat.

Avoid feeding your dog uncooked tapioca pearls, as they can be a choking hazard.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Give My Dog A Tapioca Pearl?

Yes dogs can eat tapioca perals.

However, they can be a choking hazard and can cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive system.

So make sure to cut them up into small pieces to avoid this.

Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Pudding?

Yes, dogs can eat tapioca pudding.

Make sure it has no raisins, currants, or grapes, as these can be toxic to dogs.

Also, check the label for xylitol, as this can also be toxic to dogs.

Additionally, tapioca pudding can be your dog’s safe and healthy treat.

Further Reading: Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Pudding? Dangers & Tips If They Do

Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Syrup?

Yes, dogs can eat tapioca syrup.

However, ensure it doesn’t have any xylitol as this can be toxic to dogs.

Other than that, tapioca syrup can be safe. Just don’t give them too much as it can be high in sugar.

Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Starch?

Yes, dogs can eat tapioca starch.

Tapioca starch is a safe and healthy treat for your dog. You can add it to their food or give it to them as a treat.

Ensure you don’t overdo it, as too much can lead to an upset stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Tapioca Flour?

Yes, dogs can eat tapioca flour.

Tapioca flour is a safe and healthy treat for your dog. You can add it to their food or give it to them as a treat.

Ensure you don’t overdo it, as too much can lead to an upset stomach.

Final Thoughts

So can dogs have tapioca?

Overall yes, dogs can have tapioca.

Tapioca is a safe and nutritious treat for your dog. It may be served with their dinner or as a special treat.

Just be careful not to go overboard since this can cause an upset stomach.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can Dogs Eat Farro? Benefits & Dangers (Vet Answers)

Can Dogs Eat Liverwurst? Is Liverwurst Good For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Funyuns? Tips If Dogs Eat Funyuns (Vet Answers)