Why Yucca Root for Dogs?
You might have heard of yucca root: sometimes referred to as cassava, Brazilian arrowroot, yuca or yucca schidigera. Yucca root is most commonly found today in organic pet foods, shampoos, and soaps and is classified as a category 2 herb, meaning that it is safe in small, measured doses – but how much is safe for your dog?
While it’s emerging as a medicinal aid effective in treating many diseases and conditions in both humans and pets, it can be poisonous if consumed in large doses. To gain the benefits for your dog’s health, it is therefore essential to understand how to use it.
In this article, Hypro Premium explains everything you need to know about yucca root and its potential to alleviate health problems—from joint pain and arthritis, to problems with the digestive and immune system.
What is Yucca Root?
Yucca root is by no means a new plant. The first evidence of this shrub’s use was around 1400 years ago in El Salvador. By 1492 it had become more widely used by tribes in Southern North America due to its high nutritional value and natural healing properties for arthritis and joint pain. Only recently has it become more recognised as a medicinal aid due to further research taken by naturopaths, herbalists, scientists and medical professionals. Yucca root’s main active compound is saponin. Saponins (or steroidal saponins) are often found in chestnut powder, natural soaps and ivy leaves and are characterised for foaming up when mixed with water. Although toxic in nature, saponins have incredible healing qualities when consumed in small doses. The yucca root powder for dogs is your best bet in ensuring that a safe amount is consumed, given that you’ve first spoken with your local vet.
Nutritional Benefits of Yucca Root in Dog Food
Yucca root contains many ingredients that are high in calories, carbohydrates, fibre and vitamins such as vitamin C and manganese. The saponins found in yucca root also have a curious ability to mimic cortisone hormones—which are known for managing stress response, the immune system, the digestive system, inflammation levels, and levels of electrolytes in the blood.
Below, we explore some of the key benefits of yucca root in greater depth.
Benefits for Your Dog’s Digestive Tract
Yucca root for dogs is a great aid for dogs having trouble with digestion. Funnily, the function of steroidal saponins in our everyday cleaning products extends to the internal cleaning of the small intestine when consumed in advised quantities for dogs. Once the intestine is free of excess waste, it is able to effectively absorb minerals and vitamins which ensures a healthy digestive system. Yucca root can help to balance the gut bacteria and soothe the intestines, as it includes:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
In having anti-inflammatory properties, yucca root can ease digestive problems as it relaxes stomach muscles and stimulates the production of stomach acid which breaks down food, increases appetite, and relieves gas. Additionally, the cortisone hormone produced by the saponins naturally reduces inflammation in dogs with stomach irritation and bowel and bladder problems.
Promoting Joint Health and Relieving Arthritis
The yucca root benefits for dogs with joint pain and arthritis has emerged in studies and reports by naturopaths and vets who claim a 50-80% success rate for its alleviation of symptoms. Joint pain and arthritis are caused by inflammation and swelling in the muscle tissues caused by buildup of toxins. This reduces the flow of blood to the affected areas and can at times solidify, causing stiffness and chronic conditions such as arthritis.
The yucca root powder for dogs has anti-inflammatory properties, due to its corticosteroid component. Particularly in the case of arthritis and joint related issues in dogs, corticosteroids help in breaking down these mineral deposits found in joints and thus cleanses the organs, promotes a healthy blood flow and further tissue repair.
Continued addition to your dog’s food will promote a stronger structural system as the bones, joints and muscles will continue to absorb the nutritional properties of the yucca root. If your dog has joint problems or arthritis, or you’re simply unsure of whether to add yucca root to your dog’s food, speak to your veterinarian.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Yucca Root?
Absolutely not! When eaten raw, this plant is highly poisonous for both pets and humans as it contains chemicals that trigger hydrogen cyanide. Consumed raw or above the recommended quantity upends the yucca root benefits for dogs.
Excess consumption can lead to:
- Intestinal bloating
- Sensitivity to light
- Damaged stomach-lining and intestinal mucosa.
This is why the yucca root for dogs is preferably consumed in its extract powder form, which can generally be found at health food stores and vets. You can either add the yucca root powder for dogs to their Hypro Premium meal, or if preferred in liquid form using a syringe directly or a dropper. Begin by introducing gradually over a 2 week period, following a four days on, three days off schedule to avoid digestive tissue irritation.
Yucca Root in Hypro Premium Dog Food
With this information on hand, you’ve got everything you need to know about introducing yucca root into your dog’s diet.
Before rushing to buy yucca root for dogs, ensure a healthy diet to begin with: yucca root is an aid rather than a nutritional supplement. This can be found in Hypro Premium dog food; we offer a range of organic and locally sourced products. Our dog food provides the optimal nutritional balance of ingredients, and is trusted by pet owners across Australia.
If you are unsure about the dosage, notice negative side effects or you’d like to discuss whether yucca root is right for your pet, be sure to speak with your vet.