Every summer, I make small cups of sweet refreshing Tapioca pudding for my friends and family. With summer coming our way, it’s time for me to make Tapioca pudding again. Last week as I was making them, my two dogs gave me those puppy eyes. Before I gave them each a spoonful, I wondered if Tapioca pudding was safe for them to eat, which inspired me to write this article.
Can dogs eat Tapioca pudding? Yes, dogs can eat Tapioca pudding in small amounts or just one tablespoon. Tapioca pudding does contain three main ingredients that may upset your dog’s stomach or cause weight gain. For these reasons, it’s best not to feed your pooch Tapioca pudding on a regular basis.
Can dogs have Tapioca pudding?
Store-bought Tapioca pudding is not safe for dogs to eat. Below, we will use Snack Pack Tapioca pudding as an example.
If you’re making Tapioca pudding at home for your pooch, be sure to consider the ingredients you’re putting into it. Some ingredients used to make Tapioca pudding may not be safe for doggy consumption.
What is Tapioca pudding?
As the name suggests, Tapioca pudding is made with Tapioca. The pudding is sweet due to the ingredients used such as milk or cream, sugar, and tapioca. In countries like India, coconut milk may sometimes be used to substitute milk, especially if coconut milk is one of their common ingredients used for cooking.
The Tapioca pudding can come in a variety of consistency depending on each individual’s preferences. Some people like their Tapioca pudding to be firm and thick while others may prefer their Tapioca pudding to be runny and thin.
Tapioca puddings that have a firm consistency may require you to use a fork while the runny consistency may require a spoon.
Many people will buy packaged Tapioca mixes from their local grocery store and make the Tapioca pudding from there. You can also make the Tapioca pudding from scratch.
Since tapioca comes in flakes, pearls, flour, and coarse meal, you can make the Tapioca pudding into any consistency you prefer.
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What is in Tapioca pudding?
Tapioca pudding usually has the following main ingredients:
- Whole milk or coconut milk or 2% milk.
- Vanilla extract.
Here is the list of ingredients found in one of the well-known Tapioca pudding:
Snack Pack Tapioca pudding
- Nonfat Milk.
- Palm Oil.
- Modified Corn Starch.
- Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Disodium Phosphate, Artificial Flavor, Yellow 5 Lake, and Yellow 6 Lake.
We will discuss each of these ingredients and see which one is safe for doggy consumption and which ones are potentially harmful to our canine companions.
Fun Fact: Many people throughout the U.S. enjoy the Boba drink during their midday Boba break.
Tapioca is safe for dogs in moderation
Per our previous post on Can Dogs Eat Tapioca, we’ve established that Tapioca is safe for your dogs to eat. In fact, Tapioca is actually added to many dog treats and dog food. They can be found in canned dog food and in kibbles.
If your furry family member is allergic to grain-based starch, then Tapioca is a great starch alternative. Tapioca is also gluten-free if your pooch is allergic to gluten.
While dogs can safely eat Tapioca in the Tapioca pudding, be mindful to only feed them Tapioca in moderation and make sure the Tapioca is fully cooked. Excessive consumption of any food can be harmful to dogs.
Whole milk and nonfat milk (Safe in moderation for lactose-tolerant dogs)
Whether you’re using whole milk, nonfat milk, coconut milk or 2% milk in your Tapioca pudding, they are all dairy products. Most dogs are lactose-intolerant which means they lack the lactase enzyme that is responsible for breaking down sugar in milk or dairy products.
Dogs can get their nutritional benefits from milk elsewhere if they are lactose-intolerant such as from Brussel sprouts or carrots.
If your pooch accidentally eats Tapioca pudding with milk or other dairy products, he may react and show the following symptoms:
- Gastrointestinal upset.
- Upset stomach.
Even if your canine companions are not lactose-intolerant, consider feeding them dairy-based food in moderation.
Coconut milk is safe for dogs in moderation
Coconut milk is safe for dogs and may provide them with nutritional benefits. However, it’s best to keep in mind that you should feed coconut milk to your furry friends in moderation.
There are two types of coconut milk.
- Regular coconut milk (may contain sugar)
- Unsweetened coconut milk
Be sure to only give your pooch the unsweetened coconut milk because the regular coconut milk may have added sugar that can cause weight gain from the unnecessary calories and this can harm your dog’s health.
Check the coconut milk that is used in the Tapioca pudding. If it contains stabilizers like xanthan gum or carrageenan, then it’s best to avoid feeding Tapioca pudding to your pooch. Both xanthan gum and carrageenan can cause upset stomach and stomach irritation in dogs.
If you’re making Tapioca pudding at home, it’s best to use organic coconut milk because you’ll have peace of mind that the coconut milk does not contain pesticides. Coconut milk gives your furry friend that nice shiny coat.
Always use coconut milk that has not been processed for your pup, if you can. When coconut milk is processed, it could lose some of its nutritional benefits.
Sugar is harmful to dogs
The sugar found in Tapioca pudding is harmful to your dog’s health. Our canine friends do not need the added sugar found in Tapioca pudding. Regularly eating food with high amounts of sugar can cause diabetes, canine obesity, kidney issues, urinary tract infection, and arthritis.
A 3.25oz Snack Pack Tapioca Pudding cup has 13g of sugar. That is a lot of sugar for a dog if they devour the whole cup of Tapioca pudding.
If your pooch has a sweet tooth, replace sugar with honey or natural fruits that are canine-friendly such as apple, blueberries, peach, and pumpkin.
Handy Hint: To raise and maintain a healthy dog, a good rule of thumb is to avoid feeding them any food or human drinks like Sprite that contains artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Eggs are safe for dogs in moderation
Eggs are one of the ingredients in Tapioca pudding that are safe for dogs. If you’re making your Tapioca pudding from scratch and are using eggs, that should be fine.
Eggs are packed with protein, Vitamin A, and a wonderful source of linoleic acid for our four-legged friends. But be sure the eggs are fully cooked as raw eggs can contain Salmonella.
Eggs also give your furry family member a nice shiny coat. As with any food, moderation is key here.
Salt is harmful to dogs in large quantity
If you’re only adding a little bit of salt into your homemade Tapioca pudding, then it should be fine for dogs.
Taking a look at the amount of sodium used in the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding, we find that a 3.25oz cup contains 115mg of sodium. A general rule for salt consumption in dogs is to stay within 0.25g to 1.5g of salt per 100g of food.
If your pooch consumes the whole 3.25oz cup of Snack Pack Tapioca pudding as a snack, this means that they have ingested 0.115g of salt from this Tapioca pudding alone, which may put them at risk of sodium poisoning or hypernatremia.
Remember that their regular dog food may already contain the necessary salt they need that day. By eating the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding, he may go over the sodium intake amount.
Ingesting too much salt can result in the following:
If you want to, be sure to only feed your pooch a small amount of the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding.
Vanilla extract is harmful to dogs
Be careful with how much vanilla extract you’re using in your homemade Tapioca pudding. The reason is that vanilla extract has a high alcohol content. Since the dog’s digestive system is not able to properly break down the alcohol in the vanilla extract, it can be toxic to them.
If you plan to make Tapioca pudding for your pooch, it’s best to keep the Tapioca pudding canine-friendly by skipping the vanilla extract ingredient or using the alcohol-free vanilla extract instead. Otherwise, you could put your pooch at risk for alcohol poisoning and they may have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing.
- Become uncoordinated in their movement.
Fun Fact: Vanilla extract is a key ingredient in Fortune Cookies. It is what helps give Fortune Cookies their distinct vanilla flavor.
Palm oil is harmful to dogs
The palm oil ingredient is found in the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding and it is very toxic to our canine companions. Eating food that contains even a small amount of palm oil can cause severe dehydration in dogs.
It’s natural for dogs to start vomiting or have diarrhea in order to expel the toxic food from their system.
Here are some of the symptoms from ingesting food that contains palm oil:
- Gut blockage.
- Seriously ill.
- Develop pancreatitis.
- Upset stomach.
If you’re making homemade Tapioca pudding, choose oils that are dog-friendly such as coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sunflower oil. These are healthier alternatives to palm oil.
Modified corn starch provides no nutritional benefit to dogs
Modified corn starch is a common filler used in many dog foods. Modified corn starch is an ingredient in dog food that does not add any nutritional benefits to dogs. It’s best to avoid dog food that uses a lot of modified corn starch.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid feeding your pooch the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding.
Sodium stearoyl lactylate is harmful to dogs
Did you know that sodium stearoyl lactylate is linked to many health issues? It is an unnecessary ingredient that is used in Snack Pack Tapioca pudding as a way to make the process cheaper and faster.
Although the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding contains 2% or less of the sodium stearoyl lactylate ingredient, knowing that it can cause health issues is enough for me to not give this snack to my furry family members.
Artificial Flavors are not healthy for dogs
Artificial flavors are not healthy for dogs. Make sure the artificial flavor does not contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs.
Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake is bad for dogs
Since Snack Pack Tapioca pudding contains Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake, I would avoid feeding it to your pooch. Both do not provide any nutritional benefit for dogs.
In fact, studies have shown that Yellow 5 has affected children’s behavior and triggered hyperactivity. Yellow 5 may also be contaminated with a few cancer-causing chemicals.
Yellow 6 is no better. Like Yellow 5, it may also be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. The scary part is that it has caused adrenal tumors in animals.
Due to these reasons, it’s best to avoid feeding your furry companion the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding.
Fun Fact: Similar to Tapioca pudding, Fruit Snacks also has artificial flavors and artificial food coloring in its ingredients.
Tapioca pudding nutrition facts
To fully understand how Tapioca pudding can affect our canine companions, it’s important to look at the nutritional profile of this snack.
Here is the nutrition profile of a typical Tapioca pudding:
Typical Tapioca Pudding Nutritional Profile (1 pudding cup or 3.25 oz)
|Total Fat, g||2.2|
|Saturated Fat, g||1.4|
Snack Pack Tapioca Pudding Nutritional Profile (1 pudding cup or 3.25 oz)
|Total Fat, g||3|
|Saturated Fat, g||2|
Calories in Tapioca pudding
A dog should only consume about 25 calories for each pound they weigh. This means that:
A small 10 pound dog should only have about 250 calories each day.
If we take a look at the calories found in both the typical Tapioca pudding and the Snack Pack Tapioca pudding, we can see that eating any one of these pudding cups would fill up almost half of your dog’s calorie intake.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to snacks is the 90/10 rule. This means 10% of your dog’s daily intake can be from snacks.
In this case, your small pooch would consume more than 10% from this snack.
So, can dogs eat Tapioca pudding?
As we learn from the information above, Tapioca pudding is not safe for dogs to eat due to the ingredients in this snack. If you must, consider giving them a small amount such as one tablespoon.
If your pooch has a sweet tooth, opt for healthier dog-friendly fruits and snacks instead.
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I’m a pet lover who has years of pet sitting and grooming experience. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with all pet owners so they can also keep their canine companions healthy, happy, and clean!