Can My Dog Eat Potatoes?
Potatoes are a kitchen staple that has birthed a long list of mouth-watering snacks such as fries, hash browns, tater tots, and chips. You've probably been tempted to share some of these deep-fried goodies with your canine pal at some point. But one burning question pops into your mind: can my dog eat potatoes?
As a dog owner, you're probably all too familiar with the image of your pup staring at you with pleading eyes from below your dining table. Indulging him from time to time may be fine, but you must know for which foods are fit for your dog and which are not. So, are potatoes safe for dogs or not?
Dogs CAN eat potatoes, but they shouldn't be your go-to treat. If you feed your pup some cooked and unseasoned potatoes once in a while, that's okay. But raw potatoes can be harmful to your dog, so you should avoid feeding them to your pup at all costs.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Potatoes aren't entirely bad for dogs. In fact, as a starchy and protein-rich vegetable, they're often used as a source of such nutrients in store-bought dog food.
However, these ingredients are specially processed for canine consumption and are safer than potatoes you prepare at home. This vegetable can be dangerous for your dog in certain circumstances. But, if you wish to give your canine pal a few bites of freshly cooked potato as an occasional treat, it's okay as long as you're careful.
Are Potatoes Safe for Dogs?
Potatoes can be a healthy and safe snack for your beloved pup, provided that you prepare them correctly beforehand. It's best to peel and cook the potatoes before serving. You shouldn't fry them in oil or add any butter or seasonings since that can irritate your dog's stomach.
As with any other food item, moderation is always key. Too much of anything can never be good for your pup, so limit their potato consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Raw potatoes are a big no-no for canines. Since potatoes belong to the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants, they contain an alkaloid called solanine. This compound can be toxic for dogs in high amounts. So if you have a vegetable garden in your home, keep an eye out and make sure your pup doesn't get their paws on any potato plants that you may be growing.
Raw Potatoes versus Cooked Potatoes
When it comes down to it, cooked potatoes are definitely the safer option. Baking or boiling the potato cuts down the amount of solanine and makes it safer for your pup to eat. Although cooking may not completely eliminate the toxin, it can reduce it to a tolerable level for your dog.
When you're out shopping for potatoes, make sure to check the skin first before purchasing. If the skin is green, then it's unsafe for your canine pal. The green pigment indicates higher levels of solanine, so it's best to avoid it if you can.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
If you're looking for a healthy snack for your pooch, sweet potatoes are the safer and more nutritious option. Since they don't contain the same toxin found in regular potatoes, they're perfectly harmless to your pup.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and dietary fiber, which your dog needs to grow. They're also less likely to damage the digestive tract or trigger an immune response, which is why they're a common source of carbohydrates in dog food.
Are Potatoes Good for My Dog?
Although it may not be advisable to give your dog potatoes, they're not completely unsafe as long as you exercise caution. When cooked and served in moderation, potatoes can be a good source of nutrients like iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
The Health Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
According to Dr. Danielle Bernal of Wellness Natural Pet Food, potatoes are good for energy and digestion. It is a low-calorie and fiber-rich veggie that is chock full of essential vitamins and minerals needed for your pup's growth. They can be especially beneficial for obese or senior dogs that require weight management.
Dr. Danel Grimmett of Sunset Veterinary Clinic says that potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that help prevent diseases and aging.
How Much Potato Can My Dog Eat?
While it may be safe for your dog to consume this starchy veggie, large amounts of potatoes can bring harm to your pup. The amount of potato that your dog can safely consume will depend on its age and weight. It's best to start with small pieces to gauge how much your dog can handle.
You can also follow the ten-percent rule. This standard states that potatoes, along with other treats, should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake.
If you wish to spice up your pup's mealtimes, then you can try cutting up thick potato slices into fun shapes and baking them in the oven. You can also boil the potatoes, mash them, and serve them with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt for a yummy, healthy treat.
If your pooch is particularly picky with food, then you can mix potatoes with other puppy-safe veggies like celery and carrots to incorporate them into your dog's regular dinner.
Can Eating Potatoes Be Dangerous for My Dog?
The real threat in giving your dog potatoes lies in the solanine the veggie contains. However, Pet Poison Helpline states that solanine rarely causes toxic reactions in dogs since a large amount needs to be consumed before poisoning occurs. The symptoms for solanine toxicity typically include confusion, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Another concern is the possibility of potato consumption causing canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). According to the UC Davis School of Medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently received reports of DCM occurring among canines ingesting dog food that includes legume seeds or potatoes as a main ingredient. DCM is a heart disease that may result in congestive heart failure or even sudden death caused by cardiac arrest.
Alternative Foods for Dogs
Aside from sweet potatoes, there are plenty of other healthy veggie alternatives that you can give to your pup as a snack. Your canine companion might enjoy chewing on a crunchy carrot or broccoli stalk. Other veggies that you can safely incorporate into your dog's diet include green beans, pumpkin, asparagus, celery, and spinach.
- Anastasio, A. (2018, May 30). Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Are sweet potatoes good for dogs? American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-sweet-potatoes/
- Campbell, C. (2020, July 24). Can dogs eat potatoes. Country Living. https://www.countryliving.com/life/kids-pets/a45049/can-dogs-eat-potatoes/
- Hoffmann, H. (2020, July 30). Can dogs have potatoes, sweet potatoes, potato skins, or raw potatoes? PetMD. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/healthy-foods-checklist-sweet-potatoes-dogs