Can My Dog Eat Potatoes?
If you’re running late in the morning and you need a quick bite for breakfast, then hash browns can be your go-to fix. If you wish to add a bit of variety to your dinner menu, then a simple serving of mashed potatoes on the side could do the trick. If your stomach happens to grumble in the middle of the night, then you could easily grab a bag of french fries as a midnight snack.
These three popular food items all share a common denominator — potatoes. You may enjoy eating all the yummy snacks that this starchy veggie has to offer, but would it be alright to share some with your beloved pup? Can dogs eat potatoes?
Quick Answer: Mostly, yes.
Generally, dogs CAN eat potatoes, provided that you at least boil or bake them beforehand. However, this doesn’t mean that you can feed your pup potatoes all the time. Giving your canine companion small pieces as a nutritious treat every now and then can be beneficial for their health.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can eat potatoes. If you’re looking for a healthy snack to give your dog and you have nothing else but potatoes in your pantry, then don’t worry so much about the dangers. You just have to make sure that you don’t give them any raw potatoes, or else your pup can suffer from an upset tummy.
Are Potatoes Safe for Dogs?
Potatoes can be a safe, nutritious source of energy for dogs. They’re often added to many commercial dog foods due to their affordability and accessibility in the market. Potato is rich in protein, and it is a much cheaper alternative to ingredients such as fish or meat.
But if you wish to give your pup a homemade potato-based snack, then you must exercise caution. Since the potato ingredient found in dog food is specifically formulated for canines, it’s way safer than homemade potato treats.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
You should avoid feeding your dog raw potatoes at all costs. Like every other vegetable in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and eggplants, potatoes contain a harmful substance called solanine. This compound can cause poisoning among dogs if ingested in large volumes. Cooking potatoes can help significantly decrease solanine levels, making it safe for your canine buddy to consume.
Raw Potatoes Versus Cooked Potatoes
Raw potatoes may be completely off the table, but cooked potatoes are an entirely different story. Although cooking may not remove all traces of solanine in the veggie, it can increase the chances of your pup digesting without a problem.
Baking, roasting, or boiling the potatoes is better than frying them. The grease from the frying process could irritate your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. You should also avoid mixing in salt, butter, or any other additive that could be unhealthy for canines. Oily snacks like french fries, potato chips, and hash browns are off-limits as well.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Skin?
You don’t have to panic if your dog accidentally consumes a tiny bit of potato skin– it’s only harmful when eaten in heaping amounts. However, it’s still best to serve potatoes with the skin removed since it contains a higher concentration of solanine compared to the whole spud. You should also steer clear from any potatoes with a greenish coloring on the skin since this signals a greater level of solanine.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are perfectly safe for your dog since they don’t contain the same toxin found in regular potatoes. They are also much healthier! Sweet potatoes are a rich source of essential nutrients such as iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Feeding your pooch sweet potatoes is an excellent way to give them a naturally nutritious treat.
Are Potatoes Good for My Dog?
Potatoes may not be the most ideal snack to give to your dogs, but giving your pup a potato from time to time can still be beneficial for their health. As long as the potatoes are cooked and free from unhealthy seasonings, this veggie can be a great source of essential vitamins and minerals for your beloved pooch.
The Health Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
- Bone health – Potatoes are rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. These play a crucial role in the maintenance of bone strength and structure.
- Digestion – The high dietary fiber content in potatoes helps reduce the likelihood of constipation. It also aids in maintaining a healthy digestive tract, as well as supporting weight management.
- Heart health – A study conducted in 2013 has discovered that higher potassium intake and low sodium consumption can result in decreased chances of heart disease. The high level of potassium in potatoes, in addition to its lack of cholesterol, supports overall heart health.
How Much Potato Can My Dog Eat?
In all cases, a dog’s treats should not exceed 10 percent of their calorie intake for the day. This rule rings true for potatoes as well.
However, it all boils down to how much your dog can handle since tolerance can differ between canines of varying weights and sizes. Try giving them a small amount of cooked potatoes first to see how much they can digest without issue.
What makes potatoes a staple ingredient is their versatility. You can serve this veggie in a wide variety of ways.
Try going for a simple boiled potato when you’re feeling a bit lazy. Or if you’re having some mashed potatoes for dinner, then you can set aside a portion of it for your pup. You can also cut a potato into fun shapes and bake them to make your canine companion especially happy.
Can Eating Potatoes Be Dangerous for My Dog?
Although your dog must ingest a large amount of solanine to suffer a toxic reaction, it still poses a threat to your beloved pooch. Signs of solanine poisoning are loss of appetite, behavior changes, upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should immediately contact your trusted veterinarian.
Alternative Foods for Dogs
If you like to shake things up a bit when it comes to your dog’s treats, you can try various healthy and safe options. You can mix cooked vegetables like baby carrots and fresh green beans into your pup’s usual meal. Or, give them a bite of watermelon or small slices of apple as a nutritious snack.
- Helmenstine, A. (2019, June 28). How poisonous are green potatoes? ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-poisonous-are-green-potatoes-4111225
- Nightshade poisoning in dogs. (n.d.). Dog Care – Daily Puppy. https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/nightshade-poisoning-dogs-5827.html
- Plant poisoning: Solanine and related glycoalkaloids in dogs. (n.d.). Vetstream | Definitive Veterinary Intelligence. https://www.vetstream.com/treat/canis/diseases/plant-poisoning-solanine-and-related-glycoalkaloids