Can you imagine a world without potatoes? Backyard parties and after-dinner snacks would be incomplete without the helping of mashed potatoes, French fries, and potato chips.
Let’s admit it; this tuber is so addicting. Even your pet dogs can’t help but ask for more. So the big question here is: Can dogs eat potatoes? Are potatoes safe for dogs?
Good thing you clicked on the right page. Dog Food Guide is here to answer all your can dogs questions and give everything you need to know about potatoes and their effects on your lovable dog.
As pet owners, you all know by now that not all human foods are healthy for dogs. Some should not even be included in your dogs’ diet. If you want to know if potatoes are among the foods your canine companion should or shouldn’t eat, read on.
A Quick Look At Potatoes
This might surprise you, but these tasty tubers from the nightshade family are indeed vegetables. And just like any vegetable, potatoes are also healthy despite their subtly sweet and “not-so” veggie flavor.
Don’t think fries and chips because these are both loaded with fat and salt. Potatoes cooked the right way (like roasted and baked potatoes) actually offer a lot of nutrients.
To prove this, here are some of the good stuff people can get from eating this fat- and cholesterol-free spud (plus the potato peels).
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Yes, you read it right. Potatoes provide a chock full of vitamins and minerals. The truth is that it even beats oranges when it comes to its Vitamin C content.
Bananas and apples can also move over because potatoes contain more potassium and fiber. Given all its nutrients, can dogs eat potatoes?
The short answer here is it depends. Unlike chocolate that must be removed from the food item list of your dog, potatoes aren’t poisonous.
If you’re among the many dog owners who gave in to your pup’s begging for a helping of fries, you probably know by now that your canine friend can safely chow down on a slice of potato without seeing any adverse side effects.
However, potatoes can also do more harm than good to your dog. This all depends on the type and amount of potato you give to your dog and how it’s served.
Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Potatoes
You’ve probably noticed that some dog food products contain potatoes. You’ll even find potatoes added to the ingredients list of a good number of commercial dog foods (see our recommendations of foods with duck and potatoes). This is because potatoes are generally safe for dogs.
Yes, dogs can eat potatoes because it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that your pet dog needs. Want to know what your pup can get from eating potatoes? Here are some of the benefits your dog can reap:
Improves Digestive Health
We mentioned that potatoes are packed with fiber. Fiber plays a vital role in keeping the gut of your dog in tip-top shape. Apart from curbing the growth of harmful bacteria in your pet dog’s digestive tract, it also aids in bowel movement.
Immune System Booster
Potatoes (especially the colored ones) are packed with antioxidants like vitamin A, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Antioxidants and their free-radical-fighting features help reduce the risk of your dog developing chronic diseases.
Possible Dangers Of Feeding Potatoes To Dogs
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits, let’s talk about the more important stuff – the risks of giving your dog a bite of potato.
Just like any food out there (the healthy foods included), having too much of a good thing can be harmful. The same goes for potatoes. Giving your dog a big helping of potato can cause constipation.
Blood Sugar Spikes
If your dog is diabetic, then it’s best if you keep the mashed potatoes out of your dog’s paws. Since this starchy veggie’s glycemic index is high, letting your dogs eat too many potatoes can raise your dogs’ blood sugar levels.
Since this is rich in carbs, obesity is another risk your dogs might face if you let them indulge in a bowl of potato (whether baked or fried).
Potato skins contain oxalates that commonly cause the build-up of kidney stones in both humans and animals. So, if you want your dogs to eat potatoes, it’s better to serve it minus the skin.
Solanine is a toxic compound that is found in raw potatoes and unripe or green potatoes. You’ll also find this on the potato skins and the leaves of the potato plant.
As such, you should never give your dog unripe and raw potatoes. If you have potato plants in your garden, this should also be out of your dog’s reach.
It’s good to note, though, that the levels of solanine are reduced through cooking. Also, poisoning only happens after consuming a large amount.
So if your dog, for some reason, gets their paws on a green or raw potato, watch out for these signs and contact your vet right away.
- Severe GI upset (vomiting and diarrhea)
- Excessive salivation
- Lack of appetite
Best Way To Feed Dogs Potatoes
Can your dogs eat potatoes? The answer is yes. But, if you want your dogs to enjoy their potatoes in full minus the risks, make sure to follow these tips:
Green and raw potatoes are a No-no. As mentioned, these contain toxic compounds that can be deadly. As such, your dogs should never eat raw potatoes and green potatoes. Make sure to serve ripe potatoes cooked minus the potato skins. You can either boil, mash, roast, or steam it.
Serve it plain. Don’t worry. Your dog will still enjoy his potato even if you serve it without butter and other seasonings like onion powder and salt. Although these add flavor, these ingredients can also upset your fido’s tummy.
Start small. If you’re introducing this for the first time, make sure to give just a small amount and see how your pal will react. It’s also smart if you can get your vet’s advice.
Follow the 10% rule. Since veggies (like green beans) are not part of your dog’s regular diet (and it shouldn’t be), ensure to only give this plant food product in moderation or only as an occasional treat. Keep in mind that your dog must be fed a complete and balanced diet at all times.
Sweet Potato vs. White Potato
Although they both grow underground, a sweet potato is not a potato. But, if you have to choose between the two, choose sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are healthier because, compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index. Sweet potatoes also contain more Vitamin A.
If you are like any other paw-rent out there, then surely you are looking for recipes that incorporates potatoes so that their beloved four-legged companion can try it. Fret no more, we did the digging for you and below are easy and wonderful recipes that you can try out. Enjoy!
Are cooked potatoes good for dogs?
Like tomatoes, raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine. If you do feed your dog a potato, it should be baked or boiled, with nothing added to it. Giving a dog too many carbohydrates can result in obesity or other health problems.
Can dogs eat mashed potato?
Yes! Mashed potatoes are safe for dogs; however, avoid adding seasonings. Potatoes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium.
Are cooked potato skins good for dogs?
n order to be safe, potatoes need to be fully cooked. Raw potatoes and excessive amounts of potato skins are not safe for dogs because of the substances they contain. The solanine and oxalates found in potatoes and potato skins can create numerous health risks for your dog.
Which is better for dogs rice or potatoes?
Potatoes and white rice have both gotten a bad reputation as starchy simple carbohydrates with little nutritional value. If they're consumed in excess, or make up too much of a dog's diet, this can be true. Potatoes and white rice provide a quick energy burst, while brown rice fuels your dog's body a little slower.