Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Can dogs eat potatoes? We tend to assume that just because foods are safe and even good for humans, it’s the same way for dogs. Many owners don’t think when slipping their dog a piece of food from their plate, but there are some foods that are good for humans that should never be given to dogs.
So, can dogs eat potatoes? Is it one of those foods that should never be given to dogs, or is it a perfectly acceptable tasty snack?
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can eat potatoes — under certain circumstances.
Are They Safe?
As long as you feed your dog a baked or boiled potato with nothing added to it, it’s a perfectly safe snack to give your dog — as long as it’s given in moderation. This should not be an everyday food for your dog.
Are They Healthy?
While there are certain health benefits to potatoes, there are pros and cons to giving your dog potatoes.
What Are The Benefits?
White potatoes contain the following things:
- Vitamins B6 and C
All of those things are good for dogs. Sweet potatoes are even healthier, containing:
- Vitamins A, B6, and C
If choosing between the two, sweet potatoes are a better option for your dog.
What Are The Risks?
There are quite a few risks to feeding your dog potatoes.
Firstly, you should never give them raw potatoes. They contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs. Cooking potatoes reduces the amount of solanine, and makes them safe for dogs to consume.
Secondly, they’re high in calories. When giving your dog potatoes, it should be done in moderation. Obesity can be very dangerous to dogs. They can have problems in their joints and bones, as well as being at higher risk for diseases such as diabetes. It’s very important to watch your dog’s weight because if it gets too high, you could be looking at a lot of vet trips.
The third risk is that if dogs eat potatoes as a main ingredient, recent research shows they could be at greater risk of heart disease. It’s important to read up on this and never use it as a main ingredient in their food, as dogs get most of their protein and everything else they need from meat.
How Can They Be Eaten, If Not Raw?
You should prepare potatoes by baking or boiling them. Never slip them some potatoes from your plate that have been seasoned in salt and pepper, as this can be damaging to dogs. Onion and garlic powder are also common ingredients, and these can be downright toxic.
Potatoes that have been fried and made into something else such as french fries, tater tots, and hash browns, are not suitable for your dog at all. While one or two likely won’t harm them, it’s better to avoid food that’s been fried in oil altogether, as they can contribute to dog obesity and heart problems much more quickly than you’d think.
It will also encourage them to beg for food from your plate!
If your dog has eaten fried or raw potato, keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t show any signs of illness. If they do, call your veterinarian to get them immediate attention.
How Much Potato Can My Dog Eat?
If giving potato as a treat, you should follow the 10% rule: treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s daily diet. Because of the risks associated with potatoes, however, it’s safer to have them make up much less of this.
You can buy freeze-dried sweet potato treats that have no other ingredients if your dog is super into potato! These make for the healthiest version of potato they can eat.
If you don’t want to take the risk with potato, or want to mix it up with some other vegetables, there are a number of veggies that are perfectly safe and healthy for your pup! The following are great:
There are also a number of safe fruits for your dog, so there’s no shortage of almost risk-free food. As long as you balance the diet correctly.
So, can dogs eat potatoes? Yes, in moderation, and as long as they’re not raw. There are many reasons you might want to forego potatoes altogether and give them one of the safer and lower-calorie alternatives. If you do decide to feed your dog potato, make sure it’s a plain baked or boiled potato, and sweet potato is always the best option.