Whether roasted, baked, fried, or mashed, potatoes are a popular staple food worldwide. They offer some great health benefits for us. But can dogs eat potatoes? And do they get the same benefits?
The short answer is yes. If you prepare them right, dogs can eat potatoes.
This starchy vegetable contains large amounts of magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamins B6 and C. So yes, potatoes can benefit your dog’s immune and nervous systems.
But like any other food, you should be careful with the quantity. Before you give your dog some delicious potatoes, you should know:
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
- Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
- Can Dogs Eat Cooked Potatoes?
- Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
- Potential Side Effects
- How Much Potatoes Should Dogs Eat?
- Serving Ideas
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Raw potatoes are a loud no for your pet. Never offer them to your dog as they contain solanine, a toxic substance.
Cooking the potatoes reduces their solanine and makes them perfectly safe for dogs. But if your dog somehow manages to sneak a raw piece or two while you’re not watching, contact your vet for a quick check-up.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?
A raw potato skin for dogs is also a big no-no. It contains oxalates — a toxic chemical that may irritate their stomach and even lead to some kidney problems.
What about cooked potatoes? Since potato skins can be difficult to digest, it’s better to peel them before serving them to your dog. If your furry pal eats a little potato skin, it shouldn’t cause any problems.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes contain many minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and high fiber, so they’re among the most popular root vegetables. They’re a delicious and healthier alternative to regular potatoes.
They contain beta-carotene — an antioxidant that prevents diseases and boosts the immune system. Boiled sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, meaning they’re less likely to raise the sugar levels in your dog’s blood.
Like regular potatoes, you should always peel and cook them thoroughly. Small pieces of cooked sweet potatoes can be a great occasional treat for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Potatoes?
Yes, cooked potatoes are safe for dogs since they contain less solanine.
But keep in mind that besides being well-cooked, your dog’s potato portion shouldn’t contain any spices or butter. Ingredients like onions, garlic, leeks, and chives have thiosulfate, a toxic compound to dogs. So you should avoid these when preparing meals for your pet.
What About Mashed or Boiled Potatoes?
It may be tempting to share mashed potato leftovers with your dog, especially when you see those adorable pleading eyes, but should you? Can dogs eat mashed potatoes?
Yes, mashed potatoes are fine for dogs. But you should prepare them differently than yours. If you want to feed your dog mashed potato, make sure it’s plain and unseasoned.
Alternatively, you can give boiled potatoes to your furry pal. Just make sure they’re free from any seasonings and serve them in moderation. And if you want to add some more veggies to your dog’s diet, bell peppers are safe for dogs, too.
Are Fries or Chips OK for Dogs?
So, are fries bad for dogs? What about potato chips?
Although these are our all-time favorites, fries and chips are a big no for dogs since they can contain a fair amount of oil and salt. It’s better to avoid them and stick to homemade dog food recipes.
Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
Are potatoes good for dogs?
The veggie contains vitamins A, C, and B6, iron, potassium, and magnesium. It’s a combination that boosts your dog’s immunity and positively affects the nervous system. Also, potatoes are highly digestible and a good source of energy.
So, serving your dog some cooked potatoes won’t be bad, but it shouldn’t replace its regular meal. The best option is to serve them as an occasional treat.
Potential Side Effects
Like any other food, serving potatoes to your dog doesn’t come risk-free. Knowing the possible side effects is essential to avoid the side effects. So, are potatoes bad for dogs, and why? Let’s find out.
Solanine in raw potatoes is toxic for dogs. But they’d have to consume a lot to get solanine intoxication.
Although it’s rare, the main symptoms that indicate the poisoning are:
- Abdominal pain
If your dog eats a potato and experiences any of the symptoms above, you should contact the vet as soon as possible.
Increase in Blood Sugar Levels
Potatoes aren’t good for diabetic dogs because of their high carbohydrate content. So, if a dog has diabetes, avoiding potatoes might be the best idea because they can cause a blood sugar spike.
Since they’re high in calories and carbohydrates, eating too many potatoes can result in weight gain. Obesity in dogs is a massive problem, so be careful.
Similar to humans, consuming too many potatoes can cause constipation in dogs.
Although potatoes are OK for dogs, research shows that certain pet foods with this veggie as the main ingredient might have a link to the increase in DCM cases. Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease resulting in a decreased ability to pump blood.
How Much Potatoes Should Dogs Eat?
So, are potatoes good for dogs? When fed in moderation, they’re fine. The amount you should give to your dog depends on your dog’s size, activity levels, and overall health.
While high-protein wet dog food provides all the necessary nutrients, cooked potatoes are better as an occasional treat. But make sure to follow the 10% rule — the amount of treats your pet consumes shouldn’t exceed 10% of its daily calorie intake.
Since we answered the big question, “Can dogs eat potatoes?”, let’s see how you can serve them. Here are our favorite ways:
- Cooked, as a side dish for regular meals
- Dog cupcakes with a potato topping
- Dog-friendly mashed potatoes (plain and unseasoned)
- Bone-shaped baked potato treats
You can also make a DIY treat with these dog cake ingredients.
So, can dogs eat potatoes? As long as you cook them thoroughly and don’t season them, potatoes are ok for your dog.
In contrast, raw potatoes are a big no since the solanine in them can cause intoxication. You can check the symptoms for that above.
While they’re highly nutritious because of their high starch content, you should give cooked potatoes to your dog only as an occasional treat.