You probably want to share a few tasty potato bites with your dog, but you’re still contemplating whether doing so is okay because not all human foods suit dogs. We all want the best for our dogs, and a healthy diet prepared and served cautiously and with love is a necessity. But can dogs eat potatoes? Are potatoes safe for dogs?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat potatoes. Potatoes are safe for dogs when prepared in the right way and served occasionally and in moderation. Packed with minerals and vitamins essential for your dog, expect some health benefits. But before you share with your dog, cook the starchy veggie well for easy digestion, and don’t get tempted to feed them raw potatoes—they’re not safe for dogs.
Can dogs eat potatoes? Let’s now detail our discussion on this topic and further discuss safety practices, health benefits, preparation, how to serve your dog’s potatoes, and much more. Scroll on and keep reading!
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Yes, it’s a good idea to feed your dog potatoes. Many dog foods will even include potatoes as one of their main ingredients. But that doesn’t give you the green light to bulk your dogs with potatoes. Whether it’s a treat or an occasional diet, avoid too many potatoes—over indulging results in adverse health effects. Dogs only need plain cooked potatoes. Such potatoes provide nutritional components like zinc, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, and iron, which have multiple benefits to dogs.
Health Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
Are potatoes healthy for my dog? When perfectly prepared and fed in moderation, potatoes are suitable for dogs with the following potential health benefits:
Boost Blood Levels in Dogs
Potatoes contain vitamin B6, significant in the formation of red blood cells in dogs. With an adequate amount of blood, dogs get to satisfy their body oxygen requirement, keep warm, and allow for continuous growth and development. Though in small amounts, iron in potatoes also plays a role in creating hemoglobin, a molecule vital for oxygen transportation.
Boosts the Dog Immune System
Potatoes contain vitamin C. The water-soluble vitamin enhances the dog’s immune system. Phenolic and flavonoids in potatoes also act as antioxidants, giving your dog a robust immunity. Antioxidants destroy the harmful molecules that attack normal body cells resulting in various forms of mutations. With strong immunity, dogs get to live a healthier life.
May Improve Digestion in Dogs
Cooked potatoes may contain resistant starch. Since this type of starch is not digested, it’s absorbed directly in the stomach and small intestine, boosting the fiber load. Resistant starch in dogs feeds the gut bacteria while providing a favorable environment that enhances digestion. It also improves blood sugar control in dogs.
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Enhances Your Dog General Health
Your dog requires its usual meals for general body health. But feeding it boiled potatoes will help actualize your dog’s nutritional goals. Potato treats boost energy levels, muscle development, and body electrolyte levels by replacing potassium ions and ensuring that blood vessels function appropriately.
Potatoes are Naturally Gluten-Free
A gluten-free diet is among the most preferred for dogs, and that’s where potatoes come in as a special treat. Dogs tend to be sensitive to gluten, and upon consumption, they experience stomach and general body complications.
Are Potatoes Safe For Dogs To Eat?
You now know that dogs can eat potatoes. But are they safe to eat? The simple answer is yes, but there is more to know. Dogs don’t need so many potatoes due to high starch levels. That’s why you need to reserve the cooked potato chunks, free of salt or additives as occasional treats consumed in moderation and not as a main meal.
When Are Potatoes Bad For Dogs?
Ensure you know what’s expected of you before preparing the potatoes and enjoying them with your dog. Many times dog owners ask: Can potatoes be dangerous for dogs? When are potatoes toxic for dogs? The truth is that if you don’t keep off raw potatoes and only bake or boil them plainly, potatoes pose a health threat to your dog. Let’s address these concerns by answering some related questions that pet parents often ask.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Dogs should not eat raw potatoes. It’s because of the solanine levels present. Solanine, which falls in the nightshade family, is toxic to dogs. So, what happens when a dog eats raw potatoes? Your dog experiences digestive upsets or intestinal blockages. The toxic levels of solanine vary in potatoes. Cooking the potatoes will deplete solanine to less toxic levels. Immature and green potatoes also have very high levels of solanine.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Stems, Leaves, and Skins?
Potato stems are a no-no for dogs. Raw stems consist of high levels of the poisonous solanine. Glycoalkaloids in leaves can cause serious harm to your dog’s nerve. The potato skins might lack glycoalkaloids, but you must not feed them. Due to oxalate levels, kidney issues might arise, mostly when consumed routinely and in massive amounts. In case you realize that your dog has ingested raw potato stems, leaves, or skins, and it starts showing signs of solanine poisoning, call your veterinarian immediately. Here as some of the solanine poisoning symptoms:
- Stomach upset
- Blurred vision
- Impaired nervous system
- Obstruction of the digestive system
Health Risks of Potatoes for Dogs
Here are the potential side effects of potatoes for dogs that occur when you give them a vast amount of potatoes. The risks can be mild or severe. They include:
High levels of carbohydrates cause inflammation in the pancreas, making it hard to act on sugars, fats, and starches. That means the dog digestion gets impaired. Pancreatitis showcases through abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The vast carbohydrate amounts in potatoes translate to high calories. That leads to a massive weight gain in dogs. It’s mostly evident in dogs that don’t often exercise to burn the potato calories. Obesity in dogs exposes them to opportunistic diseases.
The dog’s body converts excess carbohydrates into sugar, which is later absorbed in the bloodstream, causing diabetes. Canines with known diabetes cases need to avoid potatoes because they can spike blood sugar levels. Prioritize veterinary check ups before giving the starchy treat.
Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
A research study shows that potatoes can alter the functioning of the heart. The heart becomes dilated, reducing the pumping capability of the heart muscles. Dogs with DCM are prone to sudden cardiac arrest or congestive heart failure.
How to Prepare Your Dog Potatoes
So, how should you prepare potatoes for dogs? Here’s the quickest preparation procedure you can try out next time you cook potatoes for dogs:
- Choose healthy potatoes.
- Scrub, wash, and remove the skin (peeling).
- Section the potatoes into bite-sized quarters and slices that won’t choke the dog when feeding.
- Cook your potatoes. Ensure you keep them plain. Boiling at 10-12 minutes is enough. You can also microwave them.
- Pierce with a toothpick to know if they’re ready.
- Let them cool before serving.
Serving Your Dog Potatoes
Another way to make potato for dogs is to come up with various recipes creatively. Before you come up with those roasted, baked, mashed potatoes recipes or even fresh fries and salad, here are important questions you have to get right.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can enjoy baked potatoes. If you have to safely bake your dog’s potatoes, don’t add flavors or sweeteners and feed your dog in small amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Roasted Potatoes?
Roasted potatoes, just like baked potatoes, are okay for dogs in a small serving. In your preparation, avoid salt and additives to guarantee your dog’s safety.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, dogs will eat mashed potatoes with excitement. It’s a perfect choice when you’re worried about your dog being choked. Again, keep the potatoes plain.
Can Dogs Eat French Fries?
Sure, provided you bake them without salt. Don’t feed dogs deep-fried French Fries; the extensive amount of oil or grease alters the potatoes’ nutritional value.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Salads?
Potato based junk foods are a no-no for dogs. But as long as your salad contains natural foods that are well prepared and ideal for dogs, there is no problem.
How Many Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs don’t need a lot of dietary carbohydrates. That tells you that potatoes are just meant to snack once in a while to supplement the dog’s staple diet. Observe minimalism and watch how your dog reacts. We recommend that you visit your vet to have precise details on the exact amount your dog needs. It’s because every dog’s metabolism varies. Some dogs have conditions that have to be addressed first.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes? The Healthier Alternative
The American Kennel Club recommends sweet potatoes as a healthier option due to additional nutritional benefits. Sweet potatoes have iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Summary: Can Dogs Have Potatoes?
So, can dogs eat potatoes? Yes, but you only need to boil or bake them without seasoning. Observe moderation in feeding and never give your furry friend raw potatoes. Consult your vet when you notice a problem with your dog. What do you think about feeding your dog potatoes? What’s your experience so far? Please share it with us in the comments.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.