Potatoes are one of the most popular and healthy foods for humans but before giving it to your dog, you might want to know…
Can dogs eat potatoes?
While these vegetables may seem harmless and full of nutritional value, feeding them to your dog might cause them some health issues.
Alongside rice, corn and wheat, potatoes have been grown for thousands of years and more. They belong to the nightshade family which we have to realize, that they may pose some risks to our dogs when consumed unripe or raw.
Dogs are carnivorous by nature but, they can also consume a variety of veggies in different ways. Some dog foods and dog treats, especially the expensive brands even have vegetables as food ingredients.
However, there are health risks and factors to consider if your dogs eat potatoes. Know the pros and cons and possible issues when feeding them to your canine buddy.
Are Potatoes Good for Dogs?
While dogs have a digestive system suitable for meats and bones, they are now living as omnivores which can both eat meats and plants.
Dogs don’t actually need carbohydrates, but it is one of the necessary ingredients for making kibble or dog foods.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are the better sources of carbohydrates compared to corn and wheat thus, many dog food manufacturers include these ingredients.
Assorted vegetables are recommended to provide your dogs their nutritional requirements. Potato can also be given to them but in moderation.
Giving your dog a small portion of sweet potatoes is highly encouraged. You can also bake, boil or cook them to be given as a nutritious treat for your pet.
It contains vitamins A, B and C and packed with iron which is essential for dog growth. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of antioxidants and with lower glycemic index.
Simply, they don’t contain as much sugar like white potatoes so you can make sure your dog’s blood sugar level won’t get affected. Whilst, white potatoes are relatively cheaper than sweet potatoes, it has a higher glycemic index.
You can still make nutritious dog foods at home using white potatoes and sweet potatoes but give them to your dog on occasion.
Why Are Potatoes Bad for Dogs?
Like other root crops, potatoes are also high in carbohydrates.
Although it provides energy to your dogs, excessive consumption may lead to obesity, diabetes, and pancreatitis. Sweet potatoes are rich in starch that may cause gain weight if given to your dog frequently.
Moreover, dogs require meat proteins to keep them healthy and sustain proper functioning so it shouldn’t be a regular thing to feed them with vegetables such as potatoes. Keep in mind that potatoes and its variants can impose a number of health risks to your dogs.
Sweet potatoes contain more sugar than the required amount your dog needs. They may not be able to properly digest and filter this food and only adds empty calories. Likewise, excessive dietary fiber from vegetables in a single meal may result in a digestive upset.
Raw and unripe potatoes, as well as immature potato plants, usually contain solanine, a defensive poison found on the plant’s stems, leaves and in the potato skin.
Solanine can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s nervous system. It can slow their heart rate, blur the dog’s vision or obstruct proper digestion.
On the other hand, sweet potatoes may not be in the nightshade family but in some instances, it can still be toxic to our dogs. It should not also be given raw or unripened. While many of us enjoy potatoes in
various ways, this should not be the case for our canine buddies.
Keep them away from potato chips, baked potatoes with flavorful toppings, French fries, and potato skins. Some of our potato recipes may include salt and oil which are not also healthy for dogs.
Seasonings can also result in an upset stomach. Potato skins, pies, and baked potatoes are usually served with cheeses, sour cream, and butter which are all harmful to our dog’s health.
Don’t feel upset if you will not feed your dog with vegetables regularly. Although veggies like potatoes are extremely beneficial and healthy for humans, these nutritional benefits are not similar to dog requirements.
Same goes with food flavorings and potatoes are no different. The problem with most dog parents, we want to pamper our dogs and give them delicious meals, comfortable environment, and a great life.
Our dogs are just happy to walk with us on a regular basis, enjoy lots of play time and tend to munch whatever it is that we give to them.
My dog ate Potatoes! What to do now?
Overall, potatoes can still be given to dogs on occasion and this should not be a problem.
However, for dogs that are not accustomed to eating potatoes, they might develop mild diarrhea or vomiting. Make sure to give him plenty of clean water to avoid dehydration.
Check for other signs of sickness. If this is the case, monitor your dog’s condition.
For worse case scenarios such as your dog has eaten raw potato or has consumed potatoes in a large amount, call the veterinarian immediately.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Dr. Mike Sagman also suggests that one should limit their dog fiber intake to less than 10% of its daily diet.
Read the food labels or take note of the ingredients when making dog food at home.
Whether it is sweet potato or white potato, these foods should be only given to dogs as occasional treats.
Although they have plenty of vitamins and minerals to offer, they also impose certain health risks.
Can dogs eat potatoes?
Yes. Your dog can have some potatoes.
Can dogs eat raw potatoes?
No. Never give them unripe or raw potatoes.
It is okay to feed your furry friend with some holiday leftovers with potatoes but again, this should be limited and in smaller portions.
Always remember that your dog’s nutritional requirements, digestive system, and food pyramid are different from ours.
Remember, what could be sumptuous and healthy for us could be harmful to them.