Dogs And Potatoes – The Do’s & Don’ts

Cute puppy laying down between two boxes of french fries.

While it may be hard to resist the puppy pressure, table scraps aren’t always safe or ideal for dogs to consume. That’s why, in general, it’s best to avoid them. But in the event that your dog does snag a bite from the table (or you’re simply looking to be a more informed pup parent) it’s good to know which foods are safe and which are not. And this brings us to the topic of this blog post: dogs and potatoes!

Potatoes are a very prominent ingredient in many household diets, for dogs and humans alike. This means they may very well be a part of your four-legged friend’s diet. Whether it be in the form of sweet potato dog treats or good ‘ole Idaho russets, we’re here to cover the ins and outs of dogs and potatoes.

So keep reading if you want to know the answer to your question, “can dogs eat potatoes?”

Dogs And Potatoes – Is It A Healthy Mix?

Potatoes are a common starch found in many commercial dog foods. So can dogs eat potatoes? As long as the potatoes only take up a very small part of your dog’s diet, it’s generally safe for them to eat. But there are many other things to consider when determining if dogs and potatoes are an okay mix. One of those things is health, specifically if your dog has diabetes.

If your dog does have this condition, you’ll want to avoid potatoes. This is due to the spike in blood sugar that potatoes can cause. As always, it’s best to talk to the vet about your dog’s specific dietary needs, and that includes speaking to them about dogs and potatoes.

What Types Of Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?

One question that comes after “can dogs eat potatoes?” is “what type of potatoes are safe for dogs to eat?” In general, cooked sweet potatoes are a healthier option than white potatoes. (Don’t worry, we’ll take a deeper dive into sweet potatoes later!)

When it comes to dogs and potatoes, always remember that potatoes should be cooked well-done and shouldn’t contain butter or other seasonings. Other potato products, like potato chips, fries, and mashed potatoes are definitely ones to avoid. These items often contain high amounts of salt and fat, so you’ll want to avoid feeding them to your furry friend.

What About Potato Skins?

While they may be tasty, the skins of any kind of potato are not ideal to feed to your dog. Potato skins can be difficult for dogs to digest. It’s recommended that you remove all the skin from any potato before passing them on to your pup.

Dogs and Raw Potatoes: Understanding the Dangers

Cooked white-fleshed potatoes such as Idaho potatoes are safe for many dogs to consume in small quantities, and if cooked. Raw potatoes are a different story. This is one instance where dogs and potatoes are a very bad combination.

The reason for this is that white-fleshed potatoes belong to the nightshade family. This family of root vegetables contains a compound called solanine. Solanine is toxic to dogs! So, this means that dogs should NEVER eat raw potatoes. After a potato is cooked, the amount of solanine is reduced enough to make it safe for most dogs to eat.

The Scoop On Dogs and Sweet Potatoes

You may notice that many commercial dog foods and treats have sweet potatoes as one of their featured ingredients. There’s a reason for that! Sweet potatoes are often considered a superfood because they’re packed with vitamins and nutrients. It’s no wonder many consider them a healthy alternative to traditional white-fleshed potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are generally considered healthy for both dogs and humans. Here are some of the top nutritional benefits that sweet potatoes can offer us:

  • Dietary Fiber: If your dog has diarrhea or constipation, the fiber in sweet potatoes may help relieve these issues. Dietary fiber is very important for the digestive system.
  • Antioxidants: Sweet potatoes are known for these! Antioxidants counteract free radicals that can damage cells from things such as stress and illness.
  • Vitamin C: This powerful vitamin can help boost your dog’s immune system. It’s also been reported to reduce some cognitive aging issues in older dogs.
  • Vitamin A: This vitamin supports cell function, reproduction, and the immune system. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is what gives them their orange color. It also turns into Vitamin A once inside the body.
  • Vitamin B6: This vitamin supports healthy red blood cell function and the immune system. It also supports glucose generation.
  • Calcium: This is an essential mineral that supports the healthy growth of bones, muscles, and teeth. It also supports the heart and nervous system.
  • Potassium: This mineral helps support well-functioning kidneys. It may also aid in supporting your dog’s heart, muscle function, and digestive system.
  • Iron: This essential nutrient supports the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout the body and produces energy.

Starting to see why many pet owners are huge fans of the sweet potato?

What About Raw Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes aren’t actually related to white-fleshed potatoes. This means that while raw white-fleshed potatoes contain toxins that can harm your dog, sweet potatoes don’t pose that same threat.

But even still, raw sweet potatoes may cause a stomach ache or another form of intestinal discomfort. So, while they may not be toxic, you’ll probably want to avoid feeding your dog raw sweet potatoes. No one wants a tummy ache!

Dogs And Potatoes – How To Incorporate The Two

Now that you’ve reached this part, we’re assuming that you’ve got the answer to your question, can dogs eat potatoes? So let’s proceed to giving you ideas on how to incorporate the two. If you do feed your dog any form of potatoes, it’s best to count that intake as part of their treat “allowance”. In total, treats should only account for 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

A great way to incorporate sweet potatoes into your dog’s repertoire of treats is with our delicious sweet potato snacks. Here at Carolina Prime Pet, we make our premium dog treats with responsibly sourced ingredients from the U.S. And thankfully, we have plenty of sweet potato treats to choose from!

Your dog will likely love our sweet and savory Beef Broth Infused Sweet Potato Fries. They’re made with nutritionally-rich sweet potatoes, smooth beef broth, and tasty beef marrow. If your dog has a need to chew, why not give our Sweet Potato Bones a try? These tasty bones may easily become your four-legged friend’s new favorite chew!

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