Baked, boiled, mashed, or fried, potatoes are a beloved staple food. When prepared in a healthy way potatoes can be a great source of vitamins and minerals for people, but are they safe for dogs too?
So, can dogs eat potatoes? Dogs can eat cooked potatoes. However, you should never feed raw potatoes to your dog, since they contain a toxic compound called solanine. Properly prepared white potatoes can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Cooked, mashed, or roasted plain potatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding potatoes to your dog. Keep on reading to find out how to prepare and include potatoes into your pup’s diet!
Are Potatoes Good for Dogs?
Properly cooked white potatoes with potato skins removed are safe for dogs to eat. This starchy vegetable is used in many dog foods and can be a healthy treat when fed in moderation.
Mashed, baked, or boiled potatoes are a good source of vitamins C and B6, and also contain potassium, iron, and magnesium. Potatoes are naturally rich in dietary fiber and can encourage healthy digestion in dogs.
However, if your dog has diabetes, you shouldn’t let them eat potatoes since this starchy veggie can cause blood sugar spikes.
Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
Including potatoes in your dog’s diet can be beneficial for their overall well-being and offer certain health benefits. However, this is only true if you feed your dog cooked potatoes, so make sure that potatoes are properly prepared before you serve them to your dog.
The biggest benefits of potatoes for dogs are:
1. Potato Boosts Immune System
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is involved in many functions within your dog’s body. Vitamin C reduces inflammation, helps repair tissues, and supports a strong immune system, making your dog more adept at fighting diseases.
While white potatoes contain more vitamin C than sweet potatoes both varieties will boost your dog’s immunity and improve their overall health.
2. Potatoes Promote Brain Health
White potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, a key nutrient that supports proper growth and development in puppies. This essential vitamin is also involved in several functions and promotes healthy brain function, heart health, and assists in water regulation.
3. Potatoes for Good Digestion
All types of potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, which is necessary for proper digestion and better nutrient absorption. Eating fiber-rich foods such as potatoes can help regulate your dog’s bowel movement and help soothe mild cases of constipation and diarrhea.
4. Potatoes Boost Muscle Growth
White potatoes are naturally rich in potassium which is an essential mineral that is involved in many functions in your dog’s body. Potassium encourages the rapid growth of muscle cells thus supporting muscle growth and strength (source).
This mineral also promotes bone health, boosts your dog’s cognitive function, and helps your dog to digest and absorb nutrients from their pet foods faster.
Risks of Potatoes for Dogs
While cooked potatoes can be a healthy and nutritious treat, eating a raw potato can be very dangerous for dogs. The most common risks of feeding dogs potatoes are:
1. Solanine Poisoning
Potatoes like tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants and both contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to dogs. Solanine is naturally produced in green potatoes, potato skins, potato foliage, and is present in raw potatoes.
Eating raw potatoes can cause solanine poisoning in dogs which can lead to heart problems, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal problems (source). Therefore, never feed raw potatoes to your dog, and if your pup manages to steal some, call your vet right away.
2. Intestinal Blockage
Dogs who eat raw potatoes may experience symptoms of mild or severe gastrointestinal upset, depending on the amount of potatoes ingested. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are all symptoms of an upset stomach or intestinal blockage.
If your pooch managed to steal a few larger pieces of raw potatoes and is experiencing any of these symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible. If your dog has an intestinal obstruction, surgery may be the only course of treatment.
3. Weight Gain
While not essentially bad, potatoes are high in carbohydrates and can easily contribute to weight gain and obesity. Dogs that have diabetes or need to lose weight, shouldn’t eat potatoes at all, since the high carb count can cause more harm than good in the long run.
How Much Potatoes Can I Give My Dog?
Like all other human foods, potatoes should make up only up to 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Potatoes can serve as a substitute for a complete and balanced food and you should feed them to your dog as treats in moderation.
If you aren’t sure how much potatoes your dog can eat, talk with your vet. They will be able to tell you the exact amount based on your dog’s age, activity level, and size.
How to Feed Potatoes Your Dog?
Potatoes are a favorite food of many dog owners and their pups. The best thing about potatoes is that they are extremely versatile and dogs can eat them in many different ways.
Bear in mind, dogs should only eat plain potatoes that are prepared without seasonings, oil, butter, or salt.
Dogs eating raw potatoes can develop an upset stomach, solanine poisoning, or intestinal blockage. Hence, as mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t feed raw potatoes to your dog.
Cooked potatoes are perfectly safe for dogs to eat as treats in moderation. Let’s check out the most popular ways you can feed cooked potatoes to your dog!
- Boiled potatoes
- Roasted potatoes
- Dehydrated potatoes
- Mashed potatoes
- Oven-baked, plain potato chips
Most dogs love to eat potatoes, and this starchy vegetable can be a good source of essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy. Feed only cooked potatoes to your dog, in moderation, as treats.
Don’t feed raw potatoes to your dog, since they contain solanine and can also cause digestive upset and intestinal blockage. And if by any chance your pooch eats raw potatoes watch them for symptoms of poisoning and digestive upset and call your vet right away.