Potatoes are an incredibly versatile (and delicious!) carb, but can they be included in your dog's diet?
Potatoes are a filling carbohydrate that can provide a great source of good-for-you vitamins and minerals -- They are packed with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Magnesium among others. And with the holidays quickly approaching (hello Thanksgiving!), we will no doubt see this versatile veggie more than ever.
Whether it's sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, or even french fries, that's on your dining table, or if it's potato chips and potato skins for the big game, should this be a human food that you can share with your pooch? Read on for everything, potatoes, and dogs.
Can My Dog Eat Potatoes?
While the short answer is technically yes, do make sure you never let your dog eat raw potatoes, potato peels, or potato plants of any kind, as those are a definite no-no. Raw potatoes contain a poisonous compound called Solanine, which is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Solanine is found in the nightshade family of veggies, which includes white potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes.
However, while raw potatoes contain a toxicity level that's definitely a huge no in a dog's diet, certain types of cooked potatoes are ok to give to your dogs - in fact, some brands of dog foods include potatoes as an ingredient. But just because it is in their kibble, doesn't make it a safe table scrap for your pup's diet. Potatoes don't sit well for some dog breeds. In some cases, dogs have a higher instance of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) from pet foods containing legumes, peas, and potatoes.
What Is the Best Way to Feed My Dog Potatoes?
Yes, indeed, your furry friend can eat cooked potatoes, as cooking a potato reduces the level of Solanine. But there are actually some types of this delicious carb that's better for your pooch than others.
Sweet potato is one of them. That's right. Sweet potatoes are a healthier option for your dog's diet than white potatoes because sweet potatoes are way more nutritious and have antioxidants. They contain a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium among other nutrients - stuff that's good for your dog's body. But, of course, a piece of plain cooked potato is also fine. Just be sure it's free of additives like seasonings, butter, or salt. Baked or boiled potatoes are also fine for dogs to eat plain.
Dog owners should stay away from anything fried, like french fries or potato chips. Dogs should also avoid mashed potatoes since they contain a high butter and fat content and won't sit well with your dog's stomach or digestive system. It can also cause health problems like pancreatitis and weight gain.
As with any human foods you share with your furry friend, be sure to feed in moderation and not in large amounts as your pooch needs to have a balanced diet. For example, if your dog has obesity or diabetes, you should avoid giving him potatoes altogether because that can cause blood sugar spikes. Instead, opt for carrot sticks or green beans.
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This article was originally published on November 9, 2020.