Grown and harvested for more than thousands of years now all around the world, potatoes are one of the most popular food produces known to man. After all, potato chips still prove that till this day! 😉
However, we do know that potatoes (similar to eggplants and tomatoes) are among the nightshade family, which leads us to ask the question that everyone should always ask at first, “can dogs eat potatoes?”.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? The Short Answer
YES, dogs can eat potatoes, as potatoes aren’t toxic or poisonous for dogs to eat. This vegetable is a staple in the diets of millions around the world, and there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t be able to feed your dog moderate amounts of it from time to time.
However, and with that being said, you have to be aware of some critical things before you go ahead and feed your dog any potatoes, such as what types of potatoes are good for dogs, what types of potatoes are bad for dogs and what ways are best to feed your dog potatoes with.
Apart from being safe to feed your dog, potatoes (both the white potatoes and sweet potatoes) are considered to be higher quality carbohydrates than other foods your dog can get their paws on, like corn and wheat.
Now, there’s no real reason that should drive you to feed your dog potatoes by yourself, as potatoes are already a very common ingredient in the majority of high-quality dog food brands (most common on the ingredients list of high quality products that you’ll find is sweet potato), so chances are you’re already feeding your dog enough potatoes as it is, although indirectly.
However, you may be considering to give your dog a slice or two for whatever reason (such as a treat, for example), and that’s completely fine from time to time.
This article will let you in on all the details you have to know beforehand.
What Kind Of Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?
Do not include any toppings on the potato you feed your dog.
The two favorite types of potatoes dog owners like to feed their dogs are sweet potatoes and white potatoes.
If you had to choose between the two, choosing sweet potatoes over white potatoes is almost always the better option, as sweet potatoes are much better for your dog’s health and well-being than white potatoes.
Sweet potatoes contain more nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes also contain less sugar levels than white potatoes, and we all know how bad excess sugar to your dog can be.
However, you will find that white potatoes cost less than sweet potatoes, so you get what you pay for!
Sweet potatoes are most often included in top-tier dog food, which usually has you pay top dollar for it as well, while white potatoes are most often included in lower-tier dog food, which allows you so save a few dollars since the manufacturing company is saving on its costs as well.
How Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
First of all, you should thoroughly and carefully wash any potato you want to feed your dog before you prepare it for them, the same way you would do for yourself when you feel like having some.
You should also make sure that any rotten part on the potato is immediately removed and hasn’t affected other parts of the potato itself, because dogs should never EVER eat any rotten part of any food.
This has to be said because more dog owners than you could imagine neglect this fact and do it anyway.
Then, all kinds of skin on a potato (especially green colored skin), the leaves and the stems should be completely removed and kept out of your dog’s reach as much as possible, due to the large amounts of toxic solanine contained in this skin.
Solanine can damage your dog’s nervous system, decrease their quality of vision, lead to digestive problems and lead to heart problems, which is why it’s especially important that you completely peel off any potato you want to give your dog and only end up feeding them the potato flesh.
Potato skin/potato peel is not something your dog should be eating.
Depending on how much solanine makes its way to your dog’s system, the symptoms of toxicity can include:
- Increased thirst
- More frequent urination
The best forms of potatoes you can feed your dog are baked or cooked potatoes, after they have cooled down that is. You can then also mash them for your dog to eat.
Stay away from feeding your dog any raw and unripened potatoes or potato plants directly from your garden before you properly prepare them for your dog to eat.
Dogs eating raw potatoes is a definite no, as they at least have to be cooked or boiled before served to your dog, and potatoes growing in your garden contain many poisonous and toxic parts which are potentially fatal to your dog if they directly eat them from the garden during growing season.
Cooking or boiling the potatoes before feeding them to your dog with high temperatures will often destroy any traces of solanine that might have otherwise made its way into your dog’s body.
Cooking the potatoes will also make them much easier for your dog to properly digest.
Finally, and since we’re talking about potatoes, you should make sure your dog NEVER eats any french fries or potato chips, due to the high content of fried oils, salt and toppings (butter, cream and cheese for example) contained in them, all of which can be very harmful to your dog.
Even when you’re not feeding your dog any potato chips or french fries, and are just feeding them a regularly cooked or boiled potato, don’t add any toppings to the potato pieces you give to your dog.
You and I may be used to eating potatoes with toppings like cheese, cream and/or butter, but your dog should only be consuming potato in its plain form and without any toppings.
It’s not like they care about any of these toppings anyway, all they want is the potato itself, they’ll be more than thankful that you gave them this food as a tasty treat and they’ll gulp all the portion you give them to eat in an instant, like there’s no tomorrow.
Leave the creative stuff in the kitchen for us humans, our dogs should only be fed the most simple, plain and natural form of any food they get to eat.
How Much Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?
Your dog’s consumption of potatoes should be kept to a minimum, due to the high levels of carbohydrates this food contains. If you feed your dog too much potatoes, you’re risking them getting obese and diabetic.
You never want to feed your dog too much of a standalone food that’s high in carbohydrates, because your dog will already be getting all the necessary amounts of carbohydrates they need from the dog food you’re feeding them, so all this excess amount of carbohydrates they eat from something like potatoes will only spell trouble.
Also, it must be noted that sweet potatoes contain a decent amount of fiber. So, if your dog eats too much sweet potatoes all at once, hence ingesting a large amount of fiber in one sitting, their digestive system is in for a hard time.
Whether you’re giving your dog a sweet potato or a regular potato, your dog should only consume these on rare occasions.
White potatoes are also known to feed yeast, so if your dog overfeeds on potatoes, this can lead to some serious yeast infections.
Sweet potatoes also contain high levels of estrogen, which are commonly found as a main culprit in aggravating food allergies leading to hormonal imbalances in your dog’s body.
Why Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Dogs?
A bit of properly prepared potato can give your dog:
- A healthy source of carbohydrates for energy purposes
- Potassium that regulates blood pressure
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Calcium to help keep your dog’s teeth and bones strong and healthy
- A very inexpensive and tasty treat you can give your dog without breaking the bank
- A good amount of dietary fiber
- Vitamins that help your dog cope with and reduce stress levels
- Antioxidant (such as beta-carotene)
- Phytochemicals (named kukoamines) that reduce blood pressure and keeps it at healthy levels