Today’s question: can dogs eat potatoes? Are potatoes good or bad for dogs? Scroll down for detailed answers.
Dogs may be known to get into most any foods that are within sight, smell, and reach, but dogs should have their diet watched just as humans have their diet watched. Dogs tend to eat meat, eat treats, and snag as many leftovers as possible. Having all the extra food in their diet can potentially cause health risks, allergies, weight problems, heart issues, and diabetes. Human diseases are often exhibited within dogs who over indulge in foods meant for human consumption. Even dogs who only eat dog food, but overindulge in their dog food, are at risk of developing certain aspects of health problems.
One way in which to combat dogs from over eating, or ingesting too many calories, is to offer your dog fruits and vegetables rather than meat and traditional dog treats. Fruits and veggies are low in fat, calories, and sugar, and have the added benefit of vitamins and minerals. Some fruits and veggies even clean your dog’s teeth and gum line, thereby preventing even more potential harmful disease.
Did you know that dogs eat vegetables? Most people are not aware of the fact (unless you are a dog owner) that dogs are allowed to eat both fruit and vegetables in moderate quantities. Not only that, but dog’s love a good veggie treat, which works out in favor of everyone. Vegetables are delicious, but they also serve as good sources of vitamins and other necessary nutrients that will keep your dog happy and healthy. However, not all of them are safe for consumption. Can dogs eat potatoes? Let’s find out!
Veggies and Your Dog’s Diet
Obviously, dogs are not vegetarians. While vegetarianism and even veganism are more and more recommended for humans, dogs do not benefit from the same kind of diet. You will not see many vegetarian or vegan dogs (unless this is recommended by their vet) but that does not mean they are not allowed to indulge in some veggie treats from time to time. Dogs naturally prefer meat from meat sources, and prefer the flavor, texture and smell of meat. However, veggies offer a crunch and different taste and texture than they are used to, so a veggie may offer a bit of variety to the palate of your dog and also stretch your dog food budget a bit. Offering veggies from the garden is even better for your dog since your garden is most likely organic and free of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Eating veggies are healthy for dogs and they love it, so why not?
Veggies may be deemed healthy and safe for your dog to consume; however, there are certain vegetables that are more beneficial than others. While some of the preferred veggies stand on the other side of the spectrum as far as being beneficial. Some are good, some are bad, and some are neutral but may offer a bit of nutritional boost to your pup. Veggies with seeds are not good for your dogs because the seeds may contain cyanide, a toxin to your dog. Seeds are also a choking risk and can block the digestive tract if not digested properly.
Researching which veggies are safe for your dog to enjoy is incredibly important for the safety of your pet. When it comes to dogs-celery, peas, green beans, and carrots are some of the veggies that are safe to eat. Not only are these veggies tasty, they also provide your pooch with much needed vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients. These veggies may also be grown at home, safely in your backyard and free from potential hazards.
Onions, garlic and avocado, on the other hand, are to be avoided because they can be toxic for dogs. If you dog has eaten any of these items, be sure to take your dog to the vet right away and have him/her checked for poisoning. Onions and garlic can cause death in dogs and highly toxic. Pits within avocados can cause serious choking hazards and intestinal blockages that also lead to death. Be sure to keep these items away from your pet, preferably hidden in a high cupboard, out of reach of your dog. If your garden contains these items for your personal use, keep your dog away from them by constructing a sturdy fence around the garden and watch your pet when outside to prevent him/her digging a tunnel into the onion patch.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? How Much?
The short answer is yes but only occasionally and in moderation.
When it comes to canine consumption, potatoes fall into one of those categories of vegetables that are a bit controversial. Clearly, dogs are not naturally intended to survive on potatoes, like a human might (although that is not recommended even for humans). Humans may be able to survive on potatoes in the event you have no other food in which to eat, but humans who eat only potatoes will have a serious nutritional deficit and most likely a weight problem and elevated sugar levels. Potatoes break down into sugar which is then stored as fat. The digestive system of a dog will also break a potato down and store it as fat unless the dog burns the calories right away. A potato may be eaten in small amounts, and only on occasion.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Stems And Leaves?
First of all, you need to know that the potato stems and the leaves are very toxic for dogs and should be avoided at all cost. The same goes for tomato plants, so if you are growing potatoes and tomatoes in your garden, do not allow your pet to go around them. Have a fence around the veggies or keep a close eye on your dog when near the garden. If your dog is left to his/her own device in the realm of a tasty veggie garden, your pup may end up chewing on the toxic leaves and harming itself.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Another thing you need to be aware of is the fact that you cannot give dogs (or any other animals) raw potatoes. Not only is that a choking hazard but they are difficult to digest and would give them tummy aches. Dogs do not usually chew up a potato, or any type of food, before swallowing. A dog may try to swallow a potato whole, or bite the potato in half and swallow that way. A hard potato cannot break down well enough to chew and swallow safely. Cooked potatoes, such as a baked potato, or mashed, pureed, stewed, steamed, or French fries, will be a better alternative for your pet than a raw potato. These potatoes are bite size and soft, easy to swallow, and easy to digest. Mashed and pureed potato may even be mixed in with kibble to add a bit of flavor and filling to the food.
That being said, as long as the potatoes you are giving to your dog are cooked (mashed, baked, etc.), it is perfectly fine to allow your pet sometimes to indulge in this little treat. However, make sure not to feed him too much of potatoes, this may also be harmful. Too much of any food is bad, especially for a dog. Potatoes must be offered in moderation only. Keep in mind that the potatoes should not have anything added to them, such as salt, sugar or butter. Dogs should not have any added salt to their diet, and any added sugar can cause dogs with diabetes to slip into a coma. Plain, cooked, soft potatoes are safe. Sweet potatoes are also okay, under the same circumstances as regular potatoes.
Introducing Potatoes to Your Dog’s Diet
Whenever you want to introduce something new in your pet’s diet, whether it is a new brand of dog food or a new fruit, vegetable, or other food products, you must first do a test. You can do this by only feeding your dog a small piece, in order to see if they like it enough to eat it. If your pet likes the food, and if it doesn’t make them ill or cause allergic reaction to it, you may deem the food safe for ingestion. Once you confirm that everything is fine, you can continue to feed your dog the new food, in this case, potatoes. Just remember to keep it as an occasional treat. Their diet cannot rely on potatoes or on veggies, in general. You may wish to confer with your vet on your potato choices, just to be sure.
Benefits of Potatoes
As far as benefits go, sweet potatoes are the best ones to choose for your dog. This particular type is known to be very good for the heart, as well as blood pressure since it helps to lower it. They are also beneficial to a dog’s digestive tract and it aids in weight management. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin E, A, B, and C, as well as fiber and make the perfect veggies for your dog to snack on occasionally.
In conclusion, while you may need to cautious, potatoes are generally alright to be fed to dogs. Sweet potatoes, especially, are not only delicious, but also very healthy for you dogs. Sweet potatoes provide large range of vitamins and help with health issues such as high blood pressure and heart problems. They are also recommended for your dog’s digestive system because of the fiber content. Overall, sweet potatoes would be a good occasional snack for your pooch. With these potatoes being such a good treat for your pet, you may wish to have a few bites as a treat for you too!