Potatoes are delicious vegetables, and they have a wide range of uses. Potatoes can be used to make the famous french fries, tater tots, hash browns and other nutritional comfort foods.
When properly prepared, white potatoes are considered a highly nutritious food for humans, but does that make them safe for your canine friend? Can you feed your dog potatoes?
In this article, we will discuss whether potatoes are a good option in your dog’s meal and the risks involved in feeding your dog. dog potatoes.
Can dogs eat potatoes?
The answer to the question: can dogs eat potatoes is debatable. The answer varies.
Some veterinarians will recommend that you feed your dog moderate amounts of potatoes. On the other hand, others would advise you to completely eliminate potatoes from your dog’s meal.
Potatoes are not toxic for your dog’s consumption. And at the same time, potatoes may not be suitable for your dog’s diet.
If you consider the health benefits of feeding your dogs potatoes, it will be easy to conclude that dogs should be fed potatoes. Potatoes are vegetables and they are high in fiber. These fibers help in the good digestion of diet and help with weight loss. Apart from fibre, potatoes contain vitamins and minerals which also contribute to the good body metabolism of your canine friend.
On the other hand, potatoes contain solanine and oxalic acid, which are toxic to some dogs. Solanine content is high in raw potatoes and cooking potatoes reduces the toxicity of solanine in potatoes. However, cooking does not get rid of these toxic chemicals. They are still present in trace amounts, and every time you feed your canine friend cooked potatoes, he is predisposed to these chemicals.
The benefits and risks of eating your dog potatoes make it a risky meal option for your dog. It is advisable to consult your veterinarian before giving potatoes to your dog.
Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dogs Potatoes
Potatoes are known for their high nutritional value. Here are some of the benefits of feeding your dogs potatoes.
Good source of energy
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates. This high carbohydrate content makes the potato a good source of energy. The sugar content of potato is enough to sustain your active canine friend in all of their running, jumping and playing activities.
Rich in vitamins and minerals
Potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps eliminate excess free radicals in your dog’s body. These excess free radicals, if left behind, can cause inflammation and, in older dogs, can cause joint pain.
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin is considered vital as it has many essential functions such as helping to make glucose available for your dog’s use, assisting red blood cells in oxygen transport and supporting the nervous and immune systems in their functions .
- The iron: Iron is important in your dog’s body. Iron is essential for your dog’s body to properly produce hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying component of blood)
- Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for energy production in your dog’s body. Magnesium is involved in different biochemical reactions in your dog’s body.
Rich in fiber
Potatoes are a vegetable and they contain a high amount of fiber. These fibers are fantastic for your canine friend’s digestive tract. Fiber helps regulate the microbiome in a dog’s fur. It facilitates digestion by improving intestinal transit.
Can your dog eat raw potatoes?
Nope! Do not feed raw potatoes to your dog. White potatoes are part of a family of nightshade vegetables. Other examples of nightshade vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
And like tomatoes and other nightshade family vegetables, raw potatoes naturally contain a high amount of solanine which is toxic to your dog’s health. It irritates your dog’s intestinal tract.
Solanine is mainly present in potato skins. So if you want to give your dog potatoes, be sure to remove the skin before cooking.
Yes, you can feed your dog cooked potatoes. Cooked potatoes are safer for your dog to eat in moderate amounts, and how they are prepared is also very important.
Potatoes for dogs should be cooked or boiled with the skin peeled off and add nothing more to them. This means no sauce, no butter, no salt or other spices or seasonings.
It would be best if you were careful when giving your dog fried potatoes in oil, such as French fries or French fries. Fried foods, in general, have no real nutritional value for your dog. Instead, they are found in fats which can put your dog at risk of obesity if given in excess.
Sweet potatoes are considered healthier than regular white potatoes. This is because sweet potatoes have higher nutrient levels. They are high in fiber and low in fat. They also contain other nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin A, etc., to name a few.
Sweet potatoes are often used as ingredients in the production of health supplements for pets. This is due to their antioxidant properties and the support they provide to the immune system.
Just like white potatoes, sweet potatoes should be cooked thoroughly by boiling without any additional seasoning.
Potatoes with green potato skin?
Cooked or uncooked, make not give your dog potatoes that have green skins. Green-skinned potatoes are an indicator of very high solanine levels.
Cooking a green potato will not reduce its solanine toxicity levels. Therefore, eating green-skinned potatoes is very dangerous for your dog’s health, even for you. Eating green potatoes can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and, in extreme cases, nerve paralysis.
Proper storage of potatoes prevents them from turning green. Keep potatoes in the dark, as exposure to too much light will turn the skin of potatoes green and increase solanine levels.
What are the risks associated with feeding your dog potatoes?
Feed your dog high quality foodmeans you don’t have to worry about starches like potatoes.
Raw and undercooked potatoes can be dangerous to your dog’s health. Even feeding your dog excess cooked potatoes is not recommended. Here are the risks of feeding your dog potatoes:
Solanine is a natural pesticide that potatoes produce to protect against fungus. And as stated before, it is toxic to your dog.
Solanine levels are highest in green-skinned potatoes, raw potatoes, potato skins, and potato stem plant. This is why you should never give your dog raw potatoes or green-skinned potatoes.
Oxalic acid is an organic acid that binds calcium and other minerals. They are found in smaller quantities in potatoes. They are also insoluble and decrease the bioavailability of these minerals for your dog’s use.
High levels of oxalates in your dog’s body can lead to decreased bone growth, kidney toxicity, kidney stones, impaired blood clotting, and seizures.
High sugar content
Potatoes are naturally sweeter than other tubers. They contain high carbohydrates which are broken down into glucose for energy use.
Feeding your dog potatoes on a regular basis can cause your dog’s body to have excess glucose, more than your dog needs for energy, causing blood sugar levels to spike.
And if it persists, it can lead to diabetes and insulin resistance in a previously healthy dog. Do not feed diabetic dogs potatoes.
Due to the high carbohydrate and sugar content of potatoes, the insulin responsible for using sugar in your dog’s body may be overworked and become unresponsive to sugar and body fat. And when that happens, your dog is likely to be predisposed to obesity.
What to do if your dog eats too many potatoes?
If your canine friend eats excess potatoes. They could be at risk for solanine and oxalate poisoning.
The following symptoms are signs of solanine poisoning in your dog
- Muscular weakness
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Difficulty breathing
And in the case of oxalate poisoning, you might notice additional symptoms like
- Heart problems
- Paralysis (in extreme cases)
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, the first thing to do is give him plenty of fluids to rehydrate him. Then take your dog to a veterinarian for proper treatment.
Other Vegetable Alternatives You Can Feed Your Dog
Vegetables are a healthy choice for your dog diet. They are rich in fiber and aid digestion. In general, they are very beneficial for the health of your dog.
Here are some vegetable alternatives to potatoes that you can give your dog:
As you must have inferred from this article, the answer to the question “Can dogs eat potatoes?” it’s “It’s complicated”. Although giving your dog small amounts of cooked potatoes is considered healthy, they should be low on your list of treats due to the potential threat to your dog’s health.
However, if you must feed your dog potatoes, please consult your veterinarian first.
In the meantime, here are some more “Human food”, you can safely feed your dog. They can be used as treats and are considered safe for your dog to eat.
The curated list of dog foods below includes healthy and nutritious ingredients that you can feel good about feeding your best friend.
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