Can Dogs Eat Potatoes: Potatoes’ Nutritional Value as a Dog Food

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The answer to the question ‘can dogs eat potatoes’ is likely both yes and no. This is because cooked potatoes are usually fine for your dog, but you should avoid feeding them raw potatoes.

Certain types of potatoes are better for your dog’s diet. 

Dog licking the freshly harvested potato

Potatoes can have a range of benefits for your dog, including being a rich source of antioxidants, helping with immune system functioning, and supplying your dog with essential nutrients to support your dog’s full-body health.

Keep reading to discover more about how to feed your dog potato, as well as the various benefits and risks of adding potato to your pet’s diet.

What are the Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs?

The vitamins and minerals present in potatoes can positively affect your dog’s immune and nervous system. Here’s a list of great benefits to feeding your dog potato.

1. Potatoes are great for helping picky dogs eat better: If your pup is picky about what he eats, adding some delicious sweet potato to his meals can help him wolf down his dinner as most pets love the taste.

2. Antioxidants in potatoes help your dog fight diseases: Potatoes are rich in antioxidants which keep your pet’s immune system strong and help fight diseases by fighting free radicals.

3. Potatoes work to improve your dog’s whole body health: Potatoes contain a whole host of nutrients and vitamins that will boost the overall health of your dog. These include everything from iron and potassium for muscle health to calcium and magnesium for building strong bones.

4. Potatoes keep your pet’s immune system functioning: Potatoes are a great source of fiber. Fiber will keep your pet feeling fuller for longer and can help your dog maintain a healthy gut.

What nutrients in potatoes are beneficial for dogs?

Potatoes are rich vegetables that have many nutrients that benefit your pet. Here are some of the nutrients found in potatoes that will help your pet.

  • Vitamin B6: A 100-gram of potato contains 0.3mg of Vitamin B6, which is vital for dogs. This essential vitamin helps with your dog’s red blood cell and nervous system functioning, hormone regulation, gene activation, and proper immune system response.
  • Vitamin C: Potatoes have around 19.7mg of Vitamin C, which helps boost your dog’s immune system and fight aging. 
  • Iron: One small potato contains 0.8mg of iron, an essential nutrient needed for red blood cell and hemoglobin formation and maintaining your dog’s energy levels.
  • Magnesium: There’s 23 mg of Magnesium in 100 grams of potatoes. Magnesium helps your pet to metabolize proteins and fatty acids. It also helps your dog with energy production and the maintenance of strong bones and ligaments. 
  • Vitamin A: Containing around 14,187 IU of Vitamin A, Sweet potatoes, in particular, have a high level of Vitamin A which supports your dog’s vision.
  • Calcium: Potatoes contain around 12 mg of Calcium. Calcium is essential for building the strong bones and teeth of your dog. It will also help with blood clotting, maintaining normal blood pressure levels, and healing wounds.
  • Potassium: There’s 421 mg of Potassium in 100 grams of potato. Potassium has a range of health benefits for your pet, including improving kidney, heart, and muscle function and helping to maintain a healthy gut.

What are the Health Risks of Potatoes for Dogs?

Jack Russell Terrier stepping the potato
A Jack Russell Terrier dog securing his potato by stepping it – Image source

Despite the various benefits of potatoes, they should not become a staple part of your dog’s diet because they do carry some health risks. Be wary of the following risks that potatoes pose to dogs.

  • Weight gain: As potatoes are high in carbohydrates, they can cause your dog to put on too much weight. This could even lead to obesity and a range of more serious health concerns.
  • Constipation: As in humans, too many potatoes can result in constipation for dogs. 
  • Abdominal problems: If your dog consumes raw potatoes, the solanine present might result in severe gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and abdominal pain.
  • Muscle and bone weakness: Too much Vitamin A can lead to muscle weakness in your pet so moderation is key when feeding your pup any potato-based product.

Are Potatoes Hard for Dogs to Digest?

It depends, cooked potatoes are very easily tolerated and digested by most dogs. However, uncooked or raw potatoes are significantly harder for dogs to both chew and digest. 

Potatoes are included in many dog food recipes as they are easier to digest than grains such as corn or wheat. That said, some pets may still struggle with the high fiber content of potatoes.

What’s in potatoes that are harmful to dogs?

If you’re thinking of adding potatoes to your pet’s diet, there are some substances that potatoes include that you need to be aware of before you get cooking. 

  • Solanine: Raw potatoes contain something called solanine, which can be toxic to dogs if they consume a certain amount. However, cooking the potato depletes its solanine content which makes them less dangerous for dogs to consume.
  • Oxalates: Oxalates are found in the skin of the potato. While it is fine for your dog to consume a small portion of oxalates, too much could lead to kidney problems. 
  • Glycoalkaloids: Glycoalkaloids are another chemical compound found in potatoes that can be harmful to dogs. This is particularly found in green potatoes or sprouted potatoes. 

Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Potatoes?

No, there is no specific dog breed that is allergic to potatoes; however, certain canines do experience allergies to potatoes.

Dogs with an allergic reaction to potatoes will get inflamed and itchy skin, indigestion, wheezing, and possibly an ear infection. 

As every dog is different, try introducing your dog to just a very small amount of potato at first. If your dog experiences an adverse reaction, be sure to cease feeding him potato immediately and get in touch with your vet. 

What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Many Potatoes?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel waiting for food
A hungry Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog waiting for food – Image source

If your dog consumes too many potatoes, it will likely be prone to gaining excess weight,

which could lead to heart and immune system complications. Eating too many potatoes could also cause vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal upset to your pet

As mentioned, eating an excessive amount of potatoes, particularly the uncooked variety, could also lead to solanine toxicity which can negatively affect the central nervous system of your dog.

How Should Dogs Eat Potatoes?

Potatoes should be served to your dog cooked and plain. They can be baked, steamed, or mashed.

You can also toss boiled potatoes with a scoop of Greek yogurt and mash them together or combine them with other veggies like carrots and peas to create a delicious topper to your pet’s regular kibble.

Is Potatoes a Good Treat for Dogs?

Yes, potatoes can be used as a treat when training your dog. You can try cutting thick slices of potatoes, making shapes using a cookie cutter, and using these cooked potato pieces as a reward for your dog instead of regular dog biscuits.

Small bits of sweet potato, in particular, make a delicious, nutritious snack for your dog.

When should dogs eat potatoes?

There is no particular time of day that would be better for feeding your dog potatoes. That said, try and avoid feeding your dog potatoes straight from your plate at mealtimes.

Potatoes prepared for yourself likely have added fats and salts that aren’t good for your pet, and you also don’t want your pet to develop any bad habits.

Rather keep potatoes as a treat for your dog during training or as a topper at regular mealtimes.

When should dogs not eat potatoes?

If your dog struggles with weight issues, perhaps it’s best to refrain from feeding

potatoes to your furry friend. Moreover, if your dog suffers from diabetes, giving them large amounts of potatoes could result in blood sugar spikes.

What are the Parts and Foods of Potatoes?

Shetland Sheepdog asking for food
Hungry Shetland Sheepdog asking for food under the table – Image source

So, you want to try feeding your dog potatoes but still aren’t sure where to start? Let’s have a look at the different parts of potatoes and food products made from potatoes to see which one is best for your pet. 

1. Potato Skin

Although a small portion of potato skin isn’t hazardous for your dog, removing it before serving is better.

The potato skins are high in oxalates, and if they consume too many, this could result in kidney complications for your dog. The skin of potatoes, particularly sweet potatoes, can also be quite difficult for your dog to chew.

2. Potato Salad

While you don’t need to stress too much if your dog swiped your potato salad, it’s not wise to actively feed your dog potato salad.

Many of the ingredients included in potato salad, such as mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, and bacon, are not healthy choices for canines.

3. Potato Soup

Most soups, including potato soup, typically include ingredients like onion and leaks, which are toxic for pets. In addition, the extra salt and seasoning of potato soup can lead to several health complications for your pet.

4. Potato Bread

Can dogs eat potato bread? Yes, adult dogs can eat most types of bread. However, you should only feed your dog potato bread in moderation and not let him eat too much.

Overfeeding potato bread to your dog can cause bloating or even severe digestive problems like diarrhea.

5. Potato Chips

Potatoes fried in oil are not healthy for your dog to consume. In addition, potato chips contain unhealthy levels of sodium and fats for your pet. 

6. Potato Croquettes

Stay away from potato croquettes, potato fritters, or instant mashed potatoes. These potato products typically contain milk which can be difficult for your dog to digest.

They also have a high salt content and sometimes include cheese which can unnecessarily increase your dog’s fat intake. 

7. Boiled Potatoes

Boiling or cooking potatoes is the only way to remove the solanine content, and so this is necessary before feeding your pup potatoes.

That said, don’t add butter or salt to your boiled potatoes before feeding them to your dog, and ensure they have cooled completely before feeding them to your pet. 

8. Cooked Potatoes

Dogs can eat both baked and mashed potatoes but ensure not to add seasonings like salt, garlic, or onion powder. High salt quantities can dehydrate canines, while garlic and onion are toxic for dogs.

9. Raw Potatoes

As mentioned, you should never feed your pet raw potato. Raw potato is very dangerous for your dog to consume due to solanine, a chemical compound that can poison your pet.

Is Cooked or Raw Potatoes Better for Dogs?

As we have discussed, raw potatoes are not safe for your pet to consume. You need to make sure potatoes are cooked thoroughly before adding them to your dog’s bowl. Cooked potatoes should always be free from any seasoning. 

What Foods Can be Mixed with Potatoes for Dogs?

Cocker Spaniel picking the food bowl
A Cocker Spaniel dog picking up the food bowl – Image source

When cooking potatoes for your dog, try to keep them as plain as possible. Some pet owners decide to add veggies or eggs to their potatoes to make them more interesting and palatable for their pets.

Let’s take a closer look at some things you can and can’t mix with your pet’s potatoes: 

1. Egg

Eggs are completely safe for your dog to eat, and a potato and egg mixture can make a great topper for your dog’s kibble.

Eggs are high in protein, fatty acids, and vitamins, and for this reason, are also included in commercial dog food recipes. 

2. Pumpkin

A pumpkin and potato mixture is a delicious treat for your dog. Like potato, pumpkin offers a whole host of benefits for your pet and most pets love the delicious flavor this vegetable has.

3. Gravy

Be sure not to mix potatoes with gravy that contains any additional salt, seasoning. In addition, ingredients like scallions, chives, and leeks, which are commonly found in sauces and onions, and garlic, contain thiosulfate.

This is a chemical that is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

Are foods made with potatoes safe for dogs?

While dog foods made with potatoes are safe for dogs, they contain extra calories that your pet doesn’t necessarily need. In addition, potatoes are often used in place of grains in grain-free diets. 

The FDA is currently investigating a link between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs where potatoes, peas, and legumes feature as the main ingredients.

This disease affects the size of the heart and its pumping functionality and can be potentially fatal for pups.

Are dog foods made with potatoes healthier for dogs?

Not necessarily. Dogs don’t need potatoes in their diet to eat a well-balanced meal.

However, many dog foods do include sweet potatoes as one of their primary ingredients due to their high nutritional value, and looking for one of these foods for your dog can be an excellent option. 

No matter which dog food you choose, your dog should get most of its nutrients from a well-balanced diet with high protein levels. 

What is the Amount of Potatoes that Dogs Can Consume a Day?

Ensure to feed potatoes to your dog in moderation and follow the 10% rule. This means that any unbalanced treats, like potatoes, should only account for ten percent of your pet’s daily calories.

To give you an idea, a small golf ball-sized potato with the skin removed contains roughly 130 calories.

The exact amount of potato you can feed your dog will depend on your individual pet’s size, energy level, and overall condition. It’s best to err on the side of caution and only feed your dogs this starch on rare, special occasions. 

What are the Dog Food Recipes that Contain Potatoes?

Dog birthday celebrant with cupcakes
Birthday celebrant dog with cupcakes – Image source

Want to try making something at home that includes potatoes as a primary ingredient. Here are some delicious recipes you can quickly whip together for your beloved pet.

  1. Birthday Pupcakes
  2. Beef and Russet Potatoes
  3. Sweet Potato Chews

What are the dog food products that contain potatoes?

Are you looking to incorporate potatoes into your pet’s diet? Here are some commercial dog foods that feature potatoes as a primary ingredient.

  1. Hill’s Prescription Diet Potato & Venison Formula Dry Dog Food
  2. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
  3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Duck & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food

Not so keen on regular potatoes, but after the many benefits that sweet potatoes provide. Try out these dog foods that contain sweet potato in their recipes.

  1. American Journey Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
  2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Sweet Potato & Venison Dry Dog Food
  3. Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Potatoes?

Dogs have a habit of eating what they shouldn’t. If your dog gets into rotten potatoes, potato skins, or sprouted potatoes while you’re away, be sure to contact your vet immediately.

While dogs have very strong stomachs, these derivatives of potatoes could cause your dog to develop diarrhea or vomiting. 

Also, if you grow potatoes in your garden, it’s a good idea to keep them fenced off from your pet so that you avoid the possibility that your pet digs up and consumes any raw potatoes. 

What diseases in dogs can potatoes help?

Potatoes can help to ward off certain diseases in dogs, such as heart disease and cancer.

  • Heart disease: Due to the potassium found in potatoes, adding this starch to your dog’s diet can help combat heart disease.
  • Cancer: The antioxidants found in potatoes help ward off certain cancers in dogs by combatting free radicals.

What are Other Foods that Dogs Can Eat Similar to Potatoes?

Golden Retriever eating carrot
A Golden Retriever wearing glasses while eating a carrot – Image source

In addition to potatoes, various other fruits and vegetables can make a tasty treat for your pet. Here are some great alternatives to potatoes that you can consider for your dog.

  • Carrots: Carrots are well known for containing beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A and is great for your pup’s vision.
  • Watermelon: Watermelon is a great non-toxic summer snack for your pet. It contains a range of beneficial nutrients for your dog, including calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, B6, and B1.
  • Zucchini and other squashes: Zucchini and squashes of all varieties offer your pet plenty of nutrition and very few calories. It will also help increase your pet’s water intake.
  • Apple: Apple slices are an excellent source of fiber for your dog while also containing various beneficial vitamins and minerals.
  • Bananas: Peeled bananas have a range of health benefits for canines. They are a great source of fiber and are packed full of potassium essential for your dog’s heart and kidney health. They are also a great source of manganese, magnesium, vitamin B, and vitamin C.
  • Green beans: Green beans are a great healthy snack alternative to dog biscuits. This heart-healthy snack is packed with nutrients, including vitamins B6, A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and even a bit of protein.

So, Can My Dog Eat Potatoes?

Cockapoo asking for his meal
A hungry Cockapoo dog asking for his meal – Image source

As you have read, your dog can safely eat potatoes. That is, if they are cooked, unseasoned, and served plain to your pet.

You also want to be sure you don’t overdo it when feeding your dog potatoes as too much could cause a health risk for your dog. 

If you want to give your pet the best nutrition possible, sweet potatoes are the way to go. They are jam-packed with plenty of additional nutrients to keep your dog healthy and strong.

The good news is that there are a variety of commercial dog foods that include sweet potatoes in their recipes. 

Just be careful, before introducing a new food like potatoes to your dog, it’s best to consult with your vet. This is because dogs with certain diseases, like obesity and diabetes might not do well from a diet packed with potatoes.

Does your pet love potatoes? We’d love to hear all about your furry family member and how he enjoys his potatoes in the comments below.

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