Many dog owners enjoy feeding their dogs various foods made for humans. French fries are a typical side dish in restaurants or fast food chains. If you take a hearty bite of your burger and your dog looks at you pleadingly, can you at least give him a French fry? Or are fries unsuitable for dogs?
French fries are not poisonous for dogs, but they are not suitable as a dog snack either. Although a French fry or two is unlikely to harm dogs, the high salt content and deep-frying are not ideal for their health. So, it’s best to skip french fries altogether and not give them to your dog.
Spoiling your dog is one of the great joys of being a dog owner. When your dog stares at you, it’s all too tempting to offer them whatever you’re eating, including fries.
But this is not a good idea. The question is not whether dogs can eat French fries but whether they should eat them. And the answer to that question is a resounding no.
Are French Fries Suitable for Dogs?
French fries are sliced potatoes that are usually deep-fried in oil. They are usually salted and sometimes refined with paprika powder or other spices.
French fries taste delicious, but deep-fried food is unsuitable for your dog’s health. Your dog will certainly not refuse if you offer him chips.
However, dogs don’t always know what’s good for them. It’s up to you to take care of their health and make the right choices for their diet.
French fries can harm dogs if they eat them in large quantities or very often.
They are not poisonous, but they contain unhealthy fats, carbohydrates, and a lot of salt. They also have no nutritional value compared to the potatoes from which they are made.
What Happens When Dogs Eat French Fries?
Dogs often vomit or have diarrhea when they eat food intended for humans. This is also the most likely reaction to eating French fries.
Not only do dogs get an upset stomach, but they are also likely to get thirsty because of the extra salt. The danger is even greater if dogs regularly eat fried foods.
Foods with a high fat, salt, or carbohydrate content can lead to severe health issues in dogs. Possible health issues include:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Intestinal problems
If your dog already suffers from one of these diseases, the wrong food – in this case, fries – can cause him to become seriously ill suddenly.
Part of the treatment will then be a strict diet, which your vet will usually prescribe for your dog.
Dogs also have a higher risk of salt poisoning if they overeat salty food. Even if they would have to eat a lot of French fries to get salt poisoning, you should be aware of the risks.
Possible symptoms of salt poisoning usually begin with vomiting or diarrhea, but the poisoning can lead to lethargy, tremors, and seizures if left untreated.
Dogs that do not have access to sufficient drinking water will more likely experience poisoning by excessive salt consumption.
What Other Problems Do Fries Have for Dogs?
Before you share your fries with your dog, you should know what other dangers there are besides the unhealthy fats and salts. The greatest dangers lurk in the following points:
- Sauces and dressings
- Side dishes
- Raw potatoes
- Potato peelings
Let’s take a closer look at why these items are problematic for dogs.
French fries can not only be sprinkled with salt but also with other spices that can cause harm. Popular French fry condiments often contain garlic or onion powder, which can cause anemia.
When dogs are anemic, they often become lethargic, breathe rapidly, have pale gums, have a rapid heartbeat, or refuse to eat.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult your vet. Anemia can be potentially fatal if not recognized and treated effectively.
Sauces and Dressings
Whether you like ketchup, mayo, BBQ sauce, mustard, or vinegar on your fries, feeding your dog these is a terrible idea.
Ingredients such as sugar, onions, garlic, spices, and acetic acid can cause illness in dogs.
Most cause an upset stomach, but onions or garlic in large amounts can cause dangerous anemia.
Call your veterinarian if your dog shows unusual symptoms after eating sauces or dressings.
French fries are a typical side dish for burgers, grilled meat, cheese, roast chicken, and many other dishes. A coleslaw is often served with the fries.
Burgers and coleslaw may contain onions or garlic, which puts your dog at risk of developing anemia.
Cheese contains a lot of unhealthy fats and is a frequent cause of pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis leads to vomiting, inappetence, and abdominal pain.
Roast chicken with bones can lead to intestinal blockages if your dog snacks on it.
Whatever dishes you eat your fries with, the best way to protect your dog is to avoid feeding him human food.
If you make your own fries at home, your dog is probably lying at your feet waiting for some of the food to fall on the floor.
Be aware that raw potatoes contain solanine, which is also found in tomato plants. In large quantities, solanine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
The green parts of the potato, the skin, and the potato plant have the highest concentration of solanine. Cooked potatoes contain less solanine.
So, if your dog consumes a tiny amount of cooked potatoes, the risk of solanine poisoning is low.
Raw potato chunks are also a choking hazard, and if the dog swallows them in large chunks, they can get stuck in the intestines.
You should consult your vet if you are worried about your dog because he has eaten raw potatoes.
Raw potato skins have a higher solanine content than the inside of the potato, making them potentially toxic if eaten in large quantities. After cooking, the solanine content is also lower in the skin.
Potato skins also contain a lot of fiber. While fiber is essential to your dog’s diet, too much can cause stomach upset.
You should consult your vet if you notice any symptoms of discomfort in your dog after eating potato peelings.
Are French Fries Suitable for Dogs in Any Form?
Deep-fried food is an absolute no-no for dogs. Is there still a way to feed your dog French fries and reduce the health risks?
The only option is to take control of the preparation and cooking method yourself and prepare the fries at home.
Avoid adding oil or spices to the fries. Bake the potatoes instead of frying them to avoid the risk of unhealthy fats. Also, remember to dispose of the potato skins safely.
Sweet potatoes have more essential nutrients than regular potatoes. They can also be used to make delicious chips. Your dog can eat small amounts of sweet potato fries from the oven, which are unseasoned and oil-free.
Sweet potato skin is tough and thick, so you should remove it before feeding to avoid intestinal problems.
If you want to give your dog sweet potato fries, do so in moderation. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of vitamin A, which can harm dogs if consumed in large quantities.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Fries?
A few fries should not directly harm most healthy dogs.
However, it is not recommended to feed your dog French fries intentionally. French fries’ high fat, salt, and carbohydrate content can cause diarrhea or vomiting in some dogs.
However, a dog that regularly eats French fries can develop severe health issues like diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.
You must be especially careful when feeding dogs with existing health problems unhealthy food.
All dogs need a balanced, nutritious diet to keep them healthy and disease-free.
And if you’re unsure about what to feed your dog, it’s best to consult your vet.