Potatoes are something many people eat regularly in one form or another. They are versatile and can be boiled, fried, baked, mashed, deep-fried, or roasted. But just because people love to eat them doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for dogs. So, are dogs allowed to eat potatoes?
Dogs can eat plain boiled, baked, or fried potatoes without salt, oil, or spices. However, they should have them only occasionally and in small quantities because of the calories. Always remove the skin, as it is difficult to digest. Raw potatoes, french fries, potato chips, and other highly processed potato dishes are off-limits for dogs.
So, if your dog is standing next to you at dinner with a pleading look on his face and wants to have some, it depends on what exactly you have on your plate.
In this article, we discuss which types of potato dishes are suitable for dogs and which are not. We also explain the advantages and disadvantages of potatoes for dogs.
In addition, we discuss the nutritional value of potatoes for dogs and answer other questions you may have regarding potatoes and dogs.
Are Potatoes Suitable for Dogs?
Cooked potatoes are generally safe for dogs, but raw potatoes are not. Most cooked varieties of potatoes are safe.
However, in dog food, sweet potatoes are usually used more, which are suitable for dogs and typically taste good to them.
However, even the regular golden or red potatoes are usually safe, provided your dog does not have an allergy to nightshade plants.
Cooked potatoes must always be unseasoned and prepared with little or no fat to avoid problems.
Possible potato dishes for your dog are:
- Baked potatoes: only the flesh, as the skin can be indigestible
- Boiled potatoes: cook without salt and serve plain
- Mashed potatoes: prepared with little milk or butter and without spices
- Fried potatoes: fried with little fat and without spices.
Many other potato dishes are unsuitable for dogs, mainly because of the other ingredients. Many of these ingredients can harm dogs, including garlic and onions, which belong to the allium family.
These leeks are toxic to dogs and cause hemolytic anemia. This is a dangerous condition in which the red blood cells are damaged.
Creamy potato dishes that contain large amounts of dairy or fat can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
High salt content or other spices can also cause indigestion. So stick to the simple potato dishes mentioned above, and your dog should be fine.
What is the Nutritional Value of Potatoes for Dogs?
For humans, potatoes primarily provide starchy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our energy source and should make up about a third of our daily diet to keep us healthy.
Potatoes also contain vitamin C, which is beneficial for a healthy immune system and healthy skin, and vitamin B6, which contributes to good neurological health.
The cooked potato skin is an excellent source of fiber.
Dogs can benefit from many of these nutrients, but not all. For example, dogs don’t need vitamin C from their food, as they can produce their own vitamin C.
Dogs also don’t need as many carbohydrates as humans do, so it can be easy to overfeed them accidentally.
Some nutrients beneficial to dogs found in potatoes, such as potassium and iron, are also found in commercial dog food.
What Are the Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs?
Giving dogs a few potatoes occasionally can have some benefits for them:
- They are safe in cooked form.
- They provide starchy carbohydrates as a source of energy.
- Boiled potatoes are usually easy to digest.
- They contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Potatoes are inexpensive and relatively easy to obtain.
When are potatoes bad for dogs?
There are several situations when potatoes can be harmful to dogs. In particular, adding other ingredients and specific ways of preparing potatoes can be problematic for dogs.
In their raw state, potatoes are toxic and can cause potentially serious side effects.
Certain Potato Dishes Can Be Dangerous
Regular, unseasoned potatoes are generally safe for dogs, but some potato dishes can cause problems.
In the following sections, we’ll go over typical potato dishes unsuitable for dogs.
French fries usually contain a lot of fat and salt and are low in nutrients. If eaten in excess, they can cause stomach upset in dogs.
Due to their high-fat content, they can even lead to dangerous pancreatitis. Even though it is unlikely that one serving will do much harm, you should not give them regularly.
Similar to French fries, they are usually fried in large amounts of fat or oil and then often seasoned as well. Both of these are a problem for dogs.
So only give your dog fried potatoes fried with little fat and not seasoned.
Feeding your dog fried potatoes or deep-fried potatoes in large amounts of oil or with onions or garlic added can cause serious problems.
Please pay attention to the seasonings used and be very selective when feeding them to your dog.
Potato gratin is a rich dish with cream or milk and often garlic. Some dogs can’t tolerate lactose, which can cause stomach upset.
However, the even bigger problem is garlic, which is harmful to dogs because it can cause hemolytic anemia. This is a severe problem with the red blood cells.
Therefore, you should avoid these foods for your dog.
Potato chips contain little nutrients but usually have a high fat and salt content. This makes them quite a bad choice for dogs.
Usually, potato chips are highly processed and seasoned, making them difficult for dogs to digest.
Other Potato Dishes
Avoid potato dishes that contain toppings like melted cheese or other ingredients like gravy and chili, as these can cause stomach problems.
Buttered potatoes can also be problematic due to their fat and milk content.
If your dog accidentally ingests a large amount of any of these foods, you should ask your veterinarian for advice, especially if he is showing signs of illness.
Onions and garlic are of particular concern as they are toxic to dogs. In that case, your dog may need treatment.
Potatoes can cause severe problems in dogs if eaten raw.
They are toxic if not cooked and contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid toxin. Exceptionally high levels of solanine are found in green or sprouted potatoes, making them especially dangerous.
Since the potato plant belongs to the nightshade family, it also contains high levels of solanine. This toxin causes a slowed heartbeat, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly vision problems.
So, dogs should never have raw potatoes or potato peels.
Every dog owner knows that dogs do not always follow the rules of common sense and, on occasion, like to eat things they should not.
To avoid such accidents, keep potatoes high up out of your dog’s reach or lock them in a cupboard.
If you grow potatoes in your garden, make sure your dog can’t get to them and eat them.
If your dog accidentally eats many raw potatoes, you should ask your veterinarian for advice.
Not only is there a risk of poisoning, but there is also a risk of digestive tract blockage if he has eaten large quantities of hard-to-digest raw potatoes.
What Are the Disadvantages of Potatoes for Dogs?
There are some problems with feeding potatoes that you should be aware of before offering them to your dog. These are:
- Potatoes contain a lot of energy and add extra calories to your dog’s diet.
- Dogs should only eat them plain and without seasonings.
- Raw potatoes are very dangerous for dogs.
- Spices and other ingredients can cause health problems in dogs.
- The nutritional content of potatoes is minimal compared to many vegetables.
- Potatoes have no real health benefits for dogs.
- They can spike blood sugar levels, so caution is advised for diabetics.
Therefore, it is best to stick with regular dog food and only give your dog an occasional piece of cooked potato as a treat if your dog particularly likes them.
Should I Give Potatoes to My Dog?
As long as the potatoes are cooked and not prepared with ingredients that could harm dogs, there is no problem.
Dogs should only be given potatoes in moderation, as they add extra calories to the dog, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. It is best to provide potatoes only occasionally as a treat.
The nutritional content of potatoes is minimal compared to most vegetables. If you want to do something for your dog’s health, give him carrots, zucchini, or peas instead.
Some dogs don’t like potatoes, so leave them out if your dog doesn’t like them.
Is Rice Or Potatoes Better for Dogs?
White rice and potatoes are very similar in being bland and easy to digest. Both also provide some form of starchy carbohydrate.
Both potatoes and rice are suitable for dogs in small amounts as long as they are cooked and served unseasoned.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?
Dogs can eat plain mashed potatoes as long as they are prepared with little milk, butter, and cream, and without any seasonings.
It is usually the addition of dairy products such as milk, cream, or butter that causes problems, as some dogs cannot digest the lactose in cow’s milk.
Other ingredients, such as garlic or salt, can also cause side effects in dogs.
Do Potatoes Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?
Plain, unseasoned cooked potatoes with no additives are not known to cause diarrhea in dogs. However, it also depends on how sensitive your dog’s stomach is.
Raw potatoes are pretty likely to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, avoid raw potatoes altogether.
Conclusion: Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Potatoes?
Potatoes are safe for dogs in certain forms of preparation. However, there are no proven health benefits to dogs eating potatoes.
Therefore, you should only feed cooked potatoes to your dog occasionally and not regularly. Never give your dog salty or creamy potato dishes.
If your dog accidentally eats something he shouldn’t, such as raw potatoes or a potato dish with lots of onions or garlic, you should contact your veterinarian.