Can Dogs Eat French Fries
We love junk food. Our absolute favorite side dish is french fries. If you ever went through a drive-through with your dog in the back seat, you probably noticed their interest in the food that arrived in your car. Their ears spark up, eyes get wider, and they can even let out a quiet whine.
They will do anything to get a bite of your food. You probably wondered, “Can dogs eat french fries?” We love sharing things and food with our dogs, but not all food is safe for them. Here is what you should know about dogs and french fries.
Are french fries safe for dogs?
The shortest answer would be - no. Technically, dogs can eat french fries, but before you decide to order a portion just for your dog, there are some things you should know. French fries are unhealthy for dogs and for us (sadly).
The best advice is to not give your dog any, and if you can do that, that would be best. Fries are delicious, but more often than not, they will lead to an upset stomach. It would be best to avoid feeding fries to your dog.
Why are french fries bad for dogs?
Dogs can eat potatoes, so french fries should be safe, right? Not really. That is not how it works, unfortunately. French fries are really bad for dogs. Some dogs might tolerate them better than others, but all dogs will have gastrointestinal issues if they eat too much french fries. The worst thing is, that is only the beginning.
Potatoes are generally safe for dogs, but they are high in carbohydrates. If a dog eats food that has high carbohydrate values, they will gain weight over time. That might not seem like a big issue, but obesity is killing dogs in the US. More than 60% of all dogs in the US are obese, which has a deep impact on their health.
Obesity will destroy the dog’s joints, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and eventually heart. If you notice signs your dog is becoming overweight, it is time to adjust their diet and stop feeding them unhealthy things. Treats should also be switched to those that have fewer calories.
If you want to know more about dog obesity, check out this article - Obesity in dogs.
The second main ingredient in french fries is oil. While some oils, like fish or salmon oil, can be beneficial for dogs, that is not the type of oil french fries are prepared in. Fries are usually prepared in canola or vegetable oil. They have all sorts of unhealthy oils in them. The worst ones are trans and saturated fats, which are incredibly unhealthy for dogs.
Dogs cannot properly digest these fats, and if they ingest too much of it, it will cause them severe digestive upsets. The dog will start vomiting and will most likely get diarrhea. In the long run, these types of oils will contribute to the development of severe health issues like;
Not many dog owners know this, but excessive oil consumption can lead to bloat. A severe condition that makes the dog’s stomach turn on itself. It is life-threatening, and if immediate veterinarian help isn’t provided, the dog can die.
Another thing that makes french fries so delicious is salt. There is nothing better than eating delicious, hot, salty french fries with ketchup. However, dogs cannot tolerate salty food. Salt is not in their usual diet in large quantities, and they cannot process it the way we can. Luckily, the dog will need to eat many very salty fries to get salt poisoning, but it is still not worth the risk. There are no benefits the dog would get from french fries.
In the short term, salty fries will lead to increased thirst, slight dehydration, and some changes to urination. If the salt ingestion continues for a long time, it can lead to kidney issues, which is a severe health concern.
What to do if your dog ate french fries?
The good news is, if your dog ate just a couple of fries you dropped, there is no real reason to be concerned. Make sure they have plenty of water for when they get thirsty. Dogs can tolerate a few fries, but it is vital to keep an eye on their behavior after ingesting them.
Make sure your dog is not allergic to potatoes, and if that happens, you should take them to your vet. Some dogs can be intolerable, and that means they will have some gastrointestinal upset. Other symptoms you might notice in your dog are;
These problems are just irritating to deal with, but they shouldn’t cause any real harm. Dogs that eat french fries and suffer from these issues will get well pretty soon. However, other, more severe reactions can happen. They will mean a medical emergency, and you should seek veterinary help immediately. These issues are;
- Salt poisoning - Small dog breeds like the Pomeranian are most at risk. Salt poisoning symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, fever, confusion, seizures, and coma.
- Allergic reaction - Dogs can suffer a severe allergic reaction to oils or potatoes. The symptoms are swelling, hives, panting, heavy breathing. The worst-case scenario is an anaphylactic shock.
- Bloat - Bloat is one of the worst things dogs can experience. Bloat symptoms are drooling, panting, swollen abdomen, pacing, pain, and retching without anything coming out.
There are plenty of safe alternatives dogs can eat. Some human foods are healthy for dogs, and they can safely share some with us. Make sure you know what is safe for your dog to eat and what you should avoid. Check out this article for some healthy ideas - Fruits dogs can eat.
World Dog Finder team