Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Potato is one of the most versatile vegetables in the world. Mashed, fried, chips, tater tots, and even potato skins can be delicious side dishes or treats. Some types of alcohol, like vodka, are made by fermenting potatoes. If you have a dog, you probably noticed that to your dog, it doesn’t really matter what you are eating; they just want a little piece of your food. Potatoes are definitely a part of that. You will probably notice your dog looking at you while you are eating some delicious potatoes.
It might be very popular with humans, but should you give some to your dog? Is potato even safe for dogs to eat?
The answer can be rather complicated. There are definitely some things that you should know before you feed your dog potatoes.
Is potato safe for dogs?
The answer to that question would be - it depends. The key to feeding your dog potato is in the preparation. There are some safe ways you could give your dog some potatoes, but what you should never ever do is give your dog raw potato.
Potatoes are a part of the nightshade “family” of vegetables that contain a chemical called solanine. It is not the only vegetable containing solanine; tomato has it too. In larger amounts, solanine can be very toxic, and that is why you should avoid giving your dog raw potato.
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The safe way to do it is to cook it first. Cooking a potato will reduce the solanine levels and make it safe for your dog to eat. The second safe way to give your dog potato is baked. Baking will deplete the solanine levels in a potato, and it will also be safe for dogs to eat.
You might have heard that raw potato causes fever in humans. You should always cook or bake potatoes thoroughly to avoid any physical issues after consuming some.
Are there any benefits for my dog if they eat potatoes?
Potatoes have a long history and have played crucial roles in some societies’ fight against hunger. It was first cultivated in South America, in Peru and Bolivia several thousand years ago. Spanish colonizers brought it back to Europe, where farmers started growing them. The most famous country associated with potatoes is Ireland.
No plant would have such a rich history if it didn’t have nutritional value. They are full of healthy nutrients and carbohydrates, but that also means you should be careful how much you give to your dog. If their intake isn’t controlled, potatoes will make your dog gain weight. The best things potatoes can offer our dogs and us are;
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is essential for the growth and repair of all body tissue. It helps the body absorb iron and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C is one of the most consumed supplements in the world.
- Vitamin B6 - Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. It helps the body use and store energy it gets from protein and carbohydrates.
- Iron - Iron is essential for the creation of red blood cells. It is a mineral that helps the body grow and develop.
- Magnesium - Magnesium is another essential nutrient found in potatoes. It helps with nerve and muscle function, blood sugar level, blood pressure, protein production, DNA, and bones.
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Can potatoes be bad for dogs?
In some cases, potatoes should not be given to dogs. If a dog has canine diabetes, they should avoid eating potatoes because they can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Also, overweight and obese dogs shouldn’t eat potatoes because they are rich in carbohydrates.
A recent study from UC Davis Veterinary School was published linking the dog’s diet with canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Canine dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart and causes it to increase in size and reduces the pumping ability. This disease’s main reason is still genetic, but it can be traced back to dogs that ate peas, lentils, legume seeds, and potatoes in rare cases.
Feeding your dog with baked potato can cause gastrointestinal upset and blockage. It can cause vomiting, pain, and diarrhea, especially if the dog ate a raw potato. Plus, potatoes are packed with carbohydrates. They have high nutritional values, but that means that your dog will gain weight if they eat too much.
Ever thought about giving your dog broccoli? Check out this article - Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Alternatives to potato
Giving your dog something that can cause them problems might not be the best idea, especially with the study that can connect canine dilated cardiomyopathy with certain foods. There are a lot of healthier and tastier options for your dog that they will enjoy. If you are adamant about giving your dog some fruits and veggies, think about giving them:
- Baby carrots
- Green beans
Remember, before you introduce anything new to your dog’s diet, consult your vet. Some foods might be safe, but your dog can have specific issues that can prevent them from eating them.
If you are interested in reading about human foods you should avoid giving to your dog, check out this article - Human Foods That Can Kill Your Dog.
World Dog Finder team