Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
While your dog shouldn’t eat any delicious french fries, buttery mashed potatoes, or crispy hash browns, dogs can enjoy potatoes when prepared correctly! In fact, potatoes are filled with a variety of nutritious vitamins and minerals, including B Vitamins, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, and Vitamin C, all of which work together to keep your dog healthy and happy for as long as possible!
However, before you start giving your dog a spud as a snack, let’s put the potato in the hot seat (otherwise known as a hot potato!) and explore how to best feed it to your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Yes, plain, cooked potatoes provide dogs with a wide variety of nutritional benefits, including:
- Promotes healthy fluid balance for energy and cellular health.
- Maintains red blood cells and cellular respiration.
- Aids in proper muscle and nerve function.
- Supports collagen formation and builds strong bones.
Dogs can enjoy potatoes cooked in a handful of methods, such as baked, boiled, or mashed. Just avoid giving your dog pan-fried potatoes, as there may be residual oil and seasonings on the pan, which can be harmful to dogs. Similarly, dogs should not eat fried potatoes, such as tater tots. More for you!
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes! Like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Fiber, and Beta-Carotene. Together, these vitamins:
- Support circulation, metabolism, nerve function, and digestion.
- Promote healthy skin and coat.
- Aid in the proper functioning of enzymes, muscles, and nerves.
- Improve vision and the immune system.
However, raw sweet potatoes and the skin (whether cooked or uncooked) can be difficult for dogs to chew and digest. So, because of that, dogs should only be given plain, peeled, and cooked sweet potatoes. Mix some into their kibble and they will love the sweet, juicy flavor it adds to dinner!
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Dogs should not eat raw potatoes. When raw, potatoes contain a compound called solanine — which can be found in other vegetables that are part of the nightshade family, such as eggplants. Solanine is a naturally occurring compound found throughout the plant as a way to deter insects and disease. Unfortunately, solanine is dangerous for both humans and dogs and can lead to solanine poisoning if eaten in large quantities.
When humans or animals ingest too much solanine, they may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, dilated pupils, headache, inflammation, joint pain, and more. In severe cases, it can cause side effects such as hallucinations, paralysis, and death.
Thankfully, Solanine Poisoning is rare today, as there are steps in place to monitor the potato industry for solanine levels. However, there are things you can do to lower your solanine intake. To start, store your potatoes in a dark area to lower the risk of increased solanine levels brought on by sunlight. Additionally, if you notice that your potato looks a little green or if it’s starting to grow green tubers, that may be an indication of solanine concentrations, and you should toss the potato in the trash.
Most often, the highest concentrations of solanine are in a potato’s peel and sprouts, both of which are commonly removed before cooking potatoes anyway! Check out this Smithsonian article to learn more about the history of Solanine Poisoning.
Ultimately, as long as you avoid eating green potatoes, you’ll be fine — after all, people eat potatoes every day, plus, they are very healthy for both you and your dog! Additionally, note that sweet potatoes are, interestingly, not part of the nightshade family and do not contain solanine.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?
We recommend not giving your dog any potato skins due to their levels of potential solanine. While they’d need to eat a lot to have any negative effects, it’s better to play it safe. Additionally, potato skins contain oxalates, which can lead to kidney problems down the road.
How Many Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?
Potatoes, whether plain or sweet, should be given to dogs in moderation — a general rule of thumb is that a dog’s diet should only consist of 10% treats/snacks, which is anything outside of their day-to-day food. This is a great rule to keep in mind, particularly because potatoes are high in carbohydrates and can lead to obesity. When given in small amounts, though, potatoes are a great source of energy, fiber, and a variety of natural vitamins for all dogs!
Overall, peeled and cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes are a healthy, natural snack that most dogs love and can eat in moderation. If you’re unsure of how much your dog can safely eat, contact your veterinarian to talk through your dog’s nutritional needs based on their size, age, activity level, and current diet.
At Portland Pet Food Company, we use peeled, diced white potatoes in our fan-favorite topper, Hopkins Pork N’ Potato! Mix a few tablespoons into your dog’s standard kibble and your dog will go crazy for their dinner. Plus, we offer four additional flavors, Wally’s Salmon N’ Rice, Tuxedo’s Chicken & Yams, Grandma Ada’s Turkey & Yams, and Rosie’s Beef N’ Rice, all of which provide dogs with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Rotate all five meals throughout the month to give your dog a well-rounded diet!
Ready to give it a shot? Try our meal variety pack at 40% off, using the code TRYPPFC at checkout. Then, once you know your dog loves PPFC, subscribe and save 10% off every order. Your dog's health will thank you!