Potatoes may seem pretty ordinary and you wouldn’t suspect that you can’t give them to your dog. Let’s see what sort of potatoes they can have, which they can’t, and whether or not you should even bother.
Dogs are mostly carnivores out in the wild, which means that historically they like to eat meat mostly. Think of a pack of wolves, they’re pack hunters and will bring down a larger animal and then all eat it together. An interesting point to consider is that carnivores usually eat herbivores, and that means that wild dogs would be supplementing their meat with whatever veggies the prey consumed.
So it is natural for you to give your dog an assortment of vegetables, to go along with a diet mostly made up of meat. But raw vegetables should be avoided, as a dog’s digestive system wouldn’t be used to it. The vegetation that would have been eaten by their prey would have been partially digested, removing the need for a dog to develop the gastric juices required to break up raw vegetables.
Can I Give My Dog Potatoes? Answer: Cooked and in small quantities
A dog can’t live on potatoes alone, and they definitely don’t handle raw potatoes well.
That’s why you should boil them until soft, or toss your dog a baked potato after it’s gone cold. You might think to give them mashed potatoes, but watch out, because they’ll contain added butter, milk, and salt, all things you need to consider before just handing it over to be gobbled up.
Much like eggplant, if you are going to give them potatoes, be sure that they’re just boiled or baked with nothing added to them. Your dog will still wolf it down, and they won’t mind about the taste too much.
Keeping a Healthy Balance
At no point do you want the protein/vegetable scale to slip toward the vegetarian side. Your dog needs the protein to help maintain proper functioning, and it does everything from keep their muscles strong, to giving them a healthy coat, to strengthening bones and teeth. So giving them the occasional vegetable like a potato is fine, as long as it’s not
And you don’t need to get a warm and fuzzy feeling by making your dog eat its vegetables, because it doesn’t have all the same benefits that it does for us humans. This means that you don’t need to make it a habit for them, as their food pyramid would look a lot different than ours.
Supplementing Your Dog’s Diet
One great thing about dogs is you really don’t need to worry about adding things to their daily diet of dog food and fresh water. They’re pretty happy with it, and they don’t absolutely need any other bells and whistles. This is sometimes hard for an owner to hear, because we want to pamper our dogs and we want them to have a great life.
We take a lot of pleasure from the taste of food and savoring different flavors every day, such as potatoes, but a dog just views it as intake. They aren’t going to get lost in the moment, and live to eat the way some people do.
You have to set aside your own feelings here, because even though you and I might not like the idea of eating the same boring food every day, your dog is blissfully ignorant and happy that to have daily sustenance delivered to their bowl. Pamper them in other ways with a daily walk, lots of play time, hugs, and speaking to them in the voice that makes them light up.
Also, be sure to consult with your vet before relying on our advice, or any other advice you find online or in a forum. There are too many breeds and sizes of dogs out there to take general advice from. Other owners may have the best intentions, but they can only speak of their own experience with their very specific dog.
If you’re feeling hesitant or think that you’re getting unreliable information, a quick phone call to the vet’s office will put you in touch with their assistant, who is qualified to give advice on the matter without bothering the actual vet.