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Sharing a potato with a precious pet pooch is fine. Doing so can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, but there are a few key factors to consider.
First and foremost:
White potatoes are in the Nightshade family and this may trigger inflammation in some animals.
So when it comes to dogs, sweet potatoes and yams are preferred (they are also nutritionally superior).
Dogs Can Eat Potatoes (cooked and in moderation)
Vitamins A, B & C as well as iron are excellent attributes.
But just as excessive amounts of this high starch veggie can be unhealthy for humans, you should also go easy on the potatoes when filling up your dog’s food bowl.
Note: Diabetic dogs should not be allowed to partake in potatoes for reasons we’ll be going into.
It should (once again) be emphasized:
Sweet potatoes are better than the regular white variety and the reason is pretty straightforward…
They fall outside the Solanaceae (AKA Nightshade family). And again, sweet potatoes also have more nutrients.
FYI: Obviously, potato chips or french fries are always out of the question!
Prep Potatoes For Pets
You must cook potatoes!
It’s important to avoid feeding potatoes raw due to a glycoalkaloid poison called solanine. Unfortunately, this naturally-occurring chemical can be toxic. In particular, it may affect your dog’s nervous system.
Preparation is an absolute must before chow time, and you also shouldn’t get carried away!
Here is what Dr. Seabolt recommends:
Remember that potatoes are a carbohydrate, and dogs don’t need many carbs. So don’t add potatoes into your dog’s food very often because they are mainly adding unnecessary calories. For this reason, avoid potatoes for diabetic dogs
When cooking potatoes for your dog, wash and peel them then boil or bake them with no added fat, spices, or salt. Cooked and cooled plain potatoes can make a healthy treat for dogs, just don’t over do it.
Are Mashed Potatoes OK for Dogs?
It’s best to avoid ingredients like butter, cheese, bacon bits, milk and salt. That’s why mashed potatoes are questionable for dogs (unless they are without any of these additions).
A furry friend will likely wolf down a plain potato portion (in very short order) without critiquing the taste!
Carbohydrates And Canines
Careful with starchy vegetables!
White potatoes are nearly off the charts on the Glycemic Index which means only very active dogs have a chance to burn enough of those calories.
While regular potatoes contain some nutrients, the carbohydrate factor is still a real concern.
So do this:
Strictly limit portions! As you may know, canine obesity is out of control these days.
Besides, adding a bunch of potatoes to your dog’s regular food can throw off the right balance of nutrients.
Regarding Vegetarian Diets
Some experts encourage owners not to tip the scales towards a vegetarian diet.
They argue that dogs do not need lots of starchy potatoes.
Even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean vegetables cannot be shared. Just limit them to secondary status because animal protein and calcium are the priority.
Nevertheless, check out this excellent sweet potato recipe for dogs!
Don’t feel bad if your dog doesn’t get to regularly eat healthy vegetables.
Quite honestly, potatoes (though they contain vitamin C and iron) aren’t going to help out a hound much.
The Bottom Line
You can feed your dog modest potatoes portions.
Our advice is to cook this veggie and keep it plain and be sure to ration portions (due to Nightshade and carb concerns).
For dogs, sweet potatoes are generally a better choice than white potatoes.
Go ahead and feed this staple food on occasion, but always ensure a balanced diet by providing quality dog food.