french fries

Potatoes are the essential backbone of so many comfort foods, and they also happen to be delicious! We have Thomas Jefferson to thank for these crispy and salty bites of bliss. Jefferson brought them to America in the late 1700s, but he named them “pommes de terre frites à cru en petites tranches” (which translates to “potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings”).

But if your dog has suddenly run off with a few of your fries, you might be worried if they are safe for your dog to eat. Are French fries bad for dogs?

French fries are indeed bad for your dog, but if your dog has only eaten a few, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Here, we answer this question in more detail so you can better understand why dogs shouldn’t eat French fries.

Why Are French Fries Bad for Dogs?

French fries are not toxic in any way, so you don’t have to worry about that. Some dog foods even contain potatoes, so the problem isn’t with the potatoes themselves.

For the most part, French fries aren’t the healthiest things for us to eat, and the same goes for our dogs. Having an order of fries on occasion is fine, but it shouldn’t be a regular snack.


Fries are usually made by being deep fried in oil. Some people need to take an antacid for indigestion after eating fries, but dogs will get hit harder with the excess fat. A diet with too much fat can lead to obesity or gastroenteritis (upset stomach), at the very least.

But a diet high in fat can also lead to more serious issues, such as pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas due in part to fatty foods. This is a condition that can be fatal if left untreated.

There’s also the possibility of bloat, also known as gastric torsion. While it is relatively common in large breeds, it can happen to any breed, with a high-fat diet being a potential culprit. If left untreated, it can be fatal.


Fries are loaded with salt, and unfortunately, dogs are prone to salt poisoning. The symptoms of a salt poisoning in dogs are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excessive urination and thirst
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Your dog will need to ingest a large amount of salt to get the more serious outcomes of coma and death, but it does highlight how important it is to give them foods that are not high in salt.

french fries
Image courtesy of Pixabay


Potatoes aren’t necessarily bad for dogs, but too many potatoes are not recommended if your dog has diabetes, as they can cause a spike in blood sugar.

There’s also the possibility that a dog can have a food allergy to potatoes. Typical symptoms of an allergic reaction are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Possible aggression

The most common cause of food allergies in dogs is usually proteins, but almost any food can cause an allergic reaction.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Fries?

If your dog just managed to grab a few fries, you likely have nothing to worry about. But if your dog managed to scarf down an entire order of fries, you’ll need to keep an eye on your pup for the next few hours.

Ensure that your dog has plenty of fresh and clean water, as the salt will probably make your dog thirsty.

There’s also the possibility of your dog experiencing an upset stomach, so you might have a bit of cleaning up to do.

Otherwise, just monitor your dog’s condition, and get in touch with your vet if anything worrisome occurs.


If your dog ate a few fries, there’s no harm done, but it’s a little more serious if your dog managed to grab a significant number of them. It’s worse if fries are a regular part of a dog’s diet. It’s best to stick with foods and treats made for dogs and to only give human foods to your pup if they are approved by your vet.

If you’re at all concerned about your dog’s diet and health, speak to your vet, as they will be able to guide you through any potential problems. After all, you want your dog to stick around for as long as possible!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay