Potatoes are one of the most common vegetables eaten by people across the globe. Not only are they especially satiating, but they are packed with valuable nutrients including vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium.
Though they can be high in carbs and calories if they’re fried in grease, they’re typically considered a fairly healthy part of the American fare. So, it’s not uncommon to see someone feeding their dog potatoes. But is this a bad idea? Are potatoes bad for dogs? We’ve looked into this and will answer this question for you.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
The answer is yes and no. Potatoes are actually good for dogs in some ways. For example, they are high in carbohydrates, but very low in fat. This makes them an excellent energy source for adult dogs and pups.
Although they’re fairly low in protein, they are rich in vitamins B and C, as well as potassium. Potatoes can also help add fiber to your dog’s diet. So, they can be an excellent part of your dog’s diet if consumed in small quantities.
But because of their high levels of solanine, potato skins, tubers, and sprouts can be harmful to dogs. Dogs that consume too much solanine can get very sick. Although toxicity is uncommon, it can happen. It can cause vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and even lethargy.
Solanine, a glycoalkaloid found in potatoes, is not safe for dogs. Solanine can be found in potato skins, potato plants, and raw potatoes.
Dogs are generally safe from eating plain potatoes that have had their skin removed. They should not be a mainstay of their diet because of the high amounts of carbohydrates.
Potential Heart Issues
Potatoes have also been linked with potential heart issues in dogs. The FDA issued an update highlighting concerns about a possible link between potatoes and heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs.
They suggested that there could be a link between the disease and dog diets containing potatoes as the main component. Your dog’s vet should be able to provide you with an update on the latest research regarding dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs and answer any questions you may have about your dog’s diet. So, before giving your dog potatoes, be sure to get the “Ok” from your vet.
Can I Feed My Dog Raw Potatoes?
No. You shouldn’t feed your dog raw potatoes as this can be dangerous. Raw potatoes contain more glycoalkaloids (which are present in the green-colored areas), including solanine.
So, if your furry friend accidentally eats raw potatoes or potato plants, you may want to take it to the vet as soon as possible, especially if it begins to experience digestive issues such as vomiting, dry heaving, or diarrhea.
Can Potatoes Be Fatal To Dogs?
In some cases, yes. There have been reports of toxicity in dogs who have been given potatoes, particularly those that are unripe (meaning that they are still green).
So, you’ll want to avoid giving raw potatoes to your dog as it may cause digestive problems or issues with its nervous system. It’s also worth noting that the majority of the solanine found in potatoes is removed by cooking, making them safer for dogs to eat.
What’s The Best Way To Feed Dogs Potatoes?
The best way to feed dogs potatoes is to do it in very small portions that are prepared with care. Let’s take a closer look at some ways to prepare them.
Cook Them Thoroughly
Always cook the potatoes thoroughly before feeding them to your dog. There should be no green areas on the potatoes, as these areas are likely high in solanine, which can cause issues for your pup.
Always Peel The Skins
Although small amounts of skin likely won’t cause problems for your dog, excessive amounts of potato skin can lead to kidney problems. So be sure to skin the potatoes beforehand. It also helps to chop them up into small pieces or mash them, which makes it easier for your dog to consume.
Avoid Using Oils and Butter
Oils and butter in high amounts can cause digestive issues in dogs. It can also lead to unhealthy weight gain and pancreatic inflammation.
Avoid Dairy Products and Seasonings
This includes milk, cheese, pepper, and salt, as well as toxic ingredients such as onions and garlic. All of these are tasty toppings but can cause disease and in rare cases, fatalities in dogs. In short, simply ditch all the “extras” that humans love to add to potatoes and serve your dog’s potatoes plain.
To sum things up, your dog can eat potatoes, but only in small portions. And when serving them be sure to skin and cook them thoroughly and avoid using added seasonings and other ingredients.
Featured Image Credit: Wounds_and_Cracks, Pixabay