Potatoes are often called “second bread”. This product is the most popular in almost every home. Therefore, even those owners who strictly monitor the diet of their pets, there are mishaps the dog will grab a piece of boiled potatoes from the table. The owner treats it to a spoonful of mashed potatoes with gravy, without asking himself the question – can dogs eat cooked and mashed potatoes with gravy. In this article we answer the question: can dogs eat potatoes?
Are potatoes good for dogs
This question is answered by our best dog food expert. Once upon a time in Europe they didn’t even know the taste of the potato, although in South America, the home of the root vegetable, it has been worshipped since ancient times.
Let’s remember the useful properties of the root vegetable. In the composition of potatoes are:
Potatoes can be called a medicinal plant, as they have antioxidant, antispasmodic properties, have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system.
- Starch is a source of carbohydrates that are processed into energy. On the one hand, it is useful, but on the other hand, it threatens obesity and diabetes, both for humans and pets. In addition, starch is poorly digested by pets and clogs the stomach and intestines, leading to constipation, flatulence and indigestion. We shouldn’t forget that dogs have short intestines, so they get clogged from starchy food quite quickly;
- Fiber is a healthy plant component that is often referred to as the fourth nutrient along with proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It improves digestion and absorbs excess body fluids. Because of its beneficial properties, manufacturers include plant components (including potatoes) in premium and holistic dog feeds;
- Micronutrients, such as potassium and copper. The former helps the heart, vessels and nervous system to function properly, and is the building material for the muscles. Potassium also provides water balance in the body. Copper helps build bone tissue and collagen, a protein that forms the basis of connective tissue;
- Vitamins A, B group, C, E. Vitamin A ensures good eyesight, improves the quality of hair, B vitamins are involved in almost all processes occurring in the body, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) helps to strengthen immunity and improve metabolism. Vitamin E strengthens the nervous system and muscles.
Given the useful composition of potatoes, veterinarians do not categorically prohibit giving them to dogs, the only question is – how much and in what form.
Are all dogs allowed to eat potatoes?
Our dog nutrition expert is convinced – there is no need to include potatoes in pets’ diets. The dog ate a potato – it will not do any harm, but there are many other, more useful vegetable crops that will provide the pet’s body with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
How many potatoes can a dog eat?
A dog is a predator, and in nature, predators eat more than just meat: the contents of their prey – usually small herbivorous rodents and birds – enter their bodies as well. Therefore, grass, cereals and plant roots are present in the diet of wild animals. In summer, they also dainty plants, berries, so nature itself has provided the dogs diet not only protein, but also carbohydrate food.
At home, a balanced diet is taken care of by the dog’s human owner. The best Chewy pet food already contains all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs. When feeding natural food, we should provide them in the right amounts by choosing the healthiest ingredients. Since potatoes are not an important food in the diet it is a matter of taste to add them to the menu. When dog owners asking can dogs eat potatoes, it is important to keep the following points in mind:
- The dog’s body is not able to digest a lot of carbohydrate-rich food, so it is worth adding potatoes to the menu only occasionally;
- It’s best given mixed with meat and other vegetables. Read more about the nutritional benefits of broccoli for your dog and the vitamins in carrots;
- The weekly volume of potatoes should not exceed 50 g for small breeds, and 150 g for medium and large ones;
- Potato flour can be added to the food, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons per week.
An excess of starchy and carbohydrate-rich foods in the dog’s diet increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, which should be considered by owners of dogs prone to excessive weight.
Can dogs eat raw potatoes and baked potatoes
Experts believe that the most useful for dogs is raw potatoes. It retains all the nutrients, which lose their properties during heat treatment. There are animals that are happy to chew on pieces of potato, and there is no need to panic about this. On the contrary! Such a product will do better than a spoonful of mashed potatoes with milk and butter (although the pet will not refuse the latter dish).
Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? It is better not to add sugar to potatoes, as sugar is very harmful to the pet.
Fried potatoes for pets are under a huge ban. And the danger is not so much from the root vegetable itself, but from the oil in which it is cooked since it contains carcinogens.
If your dog refuses to eat raw potatoes, you can chop them and mix them with vegetables or minced meat. Can dogs eat baked potatoes? Most of the useful substances are exactly under the rind, and this type of processing allows you to preserve them in maximum quantity. However, before feeding, the tubers should be peeled and cooled.
Only healthy tubers are suitable for feeding
If there are green spots on them, there is a risk of solanine poisoning. This is a toxic substance that has an irritating effect on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, causes vomiting, inflammation. If poisoned, the kidneys are affected:
- Kidneys, which can lead to severe nephritis, CNS damage;
- Respiratory organs (decreased respiratory rate, shortness of breath);
- heart and vascular system.
Poisoning is usually acute, and the danger to the animal is not only the greenish potatoes. But also the water in which it was boiled. Therefore, in order not to put the pet in danger, you should choose tubers carefully.
Why should you not give your dog potatoes
Potatoes should not be given to puppies before the age of 5 months, because their digestive system has not yet fully formed. In pregnant and lactating females, the starch can clog the milk ducts. Older and sick animals have a less active digestive system, so they should also exclude potatoes from their diet. Senior dogs are best served with Orijen Super Premium Food. This meal is made from high quality and fresh ingredients. In inactive animals, the carbohydrates in the vegetable are converted into fat, which can lead to obesity and related diseases.
Are potatoes chips and sweet potato fries bad for dogs?
So, can dogs eat potatoes? We can conclude from the above: yes, you can give your dog potatoes. But they are not a mandatory part of his diet. If he gets his nutrients from other sources, there’s no need to teach him to chew on potatoes. And if you see your dog trying to grab a tuber while planting or digging. It’s better to give him a piece of raw potato after washing it off the ground. The main thing is not to give potato chips, potato fries, as these are very bad for the dog.