Are Potatoes Good for Dogs? Dog Health

It’s no secret that dogs will scarf down any scraps they can find. However, canines also like to get into gardens. You let your dog out to take care of his business, and suddenly he’s coming back with dirty paws. Should you be worried if your dog eats a potato? Are potatoes good for dogs? Today we will explore the health effects of this popular veggie.


Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?

The potato is arguably the most popular vegetable for humans. (How about some fries, hash browns, or potato salad?) But can dogs enjoy this versatile veggie as well?

The American Kennel Club states that when it comes to potatoes and dogs, it depends. Potatoes can be prepared properly for pups, but they can also be harmful if served incorrectly. Read on to find out the healthy way to serve potatoes to your furry friend.


Known Your Nightshade

Before we discuss the health benefits of potatoes for dogs, we need to find out what potato dangers to avoid.

First, let’s circle back to the scenario of your dog getting into your garden. In this case, you should be concerned. Dogs should never eat raw potatoes.

Like the tomato, the potato is a nightshade vegetable. Raw potatoes and tomatoes both contain solanine. This compound can be toxic to dogs. Therefore, it is never safe for dogs to consume raw potatoes. However, as I will later discuss, potatoes are safe for dogs to eat when cooked properly. Cooking potatoes overall reduces the solanine levels.

Solanine is present mostly in the green parts of some nightshade plants. Young fruit, stems, and leaves pose greater threats to dog safety. Signs of solanine poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, and confusion.

However, dogs have to consume a large amount of solanine to experience severe poisoning. If you have any concerns over your dog eating nightshade plants, don’t hesitate to call your vet.


Are Potatoes Good for Dogs?

So how are potatoes good for dogs? Why bother feeding them potatoes in the first place?

For one, your dog probably enjoys the taste of the veggie. (But doesn’t your dog enjoy all food?) But potatoes actually contain a lot of nutrients that dogs need, such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron. Overall, these nutrients fuel canine health.

Therefore, potatoes can be a safe and even nutritious snack for dogs. It is important to remember the benefits of a balanced diet. However, animal protein should make up a far larger part of your dog’s meal plan.


How to Serve Dogs Potatoes

Now that you’re aware of the risks and benefits of serving your dog potatoes, let’s explore the correct way to serve the veggie. As previously discussed, dogs should only be eating cooked potatoes.

In addition to the health risk, it is also more difficult for dogs to chew and digest uncooked potatoes. Canines face the added issues of choking and intestinal blockage when eating raw potatoes.

The healthiest way to cook potatoes for dogs is to bake or boil them. Remember that dogs should not be consuming excess salts, fats, or seasonings. For this reason, potatoes should never be fried in oil or salted when served to dogs.

Additionally, if your dog is diabetic or overweight, you probably should hold off on serving her potatoes in the first place. Potatoes can cause blood sugar spikes, so they aren’t the best choice for dogs with these health conditions.

Potatoes are also high in carbohydrates. Since carbs should never make up a main part of a doggie diet, be sure to only ever serve potatoes in moderation. It is also best to always introduce new food items to dogs slowly and in small servings.


Pup-tato Conclusions

Are potatoes good for dogs? While a plain baked potato can make for a safe canine snack, be sure to never serve your dog raw or fried potatoes. Overall be aware of the risks associated with serving your dog potatoes.

Are you looking for a healthier alternative to feeding your dog potatoes? Check out are sweet potatoes good for dogs.

Emma Polini