Can Dogs Eat Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes?

Katy Nelson, DVM
Jul 30, 2020
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Potatoes are popular root vegetables that serve as a source of starch and other nutrients for humans. But can dogs eat potatoes? It depends on the type of potato and whether it’s cooked or not.

Here’s some insight on whether potatoes and sweet potatoes are safe or beneficial for dogs to eat.

Can Dogs Have Potatoes?

Potatoes provide a common source of starch and protein in commercial dog foods. Potato protein is also often found in limited ingredient diets for dogs. These ingredients are processed and formulated specifically for the nutritional requirement of dogs.

But what if your dog eats a piece of a potato? Is it bad for them? What if the potato is raw?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes or Raw Sweet Potatoes?

White potatoes are vegetables in the nightshade family that contain a compound called solanine. This is toxic to dogs, and therefore, they should never eat raw potatoes. Cooking a potato helps reduce the amount of solanine so that it’s safe for dogs.

Raw sweet potatoes can cause digestive upset in dogs. And both raw white potatoes and raw sweet potatoes can cause intestinal blockages.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked White Potatoes?

If you decide to feed your dog part of a white potato, it must be well-cooked with no added butter or seasoning. Potato products such as potato chips, French fries or mashed potatoes can contain an excess amount of fat and salt that is not healthy for dogs.

If your dog has diabetes, do not feed them potatoes, as they can cause spikes in blood sugar.

Any potato that’s given as a treat, even in small amounts, should be counted along with other treats to represent a maximum of 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes That Are Cooked?

Cooked sweet potatoes are healthier choices for dogs because they contain important nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Vegetables with an orange color contain beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A and an antioxidant that helps boost immunity.

Boiled, steamed, baked, or dehydrated sweet potatoes can be great snacks for your dog. However, check with your veterinarian before adding sweet potato to your dog’s diet because too much vitamin A can cause bone problems and muscle weakness.

In addition, sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, but veterinary supervision should be used before feeding sweet potato to a diabetic dog.

Calories from sweet potatoes should also be counted toward the 10% maximum amount of calories that your dog can have from treats each day.

Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins? 

Potato skins can be difficult to digest, so it is recommended to remove any skin from a white or sweet potato before feeding it to your dog.

Featured Image: iStock.com/gorodisskij

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