The humble potato is the key ingredient in French fries, hash browns, tater tots, and many other essential comfort foods. When prepared in a healthy way, white potatoes can be a nutritious food for humans, but can dogs eat potatoes?
The answer is: it depends. Potatoes aren’t categorically toxic to dogs, like grapes or onions. Potatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and many other vitamins and nutrients that dogs need. But if you don’t prepare potatoes properly, or you feed your dog too many, there could be adverse health effects.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
You should never feed your dog a raw potato. White potatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes. Like tomatoes, raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine.
If you do feed your dog a potato, you’ll want to bake or boil the potato with no added ingredients (like salt or butter). Potatoes fried in oil, such as French fries or potato chips, or potatoes loaded up with butter or salt, are not healthy for dogs. (One potato chip isn’t going to harm your dog, but a whole bag of them is not a healthy choice for your pet.) If your dog has diabetes, it’s better to avoid feeding them potatoes entirely due how they can cause blood sugar to spike.
A dog’s body is designed to get most of its nutrients from animal protein, so if you decide to feed your dog baked or boiled potatoes, you should use them like a treat, make them an occasional addition to meals for variety, and always keep portions small. Giving a dog too many carbohydrates can result in obesity or other health problems.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are a healthier option than white potatoes because they are much more nutritious than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron, among other nutrients.
Every dog is different, so start with just a small amount of potato to make sure your dog has no problem digesting it. You should always consult your veterinarian before introducing a new food into your dog’s diet.