The humble potato — the makings of french fries, hash browns, tater tots, and many other essential comfort foods. When prepared in a healthy way, white potatoes are a nutritious food for humans, but are potatoes good for dogs, too?
The answer is: It depends. Potatoes do contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and many other nutrients that dogs need. But if you don't prepare the potatoes properly, or you feed your dog too many potatoes, there could be adverse health effects.
First, never feed your dog a raw potato. White potatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes. You may have already heard that you should not to feed tomatoes to your dog, because they contain a compound called solanine, which is toxic to some dogs. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is also toxic, but cooking the potato reduces the levels.
Second, if you are going to feed your dog a potato, it should be baked or boiled, with nothing added to it. Potatoes fried in oil, such as french fries or potato chips, or potatoes with butter or salt added to them are not healthy for dogs.
Finally, remember to only give your dog potatoes in moderation. A dog's body is designed to get most of its nutrients from animal protein. Feeding too many carbohydrates can result in obesity or other health problems.
You should not feed potatoes to your dog if he has diabetes, because potatoes can cause blood sugar spikes.
If you are going to feed your dog a starchy vegetable, sweet potatoes are a healthier option than white potatoes, because they are much more nutritious. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron, among other nutrients.
Overall, potatoes are fine for a healthy dog in moderation, as long as they are boiled or baked with nothing added to them. 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 use this approach when feeding your dog a new food.