Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Raising a dog can be fun, challenging, exciting and scary, sometimes all at the same time. Having you own precious pooch is undoubtedly one of the best experiences a pet parent could ask for but it takes some work. From training, to exercising, to grooming and diets – there’s a lot of work involved in looking after a pup. If you’re a first-time pup parent there are a few things you’ll need to learn and be prepared for before raising your doggo. Arguably, the most important aspect of dog care is the diet. This can also be tricky since each dog is different and they all need specific requirements based on their age, height, weight, medical conditions and a few other factors. However, don’t fret, there’s lots of information out there (whether it’s online or from your vet), so you’ll get this right after learning a little. Today we’re going to look at one of the most popular human foods out there and why you need to be careful when feeding it to your dog.
Are Potatoes Bad for Dogs?
Unfortunately, this question isn’t so straightforward to answer. In entirely depends on how the potatoes are served. It sounds silly but potatoes have to be cooked in a specific way for them to safe for puppy consumption. No, your pooch isn’t a picky eater who wants their potatoes boiled instead of fried. It’s actually because of an ingredient in potatoes which can be harmful to dogs when ingested raw. Solanine, an active ingredient in raw potatoes (and tomatoes) can be detrimental to a dog’s heart and general health. In a recent study by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) was found to affect dogs that ate lentils, peas, legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients in their diets. This condition causes an enlarged heart and reduces its ability to pump blood effectively. In extreme cases, this can result in congestive heart failure or other cardiac abnormalities which can result in death.
Don’t worry, though, potatoes can be perfectly safe to eat in small quantities if they’re cooked properly (boiled). This is because the levels of solanine significantly reduce when potatoes are cooked which render them safe to eat. In fact, there are even some health benefits from eating potatoes! So, let’s take a look at the health benefits of serving potatoes to your precious pooch!
Health Benefits of Eating Potatoes
Boiled potatoes can provide some excellent health benefits for dogs if they are fed on occasion and as part of a balanced diet. It’s important to remember that, although some human foods are healthy for dogs, they should only be given occasionally and shouldn’t replace or become part of the dog’s typical diet. Bearing that in mind, here are some of the top reasons why potatoes are good for dogs.
- Source of Potassium
Potatoes are a natural source of potassium which is essential for improving muscle development, replacing lost electrolytes and maintains the function of blood vessels.
- Source of Iron
Iron is another essential mineral which improves a dog’s general health. It is responsible for creating hemoglobin which, in turn, is responsible for carrying oxygen in red blood cells.
- Vitamin B
Pyridoxine, or more commonly known as Vitamin B, is found in potatoes. This type of vitamin is responsible for forming red blood cells and is crucial for preventing a number of health problems caused by Vitamin B6 deficiency.
- Vitamin C
Potatoes are also a great source of Vitamin C which is improves the immune system by promoting white blood cell function.
As a natural carbohydrate, potatoes are great at providing energy for dogs which will ensure they can healthily exercise and play.
As you can see, there a number of health benefits caused by including some boiled potatoes in your dog’s diet.
Are There Negative Aspects of Cooked Potatoes?
Just like any other food, there are some negative aspects of eating potatoes in large quantities. While a small portion is perfectly fine once in a while, regularly feeding your dog potatoes can be harmful and could result in a few medical conditions.
Since potatoes are packed full of carbohydrates, this means they are high in calories too. Complex carbohydrates (such as potatoes) can be difficult to burn off for dogs and is subsequently a main cause of obesity. This can be avoided by only providing small potions on occasions – not regularly.
This medical condition is the result of a diet which is high in carbohydrates and leads to an inflamed pancreas. This leads to failed pancreas function which means the body can’t break down fat and sodium. Pancreatitis can cause pain in the stomach area and dogs affected by it may experience vomiting after eating. This can be cured through medication prescribed by a veterinarian but it’s something which can easily be avoided.
This condition also affects the pancreas and is commonly associated with obesity. It results from a diet which is high in carbohydrates and fat and causes significant problems to the dog’s ability to process fat and sugar. Again, this can easily be avoided by not giving too many high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes.
So, in short:
“Can dogs eat potatoes raw?” No – Dogs can’t eat potatoes raw because of the active ingredient solanine which can cause serious health problems.
“Can dogs eat potatoes cooked?” Yes – So long as potatoes have been boiled, they are perfectly safe to eat in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Boiled potatoes are a great source of some key vitamins and minerals for dogs so they’re great as an occasional treat. Just don’t give too many or too often as this can result in rapid weight gain and other medical conditions related to obesity.