Written by: Allison Shalla, Dogly Wellness Advocate & Canine Nutritionist

You have likely shared a dollop of mashed potatoes with your furry friend at some point, and I bet your pup loved it! Most dogs do enjoy them. There are several kinds of potatoes, including white potatoes, sweet potatoes, baking potatoes, baby potatoes and even colorful potatoes. Potatoes are considered Carbohydrates or are sometimes referred to as a “starchy carb.” While some types of potatoes can be an excellent fresh food addition to your dog’s diet, not all types are created equal, so let’s learn about which ones are best to feed your dog.

Can My Dog Eat Potatoes?

can dog eat potatos?

While the short answer to this is “yes,” as mentioned above, there are several types of potatoes, some of which are much better options than others. The main difference is between white potatoes and sweet potatoes. White potatoes are a member of the nightshade family.

Bad Sides of Potatoes

These vegetables contain solanine and can exacerbate inflammation. As well, white potatoes are currently thought to be implicated in contributing to a diet-related heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, or “DCM” for short. White potatoes, along with legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, are thought to affect the absorption of a very important amino acid called taurine. Taurine is very important for the functioning of a healthy heart. For these reasons, it is generally recommended for dogs to stay away from any significant amount of white potatoes.

What About Sweet Potatoes?

On the flip side, sweet potatoes are NOT a member of the nightshade family and are not implicated in DCM. Sweet potatoes have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes, and therefore are an excellent addition to a dog’s diet. We’ll talk a bit more about the benefits below.

Don't Overdo Calories

One thing to keep in mind when adding any starchy carb, such as sweet potato, to a dog’s diet, is added calories. Overdoing it can lead to weight gain and even obesity. One cup of sweet potato contains around 200 calories and 41.4 grams of carbs, so they are a very calorie-dense food - a little goes a long way. 

Important Note: If your dog has had a history of calcium-oxalate stones, foods high in oxalates, including sweet potato, should be avoided.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes For Dogs

sweet potatoes are good for dogs

Properly cooking sweet potatoes by boiling & mashing them makes them easily digestible and provides an excellent source of fiber in addition to beta-carotene. Never feed raw sweet potatoes to your dog, as most uncooked vegetables are hard on a dog’s stomach

Nutrients in Sweet Potato

Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, meaning the body must convert it to a usable form of Vitamin A known as retinol. While dogs have a limited ability to process this conversion, sweet potatoes are still beneficial as they are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. 

Sweet Potatoes also contain the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A: 769% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 65% of the DV
  • Manganese: 50% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 29% of the DV
  • Potassium: 27% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
  • Copper: 16% of the DV
  • Niacin: 15% of the DV

How to incorporate into your dog’s food

how to incorporate potatoes in your dog's meal

Any time you are introducing new foods to your dog’s diet, it is important to go slowly. As well, if you are currently feeding a balanced commercial food, adding large amounts of “extras,” even fresh foods, can throw off the balance of things like Calcium and Phosphorus.

Guideline For Using Potatoes for Dogs

A good guideline is to use a 20% rule for human foods as toppers to commercial pet foods. What that means is that fresh food “toppers” should not account for more than 20% of your dog’s diet. So, if you feed your dog 2 cups of commercial food, you can replace up to 20% of that amount - 0.4 cups or 3.2oz - with fresh foods, like sweet potatoes. Other dog-friendly veggies that are low in calories and are easily digestible include green beansbroccoli, and spinach*.

*see note above if your pet has a history of calcium-oxalate stones 

Why add fresh foods to your dog's food

Did you know that fruits & vegetables can provide vitamins and minerals not present in animal-based ingredients? Studies have shown that adding up to 20% fresh food ingredients to a dog's commercial diet can boost nutrition and extend life. Even the most high-quality kibble available on the market is subject to nutrient loss in the high-temperature rendering process. These nutrients need to be added back into the kibble in the form of synthetic vitamins & minerals. Fresh foods often provide a much more bioavailable version of these nutrients.

Can My Dog Eat Sweet Potatoes For Bland Diet?

Sweet potatoes can be a great option for a bland diet as well. I recommend using a 50/50 mixture of cooked turkey & cooked, mashed sweet potatoes as a bland diet. We commonly hear of boiled chicken & rice being recommended for a bland diet when your dog has an upset tummy, but turkey is lower in fat than chicken making it easier on the tummy, and sweet potato can be more digestible than rice.

In addition to the many health benefits, adding a variety of fresh foods to your dog’s diet provides enrichment. Imagine eating the same dry food day in and day out for every meal? Boring! Adding variety helps your dog get excited about mealtime, provides mental stimulation, and improves satiety. 

How to properly prepare sweet potatoes

how to prepare potatoes for dog's meal

As mentioned, sweet potatoes should be cooked for proper digestibility. This could be baked potatoes, boiled potatoes, or my favorite, pressure-cooked sweet potatoes. They cook quickly and easily in an instant pot or pressure cooker, and the potato skins peel right off! Once cooked, cooled and mashed, you can add the mashed potatoes to your dog’s kibble.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries and Potato Chips?

There are also some other great ways to feed sweet potatoes as treats! I like to make Sweet Potato French Fries or Sweet Potato Chips by dehydrating them in a food dehydrator. You can also purchase these at pet food stores.

For more information on sweet potatoes, check out our article on sweet potatoes for dogs.

Recommendations

For more wellness advice, join my Community on Dogly where you can ask questions and get 24/7 access to certified experts across nutrition, training & behavior, and wellness to give you and your dog your best life together.

If your dog could use some digestion help and a healthier gut to absorb and access all the good nutrients you’re feeding, check out Native Pet’s Probiotic, carefully created by their team of nutritionists and veterinarians.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a dog eats green potatoes? 

Green potatoes are not good for a dog's health. The dog can suffer with green potatoes poisoning. 

How much potato my dog should eat? 

You can replace 20% of the commercial grade dog food with sweet potatoes. 

Apart from green potatoes which food is dangerous for dogs?

There are many foods that might not be harmful for humans but can be dangerous for dogs. For example apricot pit, avocados, cherry pits or any type of alcohol is not good for your dog. 

Can I feed my dog mashed potatoes? 

Yes, you can give a small quantity of mashed potatoes without any seasoning or any other ingredient mixed with it. Please follow the guideline mentioned in this article. 


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