Can Dogs Eat Potatoes
Ah the ubiquitous potatoes! They form a part of our daily diet in some way or the other which makes potatoes all the more enticing and accessible for our four legged friends. But are potatoes safe for dogs? After all just like tomatoes they too belong to the nightshade family of poisonous plants. Your concern is understandable and rightly so. When it comes to introducing new food items into your pet’s diet it is crucial to know about the suitability of feeding them to your dog and that goes for potatoes as well!
Yes You Can feed Potatoes to Your Dog
Yes it’s completely fine to feed potatoes to dogs. But if you are reaching out for your bag of French fries to give your adorably begging doggie a treat stop right there!
Potatoes are fine for dogs as long as they are either baked or boiled and without any toppings or additives. And that’s not all. If you are planning to feed potatoes to your dog there are some more crucial aspects to keep in mind starting with how much to feed. Very little, yes that’s right. While we might love to enjoy potatoes and indulge in them too they are not at all suitable for dogs in big portions. And by big portions we mean anything more than a few boiled bits or one fourth of a medium baked potato! Over feeding your dog with potatoes can not only give his digestive system a tough time it can lead to obesity and diabetes as well.
Only Ripe Potatoes are Okay
Now that you are aware that moderation is the key when it comes to feeding dogs people food let us cover some more important information about potatoes. As potatoes belong to the deadly nightshade plant family their leaves, stems and unripe fruits are totally unfit for eating especially for dogs as they are highly toxic. So if you have a vegetable garden in your home make sure to keep your pets far away from the potato patch!
All the green parts of the potato plant contain a compound known as Solanine which can cause fatal health problems in your dog. If you suspect that you pet has eaten unripe potato or any of its green plant parts look out for symptoms like lethargy, excessive thirst and urination as well as stomach cramps which should warrant an immediate visit to the vet.
Benefits of Potatoes as an Occasional Doggie Treat
Both sweet and white potatoes are a very healthy source of carbohydrate for dogs provided they are given occasionally as small doggie treats. Never give your dog raw potato as they will be difficult to digest and might even contain traces of Solanine which can cause health issues.
Offering your beloved pet well cooked and peeled potato bits as occasional treats will not only make them very happy but will benefit their health as well. Potatoes are loaded with vitamins (A,B,C&D) as well as potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorous and magnesium. All these nutrients are excellent for the immunity as well as the teeth and bone health of dogs not to mention their overall well being.
On the whole, potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates for dogs but should be given to them occasionally and in very small portions. As they belong to the nightshade family like tomatoes, all the green parts of the potato plant is also highly toxic for dogs. So stick to only ripe and well cooked potatoes for your pet which can make a very affordable tasty treat for them!