Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? The Truth about Carbohydrates

  English bulldog laying beside a basket of potatoes

If prepared correctly, boiled or steamed potatoes may be healthy for pet parents, but can dogs eat potatoes? This blog will discuss why boiled or baked potatoes are a better option than French fries. That said, dogs can eat white potatoes because they feature numerous nutrients like vitamin C, B6, iron, and magnesium. There are also many other nutrients in potatoes that dogs do well by. Yet, potatoes need to be correctly prepared, or they could have adverse health effects.

Are There Benefits of White Potatoes for Dogs?

Potatoes have always been of the most popular vegetables in the western world but are there any health benefits or adverse effects when feeding dogs. Every pet parent should ask, “Can I feed potatoes to my dog?” before doing so.

The reply is yes! But how much should you feed to get optimal nutritional benefits? Dogs are carnivores and don’t need high levels of carbs in their diet, yet you’ll see potatoes often listed in many commercial dog food brands. This is because they feature several minerals and vitamins. If you feed a moderate amount of mashed or boiled potatoes to your furry best friend, he’ll be ingesting the following:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6 (helps to metabolize proteins & carbohydrates)
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Keep in mind that potatoes should be fed in moderation since one potato has around 110 calories. Potatoes also feature complex and simple carbs that can be used for energy. So if you have a sporting or working dog, a bit of mashie may be beneficial for him. One average-sized potato also yields 2 grams of fiber which is 8 % of daily fiber. One potato also contains phytochemicals and antioxidants.

You’ll also find more potassium in one potato than in one banana. They also are fat-free and cholesterol-free if served without the added butter. (think about adding a dollop of organic yogurt with a sprinkle of organic blueberries.) This veggie is heart-healthy, and one potato gives you 45% of your daily vitamin C needed intake.

We like adding a small portion of baked potatoes every week because of a dog’s potassium needs. Potassium helps to maintain blood vessel function and can also replace lost electrolytes. It also may be beneficial in a dog’s muscle development and cardiac health, so boiled, steamed, or baked potatoes can be part of a well-balanced and healthy canine diet. The main take here is never to feed your dog raw potatoes.

Should Dogs Eat Potatoes? 3 Tips about Carbohydrates and Why to Avoid Them

It’s best not to feed raw dog potatoes because potatoes have solanine that is problematic for dogs. So if you have a vegetable garden at home, you should ensure that your dog doesn’t go near it. Plain boiled potatoes are fine as long as they do not have skin on them. Potato skins feature lots of oxalates and can lead to kidney issues.

  • Nutrition – Your pup doesn’t need to eat carbs like potatoes to have a healthy diet, adds the National Research Council and the Dog Food Advisor.
  • Quantity – Your dog’s commercial dog food features around 50-75% carbs. Read ingredients on all dog food labels for nutritional purposes.
  • Obesity – Too much of a good thing like potatoes full of starch and carbohydrates can lead to the extra weight that’s hard for your dog to burn off.

Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? Safe Ways to Give Your Dog Potatoes

Dog tasting the freshly harvested and washed potatoes

Raw potatoes or any potato plant in your kitchen and garden are off-limits. You may already know that potatoes belong to the nightshade family and feature solanine toxic to pets. After cooking a potato, you reduce the levels of solanine. Here’s the take with potatoes for dogs.

  • Baked – Take out the baked potato and discard the skin. Only feed when cooled. You can also combine it with your pet food.
  • Boiled – Cook potatoes until they are easy to scoop out and permanently remove the skin. Mashup them up and allow them to cool. Dogs can eat regular mashed potatoes. White potatoes feature vitamin B6 and C, iron, and magnesium.
  • Healthy Ingredients – Opt for safe herbs and oils like parsley and coconut oil and add to your pup’s baked or boiled potatoes for flavor. Other healthy ingredients include organic apple cider vinegar, bone broth, ginger, hemp seed oil, lemon, thyme, and turmeric.
  • Portion Siz – You can give your dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds approximately 1/4 cup baked or boiled potatoes once weekly. Feed dogs over 20 pounds around 1/2 cup baked or boiled potatoes once a week. Always consult with your vet for nutritional advice.

Ingredients to Avoid in Potato Dishes for Your Dog

The potato casserole, mashies, and scalloped potatoes dishes you prepare at home may seem like a good treat for your pup. You should avoid feeding your dog these ingredients if you choose to give your dog any cooked potatoes:

  • Garlic and onion – Your pup may get ill from the garlic or onion that you’ve added to the mashed potatoes. Signs are lethargy to vomiting, and even breathing problems.
  • Milk, cheese, & sour cream – These milk-based products could give your dog diarrhea or trigger food allergies.
  • Oil, butter, & salt – French fries, potato chips, and fried potatoes are not healthy foods for your dog for any reason. The oil, butter, and salt are not healthy for digestion and may result in dehydration and other health issues.

Note: Dog’s with diabetes should avoid potatoes because it may result in a glucose spike. If you’re toying with the idea of feeding your dog some cooked potatoes, think about healthy options like adding organic yogurt to plain, baked, or mashed potatoes.

You can also bake potatoes as cookies using bone-shaped cookie cutters and baking them in the oven. Another fun activity is making beefy pupcakes with mashies for your pup. Using a birthday meatloaf pupcake recipe, you can use organic beef or turkey and cage-free eggs, and organic carrot.

You can then top this with a tad of mashies. Remember to leave out the salt and any spices. Dogs enjoy meatloaf, but you cannot feed too much meatloaf. Keep in mind that human meatloaf contains numerous herbs that may not be healthy for your furry best friend.

If you’re planning on making a meatloaf for your pup, it’s best to make a dog-friendly one that won’t upset your dog’s digestive system. Here’s a great recipe for dogs with potatoes credit of Top Dog Tips:

Basic Pup Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of meat
  • Two eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped or grated vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Mix everything and roll into a loaf.
  2. Put it in a roasting pan and bake it for 80 minutes at 175 degrees.

Recipe Credit: Top Dog Tips & PatchPuppy

Final Thoughts

Fox terrier digs in the garden of potato tubers

It may take a little extra time and effort to stop sharing your French fries with your four-legged best friend, but considering your dog’s optimal health and longevity, it’s best to keep him healthy. He’ll appreciate it more if you bake him a potato and add a dollop of organic yogurt and some blueberries.

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