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Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?

Last Updated - June 5, 2022

It can be fun to feed our canine companion human foods as special treats, like potatoes, but it's essential to do it the right way. Don't give your dog the leftover mashed potatoes or potato salad you didn't eat at dinner.

Can dogs eat potatoes? Are potatoes good for your dog? In this article, we'll talk about everything you need to know about feeding potatoes to your dog. 

Like with any additions to your dog's diet, consult your vet if you are unsure about feeding your dog potato or how much potato to give them.

Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?

If you prepare them correctly, dogs can safely eat potatoes and feed in moderation.

Dogs can only eat cooked potatoes, and never give your dog raw potatoes. As dog owners, you will need to make sure the potatoes are fully cooked and prepared specifically for your dog, without anything like salt, seasoning, butter, or milk. Never feed your dog raw potatoes since those can cause kidney failure or poison your dog.

However, if you feed your dog a little bit of a properly cooked potato as a treat once in a while, you can have one happy pup!

Are Potatoes Good for Your Dog?

Yes, potatoes can be good for your dog if you don't give them too much. Potatoes have many nutrients, like iron, vitamin b6, vitamin B, vitamin c, and magnesium. These are all good for your dog, but they may be getting enough of these nutrients from their dog food. And because potatoes are high in carbohydrates, it's better to give them to your dog once in a while as an occasional treat.

How to Cook Potatoes for Your Dog

If you want to feed your dog potatoes as a treat, you have to do it the right way. Potatoes typically prepared for humans contain all sorts of ingredients that are bad for your dog, including salt, milk, butter, cheese, oil, and spices.

Risks with Feeding your Dog Potatoes

While some aspects of potatoes are good for your dog, there are some significant risks to consider.

Solanine

Raw potatoes and potato plants contain solanine, a toxic substance for dogs. While solanine rarely causes toxicity in dogs because a large amount will need to be ingested, still watch out for symptoms like weakness, gastrointestinal distress, confusion.

If your dog is experiencing any symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

High Calories

Potatoes are starch-heavy carbohydrates that are high in calories. Consuming too many potatoes can lead to weight gain and may lead to illness as your dog ages.

Underlying Health Conditions

If your dog has health problems or underlying health conditions, like diabetes, it's best to avoid potatoes altogether. Dogs with diabetes do not need any extra sugar in their diet as this can make their blood sugar increase, making them sick.

If you are unsure if a potato is suitable for your dog, check with your veterinarian first.

DCM

There is a chance that potatoes could cause DCM (canine dilated cardiomyopathy). According to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the FDA released an alert that "dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients" are being reported to have DCM more frequently.

To prevent any illness, check with your vet to ensure extra potatoes in their diet will not cause your dog any harm.

3 Easy Ways To Cook Potatoes For Your Dog

Humans love eating potatoes with butter, cheese, sour cream or loading it up with seasoning and species. All aren't ideal preparation for dogs. The safest and the right way to serve potatoes to your dog is to cook them and serve them plain. There are three easy ways to cook potatoes:

Boiled Potatoes

Boiling is an easy way to prepare potatoes for your dog. Before you do any cooking, wash the potatoes thoroughly. 

Place the potatoes in the pot and fill it with cold water until they submerge by an inch or two. Do not add salt! Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Check on the potatoes at five minutes, but most potatoes take 10-20 minutes to cook, depending on their size. Once the potatoes are cooked, take them out of the water and cool them completely before serving. Then, chop them up, and they are ready to go.

Baked/ Roasted Potatoes

To bake or roast potatoes for your dog, set your oven temp to 400 degrees. Do not add anything to the potato. Wash them, poke a few holes in them with a fork, and place the potatoes on a baking sheet. 

Leave the potatoes in the oven for an hour. Take them out and let them cool before feeding them as a treat. You don't want your pup to burn its tongue! 

Microwaved the Potatoes

You may want to use another method, like microwaving potatoes, to cook them for your dog. However, boiling and baking do the best job at getting rid of solanine, an ingredient that is toxic to dogs. 

FAQs

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Some dogs can eat sweet potatoes, and they are more nutrient-dense than regular potatoes, so they are a healthier treat option. However, they should also only be fed as treats. They have a lot of Vitamin A and can be harmful in excess, causing muscle or bone weakness.

Be sure they are fully cooked with the skins removed because the skin makes it harder to digest. Never give them raw sweet potatoes since those can cause intestinal blockage.

Dogs with underlying health conditions like diabetes or being overweight should avoid sweet potatoes.

Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?

Unless you made the mashed potatoes yourself, you should avoid giving them to your dog. Store-bought mashed potatoes are often loaded in butter, salt, and seasonings like garlic, onion powder, and other seasonings, all of which are bad for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Potato Chips?

Like mashed potatoes and french fries, potato chips contain excessive fat and salt that is not healthy for your dog. For this reason, avoid feeding potato chips to your dog. Can Dogs Eat Baked Potatoes?

If you are preparing a special baked potato yourself to feed your dog, you can share a small portion of it with your friend! To learn how to properly bake potatoes for your dog, read our recommendation above.

To feed your dog baked potatoes, be sure to remove the skin, make sure the potato is cooked thoroughly, and do not contain any other ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Potatoes?

Fried Potatoes and french fries are not a healthy treat for dogs as they are drenched in oil. Not to mention, they may contain seasonings and spices, which aren't good for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?

Potatoes belong to the nightshade family, and this means raw potato and potato plants contain a substance called solanine, which is toxic to dogs. Other vegetables contain solanine, including white potatoes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Solanine can make your pup have diarrhea, vomit, act sluggish, and more after eating potatoes. If your dog accidentally gets into raw potatoes and shows any of these symptoms, immediately take them to the vet. 

An easy tell is if the potato you are looking at in particular has lots of green, it has an excessive amount of solanine. Do not feed green potatoes, even cooked ones, to your dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?

While potato skin can be incredibly delicious, it should only be given to your dog sparingly, if any. If your dog eats too much potato skin, it can become a health concern. Potato skins also contain an ingredient harmful to dogs, Oxalates, which can cause kidney failure if your dog overeats it. Feed your dog only a small bit of thoroughly cooked potato skin as a treat once in a while.

lara grisko the pet staff

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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