Potatoes are the most versatile and flexible veggies out there. From crisps, chips, French fries to vodka, it is no wonder that potatoes are one of the most planted, harvested, imported and exported vegetable in the world market.
What one can do with potatoes is endless, the possibilities as well as the various kinds of applications on what can be done with potatoes is merely limited to what one can muster up in one’s imagination.
But it begs to wonder and imagine this:
Can dogs eat potatoes?
Apparently, they can!
As long as the potatoes you feed your dog are properly and hygienically handled, such as that they are washed, cooked and prepared cleanly, chances are, you would not have any problems whatsoever when you give your dog potatoes to eat.
Potatoes, once again, have by-products that come in many shapes and sizes. It is worth discussing which of these by-products are safe for your dog to eat and which are not
Can Dogs Eat Baked Potatoes? How About Raw Ones?
The first type that we are going to discuss potatoes come in is when it is in its raw form. There are fruits and vegetables out there which are safe for consumption while they are still raw such as carrots, apples and oranges.
Can the same be said about raw potatoes? No.
Raw potatoes contain a compound that is quite toxic and deadly to dogs called solanine. Most often found in the plant’s leaves, tubers and even the fruit itself, solanine does a number of nasty stuffs to your dog’s digestive tracts by inducing nausea, throat burning and stomach cramps. It also does quite some damage towards your dog’s nervous system by inducing spasms, arrythmia and a whole lot of terrible stuff.
Well then, what kind of potatoes can you feed your dog?
The healthiest approach would be to skin and boil the potatoes over a pot of boiling water until such time the potatoes become stiff, yet not too hard that they cannot be sliced into smaller bits.
After boiling, the manner of preparation depends on how you would want it or what your dog would prefer. You can cut it up into tiny bits, as tiny as peas or even mash it into paste.
Another healthy way of preparing potatoes would be to bake it. The same principle applies, though. Little or no additional ingredients should be added when baking potatoes to retain healthiness.
Frying potatoes would work as well, but it is not encouraged due to the nutrients being sapped out along with the oils after it has been fried.
Adding potatoes as a means of complementing your dog’s everyday meals will do wonders for your dog not only on the aspect of taste, but on the aspects of nutrition as well.
Do not add any salts, vinegar, garlic or powdered flavourings of sorts to the potatoes you are going to serve to your dog. These do not have any nutritional benefits whatsoever and may actually be detrimental for your dog’s overall health and well-being.
Speaking of Nutrition, How Nutritious Are Potatoes For My Dog?
On a per hundred gram serving, potatoes without any additives contain only about a tenth of a gram’s worth of total fat, an eighth of a gram’s worth of sugar, somewhere between two to three grams of dietary fiber, which constitutes about eight percent of the Daily Value, six milligrams of sodium, four hundred twenty-one milligrams of potassium or about twelve percent of the Daily Value, seventeen grams of carbohydrates which comprises five to six percent of the Daily Value, two to three grams of protein or about four percent of the Daily Value and seventy-seven calories.
As for vitamins, potatoes do not contain any Cobalamin nor Vitamins A and D. However, it is quite abundant in Vitamin C, so much so that a mere hundred grams of the stuff contains thirty-two percent of the Daily Value, on the same metric, it also have Vitamin B6 that constitutes fifteen percent of the Daily Value, magnesium with five percent of the Daily Value, iron with four percent of the Daily Value and Calcium with a measly one percent of the Daily Value.
With all the numbers discussed, it is worth noting that despite the fact that potatoes are low in fat and are quite healthy in comparison to other kinds of vegetables, it is quite high in carbohydrates, therefore if given in excess to your dog, it could lead to weight gain, or worse, obesity.
Can Dogs Have Sweet Potatoes?
In an interesting note, sweet potatoes are actually more nutritious and are therefore healthier and according to some, are more preferable in terms of taste for some dogs.
On the same metric, a hundred gram serving of sweet potato in comparison to a potato of the same measurement contains more Vitamins A, C, B6, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
Of course, whether or not sweet potatoes are more preferred over potatoes is only a matter of preference, and each dog is different so you’re going to have mixed results as to what your dog likes more over the other.
After much deliberation to the query on “Can dogs eat potatoes?”, we have therefore concluded that yes, they can.
However, dogs are not permitted to eat raw potatoes. Not only are these not hygienic and clean, but raw potatoes also contain solanine, a compound found in tomatoes, potatoes and nightshade which is fatal for dogs even in small doses.
Baked and boiled potatoes are the healthiest options in terms of serving them to your dog. It is not recommended that you add anything else such as salts and flavourings, as these do not have any benefits for your dog’s health and well-being.
Fried potatoes are discouraged, but not prohibited. Only feed a few of these as fried potatoes contain high amounts of fat and sodium.
As with any type of food, feed potatoes to your dog in moderation.