Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet
Surprisingly, sweet potatoes often find their way into your list of foods you should eat for healthy living. It offers plenty of nutrients and minerals your body requires in abundance, aside from being tasty and delicious. But can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Yes, dogs can benefit a great deal if they eat sweet potatoes. The benefits humans get from sweet potatoes are no different for dogs.
Why sweet potatoes are the best food for dogs
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber that boosts the digestive system both in humans and dogs. Fiber helps reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Sweet potatoes are categorized as a whole food and hence less likely to cause system immune response or cause damage to the digestive tract system. Sweet potatoes are a popular source of carbs. That is why most commercial dog food comprises sweet potatoes as the main ingredient.
Sweet potatoes are low in fat and rich in vitamins A, B6, potassium, and iron, which play a vital role in overall health. Vitamin A, for example, helps maintain eyesight, muscles, nerves, and skin, while vitamin C boosts the immune system.
Caution should be taken while giving sweet potatoes to dogs who are obese, diabetic, and less active. Care should be made specifically for those dogs who are diabetic because sweet potatoes are high in glycemic index.
How to prepare sweet potatoes for dogs
Cook the sweet potatoes well by boiling them and removing the skin before serving them to your dog. If your dog eats sweet potatoes with skin, it will be hard for them to digest. Do not allow your dog to eat a raw sweet potato. The risks of feeding your dog a raw potato include blockage to the digestive tract, and stomach upsets, and your dog will probably face difficulty chewing it or get choked when it is fresh.
How much is too much for a dog?
Just like any other food, giving them in moderation is vital. Factors to consider before serving them include; dog weight, the level of activity, and the overall health of a dog. Too much of sweet potatoes will lead to too much intake of vitamin A which can cause weakness in bones and muscles.
Sweet potatoes provide a good source of carbohydrates, but it should not be the primary source of nutrition for dogs. Animal protein should be incorporated as a daily part of their diet. When introducing sweet potatoes to your dog for the first time, talk to your vet and start with small amounts as you monitor their reactions to the new diet.
Sweet potatoes are starchy carbohydrates, which like many other food ingredients in commercial dog food, turn into sugar when inside the body. A better source of vitamins for dogs is berries and veggies because they are low in sugar but rich in nutrients. Too many carbohydrates affect the immune system of a dog, but researchers have been working tirelessly to find solutions to keep your dog healthy.
There are many important factors found in an immune system, which include good bacteria and yeast. But good and bad bacteria strike a balance on the excellent gut system. Feeding your dog sweet potatoes will promote imbalance and lets the harmful bacteria go wild, which may lead to long-term health issues, including; cancer, chronic bowel diseases, obesity, diabetes, and organ diseases – liver, kidney, and heart.
If your dog can comfortably eat sweet potatoes and show no sign of discomfort, you can continue feeding them but in moderation. Overdoing it will lead to other health issues.
A rich source of Beta-carotene
It is a powerful antioxidant that gives the tuber its coloring and converts it into vitamin A once inside your dog’s body. It is known to reduce a particular type of cancer and provide protection against heart diseases.
Alternatives to sweet potatoes
White potatoes are a cheaper alternative to sweet potatoes with less nutrition compared to sweet potatoes. Plus, white potatoes have more carbs, which quickly leads to obesity and a rise in blood sugar levels in dogs.
Dangers of feeding your dog with sweet potatoes
- Choking hazard: dogs than to chew while inhaling, and the chewed sweet potato particles might enter the air into the windpipe.
- Raw sweet potatoes risk causing an intestinal blockage, which can be a dangerous affair for young and adult dogs.
- Some dogs may face allergic reactions when they eat sweet potatoes. When starting sweet potatoes with your dog, give small amounts, and monitor their responses to the new food. If positive, increase intake gradually and, if negative, do away with sweet potatoes in your dog’s diet.
- Glycemic loads in sweet potatoes are high and can lead to diabetes, not recommended for obese dogs or those highly inactive. And if you must treat them, let it be in small quantities.
- Bloat or DGV: It is another type of blockage, also called gastric dilation and volvulus. It can be a deadly condition, and it happens faster. The stomach fills with gas and twists closing at both ends. It requires immediate vet intervention.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes Conclusion
Sweet potatoes can be an excellent addition to your dog’s nutrition except for a few caveats. If your dog has allergic reactions when fed sweet potatoes, it is better to let it go and try alternatives that your dog might be receptive to. Otherwise, if your dog can feast on sweet potatoes without allergic reactions, they stand to benefit from valuable vitamins and minerals that help dogs maintain overall health. Moderation is critical while feeding your dog sweet potatoes. Too much of it will lead to health issues; some of them are grave endangering.
This tuber can be a source of valuable nutrients and is delicious that your dog will salivate when they see it. The tuber is also rich in digestible fiber, which helps improve the digestive system and prevent constipation. So can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Yes, they can but requires moderation and close supervision when feeding them.