Ok, so we realize that this question is a little out there so bear with us for a minute. Sure, people love to feed their dogs all kinds of things, and potatoes are probably some of the less harmful things that somebody could feed man’s best friend. The point is that we have heard many stories and have received many questions involving feeding potatoes to dogs. Oddly enough many of those questions dealt specifically with baked potatoes. This can apply to all kinds of cooked potatoes. So, can dogs eat baked and normal potatoes?
A Dog’s Diet
Dogs are carnivorous for the most part. In the wild a dog, or a wolf for example, would survive mostly on fresh raw meat, but they do also eat some plant matter such as berries. However, dogs are mostly meat eaters and their diets need to reflect this. Yes, as we humans have domesticated dogs, and have become money conscious, we’ve stopped feeding them piles of expensive meat and started giving them processed dog food from a bag.
Yes, dogs do need some vitamins, sugars, and carbs, so a little bit of grains, fruits, and veggies is beneficial, but a dog’s diet should still consist mostly of meat. All of this being said YOU CAN FEED YOUR DOG POTATOES, BUT IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU DO IT AND THE QUANTITY!
Can A Dog Eat Baked Potatoes and Normal Ones?
Ok, so yes, a dog can eat potatoes and it definitely will not kill them or harm them. However, like we said above, it is all about the quantity. Dogs need a whole lot of meat protein, something which they will not get from starchy potatoes. Potatoes are filled with starch and carbohydrates. Both of these things are not inherently bad for your dog, but they won’t do as much good as meat protein. Yes, potatoes do have some nutritional value including carbs and the energy that comes with them, along with some valuable vitamins and minerals too. Therefore a few potatoes here and there are not going to hurt your dog.
Keep in mind though, it’s all about quantity. You don’t want to replace a whole meal with potatoes and you don’t want to feed a dog potatoes more than once every few days at most. Too much starch and way too many carbs will weigh your dog down, make it lethargic, and could just put it on the road to obesity too. In fact, the carbs which your dog eats should come from either meat or specially formulated dog food, because plant based carbs can indeed cause obesity, diabetes, and some other issues too (if consumed too often). So, the short answer is yes, you can feed your dogs some potatoes here and there, but just not too much.
As for sweet potatoes, they should only be used as a small snack. Only one or two pieces of a sweet potato is more than enough. Sweet potatoes, even small amounts, contain lots of sugar, and dogs aren’t used to processing very much sugar. In other words, don’t feed your dog a whole sweet potato because it could make it sick, and doing so for a longer period of time could lead to some serious health issues.
Preparing Potatoes For Your Dogs
First of all, never feed a dog raw potatoes or potato plants. Both of these contain a poison like substance meant as a defensive measure towards animals. This can be quite toxic to dogs and even humans. However, this is only the case when consumed in large quantities. Seeing as you probably feed your dog more than enough pop tarts and slices of pizza per day (joke, haha), this will most likely never be an issue. A dog may not have great taste buds, but have you ever tried eating a raw potato? It’s disgusting!
Anyway, you can boil or bake a potato and feed it to your dog no problem. Just let it cool down before you feed it to them and everything will be just fine. Remember to just not give them too much, and don’t cover it in butter or other spices. A dog will already be happy enough with some plain boiled or baked potato. Hey, if you want to give them a real treat you can always cover it with some bacon slices for taste and protein.
Just remember, it’s all about moderation. You can feed your dog some plain or boiled potatoes, but just not too much and not too often either.