Can Your Dog Have Potatoes?

Potatoes can be prepared in endless ways. You can fry them, bake them, roast them, and mash them. You can cover them with ketchup, smother them in cheese, or crack a fried egg over the top. No matter how you eat them, potatoes are wonderful. Your dog will probably appreciate your potatoes however you prepare them, but there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you give them their own portion.

Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?

Dogs can safely eat potatoes, but the safety depends on whether you’re adding any other ingredients to the potatoes. The potatoes themselves are fine if they’re fresh. You shouldn’t give them potatoes that have green skins or any rotted parts. Rotting potatoes have toxins in them called solanine, which can actually poison a dog (and humans). If either of you eat a bad potato, the solanine could cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even shock. The more you eat, the more severe the effects will be.

Potatoes are filled with iron, which is necessary for the development and overall health of the red blood cells, especially for dogs who have anemia. Potatoes are also good for dogs who are experiencing some tummy issues, especially diarrhea. The potatoes can help firm the stool, and they’re considered acceptable as part of a bland diet.

Other than that, there’s really no reason that your dog needs potatoes. Potatoes are nutritious to humans, but there isn’t much in a potato that a dog needs nutritionally that they aren’t getting in their normal dog food.

Preparing Potatoes for Your Dog

You should never feed your dog raw potatoes. They aren’t easily digested and can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Wash and peel your potatoes before cooking them, and make sure you cut any of the eyes and green portions out of the potato. These parts contain a large amount of solanine, and neither of your should be eating them.

Boiled potatoes are fine for dogs, but skip the salt. Your dog doesn’t need seasonings like you do to enjoy their food, and too much salt can cause high blood pressure or dehydration. If you’re giving your dog mashed potatoes, you shouldn’t add any dairy, including butter. Your dog is essentially lactose intolerant, so they can’t handle milk, butter, or sour cream. Simply mash the potatoes and add them to their food. Skip adding cheese to their potatoes, too. Boiled, mashed, or baked, they’re fine for your dog as long as they aren’t loaded with seasonings or additional ingredients.

However you cook them, remember that canine bodies aren’t designed to digest large amounts of vegetables. Keep your dog’s portions relatively small and infrequent and you shouldn’t have to worry about any ill side effects. Before you add potatoes to their diet, talk to your veterinarian first. There isn’t any real medical or nutritional need for your dog to have potatoes, so remember your dog’s diet should consist mostly of their quality dog food.