Are Potatoes Bad for Your Dog?
All types of potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and fiber, which can lead to obesity, high blood sugar, and many other types of problems for dogs when consumed in excess. When given in moderation, however, sweet potatoes make a very healthy snack for dogs.
Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes
While white potatoes are not inherently dangerous for dogs, it is best to stay away from them altogether. Not only do white potatoes have a much higher carbohydrate content than sweet potatoes, but they could potentially carry a toxin called solanine, especially when raw. Solanine is a natural toxin from the nightshade family that can cause severe gastrointestinal and neuro complications and disorders when ingested by dogs. Complications include a "leaky" gut, vomiting and diarrhea, fatigue, poor vision, and high blood sugar. Solanine can also cause damage to joints by producing inflammation.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are very low in fat and contain more vitamins and minerals than white potatoes. They are a particularly great source for Vitamins A, B6, and C as well as potassium, calcium, and iron, which help boost overall immune function. They also reduce inflammation, which is especially great for dogs who need joint support. The higher content of fiber in sweet potatoes is also beneficial for gastrointestinal issues. Baked or boiled sweet potatoes can make a great topper for your dog’s meal or an ingredient for homemade treats. Dehydrated sweet potatoes offer the best treats for dogs, because not only do they contain most of their nutritional value, but they can be used to make long-lasting chew treats, which are also great for your dog’s teeth.
- Vanessa Rances