We all know that dogs love to get in on the action when it comes to mealtime. And sometimes it’s hard to resist those adorable puppy eyes staring up at you while you enjoy a delicious helping of sweet potato.
But, as responsible pet owners, it’s important to ask ourselves: can our furry friend safely indulge in this tasty treat? You bet your tail-wagging pup they can! In moderation and prepared the right way, of course. So, there are important considerations that go into feeding your dog this root veggie.
Here at barksinthepark.co, we dish out everything you need to know about feeding sweet potatoes to your dog, from the benefits and potential risks to safely incorporating it into their diet.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Sweet Potatoes?
- 2 Should Dogs Eat Sweet Potato?
- 3 The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Sweet Potato
- 4 How to Incorporate Sweet Potato into Your Dog’s Diet Safely
- 5 How Much Sweet Potato Can Dogs Eat?
- 6 FAQs
Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Your dog is giving you puppy eyes at Thanksgiving dinner, and you’re inching to hand over a piece of delicious sweet potato. Can you? Go right ahead! Vets give sweet potatoes a thumbs up for dogs and consider them a healthy treat for your four-legged friend.
According to the experts at Pet Poison Helpline, sweet potatoes are totally non-toxic to dogs. In fact, these root veggies are packed with essential nutrients and fiber that can benefit your dog’s overall well-being.
However, with that said, there are a few things you need to know before allowing your dog to munch on some sweet potatoes. When you introduce a new food to your dog’s diet, it’s best to start slowly. Nutrition for dogs is just as important as it is for us humans. So always practice caution when giving your dog a new food.
Types of Sweet Potato That Are Unsafe for Dogs
Moreover, while baked, boiled or mashed sweet potatoes can be a yummy treat every once in a while, there are some forms of sweet potato that are a no-go for your pooch.
Raw sweet potato
Raw sweet potatoes can be a choking hazard or even cause a blockage in the intestinal tract. An intestinal blockage may require emergency surgery so always make sure it’s cooked.
Processed or fried sweet potato
Other forms of sweet potato that are a no-go for your dog are those processed or fried, such as sweet potato skins and sweet potato fries. These are often coated in oil and salt, making them too greasy and salty for your dog to enjoy safely.
You’ll also want to steer clear of sweet potatoes that have been cooked with cream, butter, or any seasoning. That means no sweet potato pie for your doggo!
Canned sweet potato
Canned sweet potatoes are often swimming in a pool of sugary additives and preservatives that can be harmful to dogs. The only canned sweet potatoes you can give your dog are those that are unsweetened and only have water as an added ingredient.
Should Dogs Eat Sweet Potato?
Sweet potatoes are an excellent vegetable, packed with incredible benefits. But should dogs eat sweet potatoes? Well, this comes down to your dog’s circumstances and how much you’re serving. While sweet potatoes are generally considered healthy for dogs, introducing any new food into your pup’s diet can be tricky.
It’s essential to start with small portions and watch out for any signs of discomfort or an allergic reaction. Some symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and mood changes. Itchy skin is also a common side effect of food allergies in dogs. If your dog experiences a rash after eating sweet potato, pop a little aloe vera on it and consult your vet.
Many of the top-rated commercial dog foods include sweet potato as one of the key ingredients. So if you want your dog to enjoy the benefits of this veggie, this might be an easier option!
You Shouldn’t Feed Sweet Potato to These Dogs…
Obese or diabetic dogs
Sweet potatoes are loaded with carbohydrates that can cause blood sugar spikes in dogs that are overweight or diabetic. It’s best to avoid feeding these dogs sweet potatoes altogether to prevent further health complications.
Expecting and nursing dogs are sensitive to starch, and sweet potatoes contain a lot of it. Although packed with nutrients, they can cause digestive problems for pregnant dogs.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs
The high starch content in sweet potatoes can cause bloating and diarrhea in dogs with sensitive stomachs, which can lead to discomfort and potential health problems.
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Sweet Potato
Yams, taters, spuds…whatever you call them, sweet potatoes can prove to be a delicious and nutritious addition to your pooch’s diet. In moderation, of course.
Overall, sweet potato – even a small piece – is brimming with all the good stuff!
Fights Disease and Inflammation
The antioxidant properties of sweet potatoes can help fight inflammation and disease in your dog’s body – it’s a true powerhouse of nutritional goodness.
Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C, A, B6, and B5, as well as copper, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and iron. Now that’s a whole lot of vitamin goodness for your dog!
Not only are the vitamins in sweet potatoes good for your dog’s skin and coat but also for their eyes, nerves, and muscle function.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
Perhaps one of the most fascinating health benefits of sweet potatoes is their ability to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. This is thanks to Beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, found in sweet potatoes that can aid your dog’s immune system and lower the risk of diseases.
Improves Digestive Health
High in dietary fiber, sweet potatoes are an excellent food for improving your dog’s digestive function, ensuring your pooch produces healthy poops! Plus, they can also help alleviate constipation.
How to Incorporate Sweet Potato into Your Dog’s Diet Safely
Now you know that sweet potatoes can provide plenty of nutritional benefits for your pooch. But like any new food, you need to introduce it slowly and with caution.
Here are some tips on how to safely feed your dog sweet potato while keeping their taste buds and tummies happy:
- Consult your vet: Always talk to your vet before incorporating new foods into your dog’s diet. Once you have the go-ahead, you can start giving your dog sweet potatoes.
- Start with a nibble: You don’t want to overwhelm your dog with a giant pile of sweet potatoes. Start small and see how your dog reacts.
- Prep it right: Peel and slice the sweet potatoes. Sweet potato skin won’t harm your dog, but it can be a choking hazard.
- Cooking is key: Boil, steam, or bake the sweet potato until it’s fork-tender. Steaming or boiling sweet potatoes is the best way to retain their nutritional value. Don’t add any spices or oils as this will upset your dog’s stomach. Trust us, they won’t know the difference. Remember, raw sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries are both no-goes.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces: We all know how dogs like to inhale their food, so be sure to cut the cooked sweet potato into bite-sized chunks for easier chewing and digestion.
- Check for reactions: Keep a close eye on your dog after feeding them sweet potatoes. Do they like it? Is it agreeing with their tummy? Always be aware of any allergic reactions or negative side effects.
- Keep track of their portion: It’s easy to go overboard with treats, but too much sweet potato can cause a stomach upset. You should provide your dog with the right amount for their weight (more on this in the next section).
- Serve it in a fun way: You can give your dog a small cube of sweet potato as a treat, or mix it in with their regular dog food. Or you can always go the extra mile and make delicious sweet potato chews or pup-friendly biscuits!
How Much Sweet Potato Can Dogs Eat?
When it comes to your dog eating sweet potatoes, moderation is key! How much sweet potato your dog can eat will depend on their size, activity level, and overall health.
Let your dogs eat sweet potatoes in the following amounts:
- Miniature dogs (under 20 pounds): 1 teaspoon
- Small dogs (20-40 pounds): 1-2 teaspoons
- Medium-sized dogs (40-60 pounds): 2-3 teaspoons
- Large dogs (60-100) pounds: 1-2 tablespoons
- Giant dog breeds (over 100 pounds): 3 tablespoons
Remember, these are just rough estimates – if you’re unsure about anything, always check with your vet.
Can dogs eat dehydrated sweet potatoes?
Yes, both dehydrated and freeze-dried sweet potatoes are nutritious treats for dogs. These are prepared by removing the moisture content of the sweet potato while still retaining the nutrients and flavor.
What are the signs of sweet potato intolerance in dogs?
Signs of sweet potato intolerance in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, itching, and skin rashes. If you notice any of these symptoms after feeding your dog sweet potato, consult your vet immediately.
Can dogs eat sweet potato every day?
We recommend that dogs eat sweet potatoes as an occasional treat, not as a staple food item in their regular diet. Just like humans, dogs also need a balanced diet to stay healthy. This is why practising moderation with new foods for your dog is essential.