Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? Fact Checked By Our Vet
Fried, baked, or even boiled, we love potatoes around here. But can dogs eat potatoes? Is dog food with potatoes healthy? Today, our experts are doing a deep dive into whether potatoes should be part of your dog’s diet.
Are Potatoes Dangerous To Dogs?
It depends. Potatoes have solanine, a poisonous chemical that can be toxic to dogs if eaten in large quantities. The high carbohydrate percentage in potatoes can also be risky if your dog suffers from diabetes or obesity. This is particularly important if your pup isn’t following a balanced diet.
Too much potato can also cause constipation, particularly if your dog has a low-fibre diet. Skinless potatoes are low in fibre, and a big serving can cause constipation and discomfort due to blocked anal glands. You’ll know if your dog deals with these issues if they have a hard time pooping or if they “scoot” on the floor.
Related: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
On the other hand, a small number of cooked potatoes will usually be harmless and cause no health issues.
Keep in mind that it’s the potato plant, rather than the potatoes themselves, that has a higher concentration of toxic compounds. Most of the time, keeping your dog away from potato plants will significantly lower any health risks.
Can Potatoes Cause Solanine Poisoning In Dogs?
Solanine is a common chemical found in plants from the Solanaceae family. All potatoes are high in solanine when green or unripe; potato skins and leaves are also rich in this compound.
If a dog eats too much solanine (from whatever source), it can cause poisoning. While in general solanine poisoning isn’t a concern, if your dog has access to a garden where potatoes are grown this might be an issue.
Related: The Best Vegetables for Dogs.
If you suspect your dog has eaten raw green potatoes, look out for these signs:
To prevent solanine poisoning, it’s important to NEVER give green or unripe potatoes to your dog. The skins and leaves of potato plants should also be kept out of reach.
Finally, the best option is to only give cooked potatoes to dogs. The cooking process significantly lowers solanine levels and will make risks minimal.
PRO TIP: Potatoes aren’t the only vegetables rich in solanine. All plants in the nightshade family have it, including tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and tomatillos. Be careful if you have a garden!
The Benefits Of Potatoes For Dogs
Even though potatoes can be risky if your dog eats them in large quantities, these tubers have a few health benefits that could be interesting. Here’s what research has discovered about the health benefits of potatoes:
How To Give Potatoes To Your Dog
So, you want to add potatoes to your dog’s diet? Here are a few guidelines:
In general, potatoes can be a safe treat for dogs if eaten in moderation. And, while they are high in carbs, this tuber can be a nice extra if you have a very active or working pup.
On the flip side, your dog shouldn’t eat chips. Even if they beg, they are too salty and greasy for them!
Have you ever given potatoes to your dog? Let us know if they like them down below!
Are you wondering if your dog can eat other common foods? Check out our full list below:
- What Food Can't Dogs Eat?
- Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
- Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
- Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
- Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
- Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
- Can Dogs Eat Mushroom?
- Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
- Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
- Can Dogs Eat Bread?
- Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
- Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
- Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
- Can Dogs Eat Orange?
- Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
- Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
- Can Dogs Eat Garlic?
- Can Dogs Eat Apple?
- Can Dogs Eat Mandarin?
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
- Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato?
- Can Dogs Eat Capsicum?
- Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
- Can Dogs Eat Carrot?
- Can Dogs Eat Cucumber?
- Can Dogs Eat Peas?
While usually not life-threatening, raw potatoes can cause some health problems in dogs. The main issue with raw potatoes is their higher solanine concentration: if eaten in large quantities or if your dog is small, it could lead to poisoning and a costly trip to the vet.
Raw potatoes are difficult to digest, which means they usually cause intestinal upset and vomiting. Because they are tough, they can also cause intestinal blockage, which is a life-threatening condition. If your dog is showing signs of abdominal pain or vomiting after getting into raw potatoes, get them to the vet ASAP.
Although not inherently dangerous, potatoes can be too high in carbs for a diabetic dog. This tuber has a relatively high glycaemic index, which can raise your dog’s blood sugar levels.
If you have a dog diagnosed with diabetes, it’s best to consult with your vet before giving them potatoes or any other treat with a high glycaemic index.
- Barceloux D. G. (2009). Potatoes, tomatoes, and solanine toxicity. Disease-a-month. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.disamonth.2009.03.009
- Panasevich et al (2013). Potato fibre as a dietary fibre source in dog foods. Journal of animal science. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2013-6842
- Panasevich et al. (2015). Modulation of the faecal microbiome of healthy adult dogs by inclusion of potato fibre in the diet. The British journal of nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114514003274