Potatoes are a very common food in every home. They allow multiple preparations, provide carbohydrates with few calories and are inexpensive. So it’s not surprising that handlers wonder if dogs can eat potatoes.
In this article, we are going to answer can dogs eat potatoes. Although dogs are carnivores, they accept the consumption of other foods, among which you can find potatoes, as long as we take into account the considerations explained below. Read on to find out if the potato is toxic to dogs or not.
Can dogs eat potatoes?
Potato, potato or, in its scientific name, Solanum tuberosum is an herbaceous plant that has different stems. One of them is underground and is the tuber, thickened to store nutrients in different ways, such as elongated or rounded, and colors that vary between brownish, purplish or reddish, with a white or yellowish pulp. It is a plant from South America and cultivated for about 8,000 years. In the 16th century it also spread throughout Europe and today it is one of the most consumed foods in the world. There are different varieties of potatoes suitable for different preparations.
Regarding its nutritional value, it provides about 77 kcal per 100 grams, 19 grams of carbohydrates, vitamins such as C or B3 or niacin, in addition to minerals such as potassium, phosphorus or magnesium. The green parts of potatoes are toxic because they contain a substance called solanine. This tonality may be due to the fact that they are not yet mature or that the sun has given them. Solanine poisoning produces gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Peeling the potato or cooking it reduces the amount of solanine.
Taking all this into account, dogs can eat potatoes, although they should not be the main ingredient in their diet, that is, occasional consumption is recommended. For example, we could give cooked potatoes for dogs with diarrhea, accompanied by cooked chicken without skin or salt or sauce, as part of a bland diet before returning to their usual diet, of course, always following the advice of the vet.
Potato is also sometimes included as an ingredient in the diets of dogs with a food allergy or in those of exclusion, which are those prescribed when such an allergy is suspected. They are formulated with the minimum ingredients and with those that the dog has not previously consumed. If the symptoms disappear with the new menu, the diagnosis is confirmed. Therefore, dogs can eat potatoes, but with the caveats that we will see next.
Can dogs eat raw potatoes?
It is not recommended to offer the dog raw potatoes or allow him to play with them and nibble on them and may swallow a piece, whether they are with or without skin. If the potato were green, the amount of solanine present could result in the appearance of disorders at the level of the digestive system that, depending on the amount and characteristics of the dog, maybe more or less intense. Also, raw potatoes are indigestible. So much so, that raw potatoes are part of the list of prohibited fruits and vegetables for dogs.
Can dogs eat bag potatoes?
The problem with bag potatoes is that they are fried in oil and they also add a large amount of salt. Thus, if the cooked potato can be consumed by dogs on time or as part of an exclusion diet, bag potatoes are not a healthy option. Nor for humans. And this is because they incorporate fat and salt in their manufacturing process. Although fats are essential in any diet, they must be healthy and consumed in their proper measure.
Furthermore, salt should not be part of any dog’s diet. In fact, too much salt can even be toxic for dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst, or increased urine output, in addition to neurological disorders such as seizures. In the most severe cases, coma and, eventually, death occurs.
Furthermore, there is a relationship between these potatoes and pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and one of its causes is an excess of fats, that is, if the dog eats bag potatoes, he could suffer an episode of pancreatitis. An acute crisis is characterized by the appearance of vomiting and intense pain in the abdomen.
It can be noticed because the dog has its belly tucked up and can even adopt what is known as a prayer posture, with its chest pressed to the ground and the rump in the air. Affected dogs may also have diarrhea, followed by dehydration, general weakness, and, in more severe cases, shock.
This condition usually requires hospitalization of the dog in the veterinary clinic, where it must be kept for several days without eating any food so that the pancreas can recover. Pain relievers are also needed to control pain and antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Some specimens will need an operation if the mentioned treatment is not sufficient. Pancreatitis is a disease of considerable severity that can cause the death of the dog, so to prevent it, let’s refrain from giving the dog bag potatoes and never leave them within reach.
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