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If a potato is plainly baked or boiled, a dog can safely eat the potato. But dogs should never eat raw potatoes.
Benefits of cooked potatoes for dogs
Potatoes contain carbohydrates for energy, as well as potassium, iron, and vitamins A, B and C. Plain baked, boiled, or mashed potato (after it’s cooled) is safe to feed but only in moderation. A much healthier option would be sweet potatoes or pumpkin.
Hazards of potatoes for dogs
Unripe potatoes: Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family of vegetables and contain a compound called solanine which can be toxic to some dogs. Note: Sweet potatoes are not in the nightshade family and contain more nutrients than white potatoes.
Unripe potatoes as well as the leaves and stem of the plant all contain this poisonous element (so keep curious chewers out of the garden if you grow potatoes). However, cooking potatoes reduces the levels of solanine and makes them safe to feed to dogs. Plus, a potato that has been boiled or baked is much softer and easier to eat.
Added seasonings and fats: Most of us don’t eat or like plain potatoes, and it isn’t unusual to add salt, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, and loads of other seasonings to make potatoes extra tasty and enticing. However, these additions also make potatoes less healthy. For your dog, it’s best to stick to plain potatoes since some seasonings are toxic to dogs, and too much fat (whether it’s added cheese, butter, or in the form of French fries cooked in oil) can mean trouble for your dog. Not only do the extra calories set your dog up for weight gain, but too much at once can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or pancreatitis.
Moderation: White potatoes are high in carbohydrates—only allow your pet to eat bites of potato in moderation. For diabetic dogs, consult your veterinarian before offering potato as a treat as it can spike their blood sugar. Added fruits and vegetables should make up no more than 10-20% of your pet’s diet.
Want to find out more about what dogs can and cannot eat? Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on “What Human Foods Dogs Can and Can Not Eat.”