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The quick answer: Yes sweet potatoes are safe for dogs.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy, grain-free and gluten-free source of carbohydrates. Sweet Potato is a known dog favorite, and they can be served cooked, cubed or mashed (no butter or seasoning, of course) and are chock full of fiber and vitamins A, B-6, and C.
Did you know that the American yam is really a variety of sweet potato? True yams are native to Africa and Asia and are drier and starchier. They can often be found in specialty and international grocery stores.
Benefits of sweet potatoes and yams to dogs
There are two types of sweet potato: the firm variety with gold skin and pale flesh, and the soft kind with copper skin and orange flesh. They’re a great source of vitamin A, C, B6, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber, and the variety with the orange flesh is also a good source of the antioxidant beta carotene.
With more nutrients than white potatoes, sweet potatoes are a much healthier option for your pet, and you’ve probably seen plenty of on-shelf treats and foods with sweet potatoes in them. These are usually great options for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities, especially those who need gluten-free and grain-free options.
Serve plain sweet potatoes steamed or boiled. You can also dehydrate unseasoned sweet potato slices for a crunchy treat.
Hazards of sweet potatoes and yams to dogs
Adding salt, seasonings, or cooking sweet potatoes in oil turns a healthy vegetable into an unhealthy indulgence or even something toxic for dogs. Consuming too many oils and fats can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or pancreatitis which causes a painful abdomen and a serious get-to-the-vet situation.
The general rule of thumb is that added fruits and vegetables should make up no more than 10-20% of your pet’s diet. When home cooking meals for your pet, consult your veterinarian to determine a healthy amount of sweet potato your pet can eat on a daily basis.
Check out some great dog-friendly sweet potato recipes in our article, 8 DIY Sweet Potato Dog Treats Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.