Eaten by cultures the world over, potatoes are a staple in most diets. They provide a plethora of important nutrients. Fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins such as C and B6 with a relatively low caloric content. Their complex carbohydrates provide plenty of slow-burning fuel for your body. But are potatoes as beneficial to our canine companions as they are to us? And more specifically can dogs eat potato skins?
Our pets can often have a tendency to beg whenever we’re eating a food that they consider particularly interesting. We may sometimes indulge them with a morsel.
Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid sharing “human” food with your pet. Some foods that are perfectly safe for us can cause serious health problems in our furry best friends.
At this point, you probably have a lot of questions. Are potatoes safe for my dog, or can they lead to serious health issues? How much potato is enough? What are the potential risks associated with feeding my dog potatoes? How would I know if my pet has eaten too much potato and what should I do if they have?
We’ve tackled some of your most common questions and tried to provide clear answers. Helping to demystify the potato problem for you, once and for all!
Raw potatoes and excessive amounts of
are not safe for dogs because of the substances they contain. The solanine and oxalates found in potatoes and potato skins can create numerous health risks for your dog.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a vital role in your dog’s immune system. Vitamin C can help collagen formation and immune functioning and supply your dog with helpful and potent antioxidants.
One of the best outcomes of taking vitamin C is that it will stabilize or eliminate free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms that have an outer shell that is not full of electrons.
If these shells are not full, it can cause the free radical atom to join another atom. This is because these free radicals will be attracted to electrons in other locations.
This becomes an issue as while stable atoms don’t cause many health problems, free radicals are, by their very nature, unstable. In order for the free radical to gain these extra atoms, they will react or catalyze very quickly with other nearby substances or atoms.
This becomes an issue when oxygen molecules split into single atoms, which will quickly form into unstable free radicals and begin a process called oxidative stress, causing harm to an organism’s cells.
The Nutritional Content of Potato Skins
As you might guess, potatoes are mostly made out of carbohydrates. They contain quite a lot of carbohydrates, as they are a starchy veggie. This is fine for humans. However, it is not necessarily the best for our furry friends.
Dogs have evolved to digest grains and starches due to their close contact with people. But they still require a high amount of fat and protein to thrive. Studies have shown that dogs choose a diet high in fat and protein when given complete control of their diet. Usually, animals are very good at choosing a diet that helps them thrive, so we can safely assume that this shows their perfect diet.
The problem is that potatoes are not high in fat or protein. Instead, they are almost entirely carbohydrates. This does not match what our dogs need to thrive, which is why potatoes should not make up a large portion of their diet.
Potato skins do contain a few vitamins and minerals. However, all of these nutrients can be found in other foods that aren’t so high in carbs. For example, potato skins contain a surprising amount of iron, but meat will always be a better source.
While a few potato skins will not hurt your puppy, there is some evidence that potatoes can cause serious problems when eaten in large amounts.
The FDA is currently investigating a potential link between certain dog foods and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a deadly heart condition. While the investigation is still underway, the preliminary findings show that dog foods containing high amounts of potatoes, peas, and lentils are more likely to cause these heart conditions.
This is likely related to taurine, which is a nutrient used by your heart. There is some speculation that something in potatoes, peas, and lentils may affect the body’s ability to use taurine, but nothing is known for sure yet.
In the meantime, we recommend limiting the potatoes your dog eats. Them eating a few scraps off the floor is no big deal, but you probably shouldn’t serve them a bowl of potato skins every day.
As we’ve already talked about, potatoes are a bad food choice for dogs. Also, most French fries are full of unhealthy ingredients, such as oil and salt (just like some flavored pita breads). If your dog has too much salt, it may end up with problems such as excessive thirst and even dehydration. If a dog is given too much salt over the longer term, it could have kidney issues.
If you have a dog, you know how much your furry buddy begs you for every item of food you have in the kitchen. While you’re peeling potatoes, your canine is at your feet, asking you for the peels.
Maybe you’ve thought about handing them over. After all, you don’t need them. Don’t do it! Giving your dog potato skins may lead to a dangerous situation.
If you ever give your dog a little bit of cooked potato, make sure it’s plain. Don’t offer your canine potato with added salt, butter, or milk. As many people add these ingredients to their roasted or mashed potatoes, they often end up giving their dog little bits as treats. Don’t do this, as these ingredients are harmful to your puppy.
Another harmful element is solanine, a type of compound that is hazardous for your dog. Potatoes (and tomatoes) are part of a group of vegetables called the nightshade family. Both raw potatoes and tomatoes have solanine.
How much potato skin is toxic to dogs?
Can dogs eat cooked potato peelings?