It depends.

By Corey Williams
April 20, 2020
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We all want to do what’s best for our four-legged friends. For most people, that means giving them a lot of love, an appropriate amount of exercise, and a healthy diet. Some foods that may be good for humans, however, aren’t necessarily good for dogs. While your pup can eat cooked potatoes (but never raw!), there are a few things you should know before incorporating the root veggie into your dog’s diet: 

Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cooked Potatoes… 

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You can feed your dog cooked potatoes in moderation. In fact, many dog foods contain potatoes as a main ingredient. 

It’s important to note, though, that the key words here are “cooked” and “moderation.” 

Health Benefits of Potatoes In Dogs

Potatoes are rich in iron, fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and zinc. All these vitamins and nutrients are beneficial to humans and pups—so it might actually be a good thing if your dog steals a few bites of your plain baked potato.

Possible Dangers of Potato Consumption In Dogs

All that said, you should talk to your veterinarian before adding any new foods into your dog’s diet. You should be aware that recent research suggests that pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients can cause a heart disease called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The disease is most common in golden retrievers, according to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

That’s not the only thing you should watch out for: Eating too many potatoes can cause constipation in humans and dogs. You should also consider the potato’s carbohydrate content before feeding the veggie to your furry friend. Too many carbs can result in obesity and other health problems. 

But They Can’t Eat Them Raw.

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Never, under any circumstances, let your dog eat raw potato. 

Potatoes are in the nightshade family, which means they contain a dangerous-for-dogs chemical called solanine. This substance’s presence in potatoes is vastly reduced by cooking. 

Solanine poisoning can cause potentially fatal heart problems, difficulty breathing, and digestive issues.

If your dog has eaten raw potato (in any amount) and you suspect poisoning, contact your vet ASAP.

What About Potato Skins? 

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It’s best to make sure a potato is completely peeled before you feed it to your pet. Potato skins contain oxalates, which can be extremely dangerous for dogs. A dog who has eaten potato skins may experience loose stools, vomiting, depression, fatigue, tremors, seizures, and heart arrhythmia. 

How Much Potato Is OK?

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If you choose to give your dog potatoes, consider them a treat. 

What the heck does that mean? Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of a dog’s diet, according to the American Kennel Club

What Other Fruits and Veggies Can Your Dog Eat? 

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In addition to a small amount of potatoes, your furry friend can also snack on bananas, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, cranberries, cucumber, green beans, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, peas, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, spinach, and watermelon, according to the AKC

However, there are some foods that are not OK to include in your pup’s diet: Avocado, cherries, grapes, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes could make your dog sick in even small quantities.