Sweet potatoes are a common vegetable seen on dinner tables, but what about in dog bowls? Can dogs eat sweet potatoes and are they good for them? Answers here!
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Many vegetables are safe for dogs to eat, and sweet potatoes are one of them. In addition to tasting yummy, sweet potatoes offer an impressive range of health benefits for your canine companion.
Dogs can enjoy cooked sweet potatoes with the skin removed. Sweet potato skins can be hard for dogs to chew and digest. And making sure it is cooked and soft helps ensure those pups who like to swallow their food whole won’t choke.
Sweet Potato Health Benefits For Dogs
Sweet potatoes are often considered a superfood, because they are packed with vitamins and minerals that benefit humans and dogs. Some key nutrients they have that are good for dogs are:
Fiber: These root vegetables are one of the highest sources of fiber in vegetables. Fiber is necessary to keep the digestive system functioning. They can help correct stomach issues like diarrhea and constipation. A trick I will use when switching foods for my dog is to put a spoonful of mashed, unsweetened, sweet potato in their bowl with the new food. This helps them transition to the new food without hardly any stomach issues.
Antioxidants: As with many orange vegetables, sweet potatoes contain lots of antioxidants. These help fight free radicals that can cause cell damage from stress or illness. Sweet potatoes can be found in purple or orange. Purple has more antioxidants while orange has more beta carotene which can help with eyesight.
Vitamins: Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins, including vitamin C, A, and B6. Vitamin C and A are best for boosting the immune system and supporting cell function. Vitamin B6 also helps with this but it also helps with glucose generation. This can be helpful for dogs who need consistent blood sugar levels.
Minerals: These root vegetables have calcium, potassium, and Iron. These help bone growth, kidney function, muscle function, and energy levels.
Risks Of Feeding Sweet Potatoes to Dogs
Sweet potatoes are overall pretty healthy for dogs. The main issue with serving them to dogs is serving them raw and the risk of an allergic reaction.
Can dogs eat raw sweet potatoes? As mentioned, these pose a choking risk and can cause digestive issues. It is best to boil them (without seasoning) so they are fork tender before serving.
Can dogs eat sweet potato skin? While the skin is not toxic to dogs, large pieces can be a choking hazard and are hard to digest. It is always recommended to peel the potatoes first.
Can they eat canned sweet potatoes? This depends. Most canned sweet potatoes are packed in syrup or seasonings and your dog cannot have any of those. If you happen to find canned sweet potatoes whose only ingredients are sweet potatoes and water, then yes your dog can have them as long as they are soft with the skin removed.
Can dogs eat purple sweet potato? Yes, dogs can eat any color of sweet potato (which is good news, because there are many varieties!)
How do I know if my dog is allergic? To find this out, you will have to serve your dog a little bit first. Start with a small slice or a spoonful of mashed added to their food. Wait a few hours and see if you notice any illness or odd behavior. If nothing happens, then you should be ok to serve sweet potatoes to your dog.
How Many Sweet Potatoes Can Dogs Eat?
This will always depend on the size of your dog. Since this is not a regular part of your dog’s diet, it is considered a treat. And treats should not exceed more than 10% of a dog’s diet. Check out this post about how many calories your dog needs for more information on a dog’s caloric needs.
If your canine friend isn’t very active, is overweight, or suffers from diabetes, you need to be careful about feeding it sweet potato. Stick to giving your very small portions every now and then in these cases.
How To Feed A Dog Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes can be served in many ways as long as they are initially peeled and cooked. Here are a few simple ways we love to serve them.
On their own: Since these need to be cooked no matter what, they can’t be served fresh. But they can be served cooked by either boiled or roasting with no seasonings or oil (even salt and pepper). They could then be chopped up or mashed and served on their own. Our personal favorite? Easy oven dehydrated sweet potato chews!
Frozen: While I wouldn’t recommend serving diced and cooked sweet potatoes that have been frozen (these can pose a choking risk), you can add mashed sweet potatoes to a frozen KONG or celery for dogs mixed with a little peanut butter. Another way to serve it is swirled into dog ice cream!
Mixed: If frozen and mixed is too time-consuming, you can simply mix a little mashed or some diced sweet potatoes with your dog’s food, with mashed bananas, or with other yummy treats and stuffed into a West Paw Toppl.
Baked: Sweet potatoes are great in baked goods, like these Grain Free Dog Treats!