Can I give my dog sweet potato?
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Key Takeaway: Dogs can eat sweet potatoes and gain benefits such as dietary fiber, a microbiome boost, anti-inflammation, decreased cancer risk, vision support, potassium, diabetes prevention, and kidney support.
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Sweet potatoes are not just used for baking mouthwatering deserts anymore. These delicious vegetables are becoming a treat that benefit dogs. Sweet potatoes come in orange, purple, and white with each offering powerful cancer-fighting compounds and nutrients.
This blog “digs into” sweet potatoes for dogs, are they good or bad, the benefits and side effects, types of prepared sweet potatoes, and how to make sweet potatoes for your dogs.
ARE SWEET POTATOES GOOD OR BAD FOR DOGS?
Sweet potatoes can be good and bad for dogs. Getting the most out of sweet potatoes for your dog revolve around preparation and amount fed. The good aspect for dogs is the number of compounds and nutrients sweet potatoes possess. The bad aspects of feeding your dog sweet potatoes are potential diarrhea and vomiting episodes. The beneficial compounds found in sweet potatoes that are proven to improve overall health are:
• Anthocyanin- the pigments that give red, purple, and blue plants their rich color. In addition to acting as antioxidants and fighting free radicals, anthocyanin may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
• Carotenoids- produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits. Carotenoids are beneficial antioxidants that can protect you from disease and enhance your immune systems.
THE BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF SWEET POTATOES FOR DOGS
- Dietary Fiber -Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which leads to a feeling of fullness in dogs. Obese dogs may benefit from a higher fiber diet that can lower heart disease and prevent some cancers.
- Digestion- In digestion sweet potatoes may alleviate constipation, diarrhea, and encourage regular, healthy bowel movements.
- Healthy Microbiome — The Microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms thousands of different species. The fiber makes it to the colon, where it encourages healthy composition of gut microbiota.
- Potassium — Potassium supports the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles.
- Vision — Sweet potatoes are loaded with Beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid and antioxidant that promotes night vision and overall good eyesight.
- Cancer Risk — Lab studies have shown carotenoids function as antioxidants and aid in controlling cell growth, which could mean they help reduce cancer risk.
- Liver — Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory nutrient. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body, directly in the liver.
- Kidney — Vitamins and minerals contained in sweet potatoes may help the balance of sodium in the body and reduce its effects on the kidneys.
- Diabetes- Sweet potatoes contain estrogen named adiponectin which can control dog’s insulin metabolism.
Every dog is different when it comes to allergic reactions and the side effects of eating certain foods. The most important aspect of sweet potato consumption for dogs, is diabetes.
If you own a diabetic dog, be aware that sweet potatoes release sugars that may be harmful to diabetic dogs. However, some dogs simply have food allergies to potatoes in general. If your dog does have food allergy issues these may be some of the reactions, you can expect.
Allergic Reactions and Side Effects of Sweet Potatoes
- Bald Spots
- Chewing Paws
- Diabetic Emergencies
- Difficulty Walking
- Ear Infections
- Excessive Farting
- Face Rubbing
- Inflamed Feet
- Obsessive Licking
- Skin Infections
CAN DOGS EAT SWEET POTATOES PREPARED ANY WAY?
Dogs can eat sweet potatoes in a variety of ways. Some cooking methods are better than others regarding digestion, but it is most important to understand the negative effect uncooked sweet potatoes has on dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?
According to the American Kennel Club, dog owners should never feed their pets raw sweet potatoes. Raw sweet potatoes are hard to chew and digest.
Unchewed food can cause intestinal blockages. Some dogs are known to consume food like a vacuum. Feeding raw sweet potatoes to a dog who eats this way puts the pet at even more risk.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can have baked sweet potatoes. According to the USDA, one medium-sized baked sweet potato provides 142 calories, 3.2g of protein, 32.7g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat of dog safe nutrients. Baked sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Can Dogs Eat Boiled Sweet Potatoes?
Dogs can eat boiled sweet potatoes. The benefit of boiling or generally cooking a potato for a dog is the dog is not going directly to the “doggie supermarket” in the ground. Thus, avoiding bacteria that may be present in soil or in vegetable gardens.
Additionally, the sweet potatoes will be easy to digest because they are soft and manageable compared to a problematic raw sweet potato.
Can Dogs Eat Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes?
Most dehydrated veggies are safe to eat for dogs, including dehydrated sweet potatoes. Several dog treats on the market use dehydrated vegetables and they still pack the nutritional power a baked or boiled sweet potatoes yields.
There are some dehydrated veggies that are not good for dogs, and we would be remiss to not list them here: avocado, chives, eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Sweet Potatoes?
Dogs can eat mashed sweet potatoes. In some cases, mashing sweet potatoes benefits older dogs who can not chew good. This allows the nutrients to interact with the body, as the digestion process is simpler when food is mashed. Just think of baby food and how it is mashed for easy chewing and digestion.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATOES FOR DOGS
We have already discussed several ways to prepare sweet potatoes for dogs including baking, boiling, dehydrating, and mashing. More importantly, when you do cook sweet potatoes for dogs you should remove the skin as it makes it harder for dogs to digest.
Dehydration is a great option and one of the most popular ways to get your dog sweet potatoes. Dehydrated sweet potatoes make a great substitute for rawhide chews and do not cause blockage or discomfort. Unfortunately, not all dog owners have a food dehydrator or the knowledge on dehydrating in general.
We offer a variety of chews for dogs if you are short on time and cannot prepare them on your own. We produce calming CBD chews for dogs, dog CBD joint chews, and CBD skin and coat chews each with sweet potatoes on the ingredient list.
If you want to pack some more punch in your dog treats, take a look at our CBD treats for dogs which only contain two ingredients. These treats come in three great flavors for dogs, Grass-Fed Beef Liver, Wild Caught Salmon, or Sweet potato. The treats range from 240 mg to 9600 mg.
If you decide to cook sweet potatoes for a dog at home, you can boil or steam them and then mash them. It is crucial that no spices are added to the sweet potatoes as they may have a negative effect on your pet. The mashed sweet potatoes are added to the dog’s normal food in small amounts to avoid any diarrhea or vomiting episodes. Then you can fully control the amount you add to a dog’s normal diet and watch as this super food improves your dog’s life. Remember to always consult your veterinarian before supplementing your dog’s diet.
Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet
To say Biscuit lived an active life would be an understatement. Unfortunately, at the age of 8, she started to limp after trips to the dog park. It broke my heart to see her suffering doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted. I decided to go to the vet. They quickly diagnosed her with mobility issues and prescribed a drug to help. Her limping stopped and she was in less visible discomfort. For the first week, it seemed that this was the solution. It was to my absolute shock a few days later when she…
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
From the UC Davis School of Medicine: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an alert about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that leads to reduced heart pumping function and increased heart size. The alterations in heart function and structure can result in severe consequences such as congestive heart failure or sudden cardiac death. While the most common cause of DCM is genetic, on rare occasions other factors can also result in the condition, particularly in breeds that are not frequently affected.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that sweet potatoes are often found on lists of foods you should eat. They offer an abundance of health benefits, along with tasting delicious. But can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Yes, they can.
“The health benefits are the same for canines as they are for people,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist at Animal Acupuncture in New York City.
Why Sweet Potatoes Are Good for Dogs
Sweet potatoes provide an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system function more effectively. Eating fiber on a regular basis lowers the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
“Because sweet potatoes are a whole food, they are less likely to cause an immune response or damage to the digestive tract,” says Kathleen Standafer Lopez, a registered dietitian nutritionist. “This is why they are a popular source of carbohydrate in commercial dog foods.”
Sweet potatoes are also low in fat and rich in vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron (each play a vital role in overall wellness). For example, vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyes, muscles, nerves, and skin. And vitamin C is critical for a properly functioning immune system. Studies have found that dogs, just like humans, show greater resistance to disease and have a better chance of recovery from injuries or illness when supplemented with vitamin C.
For dogs that are diabetic, overweight, or less active, owners should proceed carefully and only give their dog a minimal amount of sweet potatoes. “They should be incorporated with caution in the diets of diabetic dogs, due to a high glycemic index,” says Dr. Barrack.
How Should I Prepare Them for My Dog?
When feeding your dog a sweet potato, make sure it’s cooked and that the skin is removed; leaving the skin on makes it harder for your dog to digest. You should never feed your dog a raw sweet potato. Not only are they difficult to chew, but they can upset your dog’s stomach and potentially cause intestinal blockage. Some dogs are known to “inhale” their food, so making sure the potato is of a soft consistency lessons the risk of choking.
How Much Can a Dog Eat?
Like with any food, moderation is key. The amount given should be based on a variety of factors, such as your dog’s size, activity level, and overall health. “Too much of a good thing can cause bone and muscle weakness, due to excessive vitamin A,” Dr. Barrack stresses.
Carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, should not be a dog’s main source of nutrition; animal protein should be a daily part of their diet, as well. When introducing any new foods, first talk to your veterinarian. If she gives the go-ahead, start with a small amount to see how your dog reacts.
“As with human nutrition, canine nutrition should be individualized,” says Standafer Lopez. “Consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.”
Delicious Options to Serve Sweet Potatoes to Your Dog
Sometimes mistaken for a yam, this starchy root vegetable is packed with nutritional benefits. You will find sweet potatoes added to many dog foods and treats because they are a healthy source of complex carbohydrates and are gentle on the digestive system.
Here are four reasons why we love them:
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
It’s simple, dogs can have sweet potatoes, but you have to be careful with how you give them. Dogs shouldn’t eat mashed potatoes, boiled, or baked potatoes. They are best for dogs in boiled, frozen, or dehydrated form.
When introducing sweet potatoes to your pup’s diet, you should start in small amounts. See how your pup reacts and if he loves it, then game on!
A WEALTH OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS.
Sweet potatoes are packed with vital minerals including potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is key in preserving nerve transmissions and muscle function. This superfood also contains calcium, iron, zinc, Vitamins B6, and Vitamin C.
Feeding your dog these healthy vitamins has a huge impact on their health and wellness. Adding these vitamins enhances your dog’s immune response, red blood cell count, cognitive aging and so much more!
Get high quality and healthy treats for your pup? Check out our CBD dog treats today!
Ever wonder why this vegetable has hues of purple? That’s the beta-carotene magic. This powerful antioxidant gives sweet potatoes their yellow, orange, and sometimes purple coloring. After eating a sweet potato, the beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body. Pretty cool, huh?
Vitamin A is a vital nutrient essential for your dog’s vision, muscle strength, and healthy skin and coat. Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency include night blindness and poor hair and skin quality. None of that here!
Healthy treats are a necessity for every dog owner! Check out Dope Dog for high-quality treats.
HIGH IN FIBER, LOW IN FAT.
Sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber which is great for digestive health. Plus, they contain very little fat, making sweet potatoes a smart addition to your dog’s diet.
Fiber is a nutrient that all dogs should be getting in their diet. Fiber is instrumental in maintaining a healthy digestive system and managing a healthy weight. There are so many reasons why dogs are overweight, but changing their diet to contain more fiber can be a great way to maintain it!
Sweet potatoes are the perfect combination of high fiber and low fat so you’re not adding unnecessary fats to your dog diet during treat time!
10/10 ON THE TASTE METER
Who said getting your veggies had to be difficult? Not only are sweet potatoes safe for dogs, they actually have a very yummy, sweet flavor they’ll love. We love these delicious human-grade sweet potato treats from Dope Dog.
Dope Dog’s Sweet Potato Dog Treats are high in fiber and great for the digestive system. It contains ample amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. They are also made with organic CBD! The formulas are fresh and high-quality to ensure that your pet gets nothing but the best.
Looking for CBD dog treats? Check out Dope Dog’s wide array of selections
SWEET POTATO VERSUS YAM
Even though sweet potatoes and yams are very similar, they are different in varieties.
Sweet potatoes are sweeter than yams and have a variety of flavor that is easily cooked and altered. Yams are starchier, not very sweet, and almost taste like regular potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and have more protein, iron, sodium, calcium, vitamin A, water content, and beta carotene than yam. However, yams have more carbs, fats, fiber, Vitamin B6, vitamin E, and potassium than sweet potatoes.
Over 50% of the US sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina. However, yams are grown around the world, and West Africa is where 95% of them are grown.
The difference in taste and texture is what makes sweet potatoes a much better treat for dogs. Their sweet nature will have your dog wanting more!
If you are looking for a new treat to feed your pup, look no further than sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. Increase your pup’s metabolism, heart health, cognitive aging, and so much more with this tasty treat!
When you switch your pup to these amazing treats you are sure to see a difference!
Delicious Options to Serve Sweet Potatoes to Your Dog
By now, it’s clear that serving your pup sweet potatoes is a smart move. However, you may want some unique ideas to ensure they don’t get bored.
Don’t worry. Here you can find some of the top options for serving sweet potatoes to your dog.
Dehydrated Sweet Potato
Sweet, simple, and the perfect snack for your pup, dehydrated sweet potato is a great, healthy treat for dogs of all ages. Also, thanks to the simplicity (i.e., one ingredient), it’s great if your dog has food allergies. Depending on your dog’s preferences and how long you cook, you can make this treat crunchy or chewy.
To make a dehydrated sweet potato for your pup, you must put pieces of the sweet potato on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Once in place, bake at 250 degrees for about three hours. If you want a crunchy result, add 30 minutes. Make sure the bites cool completely to test the texture.
For a simple prep, use your food dehydrator. If you don’t have one, the oven works great.
Grain-Free Sweet Potato Biscuits for Dogs
Do you love to bake? If so, there are plenty of recipes you can find online. There are a lot of simple recipes that you can create for your pup.
You can customize this recipe to meet your needs. For example, you can use any flour you prefer for the oats, whole wheat flour, and cornmeal listed above. You can also use canned sweet potato or even baby food if that is what you have on hand. Just make sure to get a fun cookie cutter to use. While your dog may not notice, you will, making it more fun.
Sweet Potato Stuffing
Does your pup love toys like the Kong? Why not fill the toy with delicious sweet potato stuffing? All you need is boiled white rice, steamed sweet potato you have mashed well, and some peanut butter.
Mix your ingredients and stuff them in the Kong. This is a healthy treat for your pup, but it is also a great way to keep them busy and alleviate boredom.
Sweet Potato Mix for Your Pup’s Kibble
Do you want to add some new tastes and flavors to your pup’s kibble? If so, add sweet potato. You can use any form of sweet potato for this treat, and it will give the food nutrition and flavor boost your dog will love.
Try sweet potato baby food, frozen sweet potato, pureed sweet potato, or some other form to see what your pup likes best.
With the amazing nutrition and great flavor, your dog will love this added to their food, and it makes a treat you can feel good about without all the filler and unneeded chemicals found in other pre-made food and treats.