We all know dogs love people food. Whether it’s the tantalizing smells wafting from the kitchen, or the irresistible urge to lick our plates clean, our furry friends crave a taste of whatever we’re having.
But is it actually safe to share your spuds? Can dogs eat red potatoes or are they bad news for your four-legged friend?
Red potatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs, but there are some risks and preparation methods to keep in mind.
Here’s a glimpse of what’s ahead:
- Are red spuds safer than white for dogs?
- Find the perfect potato portion size for your pup.
- How to prep potatoes to avoid toxicity risks and avoid tummy troubles.
- Healthier alternatives to fill your dog’s bowl with vitamin-packed whole foods.
Sharing small amounts of red potato with your dog can be A-OK. But there are some important dos and don’ts. Read on for the full scoop.
Can Dogs Eat Red Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can eat red potatoes, as long as they are plain, peeled, and well cooked.
Red potatoes can offer some nutritional value as an occasional snack for your dog.
But there are also potential risks with feeding dogs any kind of potatoes that you need to consider.
The right preparation methods and portion control are key to making red potatoes safe for your four-legged friend.
Let’s dig a little deeper to unearth the main pros and cons of giving dogs red potatoes.
Are Red Potatoes Good For Dogs?
Yes, red potatoes do have nutritional value and can be a safe snack in moderation. But they shouldn’t make up a large part of your dog’s diet.
Red potatoes are rich in:
- Carbohydrates: Red potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for your dog’s daily activities and help fuel their muscles.
- Dietary Fiber: Red potatoes also contain dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion and supporting a well-functioning digestive system in dogs.
- Vitamins: These spuds are also rich in various vitamins, including vitamin C and B16, which help their immune system and protect them from illnesses.
- Minerals: Red potatoes are a natural source of minerals like potassium, which plays a big vital role in maintaining proper heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission in dogs.
Most healthy dogs can safely enjoy a few bites of red potato as an infrequent treat.
For the healthiest diet, serve cooked plain potatoes in small portions, and accompany them with a balanced meal.
I will cover serving sizes a bit later on, but first, you might want to know…
Are Red Potatoes Healthier Than White Potatoes for Dogs?
Red potatoes get their name from their vibrant red skin and flesh. This eye-catching color comes from antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Some research shows anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory effects in humans. So, red potatoes may provide more nutrients and health benefits compared to white potato varieties.
Red potatoes may have some advantages over white potatoes for dogs, such as:
- More vitamin C and iron.
- Higher antioxidant levels that may reduce inflammation.
- Slightly more fiber for satiety.
- Lower glycemic index resulting in slower carbohydrate absorption.
For these reasons, red potatoes are often considered the healthiest potato option for both humans and pets.
But the differences are still relatively modest and potatoes of all colors should only be an occasional treat for your dog, not a dietary staple.
Potential Risks of Feeding Red Potatoes to Dogs
While red potatoes can be safe for dogs in moderation, there are some potential risks to be aware of.
One of the biggest risks is gastrointestinal upset. Raw potatoes contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison found in nightshade vegetables. Solanine protects the potato plant, but can irritate the digestive tract and cause symptoms like:
- abdominal pain.
Consuming high quantities of solanine can also lead to more serious neurological symptoms like weakness, confusion, and dilated pupils.
Always cook potatoes thoroughly to destroy solanine.
Some dogs may have potato allergies or intolerances, especially to raw potato.
Signs include itchy skin, ear infections, bald patches, and wheezing.
If you suspect a potato allergy, avoid feeding any potatoes and consult your veterinarian.
Toxicity in Green Potatoes
Never feed dogs potatoes that are spoiled, moldy, bruised, damaged, or have a green tint.
The green color indicates solanine production. Solanine is concentrated mostly in the potato skin, sprouts, and any green portions.
Solanine is toxic to dogs because it can cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems.
While potatoes do contain vitamins and minerals, they lack complete protein and healthy fats.
Feeding too many potatoes could throw off the balance of essential fatty acids, amino acids, and nutrients in your dog’s diet.
Excess carbs and starch from potatoes could displace other important diet components.
Improperly sized or inadequately chewed potato pieces could present a choking risk.
This is especially true for small breed dogs. Dice potatoes into tiny pieces, or mash them with some water, and monitor your dog while they eat them.
Seasonings and Flavorings
You should always serve your dog cooked and plain potatoes, without any seasonings or flavorings.
Here are some common potato additions that can cause problems for dogs:
- Salt: Too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs, causing symptoms like excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures. Your dog’s digestive system is not equipped to handle high levels of salt as we can, so it’s best to skip the salt.
- Butter: Butter is high in fat and can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a serious condition that causes pancreas inflammation and can be extremely painful for them. Learn more about the common causes and symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs.
- Spices and seasonings: You might be tempted to use spices and seasonings on your dog’s potatoes but these ones can be toxic for them:
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- and chives.
These ingredients can cause a digestive upset in your dogs. Worst, they can damage red blood cells, and potentially cause more severe health issues.
So, red potatoes do have nutritional value and can be a safe snack in moderation. But they shouldn’t make up a large part of your dog’s diet.
Talk to your vet about incorporating limited potatoes as part of a complete and balanced meal plan.
How Much Red Potato Can Dogs Eat?
When it comes to sharing red potatoes with your furry friend, remember the golden rule: moderation is key.
Just like with any new food, start slow and in small portions when giving them to your dog.
Dogs have unique digestive systems and sudden changes or overindulgence in certain foods can upset their stomachs and potentially lead to digestive issues.
The amount of potatoes you can feed them depends on your dog’s size and overall diet.
Here are some general potato portion guidelines:
- Small dogs under 25 lbs: 1-2 tablespoons max
- Medium dogs 25-50 lbs: 2-3 tablespoons max
- Large dogs over 50 lbs: Up to 1⁄4 cup
You should only give your dog potatoes 1 to 2 times per week at most. More than that may lead to obesity or nutritional imbalances over time.
As always, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance on feeding your dog red potatoes.
The way you prepare red potatoes for your dog is also important.
How to Prepare Red Potatoes for Dogs
Just because you’re making plain red potatoes for your pups doesn’t mean they have to be boring.
Here’s my process for preparing red potatoes for my dogs to make them more enjoyable:
- Wash and peel the potato skins, then cut into small cubes.
- Cook the potatoes until very soft, either by boiling, baking, or microwaving.
- You can check their doneness by poking them with a fork – they should easily slide through without any resistance.
- Let the potatoes cool down until they are no longer hot.
- You can then give a few pieces to your dog with their meal.
- Or you can mash them with a bit of water to make them easier to digest. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, or if they have dental issues because of old age, mashing is the way to go.
- Serve the plain potatoes without any seasonings, oils, salt, pepper, or other additions.
Personal Tip: If you want to add a little extra flavor and nutrition, you can mix in dog-friendly toppings like cooked and shredded chicken or steamed vegetables.
If you’re looking to add some extra flavor to the potatoes, consider using ginger.
Ginger can offer potential benefits for dogs when added to potatoes. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties that may help with digestive issues, relieve nausea, and give your dog relief from motion sickness.
As always, use ginger in moderation and ask your veterinarian before introducing them into your dog’s diet to ensure they are safe for their specific health needs.
Can Dogs Eat Red Potatoes Raw?
No, dogs should not eat raw red potatoes.
Raw potatoes contain a natural toxin called solanine, which can be harmful to dogs if eaten in large amounts.
It can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea for your dog.
Find out more about solanine toxicity in our article on Can Dogs Eat Potatoes.
To make red potatoes safe for your dog to eat, be sure to cook them thoroughly.
Cooking helps break down the solanine and makes the potatoes easier for dogs to digest.
Whether you choose to boil, bake, or steam them, make sure that the red potatoes are cooked until they are soft and easily mashable.
Preparing red potatoes properly helps you make sure your pet’s safety and lessens the risks of any digestive issues.
If you suspect your dog has eaten raw potato, watch for vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms call your vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Red Potatoes with Skin?
Potato skins are more difficult for dogs to digest than the flesh. The high fiber content of skins can irritate the digestive tract.
They also contain oxalates that can be harmful to dogs.
You should avoid feeding your dog raw or cooked potato skins. Dog’s also shouldn’t eat skin on fries, chips, or any other types of potato.
Discover more about why dogs should not eat potato skins.
Healthier Alternatives to Red Potatoes for Dogs
While red potatoes make an OK occasional snack, they shouldn’t be a dietary staple.
There are healthier alternatives that provide more balanced nutrition for dogs, including:
- Carrots – Rich in vitamins, low in calories.
- Green beans – Plenty of fiber and vitamins, low in calories.
- Sweet potatoes – More nutrients than white potatoes.
- Blueberries – Antioxidants and fiber.
- Pumpkin – Vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Lean meat – Protein for energy and muscle health.
- Greek yogurt – Probiotics and calcium.
Find out what brands of yogurt are best for dogs.
Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other whole foods for optimal nutrition for your pup.
Now let’s talk about whether or not you can give your dogs human food every day.