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Can dogs have sweet potatoes?

01/18/22 11:12 AM

Some common human foods are safe for dogs to eat, while others aren’t – but it’s not always easy to know. You might be wondering if sweet potatoes are safe for your dog. Read on to find out!

Can I give my dog sweet potato?

Yes! Sweet potato is generally safe for dogs*. Many dog food manufacturers use sweet potato as a main ingredient in dog food formulas. Sweet potatoes are easy for dogs to digest and have many beneficial nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, calcium, manganese, and iron. They’re a good source of fiber, too.

But as the name implies, sweet potatoes contain sugar, too, which should be limited in your dog’s diet. So go ahead and give your dog sweet potato, but don’t overdo it.

*Remember that just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to any food. So while dog allergy to sweet potato is rare, always keep an eye out for adverse reactions whenever you give your dog a food that’s new to them.

How to prepare sweet potatoes for your dog

Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways for your dog to enjoy. You can try:

Boiling then mashing for mashed sweet potato

Baking or steaming and serving in large pieces

Cutting into fry shapes and baking until crisp to make sweet potato chews (no need for oil or salt)

Using in a sweet potato dog treat (do an internet search for easy homemade recipes)

What about the skin, can dogs eat sweet potato skins? Yes, the skin is not only safe for dogs, but it contains a lot of the good nutrients in sweet potatoes, so don’t peel and toss it!

Other good “human foods” for dogs

Here are other human foods that are generally safe and well-tolerated by the majority of dogs, and nutritious, too:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • White rice
  • Peanut butter (unsalted)
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Apples (but not the seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Watermelon
  • One caveat when serving poultry, fish, and meat – never feed your dog the bones. They

    can break into sharp pieces and cause serious damage if swallowed. Talk to your

    vet about giving your dog real bones if that’s something you want to include in

    their diet.

    Avoid these “human foods”

    What about human foods that are bad for dogs? Here’s a list of some of the most common human foods that you should not give to your dog:

    • Alcohol
    • Coffee, tea, cola, and other products with caffeine
    • Chocolate
    • Dairy products if lactose intolerance
    • Onions, chives, and garlic
    • Grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Avocados (especially the stone)
    • Xylitol (a sugar alcohol found in many foods and chewing gum)

    For various reasons, each one of these things can be toxic to your dog in high enough quantities or may not be well tolerated (i.e., will cause digestive issues that neither of you want to deal with!). If you think your dog has eaten something from this list, or something else that’s poisonous or toxic, call your vet or an emergency animal hospital right away. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at any time of the day or night at 888-426-4435.

    Sweet potatoes are a go!

    Sweet potatoes are healthy and good for your dog in moderation, so go for it! If your dog is like most other dogs, they will love it. 

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