Every dog owner wants the best for their pet, and that includes supplying their canines with the best food and water. However, much of the information available about the best doggie diets is confusing and contradictory. You might find one source that recommends some human foods, like sweet potatoes, while another one says dogs should avoid human food altogether.
However, we're here to tell you that dogs can not only eat sweet potatoes, but this snack is very good for them.
Read more to find out why sweet potatoes and white potatoes are healthy for your dog, as well as other key information about canine diets.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Sweet Potatoes?
While some human delights can make a fancy feast for your canine companion, others are less than ideal. Some can even be poisonous! Therefore, it is important to know exactly how your pet will respond to a new food before offering it to them, and this goes for potatoes as well.
However, sweet potatoes are not poisonous to dogs. Unlike the dreaded chocolate bar or the obvious household chemicals, your dog can digest and process sweet potatoes just like you can.
Note: According to research by the UC Davis School of Medicine, this food can, in rare circumstances, cause some significant health issues. Health issues like DCM or canine dilated cardiomyopathy tend to be genetic but can appear in new breeds due to potato and legume intake.
What Are the Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs?
Sweet potatoes provide some valuable health benefits for your dog. These benefits are remarkably similar to the benefits that this food provides for humans. Here are just a few of the many benefits that sweet potatoes offer:
- Dietary Fiber: Assists the digestive system and lowers heart disease and certain cancer risk.
- Whole food carbohydrate: Provides energy without immune response or digestive tract damage.
- Vitamin A: Improves eye, muscle, skin, and nerve health.
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C: Helps your immune system function by improving disease resistance and speeding up injury recovery.
- Beta Carotene
If getting your pet to consume all their nutrients is proving difficult, Innovet offers an easy, all-natural, once daily multivitamin with key ingredients that support physical and mental health. If you hope to reduce cancer risk, the sweet potato beta carotene nutrient is essential.
How Much Sweet Potato Can I Give My Dog?
So now for the bad news. While sweet potatoes may seem like a catch-all cure to help your dog live longer and happier, moderation is key. This is partially due to the large amount of Vitamin A; if your dog has too much, it could cause issues with the eyes and immune system.
If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes or is attempting weight loss for obesity or other health issues, you should give sweet potatoes minimally at most. This food has a high glycemic index, meaning that it causes your blood sugar to rise when consumed. This can be dangerous for pets with diabetes or blood sugar issues. White potatoes have an even higher glycemic index.
If your dog has a clean bill of health, you can serve sweet potatoes with moderation. They can be a valuable addition to the diet, especially if your dog is at risk for certain cancers or needs more fiber in their diet.
A few metrics that you can use to help you determine how much is enough and how much is too much are:
- Breed of your dog (including size and health data for this dog breed)
- Activity level (since sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates)
- Health history (history of obesity, diabetes, or a genetic predisposition or history of canine dilated cardiomyopathy)
Be sure to run your new diet plan with your veterinarian before implementing it so that you get a second opinion from a professional. Also, start small to see how your pet reacts. This way, you can avoid potentially disastrous allergies or health scares.
Due to the nature of sweet potatoes as a carbohydrate, it is important to understand that this food will not ever be sufficient as the primary food item your dog consumes. Your dog needs to consume protein at the core of their diet.
How To Prepare Sweet Potato For Dogs
It is also important that you cook the sweet potato to serve it to your pup, rather than offering it raw. Regular white potatoes can be toxic to dogs, but cooking reduces the toxic substance levels while keeping nutrients like beta carotene and fiber.
Steaming can be a great way to cook because it keeps much of the nutritional value ready to consume, rather than cooking the nutrients off. Roasting and baking can be a tasty way to prepare, but it can also cook off valuable nutrients.
The sweet potato is a versatile dog food. Especially in dog food, you don't just have to steam to get it ready for doggie consumption. There are hundreds of ways to create inventive concoctions that your canine companion will love.
A few favorites are included below, with step by step walkthroughs to help you create your very own treats at home.
Easy 5-Ingredient Dog Treats
This recipe uses sweet potato and optional additions, including cinnamon, coconut oil, honey, and turmeric. You'll only require an oven, a cookie sheet, parchment paper, and a knife for slicing the potato.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. While it is preheating, you can wash and thinly slice your sweet potatoes.
- Lay each slice on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and top with the additional ingredients.
- Bake for 3 hours to dehydrate to completion. Leave them in until they are dehydrated completely.
Classic Dog Treats
All that is needed to bake these delicious treats is coconut flour, sweet potato puree, dried parsley, shredded carrots, olive oil, eggs, and natural salt-free peanut butter.
To create this recipe, you'll need a few appliances like the oven and a standing mixer. You'll also need baking sheets with a classic dog treat shaped mold.
25-30 minutes will suffice in the oven for this type of treat. Take them out once they start to brown. This gourmet sweet potato dog food has plenty of vitamin C and fiber.
Mashed Sweet Potato (low in fat)
This is by far the easiest and quickest way to prepare this powerful and tasty food for your pet. You'll only need one ingredient in addition to the sweet potato, and it is water, which you can get right from your kitchen sink.
- Simply begin by peeling and cubing your sweet potato into medium-sized cubes.
- Set a pot to boil on the stove covered but add the sweet potatoes before starting the heat to cook through evenly. Let the pot reach a boil, then leave for about 20 minutes.
- Stick a fork through a few cubes after 20 minutes to test how well they are cooked. Drain, mash, and set to cool.
The great thing about this mashed dish is that it is so versatile. You can add it to your dog's dinner or serve it as a snack. You can even try it yourself if you get hungry! Just add butter and salt.
If you're like most pet owners, you want to treat your canine pals like royalty. You want to feed your dog the best diet and give them the best health possible, which may or may not include sweet potatoes, depending on their health.
Unlike white potatoes, the occasional sweet potato may be beneficial to feed your dog for some breeds. These foods can provide numerous health benefits, including nutrients like beta carotene and fiber.
However, sweet potatoes can be dangerous in large quantities for diabetic pets or dogs that are genetically predisposed to DCM.
Try some of the recipes included in this guide for a truly tasty snack for your pup that is full of valuable nutrients!