As impressive as they taste and are a favorite choice of food for people, can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Let’s have a look at the facts and then reach the final verdict!
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
The thought of sweet potatoes is quite mouth-watering. It brings up thoughts of the dinner spread during the holidays when they are devoured in many dishes.
Curious dog owners often wonder if their beloved furry companions can enjoy sweet potatoes safely. As a pet owner, it’s essential to know which human foods are suitable for dogs and which can be harmful.
Sweet potatoes are considered a healthy option for dogs and are even a common ingredient in many commercial dog foods. However, like any food, moderation and preparation matter.
In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs, how to prepare them for canine consumption, potential risks, and guidelines to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being when adding sweet potatoes to their diet.
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts:
Sweet potatoes are jam-packed with nutritional value, various vitamins, minerals and can be consumed by dogs to acquire all the health benefits.
The nutritional values for 3.5 oz of raw sweet potatoes are:
- Calories: 86
- Water: 77%
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Carbs: 20.1 grams
- Sugar: 4.2 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
Antioxidants in Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes have a high concentration of antioxidants. These antioxidants hunt down all the radicals and cells responsible for causing illness and damage from the environment, making them suitable and healthy for your dog!
Dietary Fiber in Sweet Potatoes:
One of the highest concentrations of dietary fibers is vegetables. Sweet potatoes help the digestive system in smooth functioning with its fiber, so if your dog suffers from diarrhea and constipation, you can quickly help him cure this by giving him sweet potatoes.
Vitamins in Sweet Potatoes:
- A: Besides helping in reproduction, strengthening the immune system, and managing cell function. Vitamin A becomes beta-carotene inside the body, which enhances dogs’ and humans’ vision.
- C: This vitamin is essential as it helps the dog’s immune system stay strong; it’s a powerful antioxidant and reduces cognition in senior dogs too.
- B6: Vitamin B6 is essential in supporting the functioning of red blood cells and the generation of glucose. So it’s pretty vital for dogs who suffer from diabetes and need a consistent blood sugar level.
Minerals in Sweet Potatoes:
- Iron: Iron plays a vital role in forming red blood cells and in developing hemoglobin. It Is important because it carries oxygen throughout the body and contributes to the production of energy. Hence, making it an essential nutrient for dogs.
- Calcium: This helps in bone strengthening, healthy feet, and a strong heart. It also encourages muscle growth and makes the nervous system smooth.
- Potassium: This mineral keeps your dog’s kidneys stable and makes them efficient. Apart from that, they also help in the smooth functioning of the heart, the muscles, and even the digestive system.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes Raw?
The white potatoes belong to the nightshade family, making them toxic if eaten by dogs in the raw form. But, since sweet potatoes aren’t related to the same family as that white potatoes, they aren’t toxic.
However, sweet potatoes in their cooked form are way better for your dog. Raw sweet potatoes may cause an intestinal issue or an upset stomach. So to avoid any problems, it’s better to serve cooked sweet potatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato Skin?
Did you know that the skin of the sweet potato isn’t toxic to your dog? Yes, it’s not, but only if eaten in smaller portions. If your dog ends up swallowing large chunks of skin, then it could result in choking, especially if it’s a small dog.
Skins are relatively difficult to digest, so it’s ideal for peeling the vegetables before giving them to your dog.
But if you do plan on leaving the skin on, cut the sweet potato into smaller pieces so it’s easier to eat and digestion is conveniently done.
Why Are Sweet Potatoes Good for Dogs?
Dogs enjoy eating sweet potatoes, so it’s essential you know the different ways to feed your dog sweet potatoes.
- The best form to feed your dog sweet potatoes is if they are baked or boiled. After baking or boiling them, cut them into smaller portions, so it’s easier for your dog to swallow them. You can also mash them.
- Sweet potatoes are part of root vegetables that are excellent in a good training treat because they’re pretty low in calories and fat. You can also occasionally give this to your dog as a mix-in for wet food or kibble, as a healthy and nutritious addition to your dog’s diet.
- Dehydrated sweet potatoes are a good and healthy option for older dogs. You can give this to them as an alternative to rawhide chews. This satisfies the dog chewing needs and is a good option for puppies too.
- Ideally, sweet potatoes can be eaten as a stand-alone or even with other vegetables and fruits or even rice. This increases the nutritional value of your dog’s meal, and you can freeze these sweet potatoes for a light summer treat later.
With other fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes must also be fed to your pup in moderation, meaning it should be given as an occasional treat.
Even though it’s a highly healthy option, with its jam-packed nutritional value, it still should be delivered in small amounts at first to check if there isn’t any allergic response and to build tolerance towards sweet potatoes.
The diet of any healthy dog should include wet food and kibble, with occasional treats and supplements like sweet potatoes to boost their health.
Before introducing any new food item to your dog’s diet, make sure you check in with your veterinarian to be on the safe side. Your vet knows your dog the most; he’ll prescribe you the best way to feed your dog.
If your dog is diabetic, overweight, or has heart and kidney disease, before giving it, make sure your vet knows. If he gives you the green signal, you are good to go!
So, Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
It’s a yes! Yes, your dog can have sweet potatoes. Maybe not daily, but occasionally your dog can still try it. Do make sure to follow the instructions given above to ensure the safety of your dog’s health!
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