Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes? Good or Bad for Dogs!

You may have heard that sweet potatoes are the healthier option for people compared to ordinary white potatoes. But, you may have wondered – can dogs eat sweet potatoes?

This article will look at what precisely sweet potatoes are, whether they are safe for your dog to eat, and if they offer any health benefits for your dog.

  • What are sweet potatoes?
  • Are sweet potatoes safe for dogs to eat?
  • Are sweet potatoes the same as yams?
  • What are the health benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs?
  • How to feed sweet potatoes to dogs
  • Can dogs eat raw sweet potatoes?
  • Can my dog eat sweet potato skins?
  • Can my dog eat canned sweet potatoes?
  • Simple sweet potato dog treats recipe
  • Can dogs be allergic to sweet potatoes?
  • Can my diabetic dog eat sweet potatoes?

What Are Sweet Potatoes?

Did you know that sweet potato is not potatoes at all? We often assume they are in the nightshade family like ordinary white potatoes because they look like potatoes.

Therefore, we cook and eat them the same way we do potatoes, sometimes even substituting the ordinary white potato for the orange sweet potato as a healthy alternative. 

Sweet potatoes are considered root vegetables, similar to carrots, turnips, and other veggies with large tuberous edible roots.

can dogs eat mashed sweet potatoes

Are Sweet Potatoes Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Sweet potatoes are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. Your dog can enjoy the same health benefits as you do from delicious and filling food.

However, you should ensure that you first cook the sweet potato before serving it to your dog, and always offer this food in moderation. 

To keep your dog safe, you should also avoid allowing your dog to eat the raw vines or leaves of the plant, as these are toxic and will make your dog very ill.

Are Sweet Potatoes The Same As Yams?

Yams and sweet potatoes, although very similar, are not the same vegetable. They are; however, both root vegetables growing in tubular forms underground.

The main difference is that yams are more dry and starchy than sweet potatoes, which tend to be light and juicy when cooked. 

Therefore, dogs can eat yams as safely as they can eat sweet potatoes, ensuring that they are cooked and served plain like you should cook and serve sweet potatoes for your dog.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes For Dogs?

You are probably aware that sweet potatoes are a very healthy food option for humans, and the great news is that the many health benefits of sweet potatoes that we enjoy are the same for our dogs. Your dog can enjoy the tremendous sweet flavor and soft texture of this vegetable, alongside the following health benefits:

  • Sweet potatoes have high dietary fiber content, helping to support a healthy digestive system and maintain healthy and regular bowel movements. Sweet potatoes are second on the list of the top vegetables that are high in fiber.
  • Sweet potatoes can alleviate constipation and diarrhea due to them being high in fiber.
  • Sweet potatoes are low in fat, meaning that they can make a great filler ingredient when trying to reduce meal portions to help a dog lose weight for health or medical reasons. Adding a small portion of sweet potato can help a dog on a diet feel fuller for longer.
  • Sweet potatoes contain various essential minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B6 (Which supports healthy red blood cell function, immune system), Vitamin C (antioxidant), and Vitamin A (which supports cell function, reproduction, and immune system). They are also a great source of potassium, calcium, and iron.
  • The reason sweet potatoes have that beautiful golden orange color is that they contain beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. It can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and provide protection against heart disease. 
  • Did you know that dogs can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A in their bodies? Beta-carotene and vitamin A are essential for your dog's bone growth, skin, reproduction, and vision. Beta-carotene or vitamin A deficiencies can lead to night blindness in dogs and abnormal bone/teeth development, abnormal reproductive development, and poor skin quality.
  • One of the reasons sweet potatoes are considered a healthier option than white potatoes is that they provide more nutritional content and are lower in carbohydrates. White potatoes can be a problem when it comes to blood sugar levels and obesity. Sweet potatoes still contain a fair amount of carbohydrates, though, which is why dogs should eat sweet potatoes in moderation.
can dogs eat sweet potatoes

How To Feed Sweet Potatoes To Dogs

If you would like to add sweet potatoes to your dog's diet, it is straightforward to do, and there are a variety of different ways to do it.

Here are some ideas:

  • Always steam or boil sweet potatoes to cook them thoroughly using the healthiest cooking method possible. You should avoid roasting or frying or any cooking method that may require the use of butter, oil, or other unnecessary fats. Steaming is the best method as it allows the vegetable to retain all of its nutritional value.
  • To avoid gastrointestinal issues and other complications, such as bone problems or muscle weakness, you should start your dog off with a small amount of sweet potato. Try a teaspoon for smaller dogs or a tablespoon for large dogs. Starting small is a great general rule when trying your dog with any new food, as you never know how your dog will react to it. Offering a small amount will reduce any adverse reactions and help you monitor your dog for symptoms after they have eaten.
  • Add the sweet potato to your dog's main meal either on the side or mixed into their kibble. Mixing the sweet potato with your dog's kibble will change the flavor and texture of your dog's usual food, making it twice as delicious and ensuring a licked clean bowl.
  • Smear some sweet potato inside of a Kong toy or across a licking mat to provide your dog with some mental stimulation as he tries to lick the yummy mixture. These are great dog toys to help keep your dog busy and occupied healthily and therapeutically for your dog.
  • Create chewy sweet potato treats for your dog by drying thin vegetable layers on low heat in the oven or in your microwave to remove all moisture. You can then store the treats in the fridge to keep them fresh and feed them to your dog during the week. If you chop them up into small pieces, they are also great healthy alternatives for training rewards.
  • Dehydrated sweet potatoes are acceptable as a treat once in a while.

Sweet Potatoe Guidelines

While you should always ask your vet before giving your dog something new or letting it have a certain amount of table food, here are some guidelines for feeding them sweet potatoes:

  • Make sure they're cooked – don't feed your dog any potatoes that aren't cooked through because they can be poisonous and cause serious illness.
  • Limit the amount you give them – don't let them have more than a couple of bites at a time. While it's perfectly safe for dogs to eat sweet potatoes, too much can upset their stomachs.
  • Don't give your dog the skin – it's high in sugar, and that's not good for dogs. The same goes for any other potato skins you may come across while preparing a meal.
  • Don't boil them – boiling starchy foods can increase their glycemic index, which means they'll get absorbed into the body faster and have more of an impact on blood sugar levels. If you're trying to give your dog cooked sweet potatoes, steam them instead of boiling them.

Can my dog eat sweet potato skins?

I would not recommend feeding your puppy cooked sweet potato skins as it could upset your dog's digestive system and cause a blockage. However, in moderation, it should be ok.

can dogs eat sweet potatoes fries

Can my dog eat canned sweet potatoes?

Most canned sweet potatoes are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, it's not recommended to give your dog canned sweet potatoes because most are high in carbs or artificial ingredients that may be harmful to your puppy. If you're looking for a low-carb alternative, try substituting with pureed pumpkin or carrots instead.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?

No, Dogs should never eat raw sweet potatoes or any potato. This is because raw sweet potatoes contain both solanine and chaconine, which are poisonous to dogs. In addition, canines have trouble digesting sweet potatoes, so it is best not to let your dog eat them at all.

What Do Raw Sweet Potatoes Do To Canines?

When dogs digest sweet potatoes, the compound solanine is released. Unfortunately, canines lack an enzyme necessary to break down this chemical, and it builds up in their bloodstream, which can lead to severe health conditions.

Symptoms:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Seizures

Note: Symptoms usually occur within 24 hours of consumption. Please consult your veterinarian if any of the above symptoms are being experienced by your dog.

Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treats recipe

These yummy dog treats are great for your dog. They will love them, and you will love them too because they are so easy and cheap to make! You can make them for your dog or give them as gifts for your friends' and neighbors' dogs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 2 ½ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¼ Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 2 Eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 degrees C)
  2. Pierce the sweet potato a few times using a fork
  3. Heat the sweet potato in the microwave on high for about 6 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Cut the sweet potato in half, scoop out the soft flesh and discard the skin – be careful not to get burnt.
  5. Mash the sweet potato flesh in a bowl using a fork or potato masher, and transfer about 1 cup of the mixture to a larger bowl.
  6. Add all of the other ingredients into the bowl and mix them into a dough.
  7. Flour a surface and roll out the dough into a ½ inch thick sheet.
  8. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough; alternatively, you can cut the dough into strips using a pizza cutter.
  9. Arrange all the pieces onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until crisp.

Don't forget to allow the treats to cool before offering them to your dog!

Can dogs be allergic to sweet potatoes?

es, your dog could be allergic to sweet potatoes, but most likely not because sweet potatoes are considered whole food making them less sensitive to them. Whenever you introduce a new food to your dog, you should only add a small amount at the beginning and monitor for any negative responses.

diabetes in dogs

Can my diabetic dog eat sweet potatoes?

Your diabetic dog may be able to eat sweet potatoes, but just like with any other type of food, you need to make sure that they are added in moderation.

When your dog eats sweet potatoes, it can help control his blood sugar levels for up to twelve hours. This is especially helpful if he has an insulin-resistant type of diabetes. There are a few precautions to consider before you feed your dog this type of food, however. 

First, your dog may need his blood glucose levels regularly monitored if he eats sweet potatoes because the increase in sugars can be dangerous. He may experience an increase in his insulin dosage intake as well.

Second, you should only give him cooked sweet potatoes and not raw ones. 

The raw type of potatoes can increase his chances of getting pancreatitis, only worsening his diabetes. You also want to ensure that you don't feed your dog the peels or any other part of the vegetable except for the flesh. 

The last thing you need to keep in mind is that dogs possess more severe problems with high blood sugar levels than humans do. Therefore, the sweet potatoes will only work as a temporary treatment for his diabetes and not a cure.

Summary

Sweet potatoes are a great way to give your dog's diet a health boost or add some variety to your dog's meals. They are perfect for helping maintain your dog's healthy weight or help to get them down to a healthy weight.

You can also make different sweet potato treats, which are much healthier than commercial dog treats that contain many hidden ingredients, preservatives, and additives. So why not have a look online to find some more ideas? 

You can also make different sweet potato treats, which are much healthier than commercial dog treats that contain many hidden ingredients, preservatives, and additives. So why not have a look online to find some more ideas? Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? 

The answer is yes, as long as they are cooked and not raw. Can my diabetic dog eat sweet potatoes? If you have an insulin-resistant type of diabetes, your dog can benefit from this type of food. 

Can my dog be allergic to sweet potatoes? It is more likely for your pet to have a food intolerance than to be allergic to sweet potatoes.

(Last Updated On: September 5, 2021)
Liz
 

I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs and somehow manage to have time to pursue another of my passions - writing. I’m the primary contributor and editor of PUPPY FAQS. I love to write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local dog shelter. If you have a question that needs answering, please leave a comment below, and I will do my best to explain it.

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