When you own a dog, you want to give your companion the best of foods for a healthy, happy lifestyle. Many people find themselves wanting to share their own treats with their pooches, but what foods are safe for dogs? You may have heard that onions can be dangerous for dogs, as can garlic, but can dogs eat sweet potatoes?
You know that, because they have an abundance of fiber and nutrients, sweet potatoes are good for humans. But what about man’s best friend? The answer is that sweet potato are as good for dogs as they are for people. The dietary fiber boosts the functioning of the digestive system, allowing it to work more effectively. Regularly eating fiber also lowers the risks of heart disease and particular cancers.
In fact, sweet potatoes are a common carbohydrate source in commercial dog food brands. Read on to find out more about the benefits of sweet potatoes for your pup.
Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Sweet Potatoes
Low in fat, sweet potatoes are rich in the vitamins C, B6, A, iron, calcium, and potassium. Each plays an important role in the overall wellness of both humans and dogs.
Vitamin A, for example, maintains healthy skin, muscles, nerves, and eyes. Vitamin C is essential for properly functioning immune systems.
When supplemented with vitamin C, dogs, like humans, have a greater resistance to disease. They also have stronger chances of recovery from illness or injuries.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, your dog can have cooked sweet potatoes. In fact, you should never serve your dog a sweet potato that is raw. They are tough to chew and capable of causing intestinal blockages.
When you feed your dog a sweet potato, cook it and remove the skin. If your dog is the type to inhale food, be sure that the tuber is of a consistency that is nice and soft. This lessens the possibility of choking.
Do Sweet Potatoes Hurt Dogs?
In general, and in the right amounts, sweet potatoes do not harm dogs. However, when too much is given, there can be problematic side effects.
Sweet potatoes have an abundance of vitamin A. Too much of this vitamin can result in weakness in the muscles and bones.
Sweet potatoes are also carbohydrates. Dogs should not have carbohydrates as their main nutrition source.
Further, any new addition to a dog’s diet should be given slowly and with close attention to your dog’s reactions. Start with small amounts. New foods can upset your dog’s digestive system and result in vomiting or diarrhea.
[Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Is It 100% Safe To Feed Your Dog?]
How Much Sweet Potato Can My Dog Have?
Moderation is the secret to most foods. The amount of sweet potatoes your dog eats depends on your dog’s size, overall health, and level of activity. Ask your veterinarian before adding cooked sweet potato to your dog’s diet.
The problem with advising how much sweet potato dogs should have generally is that canine nutrition depends on the individual. This is as true for dogs as it is for humans.
Can My Dog Have Sweet Potatoes Daily?
Your dog should not have sweet potatoes on a daily basis. This healthy food can nonetheless be problematic when given to dogs daily.
You do not want your dog to experience weakness in muscles and bones due to an excess of vitamin A. In addition, digestive upset can result.
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
There are multiple ways to cook sweet potatoes for your pup. You can simply remove the skin, cut the sweet potato into pieces, and place them in the microwave to cook.
You can also start by microwaving the whole sweet potato. Wash it, then use a fork to poke holes on either side of the tuber, finally cutting off the very tip ends. Then wrap it in a segment of cling wrap before cooking it for three to four minutes in your microwave.
After you let it cool, it will be easier to remove the skin. Using a knife, score the sweet potato down its center. Now you can pull back the skin with ease.
Cut the sweet potato into very thin strips and put them back in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate. Continue to cook them at half power. Turning them over at the halfway point, you should cook them for a further two to four minutes.
You can also boil sweet potatoes on the stovetop and then mash them for your dog to safely consume. Try soaking in vinegar prior to washing; this helps draw out more dirt than water alone manages. After washing, peel the sweet potatoes, wash them again, and then cut them into cubes.
Bring water in a pot to boil; the amount of water should cover the sweet potatoes completely. When the water is boiling, carefully add the sweet potatoes, reducing the heat to medium. Let them simmer for about half an hour.
When you can easily pierce a cube with a knife or fork, it is time to drain the sweet potatoes and mash them. Using a potato masher makes this step much easier. Mash until the consistency is smooth, then let the treat cool before serving it to your dog.
Can Dogs Have Sweet Potato Fries?
Dogs should have mashed sweet potato or fine strips of sweet potato for a chewier treat. Sweet potato chips and fries that were made for humans often have added sugars, salts, and other ingredients. These additions can cause stomach upset in your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Purple Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can safely consume purple sweet potatoes. They are a natural deviation from the normal orange sweet potatoes. In fact, this tuber can be white, yellow, violet, or purple, in addition to orange.
Do Sweet Potatoes Give Dogs Diarrhea?
When introduced suddenly or fed in too great amounts, sweet potatoes may cause digestive upset. This is also true of sweet potatoes served raw to your dog. But this tuber can, in fact, help with diarrhea because of its high fiber content.
If your dog is having runny stools, you can supplement the normal dog food with some cooked and mashed sweet potato. The large amounts of fiber present in these tubers will help your dog form more solid stools.
[Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Turkey During Festive Seasons?]
In the end, while sweet potatoes are safe for dogs to eat, there are caveats. It should be cooked, never fed raw, and never with the skin left on it. With these tips in mind, let your dog enjoy a nutritious and tasty treat in moderation.