When it comes to hot and wholesome dinners nothing can quite beat a jacket potato with a topping or two.
I’m happy to eat the whole potato, skin and all.
But I know that some people aren’t.
My wife can’t stand the skin.
And so when the meal is over and your plate is hovering over the trash bin, what do you do with the skin?
Is it scraped into the bin or is it something that your dog can eat?
Can dogs have baked potato skins?
Feeding dogs baked potato skins is a perfectly practical thing to do which could help to cut down on some of the food waste in your house.
Not only that.
But whilst your dog will think that they have wound you round their little finger and manipulated you into giving them a naughty treat, you are feeding them a food which is chocobloc with nutrients.
Stay with me to find out exactly why this is…
What is the nutrition in baked potato skins?
The chart below includes the basic nutrition that comes from baked potato skins.
These values come from a 100 g serving
|Inc. Dietary Fiber
And what it shows is that baked potato skins are very low in calories, fat and sodium (as long as you don’t cover them in salt before you bake them.)
Not only that but the skins are quite high in carbohydrate (but I think as far as a potato skin goes that isn’t too bad)
And baked potato skins are a great source of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber is a vital part of nutrition because it is very important when it comes to having a digestive system that functions correctly.
And if you are queasy, look away now..
A good digestion system in turn leads to healthy stool, which is easier to clear up!
And that, my friends, is called a virtuous circle!
Finally, the skins contain vitamins and minerals that are also beneficial.
Potato skins contain lots of vitamin B6 which plays a role in strengthening the immune system.
Relatively large amounts of iron and copper are present in the skins.
Iron will help your dog to have well functioning red blood cells and the copper supports this as well.
Are potato skins better for dogs than peeled potatoes?
Part of the age-old preparation of vegetables is to peel them.
But from a nutritional standpoint, science suggests that we have this wrong.
Vegetable skins can be goldmines that contain lots of vitamins and minerals.
And potatoes aren’t alone in this.
Just a few sentences ago I explained how important fiber was in a diet.
Well, the skin from vegetables may contain up to 31% of the total amount of fiber found in the whole vegetable.
Specifically, when we look at potatoes, we see that potato skin can contain more potassium, foliate, magnesium and phosphorus than a peeled one.
And nearly twice as much vitamin C.
Which isn’t too bad at all as I’m sure that you would agree.
But how do these baked potato skins compare to baked sweet potato skins?
Let’s find out shall we?
Can dogs eat baked sweet potato skins?
When I talk about sweet potato skins, I’m referring to the ones that you bake at home as opposed to those ready to eat products that firms such as TGI Friday’s sell, which are packed full of flavourings and preservatives…
To make the comparison easier I have included the same chart as before.
|100 g serving
|Inc. Dietary Fiber
Complete nutritional information for baked sweet potato skins is hard to come by.
But from the sketchy details, I can tell you that they are lower in calories and carbs than baked white potato skins.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that sweet potato skins are high in vitamin A.
Just as any orange coloured vegetable is.
And vitamin A helps a dog’s eyes to work as best as they possibly can.
Another difference between the skins of these two types of potatoes is that sweet potato skins are a lot thinner and softer than white potato skins- which might make them easier for your dog to eat.
How many baked potato skins should I feed my dog?
The important thing here is that if your dog is unused to eating baked potato skins then start them off with just a bite or two and then wait to see how their tummy reacts to it.
If everything goes well, then you can start to increase the amounts.
But, don’t go crazy.
At the very most you should feed a large dog the skin from one potato and smaller dogs should get about a half of that.
So, what should you do if your whole family discards the skin after a jacket potato?
Well, you can drip feed them to your dog over a number of days.
And you should only feed these skins to your dog if they are clean.
Baked potato skins that are clogged up with salt, or sauce or oil should be binned.
Feeding contaminated baked potato skins to your dog is a bit like playing Russian roulette with their stomach.
How should I prepare baked potato skins for my dog?
I have kind of answered this question already.
If you want to feed your dog baked potato skins they need to be prepared as simply as possible.
In fact they don’t need anything added to them.
Don’t be tempted to sprinkle some salt or pepper over them or even oil.
Just poke them with a fork all over their surface and then place them in a preheated oven.
The oven should be around 200C and it should take approximately 1 hour for them to cook.
Just keep a close eye on them for that final 10 minutes or so to make sure that the skin doesn’t go from crispy to burnt!
Can dogs eat burnt baked potato skins?
If you have been distracted whilst cooking your jackets and they have turned from crispy to burned you might still be wondering if they are safe to feed to your dog.
I might be going out on a limb here but I think your dog will be fine to have a few mouthfuls of burned potato skin.
Although there are some scary stories out there about the fact that burnt food might cause cancer, this is untrue.
Burned potato skins won’t have much, if any, nutrition but they will be charcoal which has traditionally been added to some dog biscuits and aids digestion.
Which leads me nicely on to my next and final question.
Are baked potato skins good for a dog with diarrhea?
In this article, I have spoken a lot about how much fiber baked potato skins contain.
And, I’m interested in foods that are high in fiber because I’m always on the lookout for quick fixes for diarrhea.
For my dog, not me!
My current favourite is sweet potato which works like a charm with our dogs.
Sweet potato can move the contents of their stomachs from liquid to solid in the space of a day.
They have very similar levels of fiber.
So should I add potato skins into my toolkit?!
Although the fiber levels are there or thereabouts in these two foods, sweet potatoes contain much more water than potato skins.
And I think that it is a combination of the fiber and water content that really makes sweet potatoes work.