Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?

Photo by Tim Pierce on Flickr

Potatoes are often considered to be a cheap and beneficial vegetable to bulk up your dog’s food intake.

This is because both cooked and raw potatoes do technically possess some nutritional value.

However, you should generally avoid feeding your dog raw potatoes. This is because they contain high levels of Solanine, a compound toxic to some dogs.

Although cooking potatoes often reduces the level of Solanine to a safer level, you should only feed dogs boiled, or baked potatoes as opposed to those cooked in oil as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

This article will highlight the dangers of feeding your dog raw potatoes. It will also discuss other beneficial vegetables to feed your canine instead of potatoes. 

Do Raw Potatoes Have Any Nutritional Value? 

Raw potatoes per serving of 100 grams contain around 85 calories, 76.7 grams of water, 17.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.6 grams of fibre.

They possess no sugars, saturated fats, or cholesterol. This would suggest that raw potatoes are a healthy option from time to time. 

However, dogs technically require 0 carbs to live.

So, their diets should consist of a majority of fats and proteins.

These are mainly found in meats like beef and chicken. Although, some canines such as working dogs require high-fat and carbohydrate-rich diets to give them the energy they need. 

Due to their intense work schedules, working dogs often need high levels of glucose and fibre in their diets, both present in potatoes.

Hence, raw potatoes should not be given to your dog, and even cooked potatoes should be avoided in large quantities for the average pet. 

When Might Raw Potatoes Become Toxic?

Raw Green potatoes are very dangerous for dogs and can cause poisoning to your pooch.

The green colour occurs because when potatoes are exposed to light, they begin to produce chlorophyll. This allows for plants to gain energy from the sun through photosynthesis. 

This chlorophyll encourages the production of other compounds to protect the potato from damage by insects, fungi, and bacteria. But, these compounds can be toxic to both humans and dogs. 

Although small patches of green on potatoes are generally harmless, they can be signifiers of a toxic compound called Solanine which may be dangerous to your pooch.

Green potato poisoning and Solanine can cause reduced function or irritation of the nervous system and organs, particularly the kidney.

It can also cause tremors, heart problems, and breathing issues.

So, if you think that your dog has eaten large amounts of raw potatoes, it’s always best to call your vet even if no symptoms are present. 

Raw potatoes should be avoided within a dog’s diet, as well as the potato plants themselves as these are also toxic.

For instance, if you are growing potatoes in your garden, it’s always best to fence them off so that your dog cannot access them or keep them out of reach from your dog. 

What Other Side Effects Might Eating Raw Potatoes Have?

Although Solanine generally only causes issues to dogs when eaten in large quantities, it’s best to look out for the symptoms which indicate poisoning to ensure that your dog is in no discomfort or pain.

These include gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhoea, weakness, dizziness, paralysis, and in worst cases death. 

Raw potatoes and their skins also include toxins which are known for causing irritations to the digestive tract and kidney disorders. 

How Much Raw Potato Should I Feed My Dog?

Due to the severity of these symptoms, it is generally recommended that you do not feed your dog raw potato.

This will help to keep your dog in the best health condition possible and avoid any veterinarian bills which could occur due to green potato poisoning. 

Instead, you can feed your dog small amounts of cooked potatoes.

However, these must be given in moderation and never as the main portion of your dog’s diet. There are a number of ways to cook them which are discussed below! 

Can Dogs Eat Raw Potato Skin?

Raw potato skins have also been greatly linked to green potato poisoning. So, they are equally unsafe for your pooch to eat.

If you know that your dog has eaten potato skins, they should be taken to the vets as a precaution, even if they are showing the slightest signs of poisoning. 

What Is The Healthiest Way Of Preparing Cooked Potatoes For My Dog?

The healthiest way to prepare cooked potatoes for your dog is to boil them in a pot until they are soft and removing the skin.

No salt or extra seasonings need to be added to the potatoes and they should only be given to your dog as a treat from time to time.

Generally, a serving of one small potato contains around 100 calories, so your dog does not need a portion any larger than this.

You can incorporate boiled potatoes into a variety of homemade treats for your dog.

One method could be to mash the potatoes with small amounts of Greek yoghurt.

Making them into different shapes by mixing with their favourite ground meat and vegetables is another great technique.

Your dog will definitely appreciate all of your efforts!

You should always avoid giving greasy and oily potatoes to your dog.

These include products like fries, hash browns, chips, and mashed potatoes made with butter and dairy.

All of these could lead to issues like obesity or heart problems for your dog. So, it’s best to steer clear from feeding them high-fat potato products like those listed above. 

Is Feeding Your Dog Canned Potatoes Okay? 

Canned potatoes can also be problematic for your dog depending on which type you are buying.

Per 100 gram portion, regular canned potatoes contain around 60 calories, 5mg of sodium, 1.4g of protein, 5mg of calcium, and 229mg of potassium. 

In contrast, canned potatoes with added salt contain around 167mg of sodium and 94 calories per 100 gram portion.

So, it’s always best to check the ingredients and nutritional list before giving your dog canned potatoes. 

Consistent amounts of added salt in their diet as found in many canned potatoes could increase your dog’s likelihood to develop issues like heart disease.

This could not only leave you with expensive monthly vet bills but could very easily kill your dog. 

What Is The Best Raw Vegetable To Feed Your Dog? 

There are heaps of beneficial raw vegetables that your dog can enjoy.

Feeding your dog a variety of vegetables is important to their health because they provide nutrients and minerals that meat lacks, so they will help to keep your dog’s body in top shape.

Although they aren’t considered essential, they are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and enzymes. These will all boost your dog’s immune system and support their nourishment. 

In terms of ‘the best’ vegetables for your dog, it’s a good idea to test out several different options to see what your pooch prefers.

This will make treats extra tasty for them and they will certainly appreciate the energy you have put in to find their favourite snacks.

Dog-safe raw vegetables include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, carrots, and green beans.

Broccoli is very high in fibre and vitamin C, carrots are great for their teeth as well as fibre and vitamin A, and green beans are great for minerals and fibre too. 

Certain vegetables cannot be given to your dog raw or at all.

So, it’s best to check with your vet before introducing any new raw food into your dog’s diet.

Even a quick google search before doing so could save you a lot of unnecessary hassle. 

What Vegetables Are Toxic To Dogs?

There are a large number of vegetables that are toxic to dogs both raw and cooked.

These include garlic, leeks, mushrooms, and onions.

Corn on the cob is a potential fatality for dogs because it can cause stomach blockages, whereas anything in the onion family including chives or garlic can cause major red blood cell damage.

Solanine compounds are also present in eggplants and unripe tomatoes, so they too should be avoided.

Although giving your dog vegetables is commonly known to benefit their health, not all are suitable.

So, it is vital that you take the time to understand which vegetables are safe, and which are dangerous. 

Should Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes? 

Overall, you should always ask your vet for advice before introducing any new food into your dog’s diet.

Raw potatoes are not recommended for dogs because of the extensive range of health issues that they can induce.

Instead, try introducing a range dog-safe raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli to give your canine a diverse diet and encourage their well-being.

If you believe that your dog has eaten raw potatoes, always keep an eye on them.

If any symptoms occur, it is vital that you take them into a veterinary clinic as soon as possible.