Sweet potatoes are so good for you that they practically qualify as super-food. But can dogs eat sweet potatoes?
Humans can’t imagine their diet without potatoes. They can be prepared in a million different ways and still taste great! And if we like potatoes so much, our four-legged pals are likely to enjoy them as well.
Keep reading! This article will give you a detailed answer.
What Is Sweet Potato?
Sweet potatoes are supposed to have originated in Central or South America and were domesticated over 5,000 years ago. It is a root vegetable that comes from the morning-glory family.
With the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the sweet potato became a staple crop. Columbus loved this vegetable so much that he brought the orange potato back to Spain. And that was the start of potato popularity.
Sweet potatoes are not related to white potatoes at all, despite being called “potatoes.” While they grow as underground tubers, they are not part of the nightshade family in contrast to regular potatoes.
The sweet potatoes come in various hues, besides the more familiar orange, each with somewhat varied flavors and textures ranging from highly sweet to moderate.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. According to the USDA, one medium-baked sweet potato with skin contains 103 kilocalories, 2.29 grams of protein, 23.6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.171 grams of fat, 3.76 grams of fiber and, 7.39 grams of sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potato is one of the best sources of fiber amongst vegetables and probably the highest of the vegetables your dog will want to eat. Sounds too good to be true?
It gets better; sweet potatoes are low in fat and high in dietary fiber, making them a suitable choice as healthy treats for your dog.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
Cooked sweet potatoes are healthier choices for dogs because they contain essential nutrients.
Incorporating suitable sources of fiber for dogs into their daily diet is something that all complete, balanced dog foods should consider.
Cooked sweet potatoes have about 6 grams of fiber per cup! Fiber is beneficial to your dog’s digestive system. It will aid in the promotion of regular, healthy bowel movements.
When your dog eats foods containing beta-carotene, it is absorbed by the intestine and transported to the liver. It is combined with fats in the diet, converted to vitamin A, and stored until the body requires it.
Beyond supporting eye health, it also assists in keeping a thriving immune system and healthy skin and coat. Beta-carotene also works as an antioxidant, helping to prevent disease and infection.
According to PETMD, sweet potatoes are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins B6 and C, benefiting a dog’s overall health. Vitamin C is required for a healthy immune system in humans and animals.
Sweet potatoes contain calcium, potassium, and iron. Manganese creates energy and supports metabolism, whereas potassium helps nerve, heart, brain, and muscle function.
Magnesium is linked to muscular health and is necessary for your dog to be healthy and active.
Are Sweet Potatoes Safe for My Dog?
Despite the many benefits of sweet potatoes, they still contain a lot of carbohydrates and starch. So if you feed your dog, think of them as extra calories and compensate.
Additionally, sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, but feeding sweet potatoes to a diabetic dog should be done under veterinary care.
Dogs should start with minimal amounts of sweet potato, usually no more than one or two ounces per serving.
Remember, always cook sweet potatoes before adding them to your dog’s diet. The reason why you shouldn’t give your dog a raw sweet potato lies in the fact that sweet potato contains a toxin called solanine that’s contained in green peels.
If you grow them at home, be aware that the plants and leaves can be toxic if eaten in quantity. So, keep your dogs away from potato plants to prevent any problems.
How to Make Sweet Potatoes to Give to Dogs
Regardless of how you intend to prepare them, always make sure that the sweet potatoes you feed your pup are cooked thoroughly and that the skin is removed.
It’s super easy to make sweet potatoes for your dog, and you can prepare them in a few different ways.
Steamed or Boiled
You can boil or steam sweet potatoes, mash them up and add them directly to your dog’s food.
Add small amounts of steamed or boiled sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet. Steaming or boiling sweet potatoes is one of the best ways to help them retain their nutritional value. It’s also best to remove the skin before giving this to your pup.
Add a teaspoon (for small dogs) to a tablespoon (for large dogs) of steamed or boiled sweet potatoes to your pet’s usual food bowl. Candied yams are heavy in sugar, so stay away from them.
Baked or Dehydrated
Sweet potato chews can also be made by slicing and roasting or drying them in an oven or dehydrator.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Place the sweet potatoes on the oven trays in a single layer and bake for 2 to 3 hours, flipping halfway through, until they are shrunken and dried out.
To dehydrate in a dehydrator, place the sweet potatoes in an even layer on a dehydrator rack. Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 125°F until crisp.
Sweet potato chews are an excellent alternative to rawhide chews, and unlike rawhide, they aren’t known for causing digestive obstructions or choking.
So can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Not only can they eat them – they beg for them. However, as with any food, if your dog has never had it before, it’s essential to introduce new foods slowly.
Most dogs will tolerate sweet potatoes well, but some can be allergic, so it’s always best to check with your veterinarian before adding them to your dog’s diet.